The 9th Primary School of Rethimno is located at the Northern coast of the island of Crete, in a city suburb called Missiria. It is a developing area with a mixed population of civil servants, workers and a growing population of migrant workers settling down in the region, in search of better jobs in tourism and construction business. The population of pupils in the school is growing steadily in the past decade rising from 140 in 1985 to 260 this year. Respectively, the members of the teaching staff have increased from 6 in 1985 to 20 this year.

In the last five years or so, there has been a tremendous effort to increase the school standards and school infrastructure. A Science Laboratory has been established in order to provide support to science subjects and organise the media library of the school (e.g. CD-Roms, DVDs, Video tapes, slides, maps etc.). Three science fairs have been organised by the Science Laboratory, which had a successful impact to the educational and local community, within a framework of an open school to society, raising public awareness on scientific, environmental and ecological issues. An ICT Laboratory has also been established with 15 computers and an ADSL line for internet access provided by the National School Network, under the Ministry of Education. A special cross curriculum programme was organised by the school in order to introduce the pupils in New Technologies by using them in practice and for particular educational purposes, integrated in school subjects and projects. The programme has been more than welcomed by pupils and parents and is still developing with success. Moreover, we put great emphasis and effort in social and cultural activities in order to achieve coherence in the relationships of pupils and staff, cultivating a fruitful environment for collaboration and sharing of ideas and opinions with respect to each other. Theatrical plays, musical activities and festivals are integrated as a significant component of school life, with equal access to all members of the school and the local community. The inclusion of the growing number of migrant workers’ children in school life and activities is treated with special care and concern by the administration, all members of staff and the local community.

So far, the school has not been involved in international cooperation programmes per se, but it is an associated member in the Comenius 3 Network “Hands-on Science” (Project Nº: 110157-CP-1-2003-1-PT-COMENIUS-C3) and has also completed 3 consecutive School Environmental Education Projects, which were co-financed by the E.U. Nevertheless, the School has participated in a number of National cooperation activities in the framework of Olympic education (3 successful completed projects), environmental education, science education, theatre and social studies. Several members of the teaching staff have been involved in these projects and have gained in experience and professional development. The pupils, who participated in such projects, have increased their interest and awareness in several issues and developed investigative and social skills.