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Warsaw is long on history and the arts, so there is plenty for culture vultures to get their teeth into. Plus there is a thriving, adventurous and diverse expat community, which, in turn, means international schools.  

Best schools in Warsaw Poland

Education in Warsaw 

A few well-established international schools exist, used both by ex-pats and the increasing number of wealthy and internationally minded Polish families who want their children to be educated in English. 

Even where children speak neither English nor Polish, families tend to select these international schools with a British, American or partially IB curriculum if they’re looking for an education that’s recognised internationally and can be transferred between countries. 

Generally, families choose to live near their international school, primarily around the Wilanow/Sadbya area (home to British, French and German schools and a host of pre-school options). Some schools run a bus service and car-pooling is common. 

Other families prefer schools dominated by stable populations of local Polish children over the more transient international schools. Not only is the Polish public school system free, but it’s more likely that your child will pick up Polish as a second language. It is particularly popular among families who have at least a five year posting and with younger children. But older children who have no – or only a basic – knowledge of Polish would find it hard to keep up. 

They key stages are: an introductory pre-school year age 5 (Przedszkole); six years of primary school (Szkoła Podstawowa); then three years of Gymnasium, with final exams taken after the third year, which marks the end of compulsory education (Gimnazjum). Those who want to study after Gimnazjum can choose between a Liceum for three years or a Technical College Technikum for four years. Alternatively, students can attend a vocational school (Szkola Zawodowa) for two years that focuses on preparation for manual professions. Following the completion of education in a Liceum or Technikum, students can pass the maturity examination (Matura) to obtain a Maturity Certificate, which allows them to take entrance exams for Higher Education, beit a university, university of technology or medical academy. 

Private, fee-paying education is relatively new in Poland, having only been introduced in the late 1980s. Many are run by religious or social organisations and can also rely on private or parent donations. These schools are independent of the government and not restricted to following the national curriculum. 

Choosing a school in Warsaw 

There are many benefits of sending a child to one of Poland’s international schools. The most obvious are the qualifications, in particular the American High School and the International Baccalaureate diplomas, delivered in the British and American schools. These schools focus on small teaching groups and personal development, interesting and abundant extracurricular activities and diverse and multinational parent, teacher and student groups. But these benefits do not come cheap. 

Other international schools tend to have a high percentage of Polish children and a curriculum which, although taught in English or French (in the case of the lycée), is largely focused on the Polish system and are considered by expats to be a ‘second tier’ to the British and American Schools. The exact curriculum varies between the schools but usually has a focus on the Polish core curriculum as defined by the Polish Ministry of Education ( including Polish language, Polish history and geography, Polish maths and Polish science. At high school level, a more flexible approach can be adopted by the schools and it might teach, for example, Polish Matura, American High School Diploma and IB Diploma programme. 

You can also find a fully French or German education. This approach is popular in early years education (nursery through to year 2). For example, where English is spoken at home, the French and German schools will expose children to a foreign language and also offer introductory Polish classes - a good option in Warsaw if you are happy to move your children around to cement a bi/trilingual education at an early age. There is also the option to go further and give your child the opportunity to learn French, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish in addition to English and Polish. 

Best schools in Warsaw 

The British School, Warsaw

International Primary Curriculum/ National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma; ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 970 students

Founded in 1992, the first in the collection of schools, owned and run by the Nord Anglia Education group, now expanded to over 65 schools worldwide. Over 40 nationalities but a strong contingent (approximately 40 per cent) of Polish students. Solid IB Diploma results. The school’s list of recent university destinations includes Oxbridge, Russell Group and Ivies. 

These schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.

Akademeia High School 

IGCSE/ A level; ages 13-18; co-ed; day and boarding; 340 students; Independent: privately owned 

Established in 2016, Akademeia High School is an independent, academically selective school in Warsaw, offering IGCSEs and A levels alongside Akademeia assessed courses. With a rigorous admissions process and A level classes taught in the form of undergraduate seminars; the school pursues a pre-university university model. The majority of students are preparing to study at Oxbridge, Russell group, and top universities across US and Europe. The school offers a robust scholarship programme, with 10 per cent of places allocated to merit-based, partial and full scholarships.

American School of Warsaw (ASW) 

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 950 students

Founded in 1953 on a campus just outside Warsaw. An international school with a strong American element (about 25 per cent of the students are US citizens). Sound academics with   very respectable average International Baccalaureate Diploma scores, consistently in the mid-thirties. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Canadian School of Warsaw

Adapted curriculum; ages 2-16; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 250 students

Established in 2000. The pre-school and elementary division are taught in English and the middle school (opened in 2015) has a bilingual English/Polish programme, supplemented by parts of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.

International American School, Warsaw (IAS) 

Adapted American curriculum/ Polish curriculum/ Polish Matura/ American High School Diploma/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 250 students

Established in 1989, the first post-Communist international school in Poland. Offers a bilingual Polish/English education to predominantly Polish students. Provides the option of graduating with either a Polish, American or International Baccalaureate Diploma.  

International European School Warsaw (IES)

Adapted Polish curriculum/ adapted National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE / IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 400 students

Founded in 2003, in the area of Warsaw around Wilanow Palace, popular with expats. Mainly Polish students with a sprinkling of children from longer term expat British families. Considering the nationality of most of the students, they tend to achieve a very respectable average score in the low to mid-thirties for the IB Diploma. 

International Trilingual School of Warsaw

Adapted trilingual curriculum; ages 1-14; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 450 students

A truly trilingual school on three campuses in downtown Warsaw, teaching in English and Polish plus a choice of Spanish, French, Chinese and Japanese. The school is divided roughly half and half between local and international students and the curriculum is drawn from 7 different national sources.

Lycée Francais René Goscinny

French curriculum/ Brevet/ French Bac; ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 740 students

Founded in 1919, under the name L’École France de Varsovies,. Located on a campus close to The British School. One of the around 500 international schools run by the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE). On two campuses, one for maternelle (pre-school) and primaire (primary) and the other for collège (junior high school) and lycée (senior high school). Approximately 50 per cent of students are French passport holders. Accredited by the French Ministry of Education.

Monnet International School

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned

One of the oldest private bilingual English/Polish schools in Poland, founded in 1992. Caters for mainly Polish students and offers the original three programmes of the International Baccalaureate. Graduates have moved on to international universities outside Poland, including in the UK and USA.

Thames British School 

EYFS/ Cambridge International Primary Programme/ Cambridge International Secondary Programme 1 & 2/ IGCSE/ A levels/ IB Diploma; ages 2-19; co-ed; 700 students across 5 campuses; day; Independent: privately owned 

Thames British school is a privately owned school with four campuses located in Warsaw and a fifth in the suburbs.  

For more information on the schools above, please go to each school’s individual entry on the Good Schools Guide international search.


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