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For a long time, I have been following the dedicated work of Irena Orlović in the field of early stimulation of children’s emotional and intellectual development.
I remember the time when her dream of a private elementary school in Split, where she would be able to apply everything she believes in, was just that – a dream.
Therefore, I cannot hide my delight that, in September 2020, Harfa International School became the first international primary school in our city. My joy is even greater because they recently joined the Split Tech City community!
It all started more than 20 years ago when Irena faced the challenging diagnosis of her daughter with developmental difficulties.
Not accepting the pessimism with which she was often surrounded, and not finding the necessary materials in Croatian, Irena studied the latest foreign literature in psychology and neurology, and also created work materials on her own to encourage the intellectual development of her daughter.
After many years of dedicated work, Irena designed the award-winning application – Pametnica – to encourage early development.
Furthermore, she started the Harfa publishing house, which translates the most popular and high-quality world titles in the fields of parenting, education, and child development in the Croatian language.
In addition to all that, Irena published the picture book “Girl and Happiness“, and she also organizes and conducts lectures on upbringing throughout Croatia and neighboring countries. She also studies psychology,…
And as if that wasn’t enough, she set out to make her dream of a “different” school come true! Whatever Irena imagines, she achieves. Therefore, for almost two years now, Harfa has been like a second home for many children from Split.
The maximum number of children in the educational group is 18, and the language of instruction is English, with an additional strong emphasis on the Croatian language.
The school works according to the International Baccalaureate (IB) program for students from the age of 5.
At Harfa International School, the contents are adapted to the child’s neurological age, and the classes are taught by native English speakers.
The learning space is designed so that the children feel comfortable and relaxed.
Outside the school is a green area, which encourages staying in touch with nature, relaxing, and observing the natural changes during the seasons. By spending part of their time surrounded by greenery, the children also develop a sense of ecology.
Children learn by exploring content through joint projects. Teamwork is highly valued at Harfa.
During classes, the goal is to recognize the potential and needs of each child and help them use and develop said potential.
At Harfa, children learn in an environment where they feel comfortable and relaxed. It’s a school where time outside in nature is just as important as that spent inside the classroom.
When an inspiring, and – above all, benevolent and optimistic – person like Irena recognizes our work and wants to support us, we truly understand that we are on the right path. 🙂
“Positive stories that bring about inspiring change together can do wonders!”
Irena, thank you for your wonderful words and trust! Wishing a warm Split Tech City welcome to the happy and creative Harfa team!
Photos by: Sarah Miller
Article in Croatian written by: Romana Ban