A positive working and learning environment is not something that a school or any other organisation gets by itself. They have to be encouraged and guided since researches show they are consequently affected with student’s school success, motivation, they encourage new teaching ideas, goals, common values and participation. Beside good organisation and leadership, each school needs its common vison, school policy and clear guidelines on how to reach a positive school environment.
The project partner schools (Naklo Primary School from Slovenia as the leading coordinator, Scuola secondaria di1 grado Padre Pio Altamura from Italy, Siauliu logopedine mokykla from Lithuania, Yumrukaya Ozel Egitim Uygulama Merkezi from Turkey and Ljubljana school for the deaf) had similar conclusions about the educational undertakings. Most often problems in a school’s environment are dealt with sporadically, sometimes with confusion and feeling of powerlessness, thus leading us to a vision to prepare an efficient model of a preventive programme which will make teachers, as well as students, aware of positive skills and positive ways of thinking. We were certain that a well-planned, organised, and properly supported educational model could lessen the unwanted students’ behaviour and that by internalising certain concepts and skills we can reach a very positive atmosphere.
The overall objective of the project partnership, called I can, you can, we can do much more, was to prepare a clear and manageable document with a preventive programme, that each school could use to enforce a positive school environment. We carried out a connection of different experiences of schools from partnership countries and their school policies as well as exploited precious experience to effectively solve problems that we all have in common and we designed a model of a preventive programme that is applicable to different school systems and cultures. In this preventive programme, we are stressing the importance of establishing a positive school, based on guidelines of positive psychology and the idea of ensuring the well-being of teachers as well as students that originates from the need to be satisfied with the school. We gathered methods and strategies of educational interaction related to teaching itself, we also suggested internalising positive skills and basic values, described praising, the importance of student’s motoric abilities, and supporting community (parents and local community), we suggested how to implement that in 50 steps and how to evaluate (examples of short evaluations and questionnaires for students, teachers, and parents). We also provided answers to frequently asked questions.
Our partnership also prepared a collection of examples of good practices, supported by videos. During this two-year project, all five schools gathered, tested, developed, and disseminated experiences, good practices, and knowledge about different methods, actions, and models of upbringing or preventive programme. We were also concentrated on children with special needs, meaning that we prepared appropriate activities and adaptations to their needs. In this time, a lot happened in our schools – we started to create a better school environment and feedback gave us power to work on and to spread the idea that really works.