Great success, meeting invitation and curriculum events in the Summer Term
by Petr Pospíšil
On the very last day of April I was informed by one of our students who joined the school exactly ten years ago in September 2009 as a preschool child that he had managed to secure for himself the first place in the national secondary school entrance examinations. What a great result! This excellent outcome stands in clear contrast to a number of assumptions parents often make about the prospects our students have when re-entering the Czech system. So If I set aside my personal opinion about the way in which the local highly selective secondary schools teach and what curriculum they offer I think that such an outcome is a real success. It clearly shows that a child who demonstrates some academic talents, which are needed for successful study at the type of schools the local Gymnasiums are, can for ten years follow an international programme in English and still achieve such results in the Czech national examinations delivered only in Czech language.
One could argue that this is an exceptional case and children who may be performing less well within the required cognitive set of skills tested by the national examinations can be handicapped when sitting the exam, since they were not exposed to the Czech curriculum that much. It is true; however, especially with the 8-year secondary programmes taking into account the difficulty level of the national entrance test and the number of applicants children who succeed are in the top ten percent range. If children score at this level then it actually does not matter if they studied maths in English or had a very limited number of Czech first language lessons. Regardless of their previous schooling it is almost certain that they will achieve highly also in the Czech national entrance examinations. All this above is obviously mostly relevant mainly to children coming from Czech families, although we had a case in the past where the same applied also to a child from a mixed family background.
It is all quite fascinating. It shows that there are a number of strong factors that determine how well children may score in the national entrance test. Looking back at the historical exam results, our diagnostic data, the individual cases we have had and also thinking about the questions from parents we often get I need to say that, in light of the information mentioned above, the school, it’s curriculum or even the language of instruction are often overestimated as the strongest factors that impact on the achievement in the national tests. A child’s cognitive abilities or parental support in this case would be at least as important as the role of the school, with the cognitive abilities being, I believe, the strongest predictor of success.
In summary, if you really think of Gymnasiums as the next step for your child, then come and talk to us and we can give you some idea about what the chances are; do not expect, however, that the school can do much about this. Success will always depend on how much support you give to your child too and on whether or not the child has the correct potential, especially for the national entrance examination, since these focus on a fairly narrow realm of abilities.
If you are interested in knowing more about your child’s cognitive abilities it does not matter if your child is in preschool or primary. Thanks to our state-of-the-art diagnostic tools called PIPS and InCAS we can give you a pretty good picture.
Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to announce one important date to you. An important decision has been made recently regarding the future of the school and I would like to present it to all parents personally at a meeting that will take place on Tuesday 21st May 2019 at 5.00pm at our school.
Finally, I would like to ask all parents to carefully take note of the events planned for the III term. We are once again preparing great activities for the children. There will be a number of curriculum events including again the Sports Day on Friday 7th of June which will be followed by our Annual Dinner the following Friday, 14th of June. We are excited about this as these events take our programme to the next level rea
They will gain perfect knowledge of English.
Your child will become a global citizen with wide understanding of local and international topics.
We put a strong emphasis on the development on subject specific skills rather than on acquisition of knowledge.
Emphasis on skills development (not just memorising).
Individual approach; school’s ability to motivate for improvement.
Your child will be excited to come to school.