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Types of Schools in Spain
Kindergarten or preschool (preschool) – from 3 to 5 years old
Primary school (escuela primary) – from 6 to 12 years old
Secondary education (educacisn secundaria obligatoria/ESO) from 12 to 16 years old
Private school (escuela privada)
Compulsory education (escolaridad obligatoria) is also called basic general education (Educacisn General Basica/EGB)
At 16 years old :
Pupils who have not successfully completed four years of secondary education receive a school certificate (certificado de escolaridad).
Pupils who have successfully completed all four years receive a certificate de graduado en educacisn secundaria and can attend an upper secondary school (or the same school in some cases) to prepare for their baccalaureate (bachillerato) leading to university entrance. . (University)
Students can attend a vocational school (formacisn profesional) offering specialized training for a specific career.
Schools that welcome children with special needs.
Pupils are educated in mainstream schools unless their individual needs cannot be met. In these cases, the children are educated in teaching units or specialized schools. There are special public schools in Spain for pupils with special educational needs and learning difficulties.
A general criticism of Spanish public schools made by many foreigners is the lack of extracurricular activities such as sports, music, drama, and arts and crafts. Public schools do not have school clubs or sports teams and if children want to play team sports they usually have to join a local club. However, although not part of the school curriculum, sports and other activities are usually organized through parent associations and sports associations. Fees are low and activities usually take place directly after school.
School holidays – School holidays
The school year is made up of three terms, averaging about 11 weeks each. The school year begins in mid-September and ends in mid-June. The main holidays are Christmas, Easter and a very long summer break of 3 months. The majority of schools in Benalmadena end between 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Schools are closed on public holidays if they fall during the school term. (Also for local special events/holidays that are regional.
Integration into Spanish society
Education in Spain is mainly co-educational and completely free from kindergarten to university.
(This includes foreign resident children)
Spain’s state-funded school system is supported by private schools, including many foreign and international schools.
Some schools offer lunches, although many children bring a packed lunch or go home for lunch if they live nearby. Although an increasing number of schools do not have a lunch break and finish lessons earlier at 2 p.m.
Most schools offer a free and subsidized bus service to take children home and train them. You will need to clarify this for each school.
Public schools and communities may provide after-school care (guarderia) for working parents.
After you make the decision to send a child to a public school, you must stick with it for at least a year to give them a fair trial, because it can take that long for a child to fully adjust to a new language, the change of environment and the different study programs.
Remember that it is much easier to move from a public school to a private school. Moving from a private school to a public school is much more difficult, especially if your children are teenagers.
Many foreign parents choose to educate their young children in the Spanish nursery and primary sectors, where learning the language is a faster and easier process. At the secondary level, children are educated in a private school.
Spanish universities tend to be overcrowded, but their teaching standards are comparable to those of European universities. Although foreign parents who can afford to send their children to foreign universities (especially American and British) choose this option because the courses are more flexible and shorter.
Before making important decisions regarding the future education of your children, it is of paramount importance that you consider their abilities, character, educational strengths and individual requirements.
Attending a public school helps children integrate into the local community and learn the local language, and is highly recommended if you plan to stay in Spain for any length of time. Although not initially appealing, many British children prefer to attend Spanish school and be part of the local community.
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