MenSI School Blog

Getting to know the schools in the cluster and the beginning of cooperation

III. gimnazija, Split (Croatia) was selected for the Mentoring School within the MenSI project. In our cluster there are one secondary vocational school from Split and 3 primary schools, one from Split and the other two from small towns, Mokošica and Vela Luka.

When we found out which schools were in our cluster, it was clear to us that we would have a hard time deciding which way of mentoring would be best, given the great diversity of schools in the cluster.

As the leader of the MenSI project in III. Gimnazija, Split and a longtime school psychologist, I suggested to invite representatives of all schools to a live meeting, so we could get to know each other well and develop mutual trust, as a prerequisite for future successful cooperation in the project.

I prepared and held a Coaching workshop where participants were introduced to the main guidelines of the project, introduced themselves and exchanged views and experiences. School representatives were given advice on how to plan the changes, and I prepared summaries of all three modules of the Launching MenSI seminar and links to materials that can encourage the development of school digitization.

During the group work, the participants answered questions together and presented the answers to the whole group.

They have developed an initial action plan to improve the digitalization of their schools, according to the GROW model most commonly used in the coaching process.

GROW model means: Goal (what do you want to achieve), Reality (what is happening now), Options (what could you do), Will (what will you do).

The questions aimed to encourage thinking about the priorities for the development of digitalization in schools and ways to conduct further mentoring activities.

In this way, we wanted to determine the starting points and needs of individual mentored schools.

The questions we sought answers from mentored schools were:

  1. Define two goals of your school (development priority) and make a simple action plan according to the GROW model (coaching model of activity planning).
  2. What do you think should be changed in your school to go in the direction of innovative digital practice in teaching and learning? What help do you need? Which way of training would be most useful for you?
  3. What are the innovative digital teaching methods that contribute to better student achievement and that your teachers should adopt and apply in their daily work with students? Give a few examples.
  4. Reflection (for the whole school): What are we doing well? What are we doing wrong? What could we change for the better?
  5. Identify possible constraints in your school to make progress in using innovative digital practice in teaching and learning.

After presenting the answers to the questions asked, it was much clearer to all participants what the needs, opportunities and conditions of individual schools in the cluster were. The mentor school gained insight into the priorities in improving the digitalization of each school, which enabled it to further plan the mentoring process.

After the workshop, 8 short lectures were given by the teachers of the mentor school. The lectures were from different subjects and extracurricular areas and we wanted to present to the mentored schools what we do in school and what we can offer them for the purpose of teacher training.

At the end of the first cluster meeting, we asked the participants to evaluate all the activities carried out.

Through the evaluation, we came to the conclusion that all the activities carried out at the first meeting were evaluated as excellently presented and very useful for improving the digitalization of all schools. Through a detailed analysis of the evaluation forms, the mentoring school project team adjusted and planned activities for the second cluster meeting.

Conclusion at the end of the first cluster meeting:

  1. The mentor school presented WHAT THEY CAN OFFER to the schools in the cluster, and the mentored schools had the opportunity to say what their needs are and whether the offered way of training suits them and what they EXPECT from the mentoring school.
  2. All participants agreed together on the type and manner of implementation of future project activities, manner of communication, cooperation and evaluation.
  3. It was agreed that all materials would be available and recorded at the MOOC.


We wish to design the mentoring process together, so that the participants be active creators of learning and not merely passive listeners.


Author: Danica Bavčević, dipl.psi., the coordinator of cluster III.gimnazija, Split