I.E.S. El Palmeral is a Secondary School with over 700 students aged from 12 to 18 in ordinary classes (and over 18 years old in evening classes for adults –over 200 students more-). Some groups have bilingual education (English-Spanish). The current number of teachers working in our school is 65.
We have compulsory and non-compulsory education and most of our students in non-compulsory education (Bachillerato) continue their studies at University.
The school is not situated in an area that could be considered as socioeconomically underprivileged, although the global crisis has also been noticed. Over the past few years our town has experienced an important economic development, mainly due to construction, tourism and agriculture. This has led to a considerable increase in the number of foreign students, which means that approximately 20-25 % of our students are not Spanish, coming from 30 different countries. Besides, we have a few students who belong to the Gypsy ethnic group, and to whom we pay special attention to avoid absenteeism. Apart from that, we also deal with Special Needs students, who are currently 13 and are attended to by specialized teachers, both in their specific classroom and also integrated in ordinary classes.
Our school has considerable experience in matters relating to European projects, as we have previously participated in three Comenius and one Erasmus+ Project with very positive results. As for the project areas, our school is well prepared to cover them, since we live in an area where the lack of water implies a continuous pursuit of energy efficiency and good use of resources. Thus, our school has deposits of water to irrigate our botanical garden with plants adapted to lack of water.
In addition to this, ecological projects have been developed previously in our school, such as "Green roofs". Another project in which our school participates every year is the official program "Take care for our Coast", in which a group of students and teachers help clean our coastline waste and rubbish in general.
Finally, we live in area where desertification is a growing problem and agricultural industry is constantly searching for ways to deal with the lack of rainfall and water resources. However, the fact that we live in the one of sunniest regions in Europe has contributed to the development of the most important European solar energy research centre, located in Tabernas, just 40 km away from our town. At the same time, there has been a dramatic rise in the development of wind farms, so that students participating in the project will see directly these sources of clean and renewable energy.