Celebrating 30 years of education

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

A new school, improved facilities and ongoing educational developments mark just some of the changes taking place at the International School São Lourenço, near Almancil, which will be celebrating 30 years of education in the Algarve this year.

Terry McGuire, head teacher, told the Algarve Resident: “We will be marking the 30 year anniversary with the launch of the new school.”

Building for the new school project, which, it is estimated, will cost 6.5 million Euros to complete, is due to begin in August, with the children taking their seats in the new classrooms in September 2010.

All the activities of the International School São Lourenço will move from the old location to the new building, which will be sited directly across from the karting track near Almancil.

“A school is much more than just a building, it is about great people,” said Terry McGuire. “Buildings can, however, be both constraints as well as facilitators of education and our current facilities have limits. The new school will be a complete learning environment with Wi-Fi throughout, ecological features and stunning new science and language labs.”

Also, due to the size of the plot purchased for the new school, there is plenty of potential for future development.

“The plot of land for the new school is massive so we have huge potential for sporting facilities as well as other outdoor ventures including vegetable gardens and other learning experiences. These are projects that we have tried to develop at the current school in a limited way but will be able to expand on at the new site,” he said.

Since taking up his position as head teacher in September 2007, Terry McGuire has pushed forward the development of the school at both an educational and cultural level with pupils at the school now being actively encouraged to not only embrace the Portuguese language but also the art, history and culture of Portugal.

“It is my intention to move the direction of the school into being more Portuguese friendly, after all, the children who attend the school live and exist in Portugal,” he said.

“Although we are not a bilingual school, we now have five Portuguese teachers here and I encourage them to speak to the children in Portuguese. Trips to national monuments and sites of historical importance are all enjoyed by the children and help expand their Portuguese cultural knowledge.”

Looking to the future of the school, and perhaps the next 30 years, Terry McGuire said:

“There is a real sense of momentum at the school now, with all the developments and a strong school community, we are optimistic about the future.”