Languages Week Scotland

Complementary Schools

Highlighting the work of complementary/Saturday schools in language learning

SCILT is proud to work in partnership with Bilingualism Matters to showcase some of the tremendous work which is going on in complementary schools. Complementary and Saturday schools play a vital role in ensuring learners maintain and enhance knowledge of their heritage languages, and that these languages and cultural identities can thrive and flourish within our community.

Bilingualism Matters is a research and information centre at the University of Edinburgh, founded by Professor Antonella Sorace in 2008. We study bilingualism and language learning, and communicate what we know to enable people to make informed decisions based on scientific evidence.

A short animation has been commissioned by the Polish Consulate that promotes Polish complementary schools’ online learning & teaching. This video was produced by a Polish artist living in Scotland, Eliza Marcinkowicz. In the current challenging times, it is inspiring to see such innovative and creative approaches being used to support and encourage learners of Polish.

“We have commissioned Eliza Marcinowicz to make this animation to encourage parents to use the online teaching that the Polish schools now offer in place of their Saturday classes in the normal venues.” Sylwia Spooner, Head of Cultural Affairs Communications, Polish Diaspora and Public Diplomacy Department, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh

View the video

ECP-Education Centre (Polish: Edukacyjne Centrum Polonijne) is a charity dedicated to promoting Polish-Scottish Heritage to communities in Scotland. One of our main projects is General Maczek's Academy of Polish Language, which is a complementary school for the Polish community in Edinburgh.

“The school’s objectives are caring about maintaining the proficiency of Polish spoken and written language amongst the young generation of Poles growing up far from Poland; cultivating and sustaining the memory of Poland and Polish traditions; as well as promoting integrated relationships between the Polish and multicultural community of Scotland” Monika Ciska-Szuszkiewicz, Teacher

Watch this video to find out more

You can learn more about the work of the school here (Polish only) 

The Little Institute of Polish Language "Polonius" in Edinburgh is a project of the Polish Cultural & Educational Association of Adam Mickiewicz in Edinburgh, opened in 2016.

Teaching at the Polonius institute is based on the curriculum for Polish students studying abroad, textbooks used by teachers in Poland and materials prepared by our own teachers. We teach Polish language, history, nature, geography and catechesis.

We strive to ensure the highest level of education possible. We assign students to individual classes based on their level of Polish. Our classes are designed to encourage students to learn, while taking into account that these are additional classes for our pupils.

In addition to teaching Polish language, we also teach Polish customs and culture. Our students co-organise and participate in many events, meetings and assemblies which we organise to celebrate Polish events.

To celebrate the Polish National Education Day, which falls on October 14, we organize POLONIADA, i.e. the Olympiad of Knowledge about Poland for students of Polish schools from Scotland. The competition is very popular amongst our pupils.

In November, on the occasion of Poland's Independence, we organise the Charity Independence Ball for adults. The Ball has taken place three times, each time attracting ca.100 people. The Ball is an opportunity to taste traditional Polish dishes, dance to Polish music and win prizes in a lottery.

When the pandemic struck early 2020, Polonius moved its classes online. Our online education offer received good reception and feedback from satisfied pupils and their parents.

We will continue to make our best efforts to offer attractive online classes. At the same time, we have many new plans and ideas for when we can safely welcome our pupils to the school building.

Polish Online School from Eliza Marcinowicz on Vimeo.

Contact details
Magdalena Białęcka (Director)
Mały Instytut Języka Polskiego „Poloniusz” w Edynburgu
Tel: +447927294352

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University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages