OUR COUNTRY: SPAIN
Spain (España), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de
España), is a sovereign state and a member of the European
Union located in south-western Europe on the Iberian
Peninsula. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by
the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with
the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar; to the north and
north east by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to
the northwest and west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal.
Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary
Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North
Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that border Morocco.
Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a parliamentary government under a
OUR TOWN: LOS CORRALES DE BUELNA
It is located in the North of Spain, in the region of Cantabria. With a
population of 12,000 inhabitants, is 39 Km. south of the capital city
of Cantabria, Santander.
The vast majority of people work on industry, although there are
still some families dedicated to farming.
OUR SCHOOL: SAN JUAN BAUTISTA – LA SALLE
San Juan Bautista is a state-aided Primary school from pre-school
to 12 years old. It also comprises Secondary Education, Higher-
Secondary Education and Higher Degree Vocational Training. The
school was founded by Mrs. Felisa Campuzano in 1890.
During the last few years, the school has experienced an increasing number of
students from different nationalities. Also, the school is very concerned about students
with special educational needs. The school has set up a bilingual programme for our
secondary students. And we are also using CLIL methodology at Primary Stage.
OUR WINNING LOGO (by Luis Fernández, Year 6)
SPAIN - 1
SAINT CECILIA’S DAY
Saint Cecilia (November 22nd
Santa Cecilia - Día de los Músicos) is the patroness of
musicians and Church music because, as she was dying, she sang to God. It is also
written that as the musicians played at her wedding, she "sang in her heart to the
Lord". Her feast day is celebrated in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox,
and Eastern Catholic Churches on November 22. She is one of seven women,
excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. It
was long supposed that she was a noble lady of Rome who, with her husband
Valerian, his brother Tiburtius, and a Roman soldier Maximus, suffered martyrdom in
about 230, under the Emperor Alexander Severus.
Every year our school, San Juan Bautista, celebrates the Day of Saint Cecilia
patroness of musicians (22nd
This year Marcos Bárcena, one of the most well-known and important artist of
traditional music in Cantabria, has been with us to celebrate this day.
SPAIN - 2
Márcos Bárcena began his musical career at the age of 13 when he discovered the
music of the Beatles. He was a co-founder of some of the most representative folk
music groups in Cantabria as Luétiga and Atlántica.
He is a non-stop composer of songs of pure folk style; he has released more than
twenty albums and has been the ambassador of our music all over the world.
He currently teaches at various schools of traditional music, performs chatting-concerts
whose theme is the traditional music and continues to serve both solo and with
Marcos Bárcena gave a didactic concert for Primary, Secondary, students of training
cycles and our European partners (Turkish, English and Latvian) of the Comenius
project who were visiting us at that moment.
SPAIN - 3
The concert was very enjoyable and consisted in a journey through the musical
tradition of Cantabria and the North of Spain in general. Marcos Bárcena acted with
more than ten different instruments like bagpipes, guitars, flutes, bodharán… in
addition to his own voice. He presented a chatting-concert making a journey through
time, touching themes specific to each station, completing the annual cycle of root
music. He played romances, marzas, etc. that students followed with full attention.
It was a great experience for all, something different for a special day.
CHRISTMAS IN SPAIN
December – 6th
The chronological order of notable Christmas events in Spain is as follows:
SPAIN - 4
Christmas lights are usually lit in the main cities in the first week of December by which
time the shops are fully stocked with Christmas supplies.
December 8th – This is the public holiday of Immaculada (Feast of the Immaculate
Conception) which marks the beginning of the religious Christmas celebrations.
Christmas trees are common at home, but again they don’t appear until the second half
of December. Also at home, there are intricate, miniature nativity scenes called
Belenes (Bethlehems) which depict life in the village where Jesus was born. The Belén
always includes the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, as well as the Three Kings,
Baltasar, Melchior and Gaspar.
22nd December – All over Spain people never stray far from a TV or radio as the
Christmas lottery is drawn over a period of many hours. Everybody buys tickets for this
lottery in the hope of winning El Gordo (the fat one). Besides the big three prizes there
are thousands of smaller prizes shared by people all over Spain.
24th December – Christmas Eve is called Nochebuena (Goodnight) and it is the most
important family gathering of the year. In the evening, people often meet early for a few
drinks with friends; then return home to enjoy a meal with the family. Most bars and
restaurants close in the evening. Prawn starters followed by roast lamb would be a
typical meal rounded off with a typically Christmas sweet called turrón, which is a
nougat made of toasted sweet almonds. Another typical festive sweet is called
Polvorón which is made from almonds, flour and sugar. Cava or Champagne would be
the chosen drinks for the Christmas toast though plenty fine Spanish wines will also be
consumed with the meal.
25th December – Children may receive a small gift on Nochebuena or this morning;
but the day for presents is 6th January, Epiphany, when the Three Kings bring gifts for
the children. Christmas Day is a national holiday in Spain, so shops are closed yet it is
not a day of great celebration but rather a calm day when people go out for a walk,
drop into a bar, etc. Another large family meal at lunchtime is common though it’s
becoming more common to see families eating out on the afternoon of Christmas day.
28th December – This is the day of Santos Inocentes (Holy Innocents) and is the
equivalent of April Fools’ Day when people play practical jokes on one another.
31st December – New Year’s Eve is known as Nochevieja (Oldnight). It is a big
celebration all over the country with street parties and special nights in hotels and clubs
everywhere. Until midnight people tend to stay at home and, on the stroke of midnight,
it is traditional to eat 12 grapes, one on each stroke of the clock to bring good luck for
the new year. In Madrid and other main cities revellers congregate in the main square
(Puerta del Sol in Madrid) and eat the grapes along with a celebratory bottle of cava,
then head out into the night until after sunrise.
1st January – A low key public holiday with plenty people sleeping off their excesses.
5th January – There are parades all over Spain this evening where sweets are thrown
from the floats to all the children who come out to watch. Every town has its own
variation such as in the Sierra Nevada where the Three Kings (Wise Men) can be seen
to ski down to the village.
6th January – This is the Feast of the Epiphany when the Three Kings arrived in
Bethlehem. For Spanish children this is the most important day of the year when they
SPAIN - 5
wake up to find that Los Reyes Magos (the Three Kings/Wise Men) have left gifts for
them in their house. Santa may leave them a token gift on December 25th but the
Three Kings are their favourites. During the day of 6th the Three Kings continue their
good work and are seen distributing gifts to children in hospitals all over Spain.
8th January – Two days after receiving their gifts children return to school, their
parents go back to work and Christmas in Spain is all over for another year.
CHRISTMAS AT SCHOOL
The beginning of Christmas celebrations at school began, as every year, with the
lighting of a Star. That star is shinning during all the Christmas period.
On Monday, the 19th
section at school met to
welcome Jesus in the different
celebrations that took place. It
SPAIN - 6
was a celebration to look inside ourselves; to look for Jesus in our heart. He is our
The symbol was a Star, the
same that guided The Three
Wise Men to Bethlehem when
baby Jesus was born. One
star per class, and inside the
big star there were dozens of
small stars stuck by the
children during the previous days: every time one kid brought some food for the “Food
Collecting”, a small star was stuck in the big one. After the celebration, every child
carried a bag full of food to “Caritas”, an NGO next to the school.
For the rest of the week, until the 22nd
(last day before Christmas holidays), there were
some more activities and gestures which reminded
us that Christmas is a time to share and enjoy.
Gestures of solidarity through the thousands of
food bags donated by the families, or through the
different visits to the Old’s People Home “Las
Anjanas”, placed in Corrales, made by the
Secondary and Vocational students.
SPAIN - 7
Gestures of affection like, for example, the visit that the oldest students paid to the
youngest ones to share with them some carols, sweets and laughs.
Gestures of creativity through the celebration of our Christmas Festivals: one for the
infants and another one for primary students, both of them to enjoy some time with
their families. The kids showed their artistic skills by performing some songs, dances
and parodies; all of them prepared with a mixture of joy and nervous to the families’
SPAIN - 8
THE SCHOOL DAY OF NON-VIOLENCE AND PEACE
The School Day of Non-violence and Peace (or DENIP,
acronym from: Día Escolar de la No-violencia y la Paz), also
known as World or International Day of Non-violence and
Peace, is a pioneering, non-state, non-governmental, non-
official, independent, free and voluntary initiative of Non-violent
and Pacifying Education, founded by the Spanish poet Llorenç
Vidal Vidal in Majorca in 1964. He was
influenced by Lanza del Vasto, a direct
disciple of Gandhi. Del Vasto visited
SPAIN - 9
Majorca about 15 years ago, and his book "Le Retour aux Origines" ("Return to the
Sources"), had an immediate influence.
Different as the first proposed by the UNESCO "Armistice Day" in 1948, the "School
Day of Non-violence and Peace" (DENIP) is observed on January 30th
every year, on the anniversary of the death of Mahatma Gandhi, the great apostle of
non-violence, in schools all over the world.
It advocates a permanent education in and for harmony, tolerance, solidarity, respect
for human rights, non-violence and peace.
It is a practical activity which has neither official
programming nor structural lines of action, because the
message is one which maintains a permanent nucleus of
basic aspects, and permits the free application of each
educational centre according to its particular manner.
Its basic and permanent message is: "Universal love,
non-violence and peace. Universal love is better than
egoism, non-violence is better than violence, and peace is
better than war”. DENIP and World Association of Early
Childhood Educators (AMEI-WAECE) collaborate to
celebrate this event in the schools of the latter worldwide.
The "School Day of Non-violence and Peace" is
a seed which is planted and cultivated in the
hearts of the students. It is a bright, new and
positive way of looking at the world and
preparing for the future.
DAY OF PEACE – JANUARY 2012
The motto was
same that we
are using this
SPAIN - 10
The main performance took place on one of the school patios. The whole school family,
students, teachers and families, took part in this celebration. One of our teachers
(responsible of the Justice Department), affirmed that “it was a wonderful day to
celebrate the Day of Peace, not to forget all those places where arm conflict are carried
out, which make the world seem to be a bad place to live in, as well as to remind us
that we all need to work together to achieve a global peace”.
Using lights and candles, we built the star of La Salle in the middle of the playground to
remind everyone about all the places where peace is still to come true.
DAY OF PEACE – JANUARY 2011
During the previous days and under the motto of “You build peace”, a wide range of
activities were carried out. We ended it up with a performance where all the school
sections (Nursery, Primary & Secondary Education and the Working Training Courses),
SPAIN - 11
presented a slogan which showed the commitment of all of us to build the necessary
peace. Right after that, we freed the messages tied to balloons, to share the message
with all our neighbours and the rest of the world.
All the participants (nearly 1000 people), were showing a picture of a hand with a dove
DAY OF PEACE – JANUARY 2010
The motto this year was “Friends and siblings for Peace”.
As a part of the activities, each student made a paper crane to
perform “The story of the thousand paper cranes” by Sadako
It was a wonderful visual performance: while a girl read the story, a group of students
SPAIN - 12
To bring the act to a close, we read our wishes of peace in every language spoken at
school. And we freed some pigeons, the universal symbol for Peace.
LASALLIAN GREAT WEEK AT SCHOOL
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA FESTIVITIES
(Fiestas Colegiales San Juan Bautista)
Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle or
John Baptist de La Salle (30 April
1651 – 7 April 1719) was a priest,
educational reformer, and founder of
Institute of the Brothers of the
Christian Schools. He is a saint of the
Roman Catholic Church and the
patron saint of teachers.
He dedicated much of his life for the
education of poor children in France;
in doing so, he started many lasting
educational practices. He is
considered the founder of the first
Every May, the whole school
community, students, teachers and
parents celebrate the Lasallian week.
It is an intense week, full of activities, games and excitement… Let’s see some of the
things we have done this year.
From the 11th to the 15th of May we have spent a few minutes in the morning to learn
in more depth the life of our founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle in addition to sports
and recreational activities.
SPAIN - 13
The beginning of the celebrations took place on Thursday 10th with the opening
speech in charge of the professional footballer and former student of the school, Víctor
After the reading of the opening speech, we got together to form a huge Lasallian star,
symbol of Union and reference for all.
SPAIN - 14
In the afternoon, the youngest children enjoyed popular games that the teachers and
parents were teaching them.
While in the playground of the block B, the oldest primary students were having their
already well -known competition “Salleprix”.
The evening ended with a well-deserved "merendola".
SPAIN - 15
On Friday, first hour, we met in the parish church to attend, again, the emotional
After this, we all went to the playground of the block B, where many parents were
waiting for us. They voluntarily came to work together and took part in the different
stands prepared for the children to have fun, such as: make-up, hairdressing, the
senses, elastic beds … and many others.
SPAIN - 16
Elastic beds, archery, check your senses…
SPAIN - 17
Many of the guys decided to stay to eat in the school with the oldest students: burgers
and soft drinks for everyone!
The day ended with puppets and the inflatable castles for the youngest.
SPAIN - 18
For our oldest primary students, there was a fun competition of Wii, table tennis,
karaoke and table football. And, of course! The long-awaited foam party!!
SPAIN - 19
We are looking forward to our next Lasallian Great Week 2013!!!
SPAIN - 20