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British School of Warsaw in Wilanow

Newsy 1 | 11
19 Jun 2015 #1
We're returning to Warsaw after seven years in England. We've decided to enroll our sons, 6 and 7, in the British School of Warsaw in Wilanow (not THE British School) as they don't speak much Polish and it had a nice vibe despite not being finished yet. It also felt like less of factory compared with the British School and IES (we also visited Meridian and left almost straight after walking in)

Does anyone know anything more about this school and its teachers other than what is on their website? (I probably won't be able to post a link but easy enough to find if you google them). Apparently it is run by the same group that run English nurseries in Warsaw (think they mentioned Vinci but not sure). We took the risk as we figured that the kids are young enough to change to IES if we hate it (British school seemed overpriced) but are now wondering if we made the right choice so any more information would be very welcome

19 Jun 2015 #2
@Newsy; is that school related to THE British School (Sadyba) or is it a Polish school using the word "English" in its name? I do not know it personally; I have seen big ads on my way to Willanow from Centrum. Among other things, check on the teachers, where they are from (in those Polish schools, at most they have 1 or 2 natives and very often from India.... in order to pay them less ;)) and their turn over (in a lot of those schools the teachers don't stay). Meridian School is not bad but as it belongs to and is run by Turks, it is a "bit" special by Westerners' view ;). IES is not good as per foreign languages are concerned - a lot of Polish teachers with poor knowledge thereof....

If the school part of THE British School, no worry! It must be good (but expensive ;))
OP Newsy 1 | 11
19 Jun 2015 #3
It is a Polish-run school but think they really want to build a U.K.-type school (with added benefit of IBs). Guess we won't know for sure unless we try it.

They say most of their teachers will be qualified from the U.K. and we have seen them advertise for teachers on British websites for teachers.

It's certainly expensive enough (more than IES but less than British School) so don't expect any teachers from India (unless they have UK qualifications of course)
19 Jun 2015 #4
Ok! If most of their teachers are UK qualified, it sounds good. Is it it an elementary school?
OP Newsy 1 | 11
19 Jun 2015 #5
At the moment they have years 1 and 2.
In September they will start years 1-6 and think the year after a senior school.
19 Jun 2015 #6
Ok! Thanks for the info :)
23 Jun 2015 #7
Hi, I am thinking about this school. Do you know how many hours of Polish language they have per week ?
23 Jun 2015 #8
Why would you send your children to the BSWW to learn Polish.
Furthermore, the school is almost a start up, so you will be paying fees for your children to used as test pupils.
If you are returning to Poland after a long period you will have the chance of sending your children to the best Polish schools in Warsaw as schools are obliged to offer a place to new pupils returning to Poland.

If you are not in a position to pay the fees at BSW or the ASW then sack the idea of a lesser international option and go for the best Polish school with the IB program.

The Canadian school would be a better option than BSWW.
OP Newsy 1 | 11
25 Jun 2015 #9
Hi @UK72. I am not sure how many hours of Polish they have - they said there would be Polish lessons (pretty essential if living there) and am sure my children will pick up Polish fairly quickly just from playing with local kids.

@schoolknowledge - we don't want to send our children to a Polish school as they have been in formal education for longer than children in Poland so are more advanced in reading and maths. We also don't like the emphasis on rote learning that is common in Poland (and may other parts of Europe) and feel the British system is better in that respect.

Having gone to International schools myself I think that a smaller school would be more appropriate for them and am of the opinion that every school has to start sometime (the British School started with 35 pupils in 1992, according to its website)
UK72 1 | 3
27 Jun 2015 #10
Hi Newsy,
Kids academy and Edison look interesting , have you been there? My daughter is bilingual, but her English is stronger at the moment. I am looking for a small and friendly more British then American school. We have unfortunate experience of sending her to the private grammar school here in UK at age 4.5 but she was very unhappy there. The British School of Warsaw ( Nord Anglia Education) is very good but not for her at the moment, maybe as secondary.

We visited The International School at Jagielska Street and I was not impressed.
We are going to visit Warsaw but in August so most schools will be closed then, so it is why I am looking for help on-line.
OP Newsy 1 | 11
7 Jul 2015 #11
Hi UK72,
We didn't visit those two schools so am afraid I can't judge.
We also wanted a more British than American school, which is why we decided on the British School in Wilanow - they only have one form per year, maximum class size 15 so hopefully will be small and friendly.

I think they're only closed the first week of August and open the rest of the month so think you may still be able to visit in Aug.
UK72 1 | 3
7 Jul 2015 #12
Hi Newsy,
Thank you for information. We will visit BSW in August then. Do you know what the fees are in BSW? There is no information about fees on their website.
OP Newsy 1 | 11
7 Jul 2015 #13
Depends on age - about 25k to 40k zloty a year in primary (without meals at 3k a year), though they may give you some discount as they're just starting.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
7 Jul 2015 #14
Be careful with paying for meals - I would avoid "catering" at all costs.

Many private schools in particular see food as a good place to make decent profits, and they often feed what can only be described as slop.
Varsovian 92 | 634
8 Jul 2015 #15
If you're rich go to an international school and forget about it. The Canadian School - hmm ... find out the background of the people in charge. Your kids are young and their Polish will improve remarkably quickly if they are the reading types. My bilingual kids are both in higher education - my daughter has just passed IB (International Bac) with an impressive score of 41 points and will start studying in England this autumn ... after going through the Polish state system (village school until 16, then a Warsaw high school).
8 Jul 2015 #16
Varsovian, congratulations to your daughter. The litmus test will be when she starts university in the UK although the IB is a good prep background.

There is nothing wrong with the Canadian School, although I would be very cautious on the Wilanow project. Sounds to me as if Newsy is somehow connected to the Wilanow project.

Both the British school and American school proper are good schools.
Varsovian 92 | 634
8 Jul 2015 #17
I've had various dealings with international schools in Warsaw - and they are united in their cupiditas! Seeing as I was a UK teacher for many years, I can also see that the Polish system is following the UK idea of dumbing everything down ... which is why people are switching to the Swiss IB system when they can. The good Warsaw schools knock the spots off the international schools - but children with shaky Polish simply wouldn't gain entry, so you're caught between a rock and a hard place.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
8 Jul 2015 #18
I've had various dealings with international schools in Warsaw - and they are united in their cupiditas!

I could share a story or two about international nurseries and very dodgy contracts too

As for this school that's opened, who is behind it?
8 Jul 2015 #19
Vars, the IB is a system gaining 40+ points is not difficult unless you take one of the killer routes as English HL, Maths HL and History HL. The teachers in the British school of Warsaw are far superior to Batory or Kopernik. Also take into consideration it is the IB teachers in Warsaw who are marking the papers of other schools. Many wealthy Polish parents have decided to place their children in one of the Polish schools and then pay the large fees for tutors at a particular English course in the centre of Warsaw.
OP Newsy 1 | 11
9 Jul 2015 #20
@schoolknowledge Just for the record I am in no way connected to the school (except that I plan to send my kids there). If you check the beginning of this thread you'll see I was interested in getting more info myself.

Personally we prefer the English system where more emphasis is placed on how to find information rather than rote learning/preparing for exams. Maybe our children's Polish will improve sufficiently for us to consider a Polish school at a later time but my Polish wife has very bad memories of the Polish education system (admittedly that was some time ago and things may have changed)
4 Sep 2015 #21
For those who don't know which system to choose, I strongly recommend this article from The Telegraph - maybe Polish schools and the education system aren't as bad as people think they are...? Having attended a British School, a French school and the Polish Batory highschool in Warsaw, I think both have their pros and cons and, in my case, switching between systems has been an experience that taught me the most.

Compared to Polish schools, the teachers and staff at British Schools are trained to 'hold your hand', give plenty of guidance, help and assistance. It's more flexible to suit different needs and learning paces. This undoubtedly creates a friendly atmosphere and contributes to a pleasant schooling experience but, in consequence, sometimes the system doesn't push you hard enough. The 'ruthless' Polish system has much higher requirements when it comes to Maths and Sciences, and is way more demanding. This can be discouraging for less able pupils who have to spend much more time on revising and extra lessons at home. The more traditional system gives more independent and talented students more motivation and pushes them to further develop their skills.

When it comes to learning English in both systems, students will be more fluent in English after completing the British curriculum, but don't be fooled - the level of non-native children's English at The British School (Nord Anglia) is surprisingly often far from perfect. Although the students communicate rather fluently in English and only make a few grammar mistakes here and there, it is virtually impossible to find a Pole speaking the Queen's English. Nevertheless, it's probably more effective than being at a Polish school and only having 3-5 hours of English a week.

Enjoy the article:
Varsovian 92 | 634
30 Sep 2015 #22
The British School in Warsaw - hmmm. IB - hmmm. schoolknowledge - misnomer. IB tutors who have an arrangement with the BS of Warsaw charge megabucks (take a big number, times it by 10) to take kids through their IB exams. Also getting 40+ points in academic subjects is certainly not easy.

But what do I know? I only personal knowledge and talk over dinner with a parent of a kid at the BS of Warsaw ... funnily enough including when the tutor who founded his company on cramming for BS students phoned up (he's a very rich friend of a rich friend).
UK72 1 | 3
4 May 2016 #23
Hi Newsy,
I wonder how your boys are doing at BSW.
We are still in the UK planning to move in 2017/2018.
Thomas12 - | 3
12 Sep 2016 #24
I don't know why people are not mentioning the International American School of Warsaw. . This is a small school but they have great American and British teachers. They are IBO Certified and they have the American AdvancED Accreditation. They have all: KG/Elementary, Middle and High School. If you are looking for a real school with high proficient teachers I would recommend this school and the British school. IAS costs less.

My child goes to IAS after being in the British school and I can honestly say the development is incredible. Its smaller therefore teachers pay way more attention to my child. 5 years ago my son didnt speak English. Today at IAS I can see he is nearly fluent!
OP Newsy 1 | 11
14 Sep 2016 #25
Hi @UK72,
sorry for the late reply.
So my boys have been in BSW for just over a year now and to be honest it's been a bit of a mixed ride. The higher classes (years 4 and 5 this year) are very small, which means that they have gotten a lot of individual attention. They also do a lot of sport and are encouraged to go outside all year round (none of the Polish needing a hat and scarf as soon as temperatures fall below 10C)

The head is also very competent and has a clear vision for the school - he has been hindered somewhat as a number of Polish parents seem to see it more as a language school rather than a different curriculum and seem to think you can just flip your children between educational systems at will, which has meant they now offer an hour of "Polish curriculum" if you want (my boys do Polish as second language).

I feel they are doing well and am generally positive about the teachers and school but there have been growing pains (the school office is a joke with really poor communication - luckily you can email the head and class teachers directly)

hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions
29 Oct 2016 #26
Hi All,
Accidentally found this forum and huge thanks for all your opinions.
We are in active search of elementary school for our boy (1st grade). He is not native English speaker but after nearly 3 yrs in TEP (The English Playhouse pre-school) he is fluent in English as well as Polish (we're not native Polish speakers either =).

We are doing active search of options.

American School in Konstancin and British School in Sadyba are the most expensive and the biggest. Perhaps the latter could be the option if we lose a hope to find smth better.

Canadian on Belska has rather negative opinions across many forums (I read in Polish, trying to find different sources, but overall impression is not good).

Both Americal School in Kabaty and British School Willanow (BSW) have least negatives, plus rather promising future.

@Newsy: anything else you might kindly add re BSW?

@All Others: can you please share your POV re American School in Kabaty as well as BSW? What about International School on Wiertnicza?

Many thanks!
OP Newsy 1 | 11
31 Oct 2016 #27
Hi @Rower1991

Think with all these schools you sometimes just have to follow your gut instincts. My sons have a few children who were in the American school in Kabaty and weren't happy there but a lot will depend on what you are looking for.

We are reasonably happy with bsw and our boys love it, especially all the sports (my eldest wasn't at all sporty till he came to this school - now he raves about it). I do sometimes feel they are catering too much to snobbish Poles who see this as an intensive English course and don't really appreciate what it means to follow the English curriculum.

The nice thing about it is the small size. I have heard mixed views of the European School - though if I were you I'd give them a visit too and see how you feel.

A lot will depend on your situation too. It's not clear where you are from or how long you plan to be here - I think generally if you plan to continue education in Europe, I would avoid the American system as academic standards are lower. A lot of the so-called "bilingual" schools follow the Polish curriculum, which means a lot of rote learning (and catholic church brainwashing, though the better ones try to moderate that). Apart from that, Polish education is generally well perceived internationally.
4 Nov 2016 #28
Dear Newsy,
Appreciate a lot your view.
Right, complex decision.
At one hand it is perhaps too early expect a fundamental education from the first 3 yrs of a school (thus selecting specific curriculum), rather than finding friendly and fun environment. My concern was a language but in a foreseeable future we target staying in PL or at least in CE.

Back to schools we drove to BSW an European: both will require us to change location as well as to start heavily depending on the car. Which is not we are happy about.

So we d like to look again at Canadian (Belska) and Monet (Stepinska).

Thanks once again!
OP Newsy 1 | 11
7 Nov 2016 #29
No problem - good luck.
Just fyi - both BSW and European school operate a bus service. Our kids travel from Praga - about 45 mins-1 hour each way. Had worried they would hate it but they don't mind at all (probably because there's a tv on the bus)
12 Dec 2016 #30
Hello everyone, do u have some opinion about preschool there? :) Regards!

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