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Extensive array of courses and workshops await those spending winter on Formentera

cursos-cultura-2016 mailThe Formentera Council has announced its autumn-winter catalogue of courses and workshops for adults. The aim is to offer a wide range of options to meet the local demand for educational and leisure courses.

Language courses
This year's catalogue of language courses includes Catalan, Italian and English. The free-of-charge Catalan classes will be given by the Council's language advisory service, Servei d'Assessorament Lingüístic. Morning, afternoon and evening sessions will be offered at the A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 levels. Enrolment will be open from September 26 to October 13 and lessons will get under way October 17 and 18. The end of the course will depend on the scheduling of this year's round of official exams, projected to take place January 2017.

Language instruction is also available for those keen to study foreign tongues. Take, for example, the English courses conducted by Nancy McConachie. Her afternoon classes will start in January and will be offered at the basic and advanced levels. Italian classes, by Rodolfo Taccheo, will also be given. The two courses —in beginners' and advanced-level Italian— will start in January on a morning timetable.

Art and Creation
Like every year, there will also be workshops with a decidedly more artistic slant. Creación y Pintura (Creation and Painting) will be taught by Teresa Matilla and a woodworking course will be given by Aaron Keydar. Remedios Castillo and Silvia Jobani will teach a course on pottery. Those three courses will begin in November and finish in March.

Given the positive response received last year, Toni Ruiz will once again lead a radio production workshop. This theory- and practise-based course from the head of Ràdio Illa will begin in February. As for classes in IT, this year will see the start of a beginner's Photoshop course aimed at addressing some of the most basic tools of this essential image-editing software. Sergio Torres will give the course, which is due to run from February to March.

Also new this year is a beginner's digital photography course from Josep Maria Moreu and Pep Martínez. This intensive theory- and practice-based course will provide participants with a variety of photo techniques.

The Council will also run a yoga course with instruction by Susanne Laier. Classes start in November at the municipal cinema.

Now for the performing arts. Espai F_, a cultural association dedicated to stage productions, and Fortmenterart, a dance and musical theatre group, have put together various courses and workshop for 2016-2017.

Espai F_ is, together with IES Marc Ferrer, coordinating an introductory theatre course for youth aged 12 to 16. Classes will be given by Mireia Sobrevela and Miquel Costa.

The group is also behind two theatre courses for adults: a theatre laboratory for on-stage training and a course on the psychological work of constructing a contemporary dramatic character. Both courses will be given by Miquel Costa and Mireia Sobrevela.

Another course —Inside-Out— is framed around movement. It is geared towards individuals who seek to explore movement within a new body and will be led by Valeria Del Vecchio.

With Belén Cabrero at the helm, dance and theatre group Fortmenterart will give introductory and advanced jazz dance classes to adults over 18. Another course, this time with instruction by Siri, will focus on stage acting. Both courses will meet in the municipal cinema.

Pre-enrolment will take place from September 21. Individuals interested in participating in courses that begin in November (like pottery, painting or woodworking) have until October 21 to register. Students that wish to take part in January language courses have until December 16 to sign up. For photography, Photoshop and radio production, registration is open until January 16.

Additional training opportunities fill out the autumn-winter course catalogue. One will deal with teaching basic restaurant and bar service, another is tailored for youth workers and a third course aims to teach participants about social and cultural integration. Anyone interested in participating should contact the Office of Social Welfare.

Traditional arts and dance
Finally, the Sant Ferran retirees' club will offer workshops on traditional pursuits like sewing, reseating chairs, basket weaving, wool working, cooking, and ballroom and salsa dancing. Those workshops will also be held in November. For more information, contact the retirees' club.

A first: free year-long tutoring for struggling pupils

foto taller reforcAccording to an announcement from the Formentera Council's Office of Social Welfare, tomorrow marks the start of the enrolment period in free tutoring for year five and six primary school pupils. Office chair Vanessa Parellada portrayed the academic assistance as "geared toward students with learning difficulties and at perennial risk of falling behind, with a particular focus on pupils who are struggling with academic integration and deficiencies in language and maths.”

This year is the first time the tutoring will run the entire academic year, from September 26 to the end of the course, and will be free. The classes, which cost the Council 13,000 euros, have benefitted 112 students over the last five years. Parellada credited the decision to continue the initiative with the positive feedback it has customarily received.

It is expected that some twenty students will attend the Monday-Friday, afternoon tutoring sessions, for which an exact timetable has yet to be set. The schools must help the contracted instructor, Maribel Jiménez, select which pupils will require the extra help. Parents of interested students have from September 15 to 22 to hand in enrolment applications at the Office of Social Welfare.

The tutoring will centre on boosting pupils' scholastic abilities using motivation-based tactics and by favouring a daily-work ethic. The students' school work will serve as a yardstick for additional help in English, Castilian Spanish, Catalan, environmental studies and maths. Furthermore, since learning will be organised in group sessions, social integration and teamwork will also be promoted.

Council invests nearly €8.5k in school upgrades ahead of 2016-2017 year

escoleta newThe education office of the Formentera Council announces the start of a new academic term from September 15 at the island's two early-learning centres. One hundred twenty-two children aged zero to three will begin classes tomorrow at Formentera's two escoletes, Sa Miranda and Camí Vell, in nine groups overseen by 17 instructors and an aide.

Education secretary Susana Labrador said the schools had kept their doors closed for the first two weeks in September while teaching staff, service workers, Council employees and outside contractors worked to get things up and running ahead of another year. Labrador put the total cost of the undertaking at €8,475.

Both schools got a fresh coat of paint, something Labrador said only cost the administration €400 since in-house staff could be brought in for the work. Carpenters were called in to change and varnish wood floors at Sa Miranda. Light work was performed on the doors at the two schools, and both centres received needed new shelving. The price tag for the diverse upgrades was roughly €5,200. A storage unit for educational material was mounted at Cami Vell for €875, and a gas tank for Sa Miranda's on-site heating system cost €2,000.

Pre-enrolment deadline extended at music and dance school

escola de musica festivalThe Formentera Council Office of Education has announced an extended deadline on pre-enrolment for the 2016-17 year at Formentera's municipal music and dance school. The added dates —from the first of the month to September 10— affect in-person registration at the Citizen's Information Office (OAC) as well as online signups on the Virtual Citizen's Information Office (OVAC) and the music school's homepage.

The school of music and dance offers both accredited and non-accredited courses of study in addition to workshop-style music and dance classes for children three and up. Last year roughly 300 people took classes at the school.

Nursery enrolment May 4-18

foto escoletaThe Formentera Council (CiF) Office of Education has announced that from May 4, enrolment applications will be accepted for children wishing to attend the La Miranda or el Camí Vell de la Mola nursery school during the 2016-2017 school year. As education councillor Susana Labrador explained, the deadline for applications is May 18 and provisional lists of accepted children will be published May 30.

Individuals who are interested can download the application in the Escoletes (Nurseries) section of CiF website and at the following link: http://goo.gl/rxXr8e. The application can also be downloaded and handed in in person at the Citizen's Information Office (OAC) from May 4-18, 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday through Saturday.

As Labrador pointed out, the same admissions process will be used for the two schools. “There will be a space on the application for applicants to note which of the two escoletes they prefer,” she added. Children born in 2016, 2015 or 2014 can attend Escoleta de La Miranda and those born in 2015 or 2014 can apply to Escoleta des Camí Vell. Labrador encouraged anyone with questions to visit the La Miranda nursery between 2.00 and 3.00pm.

The current admissions process involves Formentera's two year-long nursery schools, which offered 128 places during the 2015-2016 school year.

The two nurseries operate on a year-long basis and, together, provided places for 128 children during the 2015-2016 school year. Though numbers are expected to remain relatively unchanged from this year to next, Labrador indicated the Council's intent to adapt the available places to the demand registered from island families. The councillor highlighted the challenges posed by early childhood education and, in that regard, pointed to the Council's two main goals: a high quality standard and “zero waitlist”. The latter, she said, “though not exactly a requirement, is a deal-breaker for individuals juggling a family and a job.”

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