Nicolae Iorga School is an urban educational institution with 17 groups of primary school students and 8 groups of lower secondary school. It is a two-storey building on Hlincea Street in Nicolina neighbourhood, that has 27 classrooms, an athletic field and a playground. We also have 7 groups of kindergarden children in a different building in the same area. We have around 690 primary and secondary school students and 180 kindergarden students and 42 teachers. We have 6-14 year old students that reside in the area round the school or outside the city, in the rural area. Our teachers are involved in educational activities meant to involve our students in our school life and to develop their skills and abilities. Our primary school teachers guide our students from pre-school level (also called ‚grade zero’) to the 4th grade, teaching them all kinds of subjects in the core curriculum (such as Romanian, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography) and optional courses (foreign languages, astronomy, healthy living, tourism and geography). Our secondary school teachers are specialized on certain subjects and teach 5 to 6 different groups and levels in the same day.
All our teachers are periodically assessed by the ISJ (Our county school inspectorate) and ARACIP (the national association of teachers that assess quality in education) and have always passed with flying colours, our school being qualified as a worthy European school.
There is a strong partnership between school and community; our students’ parents play an important part in their lives, taking part in school activities and trying to support our attempts at improving their children’s education. Most of our students have an average socio-economical background; there are also very poor students who need a lot of help on more than one level, and there are a few students who have a high socio-economical background. There are very few repeaters and drop-outs in our school and we are currently working on keeping them at school and educated. There are also 20 students with special educational needs at both the primary and secondary school levels and 17 students with certain problems/disabilities that include autism, Down syndrome and ADHD.
Our students study 2 foreign languages: French and English with the help of one French teacher and two English teachers. They start studying English in grade 0 and French in the 5th grade. They also study ICT being quite skilled in playing educational games.
Our students love taking part in competitions of all kinds (from science and drama to sports and music) and get good results; most of them qualify for higher levels and get good results in local to county and national competitions.
The 8th graders also pass the National evaluation test with flying colours (some of them even with straight A-s) being admitted to very good highschools as a result.
Our school is 28 years old this December on the 6th, on the same day as St Nicholas; it is the youngest school in the city with a team of young teachers - 30 is our average age - who have been taking part in continuous learning programmes and projects and have been writing articles in several educational magazines, trying to keep up with the latest trends in education.
Our teachers and students work well on the computer organizing teaching and adding data to data bases and Facebook groups, trying to introduce and use as much technology as possible in the educational process. We have several programmes in school that promote literacy, reading and visiting libraries in the city.
The school needs more communication between some parents and teachers and more extra-budget financial help. We also strive to include our students with special needs in their groups by trying to teach the same contents according to their needs and abilities but there is still room for improvement.
We have been working on several local, county and national projects from different areas in education: ecology, science, counselling, drama, traditions, foreign languages, music, dancing and sports, games, etc. The persons that will be involved in this future project have already been involved in more than one project in the past (Comenius and otherwise): our head mistress teaches Science to the secondary school students and of course there are the foreign language teachers supporting most of the activities that take part in our school.
From 2001-2004 we were part of a Comenius project called “Euro-heros: Famous Europeans” that involved 5 countries: Romania, France (the coordinators), Slovakia, Italy and Germany.
Another project was called ProEco and was financed by the National Environment Agency. It promoted a healthy attitude towards nature and the environment by asking the students to clean the green areas and plant trees in the school garden. It involved our Science teachers (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) who did their best to coordinate our students’ work.
Another successful project brought two linguistic assistants to our school who were native speakers of French and helped our students get more fluent and more confident in speaking this language.
An older project in 2004 called “From heart to heart” was financed by Youth Service America and promoted our crafts and drama in English. Our students sold their hand-made crafts and the actors sold tickets to their shows and this is how they offered Christmas and Easter dinners for 2 nursing homes for two years in a row.
“Art and Tradition in Europe” is an international symposium for both teachers and students, their articles and their crafts, that will reach its 7th edition this year. We also have an inter-county symposium called “Euro-heros: famous Europeans” that will reach its 12th edition this year. This contest promotes public speaking for secondary school learners in English and French.
Last year only 0.2% of the students left our school as we have worked on a project that supported students in danger of leaving school by organizing after-school activities and remedial classes – “Together we’ll succeed” for 2 years (2011-2013) We also took part in an international project called “Stay at school” and coordinated by EuroEd Foundation in 2014.