Polish Class Success

Celebrating young people achievements across Moray schools- Polish class success

Pictured above are pupils from Elgin Academy, Elgin High School and Forres Academy who successfully completed the Polish GCSE course.

Despite the challenging situation we find ourselves in, it has been amazing to see all that has been achieved across Moray schools. It is important to recognise and celebrate how much pupils have been through and the resilience they have shown in incredibly challenging times. This year saw 10 bilingual pupils from four secondary schools in Moray gaining GCSE qualifications in Polish. This qualification is equivalent to a Scottish National 5 qualification. This is a fantastic opportunity for our young EAL learners to gain additional certificates, which will allow them to improve their chances to gain access to further / higher education and to improve their prospects of employability.

Polish classes have been successfully running in Moray for the past ten years thanks to the collaboration and support of Elgin High School, the EAL Service and Community language tutors including Ada McNeil who currently teaches the Polish course.

“Teaching Polish classes in Moray is challenging but very rewarding at the same time. I’ve been doing it for the last five years. I come back every year because I feel a real connection with the children and their families. Pupils usually have different levels of Polish and might not be able to write Polish well. I really enjoy teaching Polish to these kids. I have a passion for teaching and it’s really satisfying to see them grow their skills that will definitely help them in the future. As far as I can tell, the children are enjoying the classes. They are engaged, participate willingly and they seem to enjoy the variety of teaching techniques I use within the class, despite the challenges of the online format. The parents and families are thrilled that their kids are engaged in learning their native language, with a native speaker, who has been immersed in Scottish culture for the past 22 years. The parents feel their kids are in good hands with a teacher experienced in teaching both Polish and English. Those students who apply themselves have gone on to achieve the test scores that open doors to whatever opportunities they want beyond High School and they go into their tests feeling confident and prepared, knowing exactly what to expect and what sort of responses are required to achieve the scores they are aiming for. I know that the pupils who attended our classes in previous years have benefited. They have learnt a lot, become more confident and the qualifications helped them progress and get into the college or university they wanted.” Ada McNeil

Polish families are extremely delighted that The Moray Council has made it possible for their children to have the opportunity to improve their native language skills and gain official qualifications. Currently, only Italian, Spanish, French, German, Gaelic, Cantonese, Urdu and Mandarin languages are offered at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher levels. Elgin High School has been an official AQA examination centre for GCSE/A level Polish since the course started in Moray in 2012 and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. This year an exceptionally large number of young people signed up to attend online Polish classes and the 34 pupils will hopefully go on gaining Polish GCSE or A Level qualifications.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity for my daughter to learn Polish in a professional educational setting. Since she started the course her Polish language skills and her vocabulary much improved and she has gained new confidence in speaking. She is immersed in the English-speaking environment and her only connection with the Polish language was through me. It is fantastic that she can learn with a group of peers and broaden her understanding and use of the language. The teacher, Ada has proved to be great in engaging my daughter in her lessons and keeping her interested. And of course, gaining the additional A Level qualification after completing the course is yet another benefit for my daughter which hopefully will help her in her further education. Thank you!” Parent of Polish pupil

 “I do enjoy Polish lessons. The topics chosen are interesting and varied. Ada is a nice teacher and she is much enjoyable in her online classes. She is very sweet.” Polish pupil

Moray EAL service