King Felipe and Queen Letizia have gone back to school after the Christmas break to visit an institute that got a pretty special recognition.
On 10th January, Their Majesties travelled to the city of León, 330kms north-west of Madrid, where they visited the “Guzmerindo Azcárate” Childhood Education School and Primary School.
Upon their arrival, the King and Queen of Spain were welcomed by school authorities and guided through a tour of the 2030 Library, the ‘Classroom of the Future’, the 4-5 years old classroom, the Tech room, the 4th grade room, the Nature Room, and finally the Sports Pavilion.
In each classroom, the Royals listened to explanations on the specific purpose and management of the curriculum taught there, which keeps in mind integration, technology but also a better relationship between students and nature.
The school was awarded the 2022 School of the Year award by the Princess of Girona Foundation for “the uniqueness of the humanities use of technology and for its attempts to strive for a diverse cohabitation focussed in positively impacting the surroundings”.
Aside from talking to school staff, King Felipe and Queen Letizia also stopped to admire some of the students’ works, and to listen to their experience. In particular, local media report that the 4th grade students had parents present for this visit, and, with their help, they explained how the school community and families work together to create an environment in which conflict is avoided.
Students said: “Fighting is not playing, we talk to each other with respect, we play in teams, we talk to adults”, adding that “examples are taught at home. We use dialogue. Good actions bring good consequences, and you always have to put yourself in other people’s shoes”.
In the Sports Pavilion, the King Felipe and Queen Letizia presided over an awards ceremony, before King Felipe made a speech, in which he said: “The formula for the success of education is that all of you participate in the school system. Coexistence is a unique treasure – keep it. The real protagonist of this success story is you, the students….you are going to be educated in a way that is going to transform you into respectful and responsible citizens”.
Before leaving for Madrid, where King Felipe was expected the next day, the couple took the opportunity to have a more relaxed and informal chat with school staff, students and parents after the award ceremony.
Despite this being a Princess of Girona Foundation prize, Princess Leonor, who currently holds the title, is back at the Zaragoza General Military Academy, and was therefore unable to attend the event. It is not uncommon for King Felipe and Queen Letizia to preside over ceremonies and events on behalf of their daughter as they attempt to allow her to have as normal a schedule as possible in her day- to-day life.