SEK International Schools, pioneers in the implementation and use of technology, have the necessary means and infrastructure to guarantee the quality of the educational process of each of our students and ensure the continuity of our academic activity online.

Despite all our efforts, COVID-19 continues to represent a major challenge, and we continue to work intensively to guarantee the best educational model for your children, adapting our capacity to the current situation, following the instructions of the health authorities and doing our part to protect the health of our students, their families and all SEK staff.

Each school has all the necessary platforms, resources and tools to continue with active and personalised learning over all our educational stages. SEK schools are following protocols to ensure the quality of care and education offered in distance learning.

Specifically, SEK Education Group has developed its own platform known as MySEK, a virtual ecosystem in which all our users – students, teachers and families – have at their disposal easy-to-use tools, resources and content that enable them to continue with their education online and in collaboration with the rest of the SEK Learning Community. Each user can access their personal learning environment using a single sign-on system, simplifying its use and facilitating its customization.

Management team’s announcement

A message from the General Director of Schools and his team

We hope you and your families are healthy and well at this difficult time.

We understand this is a time of uncertainty for all of our families and that adapting to our model of online learning has required flexibility from families, students and teachers. Below you can find information that explains the online learning model that we are implementing in order to maintain a high-quality education for your children. We hope this helps to make our approach to online learning more understandable.

Teachers have been trained in advanced skills in using online learning platforms such as Microsoft Teams, ManageBac, Blink Learning, and have also learned how to use many other digital platforms and apps. These platforms have enabled us to provide a rich and diverse learning experience for your children, with different approaches being applied to different ages and online different learning styles, as outlined below. Across the SEK community, and indeed from schools across the world, we have been sharing resources and best practices to improve our online lessons. SEK teachers have devoted much time and expertise in adapting to the new learning environment, and indeed staff are spending significant amounts of time in gathering digital resources, preparing online lessons, conducting lessons on the digital platforms, giving group and individual feedback to your children, and communicating regularly with students and families.

We are very aware that the new learning environment, alongside the confinement in our homes, has resulted in feelings of concern among our students and families. We know that your children need help in understanding how to adapt to this new reality, manage their feelings, and somehow continue with their learning. Therefore, and in parallel with teachers, our school Guidance Department staff is continually offering support to our Learning Community: they have joined online classes, have held individual sessions with students and their families and developed a range of resources to help children meet their social and emotional needs over this difficult time.

To support our wider community, in combination with University Camilo José Cela, we have also created within this website, a section called Wellness Classroom, with webinars that students and families can access easily. We hope this will help you to address many of the concerns you and your children may have.

We look forward to the time when we can return to more normal school routines, having learned much from this experience. In the meantime, our staff will continue to work tirelessly to ensure your children receive the best possible education.

We remain at your disposal if you need further information.

DG@sek.es

Our online learning model

Our main objective is to ensure the continuity of each student’s learning process, as well as their balanced social and emotional development.

The current situation is also an opportunity to continue developing the principles that characterise our educational model:

  • Promoting self-directed learning and student agency, for example, motivating students to take the initiative in their learning and developing it at their own pace.
  • Offering an even more personalised learning experience
  • Cultivating peer learning
  • Fostering the development of self-control skills in students
  • Strengthening learning by competencies
  • Nurturing a healthy balance between screen time (synchronous learning) and independent activities (asynchronous learning).

Read more

Early Childhood

Our goal at this stage is to maintain and strengthen the bond between teachers and children, with relationships being an essential component of learning at these ages. In addition, we seek to help families as they tackle these difficult times by suggesting meaningful activities and emotional support.

The tutors and stage coordinators are in constant communication with families. Every day they post on the SEK Blogosphere and on the MySEK Infants Digital Agenda, different videos made especially for children and suggestions for activities that families can do using materials and resources that they have at home.

Children 3 to 6 years old continue their learning within the IB Primary Years Programme. In addition, groups also have daily assemblies, where teachers and children meet to talk, explore learning content, and stay in touch, thus strengthening the close bond that is so essential for these ages.

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Primary school

The objective over this stage to continue learning based on inquiry and the IB Primary Years Programme.

Students explore the central ideas of their units of inquiry through different learning experiences. Teachers share resources, content and instructions through the SEK Blogosphere and Microsoft Teams, where they post videos, activity instructions and web resources.

Learning happens with the support of the MySEK platform that features the following applications for the management of distance learning: 

  • Microsoft Teams to facilitate discussion and dialogue, lead meetings with their group and share online resources. Learning happens synchronously (online classes with teachers and the class group) and asynchronously (with teachers assigning tasks for student to do at their own pace within the deadlines set).
  • SEK blogosphere for posting videos, suggestions for learning activities and other information using flipped learning. With this teaching method, teachers share with their students:
    • Video messages to outline the learning objectives for sessions.
    • Other content or videos that explain tasks, present content or invite a question.
    • Additional suggested activity lists, expanding or backing up content, for students to follow at their own pace.
  • A series of learning support platforms continue to be used, such as Leobien, Didakids, RazKids, Reading A to Z, among many others.

Read more

Secondary school

Over this stage we seek to give continuity to the IB Middle Years Programme, which is made up of eight groups of subjects that provide students with a varied and balanced learning experience.

Learning continues for each subject on the MySEK platform, featuring the following applications for managing distance learning: 

  • Microsoft Teams: Live streamed classes with teachers and whole class group participation through chat and forum features; assignment of tasks or activities; uploading of files and evidence of learning.
  • ManageBac: Assigning tasks, sharing resources.
  • OneNote: learning notebook.
  • BlinkLearning: Access to digital textbooks and other resources.
  • Stream: Access to the video library of shared resources and video tutorials that teachers have recorded. 
  • Each teacher adds the use of other resources and platforms to create motivating and diverse learning environments as they see fit. 

Read more

Baccalaureate

Our main objective over this stage is to continue with students’ teaching and learning process, offering them a first-class preparation for admission to the best universities in the world, both in Spain and abroad.

Although the final decision from the different authorities in relation to whether the Selectividad university entrance exams (EVAU / EBAU) will be held or not this year is still pending, our teachers continue to work with students to provide them with the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes to successfully tackle this challenge.

In terms of online learning methods, over the Baccalaureate stage, a synchronous and asynchronous model for learning continues to offered, through the tools and applications available on MySEK:

  • Microsoft Teams: Live streamed classes with teachers and whole class group participation through chat and forum features; assignment of tasks or activities; uploading of files and evidence of learning.
  • ManageBac: Assigning tasks, sharing resources.
  • OneNote: learning notebook.
  • BlinkLearning: Access to digital textbooks and other resources.
  • Stream: Access to the video library of shared resources and video tutorials that teachers have recorded.
  • Each teacher adds the use of other resources and platforms to create motivating and diverse learning environments as they see fit. 

Read more

Diploma Programme

We are very much aware of the concerns of our students and families since the IB announced the cancellation of the Diploma Programme exams.

The IB has said that it will be using a vast amount of data from previous assessments to ensure that a rigorous process is followed, adapted to the situation in which we find ourselves.

Instead of sending samples for external marking by the IB, schools have been asked to send the coursework of all the students enrolled in the exams to the IB. The coursework, which is usually marked by teachers, will be assessed externally.

Therefore, in this situation we are actively supporting our students so that they hand in the best possible work by the deadlines set by the IB.

The IB plans to communicate the results to schools, institutions and universities on 5 July 2020.

Assessment of Learning

Assessment throughout the different stages is a continuous and holistic process and it takes into account the student’s learning progress in all academic areas.

At SEK schools we implement an evidence for learning approach, with an emphasis on learning and skill development rather than just focusing on grades. We are bolstering the feedback given to students and offer specific information on their next steps for learning.

The protocols and systems have been put in place for all the coordinators, tutors and teachers responsible for the different academic areas to be able to collect the evidence of learning necessary to assess the attainment of the stage objectives and set a final assessment. This assessment is made by both teachers and students themselves, in addition to incorporating elements for peer reflection.

In the context of online learning feedback becomes essential. We are taking advantage of technological resources to facilitate constant communication between teachers and students. Teachers use a range of strategies, such as recording video messages to give general feedback to students, or voice messages for commenting on students’ coursework. Students also help in identifying the work and tasks that best evidence their learning. In this way, there is ample evidence to establish conclusions regarding each students’ learning process.

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Online learning experience

Many families have asked us why we are managing the online learning experience the way we are and also about a code of conduct that should be observed online.

We would like to share with you some online teaching and behavioural principles that are part of our educational values and convictions:

  • We believe it is important that online classes not be a simple transference from the classroom to the virtual environment. Which is why we are trying to balance real time connection times with offline and asynchronous personal work, and we are trying to streamline our online interventions by making them more enjoyable and motivating.
  • We invite all students to participate in synchronous classes because, in these moments of isolation, we intend to preserve the sense of belonging and community. In online learning, dropping out is frequent due to the feeling of loneliness and lack of fellowship with other students. This is something we aim to avoid, and which is why we place emphasis in online working groups.
  • Furthermore, learning is not only an individual exercise but, above all, a social practice. If in the classroom our children already work with other classmates, in the digital field they must continue to do so, using the tools we have made available to them.
  • However, we assign periods of individual study, reflection and creation, because we want to foster their talents as much as possible, also in the digital field.
  • We observe the strictest levels of data privacy, including all content and communication exchanges featuring your children, because the online environment in which they are working has very restricted access. No one who does not belong to the SEK community or who has been explicitly invited to participate, may intervene in any class, broadcast or video conference.
  • We have drafted an online code of conduct that your children and our teachers already have. During these first days it is possible that many of us need some time to adapt to the new medium and, therefore, we have given explicit instructions to remember that in the virtual environment the same rules and principles must be respected as in face-to-face teaching.
  • We are caring not only for the academic development of your children but also for their physical and emotional health. During this exceptional period, we will redouble our efforts to provide personalised care and attention.

Innovation and Educational Technology

Wellness Classroom

With the aim of continuing to support our students and their families, SEK Group’s Department of Psychology at University Camilo José Cela, has rolled out a series of activities to help them cope with the state of emergency and the lockdown and encourage improved psychological and emotional adjustment. Therefore, we would like to invite you to take part in the upcoming workshops (webinars), which you can access from the links below. We are also offering an online psychological support service. Of course, the guidance departments and medical services of each school remain at your disposal to answer your questions or concerns and to conduct individual or group interviews if needed.

All the webinars are given in Spanish

 

Stress: What is it and how to tackle it?

Dr. Miguel Ángel Pérez Nieto

Monday, 30 March

From 17:00 to 18:00

Watch recording

Family emotional education during the period of confinement

Dr. Ruth Castillo

Tuesday, 31 March

From 16:30 to 17:30

Watch recording

Emotions and behaviour in preschool children during confinement: Guidelines for healthy management of emotions

Dr. María Provencio

Wednesday 1 April

From 18:30 to 19:30

Watch recording

 

 

Regulating emotions and time management during confinement with primary school children

Dr. María Provencio

Thursday 2 April

From 11:00 to 12:00

Access

 

Mindfulness to help with stress

Dr. Marian de la Morena

Friday 3 April

From 16.00 to 17.00

 

Time management with adolescents

Dr. Elena Teresa López Cobeñas

Monday 6 April

From 17:00 to 18:00

Watch recording

 

Physical and recreational activities to do at home as a family

Dr. Francisco Areces

Tuesday 7 April

From 17:00 to 18:00

Watch recording

 

Recommendations for physical exercise during pregnancy in a period of confinement

Dr. María Perales Santaella

Wednesday 8 April

From 17:00 to 18:00

Watch recording

Parents’ Informative Sessions

   

Special Parents’ Informative Sessions – Nursery


Early childhood education in SEK schools: educational innovation based on inquiry, play, multilingualism, exploration and symbolic expression.

Isabel Morales Jareño – Pilar Ester Mariñoso – Bruno García Tardón

27 may

17:30 – 18:30

Access

Early childhood education: a stage with its own identity.

Sara Sánchez Ruiz

3 june

17:30 – 18:30

Access

Significant moments of cognitive and socio-emotional development in the early childhood stage

Cecilia Theirs Rodríguez

10 june

17:30 – 18:30

Access

 

Preparing for the incorporation or re-incorporation of early childhood students after COVID-19 into classrooms: a new challenge.

Laura Herrero Pérez

17 june

17:30 – 18:30

Access

 

 

Others


Neuroeducation: Active Teaching

Eva Teba Fernández

29 April

17:00 – 18:00

Watch recording

How to set rules and limits on the use of screens: from problematic use to responsible use

Laura Cuesta

5 may

17:00 – 18:00

Watch recording

A new reality: online education

Joaquín Rodríguez – Noelia Cava – Fran Tejeria

14 may

17:00 – 18:00

Access

 

The importance of physical exercise

Teresa García Pastor – César Gallo Salazar

28 may

17:00 – 18:00

Access

EVIDENCES

Through MySEK, teachers and students are accessing the tools they need for distance learning and teaching. SEK International Schools are currently offering asynchronous and synchronous distance learning. Asynchronous learning allows teachers to upload and provide resources for students to explore and learn, create discussion forums, assign individual tasks through ManageBac or record meetings for future reference to review learning in Microsoft Teams. On the other hand, real-time or synchronous learning experiences take place live, with teacher-led consultations and discussions. Teachers or students can schedule meetings to carry out collaborative work or support meetings.

 

We assure you that the resources, infrastructure and technology that we are using ensure the quality of our students’ educational process. This section contains a small sample of the academic activity that is taking place over these days:

 

Technical drawing in Baccalaureate. SEK-Catalunya

 

Virtual Debate Class

 

Virtual Mathematics Class

Virtual Piano Class

 

Virtual Chemistry Class

 

Virtual Muscle Stretching Musculares

Q&A

1. How are schools doing distance learning?

Distance learning is currently taking place both asynchronously and synchronously:

 

1.1. Learning experiences at students’ own pace (asynchronous learning):

  • Teachers upload and provide resources for students to explore and learn. These resources may be a prerecorded class / presentation, videos, stimulus materials (e.g. case studies), guided exploration, previous questions or other stimuli …
  • Discussion or debate forums, through the Microsoft Teams platform, where students have asynchronous discussions (forum-type discussion in response to prompts) to share ideas and (synchronously or asynchronously) collaborate on ongoing projects.
  • For individual tasks that the educator wants to collect, comment on and / or mark, it is preferable to create a task in ManageBac.
  • Through Teams, teachers can record any meeting (whole class or small groups) and share the recording through a link. By doing so, they can allow all students to access and review what they learned.

Read more

 

1.2. Real-time (synchronous) learning experiences

  • Live streaming of presentations, consultations and discussions guided by the teacher, with the whole group or in small groups.
  • Teachers or the students can schedule meetings for small groups, for example to carry out collaborative work, have support or feedback meetings between teachers and individual students, or in small groups.

Read more

 

2.- What tools are being used for online classes?

Teachers and students are accessing the tools they need for distance learning and teaching through MySEK.

Specifically, some of the tools that are being used are:

  • Early Childhood and years 1 and 2 Primary use the SEK Blogosphere and the MySEK Infants Digital Agenda, to publish videos, suggestions for learning activities and other information.
  • Teachers from other stages use Microsoft Teams to facilitate discussion and dialogue (both synchronous and asynchronous), meetings and sharing online resources (leaflets, discussion messages, etc.)
  • Teachers also use ManageBac to set assignments related to IB programmes, sharing specific learning objectives and resources needed for assignments.
  • Online or distance learning, in a virtual learning environment like the SEK Blogosphere, ManageBac, Teams and Blink Learning presents an opportunity to continue with the following initiatives that are already part of the SEK methodology:
    • Fostering blended learning and flipped learning.
    • Promoting self-directed learning, that is, encouraging students to take ownership of their learning at their chosen pace.
    • Allowing for more personalised learning.
    • Fostering learning based on skills development.
    • Letting students explore a wide range of resources according to their own needs.
    • Cultivating peer learning in an online environment.
    • Helping support the development of self-management skills among students as teachers and mentors.
    • Collaborating and cocreating with others in the development of digital resources.
    • Creating a portfolio of shared digital resources for teacher’s own professional learning and that of their colleagues.

Read more

 

3.- Are teachers still giving classes?

Yes, classes continue as normal online. Our teachers are giving their very best, focusing their vocation, dedication and commitment to ensure continuity and normality in the learning process of each of their students.

In addition to preparing and teaching their classes, giving tutorials to each student and their families, correcting daily tasks and designing new projects, our teachers, tutors and coordinators have been trained in the new tools and keep management protocols, operations and learning services running. In short, they have adapted their face-to-face classes to new technologies and virtual platforms that, although they had been used regularly, are now the focus of all our teaching activity.

Read more

 

4.- How does the school ensure the safety of online platforms for students?

SEK Internal Regulations still apply in the new distance learning space. This applies to all interactions in the digital environment, online classes by videoconference, messages or emails, communications in other applications and platforms … In addition to the Internal Regulation that are common to all SEK Schools, each school has its own policies for coexistence and conduct.

Likewise, in line with child protection policies, SEK Group has published special guidelines to clarify the measures that must be taken to ensure the protection of students within online interactions.

Read more

 

5.- When will in-person teaching resume?

The face-to-face classes are being resumed according to the criteria determined by the national and regional authorities. Your school will contact you in the event that it is possible to return to face-to-face classes and will keep you permanently informed.

In order to respond to this possible return to face-to-face teaching, SEK Group launched the Reopening Committee for SEK Schools on 29 April, with the aim of developing the necessary protocols to ensure the health and safety of our school community. 

You can read more information on the protocols in this section.

Read more

 

6.- Will the end of the school year be brought forward?

The intention of SEK Group is to extend the school year until 30 June for all years. In the case of year 2 Baccalaureate, and since the university entrance exams will be held in the first days of July, schools will accompany their students until their completion.

Read more

 

7.- How are students going to be assessed?

In line with our continuous, evidence for learning-based assessment model, we have put in place the necessary protocols and systems so that coordinators, tutors and teachers responsible for the different academic areas have the necessary information from each student and can assess achievement of their academic objectives.

Read more

 

8.- Will there be Selectividad university entrance exams (EVAU / EBAU) this year?

Yes. Regional authorities have determined new dates for the Selectividad university entrance exams, so we recommend checking the dates set by the Autonomous Region of your child’s school.

Read more

 

9.- Will my child be able to take the IB Diploma Programme exam?

The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IB) has confirmed that the May 2020 exams, set to take place between 30 April and 22 May for Diploma Programme candidates, have been cancelled.

Assessment of students will be based on their coursework over the year and on rigorous assessment criteria and quality control processes already integrated into the IB programmes.

We know that parents and students will have many questions. We assure you that, as a school, we will do our best to ensure that our IB Diploma students achieve the best possible grades. We will keep you constantly informed about all the guidelines we receive from the IB.

Read more

 

10.-What training have school teachers received?

The continuous training of our teachers is one of the keys to the success of our SEK educational model and, in addition, it is one of the requirements established by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IB).

Our teaching faculty were already receiving extensive training in the use of ICT tools prior to the health crisis, so they had already mastered the technological platforms that we commonly use in face-to-face teaching, such as Microsoft Office 365, MySEK and the blogosphere applications, ManageBac, BlinkLearning, Symbaloo and Smart Learning Suite, among many others.

This has been a decisive factor in adapting of face-to-face classes to online teaching in an agile and efficient way.

Furthermore, our teachers ongoing learning has not been disrupted by the lockdown.

Through the Microsoft Teams platform, teachers access daily webinars and tutorials to continue perfecting the use of applications and address strategies and methodologies adapted to online teaching.

Moreover, these environments promote collaborative learning among professionals, as they have even greater opportunities to share resources and content.

For more information, see the online learning experience section.

 

Read more

11.-II think my child may need emotional support over this time, who can I turn to?

Our counselling and guidance services, alongside the medical services, are redoubling efforts to monitor and provide psychological and emotional support to students and teachers who need it. Do not hesitate to contact them if you need to.

We have also started to offer webinars from the Psychology Department of University Camilo José Cela and which you can access whenever you need in this section.

Read more

 

12.- I think I may be infected or someone in my circle has had COVID-19, what should I do?

You should refer to the action protocols provided by the health authorities https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/20200324_Decalogo_como_actuar_COVID19.pdf

We also encourage you to consult all the information and recommendations from the health authorities (the WHO, Ministry of Health, Madrid Regional Ministry of Health) that you can find in this section.

Read more

 

13.- Are the events planned for the third term of the school year going ahead?

The celebrations planned for the coming months (graduations, first communions, confirmations, festivals …) will take place depending on the date that schools reopen. As soon as decision can be made in this regard, we will inform you of dates. In some cases, they could be postponed until autumn.

Read more

 

14.- What help can SEK Group offer in the current economic situation?

We understand that some families are experiencing difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis. Which is why SEK Group has put in place a series of economic measures available to its Educational Community aimed at alleviating this situation. LINK to the measures doc.

Economic measures

Additionally, the granting of scholarships for schooling will be studied on a case by case basis. Do not hesitate to consult with the Corporate Management Department about your individual situation (gestioncorporativa@sek.es). We are entirely at your disposal to minimise the effects of this situation as far as possible.

Read more

 

15.- want to visit the school, is it possible?

Yes, it is possible to visit the school in person. We also offer you the possibility of taking a virtual visit accompanied by your school advisor whenever you want. You only need to sign up here: https://www.sek.es/solicitar-informacion/ We will be happy to assist you.

Read more

 

Acknowledgements

 

SEK-Alborán

 

Teachers encouraging students

 

Students thanking teachers

   

SEK-Catalunya

 

Student thanking teachers

   

SEK-Ciudalcampo

 

Doctors missing the students

 

Students thanking teachers

 

Teachers encouraging students

 

Teachers missing their students

   

 

Students thanking teachers (2)

   

SEK-Dublin

 

Teachers encouraging students

   

SEK-El Castillo

 

SEK-El Castillo students send their best wishes to those affected by COVID-19

 

The maintenance team thank students

   

SEK-Santa Isabel

 

Students encouraging us to stay at home

 

Students thanking teachers

 

Thanks for healthcare workers

   

Testimonials from families and teachers