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28

01 2017

ESCOLA TÚRBULA in Sant Adrià de Besòs (Barcelona)

Escola Túrbula (www.escolaturbula.com) is located in a town called Sant Adrià de Besòs, which is near Barcelona. The school is situated in a deprived area of town, populated by people who came from different parts of Spain during the 1960’s and 1970’s. From which the population has grown and is still growing today by incorporating immigrant people from South America, China, Pakistan, Eastern countries,… who came to improve their standards of living. Next to the school there is a neighbourhood called “La Mina”, populated by a majority of gypsy families who attend our school. Our students belong to lower working class families who either are on a low income or are unemployed. However, the wide offer in professional training studies has attracted an increasing number of students from all around the country who seek high quality professional training courses.

The different levels include:  Nursery (aged 1 to 2), Preschool (aged 3 to 5), Primary (aged 6 to 11), Secondary (aged 12 to 16) and Post-secondary (aged 16 to 18, which includes University preparation courses and Vocational courses related to Dentistry and Sports). 10% of our students are special needs students. There are also special courses for drop-outs who are in risk of being socially excluded and have little chances in the labour market.

In our school lessons are delivered in Catalan, which is the medium of education, and Spanish is also learnt, as they are the two native languages in our area. Despite Catalan being the language of education, our students are Spanish speakers with little active  contact with Catalan. That’s why our institution struggles to expose students to Catalan since the language in the environment and at home is Spanish. As for our foreign languages, English is used from Nursery up to Post-Secondary as first and foremost a foreign language. German is offered as a second foreign language as an option for students who are at Secondary level. Our commitment to language learning is huge, so students have the chance to learn German at secondary level. Moreover, the CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach is stressed at all levels since our students learn some subjects through English. Considering the social context and our teaching objectives, it is a challenge for our institution to offer teachers the opportunity to get in contact with other teachers in Europe in order to share their experiences, compare them and learn new or different methodologies and approaches to teaching that we can use to improve our school.
In 2007, one of the school objectives was to extend the use of English by delivering some of the subjects in English (i.e. CLIL approach). It was in 2007 when our CLIL project started by providing our teachers with training in this area in order to equip them with the necessary tools to deliver some of the lessons in a foreign language, in our case in English. From that moment on, we started different projects in order to achieve our goal: training our teachers and equipping them with the necessary tools in order to deliver their lessons in English, improving the level of English of our teachers and, consequently, improving the competence of our students in English. These are the projects recognised by Departament d’Ensenyament (Catalan Government) we carried out:
- 2009-2012: PELE (Programa Experimental de Llengües Estrangeres) project “Let’s get to know some important composers” (CLIL project: Music in English at Secondary level)
- 2012-2014: Comenius Project “Our Voices across Europe” (CLIL project: Music in English at Secondary level) which involved International exchanges with 7 different schools in Europe
- 2012-2014: PILE (Pla Integrat de Llengües Estrangeres) project “Let’s create with artists” (CLIL project: Arts and Crafts at Primary level)
- 2015-2017: GEP (Grup Experimental per al Plurilingüisme) project “A Taste of Art” (CLIL project: Arts and Crafts at Primary and Secondary level)
Apart from all these recognised projects, since 2007 we have been offering CLIL courses to train our teachers and good practice exchanges to share our CLIL projects and experiences. Besides, we have participated in different CLIL courses in Spain to share our projects and experiences with other teachers. Now we have a strong CLIL project in our school which involves all different levels from Nursery up to Post-Secondary in which our teachers deliver their subjects in English following a CLIL approach in order to develop our students’ competency in the English language and the mastery of content-rich contents.  One of the pillars of our CLIL project is the fact that every class is taught mainly by a team of two teachers (tandem teaching).

The school has a policy of inclusiveness and promotes a holistic approach to education. Thus, this project promotes inclusion so that all students will benefit from our educational practices.  As mentioned before, our school is made up of students from different social backgrounds together with special needs students and our main objective is to offer all of them the chance to mingle, learn to work together and benefit from such an enriching project.
We believe in a plurilingual education for all.


28

01 2017