Walk to school in safety

 

Today, September 12th, the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and the education councillor Adolfo Alonso Ferrera, presented the Walk to School pilot project to the press and public. The idea would be that the safety of the students walking to school is the concern of the community, and that the children can also learn to walk to school themselves, increasing their self-esteem as well as supporting healthier habits.
The project has four main principles, “safety, sustainability, quality of life and the relative independence of the children”, according to the mayor who added that this was a pilot scheme “that calls for the implication of everyone in the wider education community – “teachers, parents, students and school administrations, as well as the people who live and work in Adeje, who need to work with us to ensure the advancement of the scheme”.


The mayor explained that “the project is continuously developing and adapting to the demands and needs that are being brought to our attention by the schools. What we are doing is working to invite the participation of the larger community which will itself help promote values of respect, social harmony and civic duty to name just a few”.
The plan will see the evolution of a network of safe routes to encourage more children to walk or cycle or use public transport to arrive at their schools. This would also see a reduction in the number cars driving to local infant and primary schools, reducing pollution and traffic jams at school gates, and therefore also increasing student safety. The plan encourages more children to engage in extra physical activities, and contribute to their overall health.

Rodríguez Fraga also stressed that another advantage would be that children would be able “to reclaim what is theirs – the streets, the avenues, the pavements and the parks, and allow them walk on their own or in the company of their friends, thus helping them develop their own self-esteem, social skills and learn through interaction and co-operation”.
The plan would introduce meeting points where children would be met by monitors who would be responsible for ensuring students arrive to school, so parents will no longer have to worry about trying to park outside school gates. In parallel there will be sessions for students about road safety and concerns by experts in the relevant fields, with prevention being the underlying theme.

Department of Communications

Everything ready for ‘back to school’

 

Adeje’s schools are ready to receive the hundreds of students who are finishing up their summer holidays this weekend. Primary schools reopen their doors on Monday September 11th and the borough’s secondary schools on Wednesday September 13th.

During the months of July and August the council have invested over €50,000 in repairs to centres in the borough. The Adeje education councillor, Adolfo Alonso Ferrera says “this year we have invested money in improvements in all of the borough’s public centres following specific requests from the schools and the works carried out have improved security for pupils in the schools too”.

The works were carried out in conjunction with the department of works and local development under councillors Esther Rivero Vargas and Manuel Luis Méndez Martín. In Fañabe the entrance to the school has been upgraded with resurfacing and improvements to the park as well as an improvement in telecommunications in the school. In Adeje Casco the pavement outside the school’s main lower gate has been extended to offer greater safety to pupils, there is a ramp for those with reduced mobility, the steps to the courts have been improved and there is a new zone for the AMPA (parents’ association).

In Los Olivos the canteen floor has been renewed and there is a new archive area. In Las Torres the school farm has been completed, in Armeñime the sports courts have been resurfaced, the gardens and the school farm upgraded, and in Tijoco Bajo there is a new pavement with adapted paving and the centre’s façade is being redecorated.

While the secondary schools are actually run by a separate body, the council have met some of their outstanding needs and will be installing a new pedestrian access to the IES Adeje II (El Galeón) and installing benches in the IES Adeje I (Los Olivos) patios.

Sanitation facilities have been repaired in all of the borough’s infant and primary schools, classrooms and communal areas painted and garden and greens attended too. Adolfo Alonso Ferrrera: “We have been able to work to meet the requests of the schools in the borough as it is important that the centres are ready for the start of the 2017/2018 academic year. We hope that the students can look forward to a year full of hope, learning and discovery”.

Department of Communications

Adeje’s got talent!

 


Aarón Germán Martín Durán, Manuel Gregorio (Bachillerato IES Adeje), Ling Li li, María Magdalena Rodríguez Linares (ESO IES Adeje), Oliver Ferrin Günther, Cristian Bettin y Raya Koleva Zdravkova (ESO IES El Galeón), have all been given a “Jóvenes con Talento” (Youth Talent) award for their excellent grades during the 2016-2017 academic year. Each student received €500 as well a plaque recognising their achievement.

These awards are part of an initiative recognising the effort and work of the students in different second level disciplines in Adeje’s public education centres, and the seven winners are fine examples of the kind of young people the borough are helping. During the meeting with the award winners, Adeje youth councillor Zebenzui Chinea Linares encouraged all of the students to continue their top class work and studies. In the majority of cases the awards were received for studies in the science and biology sectors.

“With these awards we are working to encourage all our students in their class work. The initiative has been very well received and will be something we plan to continue with in the coming years”, said councillor Chinea Linares.

Department of Communications

Fañabe students on message!

 

The students from 6th class in Fañabe primary school recently completed a month-long course in radio organised by the Adeje council. During the course they learnt about how this medium of communication works, how to understand the messages transmitted and how to create, write and record messages for radio. The students also had a practical day visiting the Radio Sur 107.9FM studios in the Adeje cultural centre and the press centre.

The initiative was jointly run by the departments of communication and education under councillors Zebenzui Chinea Linares and Adolfo Alonso Ferrera, who agreed on the “need to improve the community skills of the students at this stage in their education and before they enter secondary school”, adding that the students were learning about the importance of constructing and designing a message for communication.

The course was run in two sections; theoretic and practical, with the students, on the final day, preparing a series of radio announcements and publicity spots and recording them in the radio station. During the course the importance of reading as a tool in improving word use and adaption was also emphasised. They also examined how news stories and adverts for radio are constructed.

The 26 students who took part in the course, and the professors from the Fañabe school, were extremely pleased with the results of what was, in essence, a pilot project, with all seeing benefits from the experience. The councillors said “with this course the council is continuing to allow students experience work practises and allow them see the workings of the local administration too”.

Department of Communications

Safely to school!

 

The department of resident participation in Adeje, under councillor Zebenzui Chinea Linares, has proposed the borough’s education centres come together to work on a strategy to promote a ‘Camino Escolar Seguro’, a safe way to get to school. The project will work to improve safety for students as they travel to school from home.

The first phase of the project will see parents asked to take part in a poll/fill in a questionnaire so that planners will be able to analyse the different ways students are travelling to school from home – car, bus, on foot, etc – and thus be able to see where they need to plan or make changes. The second phase will see a number of plans activated that should make everyone aware of the need to improve student safety and seek their participation in doing so.

“On a daily basis we are seeing traffic jams and tailbacks near schools at certain times of the day, which in turn affects people on their way to work. With the new plan we are hope to improve that situation, decrease traffic congestion and guarantee better student safety”, commented the councillor.

The plan was presented to the heads of the various public schools in the borough at last week’s meeting with the council. Eduardo Polo, the provincial head of the Traffic Department was also present, as his department will be taking part in the evolution of the plan.

 

Tackling bullies

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Unfortunately bullying is still very much a reality in schools today, and the Adeje council run a series of programmes to address, tackle and prevent this scourge of the classroom.

Run by the department of equality, the programme is designed for students in the first year of secondary school, their parents, their teachers and the public in general. Certainly when children move from primary into the somewhat more relaxed atmosphere of secondary school it is a time where new behaviours can emerge or existing ones can flourish, so tackling the issue in first year of this new era of the student’s education makes sense.

The course this year will be held in the second week of February with a series of activities designed to increase awareness and improve co-existence in the school setting, promoting non-violent values, dialogue, empathy, solidarity and respect. Respect is paramount in this setting particularly given our multi-cultural community in Adeje, and the course promotes respect for different cultures, body shapes, character, colour, sexuality and creed.

The department has classified bullying as personalised violence that is intentional, repeated and oriented to generate a relationship based on abuse and inequality between the abuser or bullier and the victim. The bully will use intimidation, isolation, threats and insults within the school setting. This resulting situation can cause huge harm to those who suffer.

It is, say the council, up to administrations implicated in the education system to guarantee that students in schools receive all the information needed to combat bullying. This will include how to recognise indicators, risk situations in schools, identifying the different roles children can be pushed into in the classroom, such as passive observer, victims, etc. Confronting the bully, interventions and the knock-on effects for the victim and other pupils will also be examined as well as the legal ramifications.
(Photo credit: FreeImages.com/katherine evans)

Equal education opportunities

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Class sizes and new schools buildings under consideration

During a recent visit of Ana Dorta, the regional director general for education centres and infrastructures, the issue of both class sizes and three new centres were discussed.

Dorta visited a number of schools in the borough accompanied by the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, the councillor for creative development and education Adolfo Alonso, the regional coordinator Jonathan Fumero and departmental heads. The visitors were here to learn first-hand the needs and plans of the borough for a number of essential projects that are underway, and in some cases awaiting final approval from the regional government.

During visits to a number of the borough’s primary and secondary schools the issue of class sizes was raised, as was the need to agree on an acceptable ratio of teachers to pupils. The mayor commented that the growth in class sizes was not new in Adeje and centres needed to be remodelled to meet the increasing demand. As well as other factors, the growth was, he said, “the result of migratory flows and the attractiveness of the borough as a residential area for new families given, among other things, the high employment rate”. Security accessibility and youth activities were other factors discussed by the visitors with the council representatives.

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Adolfo Alonso also included a visit to the plots of land that have already been given to the regional government for the construction of a new primary school in Tijoco (the current school is far too small for the number of pupils in the catchment area) and the proposed teacher training college, behind Gran Sur. He added to the agenda the urgent need to accelerate the approval and construction of a third secondary school in the borough, in Las Torres. This latter project is currently in the hands of the regional government offices awaiting a final decision.

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“It’s essential that these three projects, which we have asked for for many years, are now dealt with urgently by the regional government”, said the Adeje councillor. “The council have given the land to the Canarian government and we said we are happy to cooperate in whatever we can to progress these building projects. These are not whims of the council, they are plans to meet the real and current needs of our residents. In some cases we need to replace buildings that are obsolete and which simply don’t meet the pupils’ needs. In other cases are are dealing with infrastructures that are fundamental, not just for Adeje but for the whole of the south of Tenerife.

“We are talking about offering training opportunities to our young population with which they can meet the challenges of the labour market head-on, prepared and able to compete at all levels. We are talking about equality of opportunities, innovation and employment, about our young people and their future”, outlined Adolfo Alonso.

Model citizens!

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This year’s theme is Vive San Andrés

Students and their families from Adeje’s infant and primary public schools are invited to participate in the V Gadgets/Gizmos competition.

The competition is organised annually by the Department of Creative Development and the theme this year is Vive San Andrés (San Andrés is the fiesta where chestnuts are eaten, new wines are tasted and kids play with go-karts noisy tins and cans) and entries can be submitted between November 16th and 26th. The winners and runners up will be subsequently part of an exhibition in the Adeje Cultural Centre.

According to councillor Alonso Ferrera, “the department of creative development, sport and learning is always eager to support initiatives that promote development in the education sector. Following on the success of this competition in previous years, we are delighted to continue with the competition which helps students realise their potential as individuals and with their families in the making of these recycled models”.

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The rules, which will be published in the Adeje webpages in Spanish and English outlines that each entry can be made with family members and must use recycled materials (primary material should, where possible, be tins or cans, any other materials must also fall into the recycling category) with San Andrés as the theme. Prizes consist of vouchers for school books and materials to the value of €40 for first place, €25 for second and €15 for third as well as runners up certificates for other entrants.

Winners will be chosen based on, among other things, creativity and originality.

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Student grants available

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The Adeje council has just opened the application window for student grants.
Each year the Adeje council spends more than €150,000 in this area. Those wishing to apply can do so now, and the education councillor, Adolfo Alonso Ferrera, has said the main objective is to “guarantee equality of opportunity in access to eduction for the borough’s young people…this money, granted by the local government, is destined for those less well off. We can never permit the situation to arise where a child cannot study simply because of financial constraints. Last year we allocated more than €150,000 in grant funds and will probably exceed that amount this year”.

Councillor Adolfo Alonso

Councillor Adolfo Alonso

Those wishing to apply for these second and third-level grants can find more information on www.adeje.es, or call into the department of education in the Adeje Cultural Centre and ask for the relevant information and forms. The grants are available for secondary students from year 3 upwards and into third level who have lived in Adeje for at least 6 months (and are on the resident’s register). In the case of third level students there are also grants available for living away from home costs, books, material and registration, depending on family income and academic criteria among other factors. More information in the council offices.
Referring to the start of term for infants and primary schools in the borough, Alonso Ferrera noted the work done to repair and renovate the education centres during the summer period, with an investment of €40,000.

School year dates for Adeje

Primary schools reopen on September 9th

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Just in case you were wondering when your little treasures can return to the joys of full time education, here is the official public school calendar for the academic year, courtesy of the Canarian regional government website.
Primary school starts again on September 9th, Secondary (Instituto) on September 14th. The 12th of October is a national holidays as are December 6th and 8th, so, as is quite usual, they have slotted in an extra school holiday on the 7th to bridge the two days. Christmas holidays this year run from December 23rd to January 7th (inclusive) and Easter Week is from March 21st to 25th 2016.
If you are wondering about school book lists, most of the local book shops will have the lists from the schools, and are taking orders/selling books now. As we have discovered, there are very few books that can be carried over from one year to another, but do check with parents of a child from the year ahead in case you can save yourself some money.