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The importance of music education at NACE Schools

Music is a universal language which all human beings possess and understand without needing to study it. We use it to express ourselves and communicate, and it can cause us to feel a range of emotions and feelings. At NACE Schools (Agora International Schools, St George’s and Areteia in Spain, EIB Paris in France, and Stonar in the United Kingdom), we see music education as a fundamental pillar in our pupils’ education, and an integral part of the academic curriculum.

Receiving a music education at school introduces pupils to the world of rhythm, melody, singing, and the use of instruments, which encourages their emotional, social, cognitive, and body equilibrium. Furthermore, the pupils take a more active role in class, develop their spatio-temporal ability, are able to solve complex mathematical operations more easily, and tend to be children who are more civic minded, and maintain a higher average.

Music education also helps them to improve their reading comprehension and verbal skills, particularly in cases which concern bilingual children, like the pupils at NACE Schools. Music alters the organisation of the brain, and prepares it for the development of cognitive skills, a fundamental process for the children to begin to speak and learn words both in their maternal language and in a second one, therefore reinforcing their ability to speak more than one language. Similarly, learning to play an instrument has an impact on other skills such as the understanding of discourse and emotions in the voice, and the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.

In terms of physiological factors, several studies demonstrate that playing an instrument causes an acceleration in the organisation of the cerebral cortex in skills such as attention, managing anxiety and controlling emotions. It has also been shown that it increases the thickness of the parts of the brain responsible for executive function, which controls the cognitive skills which are focused on achieving a goal and oriented to the future. Similarly, the process of rehearsing an instrument, which produces emotional factors of repetition and attention, encourages cerebral plasticity, the change in the structure of the brain from experience.

In the same vein, some researchers maintain that music education and training can work as treatment for cognitive disorders, such as ADHD. In these cases, music reduces levels of anxiety, improves the relationship between the body and the environment, modifies and assimilates behaviour, and activates selective attention.

For all these reasons, music education is a priority at NACE Schools, culminating at the end of each academic year in International Music Week, one of the most important events in which pupils from NACE schools in Spain, France, and the United Kingdom come together to take part in a range of activities, which end with a big concert.

Adaptations for Athletes Programme at Agora Lledó International School

You’re young. You go to school, you study, you do your homework, and you pass your exams. You play extracurricular sport, and show talent. The hours of training start to increase, as does your schoolwork and the demand from both areas. You want to be a good student, but you also want to be an elite athlete, so you’ll have choose one. Or maybe not?

Since it opened more than 15 years ago, Agora Lledó International School has been developing the Adaptations for Athletes programme. The mission of this project is to help pupils to combine their academic studies with their participation in professional sport, so that they can continue with the two areas and achieve high performance in both.

Each case is dealt with individually. Each pupil is assigned a tutor who, along with the family, adapts and co-ordinates the academic assignments, exams, timetables, and holidays to fit in with the demands of each pupil’s sport.

“The validation of certain subjects provides me with valuable time which I dedicate to the studying and homework that I can’t do at home given that in the evenings I train for 3 to 4 hours a day”, highlights Alejandro Rovatti, a pupil at the school and high-level swimmer, who adds that “when a competition coincides with an exam, the teachers are happy to bring forward or postpone the exams so that I can organise my time better and study to achieve good academic results, as well as concentrate on the competition”.

For Pablo Domínguez, who has been in the Adaptations for Athletes programme for eight years as a long-distance runner, the way the programme adapts to suit each academic stage has been vital. In his case, Secondary Education subjects were validated, and in Baccalaureate he was exempt from homework. As a result, he was able to take advantage of his time to study the exam topics.

The great flexibility of the programme and full willingness of the teaching staff to help and evaluate the pupils outside of standard teaching times are the fundamental aspects which guarantee the students’ academic and sporting success. Pupil and golfer Patricia Martín expresses her appreciation for all the help she received over several years from the school and teachers, “postponing exams, explaining to me what they were doing in class while I was at a championship and making sure I was able to take advantage of my free time to get ahead with my schoolwork”, which has enabled her to achieve good grades and continue playing golf.

Gymnast Paula Reyes, Spanish champion, former pupil of Agora Lledó, and current Medicine student at the University of Valencia, expresses similar feelings. For her, being where she is today “wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the school”, given that as well as the help offered to the sportspeople on the Adaptations for Athletes programme, she was also able to use the school’s facilities to train when she had free time.

The Adaptations for Athletes programme has been a priority at Agora Lledó International School since it opened. Among the sportspeople who have been able to benefit from the programme over the years there are first division football players, members of the Spanish squash team, gymnasts who compete in both rhythmic gymnastics Spanish Championships and in the Queen’s Cup, and yachtsmen and women, as well as others. One standout example is golfer Sergio Garcia from Castellón, who is a former pupil of the Cooperativa Rey Don Jaime whose teachers went on to found Agora Lledó International School, and is the recent winner of the Masters of Augusta 2017 and one of the best golfers in the world.

Agora Lledó International School’s desire to help its pupils to combine their studies with other demands is not limited just to the Adaptations for Athletes programme. Given their status as a school which is integrated with the Music Conservatoire, there is also an Adaptations for Musicians programme so that the pupils can find the balance between their academic life and professional music.

Excellent Workshops based on multiple intelligences

Attention to diversity is one of the challenges of the Areteia Educational Project, which aims to create a context of success for each student, accepting and working on weaknesses, but above all, encouraging the strengths and talents of each student.

In this way, in accordance with the fundamental principle of the Educational Project which states that all pupils can learn, though they need not all do it in the same way, Areteia applies Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences with the creation of the Excellent Workshops.

The theory of Multiple Intelligences developed by Gardner states that there is not one intelligence but multiple types, and that we all possess similar abilities, though some of us are more skilled in some things than in others.

Areteia began this initiative in the 2010-2011 academic year, and with time it has become one of the pillars of the school’s educational project. On the one hand, the Excellent Programmes enable the pupils to learn about a subject, and on the other hand, they enable the development of each pupil’s potential to the maximum, so that through their strengths they reach excellence. Each student is assigned to a Workshop related to the type of intelligence in which they stand out.

Luis Garcia, headmaster of Areteia, helps us to better understand this. “For more than 20 years we’ve been holding events and organising one-time activities to motivate the students to show the best of themselves, and after the successes achieved, we believed it necessary to go one step further and organise these activities within the curriculum and the school day, with the objective of going further in this wonderful task of maximising the best in each pupil. For this reason, since 2011 we have incorporated the Excellent Workshops in our Educational Project and begun to work on them”.

Art techniques workshops

“Outside the curriculum, but at the same time perfectly linked with the pedagogical objectives, on Friday afternoons within school hours we break out of the school structure and work on the workshops. We put the Primary pupils together, and the ESO, Baccalaureate, and Vocational Training pupils together, who are then in turn divided up according to the workshop they’ve been assigned”, the headmaster says.

The choice of Excellent Workshop is agreed on between the tutor, the pupil, and the family, and is supervised by the school’s Psychopedagogy Department. This decision is made during the first few weeks of the year, in which the tutor of each group presents Gardner’s 8 Multiple Intelligences. An analysis is then made of each pupil’s potential to agree on their participation in the most suitable workshop for them.

ESO Science Experiments Workshop

Luis Garcia adds that “year after year we survey the pupils to draw valuable conclusions about the satisfaction achieved in each workshop and, based on these conclusions, we redesign the offer for the following academic year”.

It is difficult to highlight certain workshops above others, though we can confirm that “the Sports; Self-defence; Science Experiments; Rock; and Singing programmes etc. are the most popular, while the Video; Photography, and Radio and Readers programmes are chosen by fewer pupils, but with a higher level of motivation and potential to progress.”

The Excellent Workshops, based on Multiple Intelligences, help to promote the objectives of the Areteia Educational Project, and form a real Learning Community. “These workshops create particularly motivational moments for the students, and also for the teachers, given that they can share their hobbies, tastes, and skills, etc. with the pupils. It is, ultimately, about favouring an experience of being able to contribute, to be useful, to be competent, to be good, and to build.

In this way, the school becomes greater because it provides its participants with happiness and learning”, Luis Garcia concludes.

ESO Rock Workshop

What do our pupils and teachers say about the Excellent Workshops?

  • The Comics Workshop is a space in which a group of pupils who like drawing get together to work on this hobby in a fun way. To do this, exercises are recommended in which they can develop a feeling for human anatomy, proportion, movement, and narrative, which help to stimulate and mould their creative dimension. David Segovia, Teacher
  • The Comics Workshop is a calm space with nice people where I learn and improve in something I like. Miguel, 1st Baccalaureate B pupil.
  • I like drawing and learning from my teacher, I want to be an artist and I love my classmates. Fiorela, 2nd ESO A pupil.

ESO Comic Workshop

  • For me, being part of the Sport Workshop has been a very productive experience, because I see pupils of different ages interact in one learning context, respect each other in the face of differences in terms of ability, and resolve conflicts which arise, with the older ones mediating, so that there is a healthy atmosphere of co-operation. Iván Cortijo, Teacher.
  • I chose the Sport Workshop because it was the one which stood out most to me. In this workshop, I can play and enjoy doing what I like: moving around and playing. And if I’m with my friends, even better. I feel that I’m part of a team. Also, thanks to the workshop I play sports which I wasn’t very good at, like basketball, badminton, tennis, etc. Juan, 4th ESO B pupil.
  • Friday afternoons are different and fun. It’s a way of becoming closer to the pupils, thanks to their aptitude for and motivation to take part in the activity. The environment is great, and students from different year groups interact, so it’s really enriching. Beatriz Moreno, Teacher.
  • In the Redecorate your World Workshop you can be creative and no one judges you. Paloma, 3rd ESO C pupil.
  • Friday afternoon is fun and there’s a good atmosphere. I do things which we never do. Adriana, 1st ESO B pupil.

ESO pupils in the Video Editing Workshop

The international event NACEMUN: debates in English and multiculturalism

The international event MUN (Model United Nations) is a simulation in English of the United Nations debates, in which each participant from the different schools takes on the role of delegate of a country. The programme involves drafting resolutions and then debating them, with the objective of reaching a general agreement with the rest of the participants. Agora Sant Cugat International School was the first school in the NACE Schools group to participate in IMUN (Iberian Model United Nations) held in Lisbon in 2010-2011. An internal version, named AMUN (Agora Model United Nations), was then created at the school. The first event was in 2013, the following year Agora International School Barcelona joined the programme, and in 2015 they decided to “take the plunge” by extending the conference to all the schools in the NACE Schools group, under the name of NACEMUN.

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Participants in the 1st NACEMUN after collecting their diploma

We had the opportunity to interview Elena Degollada, teacher at Agora Sant Cugat International School and creator of the successful international event, NACEMUN.


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Elena holds a degree in English-German Philology from the University of Barcelona, though she combined her university studies with short and longer-term stays in the United Kingdom. She has dedicated practically her entire working life to teaching, which is also her passion. For the last few years she has combined the co-ordination of the MUN programme with her role as head of the foreign languages department at Agora Sant Cugat International School.

 


Q: Hello Elena. How did the idea of participating in IMUN on a school level come about? And the idea to develop AMUN?

A: Mr. Gandol, headmaster of Agora Sant Cugat International School, suggested that we attend the international event IMUN. I found it so interesting that I looked for a way that all pupils could participate in some type of United Nations simulation. The dual objective was that they were made aware of how a conference of this type works, and at the same time, it was training for the students who participate in other conferences in Baccalaureate. The experience was so successful that the next step was to take it to the entire international group and create NACEMUN.

 

Q: How many pupils participate from each school, and what preparation should they do in advance?

A: Around 10 4th ESO pupils from each school normally take part, as well as all the pupils from the same level at the host school. Before attending the conference they should undertake a thorough study of the country they are representing, they should prepare to draft resolutions, learn the procedures of Model United Nations sessions, and in addition, before the event they practice formal public speaking in English.

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Pupils working together on drafting resolutions

Q: What benefits are there for pupils who participate in NACEMUN?

A: There are many benefits. It helps them to interact with pupils from schools in the United Kingdom, France, and other parts of Spain; they learn to use very formal English; they improve their public speaking skills and acquire knowledge about today’s world. Furthermore, in having to work on and try to find solutions for real problems, they learn to understand and empathise with issues they probably weren’t previously aware of.

 

Q: And what does it contribute to the NACE Schools educational programme?

A: The project encourages the values as the NACE Schools educational programme. It promotes the values of openness, solidarity, integrity, commitment to the community. Similarly, it teaches more than academic content, and encourages the idea of educational excellence, to the extent that it develops the pupils’ communication abilities and social skills.

 

Q: What do the participants highlight most from this international event?

A: What they highlight most, and at the same time what surprises them most, is what a good time they have, even though at the start it might seem like lots of work and little fun. They also discover that formality is not at odds with entertainment, and that they can have a really good time doing serious work.

 

Q: What has creating the NACEMUN programme provided you with on a professional and personal level?

A: On a personal level I feel that I have learnt a lot, met lots of people, and achieved the satisfaction of seeing how my pupils also come to appreciate this type of events. On a professional level, I have had to balance the day to day of classes with organisation. Though it’s hard work, it’s been worth every minute dedicated to it.

 

Q: What do you think will be the future of NACEMUN?

A: Who knows? I see NACEMUN as something which will grow. Therefore, I suppose that in future editions perhaps we’ll incorporate other bodies such as the Security Council. Being ambitious, we could perhaps invite other schools to participate in our conference, making NACEMUN an international event recognised even outside the NACE group.

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Some of the pupils as chairs and co-chairs in the conference

Quality of education at NACE Schools

At NACE Schools, we meet the needs of 21st-century pupils so that they grow up happy and are prepared to live successfully in a globalised world. The involvement of our entire educational community and the constant improvement made to our procedures and methodologies enables us to achieve the maximum quality of education, which we refer to as Platinum Standard.

Platinum Standard is a tool which evaluates the level and the quality of education of each school in the NACE group, and helps them to improve. Daniel Jones, Chief Education Officer at NACE Schools, created this system with the aim of helping the schools to evaluate the quality of the teaching they offer, and to find the right strategies to improve in all areas of the educational project.


DaDaniel Jonesniel Jones holds a degree in Spanish and French Philology from the University of Nottingham, and a Master’s in Education from Manchester Metropolitan University. He has worked in the world of education since 1992, in a number of different roles: teacher, head of department, and head of studies, among others. From among his roles, his work as headmaster of a British school which in 2014 was named best British international school of the year worldwide, and as chief inspector of British schools in Spain, stand out. He is currently the Chief Education Officer at NACE Schools.


In order to determine this quality of education, the Platinum Standard is based on five key areas: the capacity for leadership and management; the quality of teaching, learning, and evaluation; the progress of pupils; the development of the values, attitudes, and wellbeing of the pupils, which are fundamental at NACE Schools; and the implementation of our value proposition.

According to Daniel Jones, “a key factor in improving teaching quality is the training of teachers to support them in becoming more effective. To achieve this, this year we have focused on the following strategies”:

  1. That every teacher has high expectations of all their pupils, whatever their abilities.
  2. Applying question techniques which encourage reflection and more profound thinking, ensuring the greater involvement and participation of pupils in the classroom, and encouraging debate in pairs and in groups.
  3. Creating motivating classroom projects with ambitious levels of challenge for different pupils, depending on their ability. A good example is the “EcoHomes” project carried out at Agora Portals International School, in which groups of pupils work collaboratively to design and build their own ecological house, and then give a presentation in English about their project. “The objective is to motivate and challenge”, says Daniel.
  4. Carrying out tasks which measure the individual progress of the pupils in every session, to evaluate what they have learnt and see which aspects they should improve each day.
  5. Creating “360 Feedback” methods between pupils and teachers so that communication flows both ways, and also among the pupils.

According to a number of studies, these strategies have a great impact on pupils’ learning in the classroom. That’s why they are being applied to increase and improve the quality of the education of each NACE school. Daniel Jones states that “the quality of the teacher is what has the greatest impact on the children’s learning”.

Similarly, Daniel points out that “every school should know which educational level it is at in order to know how to improve and what to work towards”. He explains that “NACE Schools is distinguished from other schools in its method of evaluation and support, to respond to the needs of both the pupil and the school. Key evidence of the Platinum Standard process is found in listening to the opinions of the pupils, parents, teachers, and management teams through interviews, surveys, and discussions. The aim is to create a 360º opinion system in which the entire school community participates”.

Finally, the four pillars of the NACE Schools value proposition define how we can achieve excellence in our educational project by building on what happens each day in the classroom”, Daniel adds.


  Fig.1: The NACE Schools Educational Project Value Proposition

Agora International Víctor Ullate Roche Madrid Performing Arts School

Just like other schools in the NACE Schools group, Agora International School Madrid offers its pupils an education which goes beyond traditional teaching, with innovative activities and experiences which help them to achieve their dreams. One great example of this is the Agora International Víctor Ullate Roche Villaviciosa de Odón Performing Arts School, a theatre and dance school in Madrid which promotes teaching of the arts, combining this with the pupils’ usual school day. In this way, the students improve and enjoy all the long-term benefits of activities related to art.

The Madrid School enjoys an exclusive link with the Víctor Ullate Roche dance school. The artist Víctor Ullate Roche, headmaster of the only professional, private Conservatoire of Dance and Advanced School of Dramatic Arts, stands out for his broad academic background which includes dance, acting and singing. Ullate Roche trained at great international schools and with great professionals in the world of performing arts. He also plays a leading role in Autour de Faust and Concerto en Re, by Béjart; performed in the Lindsay Kemp Company production of Cinderella and in other musicals such as West Side Story, Grease, Singing in the Rain, Cats and Beauty and the Beast; and took part in the successful programme: Fama ¡A bailar!, among many other high calibre projects.

At the Agora International Víctor Ullate Roche Villaviciosa de Odón Performing Arts School, we ensure that pupils learn while they have fun and develop through activities which are useful in their daily life and which will provide them with many long-term benefits.

At our dance and theatre school, we encourage participation in both theatre groups and in dance, with lessons in Funky, Hip Hop and Ballet as well as acting and singing. These activities have an influence on pupils’ learning in the rest of their subjects and contribute favourably to many personal skills, by, for example:

  • Increasing sensitivity.
  • Improving teamwork skills through performances with classmates.
  • Increasing concentration, which is beneficial for individual study and for improving attention in the classroom.
  • Transmitting and instilling values which make pupils into citizens of the world.
  • Increasing pupils’ self-confidence.
  • Developing and stimulating creativity.
  • Promoting an open mentality.
  • Supporting reading and literature tasks.
  • Keeping the pupils up to date in topics such as art, language and history.

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Therefore, the Agora International Victor Ullate Roche Performing Arts School is a model dance and theatre school in Madrid, where pupils develop their oral and physical expression while acquiring discipline and commitment.

Vocational Training – an excellent qualification

Vocational training qualifications are the perfect route to help young people find their vocation and succeed professionally. However, many people are unaware of the benefits of a vocational education, which is an excellent qualification as an alternative to the Baccalaureate or university studies.

Why choose Vocational Training?

  • Because it’s a more direct route from an academic education to the world of work, always with the option of choosing to attend university.
  • Because it’s an education option which enables personal success: it is based on the pupils’ vocations.
  • Because studies say that school dropout rates decrease as enrolment in Vocational Training increases.
  • Because Vocational Training offers a variety of learning opportunities in all job sectors.

CICLOS DEFORMACIÓN PROFESIONAL

Discover the professional within you at Areteia School
The objective of the educational project of Areteia School, one of the NACE Schools in Madrid, is attention to diversity and personalised education. For this reason, through Intermediate Level Vocational Training Courses Areteia offers pupils an excellent professional qualification to help them enter the world of work or continue with higher level studies. These qualifications provide pupils with personalised attention and teaching which meets the needs of each student. Vocational Training is for pupils who have achieved their School Leaver’s Certificate or the Basic Level Vocational Training Diploma in the corresponding field.

Consistent with its educational project, Areteia School offers every pupil a personal project. Focused on the interests of each student, the school offers smaller class sizes to make the most of every session and follow each pupil’s progress closely. Vocational Training courses facilitate pupils’ later incorporation into the world of work and contribute to their personal growth and development.

Why choose Areteia School?

The Vocational Training courses taught at Areteia School are characterised by the personal attention offered through reduced class sizes and work experience in companies, which brings students closer to the reality of working life. Studying at Areteia School provides pupils with numerous benefits, given that:

  • We offer individualised teaching with particular attention to the needs and characteristics of each pupil. There are a maximum of 18 pupils in each class.
  • We make the maximum effort to ensure that each pupil advances, not only in knowledge and skills but also in their personal development.
  • We promote the practical nature of what pupils learn through tests and exams which are mainly practical.
  • We aim for pupils to be actively involved in their own learning and to be highly motivated, making them aware of the fact that theoretical knowledge is a tool for practical application.

Vocational Training Courses at Areteia School
Areteia School offers a wide variety of Vocational Training Courses to enable pupils to study what most interests them and therefore achieve the best qualification to help them to successfully join the working world.

  • Administration Management:
    Provide administrative support in a work, accounting, commercial, finance and tax environment. Handle customer service of both public and private firms, applying the current regulations and protocols, ensuring client satisfaction and acting according to rules for the prevention of occupational hazards and for environmental protection.
  • Trade:
    Carry out established plans of action for the sale and marketing of products and services, meeting the required conditions of quality, time, place and price. Manage a small business establishment. Manage storage and sales procedures. Drive the point of sale.
  • Micro-computing Systems and Networks:
    Install, configure and maintain isolated or network micro-computing systems, as well as local networks in small environments, ensuring that they function correctly and applying the established quality, security and environmental protocols. Develop projects in small and medium-sized companies with education in technical English.
  • Managing Outdoor Sports and Physical Activities:
    Manage groups on foot, cycling or on horseback, safely, on hikes and routes in low to mid mountain regions (where mountaineering and mountain climbing skills are not required). Carry out the administrative, management and marketing tasks of a small company. Apply the basics of health and first aid. Run physical activities for those with disabilities.

Discover the professional within you thanks to the Vocational Training courses at Areteia School!

The Success of the Educational Innovation Day at Areteia School

Since the first edition, the objective of the Areteia School Educational Innovation Day has been to share experiences and raise awareness about reality for pupils who need special attention – pupils whose needs the traditional school is still yet to understand. Just like in previous years, this year’s event, which was held on the 5th of March, was a complete success.

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In 2012, the first Educational Innovation conference took place, focusing on three of the most common profiles at Areteia School: adoption, dyslexia and ADHD. At the following event, the main topic was the importance of the early detection of ADHD. Last year, the event was dedicated to analysing the reality of failure versus success in schools. And finally, at last month’s conference participants reflected on inclusion in schools, and the value of each and every member of the educational community as active participants in society.

More than 120 professionals attended this Educational Innovation Day, a clear example of the level of interest in both the topic and the event speakers. The event was attended by great industry professionals, and supported by the experience of the Committee for Inclusive Education (UAM_UAH), other schools in which inclusion is also one of the central pillars of their educational project, and the presence of other groups which are most excluded by the current system.

The Educational Innovation Day began after a few words of welcome from D. Luis García Carretero, Headmaster of Areteia School, and D. Sergio González Andión, Managing Director of NACE Schools. The president of the Schools Board for the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Rafael Carbonell Peris, displayed his vocation for teaching in the field of special education, and his commitment to inclusion.

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Following this, D. Gerardo Echeita, from the Autonomous University of Madrid, representing the Committee for Inclusive Education, talked about the ideological and philosophical basis of inclusion in schools as part of the understanding of human beings and their relationship with their surroundings. In addition, before the first break, pupils in the 2nd year of Basic Level Vocational Training at Areteia School, and their tutor Ms. Carmen Valdivieso, presented the charities which the 1st ESO pupils are collaborating with on the EcoSchool Project (UNICEF, Más por Ellos and Fundación Isabel Gemio).

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After the break, D. Luis Carretero continued the Educational Innovation Day by sharing Areteia School’s thirty-six years of experience within the framework of inclusion. Similarly, the World of the Gifted and Talented Foundation and president Ms. Carmen Sanz Chacón, talked to us about the Foundation’s work in the identification and guidance of gifted and talented children in a context of misunderstanding and social and school rejection. Before lunch, Gaudem School explained its model of combined education as a tool for inclusion, and Brot Madrid School described a classroom project about the concept of speed, in which the pupils’ participation and the creation of interesting, motivational and exciting schools have had a decisive impact on success in schools.

In the afternoon, D. Víctor Rodríguez Muñoz, responsible for the Education Area of FUHEM Education, talked to us about the history of FUHEM, his ideas about education, and his experience of inclusion of pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder through the model of integrated special needs education, and the collaboration agreement with Aleph-TEA. To bring this section of presentations to an end, Nuevo Velázquez School talked about the issue of approaching ADHD from a multidisciplinary point of view.

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Following this, Mc. Cecilia de Juana García, teacher, educator and Head of Studies at Areteia School, chaired the round table in which Plena Inclusión Madrid, Madrid con la Dislexia, FEAADAH and la Asociación Asperger de Madrid took part. The Educational Innovation Day came to an emotional end with a song called Un paso más by Asturian singer-songwriter Pipol Prendes, which was performed by Claudia Pérez Arroyo, 2nd Baccalaureate pupil at Areteia School and daughter of the artist, and D. Luis García Carretero, School Headmaster.

The 4th Educational Innovation day was a resounding success in terms of participation, attendance, and the satisfaction of those who experienced it. Making our schools more inclusive is the challenge we share, and one which moves our projects forward day after day.

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Agora Sant Cugat IS, best private school in Barcelona

Once again, Agora Sant Cugat International School stands out in El Mundo’s ranking of the 100 best schools in Spain. In 10th place, the school has moved up one position compared to last year’s result. As well as appearing in the Top 10 best schools in Spain, Agora Sant Cugat, part of the NACE Schools group, has this year been ranked as the best private school in Barcelona.

El Mundo highlights the internationalisation of the school’s educational project as one of its strongest features. Some of the other key aspects which have earned it the position of best school in Barcelona, with a score of 93/100, are: the International Baccalaureate; the language project and the increase in the number of hours and subjects taught in English, as well as the fact that pupils begin to study Chinese in P4, and French and German at the age of 11.

The education pupils receive at Agora Sant Cugat International School is distinguished by educational innovation and high academic and social performance, as well as the emphasis placed on personalised attention for each pupil and for every need. The school offers a personalised education and innovative methodology to take into account different learning styles and help every one of their pupils to achieve personal and academic success. Agora Sant Cugat International School has earned its place as the best school in Barcelona thanks, in part, to the highly qualified teaching staff, who guarantee individual support adapted to the specific needs of students. All the staff work closely with families, helping the pupils to thrive and to reach their maximum potential. Educational excellence, global readiness and co-curricular depth and excellence, the three pillars which characterise all schools in the NACE group, have greatly contributed to the school’s unique teaching, and to its position as the best private school in Barcelona.

Fourth Educational Innovation Day at Areteia School

On the 5th of March, Areteia School, part of the NACE Schools Group, will be celebrating the Fourth Educational Innovation Day: “Innovation in the approach to inclusion in schools”.
Areteia School is dedicating this fourth edition to innovation in the processes of identifying and responding to the different needs of pupils, to increase inclusion at school. Attention to diversity is the objective of the Areteia School Educational Project. For this reason, innovation when it comes to inclusion at school is one of the essential areas required for them to advance in their educational mission. Last year’s Educational Innovation Day was a complete success. With the title “From failure to success at school: maximising the pupils’ potential”, the 3rd Educational Innovation Day explored the issue of a lack of success at school and in particular, new guidance about how each pupil can achieve their own personal progress.

At this year’s event, Areteia School will welcome respected experts who will help us to understand the challenges involved in inclusive education. At the Fourth Educational Innovation Day, we will learn about how schools can ensure full inclusion with the help of researchers and professionals such as: D. Luis García Carretero, Headmaster of Colegio Areteia; D. Sergio González Andión, Managing Director of NACE Schools; D. Rafael Carbonell Peris, President of the Schools Board of the Autonomous Community of Madrid; and D. Gerardo Echeita, Committee for Inclusive Education at the Autonomous University of Madrid. In addition, a round table will be held with representatives from Full Inclusion Madrid, the Madrid Dyslexia Association, the Spanish Federation of ADHD Associations, the Madrid Asperger’s Association, and the Gifted World Foundation.

The pupils at Areteia School will also participate in this event. Over the course of the day they will present different projects about inclusion in schools in which they have collaborated with UNICEF, Más por ellos, the Isabel Gemio Foundation, Rainfer and the Protectora El Bosque.

Entry to the event is free of charge and attendees will also receive a certificate of attendance. However, as places are limited, you must reserve your place by sending an email to rosalia.gomez@areteia.edu.es. For more information, the full programme specifies the different conferences about what schools can do to favour the inclusion of each and every pupil.

The Fourth Educational Innovation Day is an event which defines the most important objective of Areteia School: educational innovation and the training of teachers. This is fundamental both for providing support for pupils with learning difficulties, and in our educational model.
Areteia School learns from and is committed to pupils’ education, accompanying and supporting them on their journey. That’s why there is a dedicated Educational Innovation Department which develops projects to enable the school to meet its objective: to create a context of success for every pupil, working on their weaknesses and encouraging their individual talents.
We hope to see you at the Fourth Educational Innovation Day, an opportunity to share advances in diversity and inclusion in schools which answers Areteia School’s educational objective: for pupils to make progress feeling good about themselves and others.