For those of you who are coming to
For many expats moving to
While International schools have a lot to offer, there are also some downsides. One of these is the cost. In
Pre-primary education - educación infantile
Education for children under the age of six is not compulsory but many parents will choose to send their child(ren) to a pre-school (preescolar). These pre-schools are often within the same complex as a primary school. Nursery schools (colegios infantiles) are usually separate. Provision will depend on the area in which they live.
Pre-school education is divided into two cycles: First Cycle (primer ciclo) for children aged one to three, and Second Cycle (segundo ciclo) for age’s three to six.
Primary education - educación primaria
Compulsory education (escolaridad obligatoria) begins at the age of six and lasts for six years. School begins in September for children who turn six within that calendar year. Children attend the primary school of their area of residence. Primary education is divided into three cycles: First Cycle (primer ciclo), years 1 to 2; Second Cycle (segundo ciclo), years 3 to 4; and Third Cycle (tercer ciclo), years 5 to 6. The primary curriculum includes natural and social sciences (conocimiento del medio natural, social y cultural), the Spanish language (Castellana) and literature, an autonomous language and literature if applicable (lengua cooficial), mathematics, physical education, plastic and visual arts, and a foreign language and optional Catholic religion (when a child starts school the parents will be asked whether they want their child to attend religious classes). A second foreign language may be added in the third cycle. A child that fails to achieve the set standards for a particular cycle may be required to repeat the year. Children are graded in the following manner:
- Insuficiente (IN) - Insufficient
- Suficiente (SU) - Sufficient
- Bien (BI) - Good
- Notable (NT) - Very good
- Sobresaliente (SB) - Outstanding
Secondary education - educación secundaria obligatoria
Compulsory secondary education (Enseñanza Secundaria Obligatoria/ESO) begins at the age of 12 and lasts for four years. Types of schools providing this education include: Institutos de Educación Secundaria, Colegios Privados and Colegios Concertados. Pupils receive more specialized training and begin their preparation for the baccalaureate or vocational training at these schools. Compulsory secondary education is divided into two cycles, from 12 to 14 and 14 to 16. Compulsory subjects include natural and social sciences, history and geography, physical education, plastic and visual arts, Spanish and an autonomous community language (if applicable), a foreign language, literature, mathematics, music and technology.
In the second year of the second cycle, pupils choose two of the following four options: natural and social sciences, music, technology, and plastic and visual arts. The Catholic religion is an optional subject for all four years; non-Catholics may choose study periods instead. A second foreign language can be chosen during the second cycle.
As with primary education, a pupil can be required to repeat a year if they do not meet the required standards at the end of the school year. Children can only repeat the year once. Once pupils have finished their four years of ESO, and have obtained the set standards, they receive the Certificate of Secondary Education (Graduado en Educación Secundaria). This certificate is necessary for those who want to continue higher secondary education (Bachillerato) studies or intermediate vocational training.
Higher secondary education - bachillerato or formación profesional
At the end of compulsory education (usually at age 16) pupils can go on to Bachillerato studies or vocational training (formación profesional).
Bachillerato: Some of the subjects studied are common to all students, such as Spanish, a foreign language, Spanish history and physical education. However, students can choose to specialize in one of five different branches: arts, nature and health sciences, sciences and engineering, social sciences or humanities. At the end of their studies they receive the
A MATTER OF MONEY AND CHOICE
At the end of the day for those of you who have the funds to send your children to International Schools in Spain you have a tough choice to make and we hope this article has given you some useful information to help you reach the right decision for your children. If you found this article interesting why not visit our living in Spain page for more useful information about
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