top of page



The beginnings of the Polish School in Ealing

After the end of World War II, political emigrants established institutions and organizations serving the intellectual, educational and cultural needs of the refugee society in Great Britain. In 1950, on the initiative of Prelate Adam Wróbel, compatriots settling in London in Ealing established a Polish parish, and then the School of Native Subjects in Ealing. The school was located in the parish house of the "Homefield Social Club" in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Stephen's Avenue. At that time, the most important thing was to maintain Polishness and provide children and young people with the basics of the Polish language in reading, speaking, writing, and to convey true facts about Polish history and geography. The school's beginnings were modest. There were 19 students in one class at school. The classes were conducted by Janina Chwalibogowska, and Father Wróbel became the first director.

In 1951, Father Wróbel left Ealing, and Canon Henryk Kornacki became the new parish priest and head of the school. He energetically began working in the parish and at the school, and in the fall of 1951 he obtained help from the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection, from which Sister Katarzyna joined the teaching staff and began teaching religion. Funds for running the school came from many sources, including students' parents, the 2nd Corps Society, parish collections and the Polish Teachers' Association Abroad. This year, Janusz Juhre and Henryk Archutowski took care of the school on behalf of the parents and had thirty children in two classes under their care.

In 1952, an education program was obtained from the newly established Polska Macierz Szkolna, which became the basis for planning the curriculum. The proper functioning of the school required a huge amount of work by community activists involved in the school, who met at meetings four times a year to discuss matters related to running the school. During the holiday season, they organized a Santa Claus celebration for children for the first time, starting a tradition that continues to this day. Involved parents also issued school announcements once a quarter and organized games twice a year, autumn and carnival.

Due to the growing number of people willing to study, the "Homefield Social Club" premises did not meet the needs of the school. It was decided to move the Polish school to St Gregory's School on Woodville Road, Ealing W5. At the first general meeting in St. Gregory's in 1953, the parents, led by Irena Bór-Komorowska, decided that the Polish school would be under the patronage of the Polish School Motherland. Unfortunately, it was resolved after only two years.

In 1955, the first official Parents' Committee was established, with Jerzy Maramaros as its president. Two years later, Mr. Kuźnicki founded a school library, which exists to this day, helping in pedagogical work and promoting Polish literature. Over the next eight years the school developed greatly and the number of pupils increased rapidly. In the 1960/1961 school year the school moved for a second time, this time to the "Grange School" at Church Place W5. In the early 1960s, the school had 170 students, taught by nine teachers in seven classes. At that time, gradual preparations for the so-called "small Polish language final exam" at the English "Ordinary Level" began.

bloom (1).jpg

The school's heyday

In 1963, the school re-affiliated with the Polish School Motherland. In 1964/1965, Ludwik Kazimierz Tangl took over the management. A year later, due to the constantly increasing number of students, the school moved to "Ealing Grammar School" in Ealing Green. The school's heyday began then. In 1965, it was already attended by 260 students in 11 grades. The number of people passing the "small secondary school leaving examination in Polish" has increased. The school organized performances, academies, trips and sports competitions. The classes included dance lessons that introduced children to Polish national dances. Twice a year, in winter and spring, costume matinees were organized.

In 1967, Jacek Rumun joined the teaching staff as a singing teacher. During singing lessons, the first choir of 46 "nightingales" emerged. The choir's inaugural performance outside the school was the Third May Academy, organized by Polska Macierz Szkolna at Westminster Cathedral Hall in 1968.

From the beginning of its existence, the school was known as the School of Native Subjects. It was only in the 1967/1968 school year that the then President of the Parents' Club, Jerzy de Berg, proposed that the school should be named after Tadeusz Kościuszko, which further emphasized its bond with Polish history and traditions.

In the 1970s, the school had 400 to 450 students in 20 classes. The school choir, under the direction of Jacek Rumun, achieved further successes. The students sang at school functions and spread their fame throughout London, performing at national and patriotic celebrations.

In the school year 1970/1971, the school celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The youth prepared a staging of Maria Dąbrowska's novella "Marcin Kozera". In the 1970s, school graduates began to work as teachers for the first time. Awarding young people with cups for exceptional academic achievements was also introduced. Organizing trips to the Polish Institute and the Museum began. General Sikorski. Children participated in inter-school competitions, and for the "Copernicus Competition" the school received a diploma of distinction from the Polish School Motherland. The youth were involved in editing a 14-page newspaper that was published for students of a Polish school.

During the winter and Easter holidays, there were afternoon teas and games for children. Religious holidays combined with prayers were also celebrated - the feast of Christ the King and the feast of Our Lady of Candlemas. A great event was the sports days at Popes Lane "Playing Field", in which students, parents, teachers and even the management actively participated. After some time, the sports days were changed into scout volleyball tournaments of all Polish schools in London.

The 1970s brought a change in the statute regulating the running of the school and the purchase of modern technical equipment for those times, such as a duplicator and slides. The parent committee and the teaching staff met for the annual wafer and blessing. In 1975, the school celebrated another anniversary, this time its 25th anniversary. A staging of "Ode to Youth" by Adam Mickiewicz was presented at the ceremonial ceremony. A history of medieval Poland in files and an exhibition were also prepared. On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the school changed its emblem.

In February 1981, the entire school took part in a march to Westminster Cathedral, where the inaugural Holy Mass of the International Year of Polish Youth was celebrated. In March 1982, Bishop Szczepan Wesoły visited the school. In the following school year, a "zero" kindergarten was opened for the youngest children who were preparing to study in the first grade. The years 1985/1986, under the management of Magdalena Tangl, were another anniversary of the school's 35th anniversary. The solemn celebration took place at POSK. Children's works were shown there and performances by individual classes were presented.

The beginning of the 1990s saw the replacement of the "O level" exam with GCSE. The school's fortieth anniversary was also celebrated by issuing a one-day program. There was a ball combined with performances of the "Żywiec" band. A new school emblem was also designed. Bishop Szczepan Wesoły celebrated Holy Mass, and the children prepared a performance.

Over the following years, the number of students increased again and the school moved this time to "Twyford Church of England School". In the 1993/1994 school year, Alicja Harasimów took over as manager. In 1995, the duration of lessons was extended by 15 minutes, class interviews were introduced and former students were engaged as teaching assistants in younger classes.

In the late 1990s, the school was visited by the Mayor of Ealing, and then by a local Member of Parliament. The school took part in the celebration of "Polish Week" in Ealing. Twice a year, trips to the "Syrena Theater" were organized to watch performances for children. Charitable purposes were also supported, such as Christmas help for chronically ill children in Poland and help for children with cancer.

Students won knowledge and reading competitions and won prizes in history competitions. Children and parents collected "Tesco" coupons, which were exchanged for technical equipment for the school.

Smiling Student

A new era in the history of the school

At the turn of 2000/2001, the school celebrated its golden jubilee of 50 years. The Parents' Association, headed by President Ryszard Kuraś, has prepared many events to celebrate this special year. An exhibition, a charity ball and a solemn celebration were organized, honored by the performance of the school choir led by Iwona Chrościelewska. On January 20, 2001, the Holy Mass was concelebrated at Ealing Abbey by His Excellency Archbishop Szczepan Wesoły. During this moving mass, the school banner was blessed, which was funded by a group of parents on the initiative of Krzysztof de Berg. Over 1,000 people participated in the liturgy, including the President of the Republic of Poland in exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski.

At the request of junior high school students, and thanks to the efforts of Alicja Harasim, in the school year 2001/2002, an A level course, the so-called "matura exam" in Polish, was started. During this time, students represented the school at Polish patriotic celebrations at the Katyn Monument and the Pilot's Monument, as well as at Holy Masses on the occasion of national holidays.

In 2002/2003, the number of students attending the school reached 503 and in the following year, 2003/2004, the school once again moved its headquarters to St. Benedict's on Eaton Rise, where it is still located today. In the 2004/2005 school year, Andrzej Rumun became the President. After 42 years of teaching, the School Headmistress Alicja Harasimów retired and at that time Joanna Paszkiewicz took over. A year later, Renata Chudzik took over as manager.

The new political situation in the country and Poland's accession to the European Union opened up new opportunities and increased interest in the school's activities. The new generation of parents, as energetically as their predecessors, joined the work, building on the strong foundations of post-war emigration.

New challenges have arisen for the Management Board of the Parents' Association, which have been imposed by the changing regulations regarding responsibility in working with children. This situation resulted in the management board receiving new responsibilities, the implementation of which brought the school into the next millennium. In 2006, it was decided to register the school as a charity. A new statute was approved to comply with legal requirements in the school's activities. Board members wrote policies regarding various areas of running the school in accordance with the requirements that existed in Great Britain. Employment contracts were also introduced under the new employment laws. Even though the school only operates for four hours on Saturday, it was still subject to and complied with all legal requirements applicable to all schools that hold classes throughout the week.

In the new millennium, a school website was established, new regulations were introduced and school administration was improved. New books, video tapes, DVDs and technical equipment were purchased for the library, which was reorganized by Małgorzata Radomska. Most school textbooks were also replaced. A new intellectual and social event "Quiz Night" was also initiated, the aim of which was to collect additional funds for the school. Old traditions were still continued, such as organizing Santa Claus for children, a Christmas wafer with the teaching staff, Christmas cake fairs, an annual BBQ at Fawley Court and trips to the theater.

The school took an active part in inter-school competitions, in which our students won prizes and distinctions. The manager, Renata Chudzik, took care to provide training for teachers, which took place at least twice a year. Students took part in the celebration of national holidays and patriotic celebrations. Krzysztof de Berg undertook to conduct interesting historical lectures, take care of the flag post and watch over the youth who visit the Polish Institute and the Museum every year. General Sikorski.

Teachers and young people organized academies, nativity plays and reading competitions. In 2008, support was given to the charitable goal of building a monument to the "Polish Armed Forces" in the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield. On April 29, 2010, at Westminster Cathedral, representatives of the school together with the banners participated in a funeral Mass for those who tragically died in the plane crash in Smolensk.

Recent years have also seen great GCSE and A-level results. Both the school and individual students received letters of congratulations and awards from AQA for the best results across England.

In the 2009/2010 school year, intensive preparations began to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the school. The anniversary year included the celebration of a concelebrated Holy Mass, an exhibition of the school's history, a concert, a special publication and the "Great Ball of the 60th Anniversary". A new school emblem was also introduced, based on the original emblem from the 1970s, and the school motto "Let's remember, cherish, let's pass on". On the first day of the new school year, all students and school employees received a commemorative badge prepared especially for the anniversary.

The school is still growing and in the current school year 2022/23 it has 560 students. We can be proud of the development of our school and the achievements of our students over the last 70 years. From the school's humble beginnings, thanks to the work of generations of managers, teachers and parents, we have become one of the largest Polish schools in Europe. We continue to care about the school's development and provide our students and teachers with the best possible conditions to achieve further success. In the outline of history, it is impossible to mention everyone thanks to whose work the school has developed so much over the 70 years of its existence. However, we remember, cherish and pass on, greatly appreciating the contribution of people associated with our school.

bottom of page