Kilkenny, here we come! :)

Sunday 8th May

On our first day in Ireland we visited its capital city, Dublin. It took us about 2 hours by bus, through beautiful green landscapes, scattered with sheeps and cows. There, Zach and Denny were waiting to show us the highlights of the city: Molly Malone statue, Temple Bar, Ha’penny Bridge, the GPO, O’Connell Street and Monument… We were lucky enough to enjoy our lunch in the Trinity College Grounds under the elusive Irish sun. To finish the day we spent a couple of hours at the Dundrum shopping centre in the outskirts of the city.

En nuestro primer día en Irlanda visitamos la capital, Dublin. Fueron unas dos horas de viaje en autobús a través de verdes praderas salpicadas de ovejas y vacas. Allí, Zach and Denny estaban esperándonos para enseñarnos los puntos más importantes de la ciudad:la estatua de Molly Malone, Temple Bar, el puente Ha’penny, la Oficina Central de Correos (GPO), el monumento a O’ Connell… Afortunadamente, disfrutamos de nuestra comida en los jardines del Trinity College bajo un estupendo sol. Para finalizar el día visitamos el centro comercial de Dundrum en las afueras de la ciudad.


Let’s get mythical!

On Thursday, April 28, more than 60 1ºESO bilingual English section students, accompanied by seven exhausted teachers and auxiliaries, visited the Prado Museum in Madrid’s city center.

Students in groups E1B and E1F are currently studying Greek and Roman myths, using famous artwork as a means of introducing the stories. Each student was assigned one of 24 paintings by masters like Titian, Velázquez and Zurbarán that illustrate mythical stories. Before the field trip, everyone researched their assigned artist, artwork and myth, as well as language we use to talk about paintings, features, myths and more.

E1B and E1F with teachers Elena, Mar, Beatriz, Sarah, Yuliana and Kate (plus teacher-photographer Adriana!)

At the museum, students explored the main floor exhibitions in small groups to find their assigned works. After locating their painting, they had to take detailed notes about elements of it, such as who the characters are, what they’re doing, what emotions they show and what details catch your eye.

Now, after seeing these world-renowned masterpieces in person, all the students are armed with the information they need to prepare an oral report for their classmates. In front of the class, they will each share detailed information about their paintings and the myths they represent.

1º Bachillerato students go to the UN… the Model UN

Last term, 10 students from 1º Bachillerato participated in a Model United Nations conference in Madrid. The students – Víctor, Darío, Alejandro, Pablo and Víctor from B1C and Óscar, Daniela, Alex, Antonio and Jorge form B1E – worked closely with teacher Cristina Barja and the school’s three English auxiliaries to assume the role of UN delegates from New Zealand and Japan, respectively.

To prepare for the three-day conference, the groups spent weeks researching and writing draft resolutions about current real-world policy issues. One student from each group made up part of the UN Security Council, Economic and Social Committee, Human Rights Committee, Legal Committee, Environmental Committee and Technological Committee. They addressed issues like the control and reduction of the spread of nuclear weapons, petroleum conservation, what a UN-inspired global prostitution policy might look like, and the privacy of personal data on the internet.

More than 100 students from schools around the community and beyond — including France! — participated in the first annual conference, held at IES Beatriz Galindo in Madrid’s Salamanca neighborhood.

New Zealand’s delegates from B1C after receiving their certificates of participation.
Japan’s delegates from B1E — except Antonio, who missed the conference because he was actually in Japan!

Afghanistan, Armenia, Austria, Brazil, China, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Greeze, India, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Russia, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States all discussed these topical issues in small committee meetings and the General Assembly, where ambassadors from each country shared resolutions the committees had drafted. Countries voted in favor or against the resolutions, and several were adopted by the UN General Assembly.

The conference was a tremendous opportunity to work with students from other schools in Spanish, French and English, and to learn about different cultures and current world issues. But I’m sure if you ask our delegates, the highlight was the Wednesday-night dance held in the Beatriz Galindo common space and the new friends they made. All of them enthusiastically shared how happy they were to have participated and how much they wanted to do it again next year!


Theater in the classroom

Last Wednesday (Feb. 17), students in 1º and 2º de la ESO were treated to Shakespeare Showtime for half of their school day. Actors from The Improving Company, a Madrid theater group specializing in immersive educational experiences, came to IES Gabriel García Márquez and staged fun and interactive half-hour interpretations of six of Shakespeare’s most famous works — including some that students have read in class! Audiences in first-floor classrooms were treated to Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth. In addition to entertaining overviews of the stories’ plots, actors explained the cultural significance of the plays and Shakespeare’s lasting legacy. Even 400 years after his death, readers around the world are still captivated by his relatable tales. This year, IES Gabriel García Márquez is celebrating Shakespeare and his Spanish contemporary Miguel de Cervantes (who died on the very same day — April 16, 1616!) schoolwide with readings, projects and more.


We welcome our new English assistants

Another year is off to a great start at IES Gabriel Garcia Marquez! We have a new group of auxiliares de conversación (English language assistants) helping out in English, music, science, geography, technology and PE classes:

Kate (left), Sarah (center) and Yuliana (right) in the English Department office.

Kate – Portland, OR, USA

My name is Kate and I’m from Portland, Oregon, in the U.S. I’m 26 years old and graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011; I studied journalism (news/editorial and magazine) and history. Afterward, I worked for a few years in marketing for the Portland tourism bureau but was ready for a new adventure. This is my second time living in Spain: I studied abroad in Sevilla for four months in 2009 and fell in love with the country’s culture and people. I love traveling, reading, skiing, enjoying the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. I’m an only child, but I’m very close with my parents, Randy and Sue, and my dog, Angus!

Yuliana – Cincinnati, OH, USA

My name is Yuliana and I am originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. My family and I moved to the United States when I was little so I spent most of my life growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio. I have two sisters who live in Florida and Washington. I went to the University of Cincinnati and studied International Relations. I studied in Madrid three years ago and really wanted to move back after university. I have been here for over a year and finished my Master’s in International Education at the Universidad de Alcalá last spring. I love learning new languages and traveling, I also enjoy reading and painting. Feel free to ask me any questions if you see me at school!

Sarah – Stowmarket, UK

Hey, I’m Sarah, I’m 24 years old and I’m from Stowmarket, a small town in the South East of England.  I come from a big family, with five brothers (all boys other than me!). I love art, music, travelling and learning about new cultures. I studied economics with Spanish at the University of Birmingham, which included one year studying in Valladolid for Erasmus. I loved the experience and knew that I wanted to come back to Spain and get to know more of the country after finishing my final year of university in the U.K. After graduating, I first moved to Bolivia to work with an international development organisation, but since finishing my contract there, I have been teaching English in different parts of Spain. I’ve lived in 11 cities, but Madrid is my favourite, and I hope to stay!