What is the teaching methodology used at the school?
Throughout these 30 years, we have developed a specialised methodology which meets different learning rates and styles: class sessions are structured to take into account the pupils’ attention spans; we favour their participation through co-operative learning; we make a balanced use of new technologies; we understand evaluation in broad and flexible terms so that this is always a motivational element in the learning process. In addition, our methodology is interdisciplinary, something which facilitates autonomy and monitoring.
Is the usual curriculum taufht at Areteia School?
Yes, with a design which combines an individualised methodology to fit teaching to different learning rates and levels, psycho-pedagogical intervention programmes which attend to specific difficulties, and personalised monitoring of each pupil’s evolution.
What type of children are there at the school?
We are a mainstream education school which teaches pupils at all educational stages, so any pupil can attend our school. However, we define our school as one of specialist education and attention to diversity, therefore, we specialise in understanding and attending to children with learning difficulties and who need a more welcoming educational design.
Is this a special education school?
No. This is a mainstream education school which teaches pupils at all levels: Infant, Primary, ESO, Basic and Middle Level Vocational Training, and Baccalaureate. The groups are flexible, taking the pupils’ characteristics into account, in order to find the best starting point for each pupil and achieve their maximum performance. We are specialists and what makes us different is the way we understand education.
Do you use conventional text books?
Yes, but we combine them with materials created at the school, and with the use of educational resources related to new technologies.
How many children are there per classroom?
In Infant Education there are 8 pupils. In Primary there’s a maximum of 15 pupils per classroom. In ESO, Baccalaureate and Vocational Training, there is a maximum of 18 pupils. We have carefully studied the ideal number per class and level in order to favour personalised education. A group with too few members results in difficulties in creating enriching and stable social relationships, while a group which is too large can lead to problems with attention, suitable supervision of tasks, the children’s frequent participation in activities, and the teacher-pupil relationship. At Areteia we establish a balanced ratio of pupils per classroom which enables us to achieve the personalised education and attention that we guarantee our pupils.
Do both the little ones and the older pupils share break times? And what about the dining room? Which staff look after them?
The little ones and the big ones have different timetables for break and for meal times. Those in charge of watching and supervising break times and meals are the school teachers. This is because in knowing the pupils more deeply, they attend to them more satisfactorily, contributing to the creation of good habits and complying with rules of respect and co-existence.
Do the children have homework?
Yes. We understand that homework is necessary to encourage work habits and responsibility. We try to appropriately cut down the amount of homework in each pupil’s school diary, supervised by the tutor, at the end of the school day. In addition, this homework is shown on the CAV, our digital platform, which all the parents can access in order to be up to date with their child’s school work and progress.
What innovate programmes are taught at Areteia?
We teach a Leadership and Entrepreneurial Skills programme from the last years of Primary to the end of the pupils’ schooling. At the same time, building on Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, we run our Excellent Workshops which aim to strengthen the abilities each pupil has in order to achieve their full integration into the school dynamic. An active school is one which learns, and that’s why we’re always open to innovational and enriching approaches.
How do you attend to learning difficulties?
We have a Psychopedagogy department with seven full-time professionals. Other schools have no more than one or two people in their departments. We begin the school year with an initial evaluation in order to understand the learning situation of each pupil, form the groups, adjust programming and create intervention programmes in the specific areas in which our pupils need support: literacy, speech therapy, social skills, educational support, personalised tutorials, school guidance…
Are there specialist support teachers?
Areteia School has a Psychopedagogy department made up of seven full-time professionals (psychologists, pedagogists and speech therapists) with extensive experience who attend to the needs of all the pupils at the school and guide the teachers’ work. Furthermore, the teaching team is characterised by its sensitivity, training, experience and enthusiasm in personalised attention to diversity.
What does Areteia offer a child with ADHD?
Areteia is a school which specialises in children with these characteristics. The first thing we offer them is teachers who understand them, in other words, who know that for them it is normal to not show the attention required from others, and that their behaviour and thinking may be impulsive. We also know that they can progress a great deal, but require a support plan which helps them to become aware of their errors and strengths (to know themselves) and of their involvement in their success (their desire). They often believe that others are responsible for their problems. It is essential to help them to progress in achieving short-term goals: organisation, planning, reinforcement… key aspects to show their success and improve their self-esteem. Early intervention is fundamental to ensure they do not develop those negative ideas (lack of self-esteem, disinterest, apathy…) which can make progress difficult when they are teenagers.
Dyslexia becomes a school problem, what does Areteia do for these children?
A pupil with Dyslexia has trouble with literacy in the first few school years. This difficulty is not solved through repetition since being Dyslexic is not just a problem with literacy, it is a style of learning with strengths (they have a good context memory, they are imaginative, creative, intuitive, good children) and weaknesses (poor short-term memory for arbitrary facts, disorganisation with physical material and in their work and expression of ideas, both orally and in writing). The teachers at Areteia believe in them, in their strengths, and we help them to have confidence in themselves, we help them to make progress in reading, expression, organisation… in order for them to learn, and we avoid evaluating them just through their weaknesses. Early prevention and treatment are the foundation for a good future.
My child is adopted, they are slower at learning than over children and cannot manage to pass. Would Areteia be a good school for them?
Adopted children, even if they were adopted at a young age, have needs which we must help them to overcome. These children have great qualities and good potential, but have to organise their intelligence. At Areteia we know that each child learns at their own rate and level, we develop our programmes at various levels so that demand is adapted to their rate. We must demand a lot from all children, but not the same from each one. The work methodology can vary and the homework and evaluation methods are different. As the pupils evolve they can move from one level to another. Adjusting the level favours the development of their self-esteem.
What is the pice-quality ratio at Areteia School?
Areteia School attends to the needs of each and every pupil, providing all the tools they need for their education, in the way which best fits their personal characteristics. In the same way, all the pupils receive comprehensive attention from all the specialists in the Psychopedagogy Department, who develop specific intervention programmes in speech therapy, literacy, Dyslexia, hyperactivity, attention deficit, etc., for every pupil who needs it. This is favoured by an optimal teacher-to-pupil ratio which enables us to speak of educational profitability for our pupils and economic profitability for our families. The best source of information to respond to this question is undoubtedly the assessment made by parents and pupils at the end of their time with us. These testimonials confirm that the price-quality ratio is superb.
What is the communication like between the school and the families?
We understand that family-school communication is essential for our pupils’ development. Communication is fluid and takes place through different channels: personal visits, telephone calls and email. All the tutors respond to parents outside of the school day as many times as the parents need it. Both the Psychopedagogy Department and the Stage Co-ordinators and Intermediaries are open to any questions or suggestions from parents. In addition, Senior Management and the Heads of Studies can attend to the needs of parents whenever required.
What extracurricular activities are offered?
At Areteia we offer a series of activities which complement and favour our pupils’ social and personal education. Music, sport and art make up the bulk of our extracurricular activities. In sport we highlight the Football, Basketball and Athletics Schools, and from the extracurricular activities related to music and performing arts, the drama, dance, singing, guitar, and piano classes.
Does the school have a dining room?
The school has a dining room and its own kitchen. The food is cooked at the school each day by professional cooks, and the menus are varied in order to provide pupils with all the necessary nutrients. In addition, we have special menus for children who are allergic to lactose, gluten, etc.
What is the class timetable?
The school day begins for all pupils at 9:30 and ends at 16:45. The timetables for classes and break times are determined according to the demands of each stage and school year.
Do you have school transport routes?
Yes. Areteia has 12 school transport routes which go through Madrid and the surrounding areas. With each new school year we adjust the routes to ensure we reach all the necessary locations.