The first Round Table event under the SMILE project happened in Greece

The Roundtable in Greece was planned to take place in October 2021, either online or face-to-face. Thankfully, the Four Elements team managed to gather a total of 34 people, face-to-face in October, of which the majority of were educators from high schools, educational leaders, consultant in educational programs, representatives from adult training institutions, faculty from civil society organisations and institutes, and some NGO representatives.

The roundtable took place in Greek and lasted about two-and-a-half hours. At the beginning, the SMILE project was presented as an introduction. Then, the model and the actions with schools were reviewed in order to gather feedback for the model. Lastly, the conversation focused on the section “Keeping up a SMILE: the sustainability of the project”, followed by best practices and lessons learned, concluding with some questions and answers.


The Day of Inclusion at George Calinescu School, Romania

Date:  12th October 2021

Participants: primary and secondary school

Environment: face-to-face, online, hybrid; classrooms & schoolyard

Activities: games, drawings, stories, discussions

Topics: respect, inclusion, tolerance, values


We had a wonderful time together sharing ideas when listening to stories, playing, drawing or debating in class, online or in the schoolyard. The little ones drew colourful trees of friendship and tolerance, which they proudly displayed on the walls so that everybody could see them. The older students spoke about their future plans, shared their dreams and even made a drawing of their dream ideas. They talked about how to bring their dreams to life by using their knowledge, accepting unexplored ideas and solutions and helping each other.

The Day of Inclusion at EuroED School in Romania

Date:  6th October 2021

Participants: 8 classes – Primary school

Environment: face-to-face, online, hybrid; classrooms & schoolyard

Activities: games, drawings, films, stories, discussions

Topics: inclusion, diversity, emotions, power of words, active listening, solving conflicts.

Project: SMILE


We all enjoyed our time spent together playing, drawing, watching short films, listening to stories and getting engrossed in interesting discussions in class, online or the schoolyard.

Everybody was present and actively participated: the children talked, listened and learned from one another about the richness they can find in diversity, feelings or the time spent together. They learned about the patience to listen, the power of words and of the beautiful gestures.

They realised how well they feel when their classmates are near them to support and help: One for all and all for one has become their motto. They realised how different they are and how wonderful each of them is in their own way. Each of them has a superpower which contributes to the wellbeing of the group, to the achievements of the group

We, children and teachers, were just like the fish in the school of fish or the beautifully and diversely coloured leaves which make autumn so unique, or the letters in the postman’s mail bag which are delivered so generously or the colours which only together make a painting.

Model for Inclusive Learning implemented successfully in 3 schools in Greece in 2021

Four Elements - the partner organisation of SMILE project from Greece, has selected three schools to participate in the application of the Model and these schools are: i) 2nd Experimental Gymnasium of Athens (now renamed to 2nd Model School of Athens), ii) Model Evangelical School of Smyrna, and iii) the 3rd High School of Argyroupolis.

The 2nd Experimental Gymnasium of Athens is a large school with 486 students, 30 of which are with SEN, while 5 of them are at risk of not going to be promoted. The Model Evangelical School of Smyrna is a medium-large school with 270 students, 3 of them with SEN and only 10 of them are at risk. Lastly, the 3rd Gymnasium of Argyroupolis has 218 students, 20 of them with SEN and only 3 of them are at risk.

All the summaries of the schools’ background have been collected and the teacher trainings were successfully completed in the selected schools.

Moreover, Four Elements has printed the translated version both for the Model and Self-assessment tool, and we distributed to all the teachers from all the participating schools.

All schools will celebrate Days of Inclusion later in the project and the participating teachers and staff of the 3 piloting schools will be invited to share their experience with the Model during an upcoming Round Table.

Stay tuned for more news from the SMILE project!



Project "Scaling up the Model for Inclusive Learning in Europe" (SMILE)

Start: 31-01-2019 - End: 30-06-2022

Programme: Erasmus+

Key Action: Support for policy reform

Action Type: Social inclusion through education, training and youth

Project Reference: 604701-EPP-1-2018-1-BG-EPPKA3-IPI-SOC-IN 

How a different 2020 brought teachers together in Romania?



All efforts of the participants in the Smile project were focused on maintaining contact with the children and their families and creating equal learning opportunities. For instance, teachers created educational packs (worksheets) and used young volunteers from the Save the Children organisation or teachers to send worksheets to those students who didn’t have internet access or laptops; once the tasks were completed the volunteers took them back to the teachers to assess; sometimes they even used the corner shop in the neighbourhood; they left worksheets there for the parents to collect when doing shopping and then give them to children). Everybody tried to adjust to the new context and make children feel comfortable. 


All participants in the Smile project stated that they had been inspired with the selection of indicators and their integration of the Smile activities into their school’s general plan. Thus, the challenges posed by the pandemic turned into opportunities. The EuroEd school created a procedure for the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff, which complies with the principles of child safeguarding. The procedure was successfully used with the candidates for the new positions in the school in July 2020.


The Al Vlahuta and EuroED schools chose indicators from the school/ parents partnership. With everybody working from home, parents had more time for their offspring. The teachers appreciated the importance of keeping parents 'on their side'. They had to adopt new strategies: keeping parents well informed about what they did and why they did it and telling them how to help school (children). Teachers and parents met online, listened to each other’s concerns and ideas and found solutions to common problems. Online education relied on the parents/school partnership: parents not only supported all school initiatives but they also contributed to their implementation. Educators organized weekly and monthly meetings with parents having discussions on a wide range of topics: children’s wellbeing, their needs and how to support them, online learning, etc. Parents were also taught how to use the new technology (zoom, digital apps, Google Meet etc). 


Another challenge that our schools faced was teachers’ professional development, covered by the teaching practices domain in the Smile Model. Everybody made efforts to update and upgrade their knowledge and skills by reading articles in the field, participating in webinars, seminars, online courses, etc. They highlighted the role that collaboration and sharing with colleagues played in their work. They shared everything they found on enhancing teachers’ IT competencies, informed each other about useful webinars, seminars, articles, etc by posting on the school site or Facebook page of the project, designed online lesson plans and shared and reflected on the experiences they had with pupils. The schools organised online training sessions on how to enhance online teaching (topics: time management, supervising children online, time children spend in front of the computer, time educators spend on preparing their online lessons, how to give homework, how to motivate children, how to assess children online). The teachers also held that the pandemic taught them that we need to adapt and be flexible and open up to changes. Children need to be prepared and educated for life. To this end, we should insist on developing their 21st-century skills. Children should be taught how to learn. We should reconsider all our materials, textbooks (children seem to be overwhelmed by the huge amount of information). Assessment still heavily depends on memorization. One of the schools (G Calinescu school) ‘benefitted’ from the situation as their indicator was related to teaching practices; needless to say, progress was made in terms of integrating the new technology into classes with all the three schools.


Teachers agreed that no matter how hard this period is there are significant gains. The pandemic turned challenges into opportunities by:

- strengthening teachers/parents relationships

- consolidating the collaboration with parents, colleagues and children.

- accelerating the integration of the new technologies into lessons

- enhancing teachers’ professional development

- stimulating teachers’ creativity and focusing teachers on finding solutions not on problems.


We kept in contact with colleagues, children and parents, organised lessons and training sessions for teachers and parents via zoom:




The Smile Project is 


The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Centre for Inclusive Education

Address: Bulgaria,
1000 Sofia, 133 Knyaz Boris I, Str.

Phone: 00359 898 500 848

Contact persons:
Iva Boneva, Executive Director,
Liliya Arakchieva, Project Manager,