Rising stars: The Czech Republic's newest bilingual school is set to debut this fall

The brand-new All Stars School offers a unique immersion opportunity for expat children at an affordable price.

Diana Bocco

Written by Diana Bocco
Published on 23.08.2021 12:38 (updated on 23.08.2021)

A new schooling option this fall will bridge the gap between top-level bilingual education and affordable schooling, something that’s been missing in the Czech Republic for far too long. In fact, the price point of many international schools in the country is often beyond the means of most expat parents.

"In the past, companies would offer packages that covered school fees, but for many companies, this is no longer viable so families have to pay their own fees – something not always accessible for most parents," said the founder of the newly opening All Stars School, founder Vladka Godfroy.

All Stars School opens in September 2021 and will offer both nursery and primary school education led by a team of experienced teachers. Located in a beautiful park in the center of Příbram, the school will offer children a more relaxed setting where they will have lots of opportunities to interact with nature and learn from it.

“If we look at the countries that are doing well in education, it's the ones where the youngest children spend large parts of their time outdoors,” said Ms. Godfroy.

Teachers will in turn create an environment that enables children to follow their own interests through curiosity and inquiry, using the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC), which focuses on the whole child and key areas of learning through holistic and play-based approaches. The unique educational system covers all areas of development and learning – personal, social, academic, and emotional.

Ms. Godfroy – who created the concept and vision of All Stars School based on her own pedagogical experience in England, France, the USA, and New Zealand – gained the benefits of a multi-lingual international education firsthand.

“Through my travels, I was able to see the different approaches to teaching and learning, and I realized that I wanted to give the children from my town, Příbram, the opportunities others have had,” she explained.

Ms. Godfroy said getting small children outside and getting them active also helps with developing gross motor skills and fine motor skills so that they are ready to learn to write when the time comes.

One of the key offerings of the school will be individual attention, with small classes staffed with highly qualified local and international teachers. This will provide a unique immersion opportunity for expat children, who will be exposed to both English and Czech on a daily basis – an essential compromise for families who are planning on staying in the country for several years and want their children to speak the local language.

“If children attend a Czech school, they will have a long period of adjusting while they learn Czech – so for example a child who is very proficient in math in their own language may struggle with it in Czech because they can't follow what is being taught or read what they are supposed to do," Ms. Godfroy said.

She goes on to say that the child may already be struggling to settle in their new environment and struggling with a subject they know they are good at makes it very difficult emotionally.

"This will not be an issue in our school because we will offer classes in English but we will have a bilingual teacher in all lessons who can take time to fully support the students’ language acquisition,” she said.

To help families integrate, English teachers will provide individual support to non-Czech speaking students. In addition, the school will also offer both Czech and English lessons for adults so parents will be able to support their children.

Czech and English aren’t the only language options at All Stars School either. “We are offering an integrated bilingual program with opportunities for learning other languages, including French and Mandarin,” Ms. Godfroy explained. These will be taught through traditional classes as well as a wide range of additional activities so children will also be able to enhance their language learning through fun activities.

“This could be through fun conversational classes or it might be by learning the language in context; for example, through baking classes in Spanish,” Ms. Godfroy said. “As our school numbers grow, we will offer additional languages.”

All Stars School will also put emphasis on early education through British EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage), which sets standards for the learning, development, and care of your child from birth to 5 years old. EYFS covers seven areas: communication and language development, physical development, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, expressive arts and design, and personal, social, and emotional development.

This offers an ideal balance between academic improvement and playful learning and relaxation, which Ms. Godfroy believes will allow the school to better plan the next educational steps for individual children, helping them all to make progress based on their own strengths.

Adding to the benefits offered is flexibility not only during the learning process but also in terms of the time students spend at school. “If parents need their child to be in school daily from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, we can support them, but we can also provide options for parents who only want their child to attend for a couple of mornings a week,” Ms. Godfroy said.

Above all, Ms. Godfroy believes that parent involvement is essential to helping kids succeed in school – and it’s something All Stars will encourage as much as possible.

“It's about talking to the children and increasing their vocabulary. It's about learning about the Czech culture and perhaps the cultures represented in school," she said.

"We are not a traditional Czech school, so the parents should do their best to make sure that the children have listened to stories in their own languages as this helps with vocabulary development. It's about working with your child to increase their knowledge of the world."

"And it's about talking positively about school so that it's something each child looks forward to,” she said.

This article was written in cooperation with the All Stars School. Read more about our partner content policy here.

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