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DIVERSE CITY

Celebrating Newry's new residents and our new neighbours.

A new permanant section on Newry.ie brought to you with the support of the Community Relations Council

 

“Ja lubie mowic po Polsku wlasciwie ja kocham to jestem caly ja”, powiedzial dziewiecioletni Oliver Arczynski.

“Ja urodzilem sie w Irlandi ale cala moja rodzina jest z Polski.Moj plan jest ze kiedys wroce do Polski  aby mieszkac tam na stale i dlatego jest bardzo wazne zebym mowil i pisal w moim ojczystym jezyku”.

Oliver jest uczniem Polskiej Szkoly Uzupelniajacej w Newry.

Ponad 100 polskich dzieci uczeszcza do Polskiej Szkoly Uzupelniajacej mieszczacej sie w budynku Wyzszej Szkoly dla chlopcow im.Sw jozefa w Newry.Zajecia odbywaja sie co Sobote od 10-14ej godziny..Dzieci uczeszczajace na zajecia sa w wieku od trzech do dwunastu lat.

Te same dzieciaki uczeszczaja do lokalnych podstawowek od poniedzialku do piatku.

Zdjecie:uczennica Ewa Dubas

W kazda Sobote uczesczajacy do Szkoly Uzupelniajacej ucza sie ich rodowitego jezyka jak rowniez szkolnych przedmiotow elementarnych takich jak Matematyka czy Chemia.

Klasy sa podzielone na szesc kategori wiekowych gdzie sa takie przedmioty jak Dziennikarstwo czy Informatyka.

Zdaniem Dyrektora szkoly Katarzyny Weber glownym mottem szkoly jest Propagowanie i Kultywowanie Polskiej kultury przez mlodych Polakow/ek urodzonych w irlandi.

chool Principal -  Katarzyna Weber. Photograph: Newraypics.com
School Principal - Katarzyna Weber. Photograph: Newraypics.com

Szkola zostala otwarta 10 lat temu po to aby dzieciaki ktore opuscily ojczysty kraj mogly swobodnie wciaz uczyc sie Polskosci.

Teraz wszystko wyglada inaczej

“Wiekszosc dzieci uczeszcajacych na zajecia juz urodzily sie w irlandi i ich jezyk polski nie jest na wysokim poziomie:-powiedziala Katarzyna.

Zdjecie:Dyrektor Szkoly Katarzyna Weber

Dzieciaki urodzone w Irlandi posluguja sie glownie jezykiem angielskim.Ze wzgledu na to ze ich lokalni rowiesnicy posluguja sie jezykiem angielskim w szkole czy tez na podworkach.

Dlatego tez przykladamy duza wage do tego aby dzieciaki nie zapomnialy naszej historii czy tez kultury polskiej i kladziemy nacisk na nauke naszego ojczystego jezyka.

Nie chcemy aby nasi podopieczni zapomnieli o naszych Polskich korzeniach.jest to dla nas rzecz bardzo wazna a wrecz priorytetowa.

“Wszystkie dzieci ktore przyjechaly z Polski raczej pamietaja historie czy kulture naszej Ojczyzny.Niestety te dzieciaki ktore urodzily sie w irlandi tego nie pamietaja i nie znaja.Dlatego tez wazne jest aby droga edukacji pokzac im skad pochodza i skad sie wywodza.Nie chcemy aby zapomnialy one w przyszlosci swoich Ojczystych Korzeni.”

Pierwsza Polska Szkola Uzupelniajaca powstala w Belfascie w 2007 roku ze wzgledu na duza liczbe naplywajacych polskich rodzin.

Dlatego tez jeden z polskich nauczycieli mieszkajacych w Newry Grzegorz Wawrzynski wpadl na pomysl otwarcia takiej samej placowki w Newry ze wzgledu na duze zainteresowanie polskich rodzin.

Grzegorz stworzyl strone internetowa “Newry.pl” gdzie Polska spolecznosc w Newry mogla swobodnie komunikowac sie czy tez dzielic sie uwagami dotyczacymi Polakow mieszkajacych lokalnie .Razem z kolega z Belfastu Grzegorz stworzyl sonde na jego stronie gdzie osoby mogly glosowac czy chcialyby aby taka Polska Szkola powstala.Dzieki pomocy Anety Dabek,ksiedza Stanislawa Hajkowskiego i pomocy Jeroma Mullena Honorowego Konsula Polskiego w Polnocnej Irlandi i pozytywnej sondy gdzie 60 osob zaglosowalo za otwarciem szkoly.W Listopadzie tego samego roku czyli szesc miesiecy pozniej  Polska Szkola Uzupelniajca zostala otwarta w budynku Podstawowej Szkoly Abbey na Courtney Hill(stary budynek).

Generalnie dzieciaki ktore sie zapisaly do szkoly byly to dzieci ktore przybyly z

Polski i juz mowily dobrze po polsku.

“W 2008 roku wiekszosc dzieci mowila plynnie po polsku dlatego tez nakladalismy duzy nacisk na inne przedmioty takie jak Matematyka czy Chemia. Jezyk polski czy Historia czy Kultura.”-powiedziala Katarzyna.

Razem w szkole probowalismy celebrowac wszystkie wieksze Swieta Polskie takie jak Gwiazdka,Mikolajki czy Dzien Niepodleglosci.Staralismy sie klasc duzy nascisk na to aby nasi podopieczni mowili w naszym ojczystym jezyku bo wiedzielismy ze po angielsku mowia od poniedzialku do piatku w ich lokalnych szkolach.

Zdjecie:uczen Oliver Arczynski

Katarzyna mieszka w w Newry juz ponad 11 lat.

Mama dwojki dzieci pracuje w Szkole od trzech lat.Na poczatku byla na stanowisku pomocy nauczyciela gdzie w tym czasie konczyla studia.

Po skonczeniu wyzszych Studiow Katarzyna zostala wybrana na Dyrektora Polskiej Szkoly Uzupelniajacej.

“Na poczatku zaczynalismy z 60 podopiecznymi gdzie dzis liczba siega ponad 100 dzieci.”-powiedziala Katarzyna

“ Ja bym bardzo zyczyla sobie zeby bylo tych dzieciakow wiecej dlatego ze wiem ze jest bardzo duzo rodzin ktore nie poslaly swoich dzieci do Naszej Szkoly.”

“Moze dzieje sie tak dlatego ze niektorzy rodzice nie wiedza o Naszej Szkole albo tez nie maja czasu bo pracuja i tak naprawde nie zdaja sobie sprawy jak wazna jest nasza Polska kultura i jej propagowanie.”

“Wydaje mi sie ze rodzice ci moga kiedys zalowac ze ich dzieci nie mowia dobrze po Polsku i po powrocie do Polski na stale nie beda mogly sie swobodnie porozumiec ze swoja rodzina z Polski czy tez rowiesnikami.” Czasami dzieciakom nie chce sie isc do Szkoly Polskiej w Sobote ale tak naprawde to ich rodzice powinni naklaniac swoje dzieci azeby uczyly sie Polskosci,ich jezyka i naszej kultury.”

“Ja bardzo lubie moja prace nawet jesli naprawde wszystkie Soboty musze byc w szkole minimum po 4 godziny.Jest to bardzo pracochlonne ale robie to z pasja.”

Zdjecie::Hubert swierczynski i Mateusz Laskowski

Polska Szkola Uzupelniajca w Newry placi czynsz za udostepnienie budynku klas i mediow. Dyrekcja Szkoly Sw.Jozefa jest bardzo przychylna i pomocna dzieki temu nasi podopieczni bardzo lubia uczeszczac na Sobotnie zajecia aby podtrzymywac nasza polska kulture.

“Ja uwielbiam moja szkole i traktuje to jako zabawe.”-powiedziala Ewa Dubas osmioletnia uczennica Szkoly Uzupelniajacej.

“Ja lubie moich nauczycieli i moich przyjaciol ze Szkoly Uzupelniajacej.”

Dzewiecioetni Hubert Swierczynski dodal:”Gramy duzo w pilke i uprawiamy wiele sportow. Uwielbiam uczyc sie naszego Polskiego jezyka.”

Oliver ktory dodatkowo uczy sie jezyka Irlandzkiego w Szkole Sw.Jozefa w wojewodztwie Monaghan dodal rowniez:”My pracujemy ciezko w naszej Polskiej Szkole.Przygotowujemy wiele Polskich uroczystosci takich jak Swieta Bozego Narodzenia itd.Ja naprawde rekomenduje Nasza Szkole do wszystkich dzieci.”

Te wszystkie mile slowa i rekomendacje dzieciakow daja Katazrzynie sile i duzo pozytywnej energi aby dalej pracowac w (PSU) Polskiej Szkole Uzupelniajacej w Newry.

“Najbardziej pozytywnym akcentem mojej pracy z dzieciakami jest to ze moge im pomoc wykreowac lepsza przyszlosc.”- dodala Katarzya.


''I like speaking Polish. I love it. It's me,'' says nine-year-old Oliver Arczynski.

Student - Oliver Arczynski. Photograph: Newraypics.com
Student - Oliver Arczynski. Photograph: Newraypics.com

''I was born in Ireland, but all my family is Polish. I am planning on living in Poland when I grow up. So it's important I can speak and read Polish.''

Oliver is a pupil at the Polish Supplementary School in Newry.

Over 100 pupils attend the classes at St Joseph's Boys' High School each Saturday from 10am-4pm.

The children are aged from three to 12 and attend local primary schools from Monday to Friday.

Pupil Ewa Dubas Photograph: Newraypics.com
Pupil Ewa Dubas Photograph: Newraypics.com

At the Saturday morning lessons, they learn how to speak, read and write their native tongue, as well as studying curricular subjects such as math and chemistry.

The classes - divided into six age groups - also learn about journalism and IT.

School prinicpal Katarzyna Weber said the school's main objective is to preserve and promote Polish culture for the many young Poles who have been born in Ireland.

The school initially opened 10 years ago for Polish children that had recently left their homeland and wanted to continue learning their language.

Now, the emphasis has slightly changed.

''The children are no longer new to here - they have been born here - and the Polish language is not very spoken well amongst these children,'' said Katarzyna.

''They are born here and their first language is mainly English because of their education, their friends and that. ''English is the number one language, so here we mostly focus on Polish language and history and culture as well because we don't want them to forget about their roots, which is very important.

''The children that came to Ireland remembered their history, where they came from, but the ones that are born here, if they don't get that information, if they don't get that education, they will not know it and it's very important for the future to know who they are, where they came from. Their identity.' They need to know this.''

The first Polish school in Northern Ireland opened in Belfast in 2007 as increasing numbers of Polish familes made their home here.

One of its teachers, Newry-based Grzegorz Wawrzynski, realised there was a growing need for a similar facility in Newry for its growing Polish population.

Teacher  Jolanta Czarnocka with her students at the Polish Supplementary School in Newry. Photograph: Newraypics.com
Teacher Jolanta Czarnocka with her students at the Polish Supplementary School in Newry. Photograph: Newraypics.com

He had created a website and Facebook page - 'NewryPL' - to provide information or services and facilities in Newry for the Polish community and allow those to share information with each other.

Grzegorz and a teaching colleague in Belfast then explored the idea of opening a Polish school in Newry.

They helped by Aneta Dabek, the school's first chairperson approached Fr Stan Hajkowski in the Newry Parish and Polish Hononary Counsel, Jerome Mullen.

A questionairre was submitted on the NewryPL site to gauge potential interest in a school in May 2008.

The feedback was positive with almost 60 replies expressing a keen interest.

In November - just five months later - the school opened at the former Abbey Primary School on Courtney Hill with 60 pupils enrolled.

They were mainly children who had emigrated from Poland having started their education in their homeland.

''In 2008, they were teaching the children similar things that they were taught in Poland because this was new immigration and the children knew Polish quite well and they wanted to continue that education here,'' said Katarzyna.

''They had maths, chemistry, Polish language, and Polish history and culture, which we still do but with Polish children born in Ireland.

''We try to celebrate all the holidays that we celebrate in Poland. We have our Christmas play, we have our own Independence Day and we encourage parents to speak Polish at home because they know English anyway because they go to local schools and speak English, so we focus on Polish here.''

Katarzyna has been living in Newry for 11 years.

The mum-of-two joined the school three years ago as a teaching assistant while studying for her degree in Early Years development.

She enjoys her principal role and said she hopes to see the school develop and expand, and perhaps having their own premises some day.

''We started with 60 children in 2008, now have over 100,'' she said.

''I would love it to grow more because I know there are loads of Polish families here that could send their children to Polska Szkola.

''There are a lot of parents that are maybe not aware of how important retaining your own culture and language is.

''I think some parents regret if they don't teach their children their langauge and when the return to Poland, they can't speak the language to their aunties or undles or grandparents.

''Sometimes they don't want to come, it's Saturday, the children don't want to get up early, but I would love all the parents to be aware of retaining our language and culture as well as embracing the culture here.

''I do enjoy the role, but there is a lot of time involved. We are four hours on Saturday but there's also a lot of preparation.

''We also have to find the funds to make lessons fun and interesting for the children to come here.''

Students - Hubert Swierczynski and Mathew Laskowski. Photograph: Newraypics.com
Students - Hubert Swierczynski and Mathew Laskowski. Photograph: Newraypics.com

The school pays a monthly rent to St Joseph's, whose staff and management they say have always been very welcoming and supportive.

And the pupils clearly enjoy a few hours each week finding out about the language, history and culture of their homeland.

''I like all the work, it's very fun,'' said Ewa Dubas, an eight-year-old pupil at St Ronan's PS in Newry.

''I like to meet my teachers and all my friends. It's a happy place to come to.''

Hubert Swierczynski, nine, added: ''We can play loads of sports. I find the language interesting. I really enjoy it.''

Oliver, who is also learning Irish at St Joseph's National School in Co Monaghan, added: ''We do a lot of work. Sometimes we do special events like Christmas plays and things like that. I really recommend it to other children.''

These sort of responses are why Katarzyna has dedicated her life to working with children.

''The best part of my job is working with the children, knowing that I can help make their lives better,'' she added.

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