Polish school rolls out the welcome mat

Last weekend, the Saturday Polish School based in Hawick held an open day  and for the third year invited the Polish community, as well as Scottish friends and supporters.
Last weekend, the Saturday Polish School based in Hawick held an open day  and for the third year invited the Polish community, as well as Scottish friends and supporters.

Last weekend, the Saturday Polish School based in Hawick held an open day – and for the third year invited the Polish community, as well as Scottish friends and supporters.

The event was an opportunity for six local councillors to pay a visit, including Provost Stuart Marshall, Watson McAteer, Sandy Aitchison, John Greenwell, John Mitchell and Ron Smith.

Provost Marshall said: “I was delighted to attend the Polish project at Hawick High School on Saturday morning to see first hand the excellent work that is being done to teach the many Polish children within my ward. It is quite clear that in order to continue with this important initiative we must do all we can to look at increasing financial support.

“It was great to meet many of the parents and I thought that the entire event was a complete success.”

Councillor Aitchison added: “It was wonderful to see the community encouraging their children to remember, enjoy and be proud of their own culture, which is rich in history, music, art and architecture.

“This will, along with the other communities who now live together with us, enrich our own Borders lives.”

Hawick Saturday Polish School open day

Hawick Saturday Polish School open day

The approximately 60-children-strong school is going to grow again in September as many new parents came to the open day and asked for enrolment forms.

Kasia Gajewska-Devlin, project co-ordinator, said: “The Polish School started with 32 children three years ago – now we work with nearly 60.”

The event allowed a visit to each class during lesson time, followed by open activities, a Poland quiz for adults, Polish cake stalls, and an opportunity to chat to children, parents and staff.

An estimated 100 people turned up on the day to the event held at Hawick High School, where the project is based.

The Polish School offers services to children from all over the Borders, with many travelling from Galashiels, Kelso and Jedburgh to attend lessons in their heritage language.

Councillor Greenwell said: “As the equalities and diversity champion at Scottish Borders Council, it gave me great pleasure to attend the Polish Saturday School in Hawick. I thoroughly enjoyed the day, especially sitting in on the speech therapy lesson.”

He added: “SBC’s engagement with this very worthwhile cause will allow parents and children to understand what services are available to them and help ensure their quality of life due to possible language barriers is no less than anyone else living in the Borders.”