The longest school stage with the greatest evolution
Primary is the longest school stage, as it spans six year groups during which the child experiences a radical evolution from child to student.
For the most part, this is the continuation of the methodologies initiated in preschool such as EntusiasMAT or chess, but most importantly, in Year five they begin five years of robotics and programming with Lego Education. This is a subject that we call RoboCODE where we provide students with fun challenges, creative proposals and the possibility to channel their abilities. They do this through robotics, programming and video games using Scratch, a programming language designed by the Massachusetts MIT Media Lab, which is based on predefined blocks of code which serve to create their own structures and algorithms.
Every year, the school obtains excellent results in the basic skills tests organised by the Generalitat de Catalonia for primary year six students. These tests are of an informative, formative and guiding nature for the students, families and the centres.
Artistic creativity has its own space in primary education, which we call Arts&Crafts, as it is taught in English. It is an initiative inspired by the Finnish education system and combines the subjects of arts and music. Each primary year group spends three hours a week in an inter-class format according to cycle, in other words, firstly combining students from the initial cycle, then the intermediate cycle and then the upper cycle. Half the time is dedicated to manual creativity and the rest to music sensitisation.
The interdisciplinary project has a fixed timetable for all primary students. On Wednesday afternoons the students from the six year groups are split into nine groups with one teacher per group. Together they learn to develop different projects which revolve around students’ own areas of interest and also was a common objective. This could be of a solidarity nature, such as the Santa Llúcia Fair we hold just before Christmas, humanistic or cultural.
We promote the complete development of the child
Neuroscience confirms that physical activity has a direct relationship on memory, learning, attention, executive functions, reaction times, language, the processing speed of information, motor skills, verbal, visual and spatial skills, and ultimately, academic results. Therefore, the Primary students have three hours of physical education and healthy habits every week. They start by affirming the laterality and working on the general motor skills (jumps, turns, movements etc.) in different situations, directions and distances. They also work on specific motion abilities (leaping, movement, accuracy when throwing, catching the ball, etc.) and coordination with alternative materials such as indiaca with feathers, kites, rackets, hockey sticks, badminton rackets, construction cushions, etc.
Break time has a similar dynamic given that we have created a project so that this area goes beyond the practice of typical sports, such as football and basketball. We offer other options for students that prefer a more relaxing play using very original and relaxing material, such as ball games with scores, rope to make zip-lines, rings, juggling clubs, etc. In addition to dynamic games, we also offer a large range of table games that follow the current trends and promote strategy, quick reflexes, agility and mental flexibility.
The introduction of new technologies into the classroom have been carried out in an organic and natural manner, such as life itself. We do not aim to be pioneers in their introduction and at this time we have discarded options such as e-books as we consider them to be too experimental. However, in the classroom we use resources that increase learning, such as interactive whiteboards which allow students from an early age to acquire skills in what is and will be their environment.
One example is the writing workshop which starts with students from the first cycle of primary education, combining digital and technical skills, such as obtaining a good knowledge of the keyboard and to be able to type with both hands. To do this, the school has around 30 chrome books, a personal computer which uses the Google Chrome operating system and is a comfortable hybrid between traditional laptops and the cloud. These characteristics and the fact that they have all the applications that will be used by the school (Chrome, Google Apps for Education, Classroom, Drive, Calendar, a Word processor, Spreadsheets, Slide presentations, etc.) makes them the ideal tool to ensure an enormous amount of learning for each year group and subject.
Classes, subjects and conversation in English
In addition to the classes in English included in the curriculum and the weekly hours for Arts&Crafts, primary also has English teaching students as conversation assistants. Once a year, the students can sit the YLE (Young Learners English) exams organised by the University of Cambridge, which is divided into three levels: starters, movers & flyers. These exams are taken at the school. And as there are also quite a few international families at the school, the students that have English as their mother tongue have the option to participate in small groups carried out at the school with a private, native teacher and content more suitable to the level and what they would be learning in their country of origin.
The school promotes and encourages the relationship with families through a series of traditional festivals on the school calendar (such as the ‘Castanyada’, the Christmas Party, Carnival or the Mona de Pasqua [a traditional chocolate treat given to children on Easter Monday]). Families can also follow the daily activities using the Classroom App and other events such as cultural visits and trips on the school’s blog, Facebook and Instagram pages.