About us

Bilingual Primary Schools “Primary Steps” was created to ensure the natural continuation of bilingual education, conducted since 2001 in the English kindergarten “First Steps”. It is a proposal for both kindergartens of our kindergarten, as well as students who do not speak English, and whose parents would like their children to be taught bilingually.

The school operates on the basis of the certificate No. MZO – 4320/30/2013 about the entry in the register of schools and non-public institutions – run by the City of Bielsko-Biała. He has the rights of a public school and pursues a curriculum in line with the core curriculum of the Ministry of National Education.
The governing body of the School is International House Integra Bielsko – a branch with the Accreditation of the Education Superintendent, dealing with the education of students in the field of English since 1993.

Mission and aims

The bilingual primary school “Primary Steps” has set itself the task of educating future citizens of a democratic Europe and the world who are aware of their rights, open to all cultures and prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.

The school’s main aims are:

  • developing students’ linguistic sensitivity and communicative competence at a level of functional bilingualism, i.e. using both Polish and English freely
  • educating students in a spirit of tolerance, honesty and respect towards others
  • developing students’ ability to think independently and creativel

Organisation

The school is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lessons start at 8.00 a.m.
Classes contain up to 16 students. (The school director may increase the class size to 18 students.)

Uniforms

By wearing uniform clothes the students can identify not only with the school which they attend, but also with their peers. A clear identification of where they belong gives them a sense of community and support within the group. In addition the obligation of wearing uniform does not make students feel a need to manifest their social-economic status. Children and their parents do not need to worry about designer clothes, which are appraised by children from richer families.

Care provided by specialists and doctors

In “Primary Steps” we opt for optimally individualised work, where talent and level of difficulty are the most serious challenges. We give support to every child, also basing on modern pedagogical and psychological methods.

Our institution employs a school pedagogue and a psychologist.

At the start of the school year we check the students’ posture. Every student receives a relevant certificate, on the basis of which they may attend physiotherapy exercise sessions, run by a qualified instructor.

Our school also co-operates with a speech therapist, who runs individual speech therapy for the students on the basis of previously diagnosed impediments. Preliminary (paid) check-ups are run in our school at the start of each school year.

As part of the programme “School for Parents”, the school organises cyclical meetings with parents on the school premises. The topic of the session is pre-arranged with the parents. The main aim of the programme is to support parents and teachers in managing with daily contact with children and teenagers.

What distinguishes Primary Steps?

  • We use well-established methods of bilingual teaching (CLIL) which involve not only learning the language itself, but above all using English to teach the core curriculum.
  • Our school is regularly inspected by International House London, which assesses its standards of teaching.
  • We benefit from the International House school network’s 60 years of experience through a system of teacher training, sharing of experiences amongst staff of IH schools and the possibility of using the IH network’s abundant methodological resources.
  • We have a policy of “open doors” – a parent may request to observe the lessons attended by their child.
  • We believe that for a child daily activity in the fresh air is just as important as a high level of teaching and a wide range of available extracurricular activities. For this reason our students spend time outdoors every day (of course when weather conditions are suitable). In addition we carry out the “Forest School” programme.
  • Students spend time in an English-speaking environment every day. Through contact with foreigners (not only in class, but also during break time) they have the possibility to become accustomed to different accents and intonation.
  • The teaching programme, apart from the core curriculum and extended language study, includes a wide variety of interesting activities in the areas of: sports, art, music, culture, logics and sciences.

Why is it worth joining us?

  • Our company, International House, is a stable and well-established educational institution, which has been on the Bielsko-Biała market for over 20 years.
  • Right from the outset we have been consistently investing in education. At first we only offered English courses for children, teenagers and adults, then we added language courses for corporations and institutions and individual (1-to-1) lessons. Since 2006, as an authorised Cambridge ESOL Examinations Centre, we have been holding the Cambridge ESOL exams, which are well-known and honoured all over the world, and for over 15 years we have been running the only English-speaking kindergarten in the Podbeskidzie region, “First Steps”, where the core curriculum is taught bilingually. A few years ago we also opened the English-speaking nursery “Basic Steps” for children from the age of 1.
  • The bilingual primary school “Primary Steps” is a continuation of the effective teaching methods based on bilingual education that are used in the kindergarten, which apart from the language aspect bring a young person many other benefits
  • At least 6 of the 9 hours of English per week are taught by native speakers of English, including British teachers who have completed their degree courses in early childhood education.
  • The students have contact with an international environment on a daily basis, as the teachers working for our school come from many countries. Thanks to this, the children can get to know different cultures and become accustomed to different intonation and accents that are characteristic of various parts of the world.
  • The students are divided into language classes according to their knowledge of English, so that the teachers can follow the curriculum in groups that are consistent in terms of level – because only in such conditions can effective language teaching, guaranteeing progress, be ensured.
  • The extracurricular activities are run by experienced instructors and sports coaches, people with passion and experience in working with children.
  • We are open to co-operation with parents. The Parents’ Council provides feedback on the school’s plans and projects.