FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
How to differentiate this Montessori centre from other schools that also claim to be Montessori?
Our educational programme is based 100% on Montessori pedagogy. We follow the precepts of AMI (Association Montessori Internationale), the association founded in 1950 by Maria Montessori and our director is a member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Montessori Association. Our education includes:
- Multi-age classrooms
- Teachers academically trained in the Montessori method
- 3h duty cycles
- We work with complete Montessori materials in the classrooms and available to all our students.
What does it mean that ZSH is an international school?
ZSH is an international school accredited by NEASC, New England Association of Schools and Colleges. NEASC is an independent American organisation founded in 1885 that supports and accredits educational institutions that strive for excellence and are committed to continuous self-evaluation and improvement. It is an institution that accredits the high quality standards of our educational programme, in line with that of most private international schools.. To this end, NEASC representatives in Spain make regular follow-up visits and monitor our development as an international school. We are also part of accreditation teams that monitor other schools in Spain.
What is the educational curriculum of the school?
Zaragoza SchoolHouse is an international school officially recognised by the Ministry of Education of the Government of Spain and the Regional Ministry of Education of Aragon (school code no. 50017771).
We are incorporating the Primary Education curriculum (link to website https://educa.aragon.es/-/normativa-primaria) and we extend content in certain areas such as science, mathematics, art, languages and music, which we consider fundamental for the acquisition of key knowledge for the educational development of our pupils. In addition, at ZSH we like to read and we promote reading from childhood. For this reason, we have a classroom library in all our classrooms and from Primary onwards we incorporate a weekly reading plan in Spanish and English, as well as a fortnightly one in French.
We are a NEASC accredited international school. Being a Montessori international school also allows us to broaden the curriculum with programmes that address students' personal development and citizenship in addition to academics.
How do you work on emotional education?
Emotional education is a fundamental part of our approach and is continuously and permanently present in the day-to-day classroom. We integrate concepts, values, attitudes and skills to help them regulate their emotions, build their personality, show attention and care towards others.
What is our approach to conflict resolution, boundaries and rules in the classroom?
In order for students to enjoy autonomy and autonomous work, it is necessary for the classroom to be highly regulated. With this objective in mind, we have clear protocols for action in the event of conflict or non-compliance with rules. Likewise, at ZSH we work from cognitive-behavioural psychology and under the paradigm of reward and positive reinforcement. In this way we stimulate work and interest in learning, avoiding punishment.
Physical or verbal aggression is not allowed, and when it does happen, we have a protocol for action and consequences established and shared by all members of our educational community. We work to ensure that students know how to recognise aggression or when limits are being exceeded in order to prevent learned helplessness. In this way, students recognise an aggression or boundary transgression in order to be able to ask for help. In this sense, the constitution that we establish in each classroom is important, with the values of consistency, respect, which they all know and know how to recognise in their classmates.
How are students assessed, are there exams?
The assessment of our pupils is carried out in different ways, depending on each school stage:
- Children's Community and Children's Home
- Through continuous and attentive observation by the teaching staff, the pupils' achievement of the development objectives set for this stage is assessed. This information is passed on to the families every three months in a tutorial session.
- Workshop I: students take a quarterly general control test to determine the degree to which they have mastered the contents and to assess the need for reinforcement during the following quarter.
- Workshop II students take a quarterly control test for each subject to determine the degree of mastery of content and to assess the need for reinforcement in the following quarter. In addition, final year students take periodic control tests on each completed unit.
- Secondary: pupils take control tests on each completed unit and termly examinations by subject.
The control tests are announced with sufficient time to review the subjects and are then corrected with the students. In addition, these tests are prepared with the students and are supported by the preparation of summaries and the organisation of study time. In addition, the tests are carried out in different formats to speed up skills: multiple-choice, short answer, developmental, etc.
Is there any homework or homework?
At ZSH we have done a joint reflection on the need to take reinforcement tasks after the school day.
- There is no homework at the infant stage.
- In Workshop I, work is usually completed during school hours during the week. At home, they can review specific topics such as multiplication tables or English vocabulary. In addition, they carry out a lan lector to reinforce reading every day.
- Workshop II: they finish their work during the week in class and at home they revise specific topics such as multiplication tables, English vocabulary, art work. In addition, they also have a Reading Plan to reinforce their reading on a daily basis and they revise in preparation for the termly exams.
- Secondary: they complete work during the week in class and at home they revise specific topics such as specific concepts in language, mathematics and science, English vocabulary, art work. In addition, they have a reading plan and review content in preparation for the control tests.
This is the general guideline, however there may be students with specific learning needs who have a different pattern of work at home.
How are new technologies being incorporated in the classroom?
Our pupils start learning programming and computational thinking from the age of 9.
Following the Montessori philosophy of the use of materials, we consider the computer and programming to be another tool for doing work, consulting information or learning mathematics, among other objectives.
How is the subsequent adaptation of the children to other non-Montessori centres?
Throughout these ten years, several pupils have moved to other schools with different methodologies. The transition period has always been fluid and the children experience differences such as the organisation of the classrooms, less independence in the choice of their work, or the relationship with the teaching staff. Adaptation has always been good and they continue their school development in a normal way.
How do I access the centre?
The school can be reached by
- By bike: we have a bike lane to the school gate.
- Tram: Argualas stop
- By private vehicle. You can park in different places nearby, in the space in front of the Casablanca Stadium, in the Argualas area, in the Isla de Malta street next to the school, etc.
What is the educational timetable?
Classes take place from 9am to 4pm. In addition, from 8am to 9am there is an early bird service and in the afternoons it is open for extracurricular classes until 5.30pm.
Is there an early bird service?
Yes, the centre has an early bird service from 8 to 9 a.m. which is paid monthly or daily according to the needs of each family.
Do we have our own kitchen?
Food is part of our daily learning and that is why we educate the children in healthy, educated and sustainable eating habits. During the course of a day we prepare two of the five meals a day: lunch and dinner. We have our own kitchen and balanced menus prepared with dedication by our cook Javi. As far as possible, the products are local, fresh and organic, and of the highest quality. In this link you can see our menu of the month. In our kitchen we also prepare different menus according to the medical and nutritional needs of each student. Javi prepares vegetarian, gluten-free and lactose-free menus, for example.
What extracurricular activities are available?
From skating, fencing, swimming, programming or theatre, at this link you can access all the extracurricular activities currently on offer at the school.
Come and visit Zaragoza SchoolHouse