September 2020. The state school Ramiro Soláns reopens classes after six months of lockdown. The school and the Oliver district, one of the humblest in Zaragoza, face the most exceptional school year they have ever known. Avoiding the infection of COVID-19 is the main concern, but teachers mainly fear the impact that the pandemic will have on the learning and emotional development of their students. Health measures soon prove effective and as the term advances, it is evident that the main challenges of the centre are others.
Does the school really work as a social elevator? If the school takes care of the district, who takes care of the school? Will the experience of the pandemic serve to reduce inequalities? These are some radical questions that pierce a time cut through by all kinds of economic and cultural gaps.
The Fundación Cotec promotes innovation as a driving force of economic and social development. The idea of producing 'Las clases' appeared in 2020, at the same time as the educational innovation project, 'School Comes First'. In the beginning, Cotec only wanted to document how a state school was organized to face such an atypical school year, and more specifically, they intended to observe the answers that innovation was bringing to the numerous problems and uncertainties looming over the school community at that time.
The choice of a director with an individual perspective, Orencio Boix, and the unique characteristics of the chosen school, the CEIP Ramiro Soláns, increased and enriched the project’s original objectives from the very onset of shooting. The end result invites audiences to reflect on the role of state schools in today's society, on what is expected from them and on what help is being offered them to achieve it.
Not only was the pandemic a great opportunity to get to know the daily reality of many schools in Spain, it also revealed another reality that compromises the economic and social future of the country, and that also requires an innovative approach by all the sectors involved.
Filmmaking, script and editing: Orencio Boix. Executive Production: Juan J. Gómez. Production: Cotec. Photography: Sebastián Vanneuville. Original music: Javier Aquilué. Direct sound: Raúl Ansón.
Design, organization and creation of educational materials