THE HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL
In the 19th century, Piraeus is changing and so is the need for new schools. Being unable to afford it, the Municipality turns to wealthy Greeks for financial support. Ionidis and Iakovos Rallis were the first who responded positively. At that time, Rallis’ brother Loukas, the Mayor of Piraeus, emphasized the need for the creation of a school strictly for girls who wished to be further educated. Thus, in 1855, the first girls’ school was established, based on specific terms.
At first, there were two classes; on registrations, students had to pay a symbolic amount of money. The girl-students had to be at least 11 years old and take entry exams. Also, they had to know how to write and read and be 4th grade graduates. The Municipality of Piraeus was responsible for the teachers, their salaries and all school expenses.
Since January 11th, 1888, private girls’ schools were allowed to train future female teachers, who got a degree through special exams in Religious Education, Pedagogy, Teaching methodology/practices, Greek Language, Physics and Maths, History, Geography and Art. To fulfil this purpose, two new Model Primary Schools were established (one Experimental Primary School and one civil). In 1892, the girls’ school was transformed into a three-class and later on a five-class school. Students were taught Religion, Pedagogy, Greek, History, Hygiene, Home Economics, Arithmetic, Geometry, Geography, Natural History, Vocal Cymbals, Painting, Calligraphy, Gymnastics, Crafts and French.
In 1933, all primary schools were transformed into Pedagogical Academies, including the primary school of Piraeus. Finally, according to the 1862 law (1939), the Model Primary Schools, the Secondary School and the Pedagogical Academy were considered as public and were re-named as Ralleio Girls’ Secondary School and Pedagogical Academy accordingly. In 1964, studies at the Academy last for three years. During the dictatorship, studies were reduced to two years; school subjects such as sociology and psychology. In 1971, the pedagogical academies of Maraslio, Ralleio, Thessaloniki and Rhodes were closed down; The reason for the abolition came from the fear of the gathering of many students in urban centers and their influence by various ideological currents. The Pedagogical Academy is relocated from Korai square, as the building was to be used by the Municipality of Piraeus, to its present location, the former Retsina soap, in Alexandrou Street, known as Model Primary Schools.
In 1975, Ralleios Pedagogical Academy is re-established, together with the other three. Next, through the 1268 law, all Pedagogical Academies are abolished and University Pedagogical Departments are established. Finally, in 1991, the last Act of delivery of the school property was signed and transferred to the Organization of School Buildings. The school archive was transferred to the Maraslio School.
The Experimental Schools of the former Pedagogical Academy of Piraeus still operate in the same area, as part of the Pedagogical Department of the University of Athens.
The 3966/2011 law defined the new framework for the operation of the Model Experimental Schools, which have been operating as Ralleia Model Experimental Primary Schools, in three different school types: one twelve-class school, one three-class school and one one-class school.
RALLEIA EXPERIMENTAL PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Ralleia Experimental Primary Schools have always been a point of reference in the field of Primary Education and the social and intellectual life of Piraeus. They attract students from the wider Piraeus area, mostly from the southern suburbs.
Ralleia belong to the Pedagogical Department of Primary Education of the University of Athens and are supervised by the Steering Committee of Model and Experimental Schools of the Ministry of Education (DEPPS) and at the school unit by the Scientific and Supervisory Council (ΕΠ.Ε.Σ.), the structure and operation of which is defined by law (3966/2011).
The school unit includes three types of schools which are scientifically linked to several Departments of the University of Athens, based on Cooperation Protocols and, at the same time, serve the needs of their students’ internships. These Departments include:
1) The Department of Primary Education
2) The Department of English Language and Literature
3) The Department of French Language and Literature
4) The Department of Music Studies
5) The Department of Theatrical Studies
6) Athens School of Fine Arts and
7) The Department of Physical Education
In addition, after the morning compulsory zone of our school and at the same time with the extended afternoon classes (13.15-16.00), there are after-school, creativity Clubs, for students with special talents and abilities: for example, Visual Arts, STEAM-Robotics, Mathematical Thinking, Literature, Music and Choral Singing, Ancient Drama, Foreign Languages, Athletics, Table tennis etc.
In our school, Pilot Teaching Programs are organised and implemented, new teaching tools are used, cognitive subjects and innovative programmes are included, while teachers and students participate in national and European programs. Ralleia also organize conferences, workshops, symposia and training seminars addressed to the teachers of Primary and Secondary. Education of Piraeus and, in general, the whole of Attica.
The main goal of Ralleia, as a school unit, is to become a scientific and pedagogical reference centre that will disseminate new knowledge and information for the benefit of all teachers and students of Primary Education and will serve the purpose of Experimental Schools.
Students’ admission to Ralleia is done exclusively by an open, public draw, the procedure implementation being undertaken by the Scientific Supervisory Board of the School and the Teachers’ Association.
For a smooth school operation, a harmonious relationship among the school, the parents and the students is highly important. Our aim is students’ awareness and development regarding every aspect of their potential (psychological, physical, mental and social) so that they become responsible citizens of the 21st century.
The development of each student’s uniqueness is achieved through the cultivation of a sense of “belonging”, participation and trust in a common value system. Thus, any student differences related to social, economic and/or natural origin, as well as racial, religious, linguistic or similar discrimination within the school and its members’ relationships are not taken into consideration.
The democratic dialogue and its rules are of great importance in the school life of the students. Recognition and the ability to alternate roles with respect and without tension is a key goal of school education. Democracy and democratic behavior are virtues that are embedded as elements in the school mission. The students of Ralleia attend a school of their choice and, therefore, they must preserve its prestige and history, respecting the principles and philosophy that govern its operation.