Agrupamento de Escolas de Paredes de Coura, Portugal

Agrupamento de Escolas de Paredes de Coura is a non-profit public elementary, basic and secondary aggregation of schools located in Paredes de Coura. It is located in Northern Portugal, a municipality with about 9500 inhabitants and is the only public school in the county. It is a rural area but in the last years some factories have been established locally enriching the area, bringing more employment. It comprises 3 schools, one of which is a Kindergarten, the second is a primary school and the Secondary School from the 5th to the 12th grade. 50% of its 852 of students are subsidised by the local council and the state and the vast majority reside in the parishes outside the village. 6% are special needs students. The AEPC is part of a municipality with a medium-low economic development index and only 2% of the parents have higher education. Therefore, the school seeks to provide diversified cultural, scientific, sports and civic responses to its students. There are different projects in the context of digital skills and ICT, education for health and sexuality, financial literacy, environment (there is a protected area near the school), recycling and animal protection. It has different clubs such as: Sports, Arts, Theatre, Photography and Book club. There is also a digital newspaper. It is regularly assessed, both internally (by an independent team of teachers, school assistants, students, parents) and externally (by state educational supervisors). We work closely with our community, that is, parents, local council and all local institutions. Our priority is to ensure that our students have all the opportunities students in big cities have. And we consider of the upmost importance to give them the opportunity to learn with students from other countries and cultures.

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