Promoting exciting and inspiring opportunities for all
An entire learning experience
Learning to learn, learning to be, learning to think. At the International School of Catalunya Maresme (ISCAT Maresme), the personal growth of each student is at the heart of our educational programme, designed and planned to be a holistic learning experience. Our students prepare for the future through academic challenge and stimulation.
No two children are born alike, and so we respect and recognise the different needs, interests and strengths of every student. Our students are encouraged intellectually, socially and emotionally to achieve their full academic and personal potential. The programme of learning, and teaching style is adapted to meet every child’s needs.
We fully believe that when the delicate balance between academic endeavour and emotional wellbeing is achieved, our students are most open to the entire learning experience. At ISCAT Maresme, we nurture the spirit of each and every one so that, armed with self-knowledge, a belief in themselves, and a solid academic record, they face the world fully prepared to shoulder responsibilities and give of their best.
Learning in a small-group context enhances students’ overall learning experiences in several ways. It can address gaps in students’ knowledge and provide opportunities for students to receive feedback on their learning.
It gives greater opportunities to the children to form own opinions and to communicate them, to have discussions, to learn and to challenge each other. It also strengthens the relationship between children and adults, encouraging a relationship of trust, confidence and safety.
It also allows students to develop problem solving, interpersonal and communication skills. These are generic skills – beneficial in any walk of life -which are difficult to develop in isolation and require feedback and interaction with other individuals.
Moreover, small-group learning allows individuals to question and challenge assumptions and to develop a deeper understanding of a topic, which in turnfacilitates the application of what is learned in contexts outside the school environment.
Small-group learning outcomes:
- To ensure and secure knowledge and understanding of a topic
- To make aware beliefs and views
- To increase ability to problem-solve and reason
- To enhance empathy and sensitivity towards others
- To increase engagement and responsibility for learning
- To develop interpersonal, team working and practical skills
- To invest in healthy and trustworthy relationships both with peers and adults
In Spain, ISCAT schools lead in following the Forest Schools pedagogy – a Scandinavian initiative from the 1950’s now gaining popularity across Europe and in particular, the United Kingdom, which optimises the use of nature and the outdoors as a teaching and learning resource.
ISCAT Maresme has privileged resources in an area of unparalleled natural beauty.
Outdoor activities are organised throughout the week in natural settings, such as the forest, the mountains or the beach, with multiple benefits for students: team-building, problem-solving and improved personal relationships – all of which fosterself-esteem, self-knowledge, and belief in one’s own potential. Diverse curricular goals are met through the Forest experience and an environmental awareness, so critical for our times, subsequently develops and grows. Our outdoor education programme is led by qualified and experienced Forest School’s practitioners. Based on student interest, outdoor activities foster a child’s innate curiosity to explore and understand the natural environment.
Forest School is an exciting outdoor learning approach that seeks to develop inquisitive minds, independence and the acquisition of skills through exploration of a natural setting.
Sessions take place over a prolonged period of time to promote meaningful learning experiences and enable self-discovery with the aim of developing a self-confidence and perseverance that they can transfer into their everyday life. Children are given opportunities to take on challenges, to fail sometimes and to persevere in an encouraging and positive learning environment.
Importantly, sessions are child led, giving children the freedom to learn through play, set their own challenges and follow their individual interests, This is in combination with planned activities and games that are informed and adapted to suit the needs and curiosities of the group.
At the International School of Catalunya Maresme (ISCAT Maresme) the academic programme is complemented by our Forest School sessions, intrinsically embedded in our weekly timetable.
(Rights Respecting School)
The International School of Catalunya (ISCAT Maresme), as with all ISCAT schools, subscribes to UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools Award and is one of the first schools to pioneer the project outside of the UK. Led by student UNICEF representatives, together we all work hard to achieve UNICEF’s Bronze, Silver and Gold School Awards.
The award is based on the 1989 Convention of the Rights of the Child and is designed to make our children aware of their rights but also the responsibilities which accompany each one. We believe that in this way students grow to recognize their privileges and can envision their own contribution to a balanced society.
These values are embedded throughout the culture of our school from individual lesson plans to whole school policy. Our senior leadership team makes all key decisions with the convention in mind and our children communicate with each other using the Unicef RRS language. Each class has an elected representative that forms part of a student council or “steering group” and we successfully collaborate with school families, local businesses and Unicef UK and Catalunya through frequent fundraisers and ‘awareness’ events.
ISCAT Maresme’s Learning Support department is led by qualified SEN practitioners who shadow the progress of all our students from the point of entry.
At ISCAT Maresme we make sure that no student is left behind, and we tailor and design both the curriculum and the different learning journeys so that every student achieve their full potential and fulfils dreams and aspirations.
We work together in partnership with families, teachers and other relevant professionals and agencies to make sure we take every single angle affecting the child’s development is taken into consideration.
When ongoing specialised attention is deemed to be required,ISCAT Maresme collaborates with a series of external professionals to ensure that specific needs are met. Our school policy ensures that parents and other significant family members participate and are involved in all interventions, to guarantee optimum support, inclusion and development in all instances.
At ISCAT Maresme the wellbeing of all our students is of paramount priority.
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