Project Description

Our Erasmus + Project Supporting Social and Emotional Competences of Pre-school Children from Disadvantaged or Culturally Different Environments has been selected as a “success story” by a panel of experts of the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission.

Many of the current educational systems all over Europe do not possess the proper methodological tools and expertise to deal with the special needs of children coming from disadvantaged or culturally different environments. As a result, these children often end up being treated in a way that only deepens their educational and social disadvantage.

For this reason, SCHOLA EMPIRICA recently launched a two-year long project (September 2014 – August 2016) targeted at developing, implementing and disseminating inclusive educational strategies to address the needs of pre-school children from socially or economically backward environments. The project is funded by Erasmus+ program of European Commission: 2014-1-CZ01-KA201-001988.

The main activities of the project include comparative analysis of ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care)  policies and strategies in partner countries, survey of pre-school children finding out the needs of pre-school teachers in different countries, development of inclusive methodology for children of pre-school age, training of 20 pre-school teachers and staff, implementation of activities for children in pre-school facilities (3 pre-school facilities per partner country x 25 children) and evaluation of the project outcomes.


With great pleasure, we introduce a key project output O2: Training Program. This training program for teachers was based on the teachers’ needs in the UK, Slovakia and the Czech Republic eliminated by the survey. Each of three trainings, therefore, had a slightly different focus, contents, and structure.  The complete training program could be downloaded into four PDF files.

On the European Commission’s website, you can find the factsheet related to the project: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/proxy/alfresco-webscripts/api/node/content/workspace/SpacesStore/28693a6f-aa09-47ad-94d3-1978546d9c87/Fact_Sheet_2014-1-CZ01-KA201-001988

The International Conference  “Good Start: Supporting Social and Emotional Competences of Pre-school Children”  is planned to take place on the 14th of June, 2016 in Grebova vila, Prague, Czech Republic. Please see the invitation in PDF.

The third project meeting is planned for the 8th of November in Prague, Czech Republic.

The first Joint Staff Training within the project will take place 5th to íth of October in Bangor University, Wales. It will bring 11 participants from England (Tiny Signers) and Czech Republic (Schola Empirica).

The second Joint Staff Training will take place 9th to 13th of November in Prague, Czech Republic and will bring together 17 participants from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Wales.

The third Joint Staff Training will take place 7th to 11th of December in Ziar nad Hronom, Slovakia and will bring together 17 participants from the Czech Republic and Wales.

The second project meeting took place on the 24th of June, 2015 at Trinity University, Leeds.

We have launched an international survey of pre-school teachers in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the UK. The aim of the survey is to find out the challenges pre-school teachers face in their work with children from a socially disadvantaged or culturally different environment. (See the questioner in PDF posted  at the top of this page)  41 questioners from pre-school teachers in Slovakia and 65 questioners from pre-school teaches in the Czech Republics were collected during March and April.  The data analysis will be completed by the end of  June 2015.

The first project meeting was held in Prague on 18-20 of February 2015. We have discussed the activities and outcomes of the projects, partner tasks and the work plan for the year 2015. (See the minutes in PDF posted at the top of this page).

The first run of Joint Staff Training Events took place 5th to 9th of October in Bangor University, Wales. The participants were pre-school teachers from Leeds Bradford Area in UK and teacher education specialists from Prague, Czech Republic.

The main topics of trainings were focused on the development of social and emotional competencies of pre-school children and teacher classroom management strategies. The training was lead by prof. Judy Hutchings from CEBEI, Bangor University.

Participants had an opportunity to visit pre-school facilities at Bangor University, Tir na n-Og.

The second Joint Staff Training Event took place 9th-13th of November in Prague, Czech Republic. Nine professionals in pre-school education from Slovakia, four from Masaryk University in Brno and five from the Faculty of Early Education, Bangor University were focusing on the signing methodology as a tool to overcome the communication difficulties for small children from different cultural environments. The other focus of training included the complex methodology to support the social and emotional competencies of pre-school children in the Czech Republic. The participants had an opportunity to visit pre-school in Roudnice nad Labem and discuss various issues of early education with Director Mrs. V. Koubová.

The third Joint Staff Training Event took place 7th to 11th of December in Žiar nad Hornom, Slovakia. The participants included 12 professionals of early education from the Czech Republic and four colleagues from Wales. The training was focused on inclusive strategies and methods in the early education of Roma children. The participants had an opportunity to visit a pre-school and primary school in Žiar nad Hronom, with a special focus on the inclusion of Roma children and parents into the education process.

During the following months of project implementation, the participants of Joined Staff Training Events will be implementing selected inclusive activities into their work environment. They will also monitor and evaluate the impact of these activities on children’s behaviour. The outcomes of this evaluation will be incorporated into the Good Practice Guide- the key output of the project.

The project is carried out in partnership with:

Masarykova Univerzita (Czech Republic) http://www.muni.cz/
Skola Dokoran (Slovakia) http://www.skoladokoran.sk/
Tiny Signers (United Kingdom) http://www.tinysigners.co.uk/
Children Early Intervention Trust (United Kingdom)
http://www.childrensearlyinterventiontrust.org/

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“My colleagues and I would like to send a huge thank you for the opportunity to attend and facilitate a workshop (III. Involvement of Parents in Pre-school Education ) at your conference this week. We were overwhelmed with your welcome and hospitality and have thoroughly enjoyed the whole day especially the presentation on the baby signing and working with the Roma families just to mention a few. We enjoyed the experience of visiting your wonderful country and culture. We would really appreciate any feedback you have received about the workshop as this would be of great interest to us and also could you please forward a huge thank you to the translator for all her help. Wishing you all success with your wonderful project and a warm welcome is always available at Caban Bach for any return visits for you or any of your colleagues A massive thank you again and hopefully see you all in the near future.”
Sharon Roberts, Lynda Jones, Greta Jones & Ilaria Zanier,Caban Bach Barnardo’s, Wales
“We thank you for the invitation to the conference. It was for us a very interesting. In addition, it was very nice”.
Bożena Muchacka, Pedagogical University im. KEN in Cracow, Institute of Preschool and School Pedagogy, Poland