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Schools

For a real performance of the most noble and classical kind, no one should miss the magnificent stallions of the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art.

Many state schools offer after-school activities such as sports - rollerblading, roller-hockey, athetics, basketball; English; computing; arts and crafts. Most towns have a public polideportivo (sports centre) which offers classes in a number of sports, from swimming (summer, and winter if covered), padel and tennis, to karate, football and basketball. You can also find public music and dance centres.

The academic year in Andalucia runs from the second week in September to the third week of June. The main holidays are at Christmas, Easter and the long 10-week summer break. School hours vary depending on the school and are usually from 0900 to 1400 (Infantil and Primary) and 0830 to 1430 (Secondary) with an hour's break for lunch. Lessons are generally divided into teaching periods of 45 minutes.

The Spanish state schools have undergone dramatic changed over the last decade and standards are fast approaching those in the rest of Europe. Furthermore, if a child wants to continue at a university elsewhere, such as the UK, there are no special examinations to take, the results may be convalidated directly without even translating the same before supplying the same to the respective university body.

In the Spanish education system, children can start nursery (guarderia, known popularly as guarde) at 4 months, and they can stay up to three years, when they move onto Infantil school. Some areas, particularly in larger towns and cities, and especially on the Costa del Sol, have bilingual or international schools which offer nursery facilities as well as infantil.

As you shop for an international school you will find a wide array of accreditations, certifications and memberships. The logos provided by the organisations behind these stamps of approval look wonderful, but, as a consumer, it is important to know what they really mean. Here is a guide to the most common – and a few of the less common

Education is a primary concern for families relocating to Spain. For many children and young people, arriving in Spain and starting at a new school can be daunting at first, especially with a new language to learn.Andalucia offers a complete state school system from three to 18 years - three to five years is Infantil; six to 12 years Primaria; 12 to 18 Secundaria (ESO and Bacillerato) .