Acupuncture at Trabenco El Pozo school

The Trabenco el Pozo school is a teacher´s cooperative based in El Pozo de Vallecas in Madrid. It is a very special center because during forty years, it has been fighting for maintaining its action of social transformation in the neighbourhood. Its desire to stay in the educational vanguard quickly linked with the philosophy that ERCER has in its educational projects. From there began a process of joint search for improvements in the educational environment.

At Trabenco school, ERCER started its process of analysis of the situation. An analysis base don three different aspects. On the one hand, an exhaustive analysis of the architectural situation carried out by ERCER specialists in this section. On the other hand, a strategic analysis was carried out by the hand of experts in this field with a large experience in digital transformation. The third section was a pedagogical analysis: this is one of the news of the process that ERCER adds in the architectural proposal of the centers. A group of advisers (education professionals) carried out an observation and workshops with the educational community (management, teachers, administration and services, parents and students). As a result of this detailed observation, ERCER´s design and architecture team planned an action at the entrance to the Early Childhood Education corridor.

It was not a change of the whole center. The project was about looking for the strategic points that can change the negative dynamics of a center and enhace the positive ones. This is what we call architectural acupuncture. The intervention in specific points, makes possible improvements in the whole center.

The work was carried out during the summer of 2020 and despite the Covid pandemic, it was executed in les than four weeks. The project was about to eliminate partitions that separated the classes from the hall, making a space for passage and meeting. These partitions were replaced by glass walls that have given the space enormous luminosity.

Last November we met with the management of the center and with the coordinator of Early Childhood Education to tell us their impressions. The first thing they have highlighted is that children have found a very beautiful and bright space that has given them extra motivation. Families have seen their school look nice and that is very important in a neighbourhood with economic and social difficulties. Class dynamics have been improved because they have conquered an extra space. Now, in addition to the three classrooms and the TEA classroom, the teachers and specialists have a very flexible space that they use for certain activities. “Now – Marta, coordinator of nursery at the center told us – despite the COVID measures, we have a space to do more flexible activities. We also control children´s movements when they go to bathroom. The only drawback is that now, the Elementary school classmates look at us with a bit of envy, haha”.

Entering a school is always something almost sacred. Observing a group of three years old boys and girls on their way from their classroom to the bathroom, sitting on the stairs to look at a book, jumping or hiding, in short, playing and enjoying i an even more magical experience. When an acupuncture puncture Works, the school improves and that can be seen when you look into the nursery hall of the Trabenco school.