"What I want to do is to give a gift to my students and to Victoria Kent Secondary School because it is a pleasure to work there. That's how I put it to the school's director, Luis Carlos Dávila. If it can also be useful for other schools, I'll be delighted", says history teacher Dr Salvador Raya, about the guide he has produced on Marbella's heritage.
The town hall is now going to publish the guide and distribute it free of charge to all secondary schools in the municipality.
It all began with the proposal to take the students to learn about Spain’s Baroque period through the La Encarnación church in Marbella’s town centre. "It occurred to me to look for a plan of the church and in that search I found an enormous amount of research that exists on Marbella but which, surprisingly, is not available to the town’s residents,” Raya explained.
"With the idea that my students would get to know the Baroque (which was what they needed to know) and the plan of the church, I began to draw up a guide to and I kept adding aspects to it until the guide to Marbella came out for secondary school students".
According to the historian, "From the Palaeolithic period to the present day, Marbella has a very complete historical timeline". This history makes it possible to teach the subject through Marbella’s local heritage for all secondary school pupils (ESO) as well as History of Art courses at Baccalaureate. "Students don't have to leave the town to learn about the historical and artistic timelines when they have it at home," he says.
His aim is to "raise awareness of respect and love for heritage and culture in general, without limits, without frontiers, through the heritage that is closest to us". He goes on to say, "From Marbella to Andalucía, Spain... and all humanity."
The guide is structured by academic years. "In the first year of ESO, it’s the physical environment and Prehistory, it then goes on to the second year with Medieval and Modern history and so on until Baccalaureate," he describes.
It is a project that puts the pupil at the centre, as it consists of three parts: the guide itself; the practical notebook which encourages creativity, the third: the pupil's notebook, which they have to produce themselves by gathering information about the topics they are studying.
"Those who know how to take photographs take photos, those who know how to draw, draw, and the result is a student's field notebook, which is open to their creativity. Everyone, everyone is proud of their work and the results are excellent," the teacher says enthusiastically.
Announcing that Salvador Raya's guide would be published by the town hall, Marbella’s mayor Ángeles Muñoz said that the guide was, "a splendid initiative which is very useful for the teachers and which brings the cultural wealth of our town closer to the students in a fun and educational way".