SEK-El Castillo, located in the Villafranca del Castillo residential estate in the municipality of Villanueva de la Cañada, opened its doors for the first time in the 1972-73 academic year, its school buildings were designed by the architect Gonzalo González and, two years later, it received the UNESCO School architecture award.
The teaching approach was directed by Felipe Segovia Olmo, founder of SEK Education Group, who led SEK-El Castillo to be the first Spanish school to join the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IB) in 1977.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of this school, which has taught the Intelligent Classroom model in the training of its students, a guarantee of meaningful learning that focuses on the exploration of concepts, inquiry and the development of skills that foster critical thinking and creativity. SEK-El Castillo has stood out, since its founding, for having large, bright and versatile spaces at the service of teaching methodology.
Another of the hallmarks of SEK-El Castillo are its boarding halls. Since its opening, the school has offered boys and girls boarding halls, the female boarding halls were opened in the 1984-1985 academic year. They were incorporated to the campus in the 2002-2003 academic year, they seek the all-round development of students, not only in the academic field, but also in personal and recreational senses, with extensive green spaces and sports fields and facilities.
Sport is another of the school’s hallmarks. Since its establishment, its students have been able to play tennis, ride horses or play padel tennis. SEK Club (current UCJC Sports Club) opened in 1982 offering high-performance swimming and tennis academies, and today, its students can practice more than 20 sports. Since 2000, SEK-El Castillo has had an agreement with Real Madrid to train young football and basketball youth squads.
Since 1979, SEK-El Castillo students have regularly collaborated with the Hogar de Don Orione. In the 1992-1993 academic year, Pope John Paul II blessed SEK-El Castillo in the presence of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. SEK-El Castillo students collaborated with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation in the construction of “our school” in the town of Gallopalli Desfi in India in 1996, and since 2002 it has had a cooperation framework agreement with UNICEF for the promotion of girls’ schooling in Senegal.
Over the years, SEK-El Castillo perfected its innovative model, which has combined with the learning principles of the IB and NEASC, to arrive at the SEK Future Learning Model, which currently offers personalised learning pathways for each student and that encourages collaboration.