“AEGN” – Gafanha da Nazaré

Our school is close to the coast. Its main productivity comes from commerce and fishing. A great part of the male population used to work on codfish ships which took them abroad for over five months at a time. As for the female population, most work in cod factories. It is also one of the few districts in Portugal where salt is harvested manually. Gafanha da Nazaré also hosts many immigrants and tourists due to its privileged location. It’s surrounded by canals, rivers and the ocean. The school has about 900 students, most of them from a low social background. The majority are enrolled in the regular system, from the 7th to the 12th grade. Education is compulsory until the age of eighteen, or the 12th grade. When students finish the 12th grade they can do the final exams and apply to University.

We teach English, French and Spanish as foreign languages. There are 120 teachers at school.

There is also a growing number of students who prefer to follow professional courses when they reach the secondary level (corresponding to the 10th grade), in tourism, “reception”, ICT and restaurant attendant areas. They all have professional training outside school and are evaluated for that because these trainings are part of the curriculum.

Vocational courses are recent but also increasing. They try to answer the needs of less motivated students. It’s a way to give them  access to their basic school qualification until they are eighteen.

We have a group of handicapped children who work with more and less specialized teachers.

This is a multi cultural school; we have students from several different countries, such as Iceland, China, Cuba, Brazil, Cape Verde, Ukrania, Moldavia, Russia. We try to welcome everyone, give them a special attention with a specific programme for those to whom Portuguese is a second language.

Besides we develop activities related to the environment (Eco-escolas) and are always open to new projects. We also have theatre classes and clubs in areas like theatre, photography, dancing and rowing (in the Canals near the school taking advantage of the natural resources in the area).

We are once again hosting the project “Make it Possible” this year.

As regards Quality Assessment, the school follows the CAF method with some adjustements.

We have some experience both in multilateral partnerships (Comenius), bilateral partnerships (including several individual pupil mobility exchanges with Spain, Italy and Latvia). We’ve also worked with two Comenius assistants. These were all very rewarding projects. Projects like these are the only chance for most of our students to know other European countries and their cultures, which is crucial to help them become conscious of their importance as European citizens. Our courses of tourism can take great advantage from this multilateral project.

Most of our teachers have some experience in this kind of projects and our group is formed by teachers from different areas (English, ICT, Accountancy and other teachers of the professional courses).