Implementation of the HeartDays at the Fort of Science
During the month of May, we realized 4 morning meetings for 24 classes of primary schools from the Olomouc region that accepted Ukrainian children. The aim of these meetings was to deepen the relations between Czech and Ukrainian children through games and joint activities, to help their greater integration into education, but above all to provide teachers with support and suggestions for further work with these children in the classrooms.
Date of HeartDays
- 9.5.2022 - 8:00 to 12:00
- 16.5.2022 - 8:00 to 12:00
- 23.5.2022 - 8:00 to 12:00
- 30.5.2022 - 8:00 to 12:00
For the implementation of HeartDays we chose the Fort of Science, which is part of the facilities of Palacký University Olomouc. The fort offers the possibility of implementing a wide range of educational and physical outdoor and indoor activities. At the same time, it has experience with specialised educational programmes focused on the inclusion of pupils.
The programme of the meeting consisted of several educational and physical activities. These activities were divided into 15 stations (8 indoor and 7 outdoor), which pupils attended in groups of 10-15 children, with at least one Ukrainian child in each group.
Instructors were available at each site to supervise the safety of the children and instruct them to complete the activity. The children could try for example various chemical and physical experiments, walking on a rope, disc golf, archery, or even a Czech-Ukrainian quiz. For completing the tasks, the group received a stamp at each station. After completing all the stations and presenting a playing card with all the stamps, the pupils received a reward in the form of a diploma and sweets.
In addition to the professional project team, the Fort of Science itself also participated in the implementation of the educational activities, as well as the non-profit organization Svišti v pohybu, which falls under the Faculty of Physical Culture of UP and supervised the sports part of the programme.
All activities were specially tailored to the integration of Ukrainian children and emphasized their maximum involvement and cooperation with their Czech classmates. The pupils were adviced to actively cooperate in the activities and to find common solutions to individual tasks. Translators were also available in case of language barriers.
The programme was also consulted in advance with the teachers of each school, who further communicated it among the pupils and parents of Ukrainian children. Based on their comments, the content of the individual activities was optimised. At the same time, a methodology was developed for the implementation of the HeartDays, the content of which is published under the link below.
Support for teachers
The HeartDays programme has been designed to provide as much space as possible to increase the practical skills and knowledge of teachers that they can use when working with socially disadvantaged children, especially those from different cultural backgrounds.
Teachers had the opportunity to visit individual competition sites and observe the procedures for guiding children, with the aim of maximizing their cooperation and acceptance of Ukrainian pupils into the collective. Along with this, the teachers could discuss with the instructors the possibilities of using and implementing some activities within the school program.
Each day also included an informal discussion among the teachers of the participating schools, with the participation of several of the parents of Ukrainian pupils, experts from CMTF and representatives of the project team. The content of this discussion was mainly to establish relationships with parents, to better understand the needs of Ukrainian children and their families, and to share good practice, knowledge and approaches for working with these children among teachers across different primary schools.
This discussion provided many interesting insights and recommendations for individual schools, which will be further elaborated and published on the project website. All relevant links to other support programmes for the integration of Ukrainian children were emailed to schools.
Cooperation with KACPU
Representatives of the Regional Assistance Centre of Help for Ukraine (KACPU) also took part in one of the discussions. Their participation in the discussion brought interesting practical insights and references to support possibilities that schools can use in their further work with Ukrainian children.
will also continue to work with KACPU representatives to share the outcomes of
the interviews with school principals, the teachers' joint discussion at
HeartDays, and the evaluation questionnaires we distributed to teachers and
children after the programme.
Number of participating schools
A total of 13 schools and 24 classes (each class consisted of about 20-24 pupils) took part in the HeartDays. Thus, more than 24 teachers and 520 pupils, including about 60 Ukrainian children from 13 different primary schools, attended all 4 meetings.
We received very positive feedback from the teachers about the course of the event, its organization and practical contribution to their further work with Ukrainian children in the classroom. In particular, they described the joint discussion with representatives of other primary schools as very enriching, where they could inspire each other in their approach to the education of these children.
After the HeartDays, evaluation questionnaires were distributed to all teachers for them and their pupils. Their aim is to evaluate the impact of HeartDays on the integration of Ukrainian children into the classroom. These questionnaires will be processed in the coming months.
More photos from individual events can be found under the link below.
Mention in the media
activity within the HeartDays was also mentioned in the university's online
news service Žurnál UP.