top of page

Our school

St. Jadwiga The Queen Polish Saturday School Forest Gate-Ilford provides education for children and youth living in Great Britain. Children are admitted to our school from the school year in which they turn 5.

Classes are held on Saturdays from September (except Saturdays during mid-semester breaks) to June   between 9:30 - 13:00 (classes 0-III) and 9 : 30 - 13:15 (classes IV ‑ A2). There will be 31 Saturdays in the school year 2022 / 23.

Educational activities in our school are in the form of full-time studies, although in exceptional situations, e.g. a pandemic or similar events beyond the school's decision, we reserve the right to conduct classes online, in compliance with all existing terms of cooperation (fees, presence of children and youth in class, etc. .)  

Online classes may constitute an additional educational offer for individual examination classes at the request of the school headmistress.

History of the School

St. Jadwiga The Queen Polish Saturday School Forest Gate-Ilford was established in the fall of 1956 on the initiative of a group of parents living in Forest Gate and with the help of the Main Board of the Polish School Society operating in London.

The school had 15 children, and its management was assumed by Ms Irena Pawlak. The first school celebration was a meeting with St. Nicholas in December 1956. The first president was Mr. Jerzy Gradosielski, whose wife, Mrs. Danuta Gradosielska, is still in constant contact with the school.

As the years passed, thanks to the tireless work of the teachers and parents as well as the dedicated and selfless work of the authorities of the Circle, the school grew: the number of children increased, the number of teachers increased, and new classes were created. The school radiated and covered the entire "East End" from Poplar and Leyton to Romford and Upminster. The life of the Polish community developed around the school thanks to the organization of school events, national celebrations and dance games.

In the years 1964-69, the number of children in the school increased to 96, and the teaching staff consisted of 5 people. At the PMS Annual Meeting in 1966, the Forest Gate Circle was listed as a distinguished cultural and educational center in East London.

In the early 1980s, the number of children attending school began to decline. In September 1984, the school moved to Goodmayes Parish House.

The next stage in the life of the School was the beginning of the new millennium. In May 2004, Poland joined the European Union .  The influx of new families with children meant that St. Jadwiga The Queen Polish Saturday School began to flourish again. The number of children increased from year to year, which meant the need to rent additional rooms. For some time, the classes were held simultaneously in three different places. In order to integrate the whole school, the Board decided to rent the building to one of the local high schools.

In February 2006, the school moved to Downshall Center in Seven Kings, and a year later to Ursuline Academy in Ilford, where classes continue to date.

In the school year 2021/22, about 480 boys and girls will study at our school.

School operation

Parish House at 2 Ashgrove Road, Goodmayes, is registered as an official school site, and classes are held at the Ilford Ursuline Academy building on Morland Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4JU.

The school functions as an organization of a social nature and is based on close cooperation of the entire school community, i.e. children, parents / guardians, teachers, the Principal and the Board.
The activities of the school are regulated by: the School Statute, the Information Bulletin (otherwise the School Prospectus - School Regulations), Student Regulations and Parent Regulations, school schedule and other current regulations. The Information Bulletin also concerns current regulations and supplements the School Statute.

At the end of the school year, there is a meeting summarizing the past year with the participation of Parents / Guardians, the Board of Directors and the Board. Reports on the activities of the institution are then provided, the school's achievements are presented, and important issues concerning the program for the next year are discussed.

The President's and Director's reports are emailed to the parents / guardians prior to the meeting. During the Meeting, Parents / Guardians who participate have the right to submit motions and inquiries to the Management Board and the Directorate.

A General Assembly is held in the new school year; it is compulsory for the entire school community. A new Management Board is appointed there. Any changes to the structure and organization of the school and amendments to the school charter are also considered and approved. The Treasurer's report is sent by e-mail, and the Audit Committee reports on the financial activities of the School.

The management and administration of the school is carried out by the Board. It consists of: the President and his Deputy, Treasurer, Secretary, a person responsible for raising additional funds (Fundraiser) and Coordinators of: Saturday's shifts, events, first aid and a school shop. The members of the Management Board perform their functions for a charity. Other parents also join in helping to organize school events.

The Director of Education deals with substantive matters, who recruits teachers and teacher assistants, cooperates with volunteers and supervises student internships organized in our school. The Education Director also checks the compliance of the level of teaching in classes with the core curriculum for students studying abroad of the Ministry of National Education and the AQA core curriculum for teaching Polish as a foreign language. The headmaster is appointed and dismissed by the teaching staff and the school board.

Financial matters are handled by the Treasurer. The school's accounting and bank settlements are meticulously checked once a year by the Audit Committee appointed for this purpose.

School funds come from fees charged for studying at school, income from school events, school shop and various types of subsidies that we have to apply for ourselves.

The school is not responsible for items lost or damaged by students on the school premises.

The remuneration for the Teaching Staff employed at the school is financed from the school's fund.

Studying at our school

The aim of our school is to spread general knowledge about Polish culture, traditions and the Polish language.

Our main goal is to consolidate the sense of Polish identity and patriotism among children, cultivate the Polish language and deepen their knowledge of literature, Polish traditions, history and geography.

School education covers three subjects: Polish language, Polish history and Polish geography. There are also religion lessons at the school.

The curriculum is designed to prepare students for the English GCSE and A-Level examinations in Polish as a foreign language. Students of our school take these exams in large numbers and achieve impressive results.
In the school year 2020 / 21  our students received:
GCSE class:
11 children / schoolgirls - grade 9
5 students - grade 8
3 students - grade 7  
A-Level class:
5 students - grade A *
3 students - grade A
3 students - grade B

The program of activities also includes preparation of children for performances at academies related to the celebrations of anniversaries of Polish historical events (Regaining Independence and the Constitution of May 3) and on the occasion of Christmas (Jasełka) and Family Day. The school calendar permanently includes the entry pasowanie for the Preschooler and the Student, various Competitions,   Bear's Day and many others.

The School Scheduler also provides for the ceremonial distribution of School Certificates and Memorial Diplomas for GCSE graduates and A-Level graduates. From this school year, the A-Levels Ball and the Fairy Tale Theater organized and presented by our school appeared in the school calendar. Santa Claus Day, class Christmas Eve, Christmas Market, Easter Bunny, Easter Eggs for the youngest, School Patron Day, school delegation with the Katyn Memorial Banner, and Happy Children's Day at Laxton Hall are also a regular point of school events.

Our school has 23 classes and the number of students in each class is around 25.

The Pedagogical Group cooperating with us consists of about 60 people, which includes teachers-educators, support teachers, teachers appointed to the role of substitutes, teachers 'assistants, teachers' assistants in the 1: 1 role (supporting a student with educational / medical needs). The activities of the Teaching Staff are also supported by volunteers - parents, volunteers - graduates of our school and apprentices from higher education.

The teachers of our school have, inter alia, diplomas confirming the education of universities both domestic, British and other world universities. Many of them work in English schools as educators or in supporting positions allowing for close cooperation with the student.

The Pedagogical Staff cooperating with our school has continuous training opportunities as part of the training, both organized within the school as part of additional training courses using their own training potential and outside it. The group of directors offers the teaching staff peer assistance in improving pedagogical skills, demonstration and peer lessons, and provides each interested person the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience while participating in the proposed seminars, workshops, training sessions, conferences, supplementary programs and others.

Last school year, we offered our teaching staff over 100 various and valuable training courses. We work with the Polish University Abroad (PUNO), the Social Academy of Sciences (University operating in Poland and London). We belong to the Teachers' Club, which offers workshops, webinars and other workshops to teachers and supporters twice a week. We cooperate with the Association of Polish Teachers Abroad, we are members of the Educator, which is a training center for management and pedagogical staff and the Polish School Matrix in Great Britain.   offers of the Polish Community and the Center for Supporting Poles Abroad (ORPEG). We have also started cooperation with the Local Methodological Center (lom), which was created in Great Britain for Polish diaspora education. Our school is friends with many professionals in the field of education and uses the invaluable expert knowledge of Professor Jacek Gołębiowski, Mrs. Maksi Kozińska, Anna Jurek or our headmistress. Monika Hoch-Zielonka.

All persons who come into contact with children have DBS criminal record documents and regularly participate in workshops and trainings in the area of safety (Safeguarding).

In primary education classes, i.e. in grades 0-III, we also employ assistants. The curriculum of these classes also includes outdoor lessons / trips, e.g. to a farm or forest.

In grades IV-VIII, we offer history and geography lessons with an additional teacher.

In grades 0-IV we offer religion lessons taught by a priest and an additional teacher.

Our students represent the School in various competitions and interschool celebrations, e.g. in the Beautiful Reading Competition at POSK, 'To be a Pole' in Poland and many others. The School also hosts various types of events expanding general knowledge about the world, events and famous Poles, and for our students we have an interesting and expanding offer of intra-school competitions, such as the Master / Master of reading and deduction or the "Fighting Bulls" spelling contest.

During the year, we organize events and additional activities for children to make the time spent at school more attractive and pleasant, i.e .:
in December it is a meeting with the Santa Clause, and before Easter with the Easter Bunny, carnival fun for the youngest, theatre performances, open day, other events and meetings to expand the educational offer for our students. We also invite many distinguished guests who by sharing their experience and knowledge are designed to motivate students to act. We also organise a bus trip to the Polish Saturday Schools at Laxton Hall or to well-known, popular playgrounds for children and teenagers.

We offer:
a number of various after-school clubs that allow students to develop in selected sports and artistic fields, remedial classes for students with educational needs, additional educational activities for students of examination classes.

We run a school shop, which is very popular with both students and parents / guardians . 

School front.jpg

School classes

School classes are held:

The Ursuline Academy
Morland Road, Ilford IG1 4JU

Check how to get there 

Szkoła: Contact
bottom of page