English School Los Olivos started in 1976 as a British nursery school in El Plantío-La Cañada, housed in a traditional Valencian farmstead. It was a large open space with no fences, surrounded by centuries-old olive trees.
At that time the school followed the methodology of Montessori and Freinet, taking into account Piaget's principles of developmental psychology. But above all, the teaching was based on a natural and caring approach, as well as on a happy, spontaneous atmosphere and the learning of English through all aspects of school life.
We continued in the farmstead with new teachers joining the project until the summer of 1981 when we decided to expand the school to include primary and lower secondary education. This created the need to move to larger premises, an adapted villa in Camino de Mas Camarena, Campolivar, Godella. We remained in these new premises for two years, until the summer of 1983, when the growing number of classes obliged us to move on yet again.
This new move was to Calle Pino Panera, 25, just around the corner, and a purpose-built primary building, to which one year later in we added on a new wing with all the necessary facilities to house the classes from Nursery to Year 9.
It was at this time that our school became firmly established as a British school, an open and pluralist cooperative of teachers, bringing together British, Spanish and local Valencian cultures. The education we offered was built on the foundations of respect, dialogue, tolerance and on freedom and responsibility. Gradually the number of staff grew, with teachers from Spain and various English-speaking countries joining our cooperative. We believe one of our strong points to be the diversity of experience and cultures of the teaching staff, who at the same time work towards a common educational goal.
In June 1989 our first group of students left the school having finished their compulsory education (EGB). However, encouraged by the dynamic, creative and gratifying nature of working in a group, we were keen to develop our educational project further and it was during the school year 1996-97 that we built our new secondary building, also in Campolivar this time in Avenida de los Almendros 13. The following year we began to give classes in the new building, and in June 1998 our first group of 16 year-old students left the school after having successfully sat their GCSE exams.
In the academic year 2001-2002 we opened our Sixth Form with our first group of 18 year old students leaving the school in June 2003. Our students study GCE A/S and A Level courses and the specialist subjects in Spanish to aid entrance to Spanish university. Our students can then continue their studies in universities in Britain. Spain or elsewhere in the world.
Although Los Olivos has grown a lot since its beginnings, we have chosen to remain a relatively small school with a friendly atmosphere in which students and teachers know each other well and work together with mutual respect.