Educational Model

Teaching Innovation

Sunrise Method and Top Leader

What Is It?

An international programme of pedagogical innovation for primary education that fundamentally consists of approaching the learning process from a different direction. We do not change the content but we do change the way that content is taught.

Fundamental Aspects

1. Integral Formation

Harmonious balance is sought between the four formation areas (human, spiritual, intellectual and apostolic) in the belief that any action by our pupils involves all of these areas to one extent or another.

Furthermore, a range of specific formative resources has been developed that are all interconnected: Programme of Catholic Formation, Formation in Virtues, Social Participation and Formation for Love.

2. Skill-based Learning

We seek to prepare young people who are ready for life, capable of performing effectively in any situation. To that end, it is necessary to develop the skills and attitudes in children that they will need to perform both personally and socially, as well as the learning of knowledge. This is what we call “skill-based working”.

In this regard, the SUNRISE Method perfectly encompasses and goes beyond the idea of skills established by the current Spanish Constitutional Law on Education (LOMCE). The LOMCE defines the ‘what’ while the SUNRISE Method explains the ‘how’.

3. Emphasis on Strategic Learning

Learning to learn. The teacher takes part in the formation of pupils as a mediator and facilitator, providing pupils with the tools they need for self-learning. Pupils become the active protagonists of their own learning experience.

The fundamental learning strategies on which we base ourselves are:

  • Problem-based learning
  • Cooperative learning
  • Research projects

4. Learning Environments

These are specific and virtual tools that seek to provide enriching learning experiences through a range of spaces and methods. The learning method for these tools is based on discovery, exploration, experimentation and play, thus encouraging initiative, curiosity and active effort among pupils.

Conclusion

In short, the programme seeks to develop the specific potential that resides in each pupil so that they manage to fully develop themselves as people.

The programme helps pupils discover what those possibilities are and to freely and personally respond to the project God has given them. By following this path, they will undoubtedly find meaning in their life and, through that, happiness.

At its core, this new approach fundamentally seeks to shape persons of integrity by working in harmony with their families so they may become leaders of positive action and committed builders of a civilisation based on justice and love, according to principles of Christian Humanism.

Stages and methods

Stages

We endeavour and are committed to obtaining the best results from our pupils and guaranteeing them the best preparation as people for success in what they become and what they do so that, when tomorrow comes, they are able to successfully complete higher education. To that end, we have a well-grounded syllabus with clear educational objectives and extensive content in the areas of science, the humanities and art.

At our centre, we accept pupils between 1 and 18 years of age. Highlands School Barcelona plans all schooling stages with a maximum of 2 groups until completing Higher Secondary with a maximum of 750 pupils.

Furthermore, we offer comprehensive formation in learning skills and learning tools. We seek not only to provide pupils with knowledge but also to enable them to apply that knowledge at any time and in any aspect of their lives.

Differentiated Education

Nowadays, differentiated education is an avant-garde characteristic of the best education models. Based on an approach whereby the educational objectives and contents are the same for both boys and girls, differentiated education is an education system with a teaching style adapted to each gender to optimise their development and learning.

Medical science has identified differences in the brains of boys and girls. In general, a greater part of the cerebral cortex which is responsible for memory, attention, thought, and language is dedicated to verbal functioning in girls and dedicated to spatial and mechanical functioning in boys.

The cerebral cortex is just one example of how boys’ and girls’ brains differ. Even though their brains are different, however, there is no difference between what each gender can learn. At Highlands School Barcelona, we know the difference is in how they learn best. We take advantage of these differences in a gender specific learning environment, so we can teach in a way that caters to our students’ uniqueness. In that way, it helps to ensure that both boys and girls can reach their full potential.

In Infant school, classrooms are co-ed, but by the time our students reach first grade of Primary (6 years old), they are in gender specific classrooms, and our gender specific learning model continues all the way through Middle School. The beauty of our co-ed campus means we can still offer plenty of opportunities for socialization across every grade within each division during lunch, recess, clubs, and the numerous all school activities that are planned.

Methods

SUNRISE Method (Pre-school and Primary):

An education programme focused on skill-based schooling: not only does it provide pupils with knowledge but also gives them the skills to apply that knowledge at any time and in any aspect of their lives.

Top Leader” Programme (Secondary)

This programme is intended at awakening the leader that lies within our pupils and enabling them to lead their own lives. We achieve this through Cinema Forums, Debate Clubs,an Apologetics Course, subject-focused projects, cultural visits, synthesis work, research work, etc.

APS Programme – Pre-University Guidance (Higher Secondary)

This aims at providing pupils with the best professional guidance possible. Pupils undertake a week of work experience, literary workshops, attend professional guidance conferences, conferences on how to access university education, enjoy leisure alternatives, conferences on academic and professional opportunities and open days at a number of different universities.

Virtues Programme

Highlands School Barcelona seeks the development of human virtues through all its educational, curricular and extra-curricular activities, and fosters habits of harmony and solidarity.

New Technologies

New technologies are incorporated in the teaching of various subjects so that pupils and teachers become familiar with them and are able to make good use of the educational resources they provide: the use of multimedia systems as an educational resource in all areas of the syllabus and technical training for using and creating educational material in multimedia language, as well as using these systems as a resource for educational assessment purposes.

Civility Programme 

We work on civility throughout all stages of the education process to make sure our pupils are educated and polite personss.

Academic Excellence

We endeavour and are committed to obtaining the best results from our pupils and guaranteeing them the best preparation as people for success in what they become and what they do so that, when tomorrow comes, they are able to successfully complete higher education. To that end, we have a well-grounded syllabus with clear educational objectives and extensive content in the areas of science, the humanities and art. Furthermore, we offer comprehensive formation in learning skills and learning tools. We seek not only to provide pupils with knowledge but also to enable them to know how to apply that knowledge at any time and in any aspect of their lives.

We have thus adopted avant-garde education systems and programmes of excellence:

Sunrise Method (Pre-school and Primary)

An education programme focused on skills-based schooling: not only does it provide pupils with knowledge but also gives them the skills to apply that knowledge at any time and in any aspect of their lives.

“Top Leader” Programme (Secondary)

This programme is intended to awaken the leader that lies within our pupils and enable them to lead their own lives. We achieve this through Cinema Forums, Debate Clubs, an Apologetics Course, themed projects, cultural visits, synthesis work, research work, etc.

APS Programme – Pre-University Guidance (Higher Secondary)

This aims to provide pupils with the best professional guidance possible. Pupils undertake a week of work experience, attend professional guidance conferences, conferences on how to access university education, enjoy leisure alternatives, conferences on academic and professional opportunities and open days at a number of different universities.

Virtues Programme

HIGHLANDS SCHOOL Barcelona seeks the development of human virtues through all its educational, curricular and extra-curricular activities, and fosters habits of harmony and solidarity.

Civility Programme

We work on civility throughout all stages of the education process in order to mould educated and polite pupils.

Intellectual Formation

Above all, this comprises the development of abilities, habits and skills; education on the correct use of reason; on the ability to reach fair and balanced judgements; encouraging the ability to analyse, synthesise and relate; and to foster a curiosity to learn about reality. Our pupils thus acquire a clear and sound mental structure with principles and values imprinted on their conscience.

Personalised Services

  • Direct observation in the classroom
  • Group level psycho-pedagogical assessment in P4 Pre-School, throughout Primary education and in 3rd and 4th Grade Secondary.
  • Individual psycho-pedagogical assessment whenever necessary.
  • Preparation of a personalised programme to accompany each pupil throughout their schooling.
  • Advice to parents on issues related to any educational, development, emotional or social aspect of their children.
  • Contact and collaboration with external centres.

Personalised Plan

This is a resource designed for those pupils who require certain adaptation of the syllabus, whether they demonstrate particular talent or any specific difficulties. How is this done? The objectives, content and assessment method are tailored to each pupil and established according to the actual ability of the pupil. They are temporary plans and are subject to review each term by the Faculty, the Guidance Office and the Academic Coordination Office.

Professional Guidance Plan

This programme is aimed at pupils in 3rd and 4th Grade Compulsory Secondary and is intended to guide them in their choice of profession for the future.

How is this done?

The GOES (Secondary Education Guidance Office) prepares a report that considers the results obtained from psycho-technical tests, personality tests and professional interest tests together with a personal interview. This report forms part of a programme that, among other things, also includes existential practices, chats from sector professionals, etc.

CAMBRIDGE System

Languages are essential for cultural enrichment and for the professional future of our pupils. With that in mind, HIGHLANDS SCHOOL Barcelona begins with a bilingual (Spanish-English) system in our nursery years. Later on, Catalan is added in Pre-school to achieve trilingualism.

Most of our activities are taught in English so that pupils can pick up the language naturally: Spelling Bee, Highlands Week, Summer Camp, Oratory Contest, Debates, Contests, Picto-poems, Dialogue of the week…

Official Cambridge exams:

Highlands Barcelona is a preparatory centre for the official Cambridge exams, thus making it easier for our pupils to take these exams and obtain official qualifications. 50% of our pupils obtained the highest possible grade in the 2011-2012 school year, while only 0.48% managed to do so in Spain as a whole.

English throughout every schooling stage:

  • Our Pre-school classes are taught 60% in English and 40% in Spanish, this being the time in a child’s life when they are most receptive to learning new linguistic skills. Our pupils find themselves in an English environment, with teachers who only speak English and classrooms decorated entirely with English texts. This stage is focused on oral comprehension and expression. The children pick up the language in an entirely natural way, through the routine imposed by the teacher, their projects, picto-poems and ‘show and tell’ exercises.
  • We introduce Catalan as a third language during Primary school when classes are taught 50% in English, 35% in Spanish and 15% in Catalan. We also present our pupils for such exams as the “Starters”, “Movers” and “PET” in 6th Grade Primary. We regularly hold a “Spelling Bee” competition at our school because correct spelling is essential for writing well in English. This is why we dedicate time every week to spelling activities. Pupils then take part in a competition at the end of each term.
  • Classes are taught 45% in English, 35% in Spanish and 25% in Catalan during Secondary school and pupils are presented for the First Certificate in English (FCE).
  • When they reach Higher Secondary, those pupils who wish to do so can present themselves for the official Cambridge exams to obtain the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

Studies in Ireland

Highlands Barcelona offers its pupils the chance to spend a term, 6 months or a year studying at our Dublin Oak and Woodlands Academy centres in Ireland. These academies follow the same academic system as we do.

End-of-Year Trips to Ireland

Our pupils study in Ireland for one week in 6th Grade Primary. The purpose of this trip is to consolidate their knowledge of the English language that they have acquired at school.

Integral Catholic Formation

Spiritual Formation

We seek to help each pupil experience a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, the love and security He conveys, and to help them discover the Church as Mother and Master. To that end, celebration of the Eucharist and Confession play a central role in our approach.

We seek to inspire a love of God in their hearts.

Formation in Virtues

We seek to form mature and free-thinking individuals. To achieve that, we place an emphasis on educating character and willpower, while also trying to help our pupils overcome personal barriers by working on their virtues. Discipline and physical education become ideal channels through which to forge character and develop such values as respect, strength, perseverance, teamwork and personal betterment, among others.

We seek to forge integral individuals.

Social Participation

Our wish is for pupils to live a life of commitment to social transformation according to Gospel principles. Therefore, they take part in social projects that foster social awareness and ensure they value the social, family and economic situation in which they live.

Our goal is for them to give the best of themselves.

Formative Discipline

Discipline consists of encouraging pupils to discover the reasons and values that lie behind our rules and not simply view them as the imposition of regulations. We believe in education through self-conviction with a respect for others, as this leads to reasoning and willpower in the pupil. This approach is known as formative discipline, and seeks not so much to correct but rather to steer the pupil towards self-correction and discovering the true process of learning.

Highlands in Action

Highlands School Barcelona wants to show the reality of society to our pupils and to have them acquire consciousness of it. Therefore, during the academic year, our pupils do some various activities to and see that in their city, there are people who lack care and basic necessities.

This is a great opportunity for our pupils to grow up and mature with an awareness of the needs of others. That will accompany them throughout their lives, as these actions stay with you your whole life.

We believe that realizing these kinds of actions is highly beneficial for our pupils’ personal development.

CAMPAIGNS:

Food Bank (Banc d’Aliments)

• Clothes Bank

Destapa tu solidaridad (Fundación GAEM)

VIS Foundation

 

Personal Guidance

Personalised education considers each person as an individual soul. At our school, teachers work with the differences that define each pupil: their psychology, their qualities, their limitations, their previous formation, their family and social environment and their personal history.

We undertake the following:

  • individual and group tutoring with the pupil
  • tutoring with parents
  • we dedicate time to answering questions
  • revision and catch-up classes
  • we teach study techniques while always collaborating with the family and the Psycho-pedagogy Department.

School Guidance Office This office provides support for the comprehensive education of your child.

The social and emotional development of a child has a direct influence on their learning. For that reason, an education centre is an excellent place for paying attention to and being able to help each one of the pupils. The entire education community (family and school) is made aware of this reality, and works and collaborates to ensure that the pupil develops in a harmonious and comprehensive manner. In other words, we ensure that pupils achieve their full potential as people.

Method – the School Guidance Office undertakes the following activities:

  • Tutorials. Development of a personalised guidance plan
  • Individual intervention
  • Classroom intervention
  • Advice to the family
  • Follow-up and collaboration with external centres