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Moving to Malta

(7 Posts)
Liquidambar Sat 13-Jun-15 23:17:34

Hi everyone

DH was offered a job in Malta.
I visited the island many years ago, but it was for work and I didn't see much.
What is your opinion?
We have two children (5) and (1). My main question at the moment is regarding DS1's education. He is about to start P1 (we live in Scotland). It seems the maltese curriculum also starts at 5.

Thanks

RosaHibiscus Sat 20-Jun-15 21:17:14

bump

Zettina Tue 23-Jun-15 17:56:57

Hi, what would like to know re schools?

School is compulsory here from Year 1, the year your child turns five. It depends on the year in which he was born, so the oldest child in the class would be then one born in January, the youngest the one born in December.

Schools do have Kinder 1 and Kinder 2, though, but they are not compulsory. Kinder 2 is equivalent to Reception Class in England, Kinder 1, to the "nursery" year from 3 - 4.

There are three types of schools - government (state), private, and church schools. If you're interested in private schools you need to get your child's name on the waiting list asap.

You have no choice as to which government school your child attends - he will go to his local school and that's it. Distances, siblings etc don't come into it. You are guaranteed a place at your local school from Year 1, though not for the Kinder years. (There are ways around it, if, for example, you work in another area and need your child to go to school in that area, but it's still not guaranteed as places will be offered to children who live in the local area first.) So if you're interested in government schools, think carefully about where you want to live.

Church schools are done by a lottery - the first name that comes out of a hat gets first choice of any church school in the country, and so on - the lower your number the less choice you will have, as places will be filled. Church schools also allocate places before opening up the lottery, to siblings, children with special needs, and children of lone parents. For primary, you only have two chances at doing the lottery, and I think they are at Kinder 1 and the end of Kinder 2, so you may be too late for that.

Ask away if you have more specific questions smile

RosaHibiscus Tue 23-Jun-15 21:38:11

Thank you so much, Zettina!

I think we will opt for a private school. My DS (who is 5) is bilingual and I would like him to keep his English as much as possible. On-line I could find some references to San Andrea and San Anton, which seem to teach the Maltese curriculum in English, or perhaps the international school Verdala. Have you heard anything about these schools?

My other DS will need to go to nursery, once I find a job. So I am a bit more relaxed about him.

Also, would you recommend any neighbourhood/area? I would like to stay close to shops and some other amenities, but away from night clubs, noise, etc.

Sorry for so many questions! :-)

Zettina Tue 23-Jun-15 21:50:52

All three of those will have waiting lists. Personally, I really really like San Andrea, but have opted not to send DS there because of the commute. Traffic in Malta is horrendous (has to be seen to be believed). There is the option of putting them on the school bus, but he is only 4 and, erm, safety isn't taken that seriously here, so I don't want him running around on a bus. Also, it means very long days - they pick them up early and drop them off late. But it is relatively progressive, and they do lots of project work etc.

San Anton is also a very good school - will have a much much longer waiting list, simply because that is where the Prime Minister sends his children, so it's currently very popular.

I do like San Andrea a lot, and if we are still here for senior school then I will send DS there. But it's in Mgarr, which is basically the middle of nowhere.

As for areas to live, you want to be looking at the North-East coast - from Sliema up to Pembroke. Lots of expats live in St Paul's, in the north, but (sorry) I think it's a bit 'rough' - think lots of English men walking around with cans of Stella all day.

More centrally, Attard is stunning, and also close to San Anton and San Andrea. You would need a car, though, but it is a beautiful and elegant place. Naxxar is also good. Mosta too, and Mosta is very well located, being probably the most central place on the island.

I suggested the North East coast as that is the most lively, and that is where most expats are gathered (apart from St Paul's).

Send me a PM if you want more details

RosaHibiscus Tue 23-Jun-15 21:56:24

Brilliant, Zettina. This information is priceless!
I will PM you once we get the work contract signed - so I don't waste more of your time if this doesn't become true.

Zettina Tue 23-Jun-15 22:34:58

Happy to help - it's a friendly island with lots of expats all in the same boat smile

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