For families with children, moving to and living in Barcelona can be challenging depending on where you live, your economic situation, how well your children speak Spanish, what types of learners they are, etc. etc. etc. At BCN Life we give you answers and solutions to these issues so you make the best decisions for your family. Schools in Barcelona basically fall in the following categories:
International Private Schools
These consist of the schools that you easily find in internet searches of private schools in Barcelona. These private schools are considered international because they offer school curriculum of our countries such as the US, UK, France, Germany, and Switzerland for example. Most English instruction schools are British curriculum schools in Barcelona. There are only three American schools in Barcelona that offer fully accredited US curriculum that are actually inside Barcelona city. The other two are outside Barcelona and can be difficult to get to when living in Barcelona city. Click here for a list of the best American secondary schools in Barcelona.
International private schools in general are the most expensive schools in Barcelona. And because they are international, they may not offer the best way for your children to learn Spanish if that is your priority. However, the good news is that they do provide an excellent education.
Spanish Private Schools
For those of you with a smaller budget or because there are no places for your children in your desired international private school above, there is a tier of English based private trilingual schools that can be a good option as well. These Spanish private schools may offer a better opportunity for your chidren to learn Spanish than the international private schools. The key, however, is finding the best Spanish private schools in Barcelona that match the personality and comfort of your child.
Montessori Schools in Barcelona
There is only one accredited Montessori school in Barcelona and it is also a more affordable private international school as well. It is a newer school called Akua School which was founded five years ago. While it is located outside Barcelona in the mountains, it has convenient private buses that go through the most popular areas of Barcelona. Akua has an innovate learning project that prioritizes emotional intelligence and enhancing the strengths of each student. Because of its location in the mountains, students are able to do many learning activities outside in nature. More importantly, Akua School offers a trilingual program (Spanish, Catalan and English) which makes it a good school option for English speaking students to learn Spanish, especially since Akua is not so Catalan dominant like concertada/pubic schools discussed immediately below.
Semi-Private "Concertada" "Concertado" Schools
These charter-like schools are called concertados and concertadas depending on the feminine (escuela) or masculine (colegio) use in Spanish. Often referred to as "semi-private" schools, they are technically public schools but some function and operate like private schools, and in some cases, even better than international and Spanish private schools. The best of these so-called semi private concertada schools offer a trilingual education in Catalan, Spanish and English, although Catalan will be the dominant language and English generally the least dominant.
So while you will not find a dominant English instruction based Barcelona concertada school, these schools can be the best option for your children, especially to learn Spanish faster and to get integrated into local Catalan and Spanish culture. The only issue with the best conertada schools in Barcelona is that they very few to no places available, but we help you with this process.
These offer free education which are in Catalan except for some Spanish learning classes, but almost no English. At all schools, including public schools, you have to pay for lunch during the one and half to two hour break children have in the middle of the day which is about 150€ per month. However, you do have the option to pick up your children during lunch instead of paying the monthly fee and in the higher grades students can leave campus on their own during this time, opting out of the monthly lunch fee.
New Schools in Barcelona
Like Akua discussed above, Barcelona High School is a new school in Barcelona. BHS has an innovative American curriculum school program in Barcelona from 7th to 12th grade, popular with expat families, for students age 12 to 18 years old who want to attend secondary school in English. BHS is located in the most central part of Barcelona with a small class size and provides 1-on-1 tutoring in-person as part of its program. The BHS program includes university admissions guidance and career counseling to prepare students for university and beyond. Additionally, BHS offers coding courses with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. BHS even has a Montessori learning program through its partnership with Akua. Upon graduation, students receive an accredited official US high school diploma which allows them to attend universities throughout the world.
Want to get your child into the best public or concertada schools ASAP instead of waiting for an appointment with the local Education department?
Want to find the best public or concertada schools with openings in your area?
Want to know which are the best public, concertada and private schools by reputation?
Do you know the differences in what all the different private schools offer?
Don't worry. We have toured more schools and discussed them with both locals and expats to understand the nuances of each school's strengths and weaknesses. Indeed, our children have even been in both private and public schools.
We help choose the best school for your children from private school options to concertadas to free public schools based on your desired school needs.
What it's like picking up your child from school in Barcelona
Celebrating the last day of school and getting ready for the summer in Barcelona!
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