• Expression Alternative International School, Rua Do Colegio, Penamacor, Portugal

Our School

Roots (ages 4-7)

The Roots group is all about play! Roots builds on ideas from Montessori, Waldorf education, the history of play based progressive early childhood schools, and studies of Reggio Emilia. We...

View More

Trees (ages 7-11)

This room is where the children start to expand their learning by developing their skills in order to allow them to prepare to study, critique, and think independently. Having come...

View More

Forests (ages 11-18)

For the older children the day also begins at 9:00am and ends at 4:00pm. They start the day with the Morning meeting and then go onto the sessions and projects...

View More


End of Term Camp-out

School is out for this academic year, so we all headed to our local camp site for a school and family camp out. So much outdoor time, having fun playing...

Summer Time: 25-29 June

The end of this academic year has finally arrived and as the summer break beckons we have the opportunity to relfect and consider how our small school has grown. Our...

Choices: 18-22 June

In our democratic school every child has a choice. Our day begins with a morning meeting where the sessions on offer for that day are explained, discussed then chosen. Each...

alc-branding_alc-text-logoExpression ALC offers a unique and alternative small scale form of education where photo (94)there is no pressure or force to be something or go at the same pace as anyone else. Each child is nurtured and due to the small size of the group can really benefit from being with other children in a group environment while not being over loaded. The School was started in October 2016 as a response to the need for an alternative approach to education in Portugal. With Home education being registered and regulated, and exams and test being the priority of the mainstream system here we felt that a genuine alternative was needed to allow children to be able to learn and grow free of this pressure. Attending the School gives the children the chance to learn about new subjects and topics in a fun, imaginative, and hands on way. We believe giving children the space to learn about themselves as much as academic facts is important and strive to allow them to express themselves as individuals in their own right. We are open Monday to Friday, with additional childcare available out side of the educational session time. We accept children from 4 – 18 years old.

ALC’s use specific tools and methods to allow the children to be self directed in their learning, along with full democratic say about the running of the School. Rules are discussed and decided by everyone at the Culture meetings and adults and children are seen as equal. A range of alternative approaches are adapted to suit each child’s learning style and alternative methods and materials coming from approaches such as Steiner, Montessori, along with democratic principles are blended together.  The teachings of Krishnamurti are integral to the schools ethos and aims in allowing the children the time and space to not only learn about knowledge of the outside world, but about themselves, their feeling, thoughts, and inner workings. Children are encouraged to question, enquirer, and explore for themselves. Never just believing something for the sake of it.

km0_6005Numeracy and literacy are explored within the tasks the children are doing, such as cooking, woodwork or science experiments along with individual projects and open class room sessions. Reading is not pressured, but supported. Younger children explore letters and numbers in a fun and hands on way through games and play. The older children look at interest lead projects and activities, and lean about self awareness, critical thinking and evaluation skills. Individual support for literacy and numeracy is given according the the child’s interest and desire to start to learn, and their ability.

Agile Learning centers are a group of American schools who use a range of tools and resources to support the children in the self directed study. This sets the basis for how we work with the children on a daily basis. Please read the ALC page to find out more….

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a visit, please feel free to contact us.

We are the first school to offer an alternative form of education within the Castelo Branco region. There are no tests. Portuguese is spoken throughout the week in a relaxed and informal way, and lessons are given in a  natural way. Our aim is to allow the children to integrate in an informal setting while still  having the back up of their own home language.

Local Portuguese children attend the school for English lessons throughout the week during the day allowing children from all backgrounds to play and socialize together. We have a mix of Portuguese and English staff.

Please also keep up to date with what we are up to on our News & Events pages and Facebook page

We are members of the EUDEC and can supply the students with a Democratic Diploma at the end of their education.