Mater Salvatoris is defined by two fundamental values: experience and innovation.
At Mater Salvatoris, the best elements of the experience and tradition of an education style based on Christian humanism are allied with continual innovation aimed at improving the quality of the education process, in important fields such as languages, project-based learning and the integration of new technologies.
Play, in the form of games, facilitates children’s learning. For this reason, at Mater Salvatoris there is a specific “Games” class, with different types of activities:
Creativity, sensitivity, self-esteem, imagination, originality… As Judy Burton said: when children are drawing, “they become a vehicle for new perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, deepening their awareness”.
Mater Salvatoris School attaches great importance to artistic education, as can be seen in the development of the our Visual Education project for Primary School students.
Its main objective is to develop visual skills, imagination, manual dexterity and the use of the visual arts domain as another means of expression and communication.
The methodology used seeks to stimulate critical thought and children’s creativity. This is a very special skill, since the way a child conceives of reality and their surroundings is very different to that of an adult.
The starting point is learning based on a discussion of works. Artists such as Paul Klee, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Picasso and Monet have been carefully selected for their striking aesthetic qualities, both in terms of colour and theme. Students are encouraged to start a conversation about the painting in question: they talk about what they see and their initial thoughts, later reflecting on the impact these works have made on them.
One of the great innovations of Mater Salvatoris School’s academic project is the introduction of a new methodology that complements traditional classes. It is called Project-Based Learning (PBL), an education strategy that has been highly effective all over the world in terms of ensuring students obtain meaningful learning.
The key to the success of PBL is that, on the one hand, it involves students in authentic activities with real-life situations and, on the other hand, it builds knowledge and broadens learning through teamwork.
The students who work through PBL learn to appreciate differences by listening and working together, as well as to employ different strategies to solve problems using critical thinking. Through their research to answer a key question, students develop the so-called “21st Century Skills”:
In short, the student broadens their own knowledge through their work and research, with careful guidance from a teacher.
USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN LEARNING
Our students are “digital natives”, having been born into a society in which technology represents a crucial part of their lives. For this reason, it must be present in the academic domain, just as it is in the rest of their daily lives.
The presence of new technologies in the School’s educational project makes the teaching and learning process more attractive and personal for students, who are the true protagonists in this method.
We are well aware of the changes that have occurred in society in recent times. This transformation has been the result of technological advances. We find ourselves in a world where we can speak to somebody who is thousands of miles away without moving an inch. It is no longer necessary to learn the enormous amount of information we have stored on computers, hard drives or, even better, clouds; with one click we can obtain the information we want anywhere in the world or without leaving our house or office. The real skill will be in how we use this information. That is to say, we need to develop other skills.
Today we work in teams, quickly studying and analysing information and situations in order to arrive at conclusions together.
Mater Salvatoris School wants to prepare students for the society in which they live. It wants them to acquire the traits and characteristics of 21st Century students. It wants them to be thoughtful and critical, to broaden their own knowledge, to learn to work in a team and to be decisive. In short, it wants them to be able to deal with any situation they face.
In order to achieve these aims, the School has made a commitment to technology. It is not only about possessing multiple media, but rather about knowing how to use all the possible tools, individually or as a group, to address different situations and learn by building one’s own knowledge.
This is why Mater Salvatoris has converted the computer room into the 21st Century Skills centre. It boasts equipment that will facilitate this learning process, including state of the art computers and laptops, which can be taken away to any part of the School, as well as tablets and digital whiteboards.
The School is convinced that this is the right path to take in terms of learning about and understanding this changing world, without forgetting that some things are sacrosanct. For instance, we must continue to reinforce values, demanding and valuing effort and traditional learning methods.
“Having knowledge but lacking the power to express it clearly is no better than never having any ideas at all”. (Pericles).
The ability to think and express one’s ideas clearly, effectively and fluently, both in everyday conversations and in front of larger groups, is one of the most prized skills a person can possess.
There is no doubt that leadership is closely linked to the art of eloquence: the ability to persuade, teach, move and please others is an essential skill in all walks of life.
As with any human faculty, the mastery of oral expression requires cultivation and training.
Developing communication skills helps overcome insecurity and increases self-esteem, enhancing interpersonal relationships and allowing emotional intelligence to grow.
For this reason, Mater Salvatoris School educates its students in the art of public speaking through workshops, presentations and debates, so that they learn to overcome the fear of speaking in public and discover that doing so is not an impossible or unachievable task.