Information for Parents

WHAT IS THE ENGLISH MONTESSORI SCHOOL?

It is a British School in Spain, which is recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture as a foreign centre. The studies followed in this centre are validated at the equivalent levels in the Spanish education system up until Year 11. This validation is automatic up until Year 10. As Year 11 is the end of the cycle of obligatory education, the Ministry of Spanish Education establishes for this validation to take place for pupils to pass four I.G.C.S.E. subjects, two of which can be Spanish Language and Spanish Literature, at C level, as well as the normal school year and the subjects of Spanish Language and Social Sciences. (See table of equivalences)

THE ENGLISH MONTESSORI SCHOOL combines the advantages of English education with the philosophies and sensitivity of the Maria Montessori approach.

The language of instruction at THE ENGLISH MONTESSORI SCHOOL is English, for pupils from age 3 -16, complemented with Spanish language classes from Year 1 to Year 3. From Year 4 to Year 11, the English curriculum is complemented with Spanish Language and Literature and Humanities. From Year 6 onwards pupils also take French as a third language. From Year 9 to Year 11 there are also two support classes weekly in Spanish maths.

At 16 years of age (Year 11), pupils complete their IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) studies and are entered for the corresponding exams. At the end of Year 7 pupils enter their first external English exam – The Preliminary English Test of the University of Cambridge. In Year 13 they sit the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) or the CPE (Cambridge Proficiency in English). They also undertake AS-level (Advanced Supplementary) and A-level examinations in both English and Spanish Language. As for French they sit both AS-level and official DELF examinations.

One of our main aims throughout these years is to introduce as best as possible both British and Spanish cultures into our educational project. This way our students can choose to continue with their studies in either British or Spanish universities, or in many other countries worldwide in which their studies will be validated.

Year after year we are among the top schools in the ranking that the university where our pupils sit the university entry examinations (selectividad) publishes. There is also an increase in the number of students who choose to go to British and American universities.

WHAT IS MONTESSORI?

The MONTESSORI approach is an attitude and not a system or a technique. MONTESSORI is a spiritual attitude towards humanity, and this humanity starts with childhood. The MONTESSORI approach was conceived by Maria Montessori (1870-1952), an Italian educator and PhD in Medicine who dedicated her whole life to education and to the development of a new concept of learning.

The Montessori approach views, respects and understands the child as unique – physically, emotionally and academically.

The child is induced to develop his/her full potential and individuality in a spontaneous and natural way. This is due to the fact that throughout the procedure the child is not only considered to be capable of self-developing and self-educating, but it is believed that he/she should be encouraged to develop these two qualities.

Central to the Montessori philosophy is the child’s preparation for modern daily life, his/her self-motivation for learning and growing, self-discipline, confidence, respect for others and learning how to acquire knowledge. This learning and development process blossoms within a prepared environment of the classroom.

The Montessori classroom is child-oriented and provides an emphasis on aesthetics, structure, order and didactic learning materials.

The content range and methodology of the activities, concepts, knowledge and skills are determined by the acknowledgement of the unique way that young children learn.

Children work at their own pace. This allows the more able child to progress without restraint from those who are slower, and prevents the less able child from feeling forced by more able peers. Children are encouraged to challenge themselves but not to compete against others.

The child develops self-confidence as he/she is the one in charge of discovering and not only being taught. With the work that he/she carries out he/she is able to further develop independence and confidence. This preserves the child’s desire to learn for a longer period of time and promotes concentration, creativity, observation skills and good classroom order.

Montessori classroom

  • Learning is the main motivator.
  • The pupils “work” at tables or on the floor. They have freedom of movement.
  • Children have their own study plan which they have to comply with. They may work individually or in small groups according to their rhythm at the different educational environments.
  • Multisensory opportunities are given to them to read and write.
  • Children learn from their equals with the help of materials that have error controls. The educator acts as a guide.

The Montessori teacher is professionally prepared and embraces a process of continual self-education, assessment and development. All this equips the educators for this interaction with the child, a relationship of trust, respect, loyalty and guidance.

COMPARISON OF OUR YEAR GROUP NOMENCLATURE WITH THE SPANISH SYSTEM

Our educational system, is validated, year by year, with the equivalent age group in the Spanish system. Any child leaving this school to join a Spanish school transfers directly. No child “misses a year” (obviously subject to the academic standard achieved by the individual child).

Depart. English System Spanish System
Bachillerato Year 13 2° Bachillerato
Year 12 1° Bachillerato
Seniors Year 11 4° E.S.O.
Year 10 3° E.S.O
Year 9 2° E.S.O
Year 8 1° E.S.O
Year 7 6° Primaria
Juniors Year 6 5° Primaria
Year 5 4° Primaria
Year 4 3° Primaria
Year 3 2° Primaria
Infants Year 2 1° Primaria
Year 1 Educación Infantil – Ciclo 2° – Curso 3°
Reception Educación Infantil – Ciclo 2° – Curso 2°
Nursery Educación Infantil – Ciclo 2° – Curso 1°

THE ENGLISH MONTESSORI SCHOOL has an international atmosphere, our intake including students of more than 25 nationalities.

The school is a member of the following associations:

  • N.A.B.S.S. National Association of British Schools in Spain
  • A.C.A.D.E. Asociación de Centros Autónomos de Enseñanza en España

GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT

The department consists of a fulltime educational psychologist. She evaluates and diagnoses those cases which require so, and checks on their progress for as long as is necessary.

She evaluates every pupil at the end of the Infants stage to track and measure their learning skills.

She is also in charge of the test which is given to the older students on professional skills and interests to help them take the best decision for their future.

She is available for parents who wish to contact her for a personal interview.

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT

The medical department consists of a full-time qualified nurse. Once a year the pupils are given a medical check-up by a pediatrician and a detailed individual report is sent to the parents.

The school has an accident insurance policy with a prestigious insurance company.

SPORTS

The pupils of THE ENGLISH MONTESSORI SCHOOL practice sports throughout the school year including football, basketball, volleyball, athletics, etc.

The school competes from Year 4 onwards against local British/international schools in football, basketball, cross-country and athletics.

Students from Year 10 and Year 11 follow the Sport Leadership official programme.

SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

The school gives importance to complementary activities. Cultural visits to museums, factories, theatres, school farms, etc., relevant to the current themes of study, are regularly scheduled throughout the academic year.

Various visits are made for each theme and they form an important part of the annual curriculum.

EXTRA CURRICULAR CLASSES

We offer the following classes after school hours if a minimum number of pupils are registered:

  • Judo
  • Craft
  • Basketball
  • Ballet
  • Chinese
  • Theatre
  • Tennis
  • Football
  • Catechism

SCHOOL TRIPS

The school offers a series of annual trips (optional) for students throughout their school life.

School farm – Students in Year 3 and Year 6 spend three days at a school farm.

Ski trip – This trip is available for students from Year 4 to Year 11. They spend a week at a Spanish ski resort and stay at a hotel situated at the foot of the slopes.

Camping – Students in Year 7 spend three days at a private property in Matalpino (mountains of Madrid).

Water Sports at Mar Menor – Students in Year 9 spend five days close to the sea and practice water sports.

Trip to Gredos – Students in Year 10 spend three days at a Nature Centre near Navarredonda, Gredos where they study rivers, ecosystems, rocks and their cycles, lichens and food chains. The programme is taught in English by biologists.

Students are accompanied by our teachers in all the afore-mentioned trips.


SCHOOL REGULATIONS

1. SCHOOL HOURS

School hours are from 9:15 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. for the Infant and Junior departments, and from 9:05 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. from Year 7 onwards.

Children will be supervised for 15 minutes before and after normal school hours. The school cannot accept responsibility for the supervision of children outside these times. Early morning supervision (an optional service) is available starting at 8:00 a.m.

Pupils should be in the school grounds five minutes before the beginning of the school day.

Nursery children should be dropped off directly in their classrooms between 9:00 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. At the end of the school day parents must collect Nursery and up to Year 2 children in their classrooms. Pupils from Year 3 onwards are collected in the playground.


2. ATTENDANCE

Regularity in attendance is an essential part of children’s education. A good attendance record can only be achieved with the assistance and cooperation of parents.

If a pupil has been absent from school, we ask that a written note, explaining the absence, be given to the pupil to be presented to the class teacher at registration on the first day back at school. This keeps us informed of illness patterns and makes us aware of pupils who may need special consideration.

Parents of very young children should phone the office informing the secretary of the child’s name, the length and reason for absence.


3. LEAVING SCHOOL DURING THE SCHOOL DAY

All pupils from Nursery to Year 11 must remain in the school grounds throughout the entire school day, unless a written note is received from the parents requesting that their son/daughter be allowed to leave at a different time and for a specific reason, and taking into account the arrival and departure schedule specified by the school at the beginning of the school year.

Years 12 and 13 are allowed to leave the school premises at certain times of the day but only if parents give their permission.