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State schools/education

Secondary Schools which study for GCSE and Matsec Exams

Here's the place to discuss schools in the state system. Private schools are commercially operated businesses just like any other, so they're included with all the other premium content. Any posts here about non-state schools will be removed.

Postby Lynda spain » Wed 19 Nov 2008 12:19 GMT

Thanks, i have been having a closer look at the QSI and their main website. Very interesting. I think we will have to visit Newark and QSI when we go over in January. We have a 13 year old son, what about you.? He is in an International School here in Spain and has been really happy, but like you say it would be good if they could make Maltese friends as well as other nationalities. Regards
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Postby Bluecheese » Wed 19 Nov 2008 14:32 GMT

Hi Linda and Belaus, sounds like we're all in the same boat! I have a 13yr old daughter and we want to relocate to Malta from Ireland next year. We are visiting in February to view some properties and visit some schools but, to be honest, I find the information available on some of the schools websites very limited. There is no information on the QSI website about their curriculum or fees. I have tried calling them but there was no answer. Newark College - is that just a junior school? Again, it's hard to tell from their website.

The Verdala Intl school's website is easier to navigate and they publish their fees and curriculum so that's the front runner so far for us. My daughter also likes the fact that there's no school uniform :lol:

It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has a child at any of the international schools on the island :)
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Postby Lynda spain » Wed 19 Nov 2008 18:53 GMT

Hi there, I e-mailed QSI had a quick response with details of fees etc. Also checked out their main website for their schools across the world, explaining their objectives and their teaching methods. i thought they were very good and I think my son would gain from the individual attention they give. Newark , yes they have a senior school and they show that on their website. Also looks good and one we will visit it January. Verdala looked good when i first checked it out on the web, but not so sure now. QSI has no uniform, in case your daughter is interested. I think my thoughts on Verdala were examined when somebody else said they had been to look around but decided not to use it. Might be worth visiting yourself though. Please let us know how your research goes.
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Postby BelAus » Wed 19 Nov 2008 23:13 GMT

Hi Bluecheese, We simply called the QSI International school and we had a nice conversation with their director John Lepetit. He also sent us an information pack with the school's fees etc. I would suggest to simply contact the schools you are interested in as we found most (one school refuses to take on students mid-term since its against school policies!) to be very friendly in providing advice and information.

I have just emailed Lynda the schools we have shortlisted and plan to visit to check them out. We are planning to visit Malta around February as well for the same purpose!
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Postby lol » Sun 21 Dec 2008 19:27 GMT

We were looking at private schools ourselves when we moved here and ended up opting for State run with very high standards and forward thinking staff......I have relatives who attend private schools in Malta and what I do know is that you need to budget for more than just the fees,apart from the initial entance fee (sometimes returnable after the full term of 5 years, some less and some not at all) there is the cost of books and where applicable, very expensive school uniforms (which, kids being kids go through quite a few)........Some schools also ask you to pay for transport and then don't forget the weekly or monthly cost of the 'wide choice of healthy meals'......Anyway, here are a few names,you can dig around from there if you wish.
St. Edwards college,
St. Catherines,
Chiswick House school and St Martin's college,
St.Michaels.
Private tuition here is extremely cheap compared to U.K. and you may also want to think about some of the Chrch run schools which are also a very high standard but can be quite hard to get into......
I opted for a state school in Gozo with private tuition but can tell you that the standard is far too high in some subjects and if I wasn't giving our son a gentle push then he would be struggling for sure.
It helps if your kids are studious and push themselves as well.
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Independent Secondary School

Postby Hali » Sun 11 Jan 2009 17:14 GMT

Hi, I haven't looked at this forum for a while so sorry for any questions asked that I didn't reply to earlier.

My children are 13 and 14 years old and started an independent secondary school in Malta last September - both are very happy at school and the school has been great in getting them settled. They both went to a state school in England but we decided on an independent school in Malta just because we wanted them to be taught in English only as they are now studing for their GCSE's and we felt that was enough to be coping with at this time. If they had been younger, we would have probably looked into local schools as we're sure they would have picked up the language very quickly. They do get far more homework then the schools they went to in the UK but they also get more holidays and so they have to be made to catch up with coursework somehow. As a previous person has written, apart from the fees, we have had to pay for all text books, writing books and writing instruments etc. And parents pay for the school bus if you choose to use it. And of course there is the subject of school uniform which I have found very expensive and unlike the UK where you can pop to your local department store to pick up shirts and school trousers etc., a lot of the school uniform is unique to that school and so it can only be bought at one shop which we have found very expensive. So these are additional costs to take into consideration when deciding on a school. However, we are happy with the school and the benefit of having to buy the textbooks is that they are always brought home so that we can see what topics are being covered and they are there for the children when they are needed at home for homework or revising.

I didn't mention actual school names before as I didn't think it was appropriate but I believe it is OK. We didn't pay for any school information on any website. I emailed all the schools on the Malta Government Education Website asking all the questions that concerned me. Once they replied, I shortlisted them and then we all went to visit them on a trip to Malta so we could actually meet the senior staff and see the school for ourselves. Actually visiting the schools made all the difference and I don't think you can really get a good idea of what the school is like unless you have seen them. We visited Verdala International School. San Anton school and San Andrea school which are virtually next door to each other and lastly we visited St. Martins. We liked all three of the last schools but in the end the decision was made by the school which would allow our children to take both Edexcel exams at 16 as well as the Maltese Matsec exams. One thing to note is that the school our children attended in the UK studied for GCSE's over two years - in Malta it is over 3 years and so our daughter had missed the first year of the coursework. Through hard work and help from the school she is trying to catch up on any work she has missed.

I don't see any reason why anyone has to pay for information on the schools. After going through it all myself I would give the following tips:

1. Look at the Maltese Government Education website. For us, we then went into Secondary Schools and then into the Independent section.

2. Contact all schools by email with all of your questions and wait for their replies to see if they are suitable candidates. Contact them again if you don't get a response because they were sometimes slow at getting back to us.

3. Visit the school - looking round the schools was a real eye opener and there is no way we could have chosen the right school without doing this.

And importantly, don't be afraid of contacting the same school again and again with a question until you are comfortable. One school I contacted by email told me they did study for Edexcel, then on our visit we liked the school but were told by the headmistress on our visit that they only studied for Edexcel for some of the GCSE options. We chose that school, got back to the UK and I sent another email to them to confirm this and was then told that they didn't actually study the GCSE course and so it was quickly removed from our list.

Good luck - I know it's a daunting task. All the schools we contacted were very friendly and helpful and were only too pleased to show us around. I'll keep an eye on the forum incase I can help anyone with a question.
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Postby doc » Mon 12 Jan 2009 15:17 GMT

Hi

Moving to Malta in time for Sep 2009 academic year start. Oldest daughter starting A-levels at that time, and oldest son starting 2 year GCSE course (I know that means he'll have missed the 1st of the maltese 3 year version of the GCSE courses).

But my question having read this thread is I see several people have called all the schools and asked them questions. I started on some of this myself. Has anyone written down their questions and answers like in a spreadsheet or notes they could type up? I was interested in type of school (church, private, church private, public) past years examination results in GCSE and A-level. Co-educational or not. Fees. Location. Class-sizes for GCSE and A-level, number of pupils in the school, ages of students taken eg 5-18. Topics offered at GCSE & A-level. % of GCSE students going on to A-levels, % of A-level students going on to university. What types of exams they cater to GCSE/A-level, IB (14-16yrs), IB higher (16-18yrs), matsec. Maltese language needed? Any other questions you thought to ask!

I have 4 school age children ages 17, 14, 10 and 7.

If there is interest please send any and all info and I'll collate and put on the web. Seems more efficient than each of us doing the same thing and schools having to answer the same questions over.

-Doc
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Information on some schools I visited

Postby Hali » Tue 13 Jan 2009 14:09 GMT

Hi,

This isn't an awful lot of information but it may be a start.

Verdala International School is a co-educational school with the exams studied for being International Bacclaureate.

San Anton and San Andrea Schools both co-educational, study for Maltese Matsec exams. I can't remember which one of them it was now but I was told by one that they studied towards the Edexcel exams as well as Maltese Matsec and then found out that that wasn't the case.

St. Martins School - co-educational and study for Maltese Matsec examinations as well as some children studying towards Edexcel. Our children are studying for Edexcel examinations as well and so any coursework that isn't covered in the normal Matsec curriculum, the teachers have kindly told us that they will cover with them for the exams.

Hope this is of some help.

I visited all the above schools and they provided me with a list of past examination results on our visits. They also included it in the pack they sent to us when we were making our initial enquiries. They all have websites and the pack they send out includes all information regarding area they are based, previous exam results, fees etc. They were also all English speaking for lessons.

In my children's school they have found that English is spoken in the classes and its only in the playground that some of the children sometimes speak Maltese.

We only looked at independent schools so I can give any information on other types of school.
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Postby doc » Tue 13 Jan 2009 18:00 GMT

Thanks for the info some new info in there for me.

btw You mention Verdala doing IB, and I found this confusing on their website where I had presumed they did primarily IB, with some IGCSE overlapping option on the IB lower, BUT I spoke to Verdala and they said they do ONLY IGCSE from 14-16yrs, and ONLY IB higher from 16-18. (This also means verdala do a 2 year UK style GCSE course rather than the 3 year mentioned by St Martins).

I also spoke to St Martins and they couldnt provide past year exam results for A-level for the perfectly good reason that they've only been doing them for 3 years so the current year students haven't had their results yet. (The school used to stop at 16 I think, unless they did some other qualification from 16-18yrs).

The other interesting thing I got from St Martin's response to my query was that UK A-level currently is 3 higher level and one intermediate level, vs University of Malta entry requirements are 2 higher level and 4 intermediate level. They also mentioned they offered for academically students to do both at once (namely 3 higher and 4 intermediate).

I am still in search of past year exam results for IGCSE if you have any of that info to hand, it would be great.

btw the US government has a page on Verdala school (I presume for the benefit of US citizens looking for schools abroad):

http://www.state.gov/m/a/os/1462.htm

They have some detailed statistics about the nationalities of students: "Of the total (314 in 2008/2009), 23 were U.S. citizens, 35 Maltese, and 256 third-country nationals." Did you come across statistics like this for the other private schools?

-Doc
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Postby Gregozo » Wed 14 Jan 2009 08:09 GMT

I have posted the experience of a friend of mines kids at 2 of the fee paying schools naming names on 'Recommended Suppliers'
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Postby 165721 » Thu 6 Oct 2011 07:05 GMT

Hi,

I am interested to know if there would be a demand for private tutoring for English Literature and Language, as my partner is a very experienced English teacher, the second in English in her school. She is interested to know whether there is a demand for this private tutoring.

Let me know what you think?

JJ
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Postby gozomark » Thu 6 Oct 2011 08:19 GMT

there is massive demand - many kids go to private tuition after school, and English and Maths sem to be the main subjects
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Postby 165721 » Thu 6 Oct 2011 08:22 GMT

So I guess one just puts a notice in the paper and sees what happens? Do you have any idea what people charge, I assume this would be linked to experience?
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Postby gozomark » Thu 6 Oct 2011 08:31 GMT

you will see loads of ads in newsagents and local shop windows, also flyers on trees, lamp posts etc - not sure on price as I've never seen it mentioned.
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Postby 165721 » Thu 19 Jan 2012 12:06 GMT

Of course if anyone who visits this thread is interested in being tutored, then please PM me.
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