Gymnasio Zipariou is a public school on the island of Kos in the Aegean Sea. The school receives students from four small villages at a rural area around the city. It offers general secondary education and it has 25 teachers and 300 students, aged 12-15.
The area of the school has received many immigrant and refugee families that work in the agricultural sector and the hotel industry. The students come from different social, financial and cultural backgrounds. The school aims at improving the education and the school life of all the students. The school promotes
- Integration of all students. Differentiated learning, variety of activities, different pedagogical practices and educational support to weak or vulnerable students.
- Active citizenship. The school supports social and personal development of students in order to prepare them as future citizens. There is an emphasis on school as a microcosm of society where students are expected to behave as active citizens.
- Digital citizenship. The school provides guidance for students and their families in order to prepare them for the digital era in personal and professional level. Digital competences are considered basic for further development of students
- Working together with families and community. The school has succeeded a close cooperation with guardians association and each family gets a special attention for the improvement of their children.
- European projects to support European citizenship. The school aims at students and teachers mobility in order to support communication and combat xenophobia
Due to the recent migration flows on the island of Kos, the Secondary School of Zipari has become “Reception School Facilities for Refugee Education” (DYEP) for refugees' children in Greece.
Education for refugees' children is provided at school integrated in the mainstream educational system. However, taking into consideration the particular needs of the refugee population as a result of mobility, the time of arrival, the duration of their stay in hosting structures, as well as the size of the population of pupils, Reception School Facilities for Refugee Education (DYEP) applies specific study programmes of a limited duration.
Teachers of DYEP, apart from their usual duties, have to care for:
- The refugee students’ integration into the Greek educational system and their creative interaction with all other students
- The special needs of refugee students by practising differentiated and flexible teaching methods
- The promotion of educational activities between the reception centres and the neighbouring school units.
The school has previous experience in Erasmus projects. New practices from all Erasmus projects have been introduced at school lessons with positive experiences for both students and teachers. As a result, the school wishes participation in new Erasmus projects under different topics for professional development of staff and improvements in learning and teaching.