BULGARIA 2006 by nhs90963


									BULGARIA 2006
   I was fortunate to be invited to join a group of eight
other head teachers from around England. The visit was
organised by the British Council and the National
College of School Leadership, and aimed to understand
and compare the Bulgarian system of education with our
own. In particular we were interested in the very
successful way in which modern foreign languages are
taught. This is an informal, pictorial account of a
wonderful visit with a warm, hospitable people.
                                     Elizabeth L. Giltinan
                                     Corpus Christi Catholic
                                     Primary School,
Bulgaria plans to join the European Union in 2007, and
  languages are seen as an important aspect of the
curriculum, in particular English, Russian, and German

The capital,Sofia
          32 Secondary School
           St. Kliment Ohridski
 With a colleague, I spent three
days in this large school in the
centre of Sophia with 1500
students, aged 7 -19.
 The building has 5 floors, and
the day is arranged around two
shifts, 7.30 – 1.15, and 1.30 –
 St. Kliment’s is a language
specialist school, and the
children are introduced to
English or Russian as soon as
they start in the 1st grade, with
oral lessons, but quickly
progress to written grammar
and vocabulary work. Progress is
checked by regular tests.
  Snow arrived the night
before our first visit, but
made no difference to the
usual routine of Sophia.

  We were welcomed by the
head and deputy, Nelly and
Danielle, who gave up three
entire days to show us
around the school. Their
pride in their school shone
through, as did their
determination to offer the
very best possible learning
opportunities to their
English throughout
   the school

         The standard of English was
         extremely high, and all the
         children took an enthusiastic part
         in the lesson. Their conversation
         was fluent, extremely accurate
         grammatically, and with a wide
Maths   4th    grade

                 This wonderful Maths
              lesson was taught by a truly
              inspirational Russian teacher,
              entirely in Bulgarian.
                The children were learning
              to multiply and divide decimals
              – it took us a while to realise
              that Bulgarians do not use the
              same function signs as we do!
                 We found the content was
              approximately the same as in
              the UK.
  This eleven year old pupil
had prepared a piece of
writing about her holiday.
It was carefully planned,
with perfect grammar and
spelling, and beautifully
  She and the rest of her
class were delighted to
allow me to bring their
work back to Corpus
Christi to share with our
Y5 pupils.
Discussion in Grade 11

              These students have
           been discussing integrity
           this term, and their
           conversations were filmed
           by a Bulgarian television
               The quality of
           vocabulary was amazingly
           high, with terms such as
           ‘resourcefulness’ and
           ‘loyalty’ being discussed
           thoughtfully and naturally.
                Learning through the
                 medium of English

• In 8th grade, students
  may study other
  curriculum subjects
  through English. This
  Biology lesson for 16
  year olds took place
  entirely in English,
  including all scientific
  terms. Colleagues who
  observed other Science
  lessons noted the same
  high standard of
 A very enthusiastic
hardworking group of parents
take an active role in fund
raising in the school. They
have financed a doctor on
site, and added to the basic
gym provision (above) by
funding the fitting out and
equipping of the room below.
One parent also produces a
monthly newsletter.
  They have high
expectations for their
children, and education is
given a high status.
  We quickly realised that
Bulgarians never miss the
chance to party! There was
a special event on all three
days we spent in the school.
  On Women’s Day, the
children all brought flowers
for their mothers and
female teachers.
  Flowers are given              A deep red-pink rose is a
frequently, and are            national symbol of Bulgaria,
beautifully presented.         which is called the country
                               of roses. Our hosts told us
                               that in May the
                               countryside is covered in
          End of winter…
This is Maslenitsa, a popular Russian festival, which celebrates
the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
   Figures made of paper, representing winter, were burned on a
bonfire in the playground. Then, the children took it in turns to
enthusiastically jump over the flames, to symbolise the triumph
of spring over winter.
       … celebrating spring…
  And of course, that meant
a party! The Russian
teachers made us Russian
tea, with a real samovar and
traditional teapot.
  The children made
pancakes at home, spread
them with chocolate and
brought them in to school.
   …with chocolate!
Here pupils are selling pancakes
in the corridor between classes.
Russian singing

         As part of the winter
         celebrations, the
         teachers held a party
         and the children
         entertained us with a
         beautiful, very moving,
         Russian song.
         Afterwards, we all
         danced around the staff
           Records and assessments

As teachers, we were interested in the systems which were used
to record lessons and test results. The above book was a
complete record of every lesson taught in the school by all
teachers. Marks are entered into other books and stored on a
shelf in the staff room. Parents are free to come in and look at
these records whenever they wish.
Discussions between
     the heads
          On the final day the English and
      Bulgarian heads met together for the final
      time at the British Council.
        We had spent three days learning about
      the Bulgarian system of education, and now
      it was our turn to give a presentation on our
      own system, and answer questions. We all
      agreed that this had been a wonderful
      opportunity for professional discussion and
      reflection, and everyone in the room took
      away new ideas and insights.
         The friendliness and hospitality of our
      hosts made this an unforgettable
      experience. Whilst our schools were
      completely different, we nevertheless had
      much in common, and much to learn from
      each other. We would like to thank our
      hosts, and of course, most importantly…..
… the children!

To top