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The Warsaw Voice » Other » July 1, 2009
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Doing Well Despite the Crisis
July 1, 2009   
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Prestigious international schools and preschools in Warsaw are expanding their range of activities.

The school year at most international schools and preschools in Warsaw came to an end in June. The last classes at the British School of Warsaw took place July 3.

Despite the global economic crisis, such schools are doing well. Principals of schools we have written about and pupils' parents consider the past school year a successful one, with all educational goals and plans achieved.

Students took part in numerous events with an international, multicultural flavor. In the summer, the well-known schools and preschools The Warsaw Voice has written about since October enroll students for the coming school year or provide parents with comprehensive information.

The Academic Year at the British School, Warsaw, drew to a positive conclusion at the beginning of July.

Seven hundred students from over 50 different nationalities have worked hard, played some good sport indoor and out, performed plays and concerts of a high standard and raised some very significant sums for charity through their Non-Uniform, Community Action and the stunning Dance Show Event held at the Hilton Hotel.

At every age the students have continued to benefit from a large and well qualified team of teachers and assistants who are determined to always provide the best possible opportunities for everyone in the classroom. The English National Curriculum continues to be taught up to the age of 16 and our students from 16 to 18 follow the world-renowned International Baccalaureate Programme. This year's students graduated in grand style at a stunning ceremony at the Novotel and were presented their certificates by the British ambassador.

The Early Years Centre in the leafy suburb of Stary Mokotów has been a hive of learning all year and the end-of-year concerts, expeditions and summer sport and International Children's Day events are testament to a lively and purposeful time having been had by all.

At the spacious Sadyba Campus the students and staff there have benefited from the wonderful new dining room that has created a superb additional eating, meeting and general purpose performing space that has already been used to great advantage throughout its first term of operation. The school food has also tasted brilliant!

The recruitment of students for the new school year is looking very good and the new Principal, Mr Nigel Archdale, and his team are very much looking forward to the new school year in September as the British School Warsaw continues to go from strength to strength.


The Wilanów district of Warsaw is home to a school whose name conveys a compelling message: The W. Brandt Polish-German School of Meetings and Dialogue.

The Polish-German School is attended by young Poles and Germans as well as children of many other nationalities. "You can safely say this is an example of a multicultural and multi-generational school," said principal Heike Briesemeister.

Some extra-curricular activities at the Polish-German School are parts of a larger whole, a good example being the Destination Imagination program which originated in the United States and teaches students creativity and uncovers young talents. Another English-language program is the United Nations project, which ends in a simulated UN convention in a European country.

"Our students also take part in the Szawim project conducted by the Jewish Community in Warsaw," Briesemeister said. "Another group has enthusiastically engaged in the Traces of Memory project to documents senior citizens' memories of World War II. We hold meetings with internationally famous writers such as Günther Grass, Uri Orlev and Hanna Gofrith, who survived the Holocaust in hiding in Warsaw. To our students, she has become a part of living history, a witness of events they only learn from history books."

Briesemeister is confident students from the Polish-German School will offer a springboard to new generations who will not only read masterpieces by Goethe and Mickiewicz in the original, but also transcend boundaries and cultures. They will make a valuable contribution to shaking off the many myths and stereotypes which are still alive in Poland and Germany.

Klassen 1-6 Sekretariat2@d-s-w.pl
Klassen 7-12 Sekretariat1@d-s-w.pl

The Canadian School of Warsaw has reached the end of its ninth school year, with 119 children on board and 160 lined up for the next year. The past school year was busy with competitions, contests, internal and external school events and workshops, as well as trips and excursions.

"Our students took first and third place nationally in the English-language Pingwin and Fox competitions," says Agnieszka Chojnacka, the school's PYP coordinator. "What's more our Polish education standards are also very high, the proof of which is our students' competition results. "There have been many other very satisfying accomplishments along the way. We have succeeded in organizing a European Languages Day, Halloween, a Christmas Show, an Earth Day, an Open House Day, a garage sale, a beautiful Summer Show on the stage of the Theatre Academy (Collegium Nobilium), to mention a few. Our ongoing and very fruitful cooperation with the Canadian embassy has once again resulted in organizing the Canada Day Picnic".

Chojnacka added, "Before September we will enlarge our campus by opening our new locations for the kindergarten (three-to-five year-olds). We were able to find a beautiful new location for our pupils in the most prestigious area of Warsaw near Królikarnia Park at 24 Kalatówki St. September 2010 will be no different, as we are planning to add a Middle and High School to our campus.

"We have decided to embrace new government regulations and allow six-year-olds to start their school education" says Agnieszka Chojnacka School's PYP coordinator.


The authorities of the International School in Warsaw consider the past school year a good one. Students took part in numerous competitions organized by the school, including contests in mathematics, spelling, recitation, ecology and arts, and one of the art contests was combined with the "Clean the World" campaign. There were also competitions in recycling and making festive ornaments from recyclable materials. On Tree Day a photo competition took place and there was even a singing competition.

"We bought a piece of the rainforest," Karolina Gontard from class 1b said with pride. That was an environmental project by the Nature Conservancy organization. Children from the International School also took part in the Janusz Korczak Festival, Winter Games, field trips, a family picnic and charity campaigns. The school also organized a piano concert featuring the students themselves.

"One of our new projects was courses in speed reading, called Gymnastics of the Mind, and speed learning, both of which proved to be spot-on ideas," said Wioletta Kułakowska, the curriculum director of the International School. The school employs the Canadian system of education which involves multicultural instruction. The ideals of multicultural education are further pursued in classes which teach the children about the cultures of Poland, France and Spain.

"We will also go on making dreams come true for children from the Children's Home No. 10 who are under our care. We will organize summer and winter vacations for them and buy them Christmas presents" said Kułakowska.

EUkindergarten & International School

International School

The school year at the Happy Montessori House preschool in Wilanów officially closed June 17. "We celebrate the day as International Day," said Urszula Gosik, the principal of the preschool, which uses elements of the Maria Montessori method of education. "Parents bring traditional dishes from their countries of origin and the preschool is decorated with flags of the countries our students come from. The children can dress up and the event turns into a family picnic. This year, after we got together to eat delicacies prepared by the parents, the children performed a play entitled The Very Hungry Caterpillar. They were wonderful. We were so proud of them!"

According to Gosik and teachers at the Happy Montessori House preschool, the past school year was a comprehensive teaching project carried out right to the end. During the year, the children learned about the work of therapy dogs, nurses, veterinarians, firefighters and even about how a public library works. "The parents appreciate the emotional and educational value of classes during which they join their children to cook, read, paint on silk and so on."

Starting September, the Happy Montessori House preschool will add Spanish classes to its curriculum and hire a new teacher who is a native speaker of English from Scotland. This summer, the Happy Montessori House has also introduced a Summer Camp series of activities at the Wilanów preschool which continues throughout July and the first two weeks of August.

Happy Montessori House
14 Rumiana St., 02-956 Warsaw
Tel.: (22) 427.37.67
Mobile: 0.697.060.504

Baby City, Poland's only educational institution working under the patronage of the Dr. S. Masgutova Institute, has turned one. Baby City for now is a daycare center for the youngest children aged from eight months to three years. It focuses on developing children's abilities through physical activity and exercise. Throughout the past school year, the pint-sized students learned capoeira, eurythmy and did other forms of musical activities and exercise.

This year, Baby City is opening its doors to older children and will start three new groups in September for children aged three, four and five.

Baby City has extensive plans for the 2009/2010 school year, focusing on two major fields, European education and environmental education. The teaching will be conducted in a bilingual system. "The one-person-one-language method involving the presence of a Polish-speaking teacher and an English-speaking one in every group is the best way for children to learn Polish and English," said Katarzyna Kosakowska, principal of Baby City.

In the coming school year, Baby City plans to start working with other European preschools as part of the Comenius program. It is also aspiring to obtain an Environmental Certificate.

"During the school year, we organize a lot of extracurricular activities. Like each year, we will hold a Halloween Party and a Christmas Party. There are also Carnival balls and the Family Day, which is a picnic for children and their parents. We also cook together, take photographs, practice aikido and paint on glass. The children will go on many field trips, meet with interesting people and learn dances from different corners of the world" said Kosakowska.


A day at The English Playhouse is always filled with lots of different activities stimulating children's main areas of development-personal, social, emotional, mathematical, physical and creative development, their knowledge and understanding of the world.

Agnieszka Weston, the English Playhouse director, says, "Generally each day is divided into free playtime, structured playtime (constructive and educational activities), arts and crafts, music, rhythmic dancing and gym activities, nap time and imaginative play. The children play in very well equipped classrooms and an outside garden, where they can also grow their own plants and flowers. The nearby slope and pitch is used for sledding, building an igloo in winter and playing football and racing games in summer. We also offer swimming, tennis lessons and ballet classes. In addition we are planning to start Spanish lessons next year. For all children over four we run a program with writing, reading and maths classes according to an English curriculum."

There are special events in the year such as Christmas and Easter gatherings, a year-end picnic, a carnival party, Easter Egg hunting, a visit to the zoo, nearby farm and Dino Park; a Teddy Bear picnic as well as visits to the local art exhibition at Królikarnia, a pizza-making outing and others.

"The vast majority of our children are from outside of Poland," says Weston. "We accept children from one to five years old at the moment of joining. While accepting children to the group we always allow an adaptation period during which children can be accompanied by mums, dads or nannies."

The English Playhouse is looking for a preschool teacher who is a native speaker of English.

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