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Agora International School Barcelona begins the academic year with a powerful, established educational project

Agora International School Barcelona is beginning the new academic year by putting two great educational projects into motion: the International Baccalaureate and Vocational Training in Sports. These are two ambitious projects which will reinforce the educational programme which defines AIS Barcelona, and lay the foundations for consolidating the school’s position.

Both projects have been well received, both by families and by the external pupils who are enrolled in them. They have become one of the main objectives for this school year, along with improving and perfecting the other excellence and academic programmes which began last year, such as the international programme, the increase in the range of extracurricular activities available, and the pupils’ participation in external competitions.

For school headmaster Andrés Rosás, another of the great challenges for this year is to “increase language immersion for our Secondary Education pupils”. As we are a relatively young school, “past generations have not benefited as much as the youngest pupils from the progressive increases made to the level of language immersion”, though the school is taking steps to counter this through increasing the number of subjects taught in English, as well the number of hours with conversation assistants.

Throughout the last few academic years, the school has worked tirelessly to achieve a solid and durable NACE educational project, which has been planned and reinforced, and “has enabled us to grow both in new excellence programmes, and in pupil numbers”. We also have an established teaching team, with minimal staff turnover, to guarantee stability, which is essential in any project.

From among the successes of last year, the headmaster highlights the start of the Parents’ School, an initiative which has “been welcomed by families, and has enabled us to talk about the very latest topics in the world of education, such as the use of new technologies, as well as more traditional topics such as discipline for teenagers”. He also highlights the successful introduction of the GAVEA project, the use of tablets in the classroom, as an educational tool in Primary Education, which will also be implemented in Secondary Education.

Similarly, the school achieved very good results through an academic improvement programme based on study techniques and reading comprehension, as well as through the multiple intelligences programme, which identifies the individual potential and needs of each pupil so that we can further personalise our work. We also continued to advance in terms of the internationality of the school, with exchanges with Stonar School, end-of-year trips abroad, and the “Connecting Cultures” project, which received an award in the NACE Awards. Finally, we boosted social participation, to encourage social awareness in pupils.

Without doubt, the most noteworthy event at school last year was the NACE Olympic Games. These games paid tribute to Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic Games, which were 25 years ago this summer, and were a huge success. Andrés Rosás was happy with the commitment and team work shown by all the members of AIS Barcelona, as well as the vital collaboration of our families, which created a link between us all. All the children had “an unforgettable experience and met pupils from the other schools, and we encouraged a sense of pride to belong to a group like NACE Schools”.

Areteia welcomes the new academic year

We’d like to welcome the 2016/2017 school year! Another year on and Areteia opens its doors again, filling the school with life with the arrival of the new academic year. The headmaster of the school, Luis García Carretero, talks to us about what’s new for this new phase, the objective being to continue to grow and advance.

First of all, the headmaster assesses the 2015/2016 academic year, and defines it as a period full of successes:

“This year saw the consolidation of the educational modality Basic Vocational Training, something fundamental in order to attend to the diversity of our pupils. The first year of pupils graduated in Managing Outdoor Sports and Physical Activities, and the school began with the Sciences Baccalaureate, both of which were experiences met with great approval.”

“Many important moments stand out from the last academic year, such as the celebration of Children’s Day, the Christmas festival with the awarding of prizes and diplomas, Peace Day, Arts and Science Week, the end-of-year festival, the graduations, etc. Also worth mentioning is the school’s participation in the NACE events: International Music Week in Barcelona, NACEMUN in Castellón, the Academic Games in Villaviciosa and the Olympic Games in England.”

“Events such as the 1st Former Pupils Meetup, which brought together more than 100 pupils who have left Areteia during the 25 years that we have been in La Moraleja, together with the 4th Educational Innovation Day and the 1st Parents Meeting, were three moments of great open mindedness of the school, of connecting with new realities and accepting new challenges, like the “Areteia Emprende” conference programme, which included some outstanding speakers who showed their reflection and commitment to the pupils in ESO, Baccalaureate and Vocational Training. Lastly, we highlight the award given by NACE Schools in July to our colleague Rosalía Gómez Manzano, from Administration, in the category of “our values”, for being an example of commitment, efficiency and self-improvement for all the members of the educational community.”

After such a positive year, we expect no less from this new academic year we are welcoming. The fundamental objective is to better attend to and understand each pupil to help them grow.

For many it is a utopia, but we learnt a long time ago that utopia is good for moving forwards”, the headmaster assures us. In this sense, classes are divided into smaller groups in 3rd and 6th Primary to work in a more personalised way at both the midway point and end of this important stage.

In order to make the pupils the protagonists in the classroom, the school is developing the School Project, which will was presented in the Arts and Science Week in April: Mission GAIA, save the earth. This is a project which hopes to make Areteia an Eco school which is committed to protecting nature, our planet, and all the values this includes.

From among the most important new features for the 2016/2017 academic year, we emphasise the gradual introduction of new technologies as a way to improve learning. For example, through the platform Infantium via tablets which will be used in the classroom during the school day, as well as the new tablets model for 1st ESO.

Other new features this year come from the introduction of the LOMCE, enabling us to make the last few school years into phases focused on decisions about the future. The presence of a native teacher, to support the work of the teachers in the English Department and continue with the theme of a 100% pass rate in the Trinity exams last year, stands out.

There have also been some changes to our facilities. We believe that a school which is attractive and looked after is the first step in educating pupils to respect the environment and others. The Infant Zone has been refurbished with two grass areas, the pupils’ bathrooms have been improved, and we have planned the improvement of the pupils’ sports and leisure areas.

The new offer of the Excellent Workshops has been well thought out and planned based on the suggestions from families and pupils, and we have opted to expand our services in extracurricular activities, particularly in the field of psychopedagogy. In the second and third terms we will also offer certified training in the field of leisure and free time, which we will open up to schools in the area.

In short, the message is clear. Just as Luis García tells us: “Areteia is an opportunity for improvement, for growth, for evolution, for opportunities. Count on us: teachers, non-teaching staff, co-ordinators, heads of studies, management. We are at your disposal, we’re here for you, to make you better, freer, more responsible, fairer, more supportive, more competent. We are so glad that you’ll be forming part of the Areteia family. A new school year is a challenge, an occasion we cannot let escape, to be happier and to make others happier.”

Luis García Carretero

Headmaster of Areteia School

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Agora Sant Cugat International School welcomes the new school year

We want to welcome the 2016/2017 academic year! Agora Sant International School opens this school year with lots of energy and our batteries fully charged. The headmaster of the school, Vicenç Gandol, tells us about what’s new for this new phase which will enable both the school and all of you to achieve objectives while we grow and advance together.

The headmaster offers a very positive assessment of the 2015/2016 school year. During the last school year all targets were met, providing value to the pupils and to the school community:

“In the last school year our 71 Baccalaureate pupils obtained excellent results in the Selectividad university entrance exams and in the International Baccalaureate, with a 100% pass rate. In addition, it was the first year in which the 4th ESO pupils sat the PISA tests in the areas of Spanish Language, Maths, and Science. The results were brilliant, with average scores in all areas which were higher than those of countries such as Finland, Japan, England or the United States.”

The headmaster also speaks of the pupils being students who are linguistically skilled, and great people: “On a linguistic level, over 405 pupils satisfactorily overcame the external tests in the different languages taught at the school: English (TRINITY and CAMBRIDGE), French (DELF), German (GOETHE INST.), and Chinese (CONFUCIO). But as well as the good academic results achieved by our pupils, the students participated in different local, national and international charity events which strengthen our spirit of charity, empathy and collaboration, values which are undoubtedly part of the human training which the teaching and non-teaching staff at the school work on every day.”

It is also interesting to summarise some of the most important moments from the last school year:

“Though we take part in many events, if I had to highlight one it would be the organisation of the 4th edition of International Music Festival, in which more than 150 pupils and teachers from the different NACE Schools in Spain, France and England participated. These were enriching days of co-existence for all our students, when music joined everyone together. The collaboration of our host families ensured that the experience was a complete success.”

“What’s certain is that all the NACE events which are held each year in each of the schools (Visual Arts Competition, NACEMUN, Academic Olympics, Sports Olympics and the International Music Festival) offer our pupils a unique opportunity to build relationships and work co-operatively with students of their age from other places. During the 2016/2017 academic year we face the challenge of organising the II Academic Olympics in February.”

The objective of the 2016/2017 school year which we are just beginning is to offer all our pupils all the tools and resources necessary to guarantee their progression in their education as people and as students. That’s why the school invests each year in improving not only the facilities, but above all, those resources which can guarantee excellent pedagogical innovation which offers effective methodologies adapted to the pupils of today.

Of all the most interesting new features for this school year, we highlight the extension of the educational stages, starting with VOCATIONAL TRAINING in the fields of Image and Sound. The school has now finished the work in adapting the necessary spaces, and has the official authorisation needed to teach the qualifications, both at middle and higher level, for Sound Technician, Director, Producer and 3D Animator.

“We begin this new journey with great enthusiasm, aware of the responsibility in higher level studies and the connection with the working world.”

In addition, the school has worked intensively in preparing teachers to provide them with the training necessary for the inclusion of new technologies as a fundamental resource in the new educational methodologies, encouraging greater participation from pupils, co-operative work, and personalisation of learning.

Vicenç Gandol addresses the pupils of Agora Sant Cugat International School with a final message: “To the pupils I just want to say on behalf of all the teaching and non-teaching staff at the school that we await them with enthusiasm to begin a new school year after a long break, and that they should fill up their rucksacks with enthusiasm, effort, perseverance and curiosity for learning, because with all this they will surely achieve great results at the end of the school year. WELCOME BACK TO YOUR SCHOOL!

Vicenç Gandol

Director de Agora Sant Cugat International School

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