Gimnazija Celje – Center was founded in 1912 and is nowadays one of the most active public grammar secondary schools in Slovenia with more than 900 pupils and 82 teachers. Its building is an impressive art deco architectural monument – the biggest of its kind in Slovenia. The school excels in the field of introducing innovative learning environments with an emphasis on merging formal and informal education, its methods and specific planning of curricular and extracurricular activities of pupils and teachers. The pupil and parent boards are largely invested in the planning of the school’s annual work plan, objectives, goals, and vision for the school. The school was only recently the proud recipient of the Kumerdej award (the highest national recognition for exceptional achievements in the educational system) for its outstanding and noteworthy work in this area of expertise, another reward was the silver plague of the City of Celje (2019) and the Quality Apple Award in 2019 that was given to the school for successful cooperation in Erasmus + by the National Agency CMEPIUS.
More than 60% of more all pupils are involved in extracurricular activities, projects and youth research work and they are also very successful in various national and international competitions. The school is subject to constant change and improvements by being actively involved in local, national and international communities with numerous activities, school, national and international projects as well as within an extensive partnership of schools and social networks. The school has been granted the title of Cultural School 2015 – 2020 due to its diverse and stimulating cultural activities in the area of music, theatre and visual arts. In this school year alone 9 musical ensembles, 3 theatre groups, and 2 school newspapers are active in the school. The school has a very renowned and internationally recognised debate club. Within the international networks such as Unesco APSnet, Eco-Schools, MUN, Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, European Parliament School Ambassador, Confucius Classroom School, Healthy schools the goals and vision of the school gravitate towards sustainable development and providing skills of the 21st century to its pupils and teachers. Gimnazija Celje – Center is also a national reference school for work with talented children, a national reference school in the project Entrepreneurship in grammar schools – general secondary education and a European talent point within the European Talent Support Network.
Pupils can choose between three programs that are offered: general grammar school, art grammar school in kindergarten pedagogics (vocational program).
The school follows the guidelines of education for sustainable development, that is why both the school management and the teaching staff are highly motivated to make use of teaching methods which meet the needs of the constantly learning society and enable our students to adjust better to the requirements of the European labor market. An Erasmus+ team was founded with the objective to provide education and promote international projects. Further we established an Educational Centre with the goal to train new generations of teachers who are eager to share their experiences from the classroom, intercultural cooperation and projects with colleagues, students and partners. We are trying to implement innovative learning environments through several projects, especially in the field of entrepreneurial thinking and turning the mind-set of teachers to search for innovative opportunities in the existing curriculum and other activities where the motivation of staff and students plays a strong role. We are an iPad school – we enrichen the lessons with the use of tablets and iPads (1 to 1 pedagogy). The school and its Erasmus + team are highly motivated to search for opportunities to equip the staff with suitable skills and competences which can be acquired by job shadowing, teaching assignments, participating in structured courses abroad and forming strategic partnerships. The emphasis is on “learning by doing” during several projects and after their completion. More than 100 pupils are active in the entrepreneur field within the project GCC Start Up and Creative Generator. Another 83 pupils are active in the world’s leading youth achievement award – The Duke of Edinburg International Award. It equips young people for life regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills and interests. A project for 2nd year pupils called Zlato jabolko (The gold apple) is a four-day project in the regional park of Kozjansko, an underprivileged region in Slovenia that copes with a severe problem of emigration of young people. The aim of the
project is to explore all the possibilities of the region rich in natural resources and beautiful landscape and to suggest solutions linked to tourism, event management, small enterprises, agritourism, culinary tourism, ecologically based wood processing industry etc.
In the school year 2016/2017 a new system of career clubs and a career weekend was successfully introduced to the pupils. The project was coordinated by the school and its own School Society, called Društvo GCC, the members of which are our ex-students who closely cooperate with the school primarily in different projects and students’ career counselling. Three times a year pupils have a 2 day off lessons to exercise various activities with emphasis to comprehend soft skills in the field of communication, leadership, influencing, interpersonal and personal skills, creativity and profession.
The pupils (2nd and 3rd year) have the possibility to choose from a set of optional subject – such as the 3rd foreign language (Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Russian) or Public Appearance, Research work or Studies of the society environment. In the ESS project coordinated by the National school institute the school is participating in a development and research project with an aim to integrate entrepreneurial skills into the regular curricula.