There has been a visible surge in the number of international schools around the world. The private education sector has been growing stronger, offering quality education, safety, and an environment that fosters such qualities as open-mindedness, creative and critical thinking, academic honesty, integrity, and much more.
Even though it seems that the countries that have experienced the biggest international education boom are China and India (1), Poland definitely sees its private education offer expanding. Both Polish citizens and expatriates are interested in sending their children to private and/or international schools, which would offer curriculum that would help their children achieve their learning goals and continue their education at a higher level.
Needless to say, I was delighted when I started learning more about it all. For the past 10 years I have been living abroad, working in international schools, yet I always hoped to be able to come back home and live in the country where my family and friends are. However, I knew that it might find it difficult after working and living only in an international environment and community. I was not exactly sure how it would be in Poland.
Then, I learned about Thames British School.
TBS International school in Warsaw
With 5 campuses in and around Warsaw, it seemed like a good choice. With the offer of the British curriculum, international students, teaching staff and the leadership team, I knew it would be the right place for me.
And it is.
Thames British school in Warsaw not only has beautiful campuses, it also has a strong curriculum organised and taught by a highly qualified staff. However, in my opinion, the real heart of the school is its people – the students, their parents, teachers, leadership team, and the admin. Even though the school, the organisation as a whole is big, the feel of it is small, cozy, and welcoming. Separated into several campuses, we spend time in smaller teams, where we know each other very well, we know our students very well and share all of our interesting, funny, sweet, happy, sometimes crazy moments together. Each face is familiar, each face is comfortable. The teachers enjoy morning coffee together, spend the time with children in the cafeteria often sitting together at lunchtime. Some of the teachers play with their students outside during the playtime. The children feel safe and secure, and whenever they need help, they come directly to any teacher they see – they know their needs will be listened to and addressed.
I love sitting at my desk in the morning in the classroom and observing our students who come to our international school with a big smile and wave their hands when they see a teacher through the window. I love, while on outside duty, walking around the playground and witnessing how children of different ages, nationalities, genders, play happily together, learn about each other and also – negotiate different rules, and terms on which to play. It is fascinating to hear so many languages being spoken at once and understanding each other even if English might be too difficult at times. I am truly amazed by all children whose first language is not Polish, yet they use it to communicate or teach other children some words from their language. I am impressed and delighted to see an amazing work and learning ethic coming both from teachers and the students. I appreciate how parents support their children and communicate with teachers on a daily basis to ensure that all needs and help is there. I love how much I can learn about the world from my students and from all the fantastic teachers that I work with.
And all that I can simply experience by being back home, in Warsaw, in Poland. Thames British School gave me an opportunity to learn, to feel and to live an international life, without making ongoing trips abroad. And I am sure that all our students and teachers feel about it just the same.