Wonderland Academy (WA) is an international Czech-English school open to pupils of all nationalities (the pupils with a different mother tongue than Czech are referred to as "foreign pupils"). The diversity of cultures at school is perceived as an opportunity for mutual enrichment and a starting point for educating pupils towards respect, sense of equality, ability to understand different values and global contexts. Currently, about 20% pupils enrolled in the school are foreign pupils. Their families choose WA because they want to settle in the Czech Republic for a longer period of time and consider it important for their children to learn the Czech language, find Czech friends and participate in the Czech educational system.
About 1/3 of the teaching staff are English-native speakers, originally from Great Britain, the USA and Canada. However, majority of staff also speak English. Czech children in Wonderland learn English intensively from kindergarten, and for many foreign pupils English is a primary language. All people in the school can communicate with one another in English on some level. When foreign pupils are able to speak English, they can address their needs to both adults and children, ensuring their smooth integration into the school community.
WA is based on the national curriculum of the Czech Republic, but our teaching significantly focuses on foreign languages and teaching most subjects in English or both English and Czech. This means that English-speaking teachers at our school not only teach English, but they work together with the Czech teachers during the classes of mathematics and biology/science, classes of art and physical education. As well as in selected specialized subjects at the 2nd level. This means that even in traditionally non-English class lessons, foreign pupils can always turn to an English teacher, who can explain the subject matter or translate it into English.
The school also creates conditions for foreign children to learn to speak Czech in a very short time. First, WA prepares individual educational plans based on the needs of the children. Secondly, we offer lessons of Czech for foreigners*, which are taught in small groups (as an alternative to Czech lessons in which Czech children study advanced grammar, or as a separate subject taught in the afternoon). These Czech lessons are taught by teachers who have completed special training in the methodology of teaching Czech as a second (foreign) language. If necessary, a language assistant* is present in the class. As soon as a foreign family starts preparing to move to the Czech Republic and looking for a suitable school for their child, we are able to offer online courses of Czech language*, which will give the child confidence and make the transition easier.
Wonderland Academy has set up a school counselling centre, where a school psychologist and a special social worker deal with any problems related to adjusting to the Czech environment. Any family or a child can contact them at any time. Furthermore, our school actively cooperates with a pedagogical-psychological counselling centre. It is an external institution that performs language diagnostics of pupils, assesses their educational needs, makes recommendations for modifications of their educational plans and may set aside special funds for a pupil's education. In addition to this, we also cooperate with a non-profit organization called META, which provides counselling for foreigners. Finally, during the year, with the support of the City of Prague, WA organizes about twenty projects to develop pupils' multicultural competencies and training and internships for teachers.
Becoming a foreign pupil in WA opens the door to a full and successful life in Czech society. However, this is also to the benefit of the foreign pupil’s classmates - Czech children - who gain a great opportunity to study at school together with classmates of different nationalities. Through attending WA, children grow in an international environment that teaches them mutual cooperation and respect. Therefore, we value every new foreign pupil very much and we warmly welcome them to Wonderland Academy.
* These services are not included in the school tuition