Agora International School starts the 2017/2018 academic year with a new headteacher and a very motivated team

This is going to be a very special year at Agora International School Madrid. Eva Ponte takes charge of the school, after having held various leadership roles here. She leads a fantastic and very motivated teaching and staff team.

The new headteacher is very excited about this challenge and notes, “My experience in educational change, working closely with teachers in terms of professional development and school improvement, as well as the unconditional support I have received from the staff at the school, give me complete confidence in launching this project. We’ve been working for weeks on this academic year which is about to begin, consolidating the proposals which work well, and defining areas to improve and strengthen.”

This academic year, the school will put in place new family-school partnership projects, such as the creation of the Family & Friends of AIS Madrid Association which aims to enhance the existing collaboration between school, family, and community. Our first meeting will be in October, to gather families’ input, analyse and prioritise the proposals presented to us, and define an implementation plan for the chosen proposals.

We also continue strengthening our bilingual programme with several new faculty members this year, all of whom have international experience and very strong professional backgrounds in Infant, Primary, and Secondary Education. This academic year, we will continue to expand the use of English in all school areas to create an even stronger sense of language immersion.

We will also work on an enhanced literacy program that will make further use of learning centres in both Pre-K and Primary Education; this is an innovative methodology in which pupils work independently to reach pre-defined learning objectives, which allows for a differentiated and focused instructional approach.

We will continue to expand two of the initiatives launched in previous years which have provided us with positive results: project-based education and the use of new technologies in the classroom. We have also changed the curricular framework, textbooks, and materials for “Technology and Robotics”, making use of a recognised and consolidated program which motivates students and has been found to lead them to a deep and long-lasting learning.

The new headteacher says that it is very important to “continue to work using the school’s same pedagogical trajectory in order to maintain and improve the outstanding academic results obtained by our students last year”, with a special mention made of the results in the University Entrance  Examination, the PISA test, and the Cambridge and Trinity Exams. The school will also continue with improvements introduced last year, such as the incorporation of swimming into the pre-K curriculum and having a play & engagement playground monitor. The school has also introduced academic support for all Primary year groups and for several of the subjects for the upper year groups.

This year the school has a new hire in charge of the school infirmary: Nieves Muñoz. She is highly qualified and has a wonderful ability to communicate with and relate to both children and adults. She is in charge of revamping this area of school life, to make sure our information is current, closely monitor students who need it, and help the entire student body as needs arise.

The school has also hired Virginia Danahe Sánchez Reza, a true professional with a very strong educational background and extensive experience in the field who, together with Sandra Millán, who started at the school last year, is reorganising our school counselling department. This will include introducing better strategies to document pupils’ needs and progress, monitor procedures, and better communicate with families.

With the recent debut of this academic year, the headteacher, the leadership team, and the staff are optimistic and eager to launch the new initiatives, continue to work on those which were started last year, and strengthen the family-school relationship, so that we can continue to improve educational opportunities for our students, and the well-being of the school community as a whole.