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Copernicus Secondary School is situated in Katowice, the capital city of the largest urban area in Poland. The school is one of the oldest schools in the city and also one of the best in the region. In the last few years we have been rated among the first 100 best schools in Poland in the national secondary schools ranking. Our students achieve excellent results in contests, Olympiads and final national exams. Students, who are between 13-19 years old commute from all the city area and also from the neighbouring cities .

Our school consists of two schools: lower secondary school (students aged 13-16) and upper secondary school (students aged 16-19). We run science oriented classes (extended syllabus of math, physics, chemistry and biology), journalism classes (extended syllabus of Polish, history and languages) and bilingual classes with French as the language of instruction. Students have 6 hours of French a week and some subjects, for example mathematics and history are taught in French. There are about 650 pupils and 52 teachers in the school.

All these factors result in our students’ strong academic interest in science and languages, but also inother countries’ culture, history, and traditions. Our students are quick at learning, o pen and eager to learn about their peers lives’ . What they lack is combing practice with theory as Polish schools cover mostly theoretical than practical side of subjects. It also refers to foreign languages, including English and French. Students know grammar and vocabulary well but have problems with overcoming their fears, lack of self-confidence, shyness etc. to communicate easily. Silesia, the region we live in is the most industrial part of Poland with the population of more than 4 million people. For many years it was heavily polluted.

Changes in Polish economy caused on one hand rapid improvement of the natural environment condition, on the other, high unemployment. In consequence, many adults
migrated to western Europe seeking for jobs and leaving their children behind. The amount of, so called Euro-orphans is getting bigger and bigger, also in our school. Historical background of the region gives the area we live in a specific character and defines its cultural identity. As our local communities are rather homogenous as far as their ethnic structure is concerned (in our school there are only three children of mixed nationality) we would like to enable our students to get to know other cultures and make them aware of European dimension.

We would like to make them aware that the economical changes force us to look for different ways of development, also in the sphere of personal lives, education, and work. Being open to others, able to communicate effectively, making friends outside their community and family is the best way to achieve it.

Zespol Szkol Ogolnoksztalcacych nr 1 w Katowic

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