Providing our pupils with a sound understanding of technology is an essential aspect of preparing them to deal with the realities of the world today, and technology therefore forms an important part of daily life at Agora Portals International School. Each teacher has an individual laptop, which is used to design and upload the multimedia content that is used in class, which is then uploaded as an educational resource to our Virtual Community (CAV), where it becomes available for the ongoing use of students and their families. All classrooms are equipped with projectors, screens and interactive digital whiteboards. Students from Year 5 onwards work in class using individual tablets rather than relying solely on textbooks.
The curriculum at Agora Portals is continually reviewed and revised in order to ensure that we are always at the forefront of educational innovation, and our IT strategy reflects this forward-thinking approach. New technologies are now routinely used as an integral tool for teaching and learning; this has resulted in a fundamental change in teaching approach and methodology and in the way in which student’s research, study and learn. The merits and usefulness of each advance must be assessed and evaluated in order to ensure that we collect, retain, manipulate or share information in the most effective and appropriate ways. The educational possibilities inherent in today’s technologies are almost limitless; activities such as programming and coding require students to develop their problem-solving skills and help them in their quest to “learn how to learn“. These technologies not only provide students with a learning resource, but with knowledge, skills and understanding that will establish a solid technological foundation from which to access future careers.
Agora Portals International School was a pioneer in implementing the GAVEA Project (Spanish Acronym for Gestión del Aula Virtual para la Excelencia Académica – Translation: Virtual Classroom Management for Academic Excellence), which has now been rolled out across all NACE’s Schools. The project involves the use of tablets, digital whiteboards and interactive materials as an additional motivational component to school activities, and as a source of additional resources, always under supervision and with limited daily use. Thanks to the GAVEA Project, in addition to acquiring basic digital skills, students at NACE schools are able to use new technology to improve learning, develop cognitive skills and work together on collaborative technology projects.
The schools belonging to the NACE group were the first schools in Spain to introduce Computer Science as a curricular subject for pupils aged from 5 to 16 years old. Our students are taught computer programming (coding) and how everyday software and applications are developed. This innovative scheme helps our students to understand the opportunities for learning provided by these new technologies and the personal and professional benefits that a knowledge of Computer Science will provide in the future. Pupils are also invited to participate in activities such as “Code Week” Europe, and “Hour of Code”, international collaborative events that are sponsored by some of the world’s top technological companies.
Creativity is a fundamental part of the educational programme at Agora Portals International School and various activities are on offer which enable our students to develop their creative skills using technology as a vehicle. In our extracurricular Robotics workshop, pupils learn how to programme robots to achieve different “real-life” tasks and, combined with scientific disciplines, pupils are encouraged to find creative solutions to the problems that they encounter. Curricular content is delivered via these technological activites and students are required to use their organisational skills, make appropriate decisions, think “outside the box” and even to develop their entrepreneurial skills.
“Hello! I am Louisa Nelles, former Head Girl of Agora portals. I think the opportunities this school offers are great, not only because of the quality of learning that takes place but also thanks to the highly engaged and skillful teachers who know how to establish a good balance between making lessons entertaining but still focused on learning and true to the curriculum. The resources and technology available also help to create a great learning environment.”
Former Pupil 2014-2015