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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just woundering if anyone has an english child that goes to school in greece particularly in zakynthos ... Katastari area mainly ... Im lookin for answers to a few questions ...

How old do children have to be to attend schools??

Whats the application process?

What hours do the children go to school and what holidays do they have?

What sort of expriences have you/your children had?? Good/bad??

Answers to any of these will be greatly appreciated xx many thanks x
 

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Hi, I'm in Skopelos not Zakynthos but I have a 6 year old in school here.

They have to start school when they're 6 or in their 6th year but they can go to a kindergarten before that (my daughter was in kindergarten from 4 years when we moved here).

The application process generally just involves going along to the school and asking to enrol your child there.

My daughter goes to school from 8.15am to 12.25pm and then has homework every night. Holidays are pretty much the same as England except summer when they have 3 months' off.

I think the experience depends on the child. We put our daughter into kindergarten less than a week after we arrived here and she loved it straight away. She picked up greek by listening to the other children and the teachers and now speaks it fluently and has just learned to read and write it as well.

Good luck :)
 

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When you say they have to start the year they turn 6, does that mean start 1st grade? or start Kindergarten? My son's birthday is in September and I was hoping to start 1st grade the year he will turn 7. That means he'll be 6 when he starts, but 7 a few weeks later. Is all Kindergarten half day? Does your daughter still speak English?
 

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Hi, yes that means 1st Grade in the junior school. My daughter started in the September when she was 5 as she wasn't 6 until October so I think your son would be expected to start in the September he turns 6.
All Greek schools are half day. Kindergarten, which isn't compulsory, runs on this island from 9.00 till 3.30 though the children could stay just until lunchtime if they wanted.
My daughter speaks English at home and Greek at school although when she draws a picture she writes what it is in Greek but I'm hoping to rectify that as I'm teaching her to read and write English at home :)
 

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Hi, yes that means 1st Grade in the junior school. My daughter started in the September when she was 5 as she wasn't 6 until October so I think your son would be expected to start in the September he turns 6.
All Greek schools are half day. Kindergarten, which isn't compulsory, runs on this island from 9.00 till 3.30 though the children could stay just until lunchtime if they wanted.
My daughter speaks English at home and Greek at school although when she draws a picture she writes what it is in Greek but I'm hoping to rectify that as I'm teaching her to read and write English at home :)
Thank you for your response. We are moving this spring/summer. My son will be 6 in 2012 so I should probably let him go to Kindergaten the year he turns 5. I teach English as a second language here in NY so I was planning on teaching my son how to read and write in English as home or with a tutor. I know here in the states the teachers are very aware of strategies to teach speakers of other languages. Do you think the Greek schools are good with English speaking students? Are they considerate and comforting to them? I am very worried for him.
 

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Hi, it really depends on where you are moving to and how used they are to having foreign children in their school. My daughter is the only English child on the island but being so young she has adapted really quickly.
I'd advise you to get your son in to kindergarten asap once you move over as it is the best way for him to get used to the language and have a bit of structure to his day. My daughter was only a few months past her 4th birthday when we put her in kindergarten and from the moment she got there she loved it! By listening to the teachers and children she quickly started to understand them and after a while felt confident enough to speak Greek back to them.
Greek people love children, your son will be fine - just don't let any fears you may have rub off on him or he might think he should be worried and that could affect him settling.
 

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Thank you for your response. I really appreciate it. It has made me feel better. I will be moving to a small village near Korintho. Most likely my son will be the only English speaking student. He will be 4 in September of this year. I will put him in Kindergarten this year if I can. Or at least a full-day preschool. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi, I'm in Skopelos not Zakynthos but I have a 6 year old in school here.

They have to start school when they're 6 or in their 6th year but they can go to a kindergarten before that (my daughter was in kindergarten from 4 years when we moved here).

The application process generally just involves going along to the school and asking to enrol your child there.

My daughter goes to school from 8.15am to 12.25pm and then has homework every night. Holidays are pretty much the same as England except summer when they have 3 months' off.

I think the experience depends on the child. We put our daughter into kindergarten less than a week after we arrived here and she loved it straight away. She picked up greek by listening to the other children and the teachers and now speaks it fluently and has just learned to read and write it as well.

Good luck :)
Thankyou very much that has been very usefull :D do you have to pay for them to go to kindergarten? And what sort of things do they do there ?? Thankyou very much again for the reply x
 

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Hi, if it's a state run kindergarten then you don't have to pay although you will be presented with a list at the beginning of the school year of things you have to buy for your child e.g felt tips, crayons, card, drawing pads etc. It can work out fairly expensive but it happens throughout the schools as well so it's just one of those things you have to grin and bear :rolleyes:
My daughter was at kindergarten for 6 hours a day during which time she'd have lunch and a couple of break times. They wouldn't really do formal learning but more a general look at a subject. For example when learning about art they went to different workshops on the island to see pots being made, or paintings being done etc. It really depends on the teachers, I don't think any 2 kindergartens are the same.
 

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I put my son into Greek Kindergarten 18 months ago when he had already completed Reception Class in the school in England. That was one of my main reasons for moving here as soon as I did, as I knew it would give him a year of being able to learn the language without the pressure of *big* school. The only thing I had to do to enrol him was to go to the school and fill in some forms, and .. maybe this depends on area and school, but he had to have an eye check and a dental check. His only problems initially were shyness and although he could understand a lot of what people were saying to him, he couldn't actually answer them back in Greek.

Over the summer I really noticed a big change in his confidence and he was becoming far more fluent with the language and since then has just gone from strength to strength.

He started in protee in the big school last September (he has just turned 7 now) and he has come on in leaps and bounds and having spoken to his teacher, I find that he is top of the class for reading and most other things which I think is so amazing. Kids really are so adaptable and receptive to learning at such a young age.

The process for enrollment was more in depth with the big school though, he had to have an eye test, heart test (which I think is a great idea btw) and a letter from his paediatrician to say he was fit enough to do the games/PE, a translated copy of his UK birth certificate plus all the other usual forms to fill in.

He goes to school from 8.10am until 12.30pm and there are no half-terms here .. so it's a long haul from September to Christmas and then January to Easter and then of course through to the summer where they get a long time off :)

I have to say that I am so glad that I made the move because life for my son here is so much better I think. It's wonderful to see that he can have a real childhood and just be so happy. I love it!
 

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I put my son into Greek Kindergarten 18 months ago when he had already completed Reception Class in the school in England. That was one of my main reasons for moving here as soon as I did, as I knew it would give him a year of being able to learn the language without the pressure of *big* school. The only thing I had to do to enrol him was to go to the school and fill in some forms, and .. maybe this depends on area and school, but he had to have an eye check and a dental check. His only problems initially were shyness and although he could understand a lot of what people were saying to him, he couldn't actually answer them back in Greek.

Over the summer I really noticed a big change in his confidence and he was becoming far more fluent with the language and since then has just gone from strength to strength.

He started in protee in the big school last September (he has just turned 7 now) and he has come on in leaps and bounds and having spoken to his teacher, I find that he is top of the class for reading and most other things which I think is so amazing. Kids really are so adaptable and receptive to learning at such a young age.

The process for enrollment was more in depth with the big school though, he had to have an eye test, heart test (which I think is a great idea btw) and a letter from his paediatrician to say he was fit enough to do the games/PE, a translated copy of his UK birth certificate plus all the other usual forms to fill in.

He goes to school from 8.10am until 12.30pm and there are no half-terms here .. so it's a long haul from September to Christmas and then January to Easter and then of course through to the summer where they get a long time off :)

I have to say that I am so glad that I made the move because life for my son here is so much better I think. It's wonderful to see that he can have a real childhood and just be so happy. I love it!
The thing I am most scared about is my son transitioning to the Greek culture. We have been there a couple of times, but he just started preschool in the states this year. He is three years old. We are moving in a couple of months and i hope to put him in preschool ASAP. Then I believe he will have 1 more year of preschool until Kindergarten begins.

Just curious. Why do you think your son is getting a better childhood in Greece rather than the UK? Who checks his heart, the pediatritian? I just want to know. My family here in the states are giving me a very hard time about my husband and I moving to Greece. They keep saying that Greece is a male dominated country and that my son will never be allowed to leave. I think this is crazy, but I can't find a way to convince them otherwise.
 

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Hi Guys - this was a really useful thread. We are seriously considering moving to Greece (Athens) although would love to go to an island but anyway Hubby is from Athens. We are constantly weighing up all the different options as we have two kids one 7 and the other 2. Hubby speaks greek to the little one but didn't with the older one although his ear is tuned in. Having read this thread it has given me a lot of positive confirmation about the school aspect of our potential move.

Thanks guys!
 
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