School Partnerships

Multilateral School Partnerships

Multilateral Comenius School partnerships aim at enhancing the European dimension of education by promoting joint co-operation activities between schools in Europe. The projects give pupils and teachers in different countries an opportunity to work together on one or more topics of mutual interest. School partnerships help pupils and teachers to acquire and improve skills not only in the topic or subject area on which the project is focussed, but also in terms of teamwork, social relations, planning and undertaking project activities and using information and communication technologies (ICT). Participating in a partnership with schools from different countries also gives pupils and teachers the opportunity to practice foreign languages and increases their motivation towards language learning. A multilateral School partnership must include schools from at least 3 participating countries. One of the schools must act as coordinator. It is strongly advised to indicate at application stage which of the partners volunteers to act as replacement coordinators, should the original coordinator be rejected in the selection procedure.

Examples of activities that can be carried out in Multilateral Comenius School partnerships:

  •  Project meetings between all institutions involved in the partnership
  •  Exchanges of staff and pupils involved in project activities (e.g. teacher exchanges, study
  •  visits, pupil exchanges)
  •  Exchanges of experience and good practice with partner schools abroad
  •  Fieldwork, project research
  •  Drafting, publishing and disseminating documentation related to the co-operation  activities
  •  Producing technical objects, drawings, arts objects
  •  Performances (e.g. theatre plays, musicals)
  •  Organisation of exhibitions, production and dissemination of information material
  •  Linguistic preparation of teachers and pupils to ensure they possess the necessary  competence in the working language(s) of the partnership
  •  Co-operation with other projects in related subject areas (e.g. via Comenius Networks),  including mobility to network events if relevant
  •  Self-evaluation activities
  •  Dissemination of project experience and outcomes

When choosing the theme of a multilateral School partnership, schools are strongly encouraged to choose any topic of interest and importance to the participating institutions, as it will be the motivating force for co-operation and learning within the project. School partnerships focusing on pupil participation could deal with thematic areas such as arts, sciences, languages, environmental education, cultural heritage, European citizenship, use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) or the fight against racism. Project activities should ideally be integrated into the regular activities of the schools and be included in the curriculum of participating pupils. Pupils should be able to be involved in all phases of the project, including the planning, organisation and evaluation of activities.

Some School partnerships focus on pedagogical or management issues. They provide teachers and school managers with the opportunity to exchange experience and information with colleagues in other countries, to develop together methods and approaches which meet their needs, and to test and put into practice new organisational and pedagogical approaches. In these cases, projects will often involve co-operation with bodies from the local community of the schools, such as local authorities, social services, associations and businesses.

Bilateral School Partnerships
Language oriented bilateral school partnerships involve two schools from different participating countries and seek to encourage the use of European languages by giving pupils the possibility to practice their foreign language skills and acquaint themselves with the language of a partner country. Pupils involved in a bilateral partnership are expected to learn at least the basics of the language used in the partner institution. Usually pupils use a third language as their working and communication language. During the project, pupils and teachers in both countries work together on a common theme and produce a joint end product. Each participating institution must carry out a class exchange to its partner institution of duration of minimum 10 days each and involving pupils aged 12 or older. During the class exchanges, pupils work together at school and are hosted in each others’ families. The cooperation should not only be limited to the exchanges but activities should cover the whole project period.

The general aim of Comenius School partnerships is to enhance the European dimension of education by promoting joint co-operation activities between schools in Europe. The projects give pupils and teachers in different countries an opportunity to work together on one or more topics of mutual interest. School partnerships help pupils and teachers to acquire and improve skills not only in the topic or subject area on which the project is focused, but also in terms of teamwork, social relations, planning and undertaking project activities and using information and communication technologies (ICT). Participating in a partnership with schools from different countries also gives pupils and teachers the opportunity to practice foreign languages and increases their motivation towards language learning. A reciprocal class exchange is mandatory in this project type.

Examples of other activities that can be carried out in bilateral Comenius School partnerships:

  •  Project meetings between the institutions involved in the partnership
  •  Exchanges of staff involved in project activities (e.g. teacher exchanges and study visits)
  •  Exchanges of experience and good practice with the partner school abroad
  •  Fieldwork, project research
  •  Drafting, publishing and disseminating documentation related to the co-operation  activities
  •  Producing technical objects, drawings, arts objects
  •  Performances (e.g. theatre plays, musicals)
  •  Organisation of exhibitions, production and dissemination of information material
  •  Linguistic preparation of teachers and pupils to ensure they possess at least the basics  of the language of the partner institution
  •  Co-operation with other projects in related subject areas (e.g. via Comenius Networks),  including mobility to network events if relevant
  •  Self-evaluation activities
  •  Dissemination of project experience and outcomes

When choosing the theme of a School partnership, schools are strongly encouraged to choose any topic of interest and importance to the participating institutions, as it will be the motivating force for co-operation and learning within the project. Bilateral school partnerships could deal with thematic areas such as arts, sciences, languages, environmental education, cultural heritage, European citizenship, use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) or the fight against racism. Project activities should ideally be integrated into the regular activities of the schools and be included in the curriculum of participating pupils. Pupils should be able to be involved in all phases of the project, including the planning, organisation and evaluation of activities. If the language of the partner school is not on the curriculum of participating pupils, the school must organise language preparation of minimum 20 hours.

Please refer to the current call for proposals and related deadlines by clicking here.

Related Resources

Sample final report on multilateral partnership 2012