Agrupamento de Escolas Cego do Maio – Portugal

Agrupamento de Escolas Cego do Maio (AECM) is located in Póvoa de Varzim, a city situated 25 km from Porto, the 2nd biggest city in the country. It is a school cluster, with pre-school (8 classes: 3-6 years old); first cycle (20 classes: 6-9 years old), 2nd cycle (9 classes: 10-12 years old) and 3rd cycle (15 classes: 12-15 years old).

The AECM integrates within its area of geographic influence, four schools distributed as follows: the headquarters school Cego do Maio (500 students; 60 teachers; 26 assistants); primary school/kindergarten Século (400 students; 24 teachers and 8 assistants); primary school/kindergarten Pedreira – Argivai (150 students; 7 teachers and 4 assistants); primary school/kindergarten Giesteira (150 students; 6 teachers and 3 assistants).

The AECM encompasses several neighbourhoods of social housing where a considerable number of socially disadvantaged families live. Meeting the many challenges resulting from these structural problems, the AECM has organized over the past years a set of answers and resources to face them, in order to improve the global conditions of children and adolescents and their school success. So, besides the national curriculum, classes are organized with specific programmes to support students with learning disadvantages and encourage students’ motivation, as well as an offer of extracurricular activities, such as sports (badmington, dancing, roller skating, canoeing), Clubs (theatre, robotics, Arts).

Last year we launched a pioneer project of Mindfulness to help students, teachers and staff to combat stress, improve focus and increase resilience. Our school also includes students with multiple disabilities in the two Specialized Support units for multiple disabilities and Congenital DeafBlindness.

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