A BRAND new venture in Competa is aiming to go to the top of the class.
Axareducacion is a soon to be unveiled centre for culture, education and learning.
It is the brainchild of teachers Gemma Edelman and Beatriz Moreno Perz, and co-worker Manuel Vega Peña.
The centre is aimed at ages from five through to adults and will encompass learning in all areas from primary to further education and degree level.
I spoke with Gemma about this new venture in the village and their aims for the future.
Initially she was approached by Beatriz to set up a bi-lingual nursery. However after further research the nursery in the area was deemed very good value for money and would have been hard to compete with.
After lengthy discussions the two women hit on another idea:
“There was no language school in the area or a wide selection of clubs and workshops for children and adults,” explained Gemma. “The initial idea expanded to more a mix of a Ludoteca combined with a centre of academic learning.”
However, Gemma was keen to point out that the academic learning would be supported with fun workshops, games, films, theatre studies and conversational classes.
The spacious venue will be split into a number of different areas including essential classrooms which will provide academic support to individuals or groups in all subjects to all ages. Secondly, these classrooms will be used as a base for a language school teaching both Spanish and English, (again all levels and all ages), both private and group lessons. This will also include exam preparation at all levels.
“The language school will also deliver teaching in a number of fun ways and through different mediums including talks, tapas evenings, use of the internet, multi-media and interactive learning. There isn't only one way to learn,” explained Gemma.
As learning is often aided by talking to others, there is additional space for a more relaxed area with comfortable seating. This will provide an ideal location for conversational classes or relaxed talks. The final area in the premises is for creating the Ludoteca. This will be an area for toys and books and will be available for hire for birthdays and baby groups. Another plan is to run workshops there in music, dance and theatre.
The aim is to keep costs as manageable as possible in order for the centre to be available to everyone. There will be discounts for advance bookings and family discounts.
“We are working alongside the town hall in all aspects of this new development and are also in talks to offer free places for socially excluded families,” said Gemma.
A whole host of other ideas are also being considered including a book club and a monthly/quarterly newsletter. The newsletter would have an educational and cultural content with hints and tips for language learning, specialist weekend activities e.g. Saturday film night and popcorn evening! Between the three of them they are full of ideas, combined with intellect and extreme capability this centre should evolve successfully over time.
I asked Gemma about the credential of those setting up the centre
Firstly, Gemma herself is bi-lingual. She is English married to a Spaniard and has lived in Spain for 10 years. She has a joint honours degree in Spanish and Italian from Manchester University and previously taught in Italy. For the last 8 years she has been running a highly successful business teaching here in Competa. Her official DELE teaching qualifications were gained 10 years ago and she has also gained TEFLE certificates in Business English, English to young learners and Large Classes.
Beatriz is Spanish speaking some English and is academically gifted with a degree in primary education and 2 MAs, one of which deals with Child Psychology and the other in Developmental Problems of Newborns. She has also worked as the Head of Canillas de Albaida nursery, has given academic support to a number of children for various years as well as having completed a wide number of complementary courses within her field.
The third member of the academic team is Manuel, who is Spanish and speaks very good English. He is a technical engineer in telecommunications and is setting up their website and is the centre's technical brains! He will also provide classes in Maths, Physics and the Sciences and has teaching experience in these fields.
It sounds an impressive line up for all educational needs but the underlying theme at all times is creating a fun centre accessible to all.
Axareducation will open at the beginning of September. The premises are at the top of the village just down from the Balcon Hotel, (previously Voy Volando Pizzeria).
Opening hours are 10.00 – 2.00pm and 4.00- 8.00pm Mon to Fri. with specialist activities on Saturday.
It sounds a great plan and also much needed in Competa and The Grapevine wishes them all luck and support in their new venture.