Spalding teaching assistants visit Poland

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New Polish students at the Sir John Gleed School in Spalding will have even better support and understanding in future.

Two teaching assistants at the school have recently visited a school in Elblag in Poland to observe at first hand the teaching of Humanity subjects and English in Polish schools.

One of the teaching assistants, Sharon Caress, said: “We felt this was an excellent opportunity to help us understand how to best support Polish students who have recently joined the school.”

Sharon and fellow teaching assistant Carmel Bombardini received funding from the Comenius in-service training programme via the British Council to enable them to visit the 11 Lyceum of General Education, which has pupils aged from 13 to 18.

They met and observed teachers and students at work, as well as being guests at a formal lunch with the school’s headteacher.

However, Sharon and Carmel were themselves a cause of great interest in Poland, where very few schools employ teaching assistants to help support learning in the classroom. The pair were questioned extensively on their classroom roles and responsibilities.

They were also interviewed by Radio Gdansk and asked for their impressions of Polish schools and students.

Sharon and Carmel told them they had found Polish students “very focused on their work” and they were impressed by the level of English, and in particular English grammar, the pupils had.

The links made with the Polish school will continue, with students emailing each other and taking part in Skype conferencing. Teachers from Poland are applying for funding to visit the Spalding school next year.