English has become established as the international language of business. There are approximately 40 countries whose official first language is either Spanish or English. In addition Spanish and English are widely spoken in many other countries. Bilingualism in these languages therefore offers enormous advantages in terms of employment. It also affords marvelous travel opportunities, providing greater access to the arts and links North and South America, Europe, India, large parts of Africa, Australasia and the Far East.
The Canterbury School is authorized by both the British and Spanish Ministries as a centre providing a British type education to children between the ages of two and eighteen. On the successful completion of their school career, pupils may proceed either to British or Spanish Universities to continue their studies.
The majority of pupils at Canterbury are Spanish although about 15% are of other nationalities. Most live in the town of Las Palmas but some travel daily from other Canarian towns both in the centre and south of the island. We prefer to take non-English speaking children as young as possible, usually in the year in which they complete their second birthday. For older children entering the school, we have a specially prepared intensive English course to bring their knowledge up to the required standard at the end of which they move back into mainstream teaching. Similar provisions are made for non-Spanish speaking children as we expect our pupils to achieve a high level of bilingualism and obtain good grades in both English and Spanish subjects.
In the early stages, classes at Canterbury are deliberately kept small as we consider that this is essential if we are to develop the language capacity of each of our children. From five-years onwards, classes have between twenty and twenty five pupils which is the maximum top limit. Classes are of mixed ability throughout the two departments, although in the upper years in the Secondary Department pupils are set into different ability groups in math’s on the sole basis of their achievement in that subject.
A school is like a family, the Canterbury family being composed of children, parents, teaching and non-teaching members of staff. We believe that we are not only here to instruct the children in their academic studies but also to guide and care for them throughout their school career. Good manners, a helpful and caring attitude towards others, children or adults, are characteristics that we seek to develop and which we consider to be of great importance. Every teacher is involved in both the care and the discipline of the pupils.
School Organization and Building Facilities
The Central Buildings consisting of the Secondary and Junior Departments are situated on a site of more than 60000 square meters on the outskirts of Las Palmas. The Infant building for children between the ages of 2 and 6 is in the centre of town. There is also a Primary Department in Maspalomas for children who live in the South of the Island. The whole school nevertheless functions as a complete unit and there is frequent communication between the Heads of the different buildings and sections.
Equivalence Between British Spanish and American School Systems