Back to School 2020
Parents will be heaving an even bigger sigh of relief this September when kids
head back to school, many for the first time since March.
Tomorrow has compiled this special report on how the state school system works in Portugal for anyone wishing to enrol their children for the new school year. We also have news on some innovative fee-paying schools in the area.
If you arrive in Portugal and wish your child to become fluent in the language and fully immersed in the culture of Portugal here is what you should know about state-funded education.
In Portugal the school stages are divided into the following:
Preschool (3-6 years optional)
From three, all kids can be matriculated, but there is no place guarantee. If there are places, the preschool it’s free, only meals are paid.
- 1º Ciclo(1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year) - Ages 6-10
- 2º Ciclo (5th and 6th year) - Ages 10- 11
- 3º Ciclo (7th, 8th and 9th year) - 12 - 14 (There are often separate “middle schools” for this period of schooling
Secundário (10th, 11th and 12th) - 15-18
From the 10th year, the pupil can choose if they want the normal academic curriculum or if they want to enrol onto a professional school or course. Some schools are more orientated towards arts and others to sciences.
One important thing to be aware of is the school times which may differ from what you are used to. In Secondary school, lessons can start at 8 a.m and be over by 1 p.m or begin at 1 p.m and end at 5 p.m. There is a very complicated system in Portugal of appointing teachers, often from different geographical areas. After teachers apply and are accepted for a post they are given a long time to decide if they wish to take the post and if they decide not to, the process must begin again. Often parents complain of their child not having a teacher for a certain subject for a term or more and teachers strikes or teachers being given baixa (sick leave) is a regular part of school life.
Having said that, if your child passes through the system they will have received a comprehensive education recognised by overseas universities and will be fluent in Portuguese and their mother tongue. You will also see the benefit in your bank balance as compared to paying for International private education.
Enrolment starts in April. For foreigners, you may find it easier to go to your local school to enrol your kids as they will give you all the information and tell you which documents you need. This will include a residência and tax number for your child.
Online when you do the matriculations the school list appears and you can matriculate in any school, but your address will influence where you receive a place. You can, however, make the argument that you wish your child to attend a school in the town where you work rather than where you live.
New school year with COVID-19
On contacting the Ministry of Education on how schools should be preparing post-COVID-19 we received the following statement:
“Schools will be disinfected in early September and awareness-raising actions will be carried out with Civil Protection to the educational community. Following general guidelines from the Portuguese government, the Directorate-General for Health and the Directorate-General for Education, new standards will also be applied, such as the use of mandatory masks for children from 10 years old, teaching and non-teaching staff, parents and external elements; spaces will also be reorganised to ensure social distance; provision of disinfectant gel at the entrance of the spaces.” These and other rules are available in our useful links section.
Alternatively, if you are looking for fee-paying schools, here are some options:
The Best of Both Worlds
Colégio S. Gonçalo is located in Luz, in Lagos, with ages from 4 months to 10 years old following the Portuguese curriculum.
With teaching practices that satisfy the demand of “quality, innovation, rigour and excellence”, it wishes to promote good educational standards, and therefore, over the several academic years, numerous initiatives have been created to provide their students, various experiences, with the aim of developing transversal skills and transmitting values for life.
Having a bilingual system in Pre-school and Cambridge Exams in Primary Years, this year is starting a Social-Emotional Education Programme completely new in Portugal, with the brand of PATHS Education from the age of three.
Among many awards received over the years of their activity, they received in 2013 and 2015 the School Award that was given by the Minister of Education and Science, Professor Nuno Crato, as a result of the evaluation of the Educational Project, distinguishing it as the school in the Algarve with the best educational practices.
“These dignifying results, which have been achieved in recent years, are only possible by having a motivated, demanding and stable team and above all feel that the students are proud and happy to grow at Colégio S. Gonçalo,” says school head Idília Ramos.
You can also search in www.csgoncalo.pt, going to Facebook page or Instagram through the website, where you can have access to the educational offer and lots of digital images and information.
Nobel New Campus
The inauguration of the new Nobel International School Algarve campus in Almancil.
The ceremony will take place on Friday, September 4, 2020, at 4 pm, and will be attended by Loulé Mayor Vítor Aleixo, and Loulé Councillor for Education, Ana Machado, who will participate in the proceedings.
The inauguration of this state-of-the-art school represents not only the culmination of a year of construction and a major financial investment in the building itself, but also a significant investment in regional education on behalf of Nobel International School Algarve and the Globeducate group.
If you wish to attend or receive more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
New guardianship and management of Barlavento International Primary School
Aljezur International School has taken over the guardianship and management of the Nobel Lagos Campus which will now revert to the name it had been known as from 1975 until 2013, Barlavento International Primary School.
Karen Whitten and Sílvia Catarino are the owners and directors of Aljezur International School, and they both have strong emotional attachments to Barlavento. Sílvia taught there from 2001 until 2010 and her son attended the school for five years. Karen was also a frequent visitor as the primary pupils were often involved in joint projects such as the annual “Play in the Parque” performance. They both feel honoured and privileged that the governors of Barlavento have entrusted them with the guardianship and future success of the school.
The Headteacher of Barlavento is Amanda Turner who has 38 years of teaching experience behind her, including in the UK, Nepal, Sri Lanka and most recently at Aljezur International School here in Portugal. Her daughter, Hannah, is Deputy Headteacher and she has also taught in the UK and abroad. They are fortunate that two valued members of staff are staying on to join their team. One is Caroline Verlé who has worked at Barlavento since 1982 and is a much-loved teacher of the younger groups. The other, Lurdes Silva, joined the school in 1987 and is also an invaluable member of the team. She will be taking care of the pre-reception class in the coming academic year.
The central values of Barlavento International Primary School are the same as those of Aljezur International School: respect, resilience, reflection and empathy. Amanda and her team believe every child matters every day, and bringing up a child involves the whole community. Her philosophy promotes a positive approach to behaviour where children are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves so that they can become independent, thoughtful and responsible, and celebrate their achievements. Barlavento provides an environment where children feel happy, safe and secure which enables them to develop self-confidence and try new experiences.
The friendly and busy school has an overriding feeling of being a ‘school family’ and the priority is for the children in its care to love learning through a broad and balanced curriculum which is exciting and constantly developing. The school follows the UK national curriculum adapted to life here in Portugal. As well as the usual array of primary school subjects such as English, Portuguese, Maths and Science, school life also includes lessons in Music, Drama, Mindfulness and Agriculture. Plans are already underway to create a vegetable garden, food forest and enclosure for small livestock such as chickens which the children will learn to take care of.
The ‘Barlavento Family’ is a caring and supportive environment where children thrive and learning is lifelong. For those parents who wish, their children will be guaranteed to stay in the school family and continue their education at Aljezur International School where places are limited due to a long waiting list.
For more information please visit www.barlavento-international.org or call 915290719.
Illuminating a New Path in Education
An innovative new school is opening its doors in September based on the Lumiar Methodology and Curriculum.
The Hub is a growing, bilingual (Portuguese and English), learning environment for kids aged 4-13, based in beautiful surroundings with 16 hectares, located 8 minutes drive from Lagos.
The vision of Christin Lidzba, it is the culmination of knowledge she has gained through 20 years working on behalf of children’s and women’s rights in the developing world.
The pedagogy focuses on project-based learning, through educators with no teachers. The tutors facilitate learning through dialogue, discussion and negotiation with the learners.
The vision of Christin is that the method promotes social skills and is not about what you learn but how you learn. Giving young people the skills to negotiate whatever hurdles or technology may face them in the future.
This school is open for enrolment for children between the ages 4-13 with currently 18 pupils and a team of 10 educators.
Next month we interview Christin Lidzba about her inspiring life-journey that resulted in the vision behind this new school concept.
The Full Listing of Schools in Lagos
Public/ State Schools - Preschool (3-6 years)
- Jardim de Infância de Espiche Telefone: 282 788 301
- Jardim de Infância de Santa Maria Telefone: 282 780 130
- Jardim de Infância da Ameijeira Telephone: 282 767 375
- Jardim de Infância Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen Telephone: 282 789 786
Primary School (6-14 years)
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo de Espiche Telefone: 282 788 301
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo de Santa Maria Telefone: 282 780 130
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo do Bairro Operário Telefone: 282 770 180
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo de Luz Telefone: 282 788 302
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo da Ameijeira Telephone: 282 767 375
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo de Odiáxere Telephone: 282 798 909
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo do Chinicato Telephone: 282 768 156
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen Telephone: 282 789 786
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo de Bensafrim Telephone: 282 688 502
- Escola Básica Tecnopolis (2º e 3º ciclo) Rua Dom Gaspar de Leão, Apartado 145 8601-902 Lagos Telephone: 282 244 430
- Escola EB 2/3 das Naus (2º e 3º ciclo) Marina - Apartado 850, 8600 - 910 Lagos Telephone: 282 792 264
- Escola Secundária com 3º Ciclo Gil Eanes (do 9º ao 12ºyear) Rua da Escola Gil Eanes, Apartado 41, 8600 Lagos Telephone: 282 770 160 https://aegileanes.pt/
- Escola Secundária Júlio Dantas Group Headquarters Largo Prof Egas Moniz, Apartado 302 8601-904 Lagos Portugal Telephone: 282 770 990 Email: info @ aejd.pt
- Colégio Bambino, Lda.
(Nursery, Creche, Pré-schoo and e basic education) Telefone: 282 767 854
- Nobel International School - Lagos
(Pré-school, 1º e 2º Ciclos / Pre-School, English Primary) Telephone: 282 789 206
- Escola Internacional Vale Verde
(Basic and secondary education) Telephone: 282 697 205 | Fax: 282697260
- Externato Jardim Infantil da Torraltinha
(Creche, Pré-school, 1º Ciclo) Telephone: 282 769 389
- Creche Bué Bebé
(Nursery and créche) Telephone: 282 185 552/ 918 782 714
- Colégio São Gonçalo
(Nurserty, Creche, Pré-school, 1º Ciclo) Telephone. 282 767 827 / 912 553 090 | Fax. 282 767 829
Solidary, Private and Cooperative Network
- Centro de Assistência Social Lucinda Anino dos Santos (C.A.S.L.A.S.)
(Nursery, Creche, Pré-school e A.T.L.)
Centro Infantil de Bensafrim
Centro Infantil do Chinicato
Centro Infantil da Luz
Centro Infantil de S. João
Centro Infantil de Santo Amaro
Sede: Rossio de S. João, Apartado 132, 8600 Lagos Telephone: 282 762 782 / 282 768 440 Email: email@example.com
- Infância Viva - Associação Jardim de Infância Internacional Segundo a Pedagogia de R. Steiner (Pré-school) Telefone: 282 761 786
- Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lagos - Jardim-de-infância de Odiáxere (Berçário, Creche e Pré-Escolar) Telephone: 282 798 399