Inmaculado Corazón de María
Logroño, Spain

The school "Inmaculado Corazón de María" in Logroño is part of the Escolapias Educational Foundation, which also includes seven other schools in Aragon, La Rioja, Navarra, Basque Country and Castilla-León. The school offers educational services within the formal stages of Early Childhood Education, Primary Education and Secondary Education, continuing through an Inter-congregational High School "Santa María" or the Vocational Training Formation Cycles at "Paula Montal" School.

As to the Spanish school system, pupils begin compulsory education at the age of three. At that age they start Infant School till they are six years old. From 6 to 12 they attend Primary School. From 12 to 16, Secondary School. After this stage, which is compulsory for all students, they can choose to go to work or to continue with their studies through High School (2 years) and then to University or through Vocational Training Formation Cycles (2 or 4 years).

In our school we also have a complete offer of non-formal education in sports (athletics, basketball, volleyball, football, rhythmic gymnastics ...) that has won recognition of Sports College in the last two courses. In the artistic field, a broad musical training is offered with the recent creation of a School of Music, drawing and painting activities, chess, robotics, etc.

The inner self of our students is worked through the "En Ti" Project, which is carried out in all educational stages. Through this Project, silence, concentration, contact with oneself and relaxation are fostered. Values such as peace or solidarity through different campaigns of the school or other institutions are also inspired.

Inmaculado Corazón de Maria is a Catholic school. We are a private school but a government associated centre at the same time - we have financial support from the government. It is sited in Logroňo, a small city in the heart of La Rioja, in Northern Spain. Logroňo is a modern growing city (about 150,000 inhabitants), which has seen its population increase by a number of newcomers from different parts of the world. Different people and mix of cultures is seen very often in this little town. The school is within five minutes' walk from the historic city centre.

The teaching team of the school consists of 57 teachers from different levels of education and the Orientation Department which has 2 counsellors, 3 teachers of Therapeutic Pedagogy and a speech therapist, and 23 monitors and teachers of the different extracurricular activities. The Administration and Services Department has 11 people, and to all this, we have to add the community of religious nuns who live in the school and collaborate in the maintenance and support of the centre.

The teaching staff is organized according to various criteria: by levels and stages; by areas of knowledge (departments with the participation of teachers of all educational stages); by quality management processes (also vertical); with project teams (such as the Internationalization Team, the Communication Team, the Digital Backpack Project, etc.). The organization and management of the whole centre is carried out vertically trying to meet the needs of the different stages, but also unifying and marking common lines for all of them. Permanent formation and teamwork are the basis of our school.

There are 876 students in our school, distributed in Early Childhood Education 195, Primary Education 381 and Secondary Education 300. The uniform in our school is compulsory. Our students have to wear a uniform for all the lessons except for Physical Education classes, where they use our school tracksuit.

We have different timetable depending on the level.

  • Infant school and Primary school: from 9.00 to 12.30 and from 15.00 to 17.00.
  • Secondary school: from 8.00 to 14.00.
  • Extracurricular activities take place in the afternoon or also during the lunch break (from 12.30 to 15.00 for Primary and Infant students).

We use an on-line platform, called "EDUCAMOS" for the communication between school and teachers with families and students. We also have a school website (www.escolapiassotillo.org), which we use to explain the organization of the school, the different activities and any kind of news related to our school and to our students and teachers. We also use Twitter and Facebook as means of communication and dissemination of our news.

The assessment is different in Infant school, Primary and Secondary:
Infant: Teachers assess their students by direct observation and the marks they give them are not numbers, but comments on their achievements during these years.
Primary: Students begin taking exams and after doing them and also through direct observation, they receive number marks (from 1 to 10). Besides, they get comments on all their achievements and competences.
Secondary: They are assessed through direct observation and through exams. Their marks go from 1 to 10 and they also get comments on their achievements and competences.
Each grade has a school trip at the end of the year. They are usually one day long, except in the last courses of each level, which are two days long. In the last year of their stay with us (in 4th Secondary) they have a longer trip to Paris as the best way to finish at school. This trip lasts for six days.

The centre has the recognition of the Q of Gold in Quality Management according to the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) model. It is the favourite centre for the schooling of students with motor disabilities and for students with special educational needs. In Secondary we have all the support network: Educational Reinforcement in 1st, Programs of Improvement of Learning and Performance in 2nd and 3rd and in 4th all the options of the Academic studies (Arts and Sciences) and the Applied ones. The next academic year 2017-18 we will also have the PROCUA (Adapted Curriculum Program) program to attend students with special educational needs of learning.

The school has been and remains a reference centre in the use of ICT with the Digital Backpack Project through which we are implementing the use of tablets and multiple digital tools in learning.
We encourage the participation in projects and initiatives for the internationalization of students and teachers (Comenius, Erasmus +, exchanges and other educational experiences). We are an official training centre and evaluator of Cambridge official exams. Besides, preparation for the official French degree (DELF) is offered. We are currently studying the possibility that our students can obtain a dual degree in languages. We have the advantage of having two native language assistants, a French one for the lessons of French and an American one for the English classes.
We look for innovation and methodological change working through projects (we are a referent school in Infant school), cooperative learning, thinking routines and bimodal curriculum. Our school is also a part of a new changing society and is open to new projects and ideas to promote understanding among other cultures, and this is one of the main reasons why the school participates in International Projects.