Brief history of the School
Operation of the two Schools
After 10 years from the award of “Scuola Paritaria” (our school is fully recognised by the Italian State as a school that guarantees the educational qualification having the same value as an Italian state school), Saint Denis School still believes it is right to account for the results of its educational offer.
The recipients of this document are, not only the direct interlocutors of the educational institution but also those who indirectly benefit from the results of the School’s educational offer. The authors of the document are the Headmistress, the Managing Director, and some of the Nursery and Primary School’s teachers who would like to present, not only the obtained results and the current educational situation but also to start a path of participation and collaboration aimed at further improving the educational offer.
2) A SHORT HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL
Saint Denis School was born in the late 70s in the foothills of Turin, with the pioneering goal at that time to experiment with a bilingual Italian-English educational program.
In 1981, the School settled along the banks of the Po river, in the heart of the Crimea area. This historic headquarters is still running successfully and another Saint Denis School has florished in the heart of Turin.
Saint Denis School is a bilingual Nursery School (Italian-English) and a Primary School specialized in languages (Italian-English-French), which welcomes Italian children of many nationalities in a peaceful and frendly atmosphere.
3) CURRENT SITUATION
In the Corso Moncalieri complex, the School’s historical location, there is a section of the Nursery School and a full Primary School course. In the via San Massimo / via Giolitti complex, there are three sections of the Nursery School and a further Primary School course. The new complex addition is considered to be an indication of the School’s educational offer success.
The educational offer of the two complexes is based on the same principles of hospitality, participation, equality, impartiality and transparency. The two Schools operating methods are shared by the teachers who use the most functional methods to guarantee each student the right to learn and develop their potential: not only traditional lessons face-to-face but also cooperative teaching, laboratory teaching, peer teaching, inverted class, operational activities, guided tours, trips in Italy and abroad. The aims pursued are:
- the acquisition of a positive socialization
- the acquisition of solid knowledge, skills and competences
- the ability to debate
- the creativity
- the development of critical consciousness
- the development of socialization skills
4) NURSERY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL WORKING PRINCIPLES
The Nursery School Our Nursery School is based on “FIELDS OF EXPERIENCE”, using the English language for 20 hours per week and the Italian language for the remaining hours. We offer pre and post-school.
The School helps its children to develop the necessary skills to be “active citizens” by progressively strengthening their :
The teachers offer a wide range of activities aimed at developing the children’s skills towards listening, understanding and reading various messages, pre-writing, vocabulary, speaking, practising sports. Particular attention is dedicated to the acquisition of social and civic skills, to the knowledge and skills necessary to face Primary School successfully and easily.
The school is open from Monday to Friday, from 7.30 to 18.30, and operates according to the following timetable:
7.30 – 9.00: preschool service (optional);
9.00 – 16.30: educational activity (including lunch);
16.30 – 18.30: post-school service and supplementary courses (optional).
In the Nursery School, the children meet the “fields of experience” which constitute the prerequisite to face the difficulties of the Primary School. The “2012 National Indications” show the guidelines of the goals children must reach, keeping an eye on the children different learning levels, according to their intelligence type and their potential. The School is committed to teaching its children:
- the necessary skills in their mother-tongue
- the necessary skills in at least two foreign languages
- digital skills
- how to learn effectively
- social and civic skills
- cultural awareness
- initiative and entrepreneurship
Primary School teachers consider the disciplines to be the tool for acquiring the skills indicated above, defined by the European Parliament as “key competences of citizenship”.
Through such disciplines, children acquire the knowledge and the skills necessary to become “competent”, that is, capable of mobilizing knowledge and skills to solve problematic situations in school and in life.
Saint Denis School offers a 40-hours per week educational path, favouring the study of the English language without, however, neglecting the other disciplines:
– history and geography,
– physical education,
– the teaching of the Catholic religion/alternative activity.
Saint Denis School also provides its students with the study of the French language, not covered by the National Indications in Primary School, and the study of civic education, which is not yet compulsory (it will be from the 2020/2021 school year), but already introduced by our Teaching staff from the school year 2019/2020 on an experimental basis.
The teachers work on the foundations of the disciplines listed in the 2012 National Guidelines. The testing is daily, systematic and continuous, carried out through interviews, exercises foreseen by the texts in adoption, cards produced by the teachers.
Among the testing tools are proposed reality tasks, both disciplinary and multidisciplinary, to verify in a real situation the use of the knowledge and skills acquired by the pupils. The evaluation takes into account the “product” (checks result) and the “process” put in place by the pupil (commitment, progress …), as required by Legislative Decree no. 62/2017 relating to the methods and purposes of the evaluation. Some activities proposed by the teachers are functional to the development of multiple disciplines: a story can be illustrated and encourage the development of the Italian language, history, geography, art. The family can be presented over time (history), can be illustrated graphically (art), described with a short written or oral text (Italian, English or French). A piece of music can arouse emotions that the teacher invites to describe (in Italian, in English, in French), to represent with drawings or colors (art) and so on.
The various disciplines timetable is organized in a flexible manner by the teachers who, however, guarantee the provisions of the standard, with the exception of the English language taught for 429 hours a year instead of 33. This is why our School is specialized in languages. The weekly timetable is from Monday to Friday, from 8.30 to 16.30, for a total of 40 hours divided as follows:
- n. 35 hours of educational activities;
- n. 5 hours of canteen service.
The School students acquire excellent skills in the various disciplines, as demonstrated by the success that all students obtain in the 1st grade secondary schools, both public and private. Furthermore, the results of the Invalsi tests place students well above the avarage, both on a national and regional levels. The same pupils acquire important international certifications (Cambridge and Delf exams) in foreign languages, which are recognized and can also be used in the working world.
The linguistic vocation of the School enables students to master both English and French and to express themselves as a native speaker of the same age. The school also obtained from M.I.U.R. the important recognition of “Friendly School for Children and Adolescents”. The five-year musical experimentation enriches the educational offer. The School works for environmental sustainability and for the achievement of the 17 objectives set by the O.N.U. agenda, also in collaboration with other training agencies. It also works for the acquisition of social and civic skills, for the prevention of bullying and cyberbullying.
Finally, the school benefits from the collaboration of educators and psychologists available to families. The School’s curriculum can be consulted on the website www.saintdenisschool.it and on the ministerial site “Scuola in Chiaro”.
5) STAFF TRAINING
Each year, the Institute organizes refresher courses for teaching and non-teaching staff on issues identified by the Teaching Board and the Assembly of non-teaching staff. This is to allow the School to offer adequate service to the needs of a constantly changing society that requires autonomy, creativity, both disciplinary and transversal skills, ability to collaborate and positively relate in a group, to live democratically in awareness of our rights and our duties.