Gymnázium F. M. Pelcla was founded in 1714 and it has provided comprehensive education for more than 300 years. The school consists of two parts: multi-year secondary general school for students aged 11 – 19 and secondary general school (grammar school) for students aged 15 – 19. Both groups of the students are primarily prepared for their university studies. Currently, there are 450 students studying at the school, 330 students aged 15 – 19.
Our school is situated in a small town Rychnov nad Kněžnou (around 12,000 inhabitants) in eastern part of the Czech Republic, near the Orlické mountains, not far from the Polish border. The school is mostly attended by students of diverse backgrounds from the surrounding areas, living at the foothills of the mountains. All the students have to past the entrance exam to be accepted into our school. The students are mostly motivated and interested in various things, from music, astrophysics, playing chess, biology to learning Chinese.
There is also a number of Vietnamese students due to the extended Vietnamese minority in our region. Traditionally, education is one of priorities for Asian people, so all Vietnamese children from our region study at our school. In fact, they are expected to continue their studies at university.
Also, there some immigrant children studying in our school. In a nearby town Kostelec nad Orlicí there is Residential Centre for Immigrants, one of the most important centres for immigrants from Africa and Asia in the Czech Republic. The Centre has its own educational system of teaching Czech – unique in the Czech Republic – and it is compulsory for all the immigrant children to attend Czech classes. Some of the children, whose families have decided to stay in the Czech Republic (in our region), go to our school too.
Besides traditional education in classes we would like our students to broaden interests and stretch horizons in four areas: talent development, volunteering, getting fit and going to excursions.
Every year there are various clubs our students are encouraged to join. They can get some extra knowledge in biology, geography, astrophysics, programming, Latin, Mandarin Chinese and others. Plenty of students also get involved in sport clubs and tournaments organized for them. Especially playing basketball and floorball have a long tradition in our school.
We make our students participate in excursions too. They frequently visit theatre and music performances, do geographical research in the mountains and surrounding areas, visit a planetarium and go to see production a manufacturing processes in local companies (breweries, SKODA car company,…).
This year our school started a new volunteering programme in the local Old People´s Home. A lof of students visit the elderly people every week to read books to them, and organize performances and workshops.
Although our school has no experience with European projects within the Lifelong Learning Programme or Erasmus+, many of our teachers are enthusiastic to work on new projects and find new methods to motivate their students.
The contact person had experience with several Comenius and Leonardo da Vinci projects at another school. In the past she attended a couple of contact seminars where she also met the Belgian coordinator of this project.
Our school is prepared to share our experience in using modern technologies in classes: computers, interactive boards, tablets. Our students use them to prepare teaching material for their peers or younger classmates too. We dispose with external experts from the field of multicultural education. Mrs. Karla Kubíčková, representatives of META (mentioned above), or specialists in multicultural education at the University of Pardubice can introduce the problems to the students and teachers and discuss the current situation in Europe with them.Also, we are ready to share our experience in teaching foreign languages, mainly non-European languages, by our students from different cultural backgrounds. Finally, our partner schools could benefit from our very good experience in volunteering. Our new programme in the local Old People´s Home has shown to be a success.