Get to know King’s College Chamartín Infant and Primary School in Madrid

April 10, 2024 | Blog, Education

Kings College Chamartín, The British School of Madrid, forms part of the renowned King’s College schools’ network. The school boasts excellent indoor and outdoor spaces, specifically designed for younger children aged 12 months to 7 years old (from Pre-Nursery to Year 2). 

Located in Chamartín, a city-centre neighbourhood close to Madrid’s financial and business districts, the school is well served by road and public transport, ensuring easy access for families in the Spanish capital. 

Although set in the centre of Madrid, the campus itself is located at the end of a quiet residential street, ensuring a safe and tranquil environment for their small pupils. We spoke with headteacher Anne Louise Jordan to find out more about their impressive facilities and approach to early years education. 


The King’s Infant School Madrid

What sets King’s College Chamartín apart from other infant and early years schools in Madrid?

We are experts in our field, as we focus solely on the early years of the children’s development. Our school opened 20 years ago for this reason, to provide children with a ‘home away from home’, a place where they feel part of another family and well looked after. Our school has been carefully designed with the child in mind, meaning that the environment becomes their 3rd teacher. Our unique approach ensures that every aspect of our setting plays a vital role in shaping a stimulating and supportive learning experience, setting us apart as leaders in early childhood education.

 

King’s College Chamartín Madrid

 

What does a typical routine look like for young pupils at King’s College Chamartín?

Our daily routine is thoughtfully designed to embrace the principles of play, creativity, exploration and child-led learning. This creates a foundation for a well-rounded education following the British curriculum and underpinned by an “Inspired Approach to Early Learning”. A typical day for our students is characterised by a blend of structured activities and free play, ensuring a balanced and holistic learning experience. 

Here’s an overview of what a typical day might look like at King’s College Chamartín:

Morning Arrival:
·   As children arrive, they are warmly welcomed by our dedicated staff members, creating a positive and secure start to their day.
·   Families are encouraged to engage in brief morning interactions with teachers, fostering open communication and a sense of community.

Circle Time:
·   The day begins with a lively Circle Time for our younger students, where little ones gather for group activities, discussions and storytelling. This helps build a sense of unity and sets a positive tone for the day.

Phonics:
·   For older children phonics is the first lesson of the day, reinforcing foundational reading and spelling skills and providing a structured and interactive approach to language development.

Child-Led Play and Exploration:
·   We prioritise play as a fundamental aspect of learning. Children have plenty of time each day for unstructured play, allowing them to explore their interests, develop social skills and ignite their creativity.

Structured Learning Activities:
·   Engaging and age-appropriate activities are woven into the schedule, aligning with the British curriculum. These activities encompass literacy, numeracy and other key areas of development, fostering a love for learning.

Specialised Classes:
·   Throughout the week, students participate in a well-rounded variety of classes such as maths, literacy, drama, art, music and physical education.

 

 

Outdoor Play:
·   We recognise the importance of outdoor play for a child’s physical and cognitive development. Our spacious and secure outdoor areas provide opportunities for active play, enhancing gross motor skills and connecting with nature.

Healthy Meals and Snack Times:
·   Our school emphasises healthy meals and snack times, encouraging good eating habits from a young age.

Rest and Quiet Time:
·   Recognising the need for rest and relaxation, younger pupils have designated nap or quiet time to help them recharge their batteries and stay engaged in the learning process.

Home-Time:
·   As the day comes to a close, teachers and parents always have the opportunity to touch base, share highlights and address any specific concerns.

What is the school’s approach to early years education? Can you tell us about the different stages?

 

 

At King’s College Chamartín, we seamlessly integrate a child-centred, relational approach to learning alongside the English National Curriculum, creating a dynamic learning environment for children from 12 months up to Year 2. Our Inspired Learning philosophy emphasises the importance of relational learning and independent thinking, laying the foundation for continued academic success.

We understand the pivotal role of these early years in shaping a child’s learning trajectory. Our approach not only provides exceptional childcare but also focuses on meaningful learning experiences. The Inspired approach, inspired by Reggio’s inquiry-based model, emphasises the connection between creative exploration and the academic rigour desired by parents.

In our Early Years programme (ages 12 months to 4), we prioritise numeracy and communication alongside inquiry-based learning, offering parents a balanced and progressive educational choice.

This then evolves into the Primary Years programme (ages 5-7)  where Year 1 and Year 2 follow the English National Curriculum, a structured and comprehensive framework that focuses on building essential skills in English, maths and other key subjects. Our teachers guide students through engaging lessons, fostering a love for learning and encouraging curiosity. Through a balance of academic rigour and creative exploration, we ensure a well-rounded education that lays a solid foundation for future success.

Recognising the powerful impact of bilingualism and multilingualism on future learning, we emphasise language development, tapping into the optimal period for language acquisition during a child’s early years.

Research consistently supports the notion that a deepened early years education accelerates later learning. Our commitment to recognising and nurturing each child’s unique potential ensures a supportive and stimulating educational journey that propels them towards academic excellence.

Are all of the children bilingual in English and Spanish?

48% of our children are Spanish and of those, around 22% are bilingual or multilingual. The other 52% are international families so we have a great mix of children from all over the globe.

What is a typical class size at the King’s Infant School?

 

 

In the early years (12 months to 3 years), the class sizes are no larger than 20 children, which then increases to 25 children per classroom from ages 4 to 7. In terms of teacher:student ratios, we follow the guidelines set by the Department of Education in England. This changes per age group but overall our ratio sizes are excellent and ensure we are able to focus on the learning of each child and support them fully.

Can you tell us more about the school building and facilities?

At King’s College Chamartín, our school building has been thoughtfully designed to cater specifically to the needs of early learners. We take pride in offering specialised environments that enhance the educational experience for our pupils.

Art Atelier: Our Art Atelier is a dedicated space where creativity blossoms. Children are encouraged to explore various art forms, express their imagination, and develop fine motor skills. With a range of materials and tools at their disposal, our students engage in artistic activities that foster self-expression and a love for the arts.

Green Atelier: The Green Atelier is an outdoor space designed to connect our students with nature. Surrounded by greenery, this area serves as an interactive learning environment where children can explore the natural world, participate in gardening activities and develop an appreciation for the environment. It provides a hands-on experience that complements our commitment to holistic development.

Light Atelier: In the Light Atelier, we harness the power of illumination to inspire curiosity and exploration. This specially designed space allows children to discover the properties of light and shadow, promoting scientific inquiry and understanding. The Light Atelier fosters a sense of wonder and discovery.

Our purpose-built school ensures that each area is tailored to meet the developmental needs of our pupils. Alongside our tailor-made classrooms, these specialised Ateliers contribute to a well-rounded education, providing unique opportunities for growth, creativity and hands-on learning. At King’s College Chamartín, we believe in creating an environment that goes beyond traditional classrooms, allowing children to thrive in spaces designed with their development in mind.

Does the school organise many trips and days out in the city?

 

 

Our children go on at least 3 trips per year (usually 1 per term). This might involve taking a bus to a farm out of the city or taking the metro to a city centre museum. The younger children go on daily local walks to enjoy exploring seasonal changes in the outside world. We believe that these trips go beyond the classroom and provide invaluable opportunities for hands-on learning, fostering a deeper understanding of subjects and cultivating essential life skills.

How is technology incorporated into daily learning?

Technology starts from 12 months, with a progression of skills as the children get older. In the early years, young pupils are immersed in the world of cause and effect such as using push/pull toys or following sets of instructions, which is a great start to learning about coding and algorithms for example. As they get older, children in Nursery will begin to learn how to take photos and videos with an iPad, which gives them a sense of purpose when taking photos of their work and developing their communication skills through playback. Then as we move into Year 1 and Year 2, each child is assigned their own iPad and will regularly complete tasks set by the teacher and upload their own work to a platform which can be accessed by their families and teachers.

In Year 2 we use Inspired AI, a learning platform that harnesses artificial intelligence to create personalised learning paths for students in their assignments and homework, while providing real-time analysis and recommendations to both teachers and parents. Inspired AI utilises initial ‘diagnostic’ tests to assess the respective strengths and weaknesses of each student. Using this data, it generates tailored exercises and modules in subjects such as English, mathematics, and science.

When do the children start to receive homework and how much should parents expect?

Our homework is very much age related. From the early years we would expect the parents to engage in some reading with the children and engage in play activities such as building, painting and cooking as a family. As the children reach Reception (age 4), there is a clear expectation of reading every day with your child, documented by the parents through a Reading Record. As the children move into Year 1 and Year 2 there are more activities to complete each week, mainly involving reading and some numeracy work. But mostly we have an Optional Homework Grid which runs parallel to a concept the children are learning and they have 6 weeks to complete as many fun activities as they can. This centres around the children doing things with their families at home and embedding the learning they have done in school.

What extracurricular activities do you offer pupils at different stages?

 

 

We are extremely proud of the rich and broad curriculum we offer. Providing high levels of engagement through creative activities that stretch and challenge all our pupils. However, we have equally worked hard to provide additional activities to complement this curriculum for those interested in developing specific skills in other key areas.

We carefully consider activities we offer each year to ensure they add value to your child’s overall development and in particular we look to offer a variety of additional activities that cover physical, cognitive and creative development.

We offer ballet, judo, football, musical theatre, French, Chinese, chess, yoga, piano, violin and music initiation.

What advice do you have for parents when considering their options for early years education?

First and foremost, the school has to ‘feel’ right. You are leaving your most prized possession in the hands of someone else, so you have to trust the school, their philosophy and their values. The school has to be the next link to the family, so if it doesn’t give you the right feeling then it’s not the right place for your family. Every school is different in their values, philosophies and curriculums but essentially all schools want to do their best for your child so don’t worry too much about that!

Also look at the next steps for your child. Considering your long-term plan for your child/family may help you choose the school with the curriculum that suits your needs. It may be British, American or International. Madrid has it all!

King’s College Chamartín welcomes pupils up to age 7, where do your pupils go on to attend primary school?

After the children finish in Year 2 they will move on to either King’s College, Soto de Viñuelas or King’s College, La Moraleja. King’s Soto continues until 18 years and King’s, La Moraleja is until 16 years.

We are all part of the same family so in terms of curriculum and philosophy they are very similar. The main thing families look at is location and what logistically best suits their family.

What is Madrid like for families with young children?

There is so much to do in Madrid, your child will never be bored!  The city offers a rich cultural tapestry, with numerous parks, museums, and recreational areas catering to the needs of youngsters. With its Mediterranean climate you will always be outdoors, even in winter (although you will need to wrap up). Madrid is known for its welcoming atmosphere and families can easily find child-friendly spaces, including playgrounds and family-oriented events.

Madrid’s public transportation system makes it convenient for families to navigate the city with ease, and the healthcare and educational facilities are of high quality. There is strong emphasis on family values and community which ensures that families with young children can readily integrate into the local culture, making it a rewarding and enjoyable place to raise a family.

Describe King’s College Chamartín in 3 words.

Nurturing, innovative, inspiring.


Find out more about King’s College Chamartín including annual fees and the latest admissions information on their website.

See more leading International Schools in Madrid.

Contact Details:

+34 913 505 843
kis.admissions@kingscollegeschools.or

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