Laying the foundations
for our students
Using project-based learning, cooperative learning techniques, meaningful learning and our emotional intelligence program as a methodological basis, our objective at this stage is to develop our pupils’ holistic education as much as possible, aiming to progressively acquire a solid base for further learning.
All this is addressed through the development of the globalized curricular project, promoting logical-mathematical thinking, language skills in English and Spanish, and digital skills, thus contributing to the development of personal autonomy, the culture of critical thinking and problem solving.
In addition, globalisation and the increasing flow of information have led us to focus on communication skills. Carrying out our activity in Spanish and English helps to increase the confidence of the youngest children and to strengthen skills related to organization, argumentation, leadership and the defense of their own ideas and beliefs.
All these aspects are complemented by an extensive program of activities and outings adapted to the different ages and related to the quarterly topics covered, which, together with a complete and individual tutorial action plan, makes this stage a solid foundation for the future of Humanitas pupils.
Socio-emotional: through the development of their emotional intelligence, pupils are able to identify and manage their own and others’ emotions, enabling them to develop an adequate socio-affective environment.
HUMANITAS learning methods
Cooperative learning methodological strategies are applied throughout the primary education stage. General activities are carried out in the different areas, which allows us to carry out this type of methodology. These activities invite our pupils to analyze real or plausible situations and to put ideas, knowledge and attitudes into play in order to achieve a previously set objective or final result.
This work methodology is an effective way of teaching and learning. Teaching and learning are based on the active relationship with the environment: manipulating, experimenting, questioning and teaching. And it is in this interaction that discoveries and new experiences act as triggers for new knowledge. Through this work methodology, our pupils acquire significant and authentic learning and exercise their conveniently defined and delimited competencies.
We promote the following in our pupils through this style of learning:
- Individual and group responsibility
- Communication among group members.
- Shared leadership and sharing of responsibilities.
- Diversity enriched by the construction of individuals.
- Critical analysis of information.
- The ability to synthesize.
- The globality of the contents from a multidisciplinary approach and the improvement of learning.
Problem-based learning is a teaching methodology that actively involves pupils in learning knowledge and skills by posing a problem or complex situation.
The basic work scheme consists of the definition of the problem or situation by the teacher, although it can also be defined by the pupils themselves, from which the pupils are asked to work in groups to address the different phases involved in the process of solving the problem or situation. To solve it correctly, they must look for, understand and integrate the basic concepts of the subject.
This methodology allows our pupils to acquire key knowledge and skills in the 21st century through projects that deal with real-life problems.
Our pupils become the protagonists of their own learning and develop their autonomy and responsibility as they are the ones in charge of planning and structuring the work and creating the product to solve the question posed. The teacher’s job is to guide and support them throughout the process.
Development of logical-mathematical thinking: Singapore method
The purpose of mathematics in primary education is to provide pupils at this stage with tools that allow them to develop their logical-mathematical reasoning and not only the teaching of symbolic-mathematical language.
The Singapore method helps pupils develop understanding and retention of mathematics, and means they enjoy applying mathematics and problem solving in everyday life through simple skills. It does not work on memorization but on generating an understanding of the contents.
The essential pedagogical foundations of the Singapore Method are in the studies of Jerome Bruner, Richard Skemp and Zoltan Dienes, who were greatly influenced by Lev Vygotsky’s theories on development and learning.
Mathematical learning is achieved when pupils elaborate mathematical abstractions by obtaining information, observing properties, establishing relationships and solving specific problems. This requires bringing to the classroom everyday situations that involve attractive mathematical challenges and the regular use of various resources and teaching materials to be manipulated by pupils. Only after understanding the concept is it time to present the pupils with the symbol that represents it and to start practicing in order to achieve mastery of the mechanisms that govern its symbolic representation. In no case will a concept, property or mathematical relation be considered known and mastered by the fact that the pupils have achieved a mechanical mastery of its symbology.
Its logical rigor and methods applied to the different phenomena and aspects of reality must go hand in hand with observation and experimentation to enhance learning. The development of observation, intuition, creativity and logical reasoning, together with the pupil’s action, are basic principles on which mathematical work is built. Mathematics teaching has to focus on metacognitive actions for learning. The following is important for this:
- Base education on experience, discovery and construction of concepts, procedures and strategies rather than on instruction. Base education on counterexample strategies, avoiding “right” or “wrong” as an authority that substitutes for evidence.
- Combine the manipulation of materials with activities that optimize understanding, and provoke, challenge and motivate because they follow the learner’s needs. Simplicity, clarity and precision in the language used in the presentation of the activities or enunciation of the concepts.
- Respect the pupil when they are thinking. Enhance self-esteem, confidence, security, and so on.
- Get pupils used to explaining and supporting their conclusions through logical arguments in order to develop and improve their thinking. A way to play at creating relationships, comparing the answers before opting for one of them.
Development of language skills
Throughout primary education we implement a project that significantly encompasses linguistic communication as a transversal axis for the improvement of learning processes (oral and written communication).
Communicating becomes a skill “to establish links and constructive relationships with others and with the environment, and to approach new cultures.” Likewise, the development of communicative skills “allows one to express thoughts, emotions, experiences and opinions, as well as to engage in dialogue, form critical and ethical judgments, generate ideas, structure knowledge, give coherence and cohesion to discourse and to one’s own actions and tasks, make decisions, and enjoy listening, reading or expressing oneself orally and in writing, all of which also contributes to the development of self-esteem and self-confidence.” .
Writing is undoubtedly a cognitive process, but it is also a social process. Despite the important aspect of the communicative function, the fact is that our pupils speak less and less outside the classroom. Games are no longer group games, adults have little time for dialogue and new technologies have burst into everyone’s life. This is one of the reasons why it is increasingly difficult for our pupils to become competent communicators, meaning that they know how to express themselves correctly in writing or orally.
There is no doubt, therefore, that working with language in general and with expression in particular, beyond the mere elements of language, is fundamental to adequately integrate the contents and for pupils to be socio-culturally integrated.
Based on the above, we propose to address written expression in the classroom through an expression workshop that encourages pupils to produce texts as a communication tool, fosters socialization and regulation and promotes the integration of knowledge as a cognitive tool.
The first objective of our expression workshop is for pupils to feel free to write and comfortable sharing their productions. This is because we understand that there is an important personal growth in the group sharing of personal productions and there is a learning process by listening to and reading each other’s work.
We will always start from a functional approach because, as we have said, we need it to be meaningful for the pupils. Pupils will write for something, they will need to write based on the proposals that we will try to make innovative and motivating for them and that take into account the communicative function of language teaching.
HBS Bilingual Project
The main objective of our project is for pupils to learn to communicate in English and develop their linguistic competence in both English and Spanish, as well as to acquire knowledge through different areas of the curriculum, thus assimilating the target language while learning content related to other areas.
When pupils perceive that what they are learning is useful and functional, they begin to actively participate in the activities, establishing connections with previous learning, which in turn develops autonomous learning.
The activities proposed for the primary education stage are aimed at acquiring linguistic competence and developing reading comprehension, oral and written expression and oral comprehension skills. Activities that are carried out in a relaxed environment where each pupil can learn at their own pace and develop the skills of learning, and personal autonomy and initiative, which are so important in our society.
– DRAMA: This is the perfect setting to create a relaxed environment for learning English. Acting out characters and role-playing helps pupils put aside their shyness and approach the English language from a playful perspective. With these sessions, pupils will gain confidence, improve their pronunciation and intonation, and acquire new vocabulary and structures in context, which will improve pupils’ fluency and correctness. We also work on reading comprehension, including written expression.
– STORYTELLING/READING: As part of our plan for promoting reading and developing reading comprehension, we understand that reading is a key activity because it is a learning tool. Our goal is for teachers to promote reading in all areas in order to develop skills that allow pupils to be able to understand the benefits it brings: reading to obtain information, learn, communicate, have fun, experience other realities, and so on.
That is why our center encourages this, providing more exposure to reading techniques such as: skimming (quick reading to get a global idea of the text), scanning (quick reading in search of specific information), and intensive and extensive reading.
– HELPING OUT: Each pupil has different learning rhythms. Not everyone learns in the same way: some have more developed spatial intelligence, whereas others have more linguistic, musical, kinesthetic, mathematical and other forms of intelligence. It is important that each pupil knows how they learns in order to get the most out of the classes. Likewise, it is equally important for all pupils to respect each other’s pace of working by getting involved in their classmates’ learning. The child who is doing better will help the one who is having difficulties, but they will also be developing their linguistic competence because explaining something to others requires them to highlight the relevant aspects of what is to be learned and do so in a clear and simple way. Pupils will work in heterogeneous groups on the most complex points of the modules of the English course. The teacher will be able to help pupils on a more individual basis, both for those who are having difficulties and by proposing new challenges to more advanced pupils.
– SCIENCE WORKSHO: We dedicate this workshop to working with pupils in experiments and group work where they can put into practice scientific methods while reviewing the contents of the subjects. These sessions are highly valued by the teaching staff and pupils since they work on the contents of the subjects in a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing special attention to be paid to the pupils who have doubts in the explanations.
Sustainable schools project
One of our objectives as an educational center is to provide coherence to our educational practice from an environmental point of view. Throughout all stages, but especially in primary education, our objective is to correctly implement environmental education in the curriculum, as well as to carry out different activities that promote the awareness of the whole community.
In order to carry out this project, our center participates in the MADRID PROGRAM OF SUSTAINABLE SCHOOLS, or more specifically in the “ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION ON WASTE AND RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION” project.
Our environmental project focuses on three aspects: RECYCLING, WASTE AND CONSUMPTION, through the following activities.
- Reuse of paper before throwing it away.
- Separation of waste into paper, plastics and bricks and other waste, putting each one into its corresponding container or garbage can.
- Team of environmental agents to monitor and remind schoolmates not to dispose of waste outside the garbage cans and containers. (infant, primary and secondary)
- Teams of pupils who check the playground after recess and pick up any debris left in the area.
- Team of pupils who supervise the actions of the environmental project and are involved in creating new objectives.
- Environmental education team in charge of designing posters and campaigns to motivate and remind pupils, teachers and staff about the actions of the environmental project.
- In order to make the pupils aware of the benefit their work brings to the environment, a waste record is kept (approximate number of bags (or weight) collected per day, per week, per month, etc.). With this data, the positive impact that the initiative has on the environment is analyzed by creating graphs, diagrams, etc., which are developed in the different subjects (iPad, mathematics, natural science, etc.).
Ecological garden project
The organic school garden project is a living space that creates learning situations that align with the interests of pupils of different ages. The values of healthy eating and sustainable and respectful cultivation practices acquire their full meaning from the action itself. The activities are based on the manipulation, observation and investigation of the pupils in infant education.
Projects related to coexistence improvement
- ABCNEXT program to improve coexistence and social climate in schools: This is a values education program based on the sport of basketball and framed within the agreement signed between the Spanish Professional Association of Basketball Clubs (ACB) and the Department of Education and Sports of the Community of Madrid
- Social skills improvement program: The Torrejón City Council organizes this program aimed at pupils in fifth and sixth grade of primary school.
- Master plan for coexistence and improvement of security in educational centers. As part of this master plan, the Spanish National Police organizes talks for primary school pupils that cover: bullying and cyberbullying.
- Ciberexpert@ project: the Spanish National Police, with the support of Telefónica and the collaboration of the Fundación Cibervoluntarios, organizes this project, which aims to educate children in how to use the internet safely. It is aimed at pupils in the sixth grade of primary education.
- Project to raise awareness on equality and prevention of gender violence. Organized by the Community of Madrid.
- Kids Centric Universe Pilot Program. This program developed by the Department of Education of the Community of Madrid uses video games and artificial intelligence to produce a customized platform that identifies digital risks such as cyberbullying, addiction or hate messages.
Academic enrichment and entrepreneurship project: AA
This project is aimed at primary education pupils who are classified by the EOEP as having high abilities.
Health and nature project
This project aims to provide sixth-grade primary school pupils with knowledge about first aid and survival in the natural environment. The sessions are part of physical education classes. In these classes, pupils experience situations in which they are given a series of guidelines on how to act when faced with certain problems in this area.
RESPONSIBLE EDUCATION project
Program developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Cantabria which encourages the physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth of individuals, promotes communication and improves coexistence in schools by working with teachers, pupils and families. The program helps children:
- Learn about themselves and gain confidence.
- Understand others.
- Recognize and express emotions and ideas.
- Develop self-control.
- Learn to make responsible decisions.
- Value and care for their health.
PInternational Etwinning Projects
At the primary school, collaborative work is carried out between two or more European schools from different countries on a previously agreed theme. This collaboration takes place through a virtual platform and the use of different tools.
UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet)
This network connects educational institutions around the world via a common goal: to build the defenses of peace in the minds of children and youth.
Come and meet us
Discover our educational project from the hand of our teaching staff.