El Soto Centre
The houses in Calle Serrano could not accommodate the high demand of new students applying for admission, and it didn’t allow high school students to develop to their full potential. As planned, only a few months after the first class of students left, in October 1967, San Patricio opened its new high school in El Soto de la Moraleja. It was the first school in Madrid to open its doors in this new neighbourhood. The decision was made that the younger children would continue their Nursery and Primary School studies at calle Serrano.
The architectural project of this new Centre was designed taking into account the regulations of the Spanish Ministry of Education, which does not contemplate the possibility of coeducation teaching. Thus, a double School was built - within the same building - with clearly differentiated male and female pavilions, independent class schedules, separate playgrounds and two distinct Technical Management departments.
Shortly afterwards, a real educational revolution took place in Spain. The Basic General Education (BGE) was implemented in 1970, and the 4th grade examination disappeared, along with the corresponding “Elementary Baccalaureate” title, which was replaced by “School Graduate”, granted to students at the end of the BGE (eight years). It was the step before the new Baccalaureate, the Unified Polyvalent Baccalaureate (the UPB). The introduction of the General Education Act forced the School to reorganise: new students and those of the first Baccalaureate year become the students of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades of the BGE. From the class of 75-76, with the implementation of the UPB, the School generalised coeducation in all areas of school life. This innovation was not surprising for the students of San Patricio, since the School supported friendship and mutual knowledge between boys and girls since its inception, through frequent extracurricular activities programmed outside the classroom, cultural visits, excursions, etc., and through daily conviviality in the cafeteria, at certain "recess" times and on the school transport routes.
These were times of profound changes in Spain, both politically and socially, and all this undoubtedly influenced the education of teenagers who were experiencing moving to a new educational system as well as a major political transition.
Given the diversity of changes in the new educational legislation, which were excessive for teachers, students and publishers, who lacked guidance on the matter (remember, for example, the famous “sheets”), San Patricio decided to remain faithful to its own pedagogical line, based on a high level of demand, trying to pick up the positive and applicable aspects of the new Law and integrating them in its personalised attention system, with a more classic style.