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Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Old Jul 14th 2013, 1:31 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by paintermujer
Valenciano can be problematic.My daughter is taught soley in valenciano apart from the obvious and most of her friends speak valenciano in the home too.But they speak in castellano to her.Its been a big learning curve for since joining the school.
She dosent speak valenciano in class simply because...her home tutor forces it out of her but Im not allowed to hear..just like it was with spanish in the beginning.I love the valenciano lingo but sometimes I wonder what it would have been like with just spanish as the local language.
I often wonder too...

a teenager starting school here will get extra help with Castellano & Valenciano for as long as they need it - but they still have to pass the same exams in all the subjects in order to graduate

my younger daughter hates speaking Valenciano & avoids it at all costs - though of course in school she has to in school, & I've heard her speaking with her friends in Valenciano

my older daughter only speaks English with me & her sister - outside the house she speaks either Castellano (with non-'local' friends - she was with a German & a Russian friend the other day & they speak Castellano to each other) - or Valenciano with 'locals'. Most of her friends speak Valenciano at home

10 years here & I still don't speak Valenciano, though I'm thinking about it at last - I often find myself surrounded by people chatting in Valenciano - I join in in Castellano - I barely miss a thing now, & can read it without problems, so it seems daft to not try to actually speak it

Last edited by lynnxa; Jul 14th 2013 at 1:39 am.
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 1:48 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by lynnxa
I often wonder too...

a teenager starting school here will get extra help with Castellano & Valenciano for as long as they need it - but they still have to pass the same exams in all the subjects in order to graduate

my younger daughter hates speaking Valenciano & avoids it at all costs - though of course in school she has to in school, & I've heard her speaking with her friends in Valenciano

my older daughter only speaks English with me & her sister - outside the house she speaks either Castellano (with non-'local' friends - she was with a German & a Russian friend the other day & they speak Castellano to each other) - or Valenciano with 'locals'. Most of her friends speak Valenciano at home

10 years here & I still don't speak Valenciano, though I'm thinking about it at last - I often find myself surrounded by people chatting in Valenciano - I join in in Castellano - I barely miss a thing now, & can read it without problems, so it seems daft to not try to actually speak it
My husband and I get by usually at the school meetings which are in valenciano.We get a gist of the main points.We just dont understand when more chit chat comes in and all of a sudden they all laugh at something said.We just laugh with them.
All school notes are in valenciano too.Sometimes have to read them a few times again for fully understand....the TV the same..I was practising the haver verb conjugations the other day..good grief.
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 1:57 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by paintermujer
My husband and I get by usually at the school meetings which are in valenciano.We get a gist of the main points.We just dont understand when more chit chat comes in and all of a sudden they all laugh at something said.We just laugh with them.
All school notes are in valenciano too.Sometimes have to read them a few times again for fully understand....the TV the same..I was practising the haver verb conjugations the other day..good grief.
'big' school meetings are held in Valenciano - though the end of year prize-giving last month was done in Castellano too - but that's the first time I've known that to happen!

my family via my elder daughter has been involved in a couple of educational/cultural exchanges the past year or so, with Germany & Latvia, & we've had a lot of meetings at the school

we usually start in Castellano as a favour to me (mine is the only non-spanish family involved) - but a couple of the parents seem to have forgotten how to speak Castellano, so they always end up in Vañenciano...........

I haven't studied Valenciano at all - I must have just 'absorbed' it - which I didn't think was even possible at my age!!
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 3:46 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Again, thanks to everybody for their ideas and input.

Regarding Valenciano, I have been visiting the area for the last few years and although there are obvious differences between Valenciano and Castellano it hasn't been a huge issue for me to understand it. I have of course never tried to speak it but, when people realise that I speak Castellano they kindly just answered me back in Castellano, of course that doesn't mean that my son won't have difficulties learning it in school, however perhaps having Spanish knowledge will help him to pick up Valenciano easier.

Regarding the year my son should go into....if he had stayed in the UK he would have gone into year 8 in September which is effectively the equivalent of ESO 3 (I think) and therefore, if he goes into ESO 2 in Spain in September, then he is in fact going back a year, or rather repeating a year. This is not an issue at all and in fact if anything I would much prefer that he be with his peers rather than with children who are nearly always a whole year older than him which has been the case, constantly, in the UK.

Thank you for the names of the schools.....obviously one of my first tasks on arrival (after going to get our "padron", NIE etc.) will be visiting the schools and seeing what I can achieve, (August permitting).

The issue of having to pass all the exams to pass the year, is a worry, my son is quite bright but due to his dyslexia has a huge aversion to reading and writing......not very conducive to exam taking!! He goes to a very good school here in the UK and gets a reasonable amount of extra help but did not do well in his exams because his reading and writing is atrocious. Does anybody know of any private tutors/teachers in the area who will help kids through their exams?

Having moved to a foreign country when I was 12 and having full exposure to a different language and culture at that age was a hugely positive experience and not at all traumatizing.... in fact I feel that I am a much more "worldly" person for it, obviously there were some issues and difficulties especially around having to attend a local school and being (in South America) the only blond, blue eyed child in the whole school but after reading other threads on the issue of taking children to Spain I feel that too much emphasis is put on the negatives rather than the fact that it is a huge boon for any child to learn two languages and experience a different culture, I think that for most children, and dare I say it, even for teenagers, the positives far outweigh the negatives and this I can say from direct personal experience. In saying that, of course I did not have dyslexia.......however I think that maybe just the fact that my son will be bilingual again, and will be able to speak to all his Venezuelan family without sticking on his words......will be a great gift.....

Just trying to keep positive.
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 6:55 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by Ilene

The issue of having to pass all the exams to pass the year, is a worry, my son is quite bright but due to his dyslexia has a huge aversion to reading and writing......not very conducive to exam taking!!
I feel that I have to give you a reality check, although you may not like to hear it

If your son is almost 13 and is struggling to read and write then he will fail in the Spanish education system. It is somewhat harder than the British one, he may not even pass the end of year exams - and thats not even taking into account that he needs to learn 2 more languages. Most 7 or 8 year old Spanish kids can read and write fluently, although of course it is easier in Spanish than in English.

If you leave school with no qualifications, there are no jobs and limited training schemes. It will be very tough! I think that even at this stage you need to be thinking about his future at 17-18

As for concertados being 60 euros per month, that is ridiculously cheap! Is it a religious school? The only concertados up here are run by weird religious freaks - Opus Dei, Jesuits, monjas etc.

From what I have seen with the cuts, I have serious doubts about using the state education in Spain at the moment, although it of course it depends on the school.

Last edited by cricketman; Jul 14th 2013 at 6:57 am.
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 7:51 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Don't worry about giving me the reality check....any feedback at all is appreciated.

I am completely aware that a child who struggles to read and write at 13 is a severely challenged child...he is my son, and I have struggled with him all these years!....He goes to a very good school here in the UK which has an "outstanding" ofsted classification, this however, has made no difference whatsoever to my son's academic performance.

The reality is that he will struggle hugely in any country, be it here in the UK or in Spain, in fact, we were in Venezuela last year and the private schools there would not even contemplate taking him due to his "dyslexia" which to their system is almost an unknown condition.

Frankly, at this moment in time we, as a family, find it very difficult to even imagine what the future, career wise, could be for my son, his dyslexia has made it impossible for him to enjoy even the simplest of things that other children take for granted such as reading a comic or understanding instructions on video games.

We are moving to Spain for a variety of reasons, please do not assume that we have not thought very seriously about the implications that this may have for my child's future. I refuse to believe that he is a "hopeless case" and I will always have a positive outlook regarding what is he is capable of. If his only "qualification" ends up being the fact that he is bilingual then so be it, and if he can then use that talent to whichever use, be it in the UK, in Spain or back home in Venezuela, then at least I will have given him some sort of tool for his future. I have used my knowledge of the Spanish language to my benefit all my life and it has served me well. I am not saying this is the be all and end all but it is a valuable skill.

I note your comment about the 60Euros.....yes it may be a very low amount, I wont be building my budget around this estimate.....

Actually having lived most of my life in a Roman Catholic country, some of the best schools in Venezuela are run by the Jesuits and the Opus Dei, I dont consider them to be weird cults but I suppose its just what your used to.

Thanks for your input.
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 7:54 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by Ilene
Again, thanks to everybody for their ideas and input.

Regarding Valenciano, I have been visiting the area for the last few years and although there are obvious differences between Valenciano and Castellano it hasn't been a huge issue for me to understand it. I have of course never tried to speak it but, when people realise that I speak Castellano they kindly just answered me back in Castellano, of course that doesn't mean that my son won't have difficulties learning it in school, however perhaps having Spanish knowledge will help him to pick up Valenciano easier.

Regarding the year my son should go into....if he had stayed in the UK he would have gone into year 8 in September which is effectively the equivalent of ESO 3 (I think) and therefore, if he goes into ESO 2 in Spain in September, then he is in fact going back a year, or rather repeating a year. This is not an issue at all and in fact if anything I would much prefer that he be with his peers rather than with children who are nearly always a whole year older than him which has been the case, constantly, in the UK.

Thank you for the names of the schools.....obviously one of my first tasks on arrival (after going to get our "padron", NIE etc.) will be visiting the schools and seeing what I can achieve, (August permitting).

The issue of having to pass all the exams to pass the year, is a worry, my son is quite bright but due to his dyslexia has a huge aversion to reading and writing......not very conducive to exam taking!! He goes to a very good school here in the UK and gets a reasonable amount of extra help but did not do well in his exams because his reading and writing is atrocious. Does anybody know of any private tutors/teachers in the area who will help kids through their exams?

Having moved to a foreign country when I was 12 and having full exposure to a different language and culture at that age was a hugely positive experience and not at all traumatizing.... in fact I feel that I am a much more "worldly" person for it, obviously there were some issues and difficulties especially around having to attend a local school and being (in South America) the only blond, blue eyed child in the whole school but after reading other threads on the issue of taking children to Spain I feel that too much emphasis is put on the negatives rather than the fact that it is a huge boon for any child to learn two languages and experience a different culture, I think that for most children, and dare I say it, even for teenagers, the positives far outweigh the negatives and this I can say from direct personal experience. In saying that, of course I did not have dyslexia.......however I think that maybe just the fact that my son will be bilingual again, and will be able to speak to all his Venezuelan family without sticking on his words......will be a great gift.....

Just trying to keep positive.
Valenciano & Castellano are two totally different languages.... yes there are similarities, but knowing one doesn't actually make learning the other easier....... in fact, especially for a dyslexic child, it would confuse things even more

he wouldn't by any stretch of the imagination be 'repeating' - the level of studies in Spanish schools is at least a year ahead of the UK in many subjects - that's a fact, borne out by the fact that I do private maths tutoring up to GCSE & also homework support for kids in Spanish school - the level required to pass at 16 is well into A level territory

I've also known quite a few families return to the UK who have found the transition easier than expected, simply because their child has already covered so much of the work already, albeit in a different language

Also - there are only 4 years of secondary schooling in the Spanish system - so he would, in ESO2, be entering the final 3 years of compulsory education

istr that GCSEs are taken in Y11 - so he'd have 4 more years in the UK starting September 2013 .....

it's for those reasons that I previously suggested that you seriously consider International school ............
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Thank you....

I have done some research on International Schools.....but there don't seem to be many nearby?? do you have any suggestions?. Do you know if they would accept a dyslexic child. Would this not mean that he would only socialize with British children to the detriment of his learning the Spanish/Valenciano.

I may have got it completely wrong, but I just don't see the huge difference between the two languages. It seems more like a dialect than a language. I am originally Scottish and if you have ever heard a Glaswegian on a Saturday night you would never believe it was "English" they were speaking

I have generally no problem understanding Valenciano and reading it is even easier. I lived in Venezuela for 35 years.....many more years in Spanish than in English, just wondering whether that has anything to do with it. Of course that doesn't mean it will be easy for my son and it may be a completely difference kettle of fish actually living day by day and being immersed in the Valenciano.....

I wonder if you know of any International schools that you could recommend which would be nearby or would have transport..... the only ones I have found on the internet are nearer Valencia City!

Thanks
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 8:22 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by Ilene
Thank you....

I have done some research on International Schools.....but there don't seem to be many nearby?? do you have any suggestions?. Do you know if they would accept a dyslexic child. Would this not mean that he would only socialize with British children to the detriment of his learning the Spanish/Valenciano.

I may have got it completely wrong, but I just don't see the huge difference between the two languages. It seems more like a dialect than a language. I am originally Scottish and if you have ever heard a Glaswegian on a Saturday night you would never believe it was "English" they were speaking

I have generally no problem understanding Valenciano and reading it is even easier. I lived in Venezuela for 35 years.....many more years in Spanish than in English, just wondering whether that has anything to do with it. Of course that doesn't mean it will be easy for my son and it may be a completely difference kettle of fish actually living day by day and being immersed in the Valenciano.....

I wonder if you know of any International schools that you could recommend which would be nearby or would have transport..... the only ones I have found on the internet are nearer Valencia City!

Thanks
actually a lot of English kids find Valenciano easier than Castellano to learn - to me it has a lot of similarities to French

have you looked at the NABSS website? There are quite a few International/British schools - The British school of Alzira has a good reputation afaik

I'm further south & if you were in my area I'd wholeheartedly recommend LES Lady Elizabeth - it's actually bilingual now, & has quite a high % of Spanish kids there - & everyone has to study Valenciano, too
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by cricketman
...

As for concertados being 60 euros per month, that is ridiculously cheap! Is it a religious school? The only concertados up here are run by weird religious freaks - Opus Dei, Jesuits, monjas etc.

From what I have seen with the cuts, I have serious doubts about using the state education in Spain at the moment, although it of course it depends on the school.
I think most concertados are Roman Catholic. The reason they are cheap is because the are state funded - they get subsidies but they have to adhere to certain rules. Personally I dislike my tax money being used to subsidise the teaching of a doctrine, and I know many Spaniards who feel the same, but that's the way it is in Spain.

Having said that, not all concertados are religious and our son will start at a non-religious concertado in September. Technically it is free, but there is a "voluntary contribution" that you are expected to pay, and that comes to about €60. On top of that you have to pay for the school meals.
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Old Jul 14th 2013, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by chopera
I think most concertados are Roman Catholic. The reason they are cheap is because the are state funded - they get subsidies but they have to adhere to certain rules. Personally I dislike my tax money being used to subsidise the teaching of a doctrine, and I know many Spaniards who feel the same, but that's the way it is in Spain.

Having said that, not all concertados are religious and our son will start at a non-religious concertado in September. Technically it is free, but there is a "voluntary contribution" that you are expected to pay, and that comes to about €60. On top of that you have to pay for the school meals.
Me too, it is ridiculous

Anyway, the concertados sound pretty much like the very good state school that my nephews go to. Even at state schools, you must pay for books and school meals, and then they have "talleres" at lunchtime and after school in music, English etc that cost something like 50-100 euros per month

Next spring we need to decide on a school for our little boy. At the moment it is a choice between the local state school, a new montesorri school that is funded by a parent cooperative that costs around 250 euros per month and the private school that my wife went to which costs 600 euros per month. It will be interesting to see the difference in quality of facilties etc. I know the private school is good because their average university exam score is 8.6 which is equivalent to 3As at A-level
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Old Jul 15th 2013, 2:17 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by Ilene
Thank you....

I have done some research on International Schools.....but there don't seem to be many nearby?? do you have any suggestions?. Do you know if they would accept a dyslexic child. Would this not mean that he would only socialize with British children to the detriment of his learning the Spanish/Valenciano.

I may have got it completely wrong, but I just don't see the huge difference between the two languages. It seems more like a dialect than a language. I am originally Scottish and if you have ever heard a Glaswegian on a Saturday night you would never believe it was "English" they were speaking

I have generally no problem understanding Valenciano and reading it is even easier. I lived in Venezuela for 35 years.....many more years in Spanish than in English, just wondering whether that has anything to do with it. Of course that doesn't mean it will be easy for my son and it may be a completely difference kettle of fish actually living day by day and being immersed in the Valenciano.....

I wonder if you know of any International schools that you could recommend which would be nearby or would have transport..... the only ones I have found on the internet are nearer Valencia City!

Thanks
The only international school I can think of is in Rocafort..Cambridge House School.There are others too but I dont know much on that topic.I do know that most of the children that go there are spanish and also there is a waiting list.Its a good school.I know someone who has children there and they live in Lliria but no school bus.Its about 450euros a month plus other stuff on top no doubt.
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Old Jul 15th 2013, 2:43 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by cricketman
Me too, it is ridiculous

Anyway, the concertados sound pretty much like the very good state school that my nephews go to. Even at state schools, you must pay for books and school meals, and then they have "talleres" at lunchtime and after school in music, English etc that cost something like 50-100 euros per month

Next spring we need to decide on a school for our little boy. At the moment it is a choice between the local state school, a new montesorri school that is funded by a parent cooperative that costs around 250 euros per month and the private school that my wife went to which costs 600 euros per month. It will be interesting to see the difference in quality of facilties etc. I know the private school is good because their average university exam score is 8.6 which is equivalent to 3As at A-level
We looked at a couple of concertados and they had pretty dire facilities, but we chose one of them anyway because it had a good academic reputation and was close to our flat. In fact one of the most important factors was location - I really didn't want our 3 year old to be getting up at 7 am to catch a school bus, and then return after 6 pm, having spent over an hour on the bus each day. The best teachers and facilities in the world don't count for much if the child is exhausted. The slight downside with the concertados is the kids are predominantly Spanish, so it won't be so easy for him to meet kids from different backgrounds, but you can't have everything. Some of the state schools near us are very good and we would happily have settled for one of those, but we had more chance of getting him into the concertado.
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Old Jul 15th 2013, 3:25 am
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Default Re: Is it hard to get a place for a child in school in September

Originally Posted by chopera
We looked at a couple of concertados and they had pretty dire facilities, but we chose one of them anyway because it had a good academic reputation and was close to our flat. In fact one of the most important factors was location - I really didn't want our 3 year old to be getting up at 7 am to catch a school bus, and then return after 6 pm, having spent over an hour on the bus each day. The best teachers and facilities in the world don't count for much if the child is exhausted. The slight downside with the concertados is the kids are predominantly Spanish, so it won't be so easy for him to meet kids from different backgrounds, but you can't have everything. Some of the state schools near us are very good and we would happily have settled for one of those, but we had more chance of getting him into the concertado.
Here in Asturias, you are only guarenteed a state school place if you are on a low income. It sounds crazy but it true, those on an above average income are expected to use paid education.

Yes it is a disadvantage that for private schools you normally need to drive to or get the bus. We are having the same dillema ourselves. Luckily all the schools are within a 15 minute drive but still it is a pain when we could walk to the local state school in 5 minutes
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