In the sixth round of projects organised by ELvis schools, four Erasmus+ projects were approved by the E.U. They will be carried out over the next 2 years, providing Covid measures do not affect travel and meeting up in person too much.
- ELvis Olympics. The 3 schools from Germany, the Spanish school, the Dutch and a new Belgian school are going to look into how food affects physical fitness/training schedules. In order to do that the participating students will have to have a critical look at their diet, then make adjustments where necessary and start a training programme for a sports contest. Each year there will be 3 rounds. For every round there will be new some participants and/or new sports. Owing to the Covid situation we asked for an extension, so that we can start the proceedings in the school year 2021-2022.
- The Monument Project. In this project students from Enger, Freigericht, Wroughton, Utebo and Gulpen will look into the shifting appreciation of some of the monuments in their countries. They will do this by looking into the historical reasons for erecting these monuments and trying to find out if these are still valid in our society now.
- The ELvis PBL project. This project is based on the way students in the Dutch Technasium learn: in groups and on the basis of ‘real problems’. The students are challenged by a company to find a solution to a problem. In the first year they do that in their own school, but have regular meetings to ‘learn from each other’ and get to know the students form the other schools. There will be a ‘technical component, worked out by Science students and a ‘marketing’ component worked out by students doing Business Studies and Art. In year two this idea will be ‘repeated’, but then the groups will be multi-national and will have to complement each other. Also for this project an extension was asked to be able to start in 2021-2022.
- The Analysis of Eco systems in Europe. This will involve research and hands-on work in two very different areas: a Danish Island and the coast of Salento in the very south of Italy. Students will have to do preparatory research and compare results with the findings they do on the spot.
- The Water project. We joined schools from Stockholm (SE), Feldkirch (AU), Merksem (BE), Rho (IT) and Lormont (FR) in a new cooperation (Erasmus+ KA122). This project aims to research the way water affects us in the different parts of Europe.
ELvis 5.0 (2018-2020)
After the intensive project on Global Competences, we felt it was time to take on a less ambitious task. We managed to secure Erasmus+ KA229 funding for the International Skills Put into Practice (ISPiP) project. In this project students are asked to take the test devised in the previous project, then work individually on the learning materials provided on the website to further develop some of the skills that need improvement. After that they set themselves a challenge that can be carried out in either a school, institution for higher education or a work placement. Students then go to a partner school for 7 days, to be trained in the native language (3 half days). They then go and work at their challenge for 2.5 days. The remaining time is dedicated to briefings and debriefings as well as some ‘heritage trails’ showing the students the area immediately near the school and a little further afield. We check whether the objectives have been reached by having the students hand in ‘proof’ on video of what they have done and by having them fill in a survey. Of course the students stayed in host families to make the experience really worthwhile.
Apart from the ISPiP project there was a very successful ELvis concert in Lecce.
ELvis 4.0 (2015-2018)
ELvis 4.0 was dominated by our Erasmus+ KA2 project on identifying, testing and developing International Skills. The partners from As, Ihlow, Enger, Friegericht, Mons, Lecce and Gulpen joined forces with the University of Hull in the ISITPGC project led by Sarah Jones. https://www.isitpgc.org/
We had students interview expats in companies and universities, or those who had worked or studied abroad on what they considered the most important skills needed to study, work or live in a foreign country.
When that was done and analysed and existing models studied and reviewed, we made a framework of competences consisting of 4 domains: Digital Skills, Global Citizenship, Social Awareness and Professional Competences. The framework was the basis of the test that we devised as well as the learning material that can be found in the aforementioned website.
Apart from this, the main project, we also organized a number of concerts, in Enger, Gulpen and Freigericht, 2 video projects, one on the school day in the different partner schools called ‘from Bell to Bell’ (available on the YouTube channel) and one on immigration in Europe.
ELvis 3.0 (2013-2015)
The aim of ELvis 3.o was to build on the first two versions of ELvis by introducing the ELvis Academy and Production Workshop. In both ‘branches’ students prepared for external language exams. In the Academy the students prepare for at least 2 MFLs, in the workshop for at least one MFL. Apart from that, students collaborated in an international context, virtually on the vle and in real exchanges as well, thus accumulating ‘credits’ in the form of competences from the CEFC that will be met & ‘ticked’. This resulted in a certificate showing which of the competences had been met by the end of their school career. In the Academy the cooperation was more ‘theoretical’. In the Production Workshop working together was more ‘practical’.
ELvis 2.0 (2011-2013)
By 2011, ELvis was established in an international virtual learning environment, bringing our teaching into the 21st century, with students taking more and more responsibility. The efficiency and accessibility of the platform allowed more students to be actively engaged than via traditional partnership approaches. This encouraged us to explore a deeper and wider range of activities including enterprise (both social and business) and arrange international work experience for example with the support of Rotary International. Schools with a more ‘theoretical approach’ had their designs turned into real products by schools with a more practical side as well. Possibilities for this were increased by the addition of a French school, which is a vocational school. (The schools in Gulpen and Westerlo also have a vocational branch.)
ELvis 1.0 (2009-2011)
When we started out, our goal was to collaborate more closely and do research together, adapting our teaching and learning to the 21st century and to find a way of rewarding participants with a formal accreditation (long-term goal). The first step was to create an attractive International Virtual Learning Environment for all participating schools, where projects aimed to be inquiry based. Teachers of History, Social Science, Modern Languages as well as Science, decided on topics and the approach, during a meeting in Gulpen in December 2008. Teacher professional development was considered key to implementing changes in pedagogy. Teachers were encouraged to lead with action research. This was supported with teacher exchanges and International Department Meetings.
For more information on the various ELvis projects that are carried out, please click ‘current projects’ in the main menu tab.