Primary and Secondary Schools in Portugal

CAISL, Carlucci American International School of Lisbon

Sintra, Portugal
The Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (CAISL) is a non-profit, co-educational day school, based in Portugal. It serves the educational needs of about 550 students from the age three through grade 12. CAISL is an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, and therefore offers the IB Diploma Program for the last two years of High School. All students who complete CAISL’s graduation requirements earn an American High School Diploma, while those who fulfill the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program requirements, earn an IB Diploma. CAISL graduates are... See full description.

Primary and Secondary Schools in Portugal by City:

CarcavelosLisbonS. Domingos de RanaSintra

About Primary and Secondary Schools in Portugal

The primary and secondary school education system in Portugal is managed by the Ministry of Education, and the system is supported at the pre-school level by the Ministry of Labor and Social Solidarity. The pre-primary education in Portugal is available at state-run and private nursery schools. These are known as Jardins-de-Infância. Kindergarten education in Portugal is optional between the ages of 3 to 5 years. While the state-run institutes charge no fees, the private institutes have to be paid. Majority of the international schools in Portugal follow the international scheme, and their curriculum is based either on the International Preschool Curriculum or International Baccalaureate.

Primary Education in Portugal

The basic primary education in Portugal is mandatory, and it is a nine year long process. This period is divided into three stages known as the Ensino Básico – 1º CicloEnsino Básico – 2º Ciclo and Ensino Básico – 3º Ciclo. While the first stage spans four years, the second and the third stages are of two and three years respectively. All children aged six by September 15 have to be enrolled in that calendar year. There is a separate provision for the children who turn six between September 16 and December 31, under which they can attend the first stage in the nearest school, with written permission from parents or guardians. In this stage too, the state run schools provide free education, while the tuition fee charged by private schools is refunded in some part by the State.

First Cycle: The first cycle has four compulsory subjects: Portuguese Language, Mathematics, Environment Study, and Physical and Artistic Education. Other subjects are optional and are offered as per school capabilities.

 Second Cycle: The second level incorporates History and Geography, English (in levels 1 and 2), Civic Education, and the Natural Sciences.

Third Cycle: In the third cycle, another Foreign Language (French, Spanish or German) is introduced. Technical education is also made a part of the curriculum. On completion of this stage, a Diploma or Certificate is awarded to the students, and it enables them to apply for the Secondary education in Portugal.

Secondary Education in Portugal

The Secondary education in Portugal comprises three years of study after the compulsory basic education. It is intended for students who opt for further studies (general secondary courses) or intend to work (technological secondary courses). It includes the study of science, humanities and other specific courses, which target a specific industry. The students receive a diploma when they pass this level with satisfactory grades, which qualifies them for jobs in the market.

General Formation: A core group of subjects known as the General Formation are taught to both the General as well as Technological students. These include the Portuguese Language, Philosophy, Physical Education, and a Foreign Language.

The courses are provided by the vocational schools and some special schools for education in Arts. The courses at this level are sanctioned by the Certificado de Habilitações do Ensino Secundário/Diploma de Ensino Secundário (Secondary School Credential/ Diploma). This certificate is a basic requirement for higher studies in universities or polytechnics, which is an available option after passing the national access examination. This examination is conducted by the Direcção Geral do Ensino Superior (Directorate-General for Higher Education).

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