Everything you need to know about primary education in Spain

Education Primary education in Spain. . Everything you need to know

In Spain, primary education is a compulsory stage of schooling for children aged between 6 and 12 that covers six academic years. At BSS, we want to explain some of the key aspects of primary education in Spain.

Structure and duration:

This stage aims to provide students with a basic and comprehensive education that will enable them to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to develop as all-round individuals.

Primary education is divided into three cycles, each lasting two years. The first cycle includes the 1st and 2nd years, the second cycle covers the 3rd and 4th years, and the third cycle includes the 5th and 6th years.

Subjects and content:

The Spanish primary education curriculum is structured around different areas of knowledge, including subjects such as Spanish language and literature, maths, natural science, social science, creative arts, physical education, religion or ethical values and foreign languages. These subjects are taught gradually and progressively, in line with students’ cognitive and emotional development.

What’s more, not only do the best private schools in Spain offer the national curriculum, but also the PYP (Primary Years Programme), which follows the same methodological model as the International Baccalaureate (IB).

What does this programme involve? ? Like all IB programmes, it aims to offer students a different way of learning.

The PYP is concept based and focuses on interdisciplinary enquiry, which encourages students to develop conceptual understanding, construct knowledge and foster their investigation and critical thinking skills. Consequently, students internalise the content much more effectively and don’t forget it right after taking the exam, as is often the case these days.

Another important characteristic of this methodology is the figure of the teacher. In this context, the teacher is no longer the main focus of the classroom and transfers this responsibility to students, who must play an active and leading role in their own learning. Meanwhile, teachers act as a guide to help students find answers to their questions and lead each student’s independent and proactive learning In addition, this methodology relegates textbooks to second place and focuses on helping students to develop skills and personal attributes as they work on subjects through units of enquiry.

To support the development of these skills, the PYP promotes student independence by encouraging them to express their own opinions, make their own choices and take responsibility for their own learning. It also offers students a collaborative approach.

Another feature of this programme is that parents must get involved in their children’s learning process so they can help them evaluate and understand what they have learned. Assessment is more strongly based on students’ achievements and focuses on the next steps they must take to improve, reflecting on their knowledge and performing a self-assessment to make them aware of where they are and where they need to go. In addition, students can show where they are in the teaching-learning process by means of a self-assessment.

Content: from topic-based to concept-based learning

Another major difference between the PYP and traditional teaching is the content. . This educational model is based on concepts rather than on topics. For example, instead of teaching “the body”, the PYP would go one step further and teach how our lifestyle impacts the systems of the human body as a central idea, in addition to lines of enquiry that accompany each unit. This method encourages enquiry, critical thinking and discovery in both the classroom and the outside world.

In short, the PYP encourages students to consider knowledge, conceptual understanding, skills and personal attributes as one connected whole.

It places great importance on encouraging students to ask questions and developing a desire for lifelong learning, while also being internationally minded, global citizens that can help build a better world.

What are the main benefits of this educational project?

  1. It encourages natural curiosity and learning in an environment that fosters creativity, solidarity and collaboration.
  2. It helps students understand today’s world. Students construct meanings by themselves and understand them by exploring real problems.
  3. It helps students learn to communicate in different ways and in more than one language.
  4. It encourages students to collaborate with their teachers and classmates to plan, present and assess their own learning.
  5. Two important pillars of the PYP are collaboration and an understanding of other cultures. Students learn to be respectful and open-minded.
  6. Critical and creative thinking is encouraged in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields.
  7. Students believe in their ability to grow and succeed, which allows them to make good decisions and take responsibility for their actions.
  8. As they learn in a creative manner, students can provide an imaginative response to the opportunities and challenges that arise in our complex and uncertain world.
  9. It gets the school’s entire learning community involved. Together, we celebrate the condition that unites us as human beings and the common idea that education can help us build a better and more peaceful world.

In short, the PYP is an avant-garde educational project that will change the status quo and, above all, improve students’ learning, development and lives.

Moreover, the best private schools in Spain combine these principles with the highest standards of teacher training and skills, unbeatable facilities, excellent teaching resources, technological innovations and carefully designed services, organisation and school environments.

Teaching resources and technology:

In terms of educational methodology, in recent years BSS schools have moved towards more participatory, active and inclusive approaches. Teamwork, the use of new technologies, paying attention to diversity and emotional education are just some of the aspects that these methodologies encourage.

The Best Schools in Spain aim to offer a quality education that is based on innovation and academic excellence. To this end, they have highly qualified professionals, modern infrastructures and up-to-date educational programmes that are adapted to students’ needs and the demands of today’s society.

Assessment and moving on to the next school year:

Continuous student assessment plays a very important role in education. Students are expected to pass exams in all subjects before moving on to the next level of schooling. Those who do not meet the academic objectives at the end of the school year must repeat the same level in order to reach the required level of learning. This measure seeks to ensure that students have acquired the skills they need for their future academic development.

At the end of the third cycle (6th year), students take an exam to test their basic language and mathematics skills. Assessment reports are also issued at the end of each school year and sent to parents to tell them about their children’s academic performance and other skills.

In summary, primary education in Spain is a compulsory stage of schooling that aims to provide students with a comprehensive education, where they acquire knowledge, skills and values thanks to an up-to-date teaching approach focused on educational excellence.

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