On Thursday, January 28, 2021, Elementary School Milke Šobar Nataše Črnomelj organized an introductory consultation for school mentors that will participate in the S-Factor 2021 International Video Festival. 30 mentors from five countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Austria and Great Britain) were briefed with the project in which schools produce short music videos. In the videos, students with special needs, with the cooperation of regular schools and kindergartens, perform and co-create them. A special guest, Paul Oxborough, a longtime collaborator an organizer of the S-Factor event in England, introduced us to the positive impact of the festival on participating students, teachers, volunteers, their personal growth and even their professional decisions. Lecture by Vojko Veršnik, music teacher at III. Slovenj Gradec Primary School and mentor of all previous winning videos educated us about simple and practical approaches to making videos and musical background as well as ways of including all students, regardless of their ability and disability, in the video. During the exchange of opinions and experiences of participating mentors if was confirmed that participation in such a project has an extremely positive impact on students and on life and work of schools. As all students, both those with special needs and regular primary school students can hardly wait every year to be involved in the making of the video. They also love to watch all the videos several time and time again- this was especially true during online schooling. Through many years of cooperation in S-Factor, the mentors gained new knowledge and experience in terms of students’ participation in various stages of the video production. This knowledge has proven to be valuable during the pandemic and online schooling. Through cooperation with other institutions, schools have also become more recognizable in their environment and have been presented on local and national TV programs. Among other things, some videos were shown at the annual charity Miklavž concert on Slovene national television RTV SLO. One of the main goals of S-Factor, to spread the inclusion of people with disabilities through the production and display of videos, is thus achieved.

We concluded the consultation full of inspiration and examples of good practices, which we will certainly use in our further work. We are thankful for the praise of the mentors for the excellent organization of all previous S-Factors that took place.

You can watch videos of the previous S-Factor on the website of the Milke Šobar – Nataše Elementary School and you too will become an ambassador for inclusion of people with special needs.