Having Kids equals constant decision making – Parents would know. One of the decisions I have to make these days is the right kindergarten for my child to ensure my boy is getting a good start for his future career. One of the choices I have is the American School of Wroclaw.
My research has now extended to school tours. I was invited for a chat and a walk through the American School of Wroclaw which opened in 2011 and I was really surprised how welcoming and cosy the place is.
When I walked into the school, the first thing I saw were the birdies in the cages – there are 3 big cages with different types of parrots. I just loved the sound of the birds chirping, so calming.
I thought of my son straight away – he just adores birds, and those ones would definitely catch his attention. I’m sure.
My tour guide was John Paul Malone – the academic advisor and a teacher at ASW. A friendly wide smile who welcomed me from the start, I felt already at home. I believe the first impression makes a big statement. He nailed it.
John Paul Malone
Academic Advisor & Teacher
I asked him quite a few questions, he must have had a sore throat after that interrogation. I am going to sum it all up for you, but I really encourage you to go visit the school yourself.
John showed me around. There are 4 sections of the school – kindergarten and nursery on the lower level and senior kindergarten and primary school on the upper level. All classroom are painted in calming colours – blue, green, yellow, orange and equipped in smart boards which makes it so much more entertaining for students to learn from and use. There are students’ artwork hanging on the walls, displayed for admiration. This school definitely doesn’t remind me of my own school times (which is good 🙂 )
What is important to me is the school catering for kids. At ASW there is a fully equipped kitchen with the staff who prepare daily meals and snacks. Nothing is frozen, everything is fresh and the meal plan is designed by a dietician. Kids allergies are taken into account as well as religious beliefs. Also, every now and then school sends a questionnaire to kids and parents for feedback on the meal plan, so they can try to improve it.
While strolling around the school, I was introduced to some of the teachers on duty (summer camps). Everyone was open and friendly, happy to chat and answer questions. They are young and full of good energy, which is needed when working with kids. I would know – got my own. 🙂 To me a teacher has to be child’s support when needed, so the trust built during the first weeks of child care is crucial for the future relationship.
John told me that the teachers at ASW have a special bond with the children, they understand the children’s needs as they have their own too, and some of them even attend the same school.
Some may think, the nurse at school is not necessary as teachers have first aid course sorted; but to me – a NURSE is a Nurse. ASW has got the Nurse, they do regular check ups on kids in terms of lice. These days we all know that lice is not only the problem of the poorest, it spreads easily — especially by schoolchildren — through close personal contact and by sharing belongings, so it is very important to have it under control.
Those kids are lucky. There are educational excursions organised at least once a month for the kids. No time for boredom.
The computer lab is a bit outdated, but John ensured me that they are going to upgrade it soon, thanks to new funding from the Regional Operational Program of Lower Silesian Voivodship and co-funded by the European Social fund. The plan is to swap computers for laptops. John informed me that the computer lab will not be the only change, there will be a new science lab and lots of professional development for teachers. Kids gonna go nuts !!
The library is going through some upgrades as we speak. From what I could see, they’ve got heaps of books there, musical instruments, and cosy atmosphere.
There are playgrounds for the youngest, basketball court, sand pit on the school grounds. However, what’s best is the nearest park which kids visit quite often during their outdoor explorations. I personally think that children have to spend most of their time outdoors with nature, learning about the surrounding world, animals, plants, trees. Unfortunately, the weather is pretty unpredictable so it cannot be done as often as we would love to. But ASW knows the importance of the outdoor activities especially in the early ages.
John has told me a brief history of the school. It is actually quite impressive, they opened in 2011 with 25 kiddos and 6 teachers, today there are around 320 kids there from over 20 countries. It has grown a lot over the years and is still growing, as the expat community in Wroclaw is growing every year, so the demand is higher and higher.
ASW is now one of the leading international schools in Wroclaw.
ASW offers an exemplary American Core Knowledge curriculum and Polish National Education program with an international perspective for students from Nursery to Grade 8. Students develop their English language skills very quickly, learning English as early as nursery.
Their plan for next year is to train all teachers in Aero Standards which are aligned with the American Common Core Program designed specifically for international American schools. All ASW teachers will get extensive training on that. They will be using the same framework across the school from kindergarten to grade 8.
Another thing they will be introducing next year is MAP testing, which is an external online assessment from the United States. MAP is used to inform and improve teaching and learning in the school. The tests are taken in math, reading and language and are adjusted to each individual student depending on how they answer the questions. The data is then given to teachers to look at the academic needs of each individual student, and to help teachers set goals for that student.
John has extensive experience in education, he is Irish but lived and taught in America and in Dubai’s International Schools. With this experience he knows that all kids are different, there are slower and faster learners but they all need guidance in order to succeed and grow.
John also unveiled a little secret that the school is thinking of opening a high school section some time in the near future. Fingers crossed!
I think you have already noticed that I’m truly impressed with the standards and the atmosphere at ASW. This is definitely a place on the top of my list. Now it’s just my baby boy who needs to approve it but I’m sure those birds at school will convince him to stay. 🙂
The school is located in Partynice, Wroclaw. Call them up and organise your own tour.
American School of Wrocław
+48 71 333 69 92
+48 695 664 115