- Food And Wine
- Learn Portuguese
- Moving To Portugal
If you are living in Portugal one of the major tasks has to be finding your children quality education so that they can excel in every possible way. I have a son who was seven when we arrived for our new life in Portugal and from the start it was hard work sorting out but now he is in school it is a lovely feeling.
The education system is very different to England for starters they don’t start education until the September after their sixth birthday. This gives them more time to have a social understanding among their friends and results in them mixing with children a lot better. Instead of in England were they just have one maybe two years in nursery they are having three. This also allows them to have established the ground rules of school without feeling out of place like many do.
There is no such thing as an obesity academic in Portugal and children are put through their paces with much more exercise than they currently have in Britain. For example on an average day they will have two hours playground time and the lessons that would normally be fitted into this time will be carried out after school instead.
The discipline is amazing and you will NEVER see a child be cheeky to their teacher. Therefore stopping them from having the option to run wild and this good behaviour rolls on to at home.
The level of homework that a primary school student has is often level to older children making them get into a routine at a much earlier age. In many ways the education system is similar to post code lottery school in England without you having to buy an expensive house to achieve it.
Unlike with England a child will be expected to pass the school year otherwise they will be expected to repeat it until they pass. This gives the children greater motivation and they actually want to learn along with being grateful for their school place.
Not many teachers will speak English so it’s important that you learn it. We haven’t learned Portuguese fully yet and we communicate via a computer translator and it has allowed us to pick up so much of the language already.
I totally advise against taking your child to an international school in Portugal. Firstly they charge double what you would pay for a private school in England. Secondly though they stick with the English education timetable so your child will not be educated in their new country system. This will mean that they will not know Portuguese and will be refused entry into a local college or university when they are of that age.
Paperwork works slow in Portugal just like it does in other countries so don’t expect to have your child in school within a week and plan several months in advance. For example there are a lot of injections that a child is required to have otherwise they will be refused entry into the school. This even includes TB which a child in England doesn’t have until secondary school which they have on birth in Portugal.
A child will also be required to have a medical certificate along with tax number and passport so plan it well. We didn’t realise how the system worked when we moved here so ended up having to wait until the following school year before our child could start school. This resulted in us having to home teach our son for nearly 15 months.
The school also has totally different holidays compared to England so do plan for them. The biggest change though is a loss of the half terms in exchange for a really long summer break. My son breaks up in June and doesn’t return until September. This is because it is simply too hot for them to be stuck in a classroom during these hot times.
The children are very friendly in Portugal so you will find that your child will fit in a lot better compared to in England.
There is a great opportunity to have a really good relationship with your child’s teacher so make sure you make the effort.
All in all I would like to add that I would much rather have my son educated in Portugal than in England.