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Inside San Mateo: stability of the one public institute of excellence in Spain after a decade

The San Mateo public institute, which has been instructing the Baccalaureate of Excellence for twelve years, has obtained the very best marks in Selectividad de Madrid. To entry this middle, through which 220 college students are enrolled, you want a median of 8 or extra within the fourth yr of ESO “The concept was to create an institute the place the scholars needed to review and the academics needed to show. Without worrying about anything”, says its director Horacio Silvestre

As quickly as you enter the IES San Mateo, within the Madrid neighborhood of Malasaña, you enter the Hall of Fame. Its partitions attest that this isn’t a typical instructional middle. On them grasp all of the awards or diplomas that the scholars of the institute have acquired through the years. And there are various, many. In competitions for younger researchers, within the Olympics of various disciplines, but in addition in theater competitions, even if the group of scholars is just not skilled.

This middle is the one one in Spain the place solely the Baccalaureate of Excellence is taught. Here is the elite. The greatest college students. Those chosen to obtain distinctive coaching earlier than they enter the University. 220 college students are enrolled on this course, between the primary and second yr of Baccalaureate. Three school rooms for Sciences and one for Humanities, in every course.

Horacio Silvestre has been the director of San Mateo because it opened as a Baccalaureate of Excellence middle twelve years in the past. A private undertaking of the then president of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre. Later, extra school rooms of excellence could be opened in one other 17 institutes unfold all through the area. Other communities, reminiscent of Castilla y León, have copied the mannequin.

create good college students

“The concept was to create an institute the place the scholars needed to review and the academics needed to show, with out worrying about anything. And that the scholars left very nicely ready for the University. To get better the sense that the Baccalaureate has at all times had as a door to larger research. Our goal is to create good college students who can do a college diploma in the very best situations”, says Silvestre, who can also be a professor of Latin.

An 8 is required within the common grade of the 4 core areas -Language, Mathematics, Foreign Language and History- within the fourth yr of ESO to entry this middle. From right here, the record of admitted college students is drawn up based mostly on the typical ESO grade, from greatest to worst. “They are regular boys, however they’re all very studious. Or, at the least, they’ve been intelligent and proficient sufficient to get an excellent grade of their research. And right here they proceed to have it, so long as they proceed to work. For some it prices much less and for some it prices extra. They have their hobbies, hobbies and issues, like all youngsters their age, they usually come right here in search of a solution to their want for coaching”, factors out the director.

The first course, 2011-2012, that the institute was launched, 100 college students enrolled within the first yr of Baccalaureate. 17 ended up leaving for worry that the grade they obtained in Selectividad could be low. At that point, no class from IES San Mateo had utilized to Selectividad. “They left as a result of they did not understand how they may do in that examination, but in addition as a result of they did not understand how it will pay them to review right here, the sensible utility of attempting tougher or the reward of coming from far-off,” says Silvestre.

The following yr, in 2012-2013, solely 48 enrolled. They additionally did it blindly as a result of, then, they’d not had time to examine the Selectividad grades of their classmates who had already handed second. The outcomes had been seen in June: the primary promotion of the Baccalaureate of Excellence had obtained the very best Selectividad grade that yr in Madrid. Since then, the demand for registrations started to rise increasingly more.

Last yr, the typical mark in Selectividad of the IES San Mateo was the very best within the area. An 8.5 out of 10 within the normal part, even forward of any non-public faculty. Every yr, the demand for the three Science school rooms quantities to about 150-160 college students for 90 locations, whereas the one Humanities classroom is just not even crammed. “All varieties of scholars come, from a sociological standpoint. Autochthonous, from international households, from rich and fewer rich households. Children of college professors, but in addition of highschool janitors. Children of greengrocers, but in addition of docs or attorneys”, admits the director.

Investigation undertaking

If there’s something that distinguishes this middle from the remaining, it’s the obligation that every one college students have to hold out a analysis undertaking, as within the International Baccalaureate. It will be from the topic they select -art, humanities, social sciences, know-how, experimental or precise sciences- and at all times below the tutelage of a instructor.

Although it’s exhausting to consider, academics and college students acknowledge that there isn’t a aggressive atmosphere for getting the very best grade. In truth, they are saying, they assist one another. “Here we neither give them presents nor spare them the word. Almost all of them get the same qualification in Baccalaureate than in Selectividad. It could be very balanced”, says Silvestre.

The fact is that in San Mateo it’s tough to face out. “I used to be afraid that individuals had been hitting one another due to the word, however, quite the opposite, we assist one another”, admits a scholar. “I’m not going to disclaim that you simply arrive right here getting used to being the very best in your class and also you understand that there are various folks such as you and it’s a must to decrease your head and acknowledge that you’ve rather more to be taught and that nothing occurs for not be the very best,” she provides.

The institute opens each afternoon in order that college students develop different expertise and fill different considerations that transcend the curriculum. Theatre, dialogue teams, studying of literary and philosophical texts, seminars in English, French or German, translation from Latin and Greek or preparation for the Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry Olympics. Of the latter, simply this week it has been recognized that three of his college students have received three medals and one other three, honorable mentions on the Madrid Olympiad. Recently, one other of her college students received the bronze medal on the National Mathematical Olympiad.

As for the academics, the institute has a reasonably steady workers of 20 academics. They are all civil servants who’ve been assigned a place at San Mateo on fee of service. “It is a choose school inside the wants of the middle,” says Silvestre.

“A luxurious”

Today in Latin class second yr highschool college students translate Salustio. They are getting ready for a take a look at on the Complutense organized by the Sociedad Española de Estudios Clásicos through which the entire class goes to participate. “Coming to show here’s a luxurious. I’m very fortunate, as a result of I’m one of many few Latin academics who can provide Latin courses to college students who’re . And each morning I give thanks for with the ability to come right here”, acknowledges Ana Concha, a instructor at this institute.

Salomé, a Humanities scholar, knew from a younger age that she needed to review Greek, however not even a Latin group had been fashioned at her institute, so she ended up enrolling at San Mateo. “This institute is fantastic, it is a privilege to be right here,” she says.

The identical enthusiasm emanates from his accomplice Eva. “I’m very grateful to have the ability to be with colleagues who need to be taught and pay attention and take issues critically.” “Here the academics demand so much from the scholars, however the college students additionally demand from the academics”, admits one other boy who desires to be a linguist.

The San Mateo has acquired a lot criticism since its opening for its “segregating character.” Some sectors of the academic group denounce that right here the very best college students are separated from the remaining or that academics are chosen “by hand”. But the day-to-day of this institute passes with out controversy. They know they’re in a privileged place, which can also be public, they usually make the most of it. The class that graduates annually is given a pin with a remembrance in Greek of a quote from Thucydides: “A worth without end.” The without end worth of what you may have been taught right here.


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