The Trinity College Dublin Erasmus+ team were delighted to host this first Learning Teaching and Training workshop for the Access21: Empowering Students project!
Our Irish school partners, Mercy Secondary School in Inchicore, Dublin 8, were present with us and also hosted everyone for one day at their school. The teachers on the project there were Paula, Michelle, Donal, Thomas, Lorcan, Frainc, Catherine and Treasa. Joining us from Barcelona, Spain were Inaki, Pilar, Gonzalo and Talia. From Pinzolo, Italy, we had Emilio, Lorena, Stefano and Monica.
This introductory workshop was a chance for some of the teachers working around Europe on the project to meet, to get to know each other, and for us all to discuss the goals of the project. On the first night, everyone brought along something to eat from their home country and described their school and the area they come from. We had some Italian meat, Spanish wine and Irish chocolates to start off with.
During the week, all partners got to know what the project aims to do; the Access21 project is modelled on a Trinity College Dublin-based programme whereby post-primary schools in Dublin follow three Core Practices, designed to increase students’ awareness of and engagement with their educational and career options when they leave school – see this Trinity Access Resources page for more information.
The three Core Practices are:
Click the links to each practice for a description, and some free resources!
We have also created a Teacher’s Guide for using the core practices, which can be downloaded here.
LEADERSHIP IN LEARNING
A large part of the Leadership in Learning practice is the Bridge21 activity model, devised by Trinity Access over 10 years ago. We use it with groups of students who come to Trinity for a few days, to develop their skills in Communication, Collaboration, Use of Technology, Creativity and Problem Solving. These are called 21st Century skills, which are required for most university courses and jobs.
In Dublin, the teachers from Ireland, Italy and Spain took part in a Digital Media Literacy workshop, where they were split into teams and experienced the Bridge21 model in action. They had to brainstorm different uses for a paperclip, to encourage divergent thinking. Next, they thought about the different types of digital media, and what they’re used for. This preparation was leading them to their main challenge: to create a short video, in teams, based on a digital media topic – for example Cyberbullying/Privacy/Reliable Sources of Information. All teams researched, filmed, edited and presented their videos at the end! The day finished with reflection as a group and in teams, about how this exercise went. The Bridge21 model can be adapted to any subject matter/content.
We will be exploring the Leadership in Learning practice further, when we visit Institut Baixa Ribera in Barcelona in 2020.
PATHWAYS TO COLLEGE
The group visited the Irish partner, Mercy Secondary School, at its location in Inchicore in Dublin 8 during this week. We were shown around this school, including classrooms, the staff room, and the ‘Zen Zone’ garden created by the students themselves. Some former students were invited to the school, to tell our international visitors about their school days, and their journeys from school to college. Students and teachers gave us a flavour of the most successful and impactful ‘Pathways to College’ activities, including campus visits to Trinity College.
We will be delving into the Pathways to College practice more when our international partners return to Dublin in 2020 for a LTT at Mercy School!
The teachers also received a Mentoring workshop, from Trinity Access colleagues Diane and Dan. We talked about the different types of mentoring (Outside experts, past pupils, peer mentoring, teacher-mentoring) and the qualities an effective mentor should have. Mentoring will be the subject of our next LTT, which is coming up in December 2019, in Pinzolo, at the I.C. Val Rendana School.
The week was wrapped up with each national team filling in a school survey to capture the activities they are each doing under the Core Practice headings. We will use this as a starting point for each school to develop their ‘Access21’ programme in the schools. They also divided into mixed groups and made a reflection video to sum up their time in Dublin. Bye everyone, and see you in Italy in December!