Instituto N.ª Sra. da Encarnação - Cooperativa de Ensino
Externato Cooperativo da Benedita (ECB) is part of the Instituto Nossa Senhora da Encarnação (INSE), which is located in Benedita, Alcobaça, founded in 1964 with the purpose of serving the local community. It is a cooperative giving public educational service to young people from 12 to 18 years of age, from the 7th to 12th grades and vocational training courses. The school is based on a local development project, that has always developed and grown itself within a culture of teaching and learning based on projects: from science to Theatre, Music to Chess, Sports and also the Maths, Biology and Physics Olympiads. In the Educational Project for 2014 to 2017, ECB defined its Mission: Educate for the Challenges of the Future; and its Vision: Strengthen the Best in Each of Us. Its main purpose is to promote the following values, attitudes and skills: commitment; sustainability; responsibility; analysis, synthesis and critical thinking; creativity; autonomy; desire for the new; solidarity; assertiveness; ethics; empathy and resilience. In June 2010, it obtained the renewal of the “Committed to Excellence” level, 1st level of Excellence from EFQM, which is recognition for its dedication, commitment and determination to improve constantly. Since that time, it is the school’s policy to sound out parents and students about their degree of satisfaction towards its service.
The organizational structure of ECB is made of the Offices of the Systems of Information; Projects, Communication and Image; Innovation and Pedagogical Training; the team of Action for Success and Psychology, that are responsible for the organization and supervision of activities/projects, as well as individual tutoring of the student with Special Educational Needs (SEN). The teaching staff is made of 84 certified teachers with pedagogical experience. It has 8 administrative employees, 23 caretakers and a higher rank technician. The school has qualified and equipped facilities: 64 classrooms; 25 classrooms with specific equipment; 7 laboratories; an open library of 400 sq/m; Internet service, a video library and a languages room; a Centre of Education Resources and Tutoring with material, computers and work space; a canteen and bars; a stationer’s, a students’ room with equipment adapted to students with physical handicaps; a sports hall and an outdoor sports field, with vast equipment for several sports, also open to the population; a cultural centre with a hall for 360 people and a conference room.
ECB also develops a set of complementary activities to connect the school with the world of solidarity and voluntary service and to the European dimension of education, providing students with activities such as conferences, theatre, sports, participation in national and European programmes. The school has partnerships with many companies and other local institutions for the internships of students who have concluded the vocational training courses and a significant number of students find their first job in the companies where they did their internship. Many of those students study at universities (Technological Specialization Courses or Degrees in Polytechnic Institutes) and continue to work in those companies. Another demonstration of the proximity and commitment of ECB to the community results from the partnership with the Employment Centre of Alcobaça and the Parish Council of Benedita for the creation of an Office for the Integration in Active Life of Benedita. ECB is very concerned about health and physical wellbeing of our students. Thus, it offers them the opportunity to engage in the following sports: futsal, athletics, skating, rugby, badminton, judo and chess. At various times of the year, the school submits physical fitness tests to students to make them aware about how healthy they are. Students are also offered the best conditions for practicing sports. The school, indeed, has established protocols with local sports organisations, precisely: a football club, a swimming pool, a roller hockey club, a futsal club, as well as organisations dealing with tennis, diving and surfing.