Schools in Ericeria, answers the questions that we once had asked ourselves before moving to Ericeira.
When considering a new location for living and raising our children, we want to find out all about the local schools before we make a final decision. I hope this information can be useful to you too.
Starting School in Ericeira
At what age CAN I enroll my child at school?
Public preschool is available for children from 3 years old (and those who will be 3 by the 31st of December), up to until they start at school. This is not mandatory, though.
Ideally, enrollment is done from mid-April to mid-June, online or in the school.
At what age MUST I enroll my child at school?
The Portuguese state offers a school place for all children aged between 6 and 18 years old. For this age group, school is compulsory. Parents are legally required to enroll a child who turns 6 before the beginning of the new school year. The cut off date is the 15th of September. A child who turns 6 years old between the 16th of September and the 31st of December can also be enrolled, if there is vacancy, but this is not compulsory.
For homeschooling, you still need to go to the school and fill up the form to register the child in the education system. This is a legal requirement.
What documents will I need to enroll my child?
- Child’s identity card or birth certificate
- Pass photography
- Completed registration form, that can be done at school if you need help
- From the local health center “centro de saude”:
- up to date national vaccine book and respective certificate
- health check certificate “ficha de ligacao”
Find out here how to transfer your child from a foreign school
When does the school year run from?
From mid-September to beginning, mid- or end of June, depending on the child’s school year.
When does school break up?
- 2 weeks in the end of December
- 2 weeks at Easter
- 3 days at Carnival
In 2018/2019, Carnival break will be from the 4th of March to the 6th of March and Easter from the 8th to the 22nd of April.
The Public Education in Ericeira
The Portuguese public schools are generally safe and healthy places. However, the comfort offered to the students, as well as the infrastructure functionality and accessibility, can largely vary.
The good news is that the school Antonio Bento Franco, in Ericeira, is currently being fully renovated and will soon be a much better place for the growing local young population. Whereas, the primary school already has excellent infrastructure, heating, gymnasium hall, and swimming pool next to it. What is more, both schools have a growing international influx.
The public schools in Ericeira and surroundings are grouped together in what is called Agrupamento Escolar de Ericeira. Two of the schools in this group are located in Ericeira itself, including the main school, the Escola Básica António Bento Franco (2º/3ºC). Contact: 261 860 050.
The second school in Ericeira is the preschool and primary school Escola Básica da Ericeira (1ºC/JI). Contact 261 860 180.
The remaining branch schools are as follows.
- Pre- and primary school “Escola Básica da Freguesia da Carvoeira (1ºC/JI)” – Fonte Boa da Brincosa T: 261 860 150
- Primary school “Escola Básica da Freguesia da Encarnação (1ºC)” – Encarnação T: 261 850 080
- Pre-and primary school “Escola Básica da Freguesia de Santo Isidoro(1ºC/JI)” – Lagoa T: 261 850 000
- Preschool “Jardim de Infância” Azenhas dos Tanoeiros – Azenhas dos Tanoeiros T: 261 857 248
- Nursery “Jardim de Infância” Barril – Barril T: 261 856 920
- Preschool “Jardim de Infância” Encarnação – Encarnação T: 261 856 475
- Nursery “Jardim de Infância” Ribamar – Ribamar T: 261 866 135
- Preschool “Jardim de Infância” de Santo Isidoro – Santo Isidoro T: 261 864 420
How long is the school day?
Long, was our first impression. Though, this is not a particular issue with education in Ericeira. Furthermore, this depends on the school year and on the establishment itself. For instance, at the preschool in Ericeira, classes usually run from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Whereas, for children on the 1st to the 4th years, the day stretches up to 5:30 pm. However, if needed, children can arrive earlier and leave even later. The school offers an extension service from 7:30 to 8 am, and from 5:30 to 7 pm.
How is learning evaluated?
Learning is continuously evaluated internally and, externally, with national exams at the end of the 4th, 6th, 9th, 11th and, finally, 12th years. Individual parent meetings happen in the end of the school year. At this point, the teacher has a private talk with the parents of each child, about the child’s progression, the activities and work done, etc.
Does the curriculum include foreign languages, sports and music?
English education starts on the 3rd year. A second foreign language (french, Spanish or German) begins on the 7th year. Music and sports start on the 5th year, though there is an artistic/motor subject from year one. For example, our friend’s son is on his first year at school and has had swimming class, sports in a gymnasium and drama class.
What is the school food like?
School meals are healthy and balanced, including a daily soup, fish or meat as the main course, vegetables and carbohydrates. Seasonal fruit, jelly or yogurt are served as pudding.
The food is locally produced. And, at Antonio Bento Franco, the staff cooks in the school kitchen itself. Whereas, the primary school EB1, uses a catering service from the neighboring Malveira.
Parents can obtain meal tickets in advance for under 1.5 euros each. There are also a vegetarian and a diet option available. The daily menu, and information on its nutritional value, is available online via the city hall website. Parents should go to the school office and fill up the form for the canteen in advance. You can pay for this service monthly in a cash point. You can also top up your child’s meal card, then, book the meals online.
Morning and afternoon snacks include bread and butter, fruit, yogurt or milk. Although, children are encouraged to bring their packed snakes from home.
How will my child travel to school?
Parents normally walk or drive their children to school, while they are little. For children living in the Freguesia , but outside the town, like in Fonte Boa dos Nabos, Seixal or further, there is the public bus service. In this case, students can benefit from a 50 per cent discount on the bus pass.
The Private Education in Ericeira
Parents can also opt for a private school, although this is a less common option. Having said that, the Colegio Miramar is a popular choice among children living in Santo Isidoro, a neighbouring freguesia to Ericeira. The private school also welcomes students from Ericeira, Encarnacao and Sobral da abelheira and has capacity for 1320 children from the 5th year on wards.
Are there any international schools?
International Schools are abundant in the Lisbon area, including a French lycée, an American and a German school, as well as a handful of international religious schools. To the North of Ericeira, is the International school of Torres Vedras. The operative language may be French, German, Portuguese or English, most commonly. The annual fees range between 3000 and 14000 euros.
Education in Ericeira: nurseries
Most children’s nurseries in Ericeira are private, however, you can opt for one of the two local IPSS nurseries. These institutions are halfway between public and private and include the Centro Social da Ericeira in town, and CEBI in Fonte Boa dos Nabos, 2.5 km from the center of Ericeira.
The IPSSs are well disputed, and it is commun for parents to enroll their children well before birth, because working moms need to go back to work when baby is 4 or 5 months old.
In private nurseries, the waiting list is also commun. For my son, for example, joining the “1 to 2 years old” class, I started contacting nurseries 6 months in advance. In the end, we were lucky to have a place in the Nursery we wanted. As we were moving to Ericeira in April, we missed the beginning of the school year and, most importantly, the pre-registration. Ideally, I would have started the “school hunt” the year before. That would imply, however, paying unnecessary fees, if we got a place before April.
Most nurseries are private and still have a waiting list. So, do your visiting round as soon as possible, and secure your place in the waiting list. You can do this for free. Read more about the nurseries in Ericeira here.
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