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"DREAMS: Fostering Diversity in Primary to Secondary School Transition to Prevent Early School Leaving” is a 24 month strategic partnership composed of 3 schools and 2 non-profit organizations that work in tackling early school leaving (ESL), particularly in contexts with strong presence of cultural diversity. The project is being implemented in Spain, Italy and Portugal, although we hope the developed materials can be used by many schools throughout the European territory.


ESL along with school achievement are one of the greatest problems of many European education systems. Transition from primary to secondary education has been identified by the European Commission Thematic Working Group on Early School Leaving as a key moment for ESL prevention. All partner schools indicate that prior to transition ESL risk factors are already identifiable, and that a diversity-based approach needs to be taken in order to assure proper attention to the needs of all students, particularly those that are more vulnerable to ESL, during this delicate phase in their education and development.  

The main aim of the DREAMS Project is to prevent ESL by supporting students, teachers, families and school community in assuring a smooth Primary to Secondary School transition with inclusion of all forms of diversity. 

Adressed to

  • Students and Families of last year Primary School and first year Secondary School.  

  • Teachers, Tutors and Counselors of last year Primary School and first year Secondary School.  

  • Local school authorities, decision and policy makers related to school education and ESL prevention.  

Project priorities

  • Tackle early school leaving with special attention to students pertaining to minorities and/or vulnerable groups.  

  • Promote social inclusion, diversity, non-discrimination and equal opportunities in school contexts.  

  • Support educators by providing innovative material and trainings to prevent early school leaving and better address the needs of learners, particularly those facing difficulties or fewer opportunities.  

  • Research current practices in Primary to Secondary school transition.  

  • Explore the needs of the students and the school community in relation to transition, with particular emphasis on gender, cultural diversity and minority groups, as well as on discrimination, bullying and any form of violence. 

  • Create and evaluate an innovative methodology to address the identified needs based on Process Work and Theatre of the Oppressed where the transition is understood as an opportunity for skill and leadership building, and where diversity is considered an asset towards this goal.  

  • Implement pilot workshops and activities in schools with different target groups to try-out, evaluate, and disseminate the methodology and resources.  

  • Create a Smooth Transition Tool-kit to assure the dissemination, use and multiplication of results, as well as project impact and sustainability by providing replicable profile-specific easy to use pedagogical material.  



Process Work

Process work is a method which facilitates the transformation and growth of individuals and groups based on a deep understanding of diversity. It is used to redistribute power in groups, address conflict as an opportunity, challenge the hopelessness of achieving change, improve group processes, and transform conflict into spaces for reflection and action. 

Forum Theatre

Forum Theatre is a basic tool within the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology. It seeks the staging of conflicts, so that the audience can propose alternatives and try them out on stage in order to rehearse real life situations. It provides a safe and participatory space for reflection and action with inclusion of all voices where diversity is a basic key for creation and searching for alternatives.     

Main activities

Four transnational partner meetings 


Pilots at each school with last year Primary students to try out our methods for transitioning  


Local Open Orientation Forums to address transition within the schools and present project results 


Staff and teacher trainings to learn the DREAMS methodology  


A final conference to share, discuss and disseminate project results 


Continuous evaluation of project quality and impact to assure innovative and relevant outputs and activities.  

Main outputs

The Transition from Primary to Secondary Education to prevent ESL from a Diversity Perspective. Best Practices Report 


Bridging the Gap: Facilitating Diversity-based Transitions from Primary to Secondary School to prevent ESL. Handbook for Teachers and Counsellors 


Working on transitions from home: Resources for Families to Facilitate Diversity-based Transitions from Primary to Secondary School to prevent ESL. Booklet for families 


The Smooth Transition Toolkit. Easy search web tool with project resources segmented by profile. 


All project outputs will be available online for free download in all partner languages and in English. 

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