Poland: A group of parents and teachers interested in Waldorf education established the Sub Alis Foundation in 2004 in Cracow. Their aim was to take the first step towards founding a Waldorf school and to spread the idea of Steiner’s approach to education. On 1 September 2004, the Janusz Korczak Waldorf School opened at Aleja Krasinskiego 10 near the Wawel Castle.
The school with its monthly school festivals and its celebratory days at the beginning and the end of the school year is truly special in Cracow. The beautifully decorated classrooms, the festive spirit and especially the children’s performances are a true delight to heart and soul. A typical polish tradition is the ritual that first graders undergo on their first day of school. The school director officially “knights” the students as she lays a quill on their shoulders saying warm welcome words.
The Janusz Korczak School teaches all subjects including Polish, mathematics, painting, handicrafts, English, German, religion or ethics, eurythmy, music, and in high school also history. The day begins with a two-hour main lesson, which alternates in periods of four weeks. Then follows subject teaching. Twelve teachers and a school psychologist work at the school. Almost all teachers have completed a master degree and the Waldorf teacher training.
55 students attend the school in the Grades I to VI. The students come mostly from middle-class families from around Krakow. Parents who cannot afford the school fees, have the opportunity to receive a scholarship, the amount depends on how much the parents earn and how much the school can contribute.
At the beginning of the 2012 school year the school moved into a vacant neighbouring school building. Now the initiative even has its own playground and hopes to be able to stay there for a long time.
The Janusz Korczak School is funded by the city government, through a foundation and through donations. All donations and tax revenues are used to fund scholarships for students, whose parents cannot afford the school fees.