A holistic education, far beyond teaching subjects
Cognitive skills are important, but not enough. According to Robert Sternberg, an American psychologist specialising in intelligence, formal and academic education is very focused on the development of analytical skills and linked to logical and abstract thinking. However, this only contributes to 10 to 15 percent of a person’s successful job performance, leaving significant gaps.
Human beings need to take responsibility for their own lives in order to be able to relocate their own experiences in the social context, and thus help others to further the development of society. When people take responsibility for all their dimensions as persons, they build a healthy, productive and peaceful personality in personal equilibrium.
For this, and many other reasons, pupils at Coruña British International School receive a holistic and personalised education which offers vibrant experiences through subjects such as music, sport and creative arts. Academics are important but life experiences round off their education. These three disciplines make a key contribution to the cognitive, personal and social development of our pupils. Music, art and creative disciplines bring out skills and abilities such as concentration, memory, sensitivity, creativity and sensory development, qualities of vital importance for many areas of life. Sport also develops physical skills and promotes important values such as teamwork, friendship, respect and cooperation. All these disciplines permeate the daily life of our school and are fundamental to the integral formation of our pupils.
The International Commission on Education for the 21st Century, created by UNESCO itself, proposed the need to form a new culture of citizenship that allows individuals to participate actively in the development of society; to stimulate cooperation between human beings, without distinction of race, religion or language. In this same sense, education must be based on knowledge, values, attitudes and aptitudes favourable to the construction of a culture of peace and democracy, according to the Declaration of the 44th Session of the International Conference on Education. Geneva, 1994.
In addition to academic studies, our aim is that at school they will treasure moments and relationships that will make them confident and well-rounded young people. In addition to providing an excellent education, we ensure that our students develop character and learn and develop skills beyond the purely academic. Our students are not just a numerical grade they are integral people. Our students have a voice and we empower them to help build a better world: one that is more equitable, fair and sustainable.
Therefore, integral education takes into account different dimensions to form the student not only intellectually, but also as a person who must learn to relate to others, to be socially committed and to become an ethical citizen. Integral education includes approaches from fields as different as the biological, neurological, social, cultural, psychological and spiritual, and involves considering individual and collective aspects, of the teachers and of the students as well as the general population.
So we participate in Caritas campaigns in our city to try to help the disadvantaged; we take part in the WWF’s Living Planet Report to take care of the planet we will leave behind or we celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day to leave the classrooms empty because learning in open spaces is very stimulating. These three examples are just some of the many conquests that shape the character, personality, intelligence and emotions of our students.
In the words of Mr. Dominic Abbott, Head of Coruña British International School: “We are true to our principles, we are a sensitive and caring school, where children feel happy, safe, secure, protected and confident. A place where, through learning, our pupils can reach their full potential. A place where the more able are challenged and the less able are supported to achieve success and where learning should also be fun”.