For any resident of Cumbre del Sol, the location, climate, and luxury properties are undeniable attractions. However, for families, the most important factor is the knowledge that our children are provided for and can benefit from the very best education available to them. We talked to headmaster Richard Wijeratne from the Lady Elizabeth School, Cumbre del Sol, about the key to success at a school which is ranked as one of the best international schools in Spain, and the developments in store for this year.
A private British school for pupils from Early Years to Sixth Form, the Lady Elizabeth School is situated in the beautiful Cumbre del Sol on the Costa Blanca. Much like the area itself, the school is a truly international environment with pupils of 28 different nationalities. While English is the main language of instruction, the school’s international identity is reinforced with compulsory Spanish language until the age of 16, and other languages as main and extracurricular subjects. While the school is attended by day pupils who live in the local area, its dedication to the boarding programme also allows pupils, from the age of 13, to attend from all over Europe.
Having recently been extended with the completion of a new Year 5 and 6 Department building, which was opened by Nick Rugg, the Director of ISP Schools in Europe, in a ceremony attended by both parents and pupils, the school is undergoing exciting changes in 2018: “The parents loved it, the children loved it, the staff love it, and we are looking forward to moving into the building at the beginning of February.” Further developments await the school in September 2018, when the Secondary School facilities will be moved to join the Primary School in Cumbre del Sol.
When it comes to the success and the reputation of the Lady Elizabeth School, the headmaster explains that this is down to the school prioritising the focus on learning at all levels and making sure that the children fully understand the concept of learning: “We want the children to understand the learning process so that they improve more quickly and they are more satisfied in the whole process of learning. So that is the key, as in the Lady Elizabeth School right now, if you ask any child, or if you ask any parent, or if you ask any teacher what is the key to the Lady Elizabeth School they will simply say one word and that is “learning”. Learning in the classroom, learning on the sports field, learning in the theatre, learning in the swimming pool, learning to be good people, learning to understand other cultures, learning to work with adults, learning to work with friends. This is a simple concept, and it works extremely well.”
The headmaster goes on to explain that one of the undeniable strengths of the school is the specialist teachers, as well as the wide choice of subjects and external examinations, which means that “all pupils are able to take advantage of their own individual strengths, they do not have to follow the same programme as everybody else. They can choose to do different subjects that they enjoy, and if they enjoy them, then they will work better in them.”
For example, when it comes to GCSEs, the pupils choose their minimum of 9 subjects from a total of 18, which include core subjects such as Science, Maths, and Languages, as well as option subjects such as Media Studies and Music. The British Curriculum followed by pupils is complemented by study of the Spanish Section, and in both areas of study, the school achieves outstanding results in comparison to schools both in the locality, and on a national level. The headmaster comments that “the key to this is we celebrate the success with the children, when we talked about learning being the main focus, learning is key but enjoyment of that is the next point”.
At the Lady Elizabeth School, studying this British National Curriculum and gaining A Level qualifications, which are recognised worldwide, allows pupils to pursue further studies anywhere in the world. Proof of the outstanding work of the school is shown through the results achieved by pupils both throughout and at the end of their time at the school. For example, the headmaster notes that over the last 18 years, not one pupil has not achieved their first-choice university in Spain, and comments that many of the Lady Elizabeth School pupils also go on to study in the United States as well as at Cambridge and other Russell Group Universities in the United Kingdom. “The whole programme that is offered here is one of considered success. We are very, very supportive of the pupils and as a result the pupils actually have enormous ambition for themselves.”
As well as supporting pupils who choose to go to university, the school focuses on helping the pupils integrate into the world of work. The Careers Department allows pupils to speak to careers officers about their concerns and interests; there is a Careers Fair in which numerous professionals from all fields talk to the pupils about their career path and experiences; and in the compulsory Work Experience programme, 15-year-old pupils must spend a week working at a company.
Finally, as well as their studies, the school places the utmost emphasis on helping the children to learn and acquire important values throughout their time at the school: “there is a values system that we concentrate on each month, so we will have ten different values that the whole school will focus on. For example, in January the value may be cooperation, in February it may be loyalty, in March it may be dedication, so what we are doing is we are talking to our pupils and teaching them to understand the importance of good values, of becoming great citizens, of becoming confident young people, so that they can move into society when they leave the school, and when they are in the school, with great responsibility and maturity, which allows them to look back at the school and say that school was great, they really looked after me.”
"The future of the world is in my classroom today" – Ivan Welton Fitzwater After only 8 months of construction, we are extremely excited to tell you that the new building for our Years 5 & 6 is now complete! A wonderful start to an inspiring and transformative year for all of our Lady Elizabeth Community! #newprimary #school #international #education
Publicada por Laude Lady Elizabeth School en Martes, 9 de enero de 2018