Al Andalus School for Boys
Al Andalus School for Girls
The main objective of the school is the integral development of our children and youths in all aspects of their personalities. This is achieved by practicing the best possible social elements of transmission, based on human relations of mutual respect and esteem between master and pupil, being in harmony with the principles of the traditional Islamic education as well as aspiring to the highest values of the European heritage at the same time. By that we want to achieve:
• That the children develop a clear identity as believers, proud of their Deen and that they firmly establish in their hearts love for Allah and His noble Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him.
• That they succeed to build an intellect capable of comprehension and discernment; a vigorous and healthy body; a mature and flourishing spirit; an elevated level of Adab (courtesy of the heart) as well as the competitive vigour to overcome obstacles.
• That they acquire a balanced personality, healthy and positive, while accomplishing the formation of a good character.
• That they obtain a good academic formation, allowing them to construct their future with sufficient aptitude, with skills and qualifications.
• That they are capable of getting along in today’s world, particularly with respect to acquiring other languages (English and Spanish) and the use of new information and communication technologies.
• That the pupils develop aptitudes to practice professional skills
• That they discover and develop their unique talents.
• That they acquire a strong sense of responsibility and participation in the care for and improvement of the society and the world they live in.
The method of this school is based on a series of principles that have been forged over the last 25 years through the different educational projects that the Muslim Community of Granada has carried out. The main pedagogical reference, the person who has studied for years what is the best way to educate young Muslims, is Sidi Muhammad Mukhtar Medinilla (b. 1959).
The essence of this method is the personal relationship between teacher and student, achieved through a deep mutual respect and affection.
The principles of this method are:
* Comprehensive education: where the pupil’s home, the school and the wider community of the parents work together to promote a comprehensive growth of the person, advancing in five fundamental aspects: the intellectual, the physical, the spiritual (the idbada), the behaviour (the adab) and the courage (the valour).
* Personalized education: each child is a unique being and different from others, with different tastes and interests and with its own way of learning, so that the teaching-learning process takes place in a way that respects the learning rhythms of each child, giving each one what is necessary for this process to occur in the best way.
* A teaching model based on centres of interest and working by projects: a learning process focused on the needs and interests of the child, which guarantees their motivation and curiosity. This is done through projects that are usually linked to topics related to the social and natural sciences. These topics may be proposed either by a child, by the group or by the teacher. In these projects all areas are worked in a comprehensive way, revolving around the topic of interest. The various aspects of a centre of interest are presented in many different ways, so that children can discover, investigate and see the paths by which knowledge is accessed. The pupils are accustomed to doing the complete process of things, taking into account many factors, and thus acquiring an order of their own when doing their work. In short: learning how to learn.
* Great importance to the development of language: of vital importance in all its manifestations. We are applying an integral method of reading and writing, always starting from the global in order to get to the specific afterwards.
* Empowerment of our own talents: observe and detect what talents each of the children have, to be able to cultivate them at school and at home.
* Freedom: children should enjoy freedom in the way of working and the diversity of possibilities offered to them.
* Development of their own books: the work is not based on textbooks but students produce their own books, based on their own experiences and discoveries, using a variety of resources.
Our school is not just as a place where children just receive a syllabus of subjects, but rather a small society of which they form an integral part, a strongly intertwined social unit. It is essential to understand this very important issue if we really want to practically implement this type of school, by which we will also establish a new school model. We are not starting from scratch, but from further below. The vast majority of parents and teachers themselves have grown up inside a very specific and determined type of school. Changing patterns, clichés, attitudes and habits is much harder in daily practice than on paper. The school in this society has been an element of frustration for many people, and everyone in general has his/her own view on the subject. Not to mention the pace of life which drives us in these frantic times, as well as the service of a “crèche” as an indispensable element, which many schools have to offer today.
Real education however has to view each person in the context of his entire life. In terms of education the essential aim is the growing, the becoming of a child; the process of continuous re-education towards improving, a process which ends but with death itself. Otherwise one cannot understand the transcendent meaning of each stage of life. This approach has to guide the education of a person without ever losing sight of it. What matters is a regeneration from infant age to old age – which today is so despised for being outside the ‘productive age’ −, so that each age fulfils its role as transmitter, through all stages of life, these vital experiences are the most valuable lessons to future generations.
Far from being obsessed with results, especially those of academic nature, and being aware that each age requires different awareness, each student has to understand why he or she is learning. This means the conscious involvement of children in the learning process. This effort is necessary because the best motivation comes from each person himself. Getting to know oneself; knowing what surrounds us, life, the world; knowing the Creator. This brings about understanding, the finding of answers and solutions, trust and security.
The educational work should be directed towards a full flowering of a person, in all aspects. It has to meet the highest academic standards, the acquisition of the fundamental intellectual tools, the capacity to develop the various faculties, with particular emphasis on the formation of character.
It is essential to understand that we care for all types of talents, and not limit ourselves to those matters and aspects this mercantile system values above all others. In this regard, we must open the full range of possibilities: music and art in general, the development of creativity and various forms of intelligence. In a world increasingly bereft of culture we need to recover culture to allow the child a solid formation.
All this has to be based on balance and consistency between all aspects that make up the school, and reflected in a circular, concentric, expansive curriculum. The circle represents the origin, the heart of a true Islamic education, step-by-step, expanding into new, concentric circles to its centre. This constant process that Goethe called intensification, gradually covers larger fields and eventually all aspects of science. The important thing is that at whatever stage a youth may be – at the beginning or at any later stage – his/her space of expansion is unlimited, and they draw from the same nucleus and source.
A curriculum has to be based on experience, on all the experiences we are exposed to, on what happens in the world and what happens to us, in life. The various aspects of these “centres of interest” are presented in many ways so that children can discover, investigate, discovering the ways by which they can access knowledge. At the same time they accustom themselves to do things in their complete process, having to take into account many factors and having to acquire their own order of work.
In the primary stage the topics of study include all areas of knowledge, with different approaches to work, thus addressing the needs and ways to learn from each other. The skills taught are significant to the child. They connect with the child’s inclinations, since each child has its own interests and needs to discover them. This inner drive to discover is the basis to acquire any knowledge.
This way of working requires great preparation by the master, because he does not follow a given text book, but, taking into account all aspects of work, he produces step by step the script that the circumstances require, sometimes with the participation of the students themselves. In order to have our own curriculum we have to elaborate our own books, and even better, each child writes its own book.
So, we have on the one hand a systematic curriculum by the given subjects (but this is for the teacher) with the knowledge content that every child should have at the end of the course. The topics to work on however are being organized around so-called “centres of interest” or “projects”, around which all possible subjects, from language, arts, to mathematics, nature etc. are being dealt with. In the particular case of mathematics however there will be a more cumulative sequence of learning.
The minimal teaching contents established by the state’s school administration are contained within our curriculum.
As true education never stops, we can say that a master should always behave like a master. In its essence we have to speak about the recovery of the ancient role of the master, about restoring his role, being the core of the educational event.
For us the teachers are the guides. Every man and every woman should be a role model for children and youths. In the diversity of the gifts and qualities which Allah granted to each person, in all their genuine differences, in their unique being, every teacher is a sample of some of those qualities of character, which define an educator, who is a believer: “generosity, support, patience and accuracy; respect, courtesy, never ridiculing your pupil; humility and putting into practice what you learn.” (Shaikh Muhammad al-Kassbi). And: “The words which come directly from the heart, will reach the heart. If they come only from the tongue, they will only reach the ear.”
Our team of teachers strive to unite this great ideal with the highest expectations of performing well in their academic fields. Our teachers are well aware about their mission. They are well-prepared and of different ages: some are veterans making use of a great professional experience, while our young teachers are full of enthusiasm. All of them contribute to this project, which is based on respect and authority, confidence and mutual esteem.
Our teachers are high-spirited and willing to enter into the dynamics of knowledge tied to action, aiming to form a new generation of confident and well-disposed men and women. To achieve this we select teachers who are willing to share their inner wealth with their pupils, within a culturally enriching, joyful and encouraging environment. In short, we are also working towards the revival of a new generation of teachers, people with vocation, who strive to follow the Sunna of our beloved Messenger Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him).
To comply with the current Spanish administrative law LOE (Ley Orgánica de Educación) and to fulfil the obligation to publish information about the nature and character of our school, Al Andalus School, hereby publishes the mission statement of its educational project, according to Article 115.2, Chapter III, Title IV, about the characteristics of the centres of private education (BOE number 106, 4 of May 2006).
Our centres enjoys full autonomy in order to establish its internal rules and organization, as well as all its operative implementation of its entire educational community (Articles 25 and 26 of LODE –BOE, 4th of July, 1985).
This same article recognizes the autonomy of the private centres of education, the right to choose its teachers, according to the presently binding legislation, the right to choose its students, as well as the right to establish its proper norms of living together and as well as its economic system.
We apply our right to free education (Article 27 of the Spanish Constitution), recognizing the right of physical and juridical persons to the liberty of creating educational centres, which assist the parents in order that their children may receive a religious and moral education, being in harmony with their beliefs.
Article 27 of the Spanish Constitution declares:
Point 3. The public authorities guaranty the right to assist parents in order that their children receive religious and moral education, which are in harmony with their belief.
Point 6. Physical and juridical persons have the recognized liberty to create their own educational centres, as long as they remain within the constitutional principles.
Point 9. The public authorities will help the educational centres, which fulfil the conditions of the current Spanish Law (Ley).