As a follow up to last term’s positive inspection report and the recent authorisation of the school, the school headteacher has asked me to provide my own summary of the school’s standards and achievements. I believe I am in a good position to offer an informed judgment as I have been working with the school, as senior consultant, since Miss Gemma Izquierdo decided to opt for the British education system. I am a co-founder of the NABBS inspection system and also the educational founder of eight British schools in Spain.
What strikes me most about St. Patrick’s International School is the sense of joy in learning. Wherever you go in the school, both pupils and teachers are enjoying themselves, they are motivated and enthusiastic. Schools should not be factories, just packaging learning and producing academic results. They should be places where there is excitement in the air, the thrill of creativity, discovery and experiment. St. Patrick’s International School has that atmosphere, you breathe it in when you enter the school. Successful learning entails hard work and rigour as well, but without this special ingredient it will not have a thorough and lasting impact.
As you walk around the school you constantly hear pupils speaking a high standard level of English which is outstanding.
Pupils at St. Patrick’s International School also benefit from the broad curriculum with the opportunities provided to learn other subjects and the strong emphasis on the arts. In too many schools nowadays, mathematics and science dominate the curriculum to the detriment of the arts and humanities. Pupils need to acquire knowledge and skills across a wide range of subjects, to learn how to think both critically and creatively, and to communicate their ideas and opinions to others elegantly and convincingly. The school is getting this balance more than right.
Above all, schools have to help their pupils become decent, sensitive individuals who have confidence and self-esteem as well as a deep commitment to helping others. This leads me to focus on what is probably the school’s greatest strength: the close attention paid to the pupils’ personal, social and emotional development. In every corridor and classroom, you see pupils who are happy and relaxed. They want to come to school and are keen to learn. Crucially, teachers and support staff care about the pupils and inculcate strong values.
All these attributes provide the foundation for a very successful school. These initial achievements will help ensure progress is rapid.