Web site: www.esds1.pt
Agrupamento de Escolas D. Sancho I is a non-profit public elementary, basic and secondary aggregation of schools located in the river Ave valley, a mixed urban-rural area in the north of Portugal (V. N. Famalicao), showing high unemployment rates, especially among its non-skilled workforce. Many of its industries have closed down over the years or have relocated their production lines.
The schools provide all levels of education:
- Elementary schooling
- Basic schooling
- Vocational basic courses (in the area of Catering)
- Regular secondary courses
- Vocational secondary courses (in the areas of Electronics and Communications, Mechatronics, Industrial Maintenance, Secretarial Studies, Accountancy, Tourism, Trade, Cooking, Catering and Lab Analysis)
Basic education and training of adults (night school)
- Secondary education and training of adults (in the areas of Logistics, Electricity, Electronics Automation and Control, Mechatronics, Health Aid, Trade and General Studies - night school)
- Recognition and validation of key-competences (night school)
Second chance secondary adult courses (in the areas of Administration and Humanities - night school).
It enrolls about 2200 students and employs 250 teachers and 40 school assistants.
The aggregation of schools has a long and continuous tradition in adult education at night, designed to meet the needs of people who have left school without completing the period of mandatory education (12th form), either because they didn't have financial conditions to pursue their studies or because they decided to start working early, mostly due to lack of motivation. At night school, students come back to enroll in:
- Second Chance courses: following regular secondary curricula;
- Education and Training of Adults courses: teaching is organized around nuclear themes which are used to unveil pre-existing competences;
- Recognition and Validation of Key-Competences: learners create a portfolio of competences structured around their life stories, with the aim of seeing those competences recognized and certified. The aggregation of schools is one of a few schools in the area which harbours a Centre for the Qualification and Vocational Teaching whose aim is to guide applicants so they can choose the most adequate option for their route;
Learners from various generations reenter school in order to complete their education and be then able to get a job or get a promotion within their work institutions.
The schools have also a project called "Business at school", which brings together companies and school leavers, the first offering the latter job training, and also organising coaching sessions on entrepreneurial subjects.
A. E. D. Sancho I / Escola Secundaria D. Sancho I has participated in European projects regularly (Comenius, Grundtvig, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus+) thus broadening the students' horizons and enriching trainers with a wide range of different perspectives.
The schools' staff is mostly stable, flexible and very experienced, with teachers easily moving from regular courses to more target-oriented ones.
AE D. Sancho I is regularly assessed, both internally (by an independent team of teachers, school assistants, students, parents) and externally (by state educational supervisors).