Frequently asked questions

Your child should bring a labeled water bottle and a snack (fruit or nuts) for snack time every day. They should also remember to bring closed-toed shoes for building/growing on Mondays and trainers for PE on Fridays. Please also remember to leave labeled wet weather clothes for your child on-site, in case we need them.

We open Mon-Friday. The normal day is from 9:00-15:30, however, we provide aftercare for parents wishing to take part in our free Portuguese lessons for parents, Tues-Thursday. Early Years parents wishing to collect early, may do so after lunchtime at 13:30.

We are currently undergoing the process with the Ministry of Education to become a recognised school. Currently, we are registered as an outdoor language and development centre. Therefore, all children registered in the country should register at the local primary school as being homeschooled.

Art is a precursor for writing. Children who enjoy art and spend time painting and coloring find it much easier to hold a pen to write. This takes the physical pain out of an already cognitively challenging activity.

Reading can be supported at home but creating a cosy reading area to hide in, reading with a touch in the dark/under the bed covers. 

Reading to pets or younger siblings also provides an audience which is not judgemental to help to build confidence, while encouraging responsibility.

Allow your children to choose their own books to buy/borrow. Free will is half of the battle!

For number work, it is great to find incidental opportunities for handling money e.g. paying at shops or even open your own little juice stall in your garden for passers-by to enjoy! It is also helpful to consolidate basic number facts at home to allow space for higher-level thinking skills e.g. number bonds to 10 and 100 and timetables. 

For Science, spend time with your child in the garden, identify plants and animals, talk about their habitats, food, predation. 

For humanities, take your child for a walk/to the beach to observe different ecosystems and travel to different countries! 

We do not provide children with homework and believe that it is much more important for them to play and pursue personal passions/gifts, while they are at home. 

  • Step 1: Positive triangulation (ignore challenging behaviour and praise children demonstrating behaviour for learning).
  • Step 2: Public praise and private discipline (we praise loudly to celebrate achievements but if it is necessary to talk to a child about their behaviour, we do so privately.
  • Step 3: Time Out (if challenging behaviour continues, after speaking to the child, we will provide them with some ‘time out’ in another group).

If challenging behaviour is an ongoing issue, we meet with the parents to formulate an IBP (individual behaviour plan).

However, being set in a loving community of well nourished children, rates of challenging behaviour are very low. 

If they do not speak English, and especially if they speak neither English or Portuguese, ensure you practise some survival vocabulary before their first day e.g. toilet, water, sad, ok, hungry, sick.

Parents are welcome to attend for as long as they feel necessary. However, we make it clear that we provide this service for the benefit of the parent, not the child. Our experience tells us that children generally socialise and settle much quicker when their parents leave.

At the end of each term, we host a parents evening to inform parents about children’s progress. However, at any time throughout the year, parents are very welcome to make an appointment with their child’s teacher to discuss progress.

We are very blessed to be moving into an outstanding new property in January 2021. This is located 15 minutes north of the current property. We are very excited that the new site will allow us lots of opportunities to transform our little school into a creative space for the whole community!

At the Story Forest, we provide food that is sugar-free, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, organic, and locally produced (as far as possible).

We have many parents, who are actively involved at the Story Forest and several opportunities for you to contribute! As well as having several parent volunteers who provide specialism in art, building and growing, as well as contributing to the website and parent communication, we also have a parent’s action committee who meet regularly to action plan initiatives to support us.

Many parents entering the area struggle to find rental accommodation, as a lot is advertised locally or word of mouth. Often the best option is to find something semi-permanent until you are here and have the opportunity to ask within the community. Aljezur Expats is a good forum for this on Facebook. You may also ask local estate agents for rental opportunities. Guthrie Roche Rentals are particularly supportive of this. 

Every half term (6 weeks) we have an open mic night, where we all get together to perform our talents on stage. Many members of the community of Aljezur meet at the local farmers market on a Saturday morning and socialise at the square afterward.

Viva is a handout, which can be found at cafes, which lists activities happening in Aljezur and the surrounding areas. Also, Tomorrow magazine is a free publication, which events, etc in the Algarve. 

There is also a Facebook group called Aljezur with Kids, which can be useful for meeting other parents.

If you would like further assistance to find opportunities to socialise, please speak to the parents action committee.