The Col·legi Sant Bonaventura is located in the Barcelona town of Vilanova i la Geltrú. Founded by Franciscan friars in 1964 (ofm), it is a center arranged by the Generalitat de Catalunya and currently has about 710 students, distributed in two lines that go from P3 to 4th of ESO. The school has a unique identity within the municipality, with a style of education that is committed to a cordial presence and proximity, which facilitates understanding and coexistence, and that embraces all levels of school life. The educational project, renewed ( SEC: Saber, Emprender, Crecer ), is based on its Own Character and is specified in an ambitious Student Exit Profile .
Respect for the ecology and the promotion of attitudes of respect for nature and sustainability, together with a broad work in values, is one of the pillars of the Pastoral Plan and Ecological Culture of a center that has important outdoor spaces (50,746m 2 ) that allow contact with the nature and practice of sports.
Based on this basis, one of the objectives has always been (and always has to be) to find a way to work with students on the specific aspects that are detailed in the Student Exit Profile through the Pastoral Plan and Ecological Culture taking advantage of , in addition, the outdoor spaces available. So to speak, move part of the learning space out of the classroom . More and more voices are calling for the playground as a space where, with the right activities, educational processes occur more spontaneously and more experientially ( listening to the other, learning to fail without abandoning, submitting to rules, resolving conflicts, accepting of contingencies, find practical applications to what worked in class, know the environment, develop the imagination, etc.). Thus, the school has articulated two related initiatives: the Sustainable Technology Workshop and the School Garden Project, Sustainable and Solidarity .
The first of these, the Sustainable Technology Workshop, consists of a series of projects carried out by students in the upper primary cycle based on disused objects (pallets, tires) and with an altruistic purpose. None of the projects proposed and carried out by the students is for their own use. Initial condition is that the final recipient is from another course, from another stage or for the use of the educational community in general. During this year, students have built benches to rest in one of the school’s pine woods, an outdoor class, play elements for the playground (cabins, obstacle courses …).
Projects or activities of this style hold together the educational community of a school, since it needs all its members to carry out the objectives. The families must collaborate contributing the materials, the teachers find real spaces to work a good part of curricular contents and the students, without doubt, are the center and the engine of each proposal. They are responsible for carrying it out in writing, writing the formal request to the Management Team for its approval and, of course, those responsible for carrying it out, under supervision. Finally, they prepare a dossier and an oral presentation of all the work.
Having a resource that allows to educate in the environmental culture, introduce knowledge of technology or usefulness of materials, work entrepreneurial skills, while allowing reflection and teamwork is an asset for any school. In addition, it is of great help for the recovery of school spaces.
One of the most ambitious objectives of those carried out during this academic year has been the construction with this type of materials of a greenhouse for the school garden. This greenhouse constitutes one of the clearest examples of the altruistic vision that works in the Workshop of Sustainable Technology, since the conduction and the care of the school garden imply to all the courses and teachers of primary.
Educational projects with a school garden have been a reality for several years in many schools. They link perfectly with the desire to look for learning spaces outside the classroom and also encourage attitudes of respect towards nature.
The School Garden, Sustainable and Solidarity Project of Sant Bonaventura has always been a space open to all, although the presence in the educational programming of activities related to it has not always been regular. As of the present course (2017/2018), each school day , a Primary Education class invests a space of their time to take care of the activities of the garden.
During the last years, it has begun to value the enormous potential that this space can offer, as well as the possibility of introducing elements of any curricular area. The garden provides rewarding, unique and enriching experiences both to students and teachers. Apart from conceptual learning, it facilitates and enhances interpersonal intelligence among students, between teachers and between both groups. It allows to educate in environmental culture, in the importance of environmental resources and water savings, introduces knowledge of organic farming and a long etcetera.
The organization, as in everything, is fundamental to be able to carry out an initiative of this style, which involves 12 classes. After the first planting of vegetables (month of October), each class goes to the garden on a different school day. In this way, each student works in the garden every 12 days. The tutor, following the calendar, can organize his schedule with some freedom to plan the session in the garden, about 20 or 30 minutes, during the course of the day.
The activities within the orchard space are also organized to help its efficient execution. Some of them are the attention to the animals (chickens and rabbits), irrigate the different plots, remove the weeds or take care of the composting . In addition, students can take note of everything they observe and come back to it later in the classroom.
Without counting on the obvious educational advantages that provide activities with these characteristics, both students, teachers and families of the school have been making a very positive assessment of both projects in recent years. This can be followed through the various questionnaires of perception of the center that are sent annually to parents, following the desire for continuous improvement established in the center. Its continuity and its constant improvement are, in this way, guaranteed.
Daniel Cierto , Coordinator of Pastoral and Ecological Culture. Col·legi Sant Bonaventura
INNOVACIÓN EDUCATIVA: El impulso de la sostenibilidad por medio del taller sostenible y el huerto escolar by Francesc Tejera