Methodology and evaluation

If there are no official exams how can we be sure our children are progressing?

Students will be evaluated on the performance of their learning by checking the skills they have acquired.

We follow the Optimal Match model to evaluate our students, by which evaluation is developed in a spiral, the developed competences are evaluated, discarding those already acquired and prescribing a customised learning program. The rhythm is always dictated by the students’ abilities and once acquired all the corresponding competences at one level they will pass on to the next.

Each student will have a portfolio, which will include assessments of their skills and competences, their academic record, interests and learning styles.

This portfolio will be the main tool of evaluation and verification of the acquisition of the necessary skills to obtain the High School Diploma.

Is it a Montessori school?

In our school the Montessori method is taught at Infant (3-5 yrs) and primary (6-11yrs) level, since they are the stages that are covered by this pedagogy. For the secondary and baccalaureate stage, there is no Montessori method.


And will these methodologies work?

Our school is part of a parent school in the state of Michigan that has more than 50 years of teaching experience. The teaching methods used in our school have been proven in their effectiveness, in terms of student learning, cognitive development and acquisition of skills, in the original center and other centres,

As an example, the Montessori method, which emerged more than a century ago, is currently implemented in more than 30,000 schools worldwide. It is very respectful of the students’ natural learning rhythm. Also, there are neurological studies that show that this pedagogy is not only extremely successful, but also suitable for learning at an early age. Unfortunately, this pedagogy has

suffered political blocks that have prevented it from spreading as it should, but we are fortunate enough to be able watch our children learn through it.

Other methodologies used by our school is the Natural Method, Flipped Classroom, Design Thinking, Project Based Learning to mention a few. All of them are widely used and endorsed by the main school and universities.


Are teachers experienced in teaching these methods?

Our faculty have prepared for the methodologies through their degrees, Masters and additional training. We also strongly believe in continuous professional development and our staff attend regular teaching conferences, training days and sessions. Our school is backed by the United States’ parent school, which sets the guidelines, oversees our work and remains in constant communication with our centre.

In addition, our staff have extensive teaching experience, most have been working in teaching for more than a decade, applying these pedagogies, working with students with difficulties or learning disorders and have demonstrated their professionalism throughout their careers.

At what age will they start English?

From infants (3 yrs), our students begin to learn English in a natural way, as if they were in an American school in the United States. As the students mature and have acquired a certain level, then concepts and other subjects will be discussed and worked on in English, thus immersing the students in English.


Is it a bilingual school?

It is a school whose main language is English, given that the accrediting body is American. Spanish will be the second language followed by French.


At what age will they start French?

As with English, French will be taught from early on. The methods used will be similar to those used with English, involving the student in the language so that they learn the vocabulary and grammatical structures naturally.


How many hours a week do you have English?

Most of our school day will be held in English, our school is a foreign centre with American approval, so it is a fundamental requirement to use English as the first language.

What training and experience do the teachers have?

Our teachers are the main pillar of our school, formed by a multidisciplinary pedagogical team, in which all its members have a solid background and extensive experience in their area of competence. You can find out more about each of our team members here

Up to what age can students be with you? Would they have to go to a secondary school?

We open our doors for all ages, starting with infants moving through Primary, Secondary and Bachillerato (EU A Levels).

Who is behind the centre?

Our centre is supported by a parent school in the state of Michigan, Clonlara, which oversees our work. In addition to this we are also being approved by an international NEASC accreditor, which conducts audits to verify that our centre, staff, curriculum are in accordance with the legislation of the United States and validates the diplomas issued by our School. At the same time the school is authorised by the Ministry of Education here in Spain, which corroborates that the corresponding accreditation is carried out and also ensures that the subject of Spanish culture, required by the Spanish state, is taught.

The accrediting bodies have more than decade’s worth of experience and through their performance over the years, have more than demonstrated their professional ability.


How can there not be any exams or homework?

Our students develop their skills through tasks that combine different areas. These tasks will be carried out in school time and under the guidance of teachers, so it will not be necessary to do homework. Excepting for preparation for Flipped classroom lessons and any areas that the student wants to research further.

Evaluation of acquired skills will be carried out by following the development of their work, which will be documented in their individual portfolios. So, there will not be any standardised testing, although there could be informal evaluation tests to check the student’s level, and also to give student’s experience in how to take exams preparing them for the future.

What differentiates the facilities of this school from a state school or a Spanish school?

One of the main differences in the organisation of our centre is the layout of the school. The classes are not divided by age, and therefore allowing the work zones to be open, spacious and multi-functional. We have different areas, for example, Montessori, music, library, new technologies, languages, which can be used by everyone.

At the same time the areas are multifunctional and can be transformed to meet the demands of projects that are being worked on at any given time.

Here at Colegio Internacional de la Subbética we give a lot of importance to New Technologies, Art, physical and ecological, so for that reason we have we have worked hard on finding the perfect layout and design for these areas.

Can students be reincorporated into the traditional schooling system?

Yes, our centre is authorised by the Spanish Ministry of Education. Therefore, if the student decides to return to a state school it is possible to transfer without any issues.

Can they access Vocational Training?

Our students will have access to basic vocational training from 16 years.

No prior qualification is required

As a parent, I worry about bullying, do you have any system to prevent it?

We have our strict Anti-Bullying Policy, Code of Conduct, Behaviour Policy and Safeguarding Policy. Our staff are vigilant in observing and caring for our students and have regular training in how to prevent and put a stop to any situation that arises, with due care and attention given to all parties involved. We also have a student led Safeguarding team, that work to raise awareness of certain issues. Our teachers and students are all looked after and advised by our onsite Educational Phycology team.

In addition to the above measures, emotional intelligence is at the heart of our centre. Values such as empathy, respect, equality, collaboration and inclusion are fostered, debated and discussed regularly, so our students develop their social and problem-solving skills.

What accreditation does the school have?

We are connected to NEASC.NEASC is one of the most important recognition and development agencies of academic institutions in the world. Institutions such as Yale University and MIT are recognized by NEASC. Being accredited by NEASC guarantees a high standard of education, as NEASC signs off on our curriculum, methods and policies. The organisation also regularly inspects the school with the view to evaluate our performance and offer support and advice on how we can continue improving.

What is the admission process?

Puede ponerse en contacto con nosotros y le enviaremos la información requerida para matricular a su hijo siempre que haya plaza en el nivel educativo que solicita, deberá cumplimentar la documentación y abonar la matrícula, sin el abono de la matrícula la plaza no se considerará reservada y podrá adjudicarse a otro alumno o alumna.

¿Cómo se homologa al español?


Comparison of studies in the United States


14 – 15 3º de E.S.O 9º Grade
15 – 16 4º de E.S.O 10º Grade
16 – 17 1º Baccalaureate 11º Grade
17 – 18 2º Baccalaureate / PAU 12º Grade / Diploma High School

Recognition in Spain

In order to obtain the validation or certification of the studies corresponding to that of 1st of the Baccalaureate, the Spanish Ministry of Education requires that the courses taken meet a series of requirements.Students must complete a minimum of 4 subjects throughout the year in the following list:

1: Students of ESO and 1st Bac.: Literature, History, Geography, Latin, Greek, Philosophy, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

2: For students of 2nd Bac. two groups are established, having at least three of the four or five subjects from the same group:

GROUP A: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology and Technical Drawing.

GROUP B: Literature, History, Latin, Greek, History of Art, Mathematics and Philosophy.

The Subbética International School will be in charge of according to the student’s interests and abilities, which will help him in the personalized programs, fulfilling the parameters of the Spanish Ministry of Education for the subsequent validation of his studies.

The school will also be responsible for the management of the validation. The procedures can take a maximum of 2 months.

What does being authorized by the Spanish Ministry of Education actually mean?

The Spanish Ministry of Education authorises Colegio Internacional de la Subbética to provide face-to-face training for the levels of schooling from Infants to High School and recognises us as a Foreign Private Teaching Centre. Our centre is perfectly legal, any student from state education can be incorporated into our education system and vice versa, any of our students can request a transfer to a traditional state or private teaching centre and join the state education course corresponding to their age.


What qualification will our children end up with?

Students enrolled in our centre will finish their studies with the US High School diploma. This qualification is supported by both Clonlara, our parent school, in the state of Michigan and our NEASC accreditor, https://www.neasc.org/

Can students be reincorporated into the traditional educational system?

Yes, of course, our centre is authorised by the Spanish Ministry of Education and if the student decides to return to a traditional centre, it is possible to transfer without any problems.


Can students repeat a year? If not how can you guarantee thier learning?

Here at Colegio Internacional de la Subbética we do not have traditional courses, we tailor our learning programmes to the individual. Thus meaning that students will not repeat.

If the student had to go to another school, would they be lacking in the subjects that traditional schools teach?

Quite the opposite would be true. Here we teach transferrable skills, as well as meeting the requirements of the Spanish Ministry of Education.

Will they be able to go to universities in Spain?

  • Our students will receive the American High School Diploma, which is valid in Spain once it has been given recognition of equivalence (Homologado) status. Recognition of equivalence is an administrative procedure carried out directly by the school. It does not require any exam or any additional evidence.

Once our students have successfully acquired all the required skills they will graduate from High School. Then they will be able to apply for any Spanish or American university.

As a parent, how can I collaborate?

Our philosophy is to create an educational community that encompasses the fundamental components in the education of the student. We believe that we cannot forget the parents so they will always have free entrance to the classrooms, stay in them whenever the Wishing, working and participating in the development of our educational work, in the different projects that are carried out or contributing their own experience.

Is there a uniform?

Here at Colegio Internacional de la Subbética we understand that our students are individuals and have the right to choose their clothes as a way to express themselves. Therefore, students will not be required to wear a strict uniform. However, as we feel it is important to establish a school community that we can all be proud of, we offer the possibility of wearing Colegio Internacional de la Subbética polo shirts and jumpers. Another reason for this, is that it is a very practical way of quickly identifying our students whilst working off site, for example, on school trips, project work etc.

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