Santa María del Pino is a trilingual private school, with just one class per grade. The school culture is warm and familiar and we pay particular attention to details, values and quality education.
The school is located in a serene and quiet area without noise near the centre of Alella, in a valley located between the mountains and vineyards. The school is close enough to the sea that you can feel the sea breeze.
In this lush green environment –more common in English and American colleges or in Finnish and Danish schools than in our country–, students develop healthy, peaceful and happy, acquiring greater security, strength, independence and resilience.
The school consists of three interconnected buildings, surrounded by a large playground, two sports courts, a large sandy courtyard with trees, a playground with swings, slides and little houses for children, and a vineyard, which pays homage to our geographic location.
Other pillars upon which our quality education is based upon are our good academic results, our educational project, designed to face future challenges with rigor and respect, and our professional team. Our team is consolidated, involved and cohesive, displaying great human quality.
We implement our own educational project, based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, proposed in 1983 by Howard Gardner, a Harvard researcher and psychologist. this theory provides up to 8 types of intelligences (musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic). He believed that these intelligences could be achieved with a suitable environment, experiences, motivation and especially the type of education received.
At school we implement new methods of learning which give more importance to the skills and abilities of each student. We encourage their creativity through artistic projects and collaborative games. In this spirit, we give students the leading role in their learning, that is experiential and constructivist because they learn to learn from their own observations and experiences, whilst meaningful because it will be useful for life.
We start the development of students’ potential in Kindergarten –from Early Stimulation programs by Glenn Doman, which have been successfully applied over 50 years in different countries– and we extend them to all stages of education. The result is an amalgam of the best of different methodological strategies that include, among others, project work, cooperative work, EntusiasMAT, chess, the reading method Binding, robotics, physical education and healthy habits. In our program we also include daily contact and direct observation of nature.
We provide a comprehensive education focused on training self-reliant people, who are flexible, entrepreneurial, multifaceted, independent, sensitive, respectful, supportive, empathetic, generous and emotionally competent.
The history of the school dates back to the Colegio Purísima Concepción at 156 Rosselló Street in Barcelona. Along with Soledad Auger and Rosa M. Calás, Isabel Brinques acquired the school in 1965, a few years after having studied here. She wanted to become a teacher in her own school.
At the beginning, the school accepted children up to 10 years old. After the creation of the EGB, the school started accepting children up to 14. As the number of students increased, the building became too small and the school had to find a new location. A parent of the school, Mr. Xifra, found land located 19 km outside of Barcelona, in Alella (Maresme). Within it, there was only a villa and today this is where we find the youngest students’ classrooms.
With the aim of preserving the school’s original name as well as paying homage to the pine trees at the new location of the school, the school was renamed as Colegio Santa María del Pino, better known as “El Pino”. In 2015 the school celebrated its 50 years anniversary, led by Isabel Brinques and Vinyet Montaner.
Later in the year, the school changed hands to Jordi Casas, a confidant of Isabel. Following a long family tradition, he has been devoted to the world of education and school management for more than 25 years. This change in ownership has brought excitement, experience, youth and professionalism to the school and ensures the continuity of the project and its projection into the future and abroad.
At “El Pino” each grade has an identifying name, a song, a tree and a flag. Names are only fixed in Kindergarten (P3: Rainbow, P4: Platero and P5: Guinyol). In 1st grade students choose, by ballot, their class name which they will keep until they finish 4th grade (Cim, Harmonia, Ebro, Maya…). Assisted by the music teacher, Montse, they produce a musical score and a song alluding to the name, which is presented to the public during the festival of “Arbor Day”, along with the flag.
But the most meaningful tradition in “el Pino” is “bonyo“… Born spontaneously among students and transmitted orally from generation to generation, Bonyo is a ball, created from a bunch of sand that children wet with a jet of water kept in their mouth. Gradually, patiently and with perseverance, it becomes a small ball. Then it is hidden in a corner of the yard, where it dries. The following day, they repeat the “technique”… everyday until a firm ball of soil is achieved.
The school uniform has almost always been the same since its establishment, in spite of some adaptations. The base is a grey skirt or trousers with suspenders, a white or maroon polo shirt and an argyle sweater. In the summer months, due to the heat, children change their trousers to shorts and shoes to sandals making it lighter and cooler.
The youngest students wear a multi-colored smock while primary school students wear a green one. There is also a special uniform for physical education long or short grey trousers, a white polo shirt, a navy blue sweatshirt and white socks and sneakers.
The school celebrates the following days:
- Arbor Day: held each spring, primary school students in 1st grade present their song. Secondary 4th grade students give up the tree that has accompanied them throughout their school career to P5 students (called Guinyol). P5 students will start primary school the next school year and will need a tree that identifies them.
- Harvest Festival: we cannot overlook one of the most famous traditions in Alella: winemaking. We celebrate the harvest many activities and games including, the election of hereu and pubilla, traditional dances with parents and the harvest done by our youngest pupils.
- Family Day: we instituted this fun day to coincide with the school’s 50th anniversary celebration. The school grounds are filled with inflatables for children. Additionally there are basketball and ping-pong games between parents and children, bingo, a raffle and a barbecue. This event is organized with the assistance of the parents’ association.
- Living nativity: the most spectacular and emotional celebration we do is held in the playground and on the mountains around the school. ESO students represent pastors, prophets, and other nativity characters and are accompanied by a donkey and a sheep.