PORTUGAL

Agrupamento de Escolas de Casquilhos

It is a federation of schools in Barreiro, a Municipality with about 40 859 inhabitants, which is situated on the south bank of river Tagus, 41 km away from Lisbon.

It consists of five schools whose grades range from kindergarten to grade 12. It has got 159 teachers and 1959 students. Apart from providing general education, our organisation also ministers vocational/professional courses.

A considerable percentage of our students come from low-income households. This school year 40% of our students were eligible for social support from our organisation. As students who are more socioeconomically disadvantaged may be less motivated to study, and consequently more likely to be held back in grade and eventually to drop out of school, a huge commitment is required from the whole school community to engage students in school. Therefore, our organisation proactively and diligently works to promote welcoming environments which foster effective teaching, learning, and student achievement. High impact teaching strategies, which include new technologies, are used. Moreover, different kinds of activities within the curriculum of all subjects, as well as local, national and international projects are also developed so as to increase students' motivation, which will make them more prone to achieve their highest potential and pursue their studies after Senior Secondary Education.

Another especial feature of our organisation is the fact that it is a multicultural mosaic as students from many different countries are enrolled at it. The coexistence of such a huge number of cultures requires the promotion of multiculturalism on a daily basis so that it can be seen as a source of creativity that can enrich one's life and not as a factor that might menace either one's national identity or one's way of life.

In short, we are an inclusive group of schools which educate and prepare all children and youth to achieve their highest potential and to have a positive and active role in their communities and wider society.