Why going British gives kids in Czechia the chance to thrive

The British curriculum provides a comprehensive, inclusive learning program, developing core skills in and out of the classroom.

William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass Published on 19.03.2024 17:00:00 (updated on 19.03.2024) Reading time: 5 minutes

What does it mean to have a great education? When considering what’s needed for a fulfilling school experience, multiple factors come into play: a comprehensive learning program, great teachers, a strong sense of community, and opportunities outside academics to develop social skills, awareness, and values.

At Meridian International School in Prague, English-language education all the way from early years to graduation brings all this and more. The school uses the British curriculum to nurture the whole child, helping pupils realize their full potential.

Expats.cz spoke to Pavlína Dalíková, Admissions Manager at Meridian International School, to find out more about how the British curriculum, combined with rich extra-curricular opportunities for growth and development, provides the ideal educational recipe for international children in Czechia.

Why the British curriculum?

British educational standards are used the world over. With a holistic approach to education, the British curriculum is popular among international schools such as Meridian because of its international transferability and relevance.

“A truly international program, the British curriculum is taught all over the world,” says Pavlína Dalíková, Admission Manager at Meridian International School. “For all students, in the UK and abroad, it provides the opportunity to master subjects such as literature, science, mathematics, humanities, and much more. From the primary stage to the completion of high school, they receive regular standardized assessments that are recognized internationally.”

For a Year 6 class, for example, the British curriculum covers subjects as diverse as English, Math, Geography, History, Art and Design, Design Technology, Music, IT, Physical Education, and more. The curriculum also provides Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education and Relationships and Sex (RSE) education, as taught in British schools.

“The curriculum is designed inclusively,” Pavlína explains. “Students from all backgrounds and diverse experiences see themselves reflected in the content being delivered to them.”

At the same time, the British system has an assessment system allowing for a healthy approach to education, in contrast to the Czech system’s greater emphasis on rote-learning.

“Built into the curriculum is an understanding that what students are learning is not only for the purpose of assessment. They gain real-world knowledge that they can take out of the classroom, supporting their development to become responsible, global citizens,” says Pavlína.

“Organized into key stages, topics are revisited cyclically, allowing students to deepen their knowledge as they move through their educational journey. Within this rigorous, structured program, students are challenged to be leaders and creators who think critically and independently. They are then well prepared to enter international universities and diverse professions.”

Feeling at home in Czechia

The British curriculum opens doors worldwide; a desirable outcome among Meridian’s multicultural, diverse community. With 500 students from almost 60 different nationalities, expat families who send their children to the school come from a wide range of backgrounds.

“Some students and their families are only in the Czech Republic temporarily, while some have found their new home here. Our school is proud to share, learn from, and appreciate the differences of each culture, while creating common ground for all,” Pavlína says.

While the comprehensive, varied nature of the British curriculum provides the ideal educational context in which to build links between cultures, Meridian is also sensitive to the need to give pupils based permanently in Czechia a sense of belonging.

“For students who would like to get more involved with the local language and culture, the Czech Program is offered, bringing a deeper view. All students receive support in this regard, from the individual level, to the entire year group and the school as a whole.”

Achievement outside the classroom

As Pavlína points out, Meridian focuses on building pupils’ creative and leadership qualities, equipping them for success in adult life. While the British curriculum is key to this approach, the school also provides opportunities for growth beyond academic attainment, encouraging pupils to become involved in prestigious international awards programs, such as the Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) awards and Model United Nations (MUN).

“A school should offer not only excellent academics, but also a variety of extracurricular experiences and opportunities helping students develop complex skills and reach their potential, both at school and in later life,” Pavlína explains.

The DoE award, open to young people internationally between the ages of 14 and 24, encourages participants to develop skills, physical activities, and volunteering initiatives, allowing them to discover talents which they never knew they had.

“The DoE award allows students to showcase their discipline and curiosity in learning new skills, training in a sport, and volunteering to help the community,” says Pavlína. “An adventure journey forms the biggest part of the award, compelling students to undertake a challenging expedition as independently as possible. In small groups, they navigate through remote areas, carrying all their equipment, cooking for themselves, camping outside, and problem-solving with as little adult help as possible.”

“This develops an adventurous mindset and a commitment to work towards goals. On successful completion of the award, students receive an internationally recognized certificate that can be used to support higher education and employment applications.”

Meridian’s Model UN club, named MeriMUN, gives pupils the chance to attend conferences across Europe; in 2022, Meridian hosted its own Model United Nations conference for the first time. This event will repeat in 2024, bringing up to 150 students from Czechia and abroad to the school.

“MUN is a worldwide student community aimed at developing political understanding and debating skills. It’s a social club in which students work together to discuss, debate, and find solutions to domestic and global problems,” Pavlína remarks.

The format also supports Meridian’s strong multicultural focus, with MUN participants each assigned a country, for which they have to act as a representative. This, according to Pavlína, requires them to approach problems with an open and inquisitive mind.

“MUN is an excellent way for students to develop their academic and social abilities. Universities and employers alike value participation highly, as it prepares candidates for tackling real-world problems,” Pavlína adds.

“OpenDay is everyday”

Educating students all the way from early-years education to high school, Meridian’s British curriculum and international approach nurtures skills both inside and outside the classroom, standing students in good stead throughout later life.

Located in a leafy area of Kobylisy, Prague 8, the school is encouraging parents to get in touch and arrange a visit at their own convenience. By doing so, parents and children can find out more about how a British-style education can help their child make great achievements, as part of a fulfilling and happy educational journey.

This article was written in cooperation with the Meridian International School. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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