One of the major challenges of a Polish school is to organise didactic and educational processes in a way which promotes learning to respect different traditions, culures, or beliefs. In the era of intensified migration processes it is particularly important, not only in order to successfully prevent hate speech in the public space, but also in order to shape children and students to be aware citizens of the contemporary world. One of schools where these tasks are fully fulfilled is Cracow International School.
Where various cultures meet
Cracow International School is an international kindergarten and a primary school (and, starting from September 2019, a bilingual high school, too). The school community includes students, teachers and parents, coming from various countries and cultural backgrounds, therefore children face different traditions and languages on daily basis. - Except for students from Poland, there are children from all over the world at our school and kindergarten, including those from Vietnam, India, Cameroon, Ukraine, or Pakistan. Everyday we watch their cooperation, communication, and the fun they have together, regardless from how they differ from each other. - says grade 1 class teacher.
International school environment comprises to learning how to cooperate and communicate. The languages of instruction at the school are Polish and English. Polish is used during a part of programme classes in the kindergarten, while at primary school Polish instruction is present during Polish language classes, elements of History and Geography of Poland. All other subjects at Cracow International School are taught in English, including international curriculum of Cambridge Primary, designed by specialists from Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE - an educational institution operating within Cambridge University Cambridge Primary, blended with Polish national Curriculum, develops not only students' skills, but also their knowledge in the areas of English, Maths, and Science. Aftercare and extracurricular activities are also conducted in English.
What about the students who join the school not knowing any Polish or English? - Students learn to communicate in both languages incredibly fast. It is only a matter of a few days before they start to understand basic instructions and phrases, and after two up to three months they can fully communicate with other students and teachers. This is possible thanks to language immersion they experience. - teachers add.
Experienced teachers from Cracow International School make sure students' national identity is maintained, as well as their connection to their native culture and language. Different events are organised, each of them connected to various traditions. Such events as Polish Day, Christmas workshops, Indian Divali, British Halloween, or Culture Day are a permanent item in the school events calendar. The international environment of the school and the kindergarten allows students not only to meet different traditions, languages, and cultures, but also to learn how to respect each other. They talk, they share their experience, they cooperate in academic initiatives, and they solve problems together.
Global Perspectives and... Philosophy
Within educational classes, Cracow International School students follow Cambridge Global Perspectives Programme, conducted by a native speaker. With the use of workshops and project-based learning, students coming from different countries cooperate in solving global problems connected to ecology, economy, lifestyles, religions, and cultures. Regardless from ethnical or language differences, all students participate in Philosophy classes which help them understand the others better.
Intercultural school books and international final examinations
The multicultural character of the school is also reflected in the school books and learnign aids the students use. On the pages of Cambridge subject books, illustrations of children from all over the world can be found, while literary texts include stories, legends, and fairy tales of many cultures. In the bilingual high school, students will have the opportunity to pass international final exams, which will allow them to take up education at universities all over the world.
Cracow International School is not only a school which fully follows Polish national curriculum, but it is also a member of an international community of schools from all over the world accredited by Cambridge. Thus, the CIS is one of the few schools in Poland, which, in addition to fulfilling all the basic educational tasks, successfully fulfils the mission of intercultural education and the formation of pupils ' attitude of openness and respect for others.
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