SWPBS project completes its 1st year of implementation in Cyprus
Inclusive education and addressing the needs of all learners, is a key priority across European education systems. “Building School-Wide Inclusive, Positive and Equitable Learning Environments Through A Systems-Change Approach” (SWPBS), an innovative policy experimentation project that seeks to promote inclusive education for all students, has completed its first year of implementation. Despite the challenges relating to the pandemic, partners have actively implemented the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Tier 1 approach in 46 primary schools across Cyprus, Greece and Romania, engaging more than 2,000 teachers and 20,000 students. During the second year, another 45 primary schools are expected to implement PBS across the 3 countries.
The key aim of the SWPBS Tier 1 approach is to establish a school framework that promotes inclusive education for all students, affording socio-psychological support to the staff and children, and enacting proactive strategies to address school behaviour. To that end, the project partners designed processes and structures to support all students in all premises of schools. During the first year of operation, a number of face-to-face and online trainings and meetings took place to support schools in their implementation efforts and to provide the school leadership teams with the necessary coaching sessions. These sessions aimed, among others, to help schools develop their vision and values, define desired social behaviours and teach these behaviours to students.
In Cyprus, the SWPBS project is being implemented in 16 primary schools by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute together with CARDET and INNOVADE LI. In June 2020, the three partners met online with the leadership teams from all schools to review the progress marked in each school unit and prepare for a dynamic return with regards to PBS implementation in September 2020, when a total of 33 primary schools are expected to implement the PBS approach in Cyprus.
Online Partnership Meeting in September 2020
On the 2nd September 2020, all eleven (11) SWPBS partners gathered to conduct another transnational online meeting, just before the official beginning of the new school year. Partners from Cyprus, Greece, Finland and Romania took that opportunity to share their experience from the first year's implementation with 47 primary schools of Tier 1 and schools of Tier 2 (in Finland). During the meeting, partners discussed about the good practices identified while working with schools in the first year and about the next steps and of the project. The meeting was completed with partners expressing their excitement for another year of SWPBS implementation with over 110 primary schools across the 4 European countries.
Schools start SWPBS implementation in Year 2
SWPBS’ second year of Tier 1 implementation kicked-off in the beginning of September for Cyprus, with visits of the external coaches of the project to schools of Group A, which collaborated with CARDET, INNOVADE and Cyprus Pedagogical Institute during the first year. The school visits aimed to empower and reinforce teachers for the new year, while they offered a great opportunity for the coaches to reaffirm the project’s mission to empower schools into becoming inclusive and positive learning environments. The coaches also provided a follow-up training and a recap of the actions designed and implemented so far and introduced new school staff to the overall approach of the PBS system and the work performed by the school community.
CARDET participated in a 2-day European PBS-Coach Training (Windesheim University)
A member of CARDET team participated in the 2-day European PBS-Coach Training, led by the Windesheim Expertise Centre for PBS and in collaboration with PBS-Europe Network. CARDET team exchanged views with professionals working with schools across Europe and gained new perspectives, which will enhance the implementation efforts across primary schools in Cyprus, Greece and Romania. The training focused on the following core features: addressing behaviour and learning challenges school-wide and based on shared values, emphasis on prevention via a multi-tiered system of support, positive approach on teaching and acknowledging social behaviours, data-driven decision making and partnership with parents and cooperation with stakeholders. Following the completion of the training, CARDET transferred the most important elements of the training to the rest of Tier 1 external coaches across Cyprus, Greece and Romania.