The beginning…

Laying the foundations…

The 1st exchange

IES Pedro Jiménez Montoya: A benchmark of quality in Baza

The IES Pedro Jiménez Montoya is a public Secondary School reliant on the Ministry of Education of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.

Managed by a school board, which incudes a Headmaster, a Deputy Head and a Head of Studies, who intensely collaborate with the Heads of the different Departments and the programme coordinators, our bilingual institution offers Compulsory Secondary Education, Post Compulsory Schooling (Spanish Baccalaurate) and Vocational Education Training, both initial VET and Upper or Superior VET courses. In addition, since 2005 the school has been involved in several European programmes and initiatives such as COMENIUS, IPM, LEONARDO and ERASMUS.

With over 22,000 inhabitants, it is located in the Altiplano, at 844 m above sea level, which reaches the Northeast of the province of Granada (commonly known as “Hoya de Baza”) within the so-called “High Andalusia”.

The zone of influence in which our school exercises its educational work is mainly characterized by a socio-economic-cultural level that can be considered medium-low type. The economy, however, is largely based on agriculture and livestock, which mainly depend on its oil and meat industries and, to a lesser extent, in the trade and services sector. It should also be noted that the region is classified as depressed area where a high proportion of its population is unable, for economic or age reasons, access to other studies than those offered in it.

Our region is traditionally known as «the region of Baza”, which consists of 8 municipalities (Baza, Benamaurel, Caniles, Cortes de Baza Cuevas del Campo , Cullar, Freila and Zújar) and has a total area of ​​almost 1800 km2, being Baza considered the largest with more than 545 km2, representing approximately 14% of the area of ​​the province.

It is close to the main provincial capital cities such as Almería, Granada, Jaén and Murcia and has been provided with an easy access to it thanks to the A-92 speedway and the bus station. Over time, Baza has turned into an important trade and service main centre, which has caused the populations of the closest towns sush as Gor Guadix, Huescar, Santiago de la Espada and the North of the province of Almería (region of Alto Almanzora) move up here for their studies of further education.

Among those studies that the town offers, we can highlight the following regulated educational services:

● University of Distance Education (UNED)

● Center for Teacher Education (CEP)

● Professional Conservatory of Music

● Official Language School, with studies of French and English

●Secondary Education Institutes that offer studies of Compulsory Secondary Education (commonly named as ESO), Baccalaureate of its four modalities and specific vocational training, both Medium and Advanced Level, preparation for higher-level vocational training and a program of Initial Vocational Qualification.

PS: Compulsary Secondary Education lasts 4 years (from 12 to 16) and, as its name indicates, every Spanish citizen must, by law, attend secondary education when they arrive at the defined age. The State is also committed to guaranteeing every student the possibility of attending it, and also at a state run school (hence no tuition fees) if so demanded.

A piece of history

Baza was founded by the Iberians in the 4th century B.C., and it is famous for its history, cultural heritage and natural wealth. Its monumental and archaeological legacy, spanning the centuries from antiquity until the Christian era, is considered to be a true jewel of Spanish heritage. Also of interest are its typical cave-dwellings or cave-houses, the beautiful scenery of the badlands, the Natural Park of the Sierra Nevada, the  Cascamorras festival, classed as National Tourist Interest and one of Spain’s most bizarre celebrations.

For its contrasting landscapes, the district of Baza and its municipalities have become one of the most popular destinations for lovers of adventure sports and active tourism. The natural scenery includes the Sierra de Baza Natural Park, a protected area of great ecological importance, the huge reservoir of El Negratin, the Rivel Castril, and the high peak of the Cerro Jabalcón, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

The history of the  Baza district dates back to the early Neolithic period, and since then it has been populated by a succession of different cultures and peoples (Iberians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, etc.). Baza’s Archaeological museum houses some important remains of those civilizations, such as the Dama de Baza, a sculpture used as a funerary urn, and the Warrior’s Torso. During the muslim period, the city regained its former importance, and the present layout of the municipalities was developed. Dating from this period are the remains of the Moorish Alcazaba (fortress) and the La Marzuela Arab Baths, which are considered to be some of the best preserved in Spain. We can still find the true flavour of the Islamic past in the narrow alleyways of the Barrio de Santiago, the old Jewish quarter. After the conquest by the Catholic Monarchs in the XVth century, many churches, shrines and palaces were built over mosques and buildings. Some of the finest examples of buildings from this period are the Cathedral Church of La Encarnación, from the 16th century, which features a combination of baroque, gothic and renaissance styles, the 16th century Palace of Los Enríquez, and the Old Slaughterhouses, dating from the 16th century too.

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