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Expression Small School

When I arrived in Portugal not even five months ago I would never have imagined that it could have turned into such a whirlwind adventure. In less than five months I have built a house, worked a large piece of land, cared for two children on my own, and opened an alternative education project.

I ran a project back in England and came out here with the idea that I would set up a small scale project on our land. Great, however the more I looked into this, the more it became apparent that this was not going to be as easy as I thought! The more I delved into what has become Pandora’s box, the more I realised that opening an education project here in Portugal is not an easy thing to do. I have discovered that with all the pitfall of legalities, the Ministry of Education’s rules and regulations, and issues within the education system as a whole, setting up a small scale school on our land became less and less of an option. It just wasn’t going to work if we were to be legal. So after mustering up the courage (and practicing a rather large presentation in Portuguese for what felt like forever) I took a presention to Penamacor Camara to ask if we could set up an alternative education Project here with the possibility of applying for status as an International School next year.

Thank goodness they loved the idea and rapidly came on board. Since then they have offered us a school building to use in Pedgrógão São de Pedro, and have been really supportive with paperwork and other issues. We still have a way to go, but we got the keys for the building this week and started to clean it, and the first parents meeting will be held there on Sunday 9th October for all those who are interested in the project. We will be opening hopefully at the end of the month!

So what is the project?

Well I have two home educated children who love to run, play, and enjoy life to the full. This is how childhood should be. We believe that children should not be forced or pressured to go at the pace of anyone else, have to sit exams if they don’t want to, or feel in competition with their peers. The School will be a relaxed family environment, where children get involved with the planning, organisation and rules of the School. Everyone is equal and we listen to what they want and need. Mixed classes of different ages will be able to support each other, and dare I say it … the children know that we as adults do not know everything.

Knowledge changes every moment and in any moment the information in a book has become obsolete. We want to teach the children to explore and learn for themselves, to adapt to an ever changing world and to be able to be resourceful and think for themselves. This is alternative education. We hope that families will join the school and that we can grow the project as a community project. Children can attend full or part time and projects and learning take place in both English and Portuguese.

It has felt like a long few months, but I am so excited that we start something here so different and see what happens. I hope to see anyone who is interested on Sunday at 2pm and if you would like more information about the school please get in contact.

See our listing in the Pure Portugal Services Directory at





5 thoughts on “Expression Small School

  1. This sounds fantastic well done do you know what the fees will be i have a wonderful 10 year ols who is funny kind and getting bullied in england hope to move to portugal next year and living in your area what are the fees ? Xx much love and congratulations to you

  2. Hi Zoe
    How’s it all going? I have found it really hard to find the right state school for my daughter but luckily a private not for profit family learning school has just registered in my area so I will be sending my daughter there. Sounds so similar to your ethos, closer to the Finnish education system. However my husband would really like to move back to Portugal and he is close to Faro. I wondered if you knew of any similar projects to yours closer to that area? Or if you’d like to open another venue!?
    Thanks leila

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