Transforming Education: A Journey of Engaging, Empowering, and Inspiring Learning

'Eventful & Memorable Learning' is an innovative and creative project that invites our students - we send actual invitations via email every week - to celebrate learning English in the most engaging, imaginative, creative, and memorable way. We have concluded with this title of the project because, firstly, it is based on organising numerous educational events. Secondly, because it aims to involve students as much as possible, and, thus, to create memories that will last a lifetime. Its results have been proven remarkable for our students' progress in all developmental areas; socially, emotionally, cognitively, linguistically, and physically.

By Fenia Chranioti, FLS Owner

Our school endeavours to make learning English purposefully, effortlessly, and creatively while keeping in mind what John Holt said, 'For children, learning is as natural as breathing.' We aim to create opportunities that help children learn, and encourage their active participation in the learning process. Consequently, we celebrate learning by hosting events where students eagerly anticipate exploring the world in English. They use their senses, innate curiosity, observe their surroundings, solve problems and mysteries, participate in improvised theatrical plays, wear costumes and various accessories, narrate and dramatise stories, engage in role-playing, enjoy puppet theatre and shadow theatre, sing and dance, conduct experiments, do arts and crafts, complete and present projects, cook, construct, enjoy gardening and sensory and messy play having a wonderful time in English. Throughout all our events and activities, we emphasise on the learning process over the outcome. We empower children to make choices and take initiatives by providing them with numerous educational opportunities.

All these approaches draw inspiration from various educational methodologies such as Emilio Reggia and Montessori. Our lessons are done mostly outside, in our spacious and green schoolyard, taking advantage of the pleasant weather, spending as much time as possible outside the walls of a classroom. We extensively use sensory trays filling them with natural materials like leaves, sticks, acorns, pine cones, soil, water and sand, to name but a few, encouraging our students to get messy. Our outdoor mud kitchen allows our students to cook with these materials, which they greatly enjoy. All our equipment is stored in drawers that are easily accessible to the children. Tables, chairs, and activities are set at a child's level to promote independence. We seize every opportunity to help our students become self-sufficient. We also utilise real objects (realia) to enrich vocabulary, enhance students’ understanding of the world, and make associations more easily.

Technology is integrated into our teaching process to help children develop their digital literacy skills. We use interactive white boards to make learning more enjoyable but primarily love using tangible books and equipment. Our educational team adapts, creates materials from scratch, writes stories, transforms the school into a magical world for our kids, dons costumes, and plans all educational activities in accordance with the Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS), the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), and according to our students’ needs, interests, preferences, age, and level.

We are preparing future global citizens by raising awareness of social and environmental issues at every opportunity. We emphasise on the 21st-century skills, including communication, cooperation, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. It's worth noting that our school was the first in Greece to be accredited as a Green Standard School for its environmentally friendly practices and for striving to cultivate students’ environmental conscience. We use technology extensively to communicate with parents, reducing paper waste. We have educational platforms that parents access to obtain information about their children. Last but not least, our project aims to equip our students with life skills, emotional intelligence, empathy, and cultural awareness.

The success of our project is evident through the increasing number of students wanting to join our language centres, the daily positive feedback from parents and students (our students eagerly look forward to coming to our school), and the heart-warming words they share with us. Nevertheless, we consistently evaluate our activities, taking into consideration how the students respond to them. Another significant achievement is that our students communicate solely in English, as we provide a native-like educational environment, allowing them to effortlessly attain native-like pronunciation, intonation, and fluency. Most importantly, from a very young age, our students are not afraid of making mistakes, appreciate the "different" as something unique and beautiful, care for the environment, demonstrate empathy, and value kindness. ‘Eventful and Memorable learning’, learning is an event to be celebrated and treasured.

The recognition of our project with a gold ELT Excellence Award serves as a confirmation and inspiration at the same time. We would like to dedicate it to our kids, our students! We are truly thankful for your motivating initiative, ELT Excellence Awards 2023! Thank you, ELT News, for yet another year of celebrating excellence in the ELT world!

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