FAQ

Our school functions Monday to Friday from 7:00am till 5:00pm, and runs and accepts enrollment into two programs – Basic Steps Nursery for 1-2½ year olds and First Steps Kindergarten for 2½-6 year olds. We offer specialised “0” classes for our 6 year olds and provide high quality educational preparation for primary school with experienced and well educated Polish teachers. During the day, the children are cared for by English and Polish teachers. Our nursery groups get 15 minutes of English daily and our older children receive 4 hours of English daily – all English classes are run under the supervision of English teachers and controlled by the English Coordinator. The English lessons are mainly run in the mornings from 8:00-12:00 unless the children are older and part of “0” classes then they start and finish English later. The main part of our Polish program is run in the afternoon and children are grouped according to their age. The children are given the best opportunity to learn and become bilingual through a wide variety of classes such as art, music, dance, crafts, cooking, sport, exercise, outdoor activities etc.

Polish and English speaking teachers look after the children. The teaching staff is highly qualified and experienced in work with young children.
Our native English speakers have gained qualifications and experience abroad when working in similar kindergartens like First Steps. Due to them being unable to understand or speak Polish, the children have constant contact with English which is extremely advantageous to their language acquisition. Our English Coordinator also ensures that the native English teachers receive the necessary day to day support required for maintaining the high standard of teaching that our kindergarten is renowned for.

The Polish staff is well qualified and has many years teaching and caring experience of young children. Some have also gained additional work experience abroad. They all have a very good command of English and work hard alongside our native speakers supporting and ensuring that our children are happy, enjoy English and adjust, understand and accept English in all situations in our kindergarten.

Our teachers are respected, treasured and an important part of our kindergarten community whose dedication and care, give our children the best future possible through social, emotional and educational learning!

The kindergarten classes are organised into two blocks: English and Polish.

The English block is led by English teachers and is mainly run in the morning from 8:00-12:00. An exception to this, are the older groups who are preparing for primary school and are participating in “0” classes; these groups start and finish English later. Each English teacher is assigned two English groups of the same or similar age and with the assistance of 2 Polish teachers, runs the following English block program. The two groups stay together for the English block except for the intensive English lesson and movement class which is when they are separated – one group attends the intensive English lesson while the other does the movement class. After the 30 minute lesson, they then swap.

Each English block contains a:

  • 30 minute breakfast;
  • 30 minute intensive English lesson in which they take part in intensive language exercises, learn new words, expressions, grammatical structures and correct pronunciation;
  • 30 minute circle and music lesson;
  • 30 minute movement class;
  • 60 minute outdoor activities and
  • 60 minute arts and crafts class.

Throughout all these classes, newly learnt English – taken from the intensive lessons – are practised and repeated through activities such as songs, chants, poems, discussions, rhymes, games, free play, stories, plays, puppet shows etc. This is how our children learn a second language – naturally through fun activities, games and play.

The Polish block contains a:

  • 60 minute arrival time lesson containing arts, crafts, play & conversation related to activities;
  • 30 minute lunch;
  • 90 minute lessons centred around the Polish curriculum (for older children);
  • 90 minute nap time and 20 minute lesson centred around the Polish curriculum (for younger children);
  • 30 minute afternoon tea;
  • 90 minute activity program or enrichment classes and
  • 30 minute pick up time lesson containing story time & free play.

During the Polish block, which is run between 7:00-8:00am (arrival time) and then from 12:00-5:00, our children learn basic general knowledge about the world in which they live. Additionally, the 6 years olds are carefully prepared for first grade through a well developed “0” class educational program.  They gain skills in how to use various art techniques and develop manual and motor abilities. They expand their imagination, develop interests, independence and cooperation with others. They learn how to express their feelings through their creations. Thanks to these exercises and activities, they finally achieve the appropriate level of physical, intellectual and emotional development which makes it easier for them to start school and achieve further educational success.

Basic Steps Nursery is run entirely in Polish except for 15 minutes each day when a native English teacher visits each group for their intensive lesson. This entails greeting and action songs, finger plays, dances, physical interaction, basic words and expression shown through real objects or picture cards. The lessons are run utilising fun and playful activities which creates interest, entertains and has each and every child actively participating. For further information about Basic Steps Nursery, please click on the link on the main page.

With the help of suitable didactic materials, the English speaking teacher introduces the English meaning of the words – supported by gesture or mimicry. This method helps children remember heard words or expressions demonstrated by the teacher. Step by step, children learn new words and then they try to build simple sentences and questions with the help of the teachers and other children. During these classes, most activities are founded on games and play in order to give children as much fun as possible and to take away the stress of learning a foreign language. Also, children do art, music, exercise with the English speaking teacher which helps them to learn new expressions. In addition, there are always Polish speaking teachers, who can help children at any time, especially the 2-3 year olds.

The groups are formed by age.

Some of the things your child will have achieved are:

  • No more language barrier. Children won’t be afraid of hearing or talking in English as well as experimenting with the language;
  • They will have listened to a lot of English and as such, acquired a better ability to hear and reproduce sounds which will improve their fluency and pronunciation;
  • They will have learnt new words and natural expressions;
  • They will be developing the ability to conduct simple conversation;
  • Speaking English with other children will be becoming a natural process;
  • They will have developed an enjoyment of English and their teacher and
  • This early step in English will enable them to more easily assimilate much more difficult language elements as they develop and mature without an accent.

Yes, of course! It is a perfect way to show you how our kindergarten functions. Parents can visit our building together with their child in order to see and participate in classes. If you are interested, please contact our reception desk to make an appointment.

Presence at the classes gives you a chance to see what the communication between English teachers and your child looks like. The teachers easily make contact with children, and through body language and using simple expressions, they communicate with each other. To watch the inter-action between the native English teacher and her students, will reassure you and your child.

The main purposes of these classes are to:

  • Become familiar with the teacher and classroom;
  • For children to get to know the faces of their peers;
  • Introduce the child to kindergarten life – presentation of building and rooms, learn the location of the closest bathroom, toys and the environment, get to know their peers and teacher;
  • Make it easier to start attending kindergarten without stress;
  • Present the child with different forms and methods of games and play adapted to their age and possibilities – shows them that learning is fun and
  • Give parents valuable advice about their child’s development and learning program.

For children who begin their adventure with our kindergarten in September, adaptation classes are organised during the last week of August.

Yes, of course. Parents are welcome to accompany their children during the first days of September to make acclimatisation easier in the new environment, however, we do advise that you gradually shorten the time that you spend with your child in kindergarten, in order to help them learn independence and get used to his/her teacher and peers.

Yes there is. Children with food allergies are offered different meals from the rest of the group. When filling in the Enrollment form, you indicate the things that your child is allergic to. This information then goes to, our catering companies who will supply a special menu for you to choose meals from and our teachers who are responsible for making sure that your child is not given anything that he/she is allergic to.

Our kindergarten was designed to minimise children’s contact with inhaled allergens:

  • Corridors, toilets, locker room and canteen are covered with ceramic tiles and classrooms are lined in PCV flooring;
  • There are no carpets and facings to prevent the accumulation of dust mites inside.
  • All the toilets have mechanical ventilation providing a constant gentle flow of air humidity;
  • Good air quality is present because of our traditional central heating that heats up air directly and prevents the movement of dust particles and
  • We have vertical roller blinds, replacing curtains and drapes.

Our educational, teaching and caring work is led on the basis of First Steps’ teaching and Polish MEN programs:

  • The kindergarten education program supports children’s activity and development “Olek i Ada” MAC;
  • We supply our own teacher’s programs providing enrichment and educational classes;
  • Our kindergarten is the first in Bielsko-Biala to introduce the international program
  • “Zippi’s friends” which promotes children’s emotional health;
  • We enrich each day with games and play for the children by using elements of supportive development methods;
  • Elements of Educational Kinesiology – Paul Dennison’s method – a learning and stimulating development program for 6 year olds;
  • Elements of Rudolf von Laban’s motor creativity method and
  • Veronica Sherborne’s Developmental Movement methods.

We offer a wide variety of additional classes and every year, we update these to suit the needs and requirements of our children and parents. Parents get to choose classes according to their children’s interests and are only required to pay, for the classes their child participates in. Of course, there are times when classes and time slots overlap so parents are asked to select the best one for their child.

Beyond our standard additional classes, our children go on trips to the cinema, theatre, various workshops etc. In the kindergarten, we also provide many attractions like theatre workshops, art and construction activities etc. We organise cooking workshops where children learn about foreign cuisines and cultures from around the world. The children also prepare shows together with their teachers in Polish & English – especially on occasions such as graduation, grandparents day etc. The choice and quantity of classes available is in abundance!!

Yes, every day after lunch the youngest children rest – unless a parent does not want their child to do so – in which case, the child joins another play group.

We advocate and ensure that our children get fresh air everyday! They generally spend 60 minutes outside with their teachers during the winter months and more during the warmer seasons. However, during heavy rain, high winds, temperatures below -5 and high pollution days, they are kept indoors.

Yes, there is. At the beginning of every school year, we invite a speech therapist, psychologist and posture specialist to our kindergarten to examine the children. Parents are invited to attend and observe this examination and later receive an official document called “a referral” containing details of the doctor’s findings and opinion.

Every child can be insured. Details of the insurance offer are presented to parents during the first meeting at the beginning of the school year. Further information on insurance details, can be obtained from our reception.

Registration for the new school year starting in September begins in February/March and is based on a first come, first served basis. To guarantee your child’s place in our school, we recommend you register as early as possible.

No, we do not charge fees for these two months. We offer a summer kindergarten program which you can enrol your child in, however, you will be charged for the period of time you choose.

Yes, second and subsequent children enrolled in the kindergarten receive a discount.

Meetings between the management and parents can be scheduled by individual appointment at the reception desk.