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hello all,

we are looking to move to Spain, but unsure what is best area, as we have a 7 year old son, and his education is our main priority. we would be looking for long term rental. we are looking to come across in April for 3 weeks to look around, and would like all the help going!!! thanks:)
 

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hello all,

we are looking to move to Spain, but unsure what is best area, as we have a 7 year old son, and his education is our main priority. we would be looking for long term rental. we are looking to come across in April for 3 weeks to look around, and would like all the help going!!! thanks:)

Hi, Spains a big place, much bigger than Britain - What you need to do first of all is narrow it down with a "wish list" near the sea? near a good airport? in a city? in a tourist area? in the country? Then have a look at something like google earth and see how it looks from above! Barcelona area is expensive as is Marbella - you've got varying price structures in between the two

Schools are a priority, but there are good schools all over Spain. Do you want a state school (free and spanish) or an Inernational (Fee paying and English)?? So narrow it down a bit then we can give you some advise

Jo xxx
 

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hya Jo, many thanks for replying.

wehave looked at both types of schools, but think that the Spanish speaking school would be better for our son. At the moment we live around 5 miles from our main town. We live in a village with around 5000 people. This seems to suit us. So something similar would be ideal- at least to begin with. We would also be looking for some type of work. My husband at the moment has a bar/restaurant which he has with his brother- so he has experince in this field- but he could turn his hand to anything.. I am currenly employed as a civil servant where I have been for 31 years!. thanks Janice x
 

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Work will probably be your major hurdle, theres mass employment here. Even if your husband was totally fluent in written and spoken Spanish he'd really struggle and if he were lucky enough to get a job, the pay wont be much - I doubt it would be enough to live on. I suspect you need to go to an area where work might be a little easier to find, which would be in the tourist areas. There will be tough competition tho.

Have a look on google earth and see if you can see anywhere that looks about the same size as the place you live in now and then come over and visit - see what you think and see what work might be available??

Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jo, Thanks again fort his useful information. We will be coming across for 2 and a bit weeks end of March. We have been looking on line, but cant decide betweenCosta de sol and Costa Blanca.
janice x
 

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hya Jo, many thanks for replying.

wehave looked at both types of schools, but think that the Spanish speaking school would be better for our son. At the moment we live around 5 miles from our main town. We live in a village with around 5000 people. This seems to suit us. So something similar would be ideal- at least to begin with. We would also be looking for some type of work. My husband at the moment has a bar/restaurant which he has with his brother- so he has experince in this field- but he could turn his hand to anything.. I am currenly employed as a civil servant where I have been for 31 years!. thanks Janice x
Work is much harder to find than schools. Therefore it makes sense to find a decent job first and worry about schools later. So far as bar work goes, that's just abiut above picking fruit in terms of pay and job security - even running a bar of your own is almost never a money-maker.
 

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hya Jo, many thanks for replying.

wehave looked at both types of schools, but think that the Spanish speaking school would be better for our son. At the moment we live around 5 miles from our main town. We live in a village with around 5000 people. This seems to suit us. So something similar would be ideal- at least to begin with. We would also be looking for some type of work. My husband at the moment has a bar/restaurant which he has with his brother- so he has experince in this field- but he could turn his hand to anything.. I am currenly employed as a civil servant where I have been for 31 years!. thanks Janice x
31 years!! Well, you're certainly going for a change!!:D

As people have said the fly in the ointment is the looking for work and for that reason alone you might be better off leaving this move until next year. Spain is second only to Latvia in the unemployment stakes and it's currently running at approx 20%, over 4 million. Here's a recent article...

Spain's economic blind spots | Luis Garicano | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Of course, the good news is that house prices are pretty low...,

I would do a lot of Googling on towns in Spain with 5000 inhabitants, property and jobs. If you search the forum for jobs, work, unemployment you'll come up with some useful info and websites.
Good luck and tell us what you decide!!
 

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Hi, all i can help with is letting you know what the schools are like in spain. First they are not like british schools, having moved to the costa blanca in september with a 6 and 7 year old. I can tell you it is not allways easy on the child, but it does depend on the child.

My very outgoing 6 year old, stuns me everyday with her spanish and "valenciano" has hundreads of friends and insists now that she speaks spanish so is spanish and not english!!!!. My 7 year old much quieter has difficulties making friends, HATES the food at lunch time and refuses to eat, which is causing problems with the dinner ladies, bear in mind the dinner hour is 3 hours long so is a big and major part of the day. Schools have 5, 1 hour lessons.

Unlike the Uk there are not really keyed up to teaching in a fun way. The children sit in twos in rows they are there to learn and nothing but nothing deviates from the learning process. The children are taught from work books which you pay for costing about 250-300 euros a year. All the schools use these work books so that standards are kept high. The work books are fantastic, colourful bright and my children love them. My children in 6 months are above and beyond what there british counterparts are doing, personally i feel it is because you dont get the messing around like you do in the Uk schools, which i like but that is personal preference.

The day starts at 9.00 and finishes at 5.00. there will be homework everyday so if you dont know spanish you going to need to learn to help him, www.spanishdict. is a fantastic website that i use all the time, but better still get a spanish friend to do his homework with him and teach their child english. Myself and my children have lots of friends here partly because they encourage there children to play with mine so that the children can pick up much desired english language skills.

If you choose costa blanca then your child will need to learn valenciano as well but this does vary on area, so if you have any preferences either way check the area you are moving to first.

Arts and crafts forget it colouring at best is what they do, so we have a special night where we do sticking painting and all that stuff. PE 3 times a week Maths every day! my children can do religion but i opted for extra spanish lessons for them. When looking at schools hire an interpreter to take with you because a lot of schools will not let you through the gates unless you are fluent in spanish.

Personally i think my children are getting a much better education here than back in the Uk. It is more like UK schools in the 60,s good luck hope it helps
 

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My 7 year old much quieter has difficulties making friends, HATES the food at lunch time and refuses to eat, which is causing problems with the dinner ladies, bear in mind the dinner hour is 3 hours long so is a big and major part of the day. Schools have 5, 1 hour lessons.

Unlike the Uk there are not really keyed up to teaching in a fun way. The children sit in twos in rows they are there to learn and nothing but nothing deviates from the learning process. The children are taught from work books which you pay for costing about 250-300 euros a year. All the schools use these work books so that standards are kept high. The work books are fantastic, colourful bright and my children love them. My children in 6 months are above and beyond what there british counterparts are doing, personally i feel it is because you dont get the messing around like you do in the Uk schools, which i like but that is personal preference.

The day starts at 9.00 and finishes at 5.00. there will be homework everyday so if you dont know spanish you going to need to learn to help him,
If you choose costa blanca then your child will need to learn valenciano as well but this does vary on area, so if you have any preferences either way check the area you are moving to first.

Arts and crafts forget it colouring at best is what they do, so we have a special night where we do sticking painting and all that stuff. PE 3 times a week Maths every day! my children can do religion but i opted for extra spanish lessons for them. When looking at schools hire an interpreter to take with you because a lot of schools will not let you through the gates unless you are fluent in spanish.

Personally i think my children are getting a much better education here than back in the Uk. It is more like UK schools in the 60,s good luck hope it helps
Hi Chris,
Very useful info about schools. (I've even used the new thanks button to give you some reputation!!)
But, just to set the record straight...
State primary schools here have different time tables. They do :nono: not have a 3 hour lunch break - it's usually 2 hours (12:30 - 14:30 ish) and the school day is from 9:00 - 16:00. Some schools have jornado intensivo which means they start earlier and leave after lunch or at lunch time if they go home for lunch. Some schools here are bilingual (English Spanish) which is smth they're bringing in bit by bit. It's discussed on other threads so if you search bilingual schools you should get some info.
You have to buy the books, but in some places everyone gets some money from the town hall and you can always apply for a grant. We got it one year and then never again...
Definitely agree about the teaching style. As dry as old biscuits. However I'm not so sure they learn a lot that's worth learning. They do little group work, or thinking work. Most of what my daughter did was of the open -the -book -and -copy -it- down, type, or memorise this without knowing what it means type, which is why we moved her to a more modern thinking school when she was 8.
And yes,:sad: forget about arts and crafts. My daughter never painted in the first school. I made sure we got the paints out regularly at home and racked my brains to remember past Blue Peter programmes.
Homework can be very important... I think it's law to have maths and Spanish every day. (Isn't it in the UK??)((Maths and English, I mean))!!
It's an education of a sort, it doesn't seem to encourage analysing, discovering, experimenting, drawing conclusions, but it does get the basics covered...
That's my experience anyway.:)
 

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Hi ya PW i live in gata de gorgos on the costa blanca in the valencia region, my friend whos children go to another school have a two and a half hour lunch break, mine have three, i have started to pick them up twice a week at lunch time now because of the eating problems, they refuse even to open the school gates until 2.50pm they break for lunch at 12 my children have an incredibly long day as they get the school bus at 8.30 and home at 5.30 we are in a mainly spanish area all though only 15 mins inland i am not aware of any school here doing billingual because this is valencia the schools here recieve monies from the regional government for teaching in valenciano, so children here can choose valenciano or progressive valenciano, which means over a period of four years all there lessons will be in valenciano. There is a spanish stream in the local high school but is poorly funded with limited options as the regional goverment here are very very eager to make valenciano the primary language. I do remember a descussion on teaching english in many of the classes in high school but the teachers nor the regional government liked the idea so nothing has ever come of it. I think what both our experinces show is that spain differs from region to region from one town to another
 

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Pesky Wesky sorry me again quite interested in the billingual school bit do you have any links for me to read up on, have not brought here yet so still free to make other choices???
 

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Hi ya PW i live in gata de gorgos on the costa blanca in the valencia region, my friend whos children go to another school have a two and a half hour lunch break, mine have three, i have started to pick them up twice a week at lunch time now because of the eating problems, they refuse even to open the school gates until 2.50pm they break for lunch at 12 my children have an incredibly long day as they get the school bus at 8.30 and home at 5.30 we are in a mainly spanish area all though only 15 mins inland i am not aware of any school here doing billingual because this is valencia the schools here recieve monies from the regional government for teaching in valenciano, so children here can choose valenciano or progressive valenciano, which means over a period of four years all there lessons will be in valenciano. There is a spanish stream in the local high school but is poorly funded with limited options as the regional goverment here are very very eager to make valenciano the primary language. I do remember a descussion on teaching english in many of the classes in high school but the teachers nor the regional government liked the idea so nothing has ever come of it. I think what both our experinces show is that spain differs from region to region from one town to another
Yes, I'm learning from this forum that just someone moving from one region to another should check how to do just about everything, because it's probably different!!
 

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Pesky Wesky sorry me again quite interested in the billingual school bit do you have any links for me to read up on, have not brought here yet so still free to make other choices???
There's a bit about it on the Teaching English thread, but it's a not very positive I'm afraid. I did speak to someone briefly today though, whose daughter goes to one of these schools, and she seemed pretty happy with it. I'll see if I can find out some more because it's the first positive reaction I've heard!!
 

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I think what both our experinces show is that spain differs from region to region from one town to another
Definately! When my daughter went to "primary" state school, the start time was 9am and she finished at 1.45pm with 15 minutes for lunch - altho lunch wasnt provided. kids were generally sent in with a snack and a drink. I think the thinking behind it was that the kids finished early enough to have lunch when they got home. Also a lot of schools change their hours depending on the time of the year - I think Rubys primary school had different times in the winter terms - dunno, she didnt stay there long enough. She's now in "secondary" and she starts at 8.15am, has 50 mins for lunch and finishes at 2.45pm! The school she's at now has a full bilingual facility, but its not for British kids - only Spanish allowed!!!!

Jo xxx
 

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lol, thank you PW will be intresting to read, jojo your children where lucky to finish at 1.45 my son would be in heaven they also have a snack time for 30 mins from 10.40 to 11.10 it is not until they go to high school that they will finish at 2.00 they will then start at 8.00
 

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HUGE differences all over Spain! And even within respective autonomous communities.

All three (Spanish state school) start at 9.30 am here. Youngest son (quinto de la primaria) breaks for lunch at 2.20pm. Twins in primero de la ESO break at 3.00pm. Youngest finishes school after lunch at around 3pm. Twins get out around 3.30pm but on Mondays return to lessons and don't finish until around 5.30pm.

Homework : had lots of parent/teacher meetings discussing this issue which is a very hot topic here - and teachers/funcionarios has been discussed in great length as well. Basically, it is agreed that homework, whether set as assignments or subjects to be completed or studying, the children should spend approx 3 hours after school. So, if they only have to complete a few items that they didn't finish during the day, or have been set some homework, either way they need to "repasar" everything. Good thing about this, after quite a bit of adjustment, is the fact that they are better prepared for the instituto. Huge adjustment.

Your comment regarding plastica - or art subjects. This year, my twins started ESO - they spent the first trimestre on geometry and technical drawing. Long ago the days spent "colouring in" and imaginative projects!! It's been a hurdle - but the art teacher and mathematics teacher are feeding off each other here in that respect. And continual exams, "controles" etc. They make my school days seem a piece of cake!!:)

Tallulah.x
 

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Oh yes, also here (where we are in Galicia), if you are a resident based in the Concello, then lunches are free. Those that travel to the school from outside of this area have to pay - a few years ago now, it was approx 35 euros per month. Cheap to some!!;)

Three courses. And of course, during Primaria, they also provide during one of the breaks (recreos - they have two) a "lacteo" - a yoghurty/milky drink.

I also send the kids in with something to eat - usually a sandwich - cos it seems a helluva long time until lunch...
 

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HUGE differences all over Spain! And even within respective autonomous communities.



Tallulah.x
Well, I knew there were differences, but I had no idea that things were soooo different. Just look at all the different timetables we've got here. OK, primary and secondary are different, but even so! (I'll just chuck in my daughter's timetable - 8:30 - 14:10, no lunch, one 30 min break...)
Then if we start comparing different countries!! Inés is doing an exchange with Slovenia soon. The Slovenian students, at 16, are language specialists I think, and the exchange is part of their syllabus!!
 

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Well, I knew there were differences, but I had no idea that things were soooo different. Just look at all the different timetables we've got here. OK, primary and secondary are different, but even so! (I'll just chuck in my daughter's timetable - 8:30 - 14:10, no lunch, one 30 min break...)
Then if we start comparing different countries!! Inés is doing an exchange with Slovenia soon. The Slovenian students, at 16, are language specialists I think, and the exchange is part of their syllabus!!
I'll chuck in mine too

dd1 in ESO 8:00 - 1:50 or 2:00 = one half hour break - from next near she'll be finishing at 3:00 some days

dd2 in primaria 9:00 - 11:00 11:30 - 12:30 3:00 - 4:30

another difference from Tally's - in primaria - if you live more than 3kms from the school & go on the school bus, lunch is free (no free snack though for anyone) - otherwise you pay for it
 

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Oh yes, also here (where we are in Galicia), if you are a resident based in the Concello, then lunches are free. Those that travel to the school from outside of this area have to pay - a few years ago now, it was approx 35 euros per month. Cheap to some!!;)

Three courses. And of course, during Primaria, they also provide during one of the breaks (recreos - they have two) a "lacteo" - a yoghurty/milky drink.

I also send the kids in with something to eat - usually a sandwich - cos it seems a helluva long time until lunch...
No free lunches in secondary school here, and no school kitchens either!! There is always a cafetería, which is like having a bar on the school premises which I always find strange (don't think they serve alcohol though??), but they're geared up to kids sandwiches (I've seen crisp and tomato sauce sandwiches on sale:eek:) and snacks, not meals.
My SIL is a secondary school teacher in the Basque country and she says that her school doesn't have a cafeteria or school meals.
 
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