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School and Education

El colegio y la educación


Education in Spain is compulsory for 6 to 16 year olds, although nowadays many children join guarderías or nurseries from the age of 3. Education between the ages of 3 and 18 is free in public schools.

Similarly to the UK, children progress from infant school through to primary and then secondary school. There are 3 different types of schools too, public, private and concertados which could be considered as a half private, half public school.

The last few years have seen the popularity of bilingual schools, or non-Spanish speaking schools where students can become bilingual during their years at school with native teachers who impart their classes using either English or Spanish vocabulary. In Madrid there are a number of bilingual schools listed and a number in coastal areas where there are greater numbers of international residents.

There are also many Spanish schools in Spain for adults who need to learn or improve their Spanish skills in order to integrate their families into their new Spanish life.

English WordSpanish WordPronunciation
schoolel colegioel ko-legheeyoh
schoolla escuelala es-kwellah
bilingual schoolun colegio bilingüeoon ko-legheeyoh bee-ling-we
educationla educaciónla ed-you-cath-yon
play time / recess / break timeel recreoel reh-crayoh
bellel timbreel tim-breeh
subjectslas asignaturaslas ah-sig-na-toorahs
teacherel profesor / la profesorael proh-fessore / la proh-feh-sorah
teacher (colloquial)el / la profeel / la proffay
rucksackla mochilala moh-cheelah
studentslos estudiantesloss e-stoo-dee-antess
school childrenlos alumnoslos a-loom-nose
universityla universidadla oony-vurrsey-dad
classla clasela classeh
lessonla lecciónla leck-thyon
studieslos estudiosloss e-stoodyos
homeworklos deberesloss deh-behress
artel arteel artey
historyla historiala iss-tor-reah
geographyla geografíala ghee-oh-graffeah
humanitieslas humanidadeslass oo-manih-dahdess
sportel deporteel de-porteh educación físicala ed-you-cath-yon fee-sickah
mathematicslas matemáticaslas mah-teh-matickahs
physicsla físicala feesickah
chemistryla químicala keemickah
biologyla biologíala bee-olog-gheyah
social scienceslas ciencias socialeslass theeyen-thiass soth-ee-yaless
Spanish languagela lengua castellanala leng-wah cass-tey-arnah
languageslos idiomasloss ee-dee-yomahs
foreign languagela lengua extranjerala leng-wah ex-tran-kherah
religionla religiónla reh-ligh-ee-yonn
musicla músicala moo-sickah informáticala een-phor-matty-ckah
Englishel inglésel in-glays
Frenchel francésel fran-thez
Germanel alemánel a-leh-man

In Spain, learning does not stop when the final bell rings at the end of the summer term. There are many international summer camps in Spain which welcome international and Spanish students to learn as they have fun during the summer holiday period. Camps are located across the Spanish Peninsula and provide students with a wealth of opportunity to improve language and sporting skills, make new friends and take part in lots of new activities.