ESO – Secondary School In Spain

Wow, this is my first post in a while! I’ve got a good excuse:


Speaking of school, I recently went on a field trip with my class to “La Antigua Sexi”. It’s a secondary school for grades 7-12, also known as an instituto. It looks nothing like an “American High school.”, more  like a Spanish street.  There were 3 main buildings the:  extra activities building with art, music, the cafeteria…, the normal school building with the home rooms and, finally, the Bachillerato building. (Grades 11 & 12).

Secondary School In Spain - ESO (Educación Segundaria Obligatoria)

Okay, enough about the appearance, let’s talk about the different years. In the instituto there are 2 schools: the ESO (Educación Segundaria Obligatoria, Second Obligatory Education) and Bachillerato.

ESO – Educación Segundaria Obligatoria – School In Spain

This is the school that teaches grades 7-10. As one would expect it has all of the normal classes (Language, Math, Science etc.) and a chosen class: French, Math (for those who need it) or Language (also for those who need it). The chosen class is recommended to you by your 6th grade teacher, for example: if you do well in all subjects, the teacher would recommend French. Every thing is pretty much the same, like the classes, students… If you have more questions comment down below.


To be honest, I don’t know much about this school, it’s basically one’s Junior and Senior year in high school, but it isn’t mandatory. It’s kind of like college prep, in those last 2 years you focus on what you want to be when you are older in more detail.

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4 thoughts on “ESO – Secondary School In Spain”

  1. Sorry, another question: Were your kids required specific vaccines, if any, in order to be enrolled in ESO (Educacion Secundaria Obligatoria)?

    1. Not to worry. When we enrolled them, we were not asked for any vaccine records, but we had them ready to show. I am not sure if that is common around all of Spain or if it is because we live in a smaller town (25k).

      It is great that you are reading everything. We do offer consulting services ( as well and would be more than happy to dig into some of the questions for you. Often times, people will send over their list of questions, we research and either reply via email or set up a skype call and review everything. It seems as soon as one question is answered, it often raises more, so the call is good. That said it is always good to have it all documented as well.

  2. Hello Heidi! It’s so much fun and enjoyable reading your blogs. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!
    This Summer we are moving from California to Alicante, Spain. I have three kids who have Spanish citizenship; my oldest is a senior in high school, my middle one is a junior also in high school, and my youngest one is finishing 6th grade. I have done some research about the educational system, but I don’t understand what makes a child be eligible for a “colegio concertado.” Do you know anything about it? Also, I’m having trouble figuring out, since school is not over yet, how to do the “homologacion de estudios” or approval of studies. This process could take months and I don’t want to wait until they finish school in order to start this process. How about the Secondary School your children are going to, is it public, private or “concertado”? Thanks in advance Heidi!

    1. Hey Rita, Thanks for reading everything! It is a big help for us, when questions arise and you have already done your reading. Our kids attend public schools. When we enrolled them, we were not asked for any vaccine records, but we had them ready to show. I am not sure if that is common around all of Spain or if it is because we live in a smaller town (25k). I am afraid we aren’t too familiar with the concertado, as we attend public school. If you know what area you will be living in, I would recommend contacting the possible schools directly and ask what they require.

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