At the beginning of this academic year we were informed by the British Council that our project application for European Funding had been successful. What a fantastic way to begin the new school year! We will be working on a joint 24-month project with a school in Spain. We are very pleased to be working on this project with our partner school, Ies As Telleiras in Ferrol.
The name of the project is ‘Disconnect to Reconnect’. The main aim of this project is to empower our students to take control of their use of digital technology and their use of mobile technology by introducing them to different creative distractions.
As a school we need to suggest other ways for our students to occupy their downtime. If we want our students to use the internet and social media in a more responsible way, we need to introduce them to new experiences and
relationships. We all believe that no-one should spend all their free time connected – it is not good for our overall wellbeing. By taking part in a European project we will be able to compare our experiences and exchange ideas. Together we will be able to explore and discuss our relationship with social media – the similarities and the differences.
This project aims to improve confidence, self-esteem and discipline in our young people. We hope that the overall impact of the project will encourage our students to spend more time in face-to-face conversations and activities. By communicating with students who have different traditions and cultures our students will definitely improve their social skills and life skills.
Every term we will run regular lunchtime meetings and after-school workshops with the focus on creating, doing, taking part and discovering. By allowing students to experience a variety of creative distractions in small groups they may learn to feel more in control of their personal well-being. This term, myself and Mr Rayer held laser printing and cutting workshops. The students designed and made wooden keyrings celebrating their Welsh cultural identity. We hope to make enough to send to our Spanish partner school.
The funding will also allow a small group of students to take part in a short term exchange trip to Spain. Both students and staff from MIHS will have the opportunity to visit our partner school in Spain and take part in cultural visits. We will visit our partner school this year and our Spanish partner school will visit us next year. These exchange visits will be an opportunity for everyone involved to meet and share achievements, as well as, get to know one another. Students will be able to voice their opinions and build up their confidence talking to students from another country.
Throughout the project, we will collect information and data to assess how well students have moved their attention away from ‘screen’ time to ‘real’ time. We hope our findings will inform our school’s improvement plans.
Project One: Laser cutting: Key rings
Project Two: Knitting: Hats for the homeless, Faith in Action