In terms of education, Spain is often thought of as following the example set by the rest of the world when in reality they are quietly leading the way.

Age three to five
The school year runs September to June with the children starting school in Spain the year they turn three (between January and December in the same year). This is not compulsory but it is the option preferred by most as it is free, opposed to nursery care, and it provides young minds with a fantastic head start in life.

At this age, the emphasis is very much on fun but the children are gaining all of the key tools they need to excel in later education and life. At the same time, the children are learning to read, write, count, as well as interact with each other. Also at this tender age, children in the northern Costa Blanca are typically learning in Castellano, Valenciano, and English.

All of this combined, means by the time the children are graduating this first stage of
education they are conversing in more than one language with `joined up´ handwriting. All of this at the age when most children are starting school for the first time in the UK.

Age six to eleven
Primary education in Spain is far removed from the traditional primary education we remember from the UK.

The children do not wear a uniform as brands and the latest fashions do not mean anything to them. There appears to be more of a sense of ‘children being children’.

The system is more informal with the children calling their teachers by their first names, as opposed to surnames.

At this stage, the children are really required to concentrate hard on their studies and to learn with examinations in all subjects every three weeks, on average.

The children are required to reach a level of learning in all subjects before they move on to the next.

From the first day of school, the children are encouraged to take part in all of the local fiestas, which bring whole communities together and keep village life a strong part of Spanish tradition.

The Institute
Age 11+
For most children, starting year one of four educational years can be the scariest part, but definitely the most exciting. The institute allows children to have more freedom, as they have shorter days. Students are at school from eight o´clock until two/three o´clock; however, it is also a big step up as students are hit with bigger books and a more demanding timetable. Contrary to lower schools, here they only allow one 25-minute break and one 15-minute break in between the 7 hours of continuous learning.

There are no morning and afternoon registrations, teachers take a register at the start of each lesson and, if you are absent, you must justify your absence. Of course, at this stage they are still children so it is therefore less serious.

The Spanish education system allows you to repeat the whole year if you fail or feel you could do better.

After the fourth year, as the new law states, children must now take an examination in each subject and pass them all in order to progress to the baccalaureate (sixth form) years.

Once students hit sixth form, it is different again, with teachers and students both being more serious and mature, as here they go by “if you don’t want to be here, don’t be here”, it is purely voluntary. These two years see four obligatory subjects and some optional, you must study either English or French as a language. You are constantly examined throughout to fully prepare you for what comes next, ‘The Selectivo’; this is the final part. This decides whether you get into university or not, and consists of five obligatory exams and four optional exams, you can also do some ‘boost grade’ exams for a better score.

Once this part is over, you have been through all stages and are fully educated. If you fail these last ‘Selectivo’ exams, there are not many other options; however, this is highly unlikely as the pass rate is almost 100%.

Below is a selection of schools in the Marina Alta area, both Spanish and International:

Calpe - CEIP Azorín Calp  (Infants, Primary) - CP Gabriel Miro (Infants, Primary) - CPEE Gargasindi (Special Education) - IES Ifach (Secondary, Baccalaureate) - CEIP JM Paternina (Infants, Primary)
Municipal Silene D´ifac (Infants) CEIP Olta (Infants, Primary)

Moraira - CEIP Cap D’or (Infants, Primary)

Javea - PRIVATE  Xabia International Collage (Primary, Secondary, Baccalaureate) - Colegio Almanecer (Infants, Primary) - CP Graull (Infants, Primary) - Marian Maculada (Infants, Primary, Secondary)
Centro Público Vicente Tena (Infants, Primary) - CEIP port de Javea (Infants, Primary)

Jalon - PRIVATE  Lady Elizabeth School  (Secondary, Baccalaureate)

Benitachell - PRIVATE  Lady Elizabeth School  (Infants, Primary)

Benissa - Josep Iborra (Secondary, Baccalaureate)
La Purisima (Private Infants School)
CP Manuel Bru (Infants, Primary) - Municipal (Music School) - Padre Melchor (Infants, Primary)

For further information on this subject, please contact the SELECT VILLAS MORAIRA team!


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