8th Grade students from class E work on body self-confidence to enhance self-esteem

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In an endeavour to fight the challenges faced by teenagers regarding body self-esteem and self-confidence, 8thE students took an active role by becoming promoters of body enhancement and self-acceptance. Thus, on May 25th, in the school canteen, the 8thE handed out, in the shape of paper rolls, an essential nourishing nutrient, self-esteem. The dessert of that day consisted of the reading of a motivational phrase and self-worth. The reaction of some students was rewarding. Some exclaimed “I really needed this!” and many cheered the idea.

This initiative came from the work developed in the Personal Development Workshop. For weeks, students participated in practical workshops where they had the opportunity to explore beauty standards, the pressure society places on appearance, the importance of self-love and ways of promoting self-confidence regarding physical appearance. There was space to share inspiring stories of self acceptance and overcoming. Students were encouraged to express their thoughts, concerns and opinions on the topic. This exchange of ideas allowed young people to feel heard and understood, while also learning to value the diversity of bodies and the importance of not comparing themselves to the unrealistic standards advertised by the media.

The class felt it was important for this theme to go beyond the walls of the ODP room.

This initiative aims to help teenagers develop a positive body image, fighting the stigmas and unrealistic standards often imposed by society. No one said growing up is easy, but school can help!

ENERGY UP First Prize

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The Aver-o-Mar School, the Main School of the Aver-o-Mar Grouping, was distinguished today, in Lisbon, at the Knowledge Pavilion, and among 65 candidates, with the 1st Prize of the Galp Energy Up Competition.

Taking part for the second time in this competition, and after having also been awarded the 1st place in last year’s edition, the School Grouping applied, in this third edition of this initiative, with the work developed mainly by the students of the Robotics Club, whose equipment was bought with last year’s prize (1000€), as well as with materials acquired in the scope of the Science Clubs functioning in the School Grouping, resulting from two projects of Ciência Viva.

The Apollo project, which owes its name to the god of light, is based on the construction, from scratch, of a weather station, completely built, programmed and assembled internally, with data available on the website and most of the components produced at school, on the placement of light sensors (in the future also noise sensors) in the classrooms, of various sensors in the greenhouse for process automation and to reduce watering costs (IoT) and on the adjustment of stand-alone kits to convert traditional bicycles into electric bicycles (under construction), as can be seen in the video we present at the end of this publication.

Congratulations to all involved, the students of the Robotics Club, the technician António Cunha, the Social Assistant Andreia Teixeira and the Municipality of Póvoa de Varzim for the support and transport (CKA)!

CRME school trip to the Gaia Biological Park  

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On the 24th of May, 70 5th and 6th grade students attending CRME, together with 8 teachers, went to the Biological Park of Gaia, in Avintes. This park is is a small yet surprising natural reserve focused on environmental education, so the students were able to visit a small natural reserve where more than 40 species of wild birds nest.

In this park, the students were able to visit the centre for rescuing wild animals, found injured by shooting, crashing, falling, poisoning, or held illegally in captivity. This centre treats and returns these wild animals to nature.

The students were able to see the agricultural landscape in the S. Tusso farm, with its cultivated land, rural houses, windmills, such as Belmiro’s windmill by the Febros river, traditional water pumps, noras and dams. There are also granaries and threshing-floors to be seen

Along the way, they learned the names of plants and animals, visited the Biorama Pavilion, listened to birds singing and some of the more fortunate students even saw squirrels, in their happy games, that even looked like Disney characters.

All the partakers were made aware of the problems of the environment and of the need to protect rivers, plants and animals.

At the end, visibly tired because they had already walked 2,800 metres, everyone had a snack in the picnic area, took some photos and still had time for some happy games in the playground.


The CRME teacher,


Margarida Salazar

SpringFest 23

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On May 19th, 129 students and 10 teachers from the Aver-o-Mar School Grouping went on walking tour, with Safe School agents, to Póvoa de Varzim City Park, to take part in an event organised by the Archdiocese of Braga, with the support of Póvoa de Varzim Town Hall: SpringFest’23. A great CRME festival awaited them, with about 8000 participants, students enrolled and attending CRME, from the 3rd cycle.


The leitmotif this year was “Come closer!” and the central theme was “Common Good and caring for the other – caring for our Common Home”. The ideals and values that underpin this event are based on the Encyclicals Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti. According to the event organisers, the meeting aimed to strengthen the spirit of togetherness and social accountability towards human beings and nature. The purpose was to involve students in the practice of Integral Ecology, through a series of workshops on water, recycling, the importance of reducing consumption, caring for the Planet and for Others.


The students were able to participate in various activities and workshops, namely: sailing, paddle tennis, canoeing, yoga, boxing, kempo, brazilian capoeira, and much more.


The large picnic was a moment that enabled everyone to socialise and rest in the shade. And what a good feeling it was!


In the afternoon, the great sensation and what most pleased the students was the concert with Father Guilherme and Kassama, who spread joy and enthusiasm, in a very catching way.


The 8th C developed an activity throughout the morning, called Hug day at SpringFest, inviting colleagues from other schools to give a hug.


The 7th C, under the DAC “Not everything that comes to the net is cool” and because May 19th is the Blue School Day, they took responsibility for the rubbish collection.


Margarida Rodrigues, from 9th A made a video, telling how this event went throughout the day.


The students participated with enthusiasm and joy, and SpringFest’23 was a space of encounter, experience and strong human relationship. The day was one of celebration and healthy interaction.


The School Principal was also present at the meeting, as a guest of honour. This made the students of the School Grouping feel cheerful.


Next year there will be more!





Water… the one and only!

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On the 9th of May, Sofia Domingues, a science researcher in the field of Biomedicine and Marketing Director of HIDROVAL, visited the Aver-o-Mar School and the Aldeia Kindergarten to know and talk with the students who participated in the contest promoted by this company.

The teachers Graça Pinheiro and Manuela Albuquerque received Dr. Sofia in the classroom who, in an informal conversation, discussed with the students the importance of water preservation.

The 7th grade students learned that we also consume water indirectly. This water, despite not being seen or felt, is responsible for most of our consumption. It is water that is used to produce crops, but also to produce the clothes and electronic gear we love so much. In a brief game, the students had to try to guess the water consumption: “How many litres of water do you need to produce one single T-shirt? Well, you wouldn’t believe it, it’s about 2,700 litres”. Dr Sofia asked the students to count the T-shirts they had at home, and multiply that by 2,700 litres. Well, it was a bit scary. In the production of a single computer, 8,000 litres of water are used, 12,760 litres for the production of a smartphone and about 134 litres per kg of tomatoes. The students realised that it is urgent to reduce our Water Footprint and were thinking about how they could do it.

In the pre-school class, Dr Sofia showed a large book entitled “Animals of the Earth and the Sea” and the children read pictures. Addressing the issue of plastic rubbish in the sea she read a story entitled “The Whale with the Plastic Tail”. There was time for the children to sing a song that asks the question: where does water come from?

It was a very rewarding visit. The students were very involved and, in these playful activities, they understood the world around them, enabling the development of actions that promote shared accountability, environmental awareness and sustainability.

At the end, all the students were given a small souvenir from HIDROVAL.


Teachers Graça Pinheiro and Manuela Albuquerque

We are at the final of the Energy Up 2023 Award

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It is with great joy that we inform you that we have received an email from the organization of this national competition, which places us in the final of the Energy Up 2023 Award, the award ceremony of which will take place in Lisbon on 30th May.

This year’s application is based on the 1st prize already obtained last year, since the 1000€ won (education vouchers) were invested in the purchase of equipment for the Robotics Club and school materials. The project, which has the name Apollo, as god of light, was based on the creation of a weather forecast station, already operating in the Clubs’ space and with data to be worked on internally, as well as the creation and adaptation of a kit to make bicycles electric, as shown in the excerpt highlighted below.

Excerpt from the application:

The Aver-o-Mar School has always developed projects to raise the awareness of the school community to behaviour changes in the use of energy resources, in order to value sustainable mobility and sustainability, also associating itself to environmental preservation practices of various kinds.

In 2021/22, we register the Energy-Up Prize, the amount invested in equipment, in order to improve the resources available for these areas, having advanced towards the creation of a weather forecast station, initially focused on supporting the existing greenhouse at the school, but also designed to inform the local community.

(…) we are moving towards making real data on temperature, humidity, luminosity and wind available to the community, especially to local farmers. This information, made available on the School’s website, will also allow the use of these data by students of the 2nd and 3rd cycles, and even the 1st cycle, in different subjects.

The project, with a potential for further growth and the connection of new sensors, responding to challenges and the growing involvement of students, includes the installing of temperature and light quality monitoring sensors in classrooms to reduce energy consumption, always taking into account the use of sunlight and turning the heating on/off.

The measure started with a test room, in block B, measuring usage indicators: as an example, if the room is well lit, the sensor suggests turning off the artificial light and if it is within the thermal comfort range for humans, it suggests lowering the intensity or turning off the heating; if it is outside, it will turn on, only for the time needed to return to the thermal comfort range.

This procedure, it is intended, will be extended to all the blocks (phase II) and, at a later stage, to all the classrooms (phase III), the aim being, within three years, to have sensors installed in all the school spaces.

As a large number of our students commute to school by bicycle, taking advantage of the surrounding terrain, the Robotics Club is developing “electric bicycle kits” to help students with longer journeys (many students live more than 3 km from school).

The project, after its application in bicycles (this school year), intends, next year, to extend to a go-kart with pedals, which is part of the project “Reference School for Road Education”, in application in the School Grouping.

Data from the GALP website:

The Energy Up Award is a competition promoted by the Galp Foundation and Galp Solar, with the support of its institutional partners APA, ADENE, DGEGeDGE and aims to reward school projects in the areas of more efficient energy consumption or sustainable mobility.

This school year, we are once again inviting schools to address the topic of energy transition, implementing projects with an impact on society, within the scope of efficient energy consumption, and challenging their students to be an active part of this mission, so we will distinguish schools in Portugal (Mainland and Islands) that have invested in energy sustainability in the school community.

The Grand Prize will be the installation of solar panels up to 20.000€ in the winning school. A prize of €1,000 will also be awarded for the best project at each school level (1st CEB; 2nd/3rd CEB; Secondary/Professional Education).

Energy Up Prize (

2022 Award (GALP website and presentation video):

Energy Up Prize Winners (

18th Forum: Training and career options for a conscious decision making…

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Providing career guidance involves several activities and specific assessment tools in order to understand the interests, motivation, skills, values and personality framework of each young person, thereby providing a basis in psychology for future career decision making. Making the choice of the area of studies at the end of the 9th grade or choosing the higher education course that best fits the interests and motivation are essential but difficult decisions in the lives of young students and their parents.

The Psychology and Guidance Service of the Aver-o-Mar Schools’ Grouping, in collaboration with the Town Hall of Póvoa de Varzim, organised several activities in the scope of the 18th Forum of Educational and Professional Options.

The School Grouping hosted, several activities, including the Army, Navy and Police Force demonstrations, which were experienced with great enthusiasm by the school community.

On 11th May, the students had the opportunity to collect information and clarify doubts with the various entities involved and, in the evening, the parents also had the same opportunity to attend and to clarify doubts with the Póvoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde schools. Here, doubts and questions were discussed and a variety of issues related to the proceeding of studies to the 10th grade were addressed. It was therefore an important activity to promote the involvement of parents and guardians in the school reality of their children, encouraging the fostering of an active role in this crucial moment of the students’ academic journey.

The POS is grateful for the contribution of all those who collaborated and actively engaged in these activities.

By Susete Araújo

Learning with…  João Sá Micro:bit Experience

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On the 10th May, we welcomed João Sá, who is currently a teacher at Avelar Brotero Secondary School, in Coimbra. There, he leads the Programming, Robotics and Design Club, stimulating and supporting students to develop STEAM projects. João is also a teacher trainer in the field of educational technologies and digital empowerment of schools, seeking to inspire and help others to provide teaching and learning experiences updated and adjusted to the time we share. Restless and irreverent, in an endless search for balance and encouraged by social, scientific and technological changes, he keeps on learning and teaching.

It was in one of the workshops he held in the First Edition of the EdTech Summit in Portugal that teachers Fátima Cunha and Filipa Pereira got to know his work and challenged him to do an activity with the Micro:bit existing boards in our school, previously acquired within the project Ciência Viva.


English Code: Programming activities with Micro:Bit


Students carried out a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) project using the Micro:Bit to do programming on an activity focused on Digital Flashcards.


João started with an introduction to the use of the board and the programming associated with it. Afterwards he challenged the students with various tasks that were carried out very well and with a lot of enthusiasm.


Among the challenges were:

  • Challenge #1 Animated Animals;
  • Challenge #2 Dice;
  • Challenge #3 Digital Flashcards (focused on the content of the “prepositions of movement”);
  • Last but not the least the already known game: Rock, Paper Scissors.


At the end the students were ready for new challenges and João was keen to remind them that this was just the beginning and that from now on they could get creative with the very versatile Micro:bit.


We would also like to thank the Robotics Club and  teacher Augusto Mesquita for their collaboration.


By Teachers Fátima Cunha and Filipa Pereira

VII Social Days highlight the significance of caring

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The VII Social Days took place today in the Aver-o-Mar School Auditorium, this year with the theme “Caring who cares”.

The session was opened by the Grouping’s Director, Carlos Gomes de Sá, who highlighted the relevance of people and the relationships they establish among themselves, to introduce the concept of the Ubuntu philosophy, “I am because you are”. Luís Fernandes, Director of the Teacher Training Centre for Póvoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde Schools, spoke about the role of training in the enhancement of teachers, technicians and employees, praising, in this context, the volume of training that has been promoted in the Grouping.

The first panel on the agenda was in charge of Miguel Rodrigues, who presented data from a relevant national study, reflecting on the impact of children of family violence, with a strong impact on the school context. After a general overview, Maria João Ferreira, the Povoa de Varzim President of Children and Youth Protection Committee presented the local numbers and some of the communication and monitoring procedures.

After a coffee break prepared by the Health Club, Rui Marques, the Director of the Ubuntu Leaders Academy, addressed the audience, captivating everyone with his speech and communication skills, followed by a debate, moderated by the Grouping’s social worker, Andreia Teixeira, about the importance of caring: for oneself, for others and for the planet. These keystones of the Ubuntu philosophy, highlighted by Rui Marques, were also valued by Luís Diamantino, the Vice President of Póvoa de Varzim Town Hall. This was a memorable day of sharing and thought that was much appreciated by the six dozen attendees.

The session, recognised as a SCA for teachers, was also certified by GEAD for technicians. We would like to see it repeated, given the relevance of the issues addressed and the considerable work that needs to be done in terms of the ethics of caring. But, as mentioned, everything depends on the will of each one, because no one wants to be an invisible person (everyone wants to be seen), we all seek acknowledgement and we all want to be love. These assumptions can only be achieved through an effective life in society.

Also collaborating in this session were students from the Ubuntu Club, which is currently functioning in the Aver-o-Mar School, and students from the Communication Club, who recorded this meeting, for later transmission on the information panels inside the school.

Pirilampo Mágico 2023

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The Pirilampo Magico campaign has this year a new slogan, “The energy that lights up the dream”, brings together 85 organizations and runs from 13 May until 4 June.

This campaign is an initiative that aims to give young people with intellectual disabilities and multi-disabilities a voice in society, in addition to collecting funds to support their employability.

The Pirilampo is available, for 2 €, in the stationery shop of Aver-o-Mar School and in the 1st cycle schools that joined the campaign and will help the employability of people with disabilities.

The initiative, which already has 36 years of history, aims to inform, raise awareness and promote the integration of people with intellectual disabilities and multi-disabilities, taking into account the exploitation of their potential.