IT is all about ‘roots and wings’ at Almunecar International School, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year.
Roots give students a firm academic and personal grounding. Wings allow them into the world of work and adventure, equipped with the skills needed to achieve their goals.
As well as its inspiring ethos, this school’s size is what sets it apart from the other international schools on the coast. There are just 240 students in total, aged from three to 19.
Some live as far away as Torrox, travelling in on one of the five school bus services.
Headteacher Fiona Jacobs explains: “We are like one family, we know every single student really well so we can make their learning very personal, with individual targets.”
“This is a secure, safe and happy place, and after that the learning comes naturally.”
“We never have any behaviour issues as such, because the students are so motivated to learn.”
With the school celebrating a landmark quarter of a century this year, exciting plans are in the pipeline.
Students will perform Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the end of May, while year 10s and 11s will be designing and building their own cross for the traditional May Crosses festival.
There is also the grand opening of the new centre for two and three year olds, in the heart of Almunecar.
“All the children grow up to be fully bilingual and I hope that impresses the people who live here,” she says. “We have produced doctors, media professionals and lots more.”
Surprisingly, 80% of the students are Spanish, with pockets of children from all over Europe and beyond.
“The children are very welcoming, they love it when a new student starts,” she adds, previously a teacher in South Korea.
And having been a part of the school for 21 years, there is no-one better placed to lead it into the next 25 years.
“I came here as a primary teacher when my son was two, he has now finished a degree in set design in England…
“I’ve gone from secondary teacher to head of primary and then deputy head, I obviously love this school and Almunecar!”