Private schools in Poland

The best schools in Poland for Polish and international students

 


Poland has an increasing number of private or non-public schools. These schools are partly funded by the government, but mostly by parents and outside organizations.

There are private and non-public schools in Poland at the secondary level (high schools and middle schools) and primary level (elementary schools and preschools). Many of these are international schools which provide English-language instruction. They tend to be geared towards foreign students from Canada, the US, England, throughout Europe, and elsewhere.

Find Private Schools in Poland    Szkoły prywatne i niepubliczne


School locations

While private school education in Poland only began in the 1980s, it’s becoming a popular option for many families. There are now great private schools in all major Polish cities, as well as some smaller towns.

These schools can be ideal for international students from Canada and other English-speaking countries. In addition to English-language instruction, many of these schools also offer room and board (and day programs).

Warsaw: 

The British School Warsaw: This is an international school, which currently has over 900 students, with 60 different nationalities. The British School provides education for kids between 2 ½ and 18 years old (from preschool to high school).

American School of Warsaw (ASW): This is an international, English-language school. It provides education for elementary, middle, and high school students. It offers International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, as well as the IB diploma program (IBDP).

International American School of Warsaw (I.A.S.): This is the first private American school in Warsaw. It serves Polish and international students, from pre-k to grade 12. It offers a rigorous program, established by the Polish Ministry of Education, as well as the IB diploma program. It also offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Pro Futuro: This is a private primary and junior high school (gimnazjum) that's been around for 24 years. It has a bilingual program in English and Polish, with 10 of its courses taught in English. It offers rigorous academics, as well as many extracurriculars, including swimming and judo.

Warsaw Montessori School: This is a non-public Montessori school established in 1999. It offers Montessori preschool, with a toddler program for kids aged 18 months to 2 years, and a primary school for kids aged 2 to 5. Both programs follow Montessori education principles followed by authentic Montessori schools. 

English-Polish Primary School (Vancouver Schools): This school offers a modern bilingual education which combines the best aspects of the Canadian and Polish education systems. It offers grade 1 to 8, with classes in both Polish and English. It follows the core curriculum of the Poland Ministry of National Education and the British Columbia Ministry of Education (based on the model of Vancouver schools).

Vizja Educational Assocation: This day school has three campuses. Warsaw Wawer offers kindergarten, primary school, and junior high. Warsaw Ochota offers junior high and high school. gdańsk Morena offers kindergarten, primary school, and junior high. All three schools offer a high-level of education, carefully selected teaching staff, and extensive extracurricular activities.

Willy-Brandt-Schule (Warsaw): This is a German international school offering kindergarten to grade 12.

Kraków:

International school of Kraków (ISK): This school belongs to the Polish Embassy of the United States. It provides education at the preschool, elementary school, and secondary school level. It is an international school in Kraków, mostly for students who speak English. It offers the IB diploma program, AP courses, native and foreign language instruction, performing and fine arts programs, and sports and other extracurricular programs.

British International School of Cracow: This is a coed private school founded in 1995. The school offers programs for kids aged 3 to 19, and serves 210 students from 20 countries. It provides English-language instruction for native speakers and ESL students. It also offers the IB diploma program for students at the high school level.

Kraków Schools of Art and Fashion Design: This is a group of schools offering post-secondary education in art and fashion design. In all there are five schools: Fashion Design, Photography, Interior Design, Visual Merchandising, and Drama. These schools offer English language instruction for international students.

Poznań:

Adam Mickiewicz High School: This Poznań high school was founded by the priest and patriot Czeslaw Piotrowski in 1923. Some notable alumni include Anna Jantar, Ryszard Grobelny, Maria Paslo-Wiśniewska, and Marcin Libicki.

Saint Mary Magdalene High School: This is one of the oldest and most renowned high schools in Poland. The school was founded in 1303. It’s recognized for its high-level academics, successful alumni, and large number of graduates attending prestigious universities.

Wrocław:

British International School of Wrocław (BISC): This is a coed private school. It provides elementary and secondary education for the international community. It offers a wide range of challenging courses for English-language students.

Rzeszów:

Konarski Secondary School in Rzeszów: This is one of the oldest secondary schools in Poland. It is a coed, public school with a four-year high school program. It has several famous teachers and graduates.

There are also some great private international schools in other areas of Poland. For instance, these can be found in Gdánsk, Szczecin, Łódź, Bydgosczc, and Białystok, among other places. If you’re looking for a long list of schools and high schools in Poland, check out this Wikipedia entry.

Types of schools

There are many different types of private schools in Poland. These schools offer a variety of appealing programs for students who want study abroad. 

International schools: Poland has numerous private schools for international students. These schools normally provide room and board and use English as the main language of instruction. They also typically have high-level academics.

Language schools: Many private schools in Poland offer language programs. While most international schools use English as the main language of instruction, some also offer programs or courses in other languages, such as French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Moreover, some schools have bilingual or multilingual programs, where students take courses in two or more languages (such as English and Polish).

IB schools: The IB program is offered by many private schools in Poland. This is common in secondary schools (middle and high schools), where the IB diploma might be offered. This is an especially popular option for international students.

Boarding schools: Some private schools in Poland offer room and board to accommodate foreign and international students. Others offer homestay programs or help students find accommodations. Boarding high schools are especially common.

Social schools: Poznán has plenty of so-called “social schools.” These are non-public, non-profit schools founded by social organizations such as the Social Education Association (STO) in Poland. These schools often have small class sizes, lots of parent involvement, and focus on the development of social skills and competencies.

Secondary schools: Many private schools in Poland are secondary schools, for middle and high school students. Some of these are part of a kindergarten to grade 12 program, which covers elementary to high school. Others are stand-alone middle or high schools.

Elementary schools: Some private schools in Poland are elementary or primary schools, covering kindergarten to grade 6. Some of these schools are stand-alone, while others extend into secondary school.   

Alternative schools: These schools depart from the mainstream. They offer a teaching approach, curriculum, or learning environment that differs from what you’ll find in most schools. This might include multi-age classes, individualized curricula, experiential learning, or a focus on the arts.  Examples of alternative schools in Poland are Montessori, Waldorf, and social schools.

Facts about Polish education

The education system in Poland

Primary school (or elementary school): 

Primary school is similar to elementary school in North America. It normally starts at age seven, and goes for six years. In Poland, though, primary school is divided into two three-year cycles. In the first cycle, one teacher teaches all subjects, often in an integrated way. In the second cycle, there is more subject-specific teaching, conducted by specialist teachers.

Junior high school (or middle school): 

Junior high school lasts three years and marks the end of basic, compulsory education. At this level, students are evaluated based on their continuing results and a comprehensive examination in the humanities, sciences, and foreign languages. Starting in September of 2017, junior high school will be abolished, and primary school will be extended to 8 years, as it was before 1999.

Upper secondary education (or high school):

This starts after compulsory education. It’s meant to prepare students for the labour market and/or tertiary education (what North Americans call “university” or “college”). Upper secondary school is completely optional. This contrasts with Canada and the US (among other countries), where high school is compulsory until the age of 16 (or in some states 18).

Below, we outline the different grade levels, and years of compulsory education, in Poland. We also compare Poland’s grade level system to that of five other countries—Canada, the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, and one international curriculum—the International Baccalaureate (IB).

For each country, we highlight the years of compulsory education in blue. This doesn’t apply to the IB program, though, since it’s not affiliated with any one country.
 

Starting age

Poland

Canada

US

Britain

France

Germany

IB

0+

Nursery

Nursery

Nursery

Nursery

 

Kinderkrippe

 

3-4

Preschool

Preschool

Preschool

Nursery

Petite section

Kindergarten

Primary years programme

4-5

Preschool

Junior Kindergarten

Preschool

Reception

Moyenne section

Kindergarten

Primary years programme

5-6

Kindergarten

(Grade 0)

Senior Kindergarten

Kindergarten

Year 1

Grande section

Kindergarten

Primary years programme

6-7

Grade 1

Grade 1

Grade 1

Year 2

Cours préparatoire

Grundschule

Primary years programme

7-8

Grade 2

Grade 2

Grade 2

Year 3

Cours élémentaire première année

Grundschule

Primary years programme

8-9

Grade 3

Grade 3

Grade 3

Year 4

Cours élémentaire deuxième année

Grundschule

Primary years programme

9-10

Grade 4

Grade 4

Grade 4

Year 5

Cours moyen première année

Grundschule

Primary years programme

10-11

Grade 5

Grade 5

Grade 5

Year 6

Course moyen deuxième année

Hauptschule

Primary years programme

11-12

Grade 6

Grade 6

Grade 6

Year 7

Sixième

Hauptschule

Primary years programme

12-13

Grade 7

Grade 7

Grade 7

Year 8

Cinquième

Hauptschule

Middle years programme

13-14

Grade 8

Grade 8

Grade 8

Year 9

Quatrième

Hauptschule

Middle years programme

14-15

Grade 9

Grade 9

Grade 9

Year 10

Troisième

Hauptschule

Middle years programme

15-16

Grade 10

Grade 10

Grade 10

Year 11

Seconde

Hauptschule

Middle years programme

16-17

Grade 11

Grade 11

Grade 11

Year 12

Première

Höhere Handelsschule

Diploma programme

17-18

Grade 12

Grade 12

Grade 12

Year 13

Terminale

 

Diploma programme

FAQs about Poland education

How new is private school?

Quite new. Private primary and secondary education began in the late 1980s. Private or non-state schools are partly funded by the government and partly by fees and donations by parents and other organisations, such as religious orders. Read more.

When do children start compulsory education?

Compulsory schooling starts at the age of six or seven, from the “0” class kindergarten (Polish przedszkole, which literally means “preschool”), and at the age of seven, for the 1st grade of primary school (Polish szkoła podstawowa).

How long does compulsory education last?

Compulsory education lasts nine years, from kindergarten (in primary school) to the end of junior high or middle school.

Which subjects are taught?

This varies based on the school. Schools in Poland cover core subjects, such as math, science, the language arts, art, history, music, and physical education. Many also cover more specialized subjects, such as civic education, physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, geography, technology, computers, and religion or ethics. Education tends to get more specialized as students progress through the ranks.

What is the school day like?

Starting in elementary or primary school, students normally have several lessons throughout the day. These can be given by core teachers or specialist teachers. Students usually get short breaks of 5 to 20 minutes between lessons. Similar to North America, students in Poland are normally given homework from elementary school (primary school) to high school (upper secondary school). Learn more.

What are school hours?

This varies between schools. A typical school day is around 7 hours (including lunch and breaks). It normally begins between 8 and 9am and ends between 3 and 4pm.

When does the school year start?

Usually it starts on September 1st, for elementary, middle, and high schools. The exception is when September 1st falls on a weekend or holiday, in which case school will start a day or two later.

How long does the school year run and when are the breaks?

The school year goes from September to June. There are three major breaks: Christmas, Easter, and a late January or early February break.

Which days do kids go to school?

Just like most schools in Canada and the US, the school week in Poland goes from Monday to Friday.

Benefits of private schools in Poland

Private schools in Poland have lots of great features. For international students, in particular, they have several benefits. To learn more, read our guide.

Choosing a school in Poland

Going to school in Poland is an appealing option for many international students. It can be a great way to pursue academic challenges, enrichment opportunities, learn a new language, and broaden one’s horizons.

In choosing the right school for your child, you should consider a variety of factors.

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