Guldensporencollege is a, recently renovated, secondary school with comprehensive, technical and vocational education (and a boarding school). The school is part of a school group that exists of 6 campuses. Some of our sister schools are first grade schools (12-14 years old, some are first and second grade schools (12-16 years old) etc… Our campus is a second and third grade school. The students are between 14 and 18 years old. Next to this the school also offers 5 Se-n-Se training courses (this is EQF level 4). From September 2017 onwards (last step merging process), our campus will have about 1000 students.
Our school is a typical contemporary secondary school, situated at the border of the city of Kortrijk (West of the country, close to the French border). Over the years, our school has welcomed quite a few immigrant students. This year, the Flemish Government, has approved the M-decree which means that from now on, we also provide inclusive education. In short, we see ourselves as a modern, contemporary school dealing with today’s challenges.
Our school thinks it’s important to embrace the differences between students and points to her pedagogical mission to explain her major goals.
In this pedagogical mission you can also read that ‘contact with different cultures’ is considered to be an added value. This is not only the case for our students, but also for all personnel. The school has a large tradition with exchange projects both within and outside Europe. We have been organising exchange projects for 15 years with different kind of schools from various countries.This school year we organise exchange projects with schools in the Czech Republic (Prague), Spain (Zaragoza) and South-Africa (Kaapstad). Next year, we will start a fourth exchange project with a school in Italy (Cagliari). In the past, the school has maintained contacts with schools from Sweden, Germany, France and Poland (exchange projects) ánd with Norway, Slovenia and the Czech Republic (Comenius project for school staff) and several coordinators and counselling members of the school attended courses abroad since the school then focussed on ‘professionalising school staff’ in ‘leadership’ and ‘implementing change’. Currently, we have a team of 8 teachers who work on international contacts/exchange projects/projects.
“We train young people with care
customised for the individual student.
We do this without distinction
between study area and background.
Young people play a crucial role.
We give them as many opportunities as possible,
both within as outside the school,
so that they can grow to become adults and
so that they can learn from their mistakes.
We teach young people to address the world
with an open look
and we pass on knowledge, skills,
attitudes and competences to do so.
We teach young people
that ‘culture’ is the basis of our existence.
Contact with different cultures
is an important part of this.
We set ourselves the following goal:
get the best out of every student.
We want to continue to think innovatively
and act using high standards.
That’s how we want to work on everyone’s future.
At this moment, the school works around a few priorities: quality and innovation, backed up by ambitious projects (such as CLIL, Linpilcare, MOOC (massive online open courses), internationalising (see above), professionalising and students’ care by finding different ways to deal with diversity (eg. by offering workshops on ‘New Authority’, ‘UDL’ (Universal Design for Learning) and ‘Restorative Practice’ (Ligand – based on iirp.edu), …). This is why our school was invited to organise a workshop (on CLIL/MOOC) on the international education fair in Berlin (OEB, December 2015). There, the school was able to enlarge its international network and meet schools that are also working on innovation and diversity (eg. Omnia in Finland).
We already believe in a different approach and we know all students, no matter what background they have, have talents. That is exactly why the slogan of our school group is (based on a Dutch saying) ‘Geef je talent de sporen’ (Boost your talent (using spurs) ~ Golden Spurs Battle was fought in Kortrijk in 1302)). But, we still have to develop material, methods, good practices which prove to be solid in diverse classes and for inclusive education so that teachers can tackle the challenge.
Our school has elaborately looked into scientific research and opinions of experts eg. Shaireen Aftab(expert on the field), Marc Hooghe (KULeuven professor), Ellen Claes (KULeuven professor), Maarten Vansteenkiste (UGent), David Mitchell (Professor University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New-Zealand (specialist in inclusive education), Kaat Destrooper (DPB)… The school will share this knowledge with the other partners. The school also has a highly developed team of students’ and teachers’ counsellors (next to the GOK-team) who are specialised in diversity, following-up on truants, ESLs, lack of self-esteem, conflicts, … they use methodology like ‘Restorative Practice, New Authority, …’ They are trained and will share these methods. Finally, we have a team of teachers who use new tools like Socrative, answergarden,…. and which have proven to motivate students in learning. They too will share their materials and knowhow.