The School

Who We Are

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SHACKLETON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL emerges, as a British school, through the extensive experience in the education sector of its founding team. For over 40 years, we have been dedicated to teaching in early childhood education and language learning centres, always in search of excellence, innovation, contributions of neuroscience, psychology and social science (www.superfriends.com), developing our very own early linguistic immersion method, TET® (www.teteducation.com), along the way.

In 2012, we opened a new early childhood education centre, SUPERFRIENDS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, where we teach children from the early age of 4 months old onwards, and it is now, having reached the maturity of our project, that we want to give continuity and further development to the educational model that we believe in.

Our hope is to work to form integral human beings, with reference points, self-assured and committed, who can cope in diverse situations and adapt to the changes that are to come, ready to participate and contribute towards the formation of a better and more equitable society.

We believe in values-based education, beyond the subjects to be taught and the curricular principles. We want all our pupils to develop values such as effort, curiosity, companionship, the ability to adapt, respect, critical, creative, and collaborative thinking, etc. To strengthen the internal self of each pupil, and also their social interaction.

We have focused on education and teaching through various early childhood education centers for more than 40 years. Now through Shackleton International School, we offer this experience and training to all our pupils. From 3 to 18 years old.

Education in values and personal development.

Ideology

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Mission

As we find ourselves inside increasingly complex, expansive and unpredictable environments, like the perceived reality known by the acronym VUCA, that stands for: volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, where we are required to use new approaches, new ways of communicating and learning, and where it has become increasingly necessary to create value and knowledge, without compromising our humanity and/or our ethics.

More than ever, we believe in the usefulness of teaching through experimentation, through trial and error, and through seeking to develop ANTIFRAGILE attitudes. Approaches that are far from being fragile, that help build up resilience to the blows, reinforcing steadfastness in the face of adversity. These ANTIFRAGILE concepts, coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, refer to the one who, in times of adversity, resists and grows, starting from the learning opportunities that the situation provides.

Consequently, we’ve been set forth on the mission to create environments that empower youth to be self-reliant, versatile, and creative, integrating within them a sense of purpose, agency, and the agility necessary to navigate both contemporary and future challenges, equipped with the awareness of the interdependence needed to sustain a more equitable, healthy world.

To enable us to carry out this mission, our primary curricular principles are leadership, innovation, research and curiosity because they in turn promote students to think critically, creatively and reflectively, supporting both the experience and the investigative approach.

An integrated, coherent and complete curriculum is promoted, one that is reflexive and responsive, supporting access to all students, that we believe possess multiple intelligences, where teachers have the versatility to utilize different teaching approaches (methodologies), applying multiple-modes of instruction where possible, under the umbrella of the inclusive, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), that focuses on equity by reducing barriers to instruction.

VALUES

 

  • Better every day

We are a team of broadly experienced professionals, lifelong learners, dedicated to continuous improvement, self-determined, with the critical spirit and self-discipline ready to build an independent character in our students, one capable of facing uncertainty and environmental vulnerability.

  • Leadership

We work every day to live up to the role of being educators, from leading by example or guiding from a place of experience, to acting responsibly and courageously. Each one of us carries a leader within, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and in order to be constructive and consistent in our own leadership, we must exemplify self-determination, discipline and resilience in developing ANTIFRAGILE attitudes ourselves.

  • Connection

As the deeply social and interdependent beings that we are, we need to be connected – physically and emotionally – with others, in order to feel good, grow and evolve, and not only as individuals but also as a group.

While shifts in organizational structure are taking place all around, from more hierarchical configurations to more horizontal ones, with interconnectivity and interdependence between all connected nodes or people/groups, making things more complex, more collaboration and greater adaptability are now necessary to maintain function.

We find this reality, at SHACKLETON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, as an opportunity to learn from the different approaches and experiences of others, from which we can find benefit as a group, enriching ourselves with the diversity and creativity that surround us. To do this, we will foster a collaborative, reflective and inclusive environment that helps create strong links and that allow us to grow and learn from all, and by all.

This attitude that we promote is not limited to our closest environment or our educational community, but encompasses all the spaces in which we develop and communicate, from the local to the global. Caring for the common good with group responsibility is at the core of our community values.

Why Shackleton?

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In order to easily transmit the values and ideology of SHACKLETON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, we believe in the importance and usefulness of having clear and universal references that motivate and inspire, that help define and synthesize the objectives to which our educational project aspires.

For this reason, we have relied on the figure of the polar explorer Ernest Shackleton and on the incredible feat of the Endurance expedition that he and his crew experienced after their boat was trapped and destroyed by the Antarctic ice, over a century ago.

The emotion that this extraordinary adventure transmits to us and the admiration that we have towards the figure of its leader, Shackleton, has helped us to focus the development of our teaching model and values, as well as highlight knowledge and skills that we want to transmit not only to our students but to the greater educational community that we are part of.

This true story represents for us a very inspiring life experience, from which valuable lessons can be drawn. It helps us to reflect on the collaborative guidance and attributes of a good leader, about their skills and knowledge to form a highly effective, loyal team, along with, promoting the many positive values consistent with our ideal persona, such as resilience, adaptability, curiosity, courage, perseverance, companionship, responsibility, assertiveness, etc.

The History
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On the 8th of August 1914, the intrepid explorer Ernest Shackleton, who had participated, among others, in Scott’s expedition to reach the South Pole, embarked in Plymouth (England) with his team of sailors and scientists, in the attempt to carry out the first crossing of Antarctica from coast to coast.

In January 1915, the ship became trapped in the compressed ice by the extreme air and sea currents of the Weddell Sea. After ten months of retention in a huge mass of ice, the ship was finally crushed and destroyed, sinking on the 21st of November 1915. After 5 more months, camped on the frozen surface, in April 1916, the members of the expedition began an epic sleigh ride across the frozen Weddell Sea and later on, by boat, to Elephant Island, in the archipelago of the South Shetland Islands. Miraculously, the entire crew survived.

Shortly after arriving at Elephant Island, Shackleton and five crew members set sail again in a small 6.7m long boat across the stormy South Atlantic to South Georgia in search of help. A risky journey of more than 1,200 kilometres awaited them, that of which, is possibly unrivalled in all of the history of navigation.

They succeeded, and after crossing the mountain range of the inhospitable island of South Georgia to the whaling base of Grytviken, they were able to make known, the odyssey they had gone through, and return to Elephant Island in August 1916, safely delivering the 22 men left behind, to firm ground.

The chronicle of this extraordinary expedition represents a story without equal in the annals of survival: the ship, the Endurance, destroyed by the pressure of the ice that surrounds Antarctica, the crew abandoned to their fate in the middle of the frozen Weddell Sea, risky boat trips through the storms of the Antarctic Ocean, a handful of human beings fighting for long months against the cold, hunger and discouragement, to the limit of human capacity in the most extreme situations.

However, day after day throughout this distressing adventure, Shackleton guided his team with evidence of unmatched encouragement, determination, creativity and insight.

Thus, this trip was an amazing feat, not only because all of its crew managed to return alive, but also because of the exceptional leadership and teamwork that they went through during the entire duration of the adventure. The fact is that, in addition to surviving, they achieved it with an extraordinary level of care and camaraderie, thus turning a failed mission into an unprecedented success.

The performance of Ernest Shackleton throughout this adventure offers a lesson in leadership and cooperation of special value to our current environment, an increasingly complex, expanded and unpredictable life environment that requires new approaches, new ways of learning and communicating, and where it is more necessary than ever to create value and knowledge, without giving up our humanity and/or our ethics.

In these times of imbalance, uncertainty and constant interdependence – liquid times in the words of the sociologist Zygmun Bauman -, the extraordinary feat of the explorer Ernest Shackleton and his Endurance expedition, despite the time that has elapsed, is still intensely newsworthy, and serves as a reference to understand the complex and disruptive environment in which we find ourselves, and thus learn to cope with it.

Just like more than 100 years ago in the icy waters of the South Pole, this new “liquid” reality requires the leaders of today to be, adaptive, responsible and committed figures who, like Shackleton, know how to navigate between uncertainty and continuous transformation, promoting innovative approaches – solutions that are outside of the norm – in order to face the new challenges ahead.