Lower Secondary Education (ESO) is an exciting stage in anyone’s life.
When considering the far-reaching physical, intellectual and affective personal transformation that takes place.
Our education model is based on personal and integral accompaniment and seeks to prepare responsible people, academically competent people but, above all, well-rounded people with big hearts that will lead them to commit to and embrace others from a perspective of Christian love.
At this stage:
- We seek significant learning through active methods based on the acquirement of skills and competencies for real life.
- Pedagogical innovation is used to achieve scientific rigour, linguistic competence and mathematical competence.
- Students are prepared for all Cambridge exams up to the Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2).
- We seek to consolidate the necessary work and learning habits for an academically excellent Baccalaureate.
- All our students receive individual human, academic, psychopedagogical and spiritual accompaniment.
- Our students take part in various competitions outside of school in order to demonstrate their skills in such fields as business, public speaking, international politics, science and technology.
- Individual personal development programme based on tutorial sessions, affective-sexual education programmes, emotional education programmes and social participation programmes.
- Our students also have access to an extensive Career Guidance Programme (backed by Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Madrid) to accompany them on the search for their vocation, their life project.
Experiential and interdisciplinary learning
We develop intelligent and experiential learning adapted to the real world in our pupils, encouraging autonomy, responsibility and inclusion through:
- Flipped Classroom: This type of learning takes the best from two different strategies – one classroom-based and the other online. It takes the focus on certain learning processes out of the classroom and uses class time in combination with teacher experience and expertise to facilitate and enhance other knowledge acquisition and practise processes inside the classroom.
- Interdisciplinary projects: A learning method that integrates the various fields of knowledge of each student. It makes knowledge useful and improves the competencies and skills of students by working in a team while also involving such values as creativity, interest, curiosity, and an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Scientific and mathematical learning
Scientific and mathematical skills form an important part of our curriculum, which is why we encourage the development of curiosity in discovering, learning and understanding through projects, laboratory experiences, participation in Science Fairs and external competitions.
–Reading comprehension and written expression: we work on this skill not only through language subjects (Catalan, Spanish and English) but through all other subjects via:
- The comprehension of increasingly more complex texts
- The identification of important information
- Relating concepts
- Information synthesis
–Public speaking: learning to speak correctly is not an innate skill but rather requires training and a series of techniques that will be learned and developed using practical methods every day.
This programme helps students to:
- Work on empathy
- Defend opinions that they might not share
- Seek the truth and know how to defend it
- Question arguments
- Discover logic
- Look for evidence
- Non-verbal communication
- Assertive communication
- Develop critical thought
The work and development to achieve critical thought in our pupils is a priority at this stage. We therefore continue the work on thought strategies begun in Primary (routines and skills) that foster the development of effective and visible thought. We prepare our students to be passionate seekers of the Truth.
This intellectual challenge requires skills to be used in order to know how to analyse, reflect, compare, discern, explain, decide on information and be capable of making one’s own decisions, in line with their hierarchy of values.
Thanks to their formation in critical thought, our students learn to:
- Question the opinions of others
- Differentiate between opinion, information and what is true or untrue
- Form their own opinion about the environment around them
We offer study technique workshops to our students in partnership with the Psychopedagogical Guidance Department.
At this stage, our students work on:
- Their ability to relate new learning with prior knowledge
- Visual thinking
- Mental diagrams and maps
Besides the above, we foster constant study both autonomously and in groups while showing them that effort is the best way to achieve personal fulfilment.
33% of all classes are taught in English by native or bilingual teachers.
Furthermore, our students receive specific preparation and a personalised study plan for passing the First Certificate in English- FCE (B2), Certificate Advanced in English- CAE (C1) and Proficiency Certificate in English- CE (C2) from Cambridge English Assessment.
They also receive the opportunity to learn English through the curricular content of subjects such as Science, Technology and Economics, in which they learn to use the language functionally to reason, debate and express abstract concepts as they would in an international context.
Our students also continue their formation in a fourth language (French or German), with the option to take B1 or B2 level exams under the common European framework of reference for languages when completing their schooling with us.
From the 3rd year of Lower Secondary onwards, we offer the American Dual Baccalaureate; an innovative high-quality programme that will allow our students to obtain the US High School Diploma while studying the Spanish curriculum, gaining the best levels of competency that will differentiate them from others and will help them face such a globalised and hugely competitive labour market as exists today.
We also work with our OAK academies overseas so that students can enjoy a term exchange, annual exchange or summer camp in the USA, Ireland or Switzerland.
We help to discover a vocation in our pupils via a programme that invites them to become aware of their own gifts, the opportunities and needs in their environment, and provide them the tools to plan their future.
From the start of Lower Secondary, we offer pupils subjects that enable them to discover the various academic disciplines in order to later – in the 3rd year of Lower Secondary – continue with a more specific programme to find the personal development preferences of each pupil.
Education for love
During this very important period in our students’ lives, we accompany them on the discovery of true value and meaning in their body, affection and sexuality. We use a method taken from the “Let’s Learn to Love” programme backed by Francisco de Vitoria University.
Our mentoring programme for parents organises sessions with excellent professionals to offer formation on topics in which parents may be interested or concerned about, as well as to create a meeting point for group reflection on the task of educating their children and other current affairs.
We form the willpower and emotions of our pupils through the acquisition of virtues, which we work on via formative campaigns and activities in the classroom that are adapted to each year group. We focus on a series of virtues that we consider essential to their development, dedicating each term to two of them in particular: order, friendship, respect, generosity, effort, obedience, strength, responsibility, gratitude, sincerity, happiness and humility.
Through formative discipline, our educators work to help children discover the values that lead to rules in everyday life so they can act through self-conviction and not the mere imposition of those rules by others. This allows students to gain an understanding of the meaning and importance of respect and follow the rules to forge harmony at school.
Our students work with social entities both at school and at external institutions focused on pro-life issues, social inclusion, elderly care, environmental care and the fight against poverty.
We also offer the “One to One” programme through which our Lower Secondary students offer academic accompaniment to any Primary students who need it.
Through this programme, our students learn to:
- Serve others
- Find themselves in donating to another
- Educate in empathy, gratitude, humility and generosity
In Lower Secondary, we seek to ensure that our students take on greater responsibility in social participation activities so that they start committing to identities more formally.
In the 4th year of Lower Secondary, they work on social participation through Service Learning (ApS) projects on which social action and donation to others is integrated into the academic curriculum. Service Learning is an educational concept that combines learning processes with community service into one single well-organised project in which students receive formation by getting involved in real needs within their environment in order to improve it.
Competent learners for the digital and technological age
Our students have been given their own devices as a learning tool since 2015: an iPad in the 1st and 2nd years of Lower Secondary and a Chromebook in the 3rd and 4th years of Lower Secondary. These tools bring the following to our education model:
- Learning personalisation: this allows for different learning paces and styles, as well as the creation of different learning environments.
- Enhanced creativity, cooperation, a curiosity to investigate and learning independence.
- More developed digital competency
- Accompaniment in the safe use of technology for work, pleasure and communication.
- Critical thought
In order to harness all these advantages, students need to be shown how to use digital devices properly, which is why we incorporate technology into our students’ academic training gradually, steadily and in a way that suits their needs.
We work in perfect harmony with analogue (text books and exercise books) and digital. We believe that alternating between the two is the perfect combination for the educational development of our pupils. We also offer a safe environment for our students in the digital real.