A private or non-public middle school in Poland, also known as a junior high or lower secondary school, can be a great option for your child. Below, we outline the main features and benefits of these schools. First, though, we discuss some facts about middle school (or lower secondary school) education in Poland.
Middle or junior high schools (gimnazjum) in Poland have some common traits. For one thing, there’s a specific age range for middle school. And there are also guidelines for learning objectives and curricula. Both public and non-public middle schools in Poland tend to follow these guidelines.
While middle or junior high school used to be compulsory in Poland, it isn’t any more. Starting in 2017-18, middle school is optional in Poland.
That said, most Polish children attend middle school from the age of 13 to 16 (grades 7 to 9). Middle school, or lower secondary school, covers classes or stages 1 to 3. In Poland, it’s the 3rd stage of education, also known as III Etap.
Different Poland middle schools have different learning objectives. Most, though, aim for your child to acquire some key skills and knowledge.
According to Alberta’s Poland International Education Guide, junior high (or the third stage curriculum) has eight distinct learning paths.
Moreover, according to the Polish International Education Guide, junior high (or lower secondary) school students in Poland must take certain subjects. And there are a certain amount of hours that must be devoted to these subjects. The table below captures the relevant details.
Middle school subjects (based on Alberta’s Poland International Education Guide)
|Subjects||Cumulative hours per week in three years|
|Modern foreign language||9|
|Physics and astronomy||4|
|The arts (visual or performing)||3|
|General technical subjects||2|
|Religion and ethics||6|
|Lessons with homeroom teacher||3|
|Hours at the Principal’s discretion||6|
There are many different kinds of private or non-public middle schools in Poland. These schools can differ in terms of focus, approach, teaching philosophy, and more. Below, we discuss some of the main options.
International schools: There are day and boarding international schools across Poland (including Warsaw). Many foreign students from Canada, the US, Britain, France, Germany, and other countries attend these schools. Most international schools also admit local students from Poland.
Language schools: Many middle schools in Poland have a heavy focus on language. International middle schools normally offer English-language and bilingual, Polish-English instruction. And almost all private middle schools offer intensive foreign language courses, such as in French, German, Italian, and Chinese.
Boarding schools: This can be a great option for foreign students. While boarding schools tend to be more expensive than day schools, they offer your child the chance to learn, live, and grow up with students from a wide range of countries.
Special needs schools: Some of these schools are exclusively devoted to supporting students with one or more special needs. Other schools offer a special education class or in-class accommodations for students with special needs. Special needs schools in Poland offer support for children with a wide range of learning, developmental, and physical disabilities.
Gifted schools and programs: Some schools are dedicated to gifted education: they provide enrichment and acceleration programs to students who are well above average in academics. Other schools offer a dedicated gifted class. Yet others schools offer in-class accommodations for gifted learners.
Social schools: These schools are created by social organizations and associations in Poland. They have lots of parent involvement and focus a great deal on the development of social skills. They also tend to have small class sizes and plenty of extracurricular activities.
While many students perform well and often thrive in public schools, there are certain perks of a private education. In the pre-teen and teen years, private education is appealing to many parents. Private and non-public middle schools in Poland, like high schools, provide an optimal learning environment, one that keeps students motivated, engaged, and inspired.
Private middle or junior high schools in Poland have lots of other benefits. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, we discuss some of the main ones below.
Academics: Private middle schools in Poland tend to have high-level academics. They offer challenging classes in lots of subjects. Many also follow an international curriculum, such as IB, or the Polish National Curriculum.
Small classes: Many private middle schools in Poland, like primary and preschools, have small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratios. This makes for a more intimate and interactive environment. It can also lead to more engaged learning.
Individualized learning: Many private and non-public schools in Poland, including middle schools, tailor instruction to the learning needs of individual students. This allows them to address your child’s specific strengths and weaknesses.
Strong teachers: Private middle schools tend to have dedicated and skilled teachers. Teachers work hard to bring the most out of their students, so that they can excel in the school years and beyond.
Resources: Many private middle schools have great resources to support student learning in the classroom, such as computers, interactive whiteboards, and art materials. Many also have lots of extracurricular activities, including clubs, sports teams, and after-school programs.