Escola Básica e Secundária da Madalena is a school teaching all levels of education from kindergarten to upper secondary education. Their school is composed of different buildings located in the different villages of the municipality of Madalena. The main building is in the town of Madalena and includes students from the age of 10 until they complete upper secondary education, normally at the age of 17-18. 

The school has about 850 students, of which 120 are upper secondary students, 200 are lower secondary students, 130 are kindergarten and the remaining are basic education students. They are a general education school which offers different options to upper secondary students in partnership with the other two secondary schools on the island.

Pico Island is an island of the small archipelago of the Azores, a Portuguese Autonomous Region. The island has a population of approximately 15,000 inhabitants and the council of Madalena, where the school is located, has about 6,000 inhabitants. It is a rural island, depending mainly on cattle breeding, milk and dairy products, and fishing. The social and economic backgound of our community may be considered underprivileged once 55,8% of their students benefit from school financial support. Due to their distance to continental Europe, projects like this one are an opportunity for students and teachers to cooperate effectively with other European schools and become aware of the European diversity.

At the same time, the location of the school may be considered a privileged one, due to the fact that their archipelago emerged from the mid atlantic ridge and volcanic activity is still visible. Pico island has an active volcano and the island has different parts of its territory included in the Azores Geosite. Another advantage of their school is their close relationship with Faial and Sao Jorge’s islands, as well as a good partnership with university departments related with volcanology. 

Volcanic phenomena, as well as Atlantic storms are the trigger for the development and vibrancy of some of their dearest cultural/traditional and religious celebrations, the most important of which is the Holy Spirit. Since the first settler couldn’t find a reasonable explanation for some natural phenomena, the would turn to the religious entities is search of divine protection. Some gastronomic and traditional parades have been held and are still very important nowaday. This is the type of environment that affects everyone’s life as well as their school.

The website of the school is available here.