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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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