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Forty Years On


I think it's Old Harrovians that use the song Forty Years On as the school anthem but I wouldn't have been too surprised if Maggie had started humming it as she pottered around the flat yesterday evening.

Maggie works at José María de Lapuerta School here in Cartagena teaching five year olds English as part of the British Council Bilingual English Project.

Last night she went to an evening do as the start of the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the school. She came back with all sorts of stories - about how the petroleum company Repsol first founded the school in 1969 and built the local housing as part of a "model village" type project for it's employees. She told me how well the school has been doing in the local chess league and how the school has also won a prize for the quality of it's excellence in sports teaching.

She reminded me that the school had also won the "Silver Blackboard" (there isn't a gold one, silver is as good as you get) from the Región de Murcia, the highest level of Local Government, for the overall quality of the education on offer in the school.

The person who oversees the British Council Bilingual Project all over Spain, Pilar Medrano, had come to join in the fun and she apparently gave a stirring speech about the power of the project to offer opportunities, through English language learning, to youngsters who would normally be denied that opportunity because they were too poor. I think that Maggie came away enthused; being on the side of the angels is always, rightly, good for morale.

It was a pleasure to listen to her.

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