The „inclusive learning center Brigittenau“ was founded in 1998 as a primary school. Back then it had only 7 classes for pupils at the age from 6 to 10. From the first day on it provided inclusive-multi-age-classes, believing children with different abilities or disabilities or different age enrich daily school life, working together and helping each other.
Part of this vision was also to invite families with different culture or social backround to be member of this community. Cooperation between all stakeholders is an important aspect of the school culture until now.
Out of this cooperation 2009 also a lower secondary school for pupils between 10-15 years could be realized.
These pupils are also taught in inclusive multi-age-classes.
We are a fulltime school. That means all pupils spend their day in the school from 8.30 a.m. to 4 or 5p.m., which depends to the age of the pupils.
At the moment we have about 360 pupils.
About 90 of them are having special educational needs.
Context of good practice
The organisation of teaching and learning is parted in 3 stages depending on the age of the pupils.
The 1st to the 3rd grade is the entry stage. These pupils are taught in 6 inclusive classes of approximately 20 pupils. 2 classes work sometimes together in partner-classes.
The 4th to the 6th grade is the transition stage. The pupils are organised in inclusive clusters of approximately 44 pupils. The classrooms are designed as subject-rooms for German language, English language, math or sciences.
The 7th and 8th grade is the exit stage. The pupils are also organised in inclusive groups and the classrooms are designed as subject-rooms to.
To realize this model it is necessary to have an active and innovative leading-team, being in communication with the stakeholders. The leading-team at the ILB is represented by 3 persons: the headmaster, 1 teacher and 1 leisure-time-teacher.
There is also a team, which discusses about the quality in the school, represented by the headmaster, teachers, leisure-time-teacher and parents. Important decisions have to go through this commission.
Every term the pupils present some examples of their work and show their parents how they used the didactic material instead of a certificate with marks.
There are 2 or 3 parents-teacher evenings a year. The parents have the possibility for personal meetings between teacher and parents.
2 or 3 times a year the school-council meets. Parents and teacher meet to talk about school-life.
To involve many parents in school-life a parents-café was established, where parents can meet. The focus is on parents with non-German native language.
Teacher of all school-types work together in teams. The leisure-time teacher are included in the pedagogical work.
In the team, there are some colleges with other native languages than German. This resource is used in the pedagogical work with the students as well as in the work with the parents.
Teamwork offers benefit to the new teachers in the school, they get support from the well-versed teachers in the team.
Once a week in the afternoon (in 2019 on Wednesdays) all teachers and leisure-time teachers are available for teem-meetings after the end of the school-lessons. This is necessary to organise education or to exchange pedagogical information on certain pupils.
Main characteristics of the challenge, description of the target group
In all these inclusive social groups the children have individual plans for their learning- and curricula-aims.
In the 1st to 3rd grade the pupils stay in their social group, but their work is also individualised.
In the 4th to 8th grade the pupils get the input to a topic or a question and the following tasks from the subject-teacher in the subject-room.
Music-, art-, handicraft- and gymnastic-lessons are weekly fixed by the class-teachers.
To organise the individualised work, there is a coaching-system. Each pupil has a personal coaching-teacher. Approximately 10 pupils are in one coaching-group. These groups meet each other regularly, most of them in the morning to plan their work or individual projects and discuss the further steps. They also talk about other problems, the pupils need help for. Parents talk about their children with the coaching-teacher. The coaching-groups are also inclusive and multi-aged.
Students have the possibility to express wishes – for example concerning friends or teachers -, when they have to change their stage, because of their age. When students switch to another group/stage, they are also supported by a buddy-system from older students. This offers the possibility for disabled children to be in the position to give help to other students, too.
The education in each class is based on a reform pedagogical philosophe for example as defined by Montessori, Freinet, Dalton- or Jenaplan.
For these self-directed learning phases it is necessary to use prepared didactic material, which supports the individual work.
Teachers developed a project with the focus outdoor-pedagogic for the whole school, with the helping hands of parents, too.
Now our school-community has the possibility to use a place in the wood next to the Danube. On this place in the meadow, there is a house with garden. We use this place with the pupils to learn practise oriented and in real-life-settings. The focus is on the joint effort.
The younger pupils also have the possibility to experience nature directly. The older pupils are working in garden, renovating in the house or building a raft.
During this outsourced education the pupils have to do the daily work too. They have to organise this necessary work in teams for example for cooking, collecting wood, making fire or wash the dishes. Everyone is important, that the whole group has a good day, without being hungry for example. There we don`t have to design inclusive lessons, because it is necessary that the group works together.
Instruments to solve social problems.
Once a week the class council meets, problem-solving-skills and the participatory skills are trained.
To make sure, that pupils have to represent their interests, there are weekly meetings of the pupils representatives in school parliament. Pupils of each grade elect representatives.
Several pupils, who want to, get a training for peer mediation. This training is parted in 3 stages, like the stages of the multi-aged-groups, belonging to their age.
The students don´t get certificates with marks during their stay in the “inclusive learning center Brigittenau”. Only when they leave, they get a school report with marks for their last level of education in our school.
The pupils get a personnel review every semester.
Each pupil gets a folder with his curricula aims. Each pupil has to point the themes, she or he made. Then the subject teacher has to point it too, if he or she is content with the results too.
First there is a presentation for the parents about the using of the didactic material and the presentation, what the pupils have learned new in the last semester.
Plan-work, daily work
A large part of the lessons is organised as time for free activities respectively plan-work.
During these lessons there are at least two, sometimes three teachers in the classroom. This makes possible to give individual tasks to different school levels or individual students according to their development- and learning-level. Groups of students or single students get introduction to new lesson contents as well as appropriate tasks. This allows individual learning due to the student´s level of development.
In every classroom there is a lot of teaching materials what fosters independent working and learning. Also Computers, the internet and the school-library can be used by the students.
Music-, art-, handicraft- and gymnastic-lessons are weekly fixed by the teachers.
To organise independent learning the teachers who are responsible for a learning-group have to prepare education clear, well-structured and as a team. For this purpose there are weekly team-meetings where teachers plan the teaching activities for the following week. Also the students´ learning progress respectively solution strategies to improve the learning progress are discussed.
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Target group of good practice: