Every Day

Learning groups – stages of development

Mixed-age groups are a basic prerequisite for learning from and with each other in the open learning space. Projects, such as the travelling school and theater, include individuals from different age ranges and that constitutes an important connection element for the school community.
We subdivide school levels (Primary and Secondary) into four stages (learning groups), in which learners form mixed-age groups and in which they are monitored:

Primary 1: approx. 6 - 9 year olds
Primary 2: approx. 10 - 11 year olds
Secundary 1: approx. 12 - 14 year olds
Secundary 2: approx. 15 - 16 year olds

School leaving certificate

Escola da Esperança provides a learning space to prepare its students in the best possible way, developing their self-motivation and commitment, for the “International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)“ - University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).


In these times of international networking and communication, multilingualism is a much sought after and highly relevant skill for the future. It constitutes the basis for intercultural understanding and cooperation, allowing individuals to position themselves in our current network-oriented professional world.
The learning languages at Escola da Esperança are English, Portuguese and German. It is important to us that the language classes are delivered by native speakers. The ICGSE final examination will be in English.

Daily, weekly and annual rhythm

In order for children to feel cared for a clear structure is necessary. This provides security and orientation so that they can access to their learning inclinations and freely follow their interests. Routine plays a part in creating orientation– a rhythm of recurrent elements that can be perceived during the day, the week and the year.

School community  - Parents’ and Pupils’ Participation

Parents and students share responsibility for shaping their school and are integrated within the school community which is characterized by solidarity and mutual support between all participants. To this end we were inspired by the strong parental support which exists in "Escola da Ponte", in São Tomé de Negrelos (Northern Portugal), and its strong village and school community.
Our students have the opportunity to choose a “Student council”, which can be composed of children of all ages. There students debate social organization proposals and “develop” new experimental forms and ideas for learning, which are presented at the end of the week in the assembly.