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Choosing a school in Portugal as easy as ABC

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For those considering a new life in Portugal with your family, rest assured that this is one of the best decisions you will make regarding your children's happiness and wellbeing.

First off, finding a great school in Portugal is relatively simple. From various types of schools to different programmes, there is a wide range of options to choose from and a lot of reasons to make this important decision. Schools in Portugal are safe, the teachers and staff are attentive and children are very well cared for, in and out of the classroom. Portuguese teachers are extremely outgoing and will invite you to be an active part of your child's academic success. Family members are always welcomed to participate in various moments throughout the school year. 

Everyone in Portugal knows "it takes a village" for children to grow in a safe and happy environment. The people in your village will know your child's name and needs, they will smile and wave "bom dia" each time you pass by and will ask if you need anything. This loving bond between neighbours will make you and your children feel "part of the family". 

The community is also a very important part of Portuguese schools. Local sports groups, music bands and cultural associations offer various activities in schools and also in extracurricular activities, and some are even free. Portuguese schools, the community and families work together to make sure each child has a happy, healthy and memorable childhood.   

Living in safe and sunny Portugal is a dream for many families and childhood is such a special time in our lives. Why not raise your children in an environment where they will make long-lasting memories and have the best school experience? Regardless of whether you are looking for property for sale in Lisbon, houses for sale in Silver Coast Portugal or an apartment for sale in Algarve, here are a few insights that might help you: 

Portuguese education system

Basic education in Portugal is universal and free from preschool to secondary school. Preschool is optional, but the law requires children to attend school between the age of six until they finish 12th grade or are 18 years old.

The Portuguese education system has five cycles:

  • Preschool: this cycle is optional and is intended for children between the ages of 3 and the age of entry into primary school (6 years);
  • 1st Cycle: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade;
  • 2nd Cycle: 5th and 6th grade;
  • 3rd Cycle: 7th, 8th and 9th grade;
  • Secondary education: 10th, 11th and 12th grade.

In small villages, you'll probably have a local primary school (1st Cycle), with few students and a very warm environment. Local families will know your children's name in no time at all and their heartfelt welcome is one of the many reasons living in Portugal is such a gratifying experience.  

As for children between the ages of 10 and 18, schools in Portugal offer a diversified curriculum and various activities that include sports, science, arts and music. 

Learning different languages is also very important in Portuguese schools. English is taught in primary school and children in the 7th grade will have two foreign languages classes. Don't be surprised to know that the Portuguese will usually have no problem talking to you in your native language, especially in English. From the personal experience of many families, know that children adapt quickly to new environments and easily learn foreign languages. Ask any expat in Portugal, their kids learned to speak Portuguese in a matter of months. 

Private schools in Portugal

Portugal is a small country, but there are a lot of options for private schools from north to south. If you prefer schools with international curricula you have plenty to choose from in the Algarve and in Lisbon. Some schools offer the IBDP Programme or British GCSE and GCE systems, as well as official programmes from Germany or France. A few international schools in Portugal also have boarding options.

Here are some suggestions of private schools in the Algarve, Lisbon and Silver Coast regions:

  • Vilamoura International School – Vilamoura, Algarve;
  • Nobel International School Algarve – Lagoa and Lagos, Algarve;
  • St. Julian's School – Carcavelos, Lisbon;
  • Deutsche Schule Lissabon (German School in Lisbon) – Lisbon;
  • Escola Internacional de Torres Vedras (Torres Vedras International School) – Torres Vedras;
  • Colégio Rainha D. Leonor – Caldas da Rainha.

Public schools in Portugal

If you prefer public schools, or if this is the only option in the region where you will be living in Portugal, these also have advantages. One important aspect is that public schools in Portugal are free. Also keep in mind that, in the last decade, the Portuguese government has invested in building new schools and modernized existing school buildings. In elementary schools, the Portuguese Government has also reduced the number of students in each classroom.

If you are thinking about living in the Silver Coast, this family-friendly location offers one of the best public schools in Portugal: 

  • Escola Secundária de Raul Proença – Caldas da Rainha.

Higher Education in Portugal

“What about the future?” If that is a question that pops up in your mind when you think of raising your children in Portugal or moving with teenagers, you have nothing to fear. Graduates from Portuguese universities are very successful in foreign countries and there many courses that meet the demands of a highly competitive world. Also, all public and private universities offer the opportunity for foreign students in Portugal to obtain a degree that is valid in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

Thousands of families have trusted us to find their dream home in a country that is safe and family-friendly. Our experienced Portugal Realty team knows what an important decision it is and we’re happy to share our experience to help you find the best option for you and your family.

If you are searching for a property for sale in Portugal and planning to live in Portugal, give us a call

Portugal Realty™ - Property for sale in Portugal

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