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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

We are planning to move to the Alicante area of spain next year but have not chosen an area yet as this solely depends on the best school to put my child into as I want the best education possible and close by.

I would really appreciate it if anybody could recommend any excellent state schools. My son will be aged 8 when we move to Spain next year.

My Husband wants to put my son into a private school as he feels like this is the best Education, but I am open to all the options both private and state.

Having read other threads I now have very confused mixed feelings.

Are there also any official stats on schools I can obtain too.

Look forwards to your Replies xx
 

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Hi,

We are planning to move to the Alicante area of spain next year but have not chosen an area yet as this solely depends on the best school to put my child into as I want the best education possible and close by.

I would really appreciate it if anybody could recommend any excellent state schools. My son will be aged 8 when we move to Spain next year.

My Husband wants to put my son into a private school as he feels like this is the best Education, but I am open to all the options both private and state.

Having read other threads I now have very confused mixed feelings.

Are there also any official stats on schools I can obtain too.

Look forwards to your Replies xx
private school is not necessarily the best option - some are better than others

there is a choice of private spanish (spanish curriculum), private bilingual (spanish curriculum usually) & private International (usually with a UK curriculum)

and free state school - in some areas there is another option where you pay something towards education, sort of a cross between state & private

we'll all tell you that the school where we send our children is good - I'm perfectly happy with the state schools my 2 go to, but I wasn't happy, & neither were they, with the private International school they went to the first year we were here

personally I would recommend spanish or bilingual school for an 8 year old - it's up to you wheteher you go the state or private route

unfortunately there is nothing like OFSTED reports here
 

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The only way to decide IMO is to find an area and ask the other mums and kids what they think of their chosen school...?? I sent my daughter to a state school for 6 months here and she hated it. She was bullied, by other brit kids and learnt nothing, not even spanish. In retrospect it was the "wrong" school for her, but how do you know beforehand???? She's back at international now, happy and doing well, mind you, she's 12 which is a bit old to start state IMO

Jo xxx
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you very much for your kind reply's, Gosh so many choices, can you please tell me what the difference is between the Spanish Curriculum and English Curriculum, and what is a Billingual school... sorry for sounding thick but it's all very new to me. Is it final grade results for example GCSE's in UK and are the Spanish grades just as good as UK.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only way to decide IMO is to find an area and ask the other mums and kids what they think of their chosen school...?? I sent my daughter to a state school for 6 months here and she hated it. She was bullied, by other brit kids and learnt nothing, not even spanish. In retrospect it was the "wrong" school for her, but how do you know beforehand???? She's back at international now, happy and doing well, mind you, she's 12 which is a bit old to start state IMO

Jo xxx
Jo, Can I ask what area you live in, Ive been told Torrevieja is the best place if I want to be near the shops is this true, also Ive been told a really nice area to live is Guardamar and another nice place to look into is Mar Menor, La Manga can you tell me what these places are like please. I will be on my own half the year as my Husbands works off shore 4 on 4 off so i don't want to feel lonely and isolated.
LYNDA XX
 

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Jo, Can I ask what area you live in, Ive been told Torrevieja is the best place if I want to be near the shops is this true, also Ive been told a really nice area to live is Guardamar and another nice place to look into is Mar Menor, La Manga can you tell me what these places are like please. I will be on my own half the year as my Husbands works off shore 4 on 4 off so i don't want to feel lonely and isolated.
LYNDA XX
I live inland costa del sol, not near to Torrevieja. Torrevieja is concidered to be full of expats and is very British.. Is it nice??? well horses for course... not my "cup of tea" tho. You'll have to see what the others say about the other areas.

I love my area, we're near to Malaga airport (hubby commutes and the flights are cheap to gatwick), we're close to Torremolinos if we wanna do some touristy stuff, we're in the countryside and near to several towns! Have a look at "google earth", that gives you an idea of where places are.

What you have to remember is that all of us on here, all love our own areas, so its really a matter of choice. Idealy you should come out and have a look at everywhere and then you can decide whats right for you.

Wherever you live in ¨Southern Spain you'll never be too far away from other British and all areas have expat communities, so dont worry too much, find an area that has the things you like, ie, sports centre, shopping centre, sea, nice views, gokart tracks.... whatever..!.

I'm on my own here with the kids alot and I'm not lonely, I think kids tend to find friends for you and you kind of network the rest.

Jo xxx
 

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Thank you very much for your kind reply's, Gosh so many choices, can you please tell me what the difference is between the Spanish Curriculum and English Curriculum, and what is a Billingual school... sorry for sounding thick but it's all very new to me. Is it final grade results for example GCSE's in UK and are the Spanish grades just as good as UK.
Hi Lynda and welcome to the forum :)

My children are all grown up - so I havent had to do the school thing here in Spain! although I know how hard it must be to make what you believe is the right decision! :)

Bilingual school is basically a mixing of the two languages - Spanish and English, as opposed to a Spanish state school for example where you would expect everything to be taught in 1 language - Spanish! (other than an English lesson of course :))

Cirriculums are designed by the Education Authorities that schools have to follow, so in the UK for example each school has to teach the usual maths / english / sciences etc etc and for certain numbers of lessons each term. The Spanish authorities will have a similar system where they lay down the cirriculum that schools have to follow. Im afraid I cant give you detail of the cirriculums of either Country as I dont have access to the information ....

Maybe you should contact some of the schools in the area you are considering and ask for some information about the school and the cirriculum they are following ?

Sue :):ranger:
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I live inland costa del sol, not near to Torrevieja. Torrevieja is concidered to be full of expats and is very British.. Is it nice??? well horses for course... not my "cup of tea" tho. You'll have to see what the others say about the other areas.

I love my area, we're near to Malaga airport (hubby commutes and the flights are cheap to gatwick), we're close to Torremolinos if we wanna do some touristy stuff, we're in the countryside and near to several towns! Have a look at "google earth", that gives you an idea of where places are.

What you have to remember is that all of us on here, all love our own areas, so its really a matter of choice. Idealy you should come out and have a look at everywhere and then you can decide whats right for you.


Thank's Jo it's a hard one deciding we will get over to have a good look at all the areas I just would love to know a bit of knowledge about certain area's before we come over

Wherever you live in ¨Southern Spain you'll never be too far away from other British and all areas have expat communities, so dont worry too much, find an area that has the things you like, ie, sports centre, shopping centre, sea, nice views, gokart tracks.... whatever..!.

I'm on my own here with the kids alot and I'm not lonely, I think kids tend to find friends for you and you kind of network the rest.

Jo xxx
Thank's Jo
It's a hard one deciding.. we will get over to have a good look at all the areas I just would love to know a bit of knowledge about the different area's, It's so hard for us because we were origanally set on moving to Cyprus we love it there and have actually just returned back from getting married there, The only things about Cyprus is it is so so expensive to buy there. I went into a Oversea's property expert here in the UK who sell both properties in Cyprus and Spain, he said for us to consider spain as we are doing , so right now i'm really really confused the main thing is our children's Education and I am still 'none the wiser'.

So after long and hard thinking we have decided to go to spain I THINK!!!!

Thanks Jo rgds Lynda xx
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank so much sue I now understand!!! but do I do private or State it's a hard one!! I do worry in case we can't settle and need to return to the UK and I will worry that my children will be behind there education if they attend a spanish school. I think I might consider a Biolingual school do you know of any in the Alicante Area. I have contacted The English School and King's College for a prospectus but I did'nt actually look if they were English, Biolingual or Spanish. How silly of me. I do of course want my children to learn spanish and hopefully speak fluently in years to come but can this be acheived by attending a biolingual or Englsih school.

Can i ask sue what area do you live and what is it like!!

Lynda x
 

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Thank you very much for your kind reply's, Gosh so many choices, can you please tell me what the difference is between the Spanish Curriculum and English Curriculum, and what is a Billingual school... sorry for sounding thick but it's all very new to me. Is it final grade results for example GCSE's in UK and are the Spanish grades just as good as UK.
spanish schools obviously teach in spanish!

the curriculum actually isn't that different, but I reckon the level is a bit higher in spanish schools


I can compare maths directly, because I teach maths to kids both in the spanish & english system - & believe me - the level of maths required to graduate a spanish school at 16 is far higher than GCSE!


after 16 they do the Bachillerato - sort of european A levels

some schools in the UK are changing to these because they are considered to be a higher standard
 

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Thank so much sue I now understand!!! but do I do private or State it's a hard one!! I do worry in case we can't settle and need to return to the UK and I will worry that my children will be behind there education if they attend a spanish school. I think I might consider a Biolingual school do you know of any in the Alicante Area. I have contacted The English School and King's College for a prospectus but I did'nt actually look if they were English, Biolingual or Spanish. How silly of me. I do of course want my children to learn spanish and hopefully speak fluently in years to come but can this be acheived by attending a biolingual or Englsih school.

Can i ask sue what area do you live and what is it like!!

Lynda x
Hi Lynda

I can understand your concerns and worries :) we have all been there at some time or another!

I would ask why you are considering buying at this stage Lynda ? particularly given your comment about possibly returning the the UK if things dont work out as you would like.

In my opinion (and that of a lot of others on here I think :confused:) is that renting is a far better option at the start .... it allows you more options to change as you go on - if for example you decided you didnt like the area and wanted to be 2 miles further down the road ? if your child didnt settle in school and you needed to move into a different catchment area ? if you hated spain and wanted to go to Cyprus or the UK ???? ..... buying will severely limit your choices to change anything like this - renting will give you more flexibility .... even if its only for 6 months or 11 months (which is a standard contract for many people renting). I would seriously look at renting first .... ;)

I live in Estepona which is on the costa del sol .... right down at the bottom, half an hour away from Gibraltar. I absolutely love it here! and we are very happy living in Estepona ..... but as Jo mentioned earlier - we are all different and it wont suit everyone ... there isnt a huge expat community for example where I am - and it does retain a lot of its spanish-ness here ! which I like very much,

I do think you need to plan a trip or two .... even a couple of long weekends just to have a look at a couple of places along the coast will help .. and flights are cheaper now the main holidays are over ...

Sue :love:
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
spanish schools obviously teach in spanish!

the curriculum actually isn't that different, but I reckon the level is a bit higher in spanish schools


I can compare maths directly, because I teach maths to kids both in the spanish & english system - & believe me - the level of maths required to graduate a spanish school at 16 is far higher than GCSE!


after 16 they do the Bachillerato - sort of european A levels

some schools in the UK are changing to these because they are considered to be a higher standard
Fantastic just what I was needing to know does the same appliy for other lessions!! Also if my children are taught in a spanish school are the grades recognised worldwide.

Personally from your own experiences teaching would my child benefit better being taught in a Spanish school, Biolingual or English please help me to try and decide. As Ive said I want the best education for my son. I have to make the right choice 1st time as I dont want him to unsettled if I have to keep changing schools.

Thankyou so much Lynda x
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Lynda

I can understand your concerns and worries :) we have all been there at some time or another!

I would ask why you are considering buying at this stage Lynda ? particularly given your comment about possibly returning the the UK if things dont work out as you would like.

In my opinion (and that of a lot of others on here I think :confused:) is that renting is a far better option at the start .... it allows you more options to change as you go on - if for example you decided you didnt like the area and wanted to be 2 miles further down the road ? if your child didnt settle in school and you needed to move into a different catchment area ? if you hated spain and wanted to go to Cyprus or the UK ???? ..... buying will severely limit your choices to change anything like this - renting will give you more flexibility .... even if its only for 6 months or 11 months (which is a standard contract for many people renting). I would seriously look at renting first .... ;)

I live in Estepona which is on the costa del sol .... right down at the bottom, half an hour away from Gibraltar. I absolutely love it here! and we are very happy living in Estepona ..... but as Jo mentioned earlier - we are all different and it wont suit everyone ... there isnt a huge expat community for example where I am - and it does retain a lot of its spanish-ness here ! which I like very much,

I do think you need to plan a trip or two .... even a couple of long weekends just to have a look at a couple of places along the coast will help .. and flights are cheaper now the main holidays are over ...

Sue :love:

Hello Sue,

I probably didn't explain it properly Im really good at that? :alien: expect everybody to understand what I mean!!! No we will definatly be renting 1st with the intention of buying, I dont think once I'm over in Spain I will ever want to come back but you never know what the future brings. I really dont like the UK mainly because of the weather, I am on my own half the year I have no family close by so it will make no difference to me what so ever where I live in this world in fact I will probably see more of family and friends once we do move... Free Holidays for them!! I just want to a nice life for me and my family in the sun? What more can a girl want!!!

Someone has just gave me some great advice on another thread on Schooling and he has told me that the Spanish education is a much higher level of Education than British!!

Kind regards Lynda x
 

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Fantastic just what I was needing to know does the same appliy for other lessions!! Also if my children are taught in a spanish school are the grades recognised worldwide.

Personally from your own experiences teaching would my child benefit better being taught in a Spanish school, Biolingual or English please help me to try and decide. As Ive said I want the best education for my son. I have to make the right choice 1st time as I dont want him to unsettled if I have to keep changing schools.

Thankyou so much Lynda x
there are good & bad state schools & private schools

as someone else said ask around when you have decided where you want to live


if money was no object I would love my kids to go to a private truly Bilingual school - but they are really expensive!

with an 8 year old I wouldn't bother with International if you want your child to grow up bilingual - yes he will learn spanish - but it's not likely that he would ever be truly fluent

as it is, we are all very happy with the state system - they are both doing very well - my younger dd is dyslexic & gets tons of help

we live in an area where about half the education is in castellano & half in valenciano - both my girls speak both languages fluently, and of course english!

my older dd is also learning German!

as I said before, I believe the standards are higher than in UK schools - and they study all the same subjects

the Bachillerato is actually more 'portable' internationally than A levels, and is considered by many to be of a much higher standard
 

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there are good & bad state schools & private schools

as someone else said ask around when you have decided where you want to live




with an 8 year old I wouldn't bother with International if you want your child to grow up bilingual - yes he will learn spanish - but it's not likely that he would ever be truly fluent
Hello xabiachica!
I've found your comments on education really interesting, so thanks for the information you've taken the time to post.:)

I agree with the comment you made about there are good and bad private and state schools just as there are good or bad hairdressers . You just have to shop around, the only thing being that you're talking about your childrens' education which might be a bit more important than hair colour!!

BUT I didn't understand what you said about don't bother with international school for an 8 year old ... he's not likely to be truly fluent. An 8 year old will pick up the language fairly quickly, won't he?:confused::confused:
 

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It depends on how fluent tho doesnt it! I have a friend in the UK who is german and couldnt speak a word of English until she went there in her late teens early twenties. She's now 50 and speaks english perfectly.... there is a very slight hint of an accent, but its not noticable til you get to know her... or when she gets annoyed, then she sounds very german!!

Interestingly when we moved here we put both our kids into international school. My daughter who was 11 at the time, wanted to try state school, so last September we put he into the local school and she hated it, she had extra spanish lessons at home, but she simply "closed down" and refused to speak any spanish at all, she was also getting grief from some of the other english kids at the school, she found it hard to relate to the spanish ones, didnt understand her lessons, wouldnt do her homework (of which there was a huge ammount and we couldnt really help herwith it). By this easter, it was obvious things werent improving so we put her back into the international school where she flourished again, I'm sure there are some that would say we didnt give it enough time or we should have persevered, but rightly or wrongly, we felt our kids education is too important to mess with. We decided that who cares if they dont intergrate?? Spain has enough problems without us turning our daughter into another job seeker in a couple of years, and we accepted that we'd moved here too late for them

Anyway, my son (14yo) who stayed at the international school speaks infinately better spanish than his sister, they have spanish lessons at school everyday, they have lots of spanish kids in their classes and the whole school (altho lessons are taught in english, apart from "****" spanish history, culture etc which is taught in spanish) tends to "mix and match". When you hear them all in the playground its a real mixture of spanish and english... very strange and fascinates me actually, they flit from one language to another in mid conversation - even my son!!?!

Jo xxx
 

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Hello xabiachica!
I've found your comments on education really interesting, so thanks for the information you've taken the time to post.:)

I agree with the comment you made about there are good and bad private and state schools just as there are good or bad hairdressers . You just have to shop around, the only thing being that you're talking about your childrens' education which might be a bit more important than hair colour!!

BUT I didn't understand what you said about don't bother with international school for an 8 year old ... he's not likely to be truly fluent. An 8 year old will pick up the language fairly quickly, won't he?:confused::confused:
yes, but in an 'International' school with a british curriculum, as you know, the lessons are in English - at least they are in the schools in this area

they do learn spanish - as a subject, but without actually speaking spanish all day every day, they are unlikely to become fluent

I know of teens in this area who have eventually taken IGCSE at the International schools - just about scraped through if they even managed to pass

I have been teaching a 'homeschooled' boy this past year for his IGCSE spanish - I wasn't sure he'd pass - I actually recommended to his parents that we hold off until November

he did the higher level & got an A!

he rarely speaks spanish outside his lessons with me - so draw your own conclusions as to the level of spanish required

I'm not saying he didn't deserve the good grade - he did really pull out all the stops in the last few weeks before the exams - but the GCSE doesn't really give you the tools to speak much spanish - & it's way off fluency!
 

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yes, but in an 'International' school with a british curriculum, as you know, the lessons are in English - at least they are in the schools in this area

they do learn spanish - as a subject, but without actually speaking spanish all day every day, they are unlikely to become fluent

I know of teens in this area who have eventually taken IGCSE at the International schools - just about scraped through if they even managed to pass

I have been teaching a 'homeschooled' boy this past year for his IGCSE spanish - I wasn't sure he'd pass - I actually recommended to his parents that we hold off until November

he did the higher level & got an A!

he rarely speaks spanish outside his lessons with me - so draw your own conclusions as to the level of spanish required

I'm not saying he didn't deserve the good grade - he did really pull out all the stops in the last few weeks before the exams - but the GCSE doesn't really give you the tools to speak much spanish - & it's way off fluency!
I dont know about other International schools, but the school mine attend, Sunlands, Cartama has at least 40% spanish kids attending too (the other 60% is made up of several other nationalities, but predominantly British). This of course helps the spanish kids to learn english fluently, but also helps the british and other kids to learn spanish. They have an hours Spanish lesson everyday, Comosamiento (sp), which teaches them about Spain, Spanish history and culture is taught in Spanish. The curriculum and the lessons are in english, but its not as isolated and as strictly english spoken as you'd think. There are several Spanish, english speaking teachers, the admin staff are all Spanish and the whole school tends to run on Spoken Spanish.

Well done to you and your pupil BTW Lynn xx

Jo xx
 

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yes, but in an 'International' school with a british curriculum, as you know, the lessons are in English - at least they are in the schools in this area

they do learn spanish - as a subject, but without actually speaking spanish all day every day, they are unlikely to become fluent

I know of teens in this area who have eventually taken IGCSE at the International schools - just about scraped through if they even managed to pass

I have been teaching a 'homeschooled' boy this past year for his IGCSE spanish - I wasn't sure he'd pass - I actually recommended to his parents that we hold off until November

he did the higher level & got an A!

he rarely speaks spanish outside his lessons with me - so draw your own conclusions as to the level of spanish required

I'm not saying he didn't deserve the good grade - he did really pull out all the stops in the last few weeks before the exams - but the GCSE doesn't really give you the tools to speak much spanish - & it's way off fluency!
Mmm, I see. I suppose I was looking at it from the other way, a Spanish child attending a bi - lingual school, which is more the set up around here, and is what Jo also mentions in her post. If the child is going to have limited contact with Spanish, which is the usual set up for a newbie expat, learning Spanish is going to be difficult.

And, I join Jo in congratulating you (and your student) for the grade A as I know you weren't hoping for much!!:clap2: :clap2: :clap2:
 

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I dont know about other International schools, but the school mine attend, Sunlands, Cartama has at least 40% spanish kids attending too (the other 60% is made up of several other nationalities, but predominantly British). This of course helps the spanish kids to learn english fluently, but also helps the british and other kids to learn spanish. They have an hours Spanish lesson everyday, Comosamiento (sp), which teaches them about Spain, Spanish history and culture is taught in Spanish. The curriculum and the lessons are in english, but its not as isolated and as strictly english spoken as you'd think. There are several Spanish, english speaking teachers, the admin staff are all Spanish and the whole school tends to run on Spoken Spanish.

Well done to you and your pupil BTW Lynn xx

Jo xx
again underlines the point about different schools


the International school my 2 went to for a year was so very different!

yes, there were spanish kids in the school, but they were 'encouraged' to speak english in the playground - spanish wasn't exactly banned, but................


hardly any of the staff speak spanish, except those that teach it

the other International school close by is even more English! - it doesn't even pretend to be 'international'!!
 
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