The school was inaugurated in 1962. Currently, there are approximately 1060 pupils and more than 70 teachers; 4 English Language Assistants, 3 School Counsellors and 1 nurse. The School belongs to the Sisters of the Sagrada Familia de Urgel Institute, that comprises 10 educational institutions in Spain and 15 abroad (Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, Mexico, Colombia, Peru,Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile). Sagrada Familia de Urgel School is placed in Puente de Vallecas district (Madrid), which provides a very particular environment mainly composed by medium- and low-income families. According to the City Hall statistics, this area has the lowest family income rates in Madrid and the biggest figures of youth and women unemployment. The temporary work rate is very high and there is still a little proportion of illiterates, gradually decreasing. Our pupils are brought up in a neighbourhood that has undergone an important transformation in the last decades. Not long ago, they lived in low-rise appartments, without amenities and with quite a low economic and cultural level. Fortunately, their economic conditions have changed (although at a slower path than the other city districts), but the cultural change is taking more time. Moreover, the positive change in housing, public transport and infrastuctural facilities has allowed other people from Spain or abroad to move to Puente de Vallecas; they bring along their different cultures and ways of living and, from time to time, they face some integration difﬁculties. Therefore, nowadays some of our pupils are at great risk of dropping out school due to the lack of motivation generated by their disadvanteged setting. Nowadays, 15% of our students are inmigrants or inmigrants offspring. Having a wide variety of students provides a richful environment for growing and learning despite the age level or the background of the families. For all these reasons described previously, our goals when it comes to different educational needs are: - To guarantee the same opportunities for all our students. - To make easier the social and educative inclusion promoting acceptance and mutual respect. - To provide each and everyone the same standards in education and in life regardless of his/her background, through compulsory and reinforcement education and with an inclusive approach. - To make easier organizative and educational strategies that promote interculturality as an opportunity of mutual improvement. Our school has one of the "Aulas de Enlace" (AE) of Madrid's city, that is, a welcome class to make easier the integration of foreign students without any knowledge of the Spanish language. We have a special relationship with the Refugee Reception Centre, one of the four in Spain, that hosts these families during their first year in our country and helps them to get socially integrated. Within the AE activities, we include * hosting and accompaniment interviews with families * integration of each pupil culture and origins into the present, sharing his or her own story with the rest of the classmates (within the AE or other groups) * planification of integrated activities with groups of the rest of the school * reception in the different groups, especially through the helping pupils of each class (read further below about this program) We make all our choice based on the principle of inclusion. Each and every pupil need to be engaged, in the core of our pedagogical proposals, no one in the periphery. That's why we intensively use cooperative strategies in all the grades (which allows us to deploy an interactive everyday dynamic), project based learning (useful to engage all the students through their own approach to the curricular objectives), multiple intelligences approach (that opens the learning to a wider variety of abilities than more traditional perpectives) among other choices. We have a clear bet with the language training looking for the same opportunities for all our students, no matter their previous backgrounds. We place the language skills on the table as one of the most important ways to balance opportunities and chances of our students with those of other areas in Madrid, Spain or Europe. We have a bilingual program (English - Spanish) from 1st grade of Primary until 2nd grade of Secondary, growing each year, and a reinforcement program of English for the rest; we teach French at Secondary and High School and Ancient Latin and Greek at High School; besides, to enhance the School performance in this chapter, a good part of the staff gets English Language training besides other skills trainings more specific, like teaching skills, or other languages. Our school is an open community to the neighborhood, with initiatives such as our highschool students who regularly collaborate in a nearby Charitable Social Diner (ruled by the Missionaries of Charity sisters). We have a volunteering activity for supporting students with social or familiar difficulties carried out by our School Counsellors. Most of the volunteers are current, former students or students’ parents. Our school community offers a welcoming, joyful and familiar atmosphere. Since 2009 we have undergone through a profound methodological renovation process. Our staff has been trained and is putting into action new teaching methods, such as cooperative learning, project-based learning, problem-based learning, service-learning, multiple intelligences learning approach and school counselling. These active strategies help our students to achieve their best and reduce the drop out rate. All this commintment is integrated with a ITC strategy for the whole School. One of our goals during this 3-year period is to implement collaborative work at school, bringing together students, the community and our neighborhood. We have expertise in good cohabitation practices. Since more than 10 years ago, we have a Medation and Helping Pupils Program. This essentially consists of the training of a good number of students as Helping Pupils, and a not so crowdy ammount of students, as well as parents, teachers and other personnel, to become active agents of non-violent and peaceful practices. This programs cover both creation of a non-violent atmosphere, with the deployment of prevention skills, and the intervention when a conflict is taking place. The skills they are trained on have to do with active listening, communication ability and empathy. We have taken part in several Erasmus+ projects: EDUrope (2015) and MINFEducation (2016) Projects (including training and job shadowing surveys in Finland, Sweden and Norway), focusing on the reduction of educational failure. Besides, our Headmaster participated in the Education, Participation and Integration, Erasmus+ and Refugees Conference at Essen (Germany), last Spring. Our district has a significant Gypsy population, and we have several of them in our school. We keep a good relationship with the Secretariado Gitano (Gypsy Secretariat) that has been present in some of our specific celebrations with this ethnic group (e.g. musical events, or presentation of their History and values). All our staff is skilled enough to deal with diverse students, and are familiar with diversity at the classroom (ethnic or of any other kind). Besides, the School counts with three Counsellors, one nurse, one teacher specialized on Audition and Languages difficulties. We have also a Speech Therapy Service in the School.
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