The student population is about 850 people from 14 to 19 years old, coming from both towns and from the neighbouring villages. They belong to different social backgrounds and also to different cultures (minority ethnic groups are well integrated in our territories). A lot of them have a quite advanced level of English, corresponding to B1 or B2 of the QCER and our school has been a Cambridge preparation and examination centre since 2017. Other foreign languages are taught and spoken here: French and Spanish, especially in tourism classes.
In the international field, the institution has always taken part in intercultural exchanges with the Italian association Intercultura, twinnings with European and American countries and more recently in KA1 and VET Erasmus + projects.
Also, our school is an ECDL preparation and examination centre for both students and teachers; it contains a large number of labs: ICT, Physics, Chemistry, Foreign Languages, Art which have been implemented recently, and innovative tools which have led to the creation of 2.0 classes. Thanks to these up-to-date technologies, a blend between traditional and more challenging learning environments is made possible. It also contains a library, a sports field, a gym and a green yard.
The school staff is made up of about 100 teachers and 30 administration and technical staff. Most of them have basic language and ICT skills and take part in refresher course periodically.
The school has created a durable cooperation network with other local communities, starting from the municipality, which has always supported educational activities, spending energy and financial support on local activities , but also with other non-profit associations, like PRO LOCO, Comitato Festa Patronale S.Bernardino, AGESCI scouting group, active especially in the field of tourism and charities. Bernalda also has an advanced centre for elderly and disabled people, and folk groups. The presence of all these institutions testifies to our great interest in multicultural and inclusive issues.
The territory shares different economic realities, but agriculture still plays a fundamental role, alongside small industries, which has created stable living conditions for the local population.
Tourism and history are also important for the presence of some famous archaeological sites dating back to ancient Greece, such as the temple of the Greek goddess Hera ( also called “Tavole Palatine”), the archaeological Museum, the necropolis and the nearby beautiful beaches of Metaponto. Metaponto is the town where the Greek philosopher Pythagoras spent the last part of his life, founding his school.
Our school is located in Bernalda, a town of about 12,000 inhabitants, surrounded by a fertile area and rich in historic and tourist attractions: the US film director Francis Ford Coppola’s family is from Bernalda and he has bought a magnificent villa in town, which is now a luxurious resort for tourists from all over the world.