The school we want for our children


The schools in San Sebastian.

In the late sixties and early seventies, the private schools in San Sebastian were mostly single-sex schools owned by religious institutions, where French was the main foreign language taught.

In addition to these, the Basque Ikastola movement was starting to emerge.

The English School also existed, where the parents who would go on to found St Patrick's sent their children. These parents were convinced that English was the language of the future.

The English School

In 1966, José Luis Pérez and Ignacio Villanueva founded the English School. Initially located in Villa Carmen, near the Jai Alai tunnel, the school became so popular that they took over the neighbouring Villa Asun in 1972, which they used for the pre-school classrooms. Parents were attracted by the school's emphasis on English, the fact that it was secular and mixed, and that it wasn't too big, etc. There was one major drawback, however, it only taught children up to the age of fourteen.

In order to be able to teach the compulsory secondary and Baccalaureate cycles, the school would have to meet certain criteria regarding the size of classrooms and type of facilities etc. The English School could not meet many of these requirements and Mr. Villanueva didn't believe in the viability of the proposal.

So despite the parents' commitment, the project floundered, and the parents whose children who were approaching the end of the cycle at the English School were so concerned that they started seriously considering an alternative. What if we were to set up our own school? What sort of school would we like for our children?