The first lessons, back then within the Polish Club with the Diocesan Polish Ministry, took place on the 8th March 2008. The interest of the parents and the willingly attending children has caused the broadening of the lesson curriculum. We started with and this is how the Polish Catholic Saturday School in Motherwell came to be. The first school year was inaugurated on the 6th September 2008 with the mass celebrated by Fr. Krzysztof Garwoliński.
Our school is a member of the Federation of the Polish Saturday Schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our school got the member privileges on the 26th March, during the conference in Glasgow.
The aim of our school is to support the parents and carers in nurturing the Polish language and to assist in the assimilation of the Polish culture and tradition by the young generation of Poles, as well as Britons of Polish origins.
This aim is realised by exercising the Polish grammar and spelling, presenting the very rich Polish literature, teaching history and geography of Poland, as well as presenting the customs and traditions. Through learning of poems and songs, as well as through children’s games, the school creates a platform for group activity, which encourages the children to use the Polish language. Enrolling a child in our school, the parents facilitate the child’s access to the rich plane of Polish culture. This plane can only be entered by those who hold the passport of speaking the Polish language. The school also teaches religion. The education in the school is conducted in the spirit of Christian values.
The school ensures the development of the spiritual self (group prayers and participation in the sacramental life) in close cooperation with the Diocesan Polish Ministry in Motherwell.
The Motherwell school is open to all those who feel a bond with the language, culture and tradition of Poland and who want to continue their education in the school. It is also open to cooperation with all institutions – it keeps close cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Education, The Centre of Teacher Education, as well as the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh.
Thanks to the support of the Polish Ministry of Education and to its cooperation with the Centre of Teacher Education, the school has received rich educational resources as well as books comprising the collection of the school library. The collection contains a varied complement of Polish language dictionaries published by the PWN, encyclopaedias, multi-media books for teaching Polish and History, a beautiful collection of Polish films on DVD, school reading material, books and fairy tales for the young readers, and many, many other materials which can be used during the lessons in our school.
We want all the parents and carers to feel well in our school, we want them to be able to find their place in here and to create a caring and helpful community for each other. We can see lots of opportunities to cooperate with our parents and carers who want to give their children a very valuable capital of full bilingualism, which helps free communication with both British and Polish citizens, as well as enabling the children to reach into the rich resources of both cultures.
We accept children between 4 and 15 years of age. The classes are conducted in 8 different age groups. The level of linguistic ability in Polish is an additional criterion for selection of a particular group. The learners come from families living in Great Britain permanently, as well as those who are only temporarily resident on the isles. Everyone has an opportunity to get to know their peers and together with them get initiated into the secrets of the Polish language, tradition and culture.
Our school employs qualified and experienced teachers who have full pedagogical education, as well as professional experience obtained during active employment in Polish schools. Parents of pupils attending classes have also gotten involved in the work of the school. We also have other volunteers who devote their time to working with our children and who have become friends of the school.
The school aims to conduct the teaching in a professional manner using Polish school books and the best available methodology. Our teachers have access to whole sets of books and other didactic materials which are used during lessons and freely passed to the pupils with the opportunity to take them home.
The lessons take place in St. Bernadette’s Primary School (Vickers Street, Motherwell ML1 3RE) every Saturday between 10.00 a.m. and 1.30 p.m., except for special events and school holidays. The lessons in our school are aimed at those who value high quality education; work with the natural abilities of the children as well as the achievements of the modern pedagogy and methodology of teaching Polish as a second language. We are working to the program approved for school use by the Polish ministry of Education.
The school curriculum contains subjects such as Polish, History, Geography, Civic Education, Religious Education, integrated learning, as well as nursery education for our youngest children.
Our school gets involved in many cultural and social events. Some of these events are St Andrew’s Day, St Nicolas’ Day, carnival parties, and poetry evenings to name but a few. The children present during assemblies, as well as during the very popular Christmas Nativity plays. The parents’ hearts glow with pride on seeing their children performing on stage.
We organise an outing for all the pupils of the school at least once a year. The first outing we went to together was a celebration of the International Children’s Day in June 2008. We went to the Edinburgh Zoo. Someone might say they’ve been there many times – but never with a group of Polish peers and lovely teaching staff. Subsequently the children have visited Heads of Ayr Farm Park, Blair Drummond Safari Park, Stirling Castle and various other destinations.
In order to enrol your child in our school, you need to fill in a form available on our website, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also come to the school building (St. Bernadette’s Primary School, Vickers Street, Motherwell ML1 3RE) between 10.00 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. every Saturday during the school year.
The monthly cost of attendance at our school is £35.00 for the first child; the cost for each additional child from the same family is £20.00.