Although being a relatively small island, Ibiza possesses an excellent education system comprising of both private and public schools. Both options have many distinct advantages and disadvantages and which are all important to consider in the decision as to where your child will be educated. Whether you are already living in Ibiza, or are in the process of moving to this beautiful white isle, this article will take you through all options.
Public schools teach in a combination of Catalan and Spanish, as both are the official languages of the Balearic Islands. Catalan is essentially the ‘llengua pròpia’ which means the unique language of its statute of autonomy. This would be an important factor to note if your child does not yet speak Spanish as it could be a daunting experience for them to be a non-Spanish and Catalan speaker in a predominately Spanish and Catalan environment. Secondly, it may hinder their growth and development as your child will certainly flourish more effective learning in the language they are familiar with.
In regards to entering your child into the Spanish public school system, it is important to note that the deadline for submission is usually in the middle of May. When completing the application, you are able to state your interest towards a maximum of five schools. Most commonly children are allocated to schools based on the location that they live in. So, for example, if you live in Cala Llonga, you will be allocated to a school in the Santa Eulalia district. If you would however prefer for your child to attend a public school outside of your area, this may be difficult. Usually, this only happens if the public school has spaces available or how your child scores on a point system. Unlike other places in Europe, this is not based on your child’s academic performance, but for factors such as the location of the parents work or if they have a brother or sister attending the same school.
The private schools in Ibiza are exceptional and would be important to contemplate if your children do not speak Spanish as of yet. Of course, with integration and time, your child will pick up the language quite easily.
If your child is already a Spanish speaker, an excellent option to consider is Colegio Mestral which is a Spanish private school in the centre of Ibiza, in the area of Can Misses. Colegio Mestral has recently been ranked as one of the elite schools in European education by the PISA report which measures skills in reading, science and mathematics in more than eighty countries across the world.
Here, the classes are taught in Spanish and Catalan, however Catalan is only compulsory if your child is a Spanish citizen. The students are able to be educated up to the age of eighteen years old and multilingualism is strongly promoted throughout the schooling years. For example, many subjects are taught in English with the aim to learn this language in the most organic of ways.
At Colegio Mestral, the school’s main aim is to offer outstanding academic training, in addition to providing students with the essential skills to integrate successfully culturally, intellectually and civically – which are fundamental tools for advancing in modern society. The individual growth of students is considered to be equally as important as their academic progression. Small classes give a more personal approach to learning and teachers come from a variety of different countries and cultural backgrounds. This is essentially what Colegio Mestral believes Ibiza represents; an amalgamate of multiculturalism, integrating different traditions, cultures and beliefs into school life.
Morna International College
If your child does not speak Spanish, a good option to consider is Morna International College which is based in the peaceful and beautiful area of Santa Gertrudis. Here, you will find stunning views around the finca which is where the school is located. Morna is a progressive, academic and creative school encompassing a truly international learning environment. Year after year, students achieve excellent results in the internationally recognised GCSE and A Level examinations, where the school creates an environment where children feel inspired to learn and grow.
Morna International College follows the UK National Curriculum to children from age three to eighteen years old. Classes are taught in English, however Spanish is mandatory throughout the school education system. Thriving on multilingualism, Morna International College also allows students to learn German. The school would be an excellent option to support students who show an interest in science, art and IT. Classrooms are equipped with the latest technological teaching approaches and highly qualified teachers provide excellent learning conditions for their pupils.
The College Français
The College Français is a private school based in the area of San José. The school is a good option to consider if you are from a French speaking country or if your child does not yet speak Spanish. Classes are taught predominately in French for students up to the age of sixteen and are favoured among many parents who want their children to obtain mastery of the French language. The school has been approved by the French Ministry of Education in both primary and secondary education and offers scholarships to support students who wish to follow their graduate studies in France.
The College Francais’ mission is to encompass the culture of the Balearic Islands, as well as welcoming Spanish and other foreign students in addition to its French pupils. Promoting a humanist culture, classes are typical with a maximum of twenty pupils.
The Green School
The Green School is another private school and one that follows the Italian Montessori approach to teaching. The Montessori system of education is a philosophy of child development and based on a child’s developmental needs for freedom. Here at the Green School, students are provided with an environment that guarantees such experiences. There is an emphasis on independence where students learn from participation rather than direct instruction. The school teaches classes in English and Spanish, however students cannot stay longer than middle school as they do not yet have a high school.