Education in Spain (Your comments)
On moving to Spain 6 years ago, the one thing my husband and I were determined on, was that our children would have a Spanish School education, this was for a few reasons.
- We were moving to Spain, to embrace the whole culture,and provide our children with an insight in another way of life .
- Moving to the rural campo of the Montes de Malaga, travelling to and from the Costa was not viable.
- Spanish state education is free, for European citizens, thus not adding another financial worry to us on our road to a new life.
With 3 children starting school, our first insight was to “Colegio Publico Rural” a tiny old chapel, with just 2 classes, and a total of 12 children. It was a perfect soft start, an ideal platform for them to get the grasp of the language, within a very small community. Some of the delights and freedom the children had were wonderful, and have created warm memories for them and us, like when the local Baker would drive past once a week, toot his horn and shout “Chuches” all the children would run out, and collect their booty, and like in P.E lessons, when an old Tyre would be thrown, or the nearest mountain covered in olives trees would be climbed, and in Science the local river well “trickle” would be explored for bugs, and turtles … All very Swallows and Amazons but all very true.
As they grew older, it was perhaps now the time, to get more structure in the education so we transferred them to the local town of Colmenar for their Schooling still all 3 children (aged 7,12,14) all under one roof, transport to and from provided.
I think the main issue as parents we all do, but must try not to do is compare U.K and Spanish schooling systems, here there is a strict curriculum they must follow, with little flexibility and creativity, but school finishes early so family life, and encouragement from parents to explore other activities is a must.
Continous monitoring throughout each term, provides parents with a constant update of their childrens progress, good or bad. If children s progress is not sufficient they must repeat their year, sounds harsh but there is no stigma attached, and it makes sure all students are at a certain level of understanding, it also encourages children to work hard to succeed.
Sometimes, we find communication is limited, but more often than not this is because the children haven’t passed on the message correctly, and we must not forget that we are in Spain, and often things are all done at the last minute, thats just the way it is, but perhaps one of the lessons we find hardest to learn.
It often amazes me when the children come home and say “I have to have a new book for tomorrow” or ‘we are going on a school trip on Friday and I need 15 euros’ I’m often herad to say ” Do they know we live miles from town,” or “do they know we are in the middle of a crisis” but its just one of those things we come to deal with.
There are always pros and cons, in any situation, I like to focus on the benefits and for us as a family they are ;
- 3 Children bilingual.
- 3 Children part of a local community.
- 3 Children who are still children.
Also free Laptops provided by Junta de Andalucia for Homework & School study. Now that’s good !
Look forward to your updates my website www.larosilla.com