If you would like to go to Spain for your GST experience, your placement will be in an SEK School. SEK schools are private international bilingual schools for students from 1 to 18 years of age. The school year is from September to early June.
Michael Van Ostran, Coordinator ESO and Luis Miiguel Zapardiel, Coordinator EP
The first SEK School was founded in 1892 and is the oldest secular school in Spain. The organization now has eight schools in Spain, Ireland and France educating over 10,000 students. They are the only Spanish centers that have the accreditation to teach the three IB Programs, offered by the International Baccalaureate Organization. In 1998 SEK opened its first University in Madrid, Camilo José Cela University, which now runs over 50 courses.
Entrance to the middle level buildings
SEK campuses are made up of separate academic units and outdoor playgrounds for early childhood, primary, middle level and secondary education. The campuses have large indoor and outdoor sport complexes which include swimming pools, tennis, paddle and basketball courts, football (soccer) fields, and running tracks. Some of the SEK campuses have male and female dormitories.
The curriculum includes Spanish and English beginning at age 5. At Level 5, students choose a third language to study, usually French or German. Although it is helpful, you do not have to speak Spanish to complete your student teaching in an SEK school.
Students who choose to complete their student teaching in Spain may be placed in one of the following SEK schools:
SEK Ciudalcampo, Madrid
A Level 5 classroom at SEK El Castillo
SEK Cuidalcampo is located 30 km north of Madrid on the Madrid-Burgos motorway close to Circuito de Jarma and the residence complex called “Ciudad Residential Ciudalcampo.” The campus opened in 1975 and has 1900 students from ages 1–18.
Beyond the IB Curriculum SEK has developed its own original educative system based on the “Intelligent Classroom” involving student-centered learning in large technologically equipped and flexible centers. SEK Ciudalcampo is innovative and at the forefront of many dynamic and modern educational projects, including “Mindlab”, “Learning to be” and “Learning to learn” developed by its own professional staff.
SEK El Castillo, Madrid
Entrance to the Primary building at SEK El Castillo
SEK El Castillo is located 30 minutes northwest of Madrid in the residential area of Castillo. Camilo Jose Cela University is located adjacent to the school. El Castillo is the only educational center that offers a sports training center, boarding facilities, and a school at the same place where elite athletes can stay, and combine their sport with their studies.
SEK Santa Isabel, Madrid
View from the “penthouse” playground
Located in the historic center of Madrid, SEK Santa Isabel is surrounded by museums, palaces, and gardens. Santa Isabel opened in 1973 and has 500 students in Infant Education (3 to 5 years of age) and Primary Education (6 to 12 years of age). The students continue their Secondary Education and IB studies at the Colegio SEK-Ciudalcampo, or may choose the Colegio SEK-El Castillo.
St. Isabel is housed in one five-story building. Its many playgrounds are located in the building, yet open to the outdoors. A great world map welcomes students and teachers into the hall. The school yards are cheerful and adapted to the age of the students: big flowers, butterflies, ladybugs and a large rainbow have turned these playing areas into ideal spaces to enjoy the adventure of learning, imagining, and sharing. The outdoor playground is on the top floor and overlooks Madrid.
Indoor garden area – 3rd floor
Located in slopes of the Montseny, in the town of LaGarriga, SEK Catalunya lies 25 minutes from Barcelona, in the region of El Vallés Oriental. The spacious school grounds have a forest of pines, holm oaks and ferns.
Jordi Ros Sabater, Subdirector, in outdoor playground at SEK Catalunya
SEK Catalunya opened in 1995 and has 850 students. From the age of 5, students at have a trilingual education (50% English, 25% each Catalan and Castilian) with native speaking teachers.
SEK Atlántico was established in 1989. It is located in the incomparable Galician Rías Bajas region in the city of A Caeira, Poio, Pontevedra.
Project Approach – Inventions – 6-7 year olds
SEK Alboran is located in the Andalucía region of Spain. It is 25 minutes from Almeria in Almerimar. Andalucía has 500 miles of coastline, mild climate, beautiful countryside and is a popular tourist destination. The SEK Alboran campus opened in 1999. The campus overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.
The Primary Education teachers implement the Project Method into their curriculum. The Secondary Education IB offers two modalities: Science and Technology, and Humanities and Social Studies.
Maria Gomez, Subdirector of Learning and Development, Sallie Harris, GST participant, Carol Cook, GST Director, and Luis Carlos Jimenez Gamez, Headmaster of Alboran, overlooking the playground and the Mediterranean Sea