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April 24, 2021
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April 14, 2021


n a sunny Monday such as this, GG was pretty tempted to hang out at SEK’s Windgates HQ all day long.

The views! The lawns! The basketball court! The football pitch! The 19th century Belvedere House!

Man, to think kids get to hang out here all day as part of their everyday education, something that’s been going on since April 27th, 1983, when SEK Dublin International School opened up their second premises, after debuting in Dun Laoghaire just two years before.

Having quickly established themselves as the go-to place for students from Spain and Latin America who wanted to speak English like an Irish native, over the last decade that SEK International decided that it was high time they lived up to the second part of their name.

Which would explain why today, up on Windgates Hill, you’ll find students from 14 different countries. Including Ireland.

“It was back in 2019 that the school received the accreditation for the International Baccalaureate’s Diploma Programme,” explains Monica Prieto Peris, who arrived here from SEK’s Madrid HQ in the same year. “Which is basically equivalent to the Leaving Cert, meaning students can now complete their Secondary School education here.”

And as we all know, the more Secondary School places around here, the better. And they don’t come much better than SEK International, thanks to a teaching programme that concentrates as much on the pupil’s character as it does on the traditional school curriculum. And that’s not to mention their globe-trotting Life Adventures.

Tellingly, SEK was also the first school in Ireland to be certified by the International Baccalaureate Organisation to teach its Middle Years programme, whilst they boast a 100% university acceptance rate for their Leaving Cert-age  students. Which is a pretty high percentage. We reckon.

And talking of sunny days, there’s also the Summer Experiences camps that go above and beyond the call of sun-kissed fun.

And what of Belvedere Hall? Built in 1856 (just 36 years before SEK was formed) by army lieutenant colonel William D’Oyly Battley (now buried at Christ Church, Delgany) on land originally owned by the Brabazon family, 100 years later religious order the Passionist fathers acquired the land for residential and educational purposes, along with a little farming. When Spain’s Institución Educativa SEK arrived in 1983, they kept the Battley coat of arms above the door, in memory of that original military owner, and set about making it a haven-away-from-home for language students.

But hey, enough of our wide-eyed, witty and insightful yakkin’. We caught up with the bould Monica out on the Belvedere Hall lawn to talk all things international, inspirational and downright sensational…

You can find out more about SEK Dublin International on their website here, or get in touch directly on caroline.leonard@sek.ie.