What have we been up to…
We have been busy since I last posted. We have affiliated with a group of Schools in America called Agile Learning Centers. This will allow us to meet the classification of an International School for children aged 4-18. All of the information about the way they work can be found on here and is exactly how we work anyway! We have also been fund raising and have started to make the school space look like our own with displays and learning materials going up everywhere. I have been busy getting all the paperwork together for the Ministry for Education and we have been working hard on preparing for the Christmas party next week. Term ends on the 14thDecember and has flown by. We will be opening our doors again on January the 9thfor an exciting year. Who knows what it may bring. Hopefully International School status. Fingers crossed!
So after giving the presentation to the Camara we found out that we had missed the deadline for registering as an international school for this year. This is due to that fact that there is one deadline every year in order to be registered as an independent school. We can only apply to register now for next year. So due to this we have decided that we will get all of the paperwork for this ready and register for this year as an explanation centre for home educating families. This allows us to open before registering as an Independent School. In order to do this all of the families who wish to attend this year will have to register with the local Portuguese School as home educating families (as is Portuguese Law) and follow the Portuguese Curriculum. This however will not include any exams. We have a Portuguese Teacher on Staff and have always intended that the children learn Portuguese anyway so this will not change. We intend to do all we can to be registered by next year and therefore sit outside of this system. Until then families are required to register as Ensino domestico. (home educating) We can help you with this and explain everything in more detail when you are ready to register your child.
Welcome to the all new Expression Small School. We arrived in Portugal early May and since then have been working hard to see if we could set an alternative education project within the local area.
So great news! We gave a presentation to the Camara (Council) of Penamacor and they loved the idea of the project. What is the Project I hear you say…
Well we wanted to create a project here that would allow children an alternative the the mainstream Portuguese education system. The “small school” would provide small scale alternative education to children in a relaxed and fun way. We all (including the children) decide the rules, what we learn, how we learn, and everyone is equal. We allow the children to go at their pace and not feel in competition with anyone else. Teachers can work with children on a one to one basis for support with literacy and numeracy due to the small numbers of children in any one group. English and Portuguese are spoken throughout the week with Portuguese lessons given in a natural way.
The Camara have not only been supportive by allowing us to start the school here, but have
offered us an old school building to use for the project! We move in this week and will be ready to sign children up for the remainder of the term by the end of the month.
After loads of hard work and preparation we will have ourselves a school. We are also able to offer support for local home educating families who are able to attend on a part time basis to support their studies at home. Part time or full time attendance will be available. Information packs are ready and I will post them out to everyone interested after the first parents meeting at the school to be held on the 9th October at 2pm. Any local parents who are interested are more than welcome to attend the meeting!
There is no other alternative form of education for families in the whole of the Castelo Branco region. We hope that this project will bring the community together offering English lessons to children from local schools along side our project and classes for adults in the evening too. A real community center as well as a school.
Please get in touch if you would like more information.