High School of Rocha Peixoto

In Praça Luís de camões, in the city of Povoa de Varzim, in the North of Portugal, is located the High School of Rocha Peixoto (http://www.esrpeixoto.edu.pt/).

It is a public institution for the education of young (and not so young) of the district council community. From the beginning it marked the aim of giving good professional training to the industry and trade servers.

It was first built in 1892 and remains in the same place as it was, however, a modernization of facilities began at the end of the academic year 2007/2008, which allows us to enjoy a larger building area (13 500 m2) that is spread by old and new buildings, including the building reserved for management structures and sports pavilion which is one of the best in town. This remodeling, allowed an increase in occupancy capacity which translated into 10 more classes.

At the moment, Escola Secundária de Rocha Peixoto, has a total of 1663 learners and 200 teachers and staff members. The school has classes from the 7th to the 12th grade including general courses and also vocational courses. The school installations count on:

  • 1 amphitheater
  • 2 auditoriums
  • 1 Library
  • 1 Synthetic Grass Field
  • 1 study center
  • 1 Training Centre
  • 1 CQEP
  • 1 Psychology Office
  • 1 Office for Educational Support
  • 1 Biology Laboratory
  • 1 Electro-technical Laboratory
  • 1 Physics Laboratory
  • 1 Geology Laboratory
  • 4 Computer Labs
  • 1 Mathematics Laboratory
  • 1 Chemistry lab
  • 2 Multipurpose laboratories
  • 1 Electro-technical Workshop
  • 1 Mechanical Workshop
  • 1 Pavilion
  • 1 Swimming pool
  • 31 Classrooms
  • 1 Technical Drawing Room
  • 3 Visual Education Rooms
  • 2 Expressions rooms
  • 1 Robotics Room
  • 1 ICT Informal Room
  • 1 Administrative service room for students and staff

What was the High School “Rocha Peixoto” (Review)

In 1997 “Rocha Peixto” had only 3 ICT classrooms equipped with 8 PCs and a printer. The school recognized the importance of digital era and managed to modernize and update the school from that time till now. With continious mantainance and investing, the school managed to upgrade its invetory. In 2015 it inlcuded fully equipped: ICT Labs, ICT classrooms, ICT office. All school buildings have internet Access (either by cable or wirless). The school Works daily with Moodle and RochaDoc platforms to facilitate the date flow between all school community. Nowadays, the main software used includes:

  1. Programme to register presence/absence of the students, classroom summaries, evaluations etc.
  2. Windows 7 Profissional
  3. Microsoft Office 2010
  4. Visual studio 2010
  5. Avast
  6. Foxit Read
  7. Gimp
  8. Inkscape
  9. Audacity
  10. Management software (SAGE)

The school has also developed PTE Teams (Technological Plan in Education – project developed in 2009 by the Ministry of Education that is supposed to coordinate and supervise all the project related to technological development of the public schools).

From the obtained evaluation, the following was determined:

Internet The school had broadband Internet access throughout the school, via a cable network in the building.
IT equipment maintenance Maintenance was carried out on a regular and organized basis. ICT teachers and students are responsible for maintain the equipment.
Licensed software All of the software installed in the computer room was licensed and fully updated.
ICT professional development Most teachers received some ICT certified development, though some of this occurred several years before. This had been delivered through a mixture of subject association meetings, informal help from colleagues. School has invested in some trainings to help teachers develop basic skills.
Teachers digital literacy All teachers indicated that they were able to use personal computers to access the Internet and email, perform basic word processing and enter student results at the end of each term.
ICT usage in teaching process Most of the teachers often were using ICT as a teaching and learning tool.
ICT skills The majority teachers had basic ICT skills and managed to use them frequently during the classes.
ICT awareness Most of the staff recognized the benefits of using ICT in teaching and learning process.
School website The school have quite well organized website, moodle and RochaDoc platforms.

Where the High School “Rocha Peixoto” wants to get to. (Priorities)

The school intends to become one of the leading, more developed schools in the country, becoming well-known for its quality installations, varied course offer and also learning innovation.

Considering this, the priorities aimed for the school are:

  1. Encouraging students and teachers to use a variety of ICT platforms in order to motivate learners and improve the learning methodologies.
  2. Maintain students active in order to keep them away from unhealthy and unsuccessful lifestyles by offering a diversity of extracurricular activities.
  3. Make all the class and lesson administration online and eliminate the paper documentation.
  4. Improve the academic results.
  5. Ensure continuous safety and security measures at the school.
  6. Appeal to the high demands, encouraging the improvement of the performance of teachers and students.

How the High School “Rocha Peixoto” planned to get there (Targets)

Escola Secundária de Rocha Peixoto’s director, Albertino Cadilhe, has implemented a system where each course’s teachers have to get together and propose ideas and projects to improve their teaching curricula. Here, they are open to propose a project to the direction of the school that must be justified with the reason for investment, advantages of it, costs, etc. After that, the direction will reunite and decide which investments are valid and how they can obtain investment for them. There is a constant bet on the school to modernize the facilitate, having as much as possible, upgraded ICT platforms in order to approximate the learned contents to the actual job market. Investments in new machinery in the workshops, product licenses like Solidworks, CIMCO, Powermill, AutoCad and more are a constant bet of the school to improve more and more their education quality.

The school realizes that it is through ICT that it will accomplish a better teaching and learning skills so the plan is to keep informed about possible European or National Funds available to be able to apply for financing, however, the school knows that only depending on outside funds will make the development of the school’s projects become delayed so, the school, when classes are ended, rents classrooms, the synthetic football field and the swimming pool to the community for a cost, a little bit lower than the private institutions offering these services.

Also, the teachers will receive training in any ICT tool that is necessary for their job and the school also has ICT technicians that manage all school servers and will help teachers with ICT difficulties.

What the High School “Rocha Peixoto” did (Tasks)

In the school years of 2007/2008, ESRP started their renovations and amplification of the school building, making it more modern and bigger. With this big change, there was also a project of improving the ICT tools. Thus, all classrooms were equipped with interactive boards; moodle and rochadocs were installed in order to eliminate paper summary books and encouraging the use of more ICT tools in classrooms. The teachers have had ICT training to properly use these new ICT investments. The school has also implemented an ICT system throughout the school where everything in the school is done with a personal student or staff card. You can pay for food, drinks, photocopies and other office consumables with your student card that is chargeable at some machine points throughout the schools. This enables parents to control what their child spends and at the same time makes these services at school much faster and of higher quality. The card also enables students to enter and exit the school and parents decide if their child is allowed to leave the school during the day and if they are not allowed the school gatekeeper will see a red light and make the student stay on school premises. It is also a way to ensure student and staff safety, preventing any strangers of being able to enter the premises.

As Rocha Peixoto is the professional technical school and therefore it’s extremely important that the technical areas such as for example mechanics using CNC remains updated and that the students may learn how to use the newest programs. The school made an agreement with the software companies to sell software licenses cheaper than usual for educative purposes. (They have licenses of programs such as: Powermill, Solidworks, AutoCad and CIMCO).

What the High School “Rocha Peixoto” achieved (2nd Review)

With all the improvements and changes, namely in ICT, All students can use ICT platforms freely and are comfortable in doing so (they submit their works, retrieve studying materials and communicate with the teachers on a regular basis) using moodle and other platforms; the great majority of the teachers manages to use interactive boards and associated software regularly and all the school is managed and administrated online (summaries, absence/presence of the students, communication with the parents etc)

Escola Secundária has also had External evaluation in 2013/2014 and the school is proud to have been recognized for their commitment and the work that has developed, managed to achieve in all assessment areas - Results, Provision of Educational Services, and Leadership and Management - the VERY GOOD rating. In this context we recall the importance of the involvement of everyone, including through suggestions for the plan to improve our school (for this purpose they invite everyone to fill the respective role of suggestions to deposit in the ballot box available for this).

What ‘s next?

To continue to have a quality education system at the school, Escola Secundária de Rocha Peixoto intends to continue investing in ICT tools to continue motivating students to learn more and at the same time contribute to the decrease of school dropouts.

The school plans to remain updated and invest in new software on regular basis in order to provide the students with the necessary tools to become excellent and well-trained professionals.

It is also planned to organize more training for the teachers in order to learn how to use new and more advanced software and teach it properly to the students.