Schooling – International Schools

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This topic contains 33 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Chopera Chopera 5 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #56078
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    Anonymous
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    I have three children aged 2,6 and 8 years.

    We are looking into a move from France to Valenica however will look to other parts of Spain as well.

    Our Children speak French and English very well. What experience does anyone have of the international schools in Spain/

    We are loooking at Caxton College in Valenica at present.

    Concerns are as to workload, character development/supression, discipline to name a few.

    The school has a great reputation for education, we will be going to look at the school and speak to some of the children hopfeuly – in March.

    We have well balanced kids adn woudl not want to curb their expressive nature or suffer in any way.

    The next option if we dont fnd anything suitable is going back to the uk – last option!!

  • #102754
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    Anonymous
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    Anyone?

  • #102764
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    Anonymous
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    hi floating

    I’ll just get this out of the way to start with: I know nothing about that school at all.

    Having said that, my fiancée is Valencian, and about 10 months ago we purchased a flat in the city. We currently reside in Madrid but the idea is to make the move there in the next year or two. I’m pretty familiar with the area.

    What I do know is that the area you’re looking in has a few international schools – I believe the American school is located nearby. However that is a good long distance from the city, I don’t know if you’re planning to board your children there, or what…. I know, closer to the city, Mas Camarena is a school with a very good reputation, regularly ranked #1 in the Valencian Community.

    Don’t know if I can help much more with schools but if you have any other questions I can do my best

    Take care

  • #102801
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    Anonymous
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    Thanks for the reply – Im not keen on the American school and would like the children to follow the british educational system.

    Where this will be a big change from France – they have English and French under their belts, I was not keen on throwing them in at the deep end and going into a Spanish only school. This way they get to immerse at a slower pace.

    Thanks again.

  • #102582
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    Anonymous
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    Been doing some research.

    A top private school in Barcelona will cost around €6,000/year. The same level of private (day) schooling in London costs around €16,000/year, at least that is what it costs a friend of mine in West London.

    The price differential is serious – more than 50% cheaper in Spain.

    You can also get very good private but state-subsidised schools in Barcelona for around €3,000-4,000/year.

  • #102589
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    katy
    Spectator

    Comparing private schools in any country is more complex than just price. It is about value for money, facilities, reputation etc. I haven’t seen any in Spain to compare with private schools in the UK. I admit I haven’t seem many and don’t know the Barcelona ones but have seen a few in málaga province and a couple in sevilla. Many of the cheaper ones are part funded by the catholic church.

    My friends children went to one of the best spanish private schools in marbella area, favoured by all the professional spanish but it was quite grim with scarcely any outdoor area or extra activities. The one I attended in the UK even had a boating lake in the grounds and my Grandson’s has a proper theatre, all weather sports pitches etc. That costs around £5500 per term. Some of the International schools on the CDS charge around £10000 per annum

  • #102594
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    Anonymous
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    Certainly the facilities for Caxton look amazing. Our main thing is that along with the education – their results are very very good and seen as one of the best schools in Spain, that the children get a life. I dont what an eton experience for them, there is more to life than just being overwhelmed with school – we will see in a few weeks time.

  • #102578
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    Anonymous
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    came across this – which shows a lot if not all the british international schools. Amazing how many there are in the Valenica region.

    http://www.britishcouncil.org/colegios_britani … ad__2_.xls

  • #102886
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    peterhun
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    @mark wrote:

    Been doing some research.

    A top private school in Barcelona will cost around €6,000/year. The same level of private (day) schooling in London costs around €16,000/year, at least that is what it costs a friend of mine in West London.

    The price differential is serious – more than 50% cheaper in Spain.

    You can also get very good private but state-subsidised schools in Barcelona for around €3,000-4,000/year.

    16K euro per year for UK schools seems the standard from what I have seen. Its makes the £9k maximum university fee in the UK seems a bargain in comparison. For reference, international schools in Poland seem to charge the same as Spain and I would not be surprised if it was the same elsewhere in the EU.

  • #103603
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    Anonymous
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    Well – as an update – we visited Caxton and were very impressed by both the facilities and also how the pupils appear. With all fees considered, we should be looking to budget 700 eur per month – for 10 months of the year – not 12 like in the uk, that woudl incl absolutely everything.

    A very positive experience, we a re due to go back in May for the children to sit entrance tests.

  • #103608
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    Anonymous
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    Looks like a great school.

    Given the cost of private education in the UK, you have to wonder why parents don’t send their kids to boarding schools in Spain like Caxton. Would work out significantly cheaper and kids would get a fluent second language thrown in.

  • #103611
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    Anonymous
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    Mark, As you are probebly aware there are similar private schools in Madrid & Paris. I have spoken to friends who are struggling to pay the fees. Their view’s are that they would like to have the children at home for experience, bonding etc,etc.

    I did sugguest to them that with low cost airline the children could come home for the weekend or the parents could visit them. This weekend get together’s would probebly have a better quality time.

    I feel that parents who send their children to another country/boarding school are special people & the cost of education is not a consideration for them.

  • #103619
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    katy
    Spectator

    I would have myself certified before sending my kids to board in a school in Spain 😆 People who live overseas send their kids back to the UK to board, their companies pay for it. I can remember end of term at Heathrow full of kids flying all over the place…bet it was a nightmare for BA!

    Grandson’s school is ideal as they can board all the time, 5 days or even a couple of days a week. Ideal for busy parents.

  • #103624
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    Anonymous
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    My children will not be boarders and a very small percentage of the kids are. They do not board at the school either, they board with selected families.

    Boarding is not an option for us. My priority for them is to have a geat environment for them to grow up and learn in, something that is rapidly dissapearing from the South of France, the school also relies on the family playing a big part in the education of the pupils.

    The children that we came accross were normal kids – something that was very important for me, I want the children to be able to have the facilities and envireonment to learn but not the classic public school discipline etc.

    From what we have seen it works for us if you want to go more relaxed – go for the american school – more strict: classic Spanish private school.

    Any way its more difficult than finding the right environment for us as adults, we will see – we will rent and see how the schooling suits.

  • #103625
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    Anonymous
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    “My priority for them is to have a geat environment for them to grow up and learn in, something that is rapidly dissapearing from the South of France,”

    Sorry, can you please explain what is dissapearing ???

  • #103641
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    Anonymous
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    I’m interested to learn about primary schools (both International and State run) in Barcelona. I know from experience that the Catalan language is spoken by employees across all municipal run facilities such as heath care, libraries, leisure etc.

    Can someone (maybe Mark?) please advise as to the availability of Spanish speaking state schools in Barcelona (and indeed are there any for starters?).

    We’re another few years from deciding upon schooling yet but its good to start the research early. My preference for a state school would be for sole Spanish speaking or Spanish 75% : Catalan 25%.

    If we decide upon an International school I would then consider English / Spanish. But again, do these even exist in (Barcelona) Catalonia?

    Just as an explanation: My wife and I can speak Spanish (but not sufficently to understand Catalan) so the thought of sending kids to a Catalan speaking school is a little daunting. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • #103655
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    Anonymous
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    @marcoloco10 wrote:

    I’m interested to learn about primary schools (both International and State run) in Barcelona. I know from experience that the Catalan language is spoken by employees across all municipal run facilities such as heath care, libraries, leisure etc.

    Can someone (maybe Mark?) please advise as to the availability of Spanish speaking state schools in Barcelona (and indeed are there any for starters?).

    We’re another few years from deciding upon schooling yet but its good to start the research early. My preference for a state school would be for sole Spanish speaking or Spanish 75% : Catalan 25%.

    If we decide upon an International school I would then consider English / Spanish. But again, do these even exist in (Barcelona) Catalonia?

    Just as an explanation: My wife and I can speak Spanish (but not sufficently to understand Catalan) so the thought of sending kids to a Catalan speaking school is a little daunting. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Marco,

    My Spanish wife handles most of these issues for us so I’m no expert, but to the best of my knowledge there are no state schools or state-subsidised schools (concertado) in Catalonia that use Spanish as the main language.

    There are plenty of private international schools, English, German, French…….some have better reputations than others.

    Mark

  • #103664
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    Anonymous
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    “Sorry, can you please explain what is dissapearing ???”

    We have lived in France for some 9 years. What we are seeing now in the area is a void in relation to culture and social activity for the younger age groups from teens to the early fourties – unless you consider the swinging scene your thing Shakeel.

    What is apparent that those who are responsable for concerts, activities etc are stuck in a rut and follow a pattern from years gone by.

    There is little or anything available for my children on a local and wider area and for my wife and I also.

    It amazes us that by crossing the border to spain it is lke someone has switched the light on.

    Compare Figueres with the likes of Narbonne and Beziers and it is a massacre in relation to art, music and even basic simple free activities for kids and adults alike, once you look at Girona and Barcelona – there is no comparison.

    Day to day living is where it really shows. from the few visits to look at villages in the region of Valencia, facilities and activities are so much more.

    I also look forward to turning on the radio when I go to Spain – France has managed to take radio to a level I did not think was possible,

  • #103671
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    Anonymous
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    Thanks Mark,

    I’ve been living in Barcelona with my wife for almost one year now and loving it.

    I commute back to London on a weekly basis though my wife now has an excellent full time job here.

    We’re expecting in the summer hence my sudden interest in schooling. Obviously we’re a few years away yet but we must decide upon the best route to adopt and pre-school is also a consideration.

    We’re both comfortable with Spanish though we will need to decide in due course if we utilise one of the catalan speaking state schools or one of the International options. I understand that in some regions the Catholic Church also provides alternative schooling options? Not sure if you are aware of these or indeed their suitability.

    My inclination is to opt for Spanish / English though this will come at a financial cost though nothing like private schooling i the UK.

    I do have some reservations about the Catalan state schools but these are largely related to my own inability to speak this language. Maybe by the time we need one attitudes will have softened and a Spanish speaking state school will be available for non-catalans and children from south american families!?

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    Regards
    Mark.

  • #103720
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    Anonymous
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    Just my two cents. I would never place my children in anything else then a native speaking school. It’s one thing if you are just staying in the country for a short time because of work or something otherwise you are just doing your children a disservice. After a few months your children will be doing ok and it will help them massively in the future. They may whine in the beginning but they will love you for it when they get older.

    Personally I disslike when people do their utmost not to adapt to their new home. When I lived in Spain I tried my utmost to speak spanish and I expect the same of immigrants to my home country. You will not enjoy your new home if you don’t adapt and learn about it’s culture and that is impossible without it’s language.

  • #103738
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    Anonymous
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    Fully agree with Ardun. However if the local language is only used in the local region & is being taught for political or nationalism, besides if this language has no in commercial, practical & in litrature. Than it beats the whole object of comminucation.

    Language is used for communication what ever field. If one only speaks ones regional language than it is only isolating them from commincation with the wide world ( what ever is there wider world )

    In times like these it is most important to communicate & understand others in order to bring us together for the good of humanity & the planet.

  • #103751
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    Anonymous
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    When the local international school which is made up of 80 percent Spaniards provides the best schooling then I would go for what is best for my children – thanks.

    If your theory was correct then why are the Spaniards going for the international school and not a Spanish school.

    My children will have the benefit of follwing one schooling system but with the benefit of speaking Spanish and English to a high standard.

    It is not a question of integration, please do not assume that is the reason – I would ask before assuming.

    If one has the opportunity to provide what you and also the local community sees as the best in the schooling and you can then why not do it.

    Ultimatley they will learn Spanish in their most imporant location – the playground.

  • #103752
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    Anonymous
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    Please also do not post statements like ” people not adapting to their new home” etc.

    Having lived in many countries and not being part of an English Enclave so many choose to create – find out about other options before passing judgement.

    A forum is about discussions and as far as I see to aid people – if you have nothing constructive to write – then please find sopmething else to do.

    I cannot understand why people post comments that have nothing at all to do with what is being discussed other than to annoy people.

  • #103753
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    @floatingjimi wrote:

    Please also do not post statements like ” people not adapting to their new home” etc.

    Having lived in many countries and not being part of an English Enclave so many choose to create – find out about other options before passing judgement.

    A forum is about discussions and as far as I see to aid people – if you have nothing constructive to write – then please find sopmething else to do.

    I cannot understand why people post comments that have nothing at all to do with what is being discussed other than to annoy people.

    Sensitive issue? 😀

    You are better of placing your children in a good spanish school. My spanish relatives would never have their children in public spanish school but why that is I don’t know since I have never attended school in Spain myself. I have seen so many cases of children in these international schools that never learn the languange because they are surrounded by so many of their peers.

  • #103756
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    So let’s get this right:

    You know nothing of the Spanish schooling system

    You dont know why any of your relatives have not placed them into public schools

    However you have seen “so many cases” of pupils unable to learn the local language.

    If I had known this then I would have to say your first, second and indeed any further comments on this and other issues will be held in very very high regard and will rush to put my children in a local Spanish school

  • #103758
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    Anonymous
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    @floatingjimi wrote:

    So let’s get this right:

    You know nothing of the Spanish schooling system

    You dont know why any of your relatives have not placed them into public schools

    However you have seen “so many cases” of pupils unable to learn the local language.

    If I had known this then I would have to say your first, second and indeed any further comments on this and other issues will be held in very very high regard and will rush to put my children in a local Spanish school

    So much hostility. It’s a forum for gods sake and you don’t need to listen to what I have to add but if you don’t want my views don’t ask for them in a public forum.

    I have first hand knowledge about it but not by attending school myself. I have lots of friends with families from different countries living in Spain and their views on it. Most people that put their children in schools not speaking catalan regret it afterwards and their children have a harder time adapting.

    Heres a documentary about the problem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gy8U5iSVyQ

  • #103759
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    Anonymous
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    Yes thanks as an Estate Agent I can see where you have such a wealth of knowledge re schooling

  • #103760
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @floatingjimi wrote:

    Yes thanks as an Estate Agent I can see where you have such a wealth of knowledge re schooling

    😀 Turning to personal insults aye.

  • #103762
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I see – it is personal when it is aimed at you but if it is you who is the instigator – it is a source of enlightenment.

    As stated thank you for your comments – with such a wealth of knowledge – I see on a wide varirty of subjects, I am sure you can provide well balanced and truly helpful advice.

  • #103764
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    Chopera
    Participant

    Just my tuppence but if I had kids who were fluent in French then I’d seriously consider the local Lycee. AFAIK they’re subsidised by the French government so the fees are quite reasonable, and the level of teaching should be high enough. OK it would take longer for the kids to learn the local language, but that may be compensated for by the high level of teaching in other areas.

  • #103791
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    That is great info – thanks very much for that

  • #103817
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    Anonymous
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    Notwithstanding the fact my wife went to the French Lycee in Barcelona we have firmly ruled it out for our children. For a start it is now dominated by French kids, much more so than before. The teachers are French bureaucrats at heart, always on strike. English is taught as a 4th language. And the presentation to prospective parents I went to was the worst I have seen. I have other criticisms, but I shan’t go on.

  • #103827
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    Anonymous
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    Well after spending last Sunday afternoon in the local school palyground enjoying a celebration of South American culutre and cuisine with many of the parents and teachers the answer to our question was right under our nose!

    We live on one block from here but had only ever peeked through the railings…

    http://www.escolaramonllull.com/index.php

    Predominantly Catalan speaking but introducing Spanish and English at an early level. Can’t argue with that.

  • #103848
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    Chopera
    Participant

    @mark wrote:

    Notwithstanding the fact my wife went to the French Lycee in Barcelona we have firmly ruled it out for our children. For a start it is now dominated by French kids, much more so than before. The teachers are French bureaucrats at heart, always on strike. English is taught as a 4th language. And the presentation to prospective parents I went to was the worst I have seen. I have other criticisms, but I shan’t go on.

    Interesting information thanks. I looked into sending our kid to the Lycee here in Madrid but it’s near impossible to get in unless you are French, or have strong ties to France. I think the high proportion of French children would have put me off a bit anyway – if my son’s going to grow up in Madrid he might as well go to school with Madrileños and become one himself.

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