Educational methodology

    The student is the protagonist

The educational methodology at Virolai is based on:

1. Pedagogy of effort and education in satisfaction de l’esforç i educació en la satisfactorietat

A system of learning based on effort and student involvement in classroom strategies that guarantee a differentiated and continuous demand for excellence. It is about achieving the maximum growth for every student, and the development of all their talents. The evaluation of progress is always done recognizing the student´s effort and valuing the positive aspects as a motivating factor that, in addition, provides information for their improvement and helps them to continue making the effort.

2. Tutorial partnership

Tutoring is one of the pillars of our educational project. Through the work of self-knowledge, acceptance, and personal improvement, tutorial partnership is essential for empowering and accompanying all the students in their personal growth. A partnership that also helps to evaluate progress in function of each student´s abilities and effort. +Together, the student, family, and school estabilish a personal plan for each student that brings together their personal improvement goals. Based on this plan, an ongoing followup is done via meetings between tutor,student, and family. For this reason, it is important to have frequent meetings with the tutor to ensure educational coherence between the family and the school. The School values these interviews very positively and will establish a minimum annual number with the family.

3. Building knowledge

Information and knowledge today come to our students from many sources. In these times it is necessary to work with them on research, management –treatment– of, and especially the formation of criteria for selecting the information, processing it, and transforming it into a personal language (language creation) that brings together previous knowledge, personal experiences, and one´s own thoughts, thereby achieving LEARNING, or the construction of one´s own knowledge.

4. Active methodologies

LEARNING TO LEARN. Our model works to guarantee to all our students the broad-based abilities that they will need to continuing learning on their own: learning to manage and build knowledge, learning among equals, learning to communicate, learning to cooperate. The student must be the true protagonist is his or her own learning process, always directed and motivated by the educator. At Virolai they learn to learn in a dynamic and vivid way. We give them the tools so that they can be open to life and to observations of their surroundings, so that they can ask questions, formulate hypotheses, do research, reach their own conclusions, and make and express their own reasoning.

LEARNING IN A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT. We believe that the relationship between learning and life is fundamental. From this reasoning, with the help of the teacher, they have to find the meaning in what they do, through interdisciplinarity, the connection between different curricular areas, and through work in real, everyday situations.

We want our students to leave school every day with more questions than answers. We want them to maintain their curiousity, their motivation to learn, their creativity, and the will to success and grow throughout their lives. They can do this through:

Globalized learning

The traditional division of contents does not respond to reality, which is global. We work on many of the the contents in an integrated, interdisciplinary way, based in real problems, linked in many cases to problems in our own surroundings.

Collaboration and connection with the environment

We start from knowledge and a connection to what is close to us. We work to educate boys and girls rooted in their surroundings. We promote projects in learning environments linked to the world, which help the children to have a global, sustainable, and supportive vision of the world in which they live, and for which they are co-responsible.

Incorporate invisible and continuing learning

Learning must be produced continually and globally, integrating formal and informal learning. We must make the students aware of how to learn both within and outside of the school, so that they can apply these strategies throughout their lives. For this reason, it is important to accompany the student throughout the long process of learning and in the development of assessment measures that make possible the process of metacognition and self-regulation that will take the students towards autonomous learning.

Learnign to resolve real probles by applying knowledge

Projects in context. We have established various agreements with organizations and companies to work on what we call projects in context: globalized projects, linked to real situations in our surroundings, or to professional who help our boys and girls to value what is done in the School from the perspective of real life learning, and not just learning to pass an exam.

Participation in the cultural life of the city

Participation by secondary school students in public audiences, in the Network of Sustainable Schools, or in European parliaments. They are initiatives organized on a city-wide or nationwide level that are examples of responsible participation in the life of the city, so that the students can identify with the problems in their own surroundings and develop an attitude of commitment to the search for solutions.

Involvement of families

For this learning to be real and continuing, it is necessary for this approach to be shared between the School and the family. Learning and education are now more than ever continual processes that are reinforced by coherence and shared trust, taking advantage of all opportunities.

5. Education in diversity

Our goal is for each of our students to know him or herself and to accept their own uniqueness in a positive way. Starting from this self-awareness, it is possible to propose their own growth. +This process begins when the infants are very young, and the teaching is adapted to each student, with specific and individualized proposals. We dedicate the necessary attention to students with educational needs, whether due to special difficulties or to ease in learning. We thus offer them the proper means for their advancement, with the support of the School´s psychopedagogic service. Thus, we provide a wide range of personalized resources for reinforcement, expansion, teacher tutorials, and diverse elective options to ensure personalized attention and followup of students with different paces of learning.

6. Digital competence

Technology is present in the School in broad-based way, almost invisible, as a resource to aide the learning process. The students not only have to make use of the technology as users, but they also have to use it to re-create it, making the leap from users to digital creators. The incorporation of programming into classrooms forms a part of this strategy. +During the school stage, the student must learn to manage their digital identity ethically and with respect towards others, while always being aware of security aspects. These skills are essential for the future professional and personal lives of our students.

7. Multilingualism

Mastery of languages is basic if our student are to be people who are open to the world. For this reason, we begin teaching English in early-childhood and introduce a second language at the start of secondary, always adapting the learing to the different rhythms of the students. This progressive immersion of our students in English happens in the areas of visual and plastic education, experimental science, as well as elective material and in projects. +Starting with the 4th of primary, they are prepared with the aim of attaining the official certifications from Cambridge University, with the goal of finishing batxillerat with a First Certificate or Proficiency certification.
So as to favor our students´ immersion in the Anglo-Saxon language and culture, the School organizes exchange programs with English schools during the school year. We participate in international projects where the English language is used for communication, such as the Erasmus Project, Gatherings of Young Scientists, and European parliaments for youth, where French, the second language we teach, is present.

8. Student autonomy

Given the current environment, we need to ensure comprehensive education to train competent people, with solid ethical values, who are prepared to become active people capable of responding responsibly and freely to the challenges that society presents. To this end, we prioritize the following aspects:

  • Creativity: We need to educate our students in the ability to see reality with an open and receptive mind so as to know how to provide different and diverse answers, from a different point of view.
  • Resilience: Faced with an uncertain and changing future, it is even more important than ever to educate our young people with internal fortitude and strategies that will help them to emerge stronger from difficulties and challenges that they with find in their journey.
  • Empathy: I know, I understand, I share. We have to work with all the social abilities that will help us to understand other people´s opinions, emotions, values, and ways of doing things. This will lead to dialog and relations based on affection and respect.
  • Hope and commitment to the future: Hope is the virtue that an educator can never lack. We have to educate our young people so that they get involved, to that they feel co-responsible in the construction of a better future for everyone.
  • Perseverence: Our culture avoids and hides failure. We must educate our young people so that, even if they make the maximum effort yet still don´t succees, they know how to assess and learn from their errors so as to beging again.
  • And above all, the personal ability to overcome, education in effort, and the ability to face challenges while maintaining motivation—these will help the student, in combination with their own strengths, to work to overcome obstacles and thus develop an entrepreneurial attitude that will allow them to direct their own lives.

9. Learning in service

The students´ participation in school life aides their involvement in their own learning process, and educates them to be active and participative citizens. To this end, students assume responsibilities starting in early childhood, later including school-year councils or commissions on coexistence, mediation, and sustainability, among others. +They also participate in activities aimed at learning among equals because, in addition to developing social skills, there is no better way to learn than by teaching and applying what they have learned. Thus, for example: students in the second year of early childhood tells stories to their first-year schoolmates; or older students become sponsors for reading, writing, and mathematics for younger students; or there are collaborations between classmates in learning math, or colloborative workshops between secondary students. These activities help to improve co-existence, which in turn makes the School a true community of learning.

10. Expression as an essential tool

Education in our student´s ability to express themselves is a key element in guaranteeing a comprehensive development. At Virolai we understand expression from different aspects:

  • Body language, which we work on from the infant stage through secondary and which aims to help psychomotor development, grows the ability for self-expression within a creative exercise.
  • Musical expression, going from psychomotor education in rhythm and coordination to training the ear, sensitivity and taste in interpretation, and listening.
  • Oral expression, which is aimed not only at giving students the ability to express themselves in three languages, at minimum, but also at interpersonal communication in all areas: family, social, and professional.

Theatre, acting, and artistic expression enables these abilities and teaches them to enjoy the arts.

11. Evaluation as a tool for knowledge and personal growth

Evaluation is a point of reference and a way of delving deeper into the personal progress of our students. It is an effective tool when focused on satisfactory performance– in accordance with the capabilities and personal situation of every student– and when it values and promotes effort and direction in the learning process. +Self-evaluation facilitates self-knowledge, self-esteem, and adjusts self-image. At the same time, it is an effective tool for achieving greater involvement by the students in their own education.
Our students and their families, by means of tutorial followup and the School intranet, receive ongoing information on the academic and personal progress of each student.

12. Education in sustainability

Education for sustainability is viewed as one of the transversal axes that the entire educational community must embrace. From early childhood on, our students become involved in the sustainable care of the center´s gardens, cultivating vegetable gardens and learning to know and value biodiversity. The School is part of the Network of Sustainable Schools that recognizes the schools from our country that place a priority on environmental education.

13. Health Education

Health education is a fundamental aspect in the training of our students. Our educational task in this area is aimed at the acquisition and internalization of the lifelong values and attitudes that our students should have. Attitudes and values that will shape healthy behavior while empowering them to become active agents for health in their surroundings throughout their lives. Participation and active involvement of families will ensure complete family-school educational coherence.
Our School is affiliated with the Fem Salut program.

14. Free-choice cultural activities

We offer students a motivational environment that allows them to know other cultural proposals to enrich their lives. We organize outings, talks, and cultural visits that connect our teachings with cultural and social reality.

15. Traditions

At Virolai we are convinced that knowledge and respect for our traditions favor an interest in knowing and respecting other cultures. +For this reason, our students participate actively in popular celebrations such as the Mercé, the Castanyada, the Living Nativity Scene, the Christmas Concert, the Carnival cycle, and cultural events such as the Floral Games and Sant Jordi. The School has its own Gegantera group, with the Giants Raimundi and Xafi, which is made up of students, parents, and teachers who participate in festivals and gatherings that take place in our city and around Catalonia.

Some icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY