Poland’s educational system is known for its high standards and rigorous curriculum. It is divided into several stages, each designed to cater to the specific needs of students at different ages. The system is inclusive, offering opportunities for both local and international students. This guide provides an overview of the educational system in Poland, including the main stages of education, enrollment procedures for newcomers, language requirements, availability of bilingual schools, types of private schools, homeschooling and online schooling options, and the costs associated with private education.
What are the main stages of education in Poland?
The Polish educational system is divided into four main stages: preschool education (przedszkole), primary education (szko?a podstawowa), lower secondary education (gimnazjum), and upper secondary education (liceum or technikum). Each stage is designed to cater to the developmental needs of students at different ages, focusing on various academic and social skills.
Preschool Education (Przedszkole)
Preschool education in Poland is for children aged 3 to 6. It is not mandatory but highly recommended. The focus at this stage is on developing basic social skills and introducing children to the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Primary Education (Szko?a Podstawowa)
Primary education in Poland is compulsory and caters to children aged 6 to 15. It is divided into two stages: the first stage for grades 1-3 focuses on integrated teaching, while the second stage for grades 4-8 focuses on subject-based teaching. The curriculum includes Polish language, mathematics, nature, music, art, physical education, and foreign languages.
Lower Secondary Education (Gimnazjum)
This stage was phased out in 2019 and integrated into the primary education system. Previously, it catered to students aged 12 to 15 and focused on a more specialized curriculum.
Upper Secondary Education (Liceum or Technikum)
Upper secondary education in Poland is for students aged 15 to 19. It is divided into general education liceum, technical secondary school (technikum), and vocational school. The liceum and technikum end with a Matura exam, which is necessary for university admission.
How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?
Newcomers can enroll their children in Polish schools by contacting the school directly. They will need to provide the child’s birth certificate, proof of residence, and a completed application form. Some schools may also require a health certificate and previous school records.
Can children still learning Polish enroll in a public school?
Yes, children who are still learning Polish can enroll in public schools. They are often provided with additional Polish language classes to help them integrate into the system.
Are there public bilingual schools?
Yes, there are public bilingual schools in Poland, particularly in larger cities. These schools offer a curriculum in both Polish and a foreign language, often English or German. Admission procedures vary, so it’s best to contact the school directly for information.
What types of private schools are common in Poland?
Private schools in Poland include international schools, bilingual schools, and Catholic schools. International schools often follow the curriculum of a specific country or the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Bilingual schools offer instruction in Polish and a foreign language, while Catholic schools focus on a curriculum that includes religious education.
Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?
Expats in Poland often choose private schools, particularly international schools, due to the language of instruction and the international curriculum. However, some expats also choose public schools to immerse their children in the Polish language and culture.
How expensive are Private schools in Poland?
The cost of private schools in Poland varies greatly, depending on the school and the specific program. On average, annual tuition fees can range from 10,000 to 40,000 PLN.
Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Poland?
Yes, homeschooling is allowed in Poland under certain conditions. Parents must apply for permission from the local education authority and follow the Polish curriculum. They must also ensure that their child takes the same exams as students in traditional schools.
May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Poland?
Yes, online schooling is an option in Poland, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s important to ensure that the online school is accredited and that it meets the requirements of the Polish curriculum.