The Primary School

Gardascuola's Primary school offers a mix of tradition and innovation which aims to:

  • support and nurture every individual pupil enabling each to fulfil his or her own potential
  • respect individual needs offering extra support where needed.
  • Encourage and stimulate to reach individual potential.
  • provide a high level of quality.
  • consolidate links, participation and experiences within the local community.

Thanks to our experienced team of teachers and educators, the children have the opportunity to take part in numerous extra-curricular activities and projects within the school timetable.

What we offer:

  • Lessons from Monday to Friday.
  • Pre-school from 7.30am, the school canteen (with on-site kitchen and dietician), after-school until 6.30pm.
  • “Gardascuola +” a summer school available until the end of June and from the beginning of September, with our teachers.
  • Recreational and educational activities with educators and teachers.
  • A computer laboratory, multi-medial room (LIM) and Art room.
  • Plenty of outdoor space and sports areas.
  • Grants available for parents.

And more:

  • English and German with native speakers.
  • Extra  physical education; qualified teachers, two hours a week plus an optional workshop.
  • Cooperative
  • English workshops with the native English teacher.
  • Other creative and Scientific workshops.
  • Up to date innovative teaching.

Facilities

Situated in a state -of -the -art building within the grounds, the Primary School represents Gardascuola's committment to the future of education.  Designed and built following energy-saving criteria, the new building was thought out with the children's well-being in mind whether it be practicality or environmental sustainability. It provides a happy and child-friendly ambiance where the children entrusted in our care can grow culturally and socially.

The areas have been created to encourage:

  • experimentation
  • individual and group work
  • the use of Information Technology
  • manual and creative activities

The large light rooms include a fully-equipped computer room, a multi-medial room, a large hall with library, a welcome room, an art room, a Science and Technology lab.
Outdoors the children can enjoy plenty of green space with recreational and sports areas at various programmed times of the day for the primary school. All in all a spacious and ample environment in which to nurture individual and comunal growth.

Curriculum

The school adheres to the Provincial Study Plans introduced in the 2010/2011 school year.
The Plan provides 30 hours a week teaching including 2 optional “worshops” on Friday afternoon.

Subjects

Cl.1a

Cl.2a

Cl.3a

Cl.4a

Cl.5a

Italian

6

6

6

6

6

English

2

2

2

2

2

German

 

 

2

2

2

History and Civilisation

2

2

2

2

2

Geography

2

2

2

2

2

Mathematics

6

6

6

6

6

Science e Technology

2

2

2

2

2

Body, movement and sport

2

2

2

2

2

Art

1

1

1

1

1

Music

1

1

1

1

1

Religion (catholic)

2

2

2

2

2

Optional subjects

4

4

2

2

2

Totale hours

30

30

30

30

30


Activities and services

These include:

  • 5 days of lessons from Monday to Friday (Saturday free)
  • Pre-school, after-school and internal canteen.
  • Recreational and educational activities with specialised educators.
  • Language, Science, creative and cooperative workshops.
  • Innovative teaching in every subject area.
  • Psychological and nutritional help available.

Pre-school and after-school

Who wishes to do so can make use of our pre-school before lessons start, or after-school after the end of the afternoon lessons. The school hopes to meet parents' needs by creating this “scolastic community” made up of children, teachers and educators beyond school hours. The time from 7.30am and 8.30am is important to allow a gradual, relaxed admission to school in that the children have time to adapt to the new school day, play, socialise (games and materials are available) and organize their things in the spaces reserved for them, helped by our teachers and educators. At the end of lessons the children can remain at after-school from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. This time offers the chance to consolidate any friendships with peers and get to know children from other classes.  During this time the presence of teachers, or educators who propose a variety of recreational activities, is guaranteed.

Canteen

The pupils have lunch in our canteen after the fourth hour of the day (at 12.30): the meal menu changes periodically, taking into account any necessities (food allergies etc) . Dietary and nutritional consultations are made available.

Psychological support

The school provides psychological consultation for students, their families and teachers. Dr Milani from the Institute Of Psychology and well-being in Ferrara has worked with us for several years and offers consultations on a monthly basis (appointments to be booked in advance), as well as thematic evenings with families. He is also available to observe classes to support teachers' work and to provide students with advice on study methods, ways to improve learning and to study efficiently.

Physical Education

Unusually for this region, we offer two hours per week of Physical Education with a specialised teacher, as well as an optional workshop. Jean Le Boulche, physical education guru, would no doubt say these hours are still not enough, but they are twice as many as what is usually proposed.


Optional workshops

Science and discovering the senses – Class 1

This workshop is a journey towards the discovery and development of our senses through play, experimentation and writing. The work aims to elicit the level of a child's perception through the five senses. Practice helps to heighten concentration and curiosity while not accepting the obvious.
Moreover a deeper knowledge of objects; their shape, material and function can lead the child to question further, opening the door to imagination, new interpretations and visions.  In this way a sensorial experience can also become an emotive experience.

Sport workshop – Classes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

The workshop mainly puts emphasis on the free movement of the body, a type of artistic gymnastics, together with games of movement to music.  The aim is for the child to know and be at one with his or her own body, recognising it as a “home” through movement and the ability to control his or her own strength and energy.

English workshop – Classes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

A new feature last year were the English Workshops. They take place in the afternoon for each class in the Primary School. A series of modules during the year will include reading and performing favourite fairy stories in English using books and the LIM, music and movement to widen vocabulary, poems and art work according to the season.

Italian workshop

A mix of creative and expressive activities based on listening to our feelings, our body language and dialogues in exchanges, listening to stories, listening to ourselves and each other. The Italian workshop becomes a time to tell, create and change stories, a useful way to transmit a love of reading and writing from an early age.

Science and German workshop

The Science workshop in the German language is based on observing nature and the five senses while slowly introducing the children to a new language.

Cooperative Education workshop

Gardascuola's approach to education aims to create physical, emotional and mental “spaces” through educational practices such as cooperation which, through didactic methods, can build solid foundations and behaviour in order to grow in a climate of mutual respect, social responsibility and concern for the needs of others. Through interactive activities the children are helped to improve their social interaction and relationships with peers and teachers and create links and rapport with the local area. In this way the pupils find their classroom a place of discovery and learning and in their teacher a coordinator who creates a welcoming atmosphere favourable to the fulfilment of individual potential.
Cooperative education favours “the growth of a society aware of nurturing differences, but above all responsibility and mutual respect.”
Continuation Project from Primary to Middle School
The passage from the Primary to the Middle school represents a new challenge for pupils. It is therefore necessary to prepare for this change.  We call this process “Progetto Continuità” which guarantees a complete and detailed preparation involving both of the schools and their staff so that the children feel ready and happy to move up to the next level of education.

The Library Project

Through this project we hope to encourage a love of reading and the aims while continuing to build our school library, are;
to promote reading education; the basic educational principle which leads to linguistic and cognitive skills necessary for intellectual, emotional and social growth.
Continue with reading groups and free-time reading for the children, teachers and parents.
To plan reading activites.
The project aims to furnish our school with a well stocked library, the creation of a reading workshop, the organization of time for individual listening and reading, visiting story-tellers and seminars for families all with the aim of involving diverse components and the resources of the school community and the local area.

The Theatre Project

The theatre as educational play helps individuals and groups to interact harmoniously while experimenting new and interesting paths. Theatrical activity is seen as an enrichment of the curriculum within the school timetable and involves every class in the school.
The challenge we propose is to build a five-year course of theatre education, starting with the children themselves and their own instinctive, natural sponteneity and, with adult guidance, lead them to bring out their own abilities, personality, cooperation and self-confidence.

The MAG comes to school

Our links and relationship with the Museum of AltoGarda have grown over the years with the children taking part in several workshops such as “Il colore disvelato” sulle tracce di Claudio Olivieri, “Ritratti allo specchio”, “Fiabe al museo”, “Il ritratto”.
Such activities have helped the pupils to get to know the museums in this region and be acquainted with the world of art and heritage at first hand.

The Mart Project

Every year the children have the opportunity to take part in this project with the experts of the Mart Museum of Art, creating and experimenting together in both Italian and foreign languages.

Timetable

From Monday to Friday (Saturday free)
7.30-8.30:  welcome and pre-school
8.30-12.30  four hours of lessons (with break-time)
12.30- 2.15 pm  (lunchtime and recreation)
2.15 -  4.15 pm  (2 hours of lessons)
4.15 – 6.30pm  (after-school activities)

The optional workshops take place on Friday afternoons.

F.A.Q.s

Is Gardascuola a private school?
Gardascuola is an “equal” school that is “not run by public means but by private “and is fully part of the provincial educational system. In our case it is a question of a cooperative with full legal status to supply qualifications.

Who belongs to this cooperative?
Among the associates of Gardascuola are The Commerce and Tourism Board, The Cassa Rurale Bank, Arco and Riva local authorities, Promcoop, The Padre Monti Institute and the parents of all the pupils attending the school.  Notably it is the parents themselves who actively participate in the running of the school through the Board of Governors.

Is there a flexible timetable?
The Institute allows all pupils to remain within the school grounds outside school hours from 7.30 am until 8.30am and from 4.15pm until 6.30pm.

What activities are there at pre and after-school?
The children can choose from several games, toys and recreational materials or take part in group activities organised by the teachers and educators.

What areas are available to the pupils?
The children have the use of spacious classrooms, a computer room, an art room, a Science laboratory, a welcome room, the canteen, the gym with changing facilities and toilets, an all-weather pitch, large green areas and yard.

How is the lunch service organised?
Our school has its own kitchens and canteen where the meal is prepared and served; particular attention is paid to the nutrition needed for healthy growth through consultation with an external dietician. During lunch the children are monitored by the teachers. There is a parent-teacher-canteen committee which welcomes and discusses any proposals to maintain standards.

Does the school offer expert consultations?
During the school year it is possible to have individual (parents and/or children) consultations with  a psychologist who collaborates with the school.  Moreover seminars and discussions on pertinent themes are organised with specialists and teachers.

What are the activities and optional workshops?
Workshops and activities with teachers and external experts such as movement and sport, creativity and expression, English, Technology and Science, Interculture and cooperation can activate  the pupils' interest and help build social skills and self-esteem.

Is Religion compulsory?
No,in our institute Religious lessons are optional.

How are languages taught?
English and German are taught communicatively by native teachers. Moreover some subjects are held in a foreign language (CLIL).

What are the criteria when choosing certain projects?
All the proposals are chosen carefully to stimulate learning and the use of language.

What are the aims of the methods adopted by the primary school?
Gardascuola's ethos is pluralism and the tolerance of diversity in the context of methods used with classes and pupils. From the quality of learning to special needs, from the ability to organise one's own work to enabling each pupil to fulfil his or her potential, respecting different abilities  and times  towards self-confidence and autonomy.