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At the end of our latest Vocational Educational Training (VET) project ‘Finishing Strong’, we contacted all the participants to better understand the impact that this project has had that on their professional and personal life, a few months – sometimes a year – after their return from their VET project.

The following infographic presents the results:

 

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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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As part of our latest Vocational Educational Training (VET) project, we asked our hosting partners what impacts Finishing Strong had on their organisation, beneficiaries and local community. They are also explaining the methods they used to best support our VET trainees.

 

IDEUM – Arvidsjaur, Sweden

By Louise Renberg, Teacher at Sandbackaskolan, Arvidsjaur

January to the first days of March 2019 Sandbackaskolan in Arvidsjaur took part in a project called Finishing Strong. We hosted three groups of students coming from different colleges in the UK. Hosting three groups for two-week-periods during such a short time was something of a challenge since our school is rather small. Thanks to the possibility of cooperating with our middle school and high school, everything turned out very well in the end.
Sandbackaskolan is an upper secondary school with approximately 400 students. We are situated in the north of Sweden in a small village called Arvidsjaur. At our school we have both vocational programmes and higher education preparatory programmes such as Natural Science programme, Social Science programme, Business Management and Economics programme, Vehicle and transport programme, Child and Recreational programme and Health and Social Care programme.
During their stay in Arvidsjaur the students from England took part in ordinary PE- and English lessons as well as typical outdoor activities for our region. They were introduced to cross country skiing, skating and tabata and at the same time they met with our students in different programmes and different levels. During PE-lessons, the English students also taught our students a few things about sports that are typically English e.g rugby and cricket. This was very much appreciated among our students.
During English lessons, we worked with the actual language as well as comparing cultures, countries etc. Our pupils at middle school (12-year-olds) had prepared questions so that they could interview their visitors trying to find out more about both them and England. They were somewhat nervous beforehand but were very pleased when they realised that they could manage to communicate using what they have learnt in school.
We also showed some of our winter activities to give a hint of what differences there are between our two countries. An example of this is that we went to a slope next to our middle school using mattresses and toboggans to slide downhill on the snow. This was hilariously fun according to your students. Unfortunately, it was very cold during these weeks (around
minus 20 degrees Celsius) which meant that the planned activity with lighting an open fire at the bottom of the hill and grilling our typical “Falu sausage” had to be cancelled. On the other hand at least two of the groups were fortunate enough to spot the Northern Light, probably due to the fact that this is easier when it’s cold outside.
No specific methodology was used to help your trainees. We used our usual teaching and the new environment to try to show differences as well as similarities. They came to a small place where it was dark, snowy and cold as they had wanted and we tried to do our best to show it in a good way.
From what I have been told by one of the leaders of the group, trainees found their stay here most achieving. They were made stronger as a group and several of the students learnt lots about taking responsibility both for themselves and their group. We have been told that they had some once in a lifetime experiences that they will never forget and we are very happy hearing that. Hopefully, they also learnt some about what it is like living in the north of Sweden.
From the point of view of all our schools involved, both when it comes to staff and students, our visitors had an immense impact on us. By their positive attitudes, they showed that nothing is impossible! They made our students talk English, realising that they manage much more than they think! Meeting people from another country and learning about their way of living and their thoughts creates an understanding and a curiosity for other people, which is very important in this world. I think that everybody here felt that we finished off stronger after meeting the English youngsters and their leaders.

 

 

Youth in the Town (Jeunesse dans la Ville) – Martinique

By the whole team

FR – Depuis 2010, notre association est engagée dans des projets axés sur la culture et la mobilité des jeunes en Europe (programme ERAMUS+). En qualité de partenaire, nous sommes chargés d’organiser le séjour de jeunes en Martinique par le biais du projet « Finishing Strong » créé par l’organisme « Everything is possible ».

Nous collaborons avec des clubs sportifs de la ville du Robert, qui ont bien voulu accueillir des étudiants Britanniques lors de leur entraînement. Ainsi, les Anglais viennent renforcer le coaching des disciplines suivantes : Basket, football, rugby, athlétisme, gymnastique et cyclisme. De plus, ils ont même l’opportunité de pratiquer des sports nautiques et d’être initiés à la navigation traditionnelle à bord d’une embarcation locale appelée « yole ».

Dans le but d’aider ces jeunes à communiquer durant leur séjour, notre équipe d’animateurs met en place un atelier d’initiation à la langue française pour chaque groupe. Si nécessaire, un agent de notre structure peut se rendre sur les lieux de stage pour la traduction. Cependant,  il convient de dire que les groupes se débrouillent plutôt bien et développent des compétences en  communication verbale et/ou non verbale.

Par ailleurs, des rencontres sont prévues pour que ces derniers puissent échanger avec nos volontaires en service civique durant des jeux, des défis et les soirées interculturelles. Lors de nos rencontres, nous mettons en place des ateliers où nous souhaitons qu’ils se présentent en français, qu’ils retiennent des expressions courantes, les chiffres, les directions grâce à des jeux ludiques. L’objectif premier est la pratique de la langue, quand bien même cela reste assez basique, le primordial c’est qu’ils puissent s’exprimer au minimum durant leur séjour.
Grâce à ces moments, les jeunes stagiaires se familiarisent à la langue française et ils se font une idée plus concrète de ce qu’est la culture Martiniquaise.

Lors des entraînements, certains coaches locaux leur confie entièrement la session. C’est notamment le cas du football où les jeunes sont amenés à gérer des groupes, proposer des jeux ou des exercices. Pour d’autres sports, ils doivent tous simplement assister et observer le coach. Cela reste une opportunité pour eux de se familiariser à de nouvelles méthodologies d’apprentissage, et de prendre conscience du relationnel coach/joueur ou coach/groupe d’élèves. Car il est vrai, la relation entre entraîneur et joueurs à une importance cruciale pour l’évolution des sportifs. Ainsi, lors de certaines sessions nous avons constaté que des étudiants ont développés leur confiance en eux quand ils avaient à leur charge des groupes. Car aux contacts des jeunes anglais, les joueurs des clubs sont plus attentifs et concentrés puisqu’ils souhaitent améliorer leurs performances.

Selon les coaches locaux, cela reste des rencontres très attendues par leur joueur car les étudiants Anglais leur permettent de pratiquer des exercices différents voire nouveaux ce qui est très motivant pour eux. En somme, cette expérience est enrichissante pour tous car nos partenaires locaux apprennent également aux cotés des professeurs Britanniques.
Du point de vue de nos volontaires en service civique, ils trouvent les échangent intéressants et aiment se réunir avec les stagiaires car ils profitent pour parler anglais, et prennent plaisir à préparer des activités et proposer des idées en amont pour les rencontres à venir.

 

Translation in EN – Since 2010, our association is involved in projects focused on culture and youth mobility in Europe (ERAMUS + program). As a partner, we are responsible for organizing the stay of young people in Martinique through the project “Finishing Strong” created by the organization “Everything is Possible”.

We collaborate with sports clubs in the city of Robert, who welcomed British students during their training. Thus, the English come to reinforce the coaching of the following disciplines: Basketball, football, rugby, athletics, gymnastics and cycling. In addition, they even have the opportunity to practice water sports and to be introduced to traditional sailing aboard a local craft called “yole”.

In order to help these young people communicate during their stay, our team of facilitators set up a French language initiation workshop for each group. If necessary, an agent of our structure can go to the places of training for the translation. However, it should be said that the groups are doing quite well and developing verbal and / or nonverbal communication skills.

In addition, meetings are planned so that they can exchange with our volunteers in civic service during games, challenges and intercultural evenings. During our meetings, we set up workshops where we wish that they present themselves in French, that they retain current expressions, the numbers, the directions thanks to playful games. The primary objective is the practice of the language, even if it remains rather basic, the essential thing is that they can express themselves at least during their stay.
Thanks to these moments, the young trainees become familiar with the French language and they get a more concrete idea of ​​what the Martinique culture is.

During training, some local coaches give them the entire session. This is particularly the case of football where young people have the opportunity to lead a groups, offer games or exercises. For other sports, they all just have to attend and observe the coach. This remains an opportunity for them to become familiar with new learning methodologies, and to become aware of the coach / player or coach / group of students relationship. Because it is true, the relationship between coach and players is crucial for the evolution of athletes. Thus, during some sessions we found that students developed their self-confidence when they were in charge of groups. Because to the contacts of the young English, the players of the clubs are more attentive and concentrated since they wish to improve their performances.

According to the local coaches, this is still very much awaited meetings by their player because the English students allow them to practice different exercises even new which is very motivating for them. In short, this experience is enriching for everyone because our local partners are also learning alongside British teachers.
From the point of view of our civic service volunteers, they find the exchanges interesting and like to get together with the trainees as they take the opportunity to speak English, and enjoy preparing activities and coming up with ideas for future meetings.

 

Spain

By Vega

ACTIVITIES

  • Football training to learn the Spanish methodology with Spanish coaches.
  • Valencia City Tour. Cultural activity
  • Valencia Cf. Stadium Tour. Cultural activity
  • Show cooking. The students learn about cooking Spanish dishes.
  • Football training as a coach with kids and Spanish coaches. They learn how the Spanish coaches teach the players the way to play football.
  • Which kind of activities they do during the training to achieve different goals.
  • Trainings with a disable team. The students train with players who have different disabilities. This point is very important because the young students should know about different situations and about how important is the Sport for Social inclusion, integration…It is a main goal to all have equal opportunities.

We introduce them on Spanish trainings to learn from the practice, and the coaches teach them the methodology they use for, why they do each exercise, the goal of each activity etc… and then, the same but as a coaches.
As we said about the disable trainings, they learn how to train with this players, the best way to learn for them… after this kind of activities they learn that the most important is to enjoy, the competitiveness becomes secondary. The most important thing is to participate and have fun. Sport for Social inclusion.

 

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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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At the end of our latest Vocational Educational Training (VET) project we asked our local sending partners what impact those Finishing Strong opportunities had on their students.

Here is what they have to say:

 

Askham Bryan College

By Sharon Sheppard, Executive Director of Further Education.

The Finishing Strong Project has had such a positive impact on my students and College as it has provided unique opportunities for our students to gain real-life work experience and a fantastic insight into working and living abroad.  The Everything is Possible team as well as the main host providers are a pleasure to work with – they are so helpful and supportive and are very passionate and enthusiastic about what they do.

The Sweden project has allowed my students to experience an inspirational and educational journey where they have developed their knowledge and skills and participated in a range of activities such as hiking, orienteering, fishing, tracking wild reindeer in their natural environment and cooking traditional foods on open fires in Swedish Lapland.  The students also gained a broad insight into different cultures as well as enhancing their personal development and employability skills.

This project has provided my students with a diverse experience that they could not have experienced in the UK and this will give them a competitive advantage when looking at potential careers.  Also from a tutor prospective, this project has also allowed me to combine my love for the great outdoors with teaching and learning.  The Finishing Strong Project has allowed me to continue to share my enthusiasm, knowledge and experience with my students whilst enabling them to develop and gain vital skills to broaden their horizons and explore their future career options.

 

 

 

Askham Bryan College

By Matthew D. Williams

As part of our project, our Adventure Sports Students took part in a two week visit to Sicily. Whilst we were there we spent the first two days exploring Catania and the surrounding area. This allowed the students to get a real feel for the Sicilian lifestyle and to explore the rich heritage and mixing pot of cultures that has gone in to create Sicily as it is now. It also allowed our students to get to know their local guides and was a chance for the guides to assess the abilities of our students prior to the overnight expeditions. We spent a day gorge walking in the north of the island, putting some of the climbing and rope work skills that they have learnt as part of their course in to practice in a real world setting. Several days were then spent trekking on Mount Etna, each night staying in a Mountain Hut. Conditions were very difficult, the weather and the terrain were unlike anything that the students have dealt with before and it was an excellent experience for them to spend time in these mountains. We also had a multi-day hike in the Iblean mountains in Southern Sicily, led by another local guide. For the duration of this expedition we spent the days trekking along the Cava Grande de Cassibile and the nights wild camping in tents. Our objective for this journey was to travel from the mountains, along the valley to arrive at the coast. We were fully immersed in the Sicilian landscape and culture whilst trekking. All our supplies were bought in the local villages, we met farmers and shepherds, we tasted freshly made local cheeses, we experienced the fabulous local ice creams, we ate oranges fresh from the tree and spent time talking to local artisan craftsmen who were happy to tell us about the dry stone wall building traditions passed down from generation to generation. We were given a guided tour of a local hydroelectric power station and told the history of how it has been built and rebuilt to have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. After the second multiday trek we were taken to a local nature reserve on some islands that are normally closed to the public. Our guide for that trip was a professor of geology from the University of Catania who fascinated our students with stories of the birth of Mount Etna and the development of the volcano through time. It was a chance to see and experience the geology that we had talked about in lectures in a way that truly unique.

Throughout our project we were hosted by staff from Etna finder, they were knowledgeable and enthusiastic from start to finish. In addition to the Etna Finder staff we also had several other local guides and instructors leading sessions and activities for us and one of the most valuable experiences from the student perspective was to experience how instructional styles and practices vary in a different part of the world. Two of the Etna Finder staff were two of my ex-students. It was inspirational for the group to see two of their former peers working overseas in such an incredible location. Several are already looking in to how they can secure overseas work and work experiences.

Living and working together in such close quarters has led to a real strengthening of relationships between the students, they have developed a greater degree of empathy and understanding of each other. They have improved their communication skills, they have practiced and embedded their practical activity skills in new and unique environments, they have had time to appreciate the real word implications and impacts of the theory units that they have studied in lectures and have all benefitted significantly from the visit.

 

 

Askham Bryan College

By Robert Youhill

From Askham Bryan College we took 10 learners on a project to Valencia. The project was designed to give the learners an insight to the football philosophy and Spanish culture. The project was a huge success, we worked with a Spanish Pro Football who were fantastically organised and with Carlos at the helm we felt safe and busy!

Carlos and SPF were great hosts and planned a full timetable for our learners. Football training, coaching and games, visits to stadiums, training grounds and a football match. The learners enjoyed all of the football based activities and also loved the cultural experiences with the paella making and the college trip; were we spent a morning with learners of the same age.

The learners were well equipped with football knowledge and coaching skills that they have developed over the time spent at Askham Bryan College. The learners were selected through a strict application process. To be eligible for the trip the learners had to be up to date with work, have good attendance, have a good time for the 1.5 mile run and just generally an appropriate learner.

Learners were asked to bring extra money to enhance the trip, or example the visit to Madrid.

As part of the coaching and leadership units the valuable experience from the project ties directly into those units through developing communication skills, understanding of different coaching philosophies and becoming more confident.

What better way to get a taste of what the learners thought about the project and what skills they developed than to ask them…

Harry Bissett:

  • I developed how to play against different styles of play
  •  I developed how to play in a Spanish team
  • I developed different drills and coaching styles
  • I learnt some Spanish language and culture
  •  I developed my skills on how to deal with disabilities and what drills to use with them

 

Dominic Taylor:

  • I developed better communication skills
  • I develop in all round football ability
  • I learnt how to speak the basics in Spanish
  • I learnt that tactics the Spanish teams use to do well

 

Callum Duff:

  • I developed different coaching techniques they use in Spain.
  • I learnt how to speak some Spanish.
  • I learnt the tactics the Spanish use.
  • I developed my technical skills in football.
  • I learnt some new Rondo drills to use and to play forward.

 

Working with the academies I believe the impact was a very positive one. The learners supporting the coaching of a local academy and while learning the Spanish coaching philosophy they also made friends with the children and swapped basic regional phrases.

For many of the learners it has opened their eyes up to different cultures, as many of them and never been abroad or had any experiences like it. Many of the learners hope to return and have now seen what it would be like living abroad. It will all impact them greatly and it is an experience they will never forget.

 

Everything is Possible

By Mark Swales

As part of preparation to take a group of sports students to participate in the Finishing Strong project, I paid a professional visit myself to see if my students could make a positive contribution to the project and also gain benefits for themselves. From what I experienced, I am confident that there will be many positive and beneficial outcomes from a student visit.

In Martinique my students will have the opportunity to coach and lead sessions in numerous sports including football, basketball and rugby. This will enhance their leadership skills and develop confidence as a coach, whilst challenging them as they prepare and deliver quality and differentiated sessions. All the planning and delivery will contribute to their Btec level 3 course units. To help prepare for this, students will undertake the Sports Leaders UK level 2 Award in Sports Leadership qualification. The delivery hours will also contribute to required work experience hours as well as satisfying Btec unit assessment criteria. The students will gain a fantastic insight into how community sport is ran across the island and will help contribute to the development of local young people. This will in turn give my students a fantastic experience and will learn about local cultures and history.

Another way that helps prepare the students is by linking in with our school sports partnership where they are volunteers at primary school sports events; local, city and county wide. They undertake many different roles with varying responsibilities which develops confidence of dealing with situations and other people. To also prepare them we will work closely with Everything is Possible to ensure they learn from what other colleges students have experienced, take on board the specialist guidance from EIP, complete tasks that have been set including Pre-departure training which will be greatly received and assessment. I see this work with EIP as an invaluable resource as we strive to bring the best out of this fantastic opportunity.

The impact that this project will create will be such a positive one as students from both sides will gain experience and develop many personal attributes. Confidence, communication, leadership and many other skills will be developed as the students participate in this project. This will be priceless as the students look at their next steps towards personal goals and career choices including university and job applications. It will form a strong impression on their CV’s and give them valuable life experiences which will set them aside from others. To show that you have volunteered to lead children in sport is a strong key factor but to do it in another country is priceless. Young local people will develop their sports skills as they will learn from the knowledge and experience of our leaders. This will enhance their playing ability which will help create future sports stars on the island and give them life enriching experiences.

 

 

Everything is Possible

By Matthew Hinchley

The visit to Valencia whilst York College were on their experience was highly beneficial in seeing how an experience with learners would look and feel on the ground. We were able to learn from and take ideas from the experiences they were undertaking and this will be invaluable in planning a high quality experience for our own learners.

 

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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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