Education On The Costa Del Sol.
The Costa Del Sol (Sun Coast) has a lot to offer – wonderful climate, miles of sandy beaches, great restaurants and leisure facilities, and offers a relaxed way of life, but what is the education like on the Costa del Sol?
For expats with young families, looking to relocate here, education plays an important factor, and is one of the biggest decisions they can make. Education is considered to be of a better standard than many other European countries, with fewer discipline problems. The education system in Spain consists of four levels:
1. Nursery Education
Nursery education is voluntary, and is divided in two stages, of three years each. First stage is for ages 0-6 years, and the second stage is from 3-6 years.
2. Primary Education
Primary education is compulsory, and is from 6-12 years of age. This is free of charge in public and grant funded schools.
3. Compulsory Secondary Education
Compulsory secondary education is from 12-16 years of age, and is taught in secondary education institutes. Successful pupils are able to obtain a secondary education school certificate, giving them the option to continue with middle level vocational training, or bachillerato studies.
4. Vocational Training
The bachillerato (high school certificate) is from 16-18 years of age, and successful students obtain the qualification ‘bachiller’ (baccalaureate), this provides the foundation for higher level vocational training, or students have the option of going to university, if they pass the necessary access tests.
There are a broad range of mid and higher vocational training courses available, all offering variable duration´s and are on a modular basis. These courses are designed to prepare students to work in a variety of jobs. Students have the option,
via exams to gain entry to university education, or higher vocational courses.
Universities can be public or private, and provide their own educational courses. There are three levels of
The qualifications of private universities need to be officially recognised by the Ministry of Education, in order to have any official value. Special training courses are also available such as art, music, design, drama and language teaching.
Schooling On The Costa Del Sol: Your Education Options
This can seem like the best choice, particularly for older children. The reasons for this are that all international schools are private, and they follow a UK curriculum, followed by UK exam courses, such as GCSE’s and A-Levels.
Spanish international schools also offer the International Baccalaureate program, as well as secondary school qualifications, called the Bachillerato. The main benefits of this is that students attending international schools, can receive both local and international title, when they graduate, giving them the opportunity to
attend university in other parts of the world.
Another positive is that international schools offer a bi-lingual study program, and accept both Spanish and foreign students. This gives the opportunity for students to integrate in to the culture and learn the language, thus giving the chance for students to become fully and fluently bilingual.
Children may find it harder to integrate more, as children tend to have the same backgrounds, and speak the same language, and this can lead to a ‘cultural vacuum’ when it comes to trying to immerse in the Spanish language and culture.
In addition to its curriculum, international schools offer a better learning environment, as they tend to have smaller classes, and a more modern, relaxed approach to teaching. International schools attract people from all over the world, and the curriculum and extracurricular activities gives the opportunity for students to explore other languages, art, sports and other academic subjects.
International schools can be costly, and fees for private nursery or primary schools can be between 3,000-4000€ per year, whilst secondary and boarding schools are between 8,000-10,000€ per year. This does not include extracurricular activities, books, materials and other additions that may occur.
There are about 20 private international schools on the Costa del Sol. These include British, Finnish, French, German, Norwegian, and Swedish schools. Many provide schooling for children from 3-18 years. Here is a list of International Schools on the Costa del Sol.
Spanish State Schools
This can be a good option for some families, particularly for younger children, as
they will learn the Spanish language with ease, as they will be socializing and talking with Spanish people, and will find it easier to integrate. This process is naturally speed-ed up in state schools. There are various benefits in choosing to send children to state schools. These include:
- Free of charge
- More variety of schools to choose from
- Some schools offer a English-Spanish bilingual curriculum
This option is not so good for older children, as they tend to struggle, particularly for children approaching secondary school age. Having a Spanish tutor will give extra help and assistance, but of course this will be at an additional cost.
Also, it is worth noting, that the quality of education may not be as high as with a British or other International School. The Spanish system has been criticized or being rigid and old fashioned, preventing children from being taught by more modern and intuitive means.
Best private and public schools Costa del Sol.
Relocating as a family unit to a foreign land entails not only the quest for a suitable abode but also the pursuit of the finest education for your precious child, making it quite a daunting and anxiety-inducing experience; moreover, navigating the Spanish school application process can add an extra layer of complexity to the already challenging situation. Fortunately, the Costa del Sol is teeming with an impressive array of exceptional schools, committed to nurturing your child’s untapped potential. As experts in the Costa del Sol domain, we at LuxuryForSale.Properties have fastidiously curated an exhaustive list of the region’s premier educational institutions to alleviate some of the stress and streamline your transition to one of Spain’s most exclusive destinations. Rest assured, we’re here to make your journey smoother and more enjoyable.
Spain has three distinct categories of schools: private, public, and concertado, each catering to different educational needs. Similarly, the schooling system comprises three stages. The initial stage, which is voluntary, encompasses ages 3 to 6; subsequently, the primary stage spans from 6 to 12 years; followed by the third stage, extending from 12 to 16 years. Finally, there is the obligatory education stage, encompassing the ages of 16 to 18.
In Spain, the school application commences in March. Timeliness is crucial in securing your desired school, as both public and private institutions may have waiting lists. Apply promptly to maximize your chances.
When selecting a school for your child, several factors should be taken into account:
– Location (Proximity to your residence)
– Educational approach and methodology (Bilingual or non-bilingual curriculum)
– Available facilities
– Academic reputation and performance
– Teachers’ qualifications and standards
– Extracurricular activities and opportunities
Situated in the enchanting locale of Marbella East, Colegio Ecos is a distinguished bilingual institution affiliated with Attendis company; it’s one of the renowned 4 schools in the region, just at the gateway to Marbella. It boasts over four decades of teaching expertise, a highly qualified faculty as well as expansive facilities, and more than 21 educational centers in Andalusia, ensuring a nurturing environment for students. Should your property be nestled between Cabopino and Las Chapas, Colegio Ecos stands as an excellent educational choice.
Accredited by the Andalusian Regional Government in Pre-school, Primary, and Secondary levels, Colegio Bilingüe Las Chapas stands as a bilingual school as well as a Trinity College and Cambridge examination center. Renowned for its innovative pedagogical initiatives like the iPad Project Attendis and Proyecto Príncipe, Las Chapas school excels in early stimulation educational projects. EF-Education First ranked Las Chapas as the 15th top school in Spain during the 2013/2014 academic year.
Colegio Platero, an esteemed primary school, embraces a profound dedication to sports from the very outset, with a particular emphasis on basketball and even boasts its own esteemed team known as CB Platero.
Stationed in the vibrant city of Marbella, Colegio Alboran is an exceptional bilingual school with a clear vision to foster the growth of creative, joyful, and critical-thinking students within a warm and nurturing familial atmosphere. Spanning across Pre-school, Primary, Secondary, and Baccalaureate Education, the school aims to equip its students with the skills necessary to navigate an ever-evolving world and has even won the prestigious Andalusia Excellence 2016 Awards in the Education category, solidifying its reputation for excellence.
Concluding our assessment of schools in this vicinity, we present two exceptional choices for private education in Marbella – Juan Hoffman in Elviria, renowned as the German School of Marbella, and the English International College stand out as premier private school choices in Marbella.
Tucked away amidst the scenic surroundings of Elviria, Deutsche Schule Málaga – Juan Hoffman shines as a bilingual German school, catering to students from kindergarten to secondary school. It proudly holds the distinction of being the inaugural recipient of the esteemed “Excellent German School Abroad” accolade in 2008, further solidifying its commitment to excellence.
Boasting more than 500 students spanning from 3 to 18 years, the English International College stands as an educational institution with a vibrant mix of students comprising 80% native English speakers and 20% non-native English speakers.
Marbella – Centre.
You’ll find a bustling central area enriched with a multitude of schools, primarily public institutions as you encounter the iconic bridge that serves as a division within Marbella, just west of the river.
Colegio María Auxiliadora, Colegio Público Juan Ramón Jiménez, Colegio Público Gil Muñíz, Colegio PúblicoLos Olivos and Colegio Público Valdeolletas are some of the schools that grace this area. Furthermore, Swans Primary School and The British International School Of Marbella – two illustrious private schools that reign supreme in Marbella, lie further from the bustling center.
Within the northern region, an abundance of housing developments awaits, boasting serene surroundings and enchanting gardens. Residing in this vicinity grants you convenient access to local schools but the choices here are confined to only two options – Swans International, an esteemed bilingual private school adorned with expansive facilities, proudly tracing its roots back to the vibrant 1970s, and Colegio María Auxiliadora, a public school alternative, providing a distinct educational pathway for young minds.
Nueva Andalucía – San Pedro Alcántara
Given its enviable location near an abundance of golf courses and the prestigious Puerto Banus, Nueva Andalucia is one of the most highly sought-after areas within Marbella to live. It is for this reason that Luxury Realty directs its focus on this captivating locale known as “The Golf Valley.” Colegio Francisco Echamendi will be the first school on our list; founded by the esteemed Bishop of Malaga in the 1950s and 1960s, this esteemed institution is proudly affiliated with the esteemed Diocesan Board of Education.
Within the vicinity, near Aloha Golf Club, lies the esteemed Aloha College—an educational institution that not only embraces the richness of the Spanish language and culture but also offers a British-style education tailored for a diverse international community.
There are four distinctive schools to consider within the area of Puerto Banus; 3 of these schools are strategically situated in proximity to the national highway N-340, slightly south of Puerto Banús. Among them, Saint George´s School shines as a private bilingual institution that follows the esteemed British education system; it caters to children between the ages of 3 and 8 and boasts top-notch facilities, including a vegetable garden and an inviting swimming pool. Laude San Pedro International School stands as another remarkable choice, renowned for its immensely successful educational philosophy and extraordinary facilities, securing its position among the world’s most exclusive establishments. Last, but certainly not least, we have the esteemed Colegio Santa María completing this illustrious quartet.
In the heart of San Pedro Alcántara lies Calpe Junior School—a distinguished private bilingual primary school. Beyond the charming town of San Pedro lies a trio of exceptional private schools, situated close to the esteemed Guadalmina development. Leading the way is Colegio San José, an institution boasting a rich educational heritage within the San Pedro community; followed by Calpe School and Centro Privado de Enseñanza María Auxiliadora, all offering exceptional learning environments.
We conclude our comprehensive guide with Colegio Atalaya in the northern region of San Pedro; this remarkable bilingual school not only offers a delightful lunch service but also boasts expansive outdoor sporting facilities.
Colegio San Jose, an esteemed bilingual school established in 1823, stands as a shining exemplar among the splendid educational institutions in Estepona. With its distinguished education and extensive range of engaging after-school activities, it provides a remarkable educational experience for children.
Nestled within a sprawling plot spanning 3,700 square meters, the International School of Estepona graces the vibrant epicenter of the esteemed New Golden Mile. This exceptional institution, catering to students aged 3 to 12, follows the esteemed British educational system while embracing cutting-edge technology to empower its students.
Inaugurated in September 2022, Atlas American School stands as an ideal choice for parents seeking an American curriculum for their children; it accommodates students from K1 through the culmination of high school, and proudly holds the distinction of being the first school on the Costa del Sol to adopt this educational framework. Atlas guarantees a well-rounded educational path, fostering intellectual growth and nurturing moral and emotional development through an array of extracurricular activities and meticulously designed educational programs.
Situated in the vibrant city of Fuengirola, Colegio Salliver is an esteemed institution that welcomes students from early childhood to advanced education and it is one of the top 100 private schools in Spain. Notably, all classes until the age of 16 adopt a balanced bilingual approach, with English and Spanish sharing an equal footing, despite Spanish serving as the official language of the school.
Benalmadena International College is a vibrant and contemporary British school located conveniently between Fuengirola and Benalmadena. Positioned just off the N340, the school prides itself on its cutting-edge facilities, highly skilled faculty, and a track record of successfully guiding students toward their future academic pursuits; moreover, it also enjoys close proximity to the stunning beach.
Close by is the British College of Benalmadena, which is affiliated with the esteemed National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS) and has been acknowledged by both the UK and Spain. The school combines elements of the British and Spanish educational systems and caters to students from pre-nursery until they are prepared to embark on their university journey.
The prestigious Colegio Internacional Torrequebrada, a distinguished private institution that embraces the renowned British curriculum is also situated within the heart of Benalmadena.
Sotogrande International School is an esteemed educational institution in the vibrant Sotogrande area, accommodating students aged 3 to 18, and offers classes in Spanish, English and German languages. This day and boarding school has been operating for over three decades, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience for all enrolled learners.
There are numerous factors to consider when buying or renting a home on the Costa del Sol, hence finding the best school becomes a challenging task. However, in our view, the education of our children holds immense significance for our family’s overall welfare and happiness. Therefore, exploring these various public and private education options in the Costa del Sol becomes essential.
LuxuryForSale.Properties Real Estate.
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