Almost 130 students and teachers who came from all over Poland spent May 27 and 28 in Centrum Kreatywności Targowa (Targowa Creativity Center), Warsaw. At the opening ceremony, the participants were welcomed by Agata Łuczyńska, the President of the School with Class Foundation, and Marianna Hajdukiewicz, a Program Director at the Polish-American Freedom Foundation. The opening ceremony made also an opportunity to meet 21 teacher-student teams participating in School with Class 2.0, Solidarity. Pass it on!, and Design your School programs.
After the ceremonious opening of the Festival, the teams presented the results of their activities. The participants could share their school’s experiences and achievements, see the posters documenting the work done, and take part in activities prepared by each of the teams. Students active in School with Class 2.0 program told about changes introduced in various areas of school life. For example, they discussed the issue of assessing and appreciating, attempted to convince teachers that feedback is very important, organized an integrating event aimed at improving mutual relations of various classes, and tried to find a way to decrease the level of noise at school.
On the second day of the Festival there were debates and workshops. The first debate was on the European Union. The event was participated by Bartłomiej Balcerzyk, the Head of Information and Communication Sector, European Commission Representation in Poland, and Alicja Pacewicz, the Chairperson of the School with Class Foundation Board. The experts answered the children’s and young people’s questions, confirmed the facts and debunked myths on EU.
Teachers participating in the Festival could also take part in workshops on the Internet security “Aces of the Internet – how to conduct unique lessons on cyber security” or in a meeting on “Pop culture in youth language and education”, while the students were designing a dream break rest area at school, and then had workshops on fake news to learn how to recognize fake news.
To sum up – most speakers at the Festival were students who boldly expressed their opinions. They spoke proudly about their stage fright which they were able to overcome, about inspirations they got from friends from other schools, and workshops that helped them develop various ideas. The School with Class Festival makes first of all an opportunity for young people to boost their self-confidence, and start telling in their own words about their discoveries and activities.