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In Poland day schools, unlike boarding schools, students live at home and travel to and from school each day. Otherwise, these schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some day schools in Poland offer boarding programs on top of a day school.
Types of Poland day schools
There are private and non-public day schools in Poland at all levels. This includes preschool, elementary, middle, and high school. These schools offer a wide range of programs and curricular approaches. Below, we discuss some of the main options. It’s best to choose a school that suits your child’s overall learning, social, and emotional needs.
International schools: Many Poland day schools (including those in Warsaw) are geared towards international students, from Canada, the US, Britain, and many other countries. In addition to English-language instruction (and bilingual instruction), these schools tend to have challenging and demanding academics. Many also offer international learning, through programs such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), which can be offered at the primary, middle, and high school level. The IB is a world-recognized program with a curriculum sanctioned by an international committee.
Language schools: Many private day schools in Poland (e.g., Warsaw) have special language programs. Some of these schools offer most or all of their courses in English. Others offer bilingual instruction, normally with courses taught in both English and Polish. Most also offer several foreign language courses. This includes comprehensive courses in French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and many other languages. While language schools can be ideal for international students, they can also be a nice fit for Polish children who are interested in languages and looking for a challenge.
Social schools: Social schools in Poland are non-public (and normally non-profit) schools created by social organizations such as the Social Education Association (STO). These schools pride themselves on lots of family involvement, where parents work closely with students, teachers, and administrators. They also aim to develop the social skills and competencies of students. As the STO puts it, “it’s about shaping a student as a person: in a mental, social, cultural, and physical sense.” Many social schools also have small classes, plenty of extracurriculars, and use innovative teaching approaches.
Montessori schools: The Montessori school and preschool approach is used throughout Poland (including in Warsaw). These schools are student-centred, and offer an alternative and progressive form of education. They tend to emphasize self-directed learning, individualized curricula, concrete learning, child-to-child teaching, and uninterrupted learning time, among other things. Many of these schools are certified by a Montessori accrediting body, such as the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), and have teachers trained by the Polish Montessori Institute.
Special needs schools: Special needs schools provide support for children with different types of special needs. This includes physical, learning, social, and psychological needs. Many private and non-public schools in Poland offer small classes, low student-to-teacher ratios, individualized instruction, and extra support for students with special needs. Some of these schools are exclusively devoted to special needs students. Others offer full- or part-time support for these students, through special education classes and teachers, in-class accommodations and modifications, and other forms of support.
Gifted schools: Some private and non-public schools in Poland provide support for gifted learners. There are a variety of ways this support is offered. There are full-time, dedicated gifted schools and programs, with a school-wide curriculum tailored to advanced students. There are also pull-out or withdrawal classes, where your child is taken out of their regular class periodically to learn with other advanced learners. And in many schools, teachers will make in-class accommodations to meet the learning needs of gifted students. For example, they may offer single- or multiple-subject acceleration, or enrichment through independent studies, research projects, or cyber learning.
Waldorf schools: Waldorf schools in Poland don’t have a standardized curriculum. Learning is tailored to the specific needs of individual students. Moreover, education doesn’t just focus on core academics. There’s a heavy focus on art, music, creativity, and the imagination. In fact, these are infused throughout the curriculum: many lessons, for instance, begin with a poem, story, or song. The aim is to nurture creativity and curiosity, and inspire a love of learning. Moreover, most Waldorf schools in Poland delay core academics, such as math, reading, and writing, until grade 1.
Poland day school benefits
Some Poland day schools offer boarding programs as well. This means they tend to have a nice mix of foreign and domestic students.
For instance, the British School Warsaw and American School of Warsaw each have students from over 50 nations. In addition to Poland, this includes students from Canada, the US, Britain, France, Germany, China, Japan, Korea, and many other countries. Many find the diverse student body of Poland day schools quite rewarding: it can be a great way to learn about new languages, cultures, and customs.
There are several other perks of private day schools in Poland. Many of these are characteristic of Polish private schools in general.
- High-level academics: Poland day schools are known for rigorous instruction. They offer a wide range of challenging subjects, from math, science, and the arts, to civics, culture, and history. They also offer plenty of opportunities for enrichment through tailored instruction, gifted programs, IB programs and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
- Ample resources: Many private day schools in Poland have great resources to support student learning in the classroom, sports field, art studio, and elsewhere. Quality resources and extracurriculars give students the chance to fully explore their interests and talents.
- Small classes: Many Poland day schools have small class sizes. Some also have low student-to-teacher ratios. This allows teachers to individualized learning and provide lots of one-on-one attention. It can also promote a warmer and more interactive and engaging classroom.
There are also some well-known advantages day schools have over boarding schools. Keep in mind, though, many boarding schools, including those in Poland (e.g., Warsaw), offer day programs as well.
- Family: Children get to live with their family and spend more time with them. This allows parents to be more involved in their children’s lives.
- Parental involvement: Parents can be more involved in their children’s schooling and education. They can serve on school committees, go on field trips, meet with teachers and staff, and more.
- Community: Children can preserve and strengthen connections with their local community.
- Friendships: Children can maintain and develop friendships they’ve formed early in life.
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