Finding the best schools for your children… american-school-barcelona

Choosing the right kind of school for your child is a difficult choice when relocating to a new country. It depends very much on the individual child and the family circumstances as to what school is best for you.

To immerse a child into a state school helps them to learn the language quickly and also aids integration into a new society and culture. On the other hand not all children settle well in state schools so a private school or international school may be the better option for you.

State schools are free to attend and parents only have to pay for books (although they might be expensive), or a small yearly fee (Be sure to enquire about this as there are no set prices.)

Another important thing to note is that the schools won’t be bilingual. You child will be completely taught in Spanish with the exception of an English as a second language class a few hours a week.

Within the state school system, since schooling is compulsory, a lot more accommodations are made for non Spanish speakers. Your child will be placed in a special, low enrolment classroom where he or she is then taught Spanish for non-native speakers.

Private schools Like state schools, most private schools operate a Monday to Friday timetable. Private schools in Spain teach a variety of course levels, including the British GCSE and A-level examinations, the American High School Diploma and its college entrance examinations (e.g. ACT, SAT, achievement tests and AP exams), the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Spanish bachillerato.

Most Spanish private schools, like schools teaching entirely in Spanish, are state-subsidised and follow the Spanish state-school curriculum.

International schools are taught in English with second or third languages  (usually Spanish and Catalan) taught alongside and some classes will be in these other languages. The schools either follow a particular educational curriculum throughout such as the British or American system or switch after primary level to the local curriculum.  A Spanish secondary system means that pupils are taught ESO (Obligatory Secondary Education) from 12-16 years and then Bachilleratos from 16-18 years if they wish to enter University.

The Bachilleratos allow students to enter Spanish, American and European universities.  Even though a Spanish secondary education may be taught, the English language is maintained throughout as well as Spanish and Catalan. Some subjects may be taught in English and pupils may be prepared for Cambridge Exams to encourage a high level of English learning. Even international schools have a legal obligation to teach the Spanish and Catalan language as well as a knowledge of the country’s History and Geography.

Universities There are 7 universities in Barcelona and 12 in total in the whole of Catalonia, for a list of all the universities in Spain see HERE.

Here are some useful links regarding schools in Spain:

http://www.bestschoolsabroad.com/

http://www.britishcouncil.org/spain/en/british-schools-spain

http://www.nabss.org/