Polish Education System The Victory Monument 1920 Primary School no.3 In Marki
The Scheme of Education in Poland
Pre-school Education This stage is the first one of the educational system in Poland.
Pre-school education applies to children between 3 and 6 years old.
From 2004/2005 all six-year-old children attend a compulsory „ 0 grade”, which is to prepare the children to begin the compulsary education in primary schools.
„ 0-grades” function in kindergartens or are attached to primary schools and called pre-primary classes.
They are administrated
and financed by
According to the Education Act of 1991 one of the local goverments duty is to organise and run public kindergartens and provide the children with unpaid teaching and nursing for at least 5 hours a day (the time necessary for the implementation of the content included in the Core Curriculum for pre-school and General Education. Parents’ payments cover childrens’ meals and extra lessons if a child attends the kindergarten more than 5 hours.
Compulsory Education Compulsory education from 6 to 18 years old Stages The period/age of education 0 grade Age: 6-year-old 6-year Primary School Age: 7-13-year-old Stage I – integrated teaching: 7-10-year-old Stage II- teaching arranged by subjects: 10-13-year-old 3-year Lower Compulsory Secondary/Grammar School/Gymnasium Age: 13-18-year-old Stage III - teaching arranged by subjects
Schools’ admission requirements
Compulsory education is free of charge for all pupils in public schools.
The only admission requirement is successful completion of 6-year primary school and attainment of the primary school leaving certificate (Students are obliged to take their external final test after 6th grade of primary school).
Parents are obliged to enrol a child to school or to
„ 0-grade” in kindergarten, which is located nearest their place of living.
Daily/weekly/yearly number of teaching hours
A school year lasts 185 days, from September to June, and is divided into 2 terms.
Compulsory subjects’ classes (max. 23-28 lessons, 45-minute long in I-VI grades and most 28 and 31 lessons in lower compulsory secondary and secondary schools.
Classes are usually arranged during 5 days.
The size of groups
Groups usually consist of 26-32 children.
In I-III grades, one teacher teaches all subjects – English is usually thaught by English teacher, religion is thaught by religion teacher, while in next grades, each subject is taught by a different teacher.
In 1-3 grades pupils get descriptive assessment
In 4-6 grades:
1- insufficient (niedostateczny)
2- passing (dopuszczający)
3- sufficient (dostateczny)
4- good (dobry)
5- very good (bardzo dobry)
6- excellent (celujący)
Curricula and teaching content
Teachers are obliged to follow educational activites (teaching content) according to Core Curriculum for a particular stage of education, which is included in the Regulation by the Minister of National Education.
Teachers can choose textbooks from the list approved by the Ministry of Education and they can individually decide on the methods of teaching and evaluation, introducing innovative methods of teaching and curricula based on Core Curriculum.
The assessment of student’s knowledge and skills during the school year is unified in the whole country.
The assessment is carried out during the whole school year and is divided into partial, periodical and annual assessment and regular oral and written tests. Final marks per semester and at the end of the school year have to be approved by Teachers’ Council in each school. A pupil who has failed the repeat is not promoted and remains in the same grade.
The system of external assessment/grading Within the confines of compulsory education the system of external assessment repressents the following unified tests and examinations:
Grade VI of primary school (students age 13)
Grade III of the lower secondary school (students age 16)
Grade VI of primary school An external standardised test upon the completion of the primary school (grade VI). It provides pupils and parents as well as schools with information about the level of achievements of six-year primary school leaver. These tests are comparable to the nation scale. Grade VI of primary school (students age 13) – general compulsory competence test on the basis of Core Curriculum.
Grade III of the lower secondary school Grade III of the lower secondary school (students age 16) – at the end of 3rd year– students take a general, compulsory exam. This examination checks both abilities and knowledge in the field of humanities and science and modern language. It is compulsory for all students. The results are indicated on the leaving certificate. They are comparable to the nation scale.
Admission requirements The number of points indicated on the lower compulsory secondary school leaving certificate (based on results achieved in chosen areas of study and other achievements), including the points received during the compulsory lower secondary school examination, decides about pupils’ admission to an upper secondary school. The detailed admission rules are defined by each upper secondary school, which opens admissions to new students.
Post-compulsory Education Stage of education The period/ age of education Secondary School/High School Age: 16-19 Three-year Specialised Secondary School Age 16-19 Technical College Age 16-20 Basic Vocational School Age: 16-18/19 Supplementary General School Age 18/19 – 20/21 Supplementary Secondary Technical School Age 18/19 – 20/21 Upper/Post Secondary School Age: 19-21
On the completion
of the secondary education
pupils may sit
the High School Final Exams
– to access higher education. Students of secondary schools, 3-year specialised secondary schools, supplementary secondary schools and technical schools, who have passed their final exams will get their leaving school certificate (required to apply for admission to higher education).
Post-secondary schools’ examinations are unified and external. Secondary school Finals contain of 2 parts: external written exam(prepared and assessed by Regional Examination Commissions) and oral examinations, prepared by school teachers.
Vocational examination At the end of the basic vocational school, technical schools and upper secondary schools, pupils are evaluated by means of a compulsory vocational examination . The success in the theoretical and practical parts of this examination, relating to the occupation, gives students the title of skilled worker.
Basic vocational schools provide their students with a certificate of completion of vocational school (entitling the vocational school graduate to apply for profesional job).
Higher Education Since 5 May 2006, The Ministry of Science and Higher Education has regulated activities and the organisation of Higher Education.
Types of Higher Schools/Universities
Academies of Physical Education
Schools of arts
Schools of theology
Schools of higher vocational education
Ministry of Defence schools
School Departament of Interior
Systems of Studies
Full-time studies – primary system of studies, at state universities they are free of charge, except the repetition of learning because of the unsatisfactory results.
Part-time studies – students have to pay for their learning.
The requirement to apply for admission to higher education studies is the Final examination (Matura). Enrolment is based on the results of the Matura examination.
Individual schools have a right to set additional criteria (e.g. Results of so-called predispositions checking tests).
Last at least 3-4 years. They end with a diploma of professional qualifications and title of graduate with a bachelor’s degree or engineer, which entitles people to work or continue their education.
Only full-time studies at state colleges are unpaid.
Uniform Masters last from 5 to 6 years and are conducted in universities. As a result, students receive a university degree and professional title of master, Master of Arts, Master of Science ....
Graduates holding the professional title of master’s degree may apply for admission to doctoral studies.
Special Education educating children with special educational needs
Special education is an integral part of Polish education system,which is reflected in the common law relating to education in public institutions and the special education.
The children are taught according to special educational needs on the basis of the results of psychological, educational and medical research.
The majority of children with special needs study in special schools or special classes at widely available schools/ in mainstream schools.
11,7% of all students with disabilities were taught in integration classes in primary schools, lower secondary schools and secondary schools in 2005/2006.
Educating the child having special needs, at a widely available institution, requires a positive opinion of the relevant authority and parental consent.
Teachers Teachers must have a university degree. The type of required studies depend on the stage of teaching. Teachers working in 6-year primary schools ougth to have one of the following qualifications: - University education or equivalent completed (Master’s degree) - 3-year teachers training college completed (Bachelor’s degree) - 3-year teachers training college completed (ended with diploma, without Bachelor’s degree).
Teachers in: - Lower Secondary School–at least Bachelor’s or Master’s degree - Secondary School – ought to have completed a University education and hold Master’s degree. Teachers at each stage ought to have completed pedagogical training/teacher education faculties and a particular subject they want to teach.
There are two types of schools in Poland:
Public (state) schools, which offer free education within the framework of the core curricula.
Private schools with the rights of public schools. Primary schools and lower compulsory secondary schools may only be public or private with the rights of public schools. A public school is an educational institution established by the government, a local authority. All these schools may have their own curricula, which are approved by the Minister of Education. They provide free teaching in the core curriculum, evaluate and promote students according to the educational regulations being in force.
Current Reforms Since 2009/2010 school year, children at the age of six have had the right to start compulsory education at primary schools. Children aged 3-5 are subjected to pre-school education. In 2010/2011 all five-year-olds are obliged to attend a year long school preparation. In 2011/2012 all six-year-olds will be obliged to start compulsory education at primary schools.
The reform ranges in 2009/2015
The reform implies a smooth transition from pre-school to primary education. Education in grades I-III is to take place in groups of no more than 25 people. Primary schools are to offer extra-curricular activities for pupils requiring special support and for talented students. The lower secondary education stage is supposed to teach 2 modern languages, one of which, is being continued from primary school.
From 2008/2009 students are obliged to take a compulsory modern language examination.
From 2009/2010 mathematics is compulsory subject for final exam (Matura).