Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of Product
45 minute courses
Image of the product
Name of Author(s)
Report of RTL-TVI news broadcast
Name of Producer
TV channel “RTL – Belgium”
Date of Production
4th of September 2013
Language of the review
Language of the product
Type of product
Thematic Area
Students with learning difficulties
Target Group
Description of Contents
The report presents an initiative of a secondary school near Charleroi. This school has chosen to change the school rhythm reducing courses from 50 to 45 minutes. The method started in 2005 and concerns 600 students of the school.

It is not a way to gain teachers 5 minutes par course, but to propose additional activities.
The headmaster explains that in this way three periods of 45 minutes are gained, allowing remediation and development activities on Thursday afternoon

Practically, it is sometimes difficult to organise, but the method raises enthusiasm among students and teachers.

The method has good results. The number of students who succeeded in the first cycle (first two years) has increased. According to the headmaster, the success rate is around 70%.

Moreover, the activities have had unexpected results. A research of the University of Namur, which followed the school between 2005 and 2008, shows that the system would benefit students and teachers. The researchers observe a diminution of truancy, better schooling, a diminution of aggressive behaviours, a renewed motivation in teaching teams and, generally, a better environment at school.
At Collège Pie X, with many students of precarious background, the management has three objectives: to fight school failure, to give school a new purpose and to make students autonomous.
Changing the working rhythm, this school gave students time to catch up and others to develop.

Concretely, the 45 minutes slot gained is used to organise workshops that meet specific needs and a weekly mentoring in small groups.

Around fifty workshops take place every Thursday afternoon. They are led by teachers who act as coaches.

Remediation workshops concern school subjects. Development and personal development workshops make it possible to “develop skills in another way”.

During the mentoring sessions, the teachers work on working methods, behaviour problems, group dynamics, stress management … or welcome at the beginning of term.

The students enjoy the experience. It restores pleasure to go to school and gives school a new purpose, opening appetite for knowledge, will to discover and share.

The teachers have the chance to share their passions, to be creative and audacious far from the restrictions of the curricula. They feel more motivated to take training. They talk to each other, think, act and create efficient and creative tools.

Eight other schools have adopted this method after Collège Pie X.

Since the beginning of term 2013-2014, all the schools that wish to can use this system. It has been the object of a decree by the Government of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles. The decree does not make the 45 minute formula compulsory, but it regulates its working.
This method is also used in other countries such as France, in a school in an underprivileged area near Paris. Educational teams used the 45 minute courses to offer modules adapted to the students’ needs.

Points of strength and of weakness
Setting up a different school schedule can only succeed with the agreement of the whole school community, for there are difficulties: complexity of the organisation, good balance between remediation and alternative workshops, students’ weariness in the third cycle (last two years), tiredness, teachers’ demotivation, …
This tool must be seen as a process, always evolving, to be reorganised, ruled, adapted… It is no panacea.

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.