With respect to our Teachers
we have developed five core strategies:
In Spain, we are the educational centre that invests most in professional development, (approximately 2% of the budget). Since academic year 2008/2009, the number of annual hours devoted to training has increased fivefold. Today, each primary school Teacher receives an average of 90 hours of training each year, while each secondary Teacher receives more than 100. All our Teachers have received specialised training from the International Baccalaureate. This has allowed many our teaching staff to become International Baccalaureate assessors, Teachers and/or examiners, and to share knowledge and practices with some of the best schools in the world. In addition, a specific plan has been developed to train our Teachers in the pedagogical application of new technologies.
All Teachers receive constant feedback on their work. Their development is facilitated through observation and evaluation from the School management and the students themselves. Beginning in secondary, students annually evaluate many aspects of teaching such as clarity of explanation, preparation for exams, the workload given, order and respect in class, enthusiasm, recommended readings, use of new technology, helping with queries, the capacity for motivation, gradual progress, fairness of evaluation, guidance through projects etc. Parents also have an opportunity to evaluate the staff through surveys at the end of each course. Through these methods of feedback, teachers can grow professionally and undertake innovative pedagogical projects.
Integrating the Teacher begins the moment they are recruited, when a welcoming program is provided that includes the assignment of a mentor who accompanies the new Teacher in getting to know the centre and other members of staff. In addition, once the Teacher is hired, the Head of the Department regularly visits their classes to analyse strengths and areas for improvement. These visits do not occur specifically for new Teachers, it is customary for the Heads of Department to observe all Teachers´ classes to facilitate growth. Also weekly departmental and coordination meetings are held to allow the sharing of good practices, both academic and tutorial continuously. Part of the training provided for staff is given by members of the departments who have received external training and adapted it to the particular methodology of the centre.
We fight against the isolation of Teachers within the centre and also within the community in which we are based. Thus, the connection between our School and our community’s civic and corporate organisations is such that highly prestigious personalities from the world of Andalusian business, university, politics, and culture collaborate with the centre on a voluntary basis in the elaboration of our strategic plans.
In our School, all Teachers receive constant feedback on their work. Their development is facilitated through observation and evaluation from the School management and the students themselves. Beginning in Second year, students annually evaluate many aspects of teaching such as clarity of explanation, preparation for exams, the workload given, order and respect in class, enthusiasm, recommended readings, use of new technology, helping with queries, the capacity for motivation, gradual progress, fairness of evaluation, guidance through projects etc. And of course, parents also have an opportunity to evaluate the staff through surveys at the end of each school year. Teachers are informed through these methods of feedback so that they can grow professionally. Additionally, there is an incentive system and variable remuneration linked to this evaluation, to results and the undertaking of innovative pedagogical projects.
In addition to a variable remuneration system, our centre has a policy of promotion and professional improvement. We seek training for our staff to facilitate promotion to roles with superior functions and responsibilities within the organization. Also, integration in the International Baccalaureate Organisation allows another path of professional growth for our Teachers, as trainers, examiners and as members of visiting teams in the organization.
Leadership in our centre exemplifies the values and educational principles of the school; it inspires ongoing pedagogical improvement along with continuous care for the students. The path of leadership defined within the organisation allows students to develop their skills, incorporate into society, and achieve happiness through their freedom to make choices.
This materializes thanks to the current management model of the School, consisting of the headmaster and four vice headmasters, each with a distinct operating area. Our model supports efforts for innovation, continuous improvement for our students and also guarantees the homogeneity of the entire educational project in each level and subject area. The deployment, consolidation, and operation of this organizational chart is possible due to a specific training programme for middle and senior management.