No limits to a modern education:
The Cambridge secondary school is fully accommodated to people with disabilities
High quality education must be available to all because everyone deserves to have an opportunity to achieve their professional goals and acquire valuable knowledge which they can do at Savremena Gimnazija. Savremena’s students are being prepared for the real world, their further education and future careers in the best possible way as their teachers and mentors motivate them and instill a good work ethic in them that will ensure their lifelong learning.
Savremena Gimnazija is available to everyone
Savremena’s building at Vračar was built in accordance with the highest architectural standards in order to be fully adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities, and to provide a comfortable and healthy learning environment which promotes productivity. The premises at Belgrade Palace have also been accommodated to people with disabilities – a lift enables them to easily reach the classrooms and other offices. The building’s ease of use and access is primarily reflected in the following:
- A ramp at Šumatovačka Street to ensure a safe entrance into the school.
- The entrance into Belgrade Palace from Kralja Milana Street is accessible and wide.
- The premises at Vračar and Belgrade Palace have a lift allowing students to access all classrooms and offices.
- Wide hallways that ensure ease of movement.
The entrance into Belgrade Palace from Kralja Milana Street, right next to the Institute for Contemporary Education, is wide, accessible and leads directly to the lift, making it easy for people with disabilities to reach Savremena’s premises on the third floor. A lift leads from the ground to all other floors and it’s reserved for those who need it the most while the wide hallways make sure that crowds and congestion are avoided. This way students can access and use all of the school’s facilities which are intended for learning and leisure.
Modern technologies and classrooms: a fully inclusive and welcoming environment
Savremena’s teaching programme is developed in a way to further the potential of each student. We have optimised our classroom experience for students by getting rid of the conventional seating arrangement that can often reflect favoritism, popularity and other forms of discrimination. Instead, we have introduced ergonomic and mobile chairs that can easily be moved around to adapt any classroom to the needs of students and facilitate group activities and teamwork.
When teaching is conducted students are usually sat in a circle which emphasises equality and encourages them to express their opinions freely. Teachers use interactive whiteboards and tables to make the classes more interesting and instead of using notebooks, they use tablets which makes the learning process a lot more exciting and productive.
To answer a question or to take part in an oral assessment, they no longer have to leave their seat, they can complete each task on their tablet and send it to their teacher who can then open the file on the interactive whiteboard and demonstrate the correct solution to the entire class. This is just one of many examples of how technology makes things easier for students and teachers.
Continuously adapting to student needs
All of the classes conducted at Savremena Gimnazija are recorded so that students with any form of visual impairment can listen to the audio/video recording from the Live stream archive. This way they can revise and go over the learning materials with their tablets, computers or smartphones when they are at home.
Each student is equally as important as the next and those who need some extra support can always rely on their teachers, mentors and other school staff. This kind of commitment allows students with disabilities to use their full potential and not be hindered by anything in a fully adapted and easy to access learning environment. Given that parents assume an active role in their child’s education, they are welcome to bring forth their suggestions on how we can increase the quality of education at International School Savremena which strives to constantly adapt itself to the needs of its students.
Why is it so important to be politically correct?
At Savremena Gimnazija, students learn how to be tolerant and to use language that is politically correct and respectful towards those who are different than them. There is a big difference in terms of which word we use to describe a person with a disability. We should bear in mind that words like invalid or cripple are not acceptable and they are offensive. The right terms to use are a person with a disability or a person with a handicap. We must always think of how our actions and words will affect someone else’s feelings and thus use "people first" language.
It is also important to know that a disability is not the same as a handicap because the former refers to an inability to execute some class of movements, or pick up sensory information of some sort, or perform some cognitive function while the latter refers to the inability to accomplish something one might want to do, that most others around one are able to accomplish. The first step in overcoming the challenges is to use the right terminology. After that, the environment will begin to change and become more tolerant and welcoming ultimately offering equal opportunities to all.
Savremena Gimnazija strives to become more inclusive each day. We continuously improve our teaching methods and space in order to improve their accessibility. As such we are always open to your advice and suggestions.