Madrid Active School (MAS) has been planning its Secondary Section for quite a few years now and presents the fruit of its reflection on self-directed learning for Middle School and Upper Secondary students. True to its tradition of organic, consolidated growth, the school has been training Accompanying Adults, developing learning opportunities before building a framework to accompany MAS students as they enter their teenage years. So that they can assemble bits of knowledge into big ideas in their own way and build their unique path of learning, we have developed the structure for every potential to unravel. Pursuing autonomy and engagement as the best driver for learning, the environment evolves to respond to evolving needs.
As for the physical environment, MAS remains committed to the microschool and has chosen to relocate the whole school in a three-story building in Tetuán neighborhood. This space offers a unique capacity for individual students to pursue different learning opportunities at the same time. 2022-23’s group starts with 12 students from 12 to 14 years old.
A Secondary School Student Journey
Group decision-making and cross-curricular participative and collaborative skills are strong features at MAS where the Learning Community is committed to promote global citizenship. Apart from these curricular provisions (assembly, work groups, gatherings…), an individual journey could be described as such:
Accompanied by the Coordinator in the bi-weekly tutoring, according to their interests and needs, the student decides whether to attend the activities planned in each area or progress on their individual work plan, for which they can request support on different occasions.
During the week, they register the activities they carry out to ensure balanced coverage of the different areas of knowledge and save their productions in their portfolio.
They self-assess and reflect on their learning experiences and address personal issues in a safe emotional environment.
Within its Secondary School project, Madrid Active School (MAS) has come up with a vision of where we want Learners to be as they reach their teenage years. These impacts are two-fold: on the one hand, a Learner Profile, describing attributes of successful learning impact in students, and on the other hand, Learning Expectations.
The Secondary School stage is hence organized according to the Guiding Statements of the Madrid Active School. The objectives fall within the broader goals regarding the education of the whole teenager, formalized in the following Learner Profile:
Learning expectations are descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do. In the specific context of Madrid Active School, they are the minimum requirements Secondary School students are to achieve at the end of the stage, at their own pace and in the order they wish, following a personalized curriculum, free to look further into each issue or explore others. They are a combination of skills and knowledge applied to each area or across several areas.
MAS has adopted learning expectations that reflect a compilation of the US Common Core State Standards (Math and ELA CCRA), the International General Certificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE), the Spanish LOMCE and LOMLOE and their Madrid and Catalan Adaptation, reaching an international feature close to the reality of most of the school’s demography.
They are adapted to a variety of ways of learning and attend to the needs and spontaneous interests of young persons, in their quest to learn and find their own path in their own world.