Agrupamento de Escolas Poeta António Aleixo
Agrupamento de Escolas Poeta António Aleixo (AEPAA) is a group of schools in Portimão, a town of 55,000 inhabitants in southern Portugal. The school consists of a kindergarten (190 children), a primary school (450 students), a middle school (1010 students) and a secondary school (1100 students). Students with special needs are included in regular classes. The school has 2750 students and 245 teachers and educators. This school year, we are integrated in the national curriculum flexibility project, promoted by the Ministry of Education. 13% of our students are not Portuguese;
In our schools, we carry out specific activities to better integrate these students and to support these families. We frequently work in partnership with other institutions at local and regional level. For a long time, in AEPAA we have had a general project called Health Education, which aims to promote a healthy lifestyle among students, their teachers and families.
AEPAA was established in 2013 by merging 3 large and old schools and it was necessary to spend some time to develop a new identity – so we invest time in personal development and institutional development; now is the right time to resume partnerships with other schools internationally. In AEPAA, many teachers and educators have a good and long previous experience with Comenius, Leonardo and Grundving. In AEPAA, we have an Erasmus + team that integrates teachers and educators from all school-level departments; this team promotes meetings with representatives of all departments in the school and with representatives of other institutions in the community, to ensure that our participation in the Erasmus program meets the needs of the entire school. In the past we were only concerned with the cognitive competencies of our students, but through the health project, we began to apply socio-emotional programs, developing skills and attitudes related to well-being, mental health and education. In one of these programs we use outdoor methodologies, active, participatory methods in which we capitalize on nature as contextualization. We join this project because we want to continue the implementation of SEL, to learn about new methods and procedures regarding SEL. We also want to start implementing teacher training, using this type of methodology.