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César Bona brings vision of children's education to Formentera

foto-cesar-bona1The Formentera Council's offices of youth services and education report that at 7.00pm on Friday, César Bona will present his “Mira al teu voltant” conference to audiences at the local cinema. A teacher and writer, Bona was awarded the Global Teacher Prize distinction as one of the top fifty teachers in the world.

An educator in the multidisciplinarian tradition, Bona believes in trying to foster skills like empathy, teamwork and creativity, calls for the involvement of all children in ways that promote respect, teamwork and effort and give free rein to imagination. His method rests on uniquely practical approaches to teaching school subjects, and making well-working classrooms the business of every pupil.

Proposals
Bona preaches assemblies as a way to give children a voice. He encourages less homework, especially at the primary level, arguing that childhood is extremely short and, with classes running every afternoon until five and children expected to continue working at home, pupils run the risk of becoming alienated from a classroom environment from which they've scarcely had time to disconnect.

He proposes more flexible learning plans. Bona feels that school curricula are so structured that instructors barely have leeway to set aside textbooks and make use of other methodology. He believes there must be more time for teaching values, like respect for others and empathy.

Bona also advocates spoken communication, emotional intelligence, social commitment and using tech to improve learning processes.

Autumn and winter courses and workshops on Formentera

foto curs tek per a adultsThe Formentera Council wishes to unveil its autumn and winter catalogue of courses and workshops for young people and adults. Culture and education secretary Susana Labrador says the goal is to offer a diverse array of learning opportunities for islanders' professional and personal development. “We slot these classes into the low season to make participating as easy as possible for people who work during the summer and have more time for courses and workshops in the autumn and winter”.

The course catalogue is organised as follows:

Art and creation

Every year a series of now classic art classes are on tap. Take Teresa Matilla's course on creation and painting, woodworking with Aaron Keydar, or Remedios Castillo's pottery class, all of which begin in November and go through March.

Islanders will notice three new additions this year among the art and creation workshops. One course running November to February proposes to teach students how to handcraft canvas espardenyes. Jackie Katz will lead another (divided in two modules; October to November and January to February) on textiles and clothing design. Fran Lucas will lead a third, intro to watercolours.

Audiovisual communication

After the success that met last year's début run, a beginners' level course to familiarise islanders with the basics of digital photo will resume this year. Jose Antonio Arribas will oversee the one-month course in November. Arribas will also branch out this year with a workshop on mobile-phone photography.

Performing arts

This year in the field of performing arts, Espai_F is back with the cultural group's Aula de Teatre. This “theatre class” is pitched as an adults' workshop on theatrical creation encompassing three areas: acting, voice and movement. Led by Miquel Costa, Xènia Fuertes and Valeria del Vecchio, instruction is scheduled from October to March.

Professional development

The social welfare department organises courses for out of work islanders. This year they will once again offer a course on social and cultural integration, in November and then again in March.

Body and mind

La Mola's Casa del Poble is teeing up a series of fitness and wellness workshops covering Tai chi, Pilates, gymnastics for maintenance, yoga, meditation, dance and movement.

Four new workshops have made their way onto this year's catalogue: intro to chess and choir, plus movement and music, both for children. Casa del Poble workshops begin in October.

For more information and details on how to sign up, visit the Casa del Poble in La Mola or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Language courses

This year will see the return of courses on Catalan, Italian and English. The free Catalan courses will be offered by the Council's “Language Advisory Service” (SAL for its initials in Catalan) at the A2, B1, B2 and C1 levels. Signups start September 25 and conclude October 10. Classes begin October 15 and 16, though the end of instruction will be adapted to the official exams tentatively scheduled for January or February 2019.

Each year the Council puts on English and Italian courses as well. The former are given by Nancy McConachie and the latter by Rodolfo Taccheo. Both are available for beginning as well as advanced students and are scheduled to begin afternoons in January.

Local pastimes

This year, the Sant Ferran retirees club is offering its own catalogue of courses and workshops on time-honoured activities like sewing, cane chair repair, basket-weaving and wool spinning. Additional courses offering instruction on cooking and tips for students of traditional dance, or colles de ball, on the proper way to wear folk clothing. These courses begin in November and signups are handled directly by Sant Ferran's Club de Jubilats.

Pre-registration

The first round of registration, or preinscripcions, can be done starting September 19. Enrolment for November workshops will be open through October 19. Islanders interested in the English and Italian courses, which begin in January, have until December 14 to register.

Formentera nurseries start term with 112 pupils

foto pati-escoleta-cami vellThe Formentera Council's education department reports that educators and children of the island's two early learning escoletes returned to classrooms today. A total of 112 children aged zero to three filed into nine classrooms today, with 17 teachers and one aide to help oversee them. Both schools say space remains available for two- to three-year-olds—Sa Miranda has got space for eleven and Camí Vell for five.

Recent weeks saw the school's educational teams and the Council's work brigades doing maintenance and upgrades to get the facilities in shape in time for the new school year. In addition to fresh coats of paint in the interiors of the two schools, changes included new mosquito nets in common areas, thorough cleanings of courtyards, checks of A/C units, grout in potentially leaky spots and other service upgrades.

Working strategies are identical at the two escoletes and activities are organised jointly in weekly meetings of Sa Miranda and Camí Vell teachers. They share cooking staff, with a chef and kitchen assistant preparing daily meals for the two schools.

Winter hours at Formentera libraries

foto bib mvillangomezThe Formentera Council departments of culture and education wish to inform islanders of winter hours for the 2018-19 school year at the Marià Villangómez library and the computer lab and library connection in Sant Ferran. The following timetable will take effect on Monday September 17:

Biblioteca Marià Villangómez:
Monday to Friday:
MORNINGS: 9.30am to 1.00pm
AFTERNOONS/EVENINGS: 4.00pm to 8.00pm

Computer lab:
AFTERNOONS/EVENINGS: Monday to Friday, 4.00pm to 8.00pm

Printing and copy service*:
MORNINGS: Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1.00pm

*New service. Users of the service will be provided a loan computer to print documents.

Sant Ferran library connection:
Monday to Friday, 4.00pm to 8.30pm

Check-outs:
Monday to Friday, 4.00pm to 7.00pm

Consultation hours at ASIF, Formentera's image and sound archives, are by appointment only and can be scheduled by phoning the culture office or contacting the ASIF by email.

Crews cap maintenance projects in time for returning students

foto-millores-2018-sant ferran 2The Formentera Council's education department reports that this summer crews performed maintenance tasks and upgrades across the island's three public schools, or CEIPs (for “Early-learning and Primary Education Centre”)—Mestre Lluís Andreu and in Sant Ferran and la Mola—plus at the CEP, the local teachers' resource centre.

Education secretary Susana Labrador pointed out that “every year the summer holiday is our chance to respond to requests from school administrations, parent/teacher associations and student body groups. It's how we managed to ensure proper maintenance in time for the start of classes this Wednesday”.

Upgrades
Sant Francesc
At the lower Mestre Lluís Andreu building the Formentera Council maintenance brigade repainted exterior walls, hung tiles in the inner playground, cleaned the area around a boiler and painted and covered an existing metal structure to create a shaded area.

An outside contractor grouted a leaky hallway, painted the school's right wing and performed touchups of the left wing for €5,047 total.

The brigade carried out regular maintenance on the school's upper building, including painting a host of spaces inside and out.

Sant Ferran
At the Sant Ferran school crews fashioned a new shaded area out of wood and wattle in the space that lies between the portable classrooms and the sport pitch. A new intercom was also installed and one classroom's leaky ceiling was fixed.

Some work—including cleaning, removal of the previous coat of paint and application of a fresh one—was farmed out to outside firms at a cost of €9,922.

La Mola
Aside from conducting a general revision of the school's interior and exterior paint jobs, crews replaced the wooden parts of a spinning toy located outside, revised the window of the portable classroom and repaired the track of the sliding glass door with entry to the primary students' classroom.

For €5,552 an outside firm was brought in to assemble two new air conditioners and instal five taps.

Teachers' resource centre
Two outside firms were enlisted to reform the CEP's exterior woodwork and paint job, operations which cost €18,600. That work was in addition to earlier repairs of the historic building's tile roofing, rainwater harvesting system and façade.

The total price tag for the maintenance and upgrades across Formentera's educational centres was approximately €40,000.

The education secretary noted that “during the school term two crew members are responsible for attending to any maintenance needs that may arise at the island's three early-learning and primary schools”.

Along with work at schools, crews also made use of the August holiday to conduct reforms of the bottom lobby of the Marià Villangómez library and music and dance school. Efforts included cleaning and repainting walls and switching out flooring at a cost of €9,000.

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Ens trobareu a:
ESCOLETA SA MIRANDA
Directora: Esperanza Suñer Torres
Av. de Pius Tur, s/n  · 07860
Sant Francesc · Formentera
tel. 971 32 34 15 · fax 971 32 25 83
escoleta@conselldeformentera.cat

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