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Updated: May 2024

La Serra Sant Pere de Ribes- An Official and Unique Free School

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3 Reviews on “La Serra Sant Pere de Ribes- An Official and Unique Free School”

Overall rating
Communication
Language Support
Care of Children
Education Quality
  • Rachel Grant
    Communication
    Language Support
    Care of Children
    Education Quality

    This school is truly unique. We researched a lot of schools all over Cataluña and moved to Sant Pere de Ribes especially for La Serra. Our daughter started in P4 two years ago and is now in the first year of Primary. She is thriving and we are so happy and grateful to have found this magical place. The pedagogy of Educación Viva is child-focused, respectful and gives children strong ownership of their learning. They graduate as emotionally and intellectually intelligent humans who are intrinsically motivated. I cannot compare it to my private school education in London which essentially just taught us to pass exams and left us with very few life skills and a completely extrinsic sense of motivation. If I could go back in time and send myself to La Serra instead I would!!

  • Elena G
    Communication
    Language Support
    Care of Children
    Education Quality

    We moved from the States 3 years ago with 0 Spanish or Catalan knowledge. Our older son started at La Serra right away, and is graduating the Primaria this year. The little one has been at La Serra for 2 years and is currently in Infantil. This is the kind of school that we the parents wish we’d attended back in the day. The instruction is basically on an individual level, mostly independent- and team project-based work. There is no homework and no grades. There are group and private tutorias (parent-teacher meetings)to learn about what and how the kids are learning, and, of course, we can always chat with the teachers informally as well.
    A big component of life at La Serra is social-emotional learning, with a 15-minute group “check-in” session every day, and a school-wide assembly every week. Kids are taught how to resolve conflicts and are empowered to make decisions about their school life. There’s a very warm community of parents that has welcomed us with open arms, and for all of the above reasons, our children had no problems integrating into life in Spain. I’d say that by now probably about a third of the families at school are from international backgrounds. There’s now an English-speaking assistant in both Infantil and Primaria.
    The teachers are very involved and loving (and patient, I have to say), and any setbacks that the kids had in terms of behavior or other issues (not making it to the potty on time or not being able to do something independently) were dealt with in a respectful, warm, and developmentally-appropriate manner.
    Children have a lot of opportunities to do what they love and explore their talents, to play outside in the numerous shaded areas and the forest (the forest activities are our favorite), breathe the sweet pine air and get all their wiggles out. As a result, I have a tough time getting them out of school every single day.
    It seems like it’s all fun and games, and yet somehow they manage to also do some serious learning. This year the 6th graders are taking the Catalonia-wide test, for which they’ve been preparing since the beginning of the year by doing past years’ tests for practice. Our 12 year old now averages about 70% in Spanish and Catalan (not bad for 2 years with no additional language lessons outside of school), and is acing math. Everyone can see the areas where they might need to catch up in order to successfully move up to the Secondary grades (we all wish that La Serra had the Secondary stage).
    The school is run as a non-profit cooperative, with all except the curriculum and instruction components managed by the families. Therefore there’s no corporate profit margin, and the fees are lower than at the private schools. However, a certain level of commitment to support the school functions is required. You can help out organizing school parties, working on small building or grounds upkeep and improvements, watching the little ones during the aftercare hours (currently the aftercare is available until 16:30), or organizing after-school activities. On the plus side, as a member of a cooperative, every family has the right to vote on the many school decisions, from which afterschool activities to offer to the financial management and staffing aspects.
    Over the past weekend the school celebrated its 10th anniversary, totally organized by the 6th and 3rd grade students to help them pay for their year-end class trips. My American child was a presenter for a part of the magic show, speaking perfect Spanish and Catalan, played bass guitar, sang a solo and auctioned off his wooden sculpture that he’s been working on this year). Judging by how many students from the past years have showed up, we’re not the only ones with the warm and fuzzy feelings about the school :).
    I am happy that we have the opportunity to give our kids the chance for magical childhood experiences and not the conveyor-belt kind of education.

  • Irene Lago
    Communication
    Language Support
    Care of Children
    Education Quality

    The school i would have liked to attend as a child and that i know is a gift for my son. To grow and develop surrounded by nature and with educators that respect childhood. Meaningful learning experiences that will last into adulthood.

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