Working with our partners we reach millions of people worldwide. Here are some of our success stories.
Tesco for schools
In 2013 we became a partner of “Tesco for Schools” – the biggest educational CSR programme in Poland delivered by Tesco Poland since 11 years. Participating kids from schools all over Poland entered the competition by creating 2-minute videos on the "Don't waste your talent" topic. The British Council introduced an English language component to the programme and was the patron of the English language category that we initiated. Over 50 videos in English (i.e. almost 10% of all the videos submitted in the competition) made the competition longlist. As a result 1.7 million votes were cast for 587 films submitted by 6,000 children in 643 schools and 54,000 unique users were feeding online monster with British dishes in our online game.
British British Polish Polish: Art from Europe's Edges in the Long '90s and Today
Together with the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw we partnered on the “British British Polish Polish: Art from Europe's Edges in the Long '90s and Today” exhibition which brought together for the first time in Poland the works of 64 prominent British and Polish artists, including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. The exhibition was extensively covered by prominent Polish and foreign media (including the New York Times) and attracted 15,200 viewers.
We are dedicated to providing young people with opportunities for skills development, and the FameLab competition is one of the ways we achieve it! The 2014 FameLab finalist dr Joanna Bagniewska, learned how to communicate effectively about science through the MasterClass training, and became a runner-up and received the alumni award at the FameLab International Final. Year 2014 saw the third edition of FameLab, which attracted such partners as BMW, BASF, Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
For years I’ve had a very good opinion of the British Council and in the last two years I owe it a lot. My participation in FameLab has made me realise what I really want to do in my life. I hadn’t even thought before that someone could be a “science communicator”. Now I have friends from all over the world, young scientists, just like me, with whom I share experiences and plan joint projects. Without the British Council’s help that would have been impossible and I will always remember this. Therefore, I read your annual report with real admiration. The British Council’s work is extremely impressive and so needed. Without the British Council’s help that would have been impossible. - Monika Koperska, winner of FameLab Poland 2012 and winner of audience vote prize at FameLab international finals 2012.
Exams for visually impaired
To strengthen our commitment to equal opportunities and diversity, in 2012 we conducted Cambridge English exams for 158 visually impaired and blind candidates from all across Poland, which was the biggest number of candidates registered for such a test in the Cambridge English and British Council history. We received very positive feedback both from the Cambridge observer and from the candidates themselves.
“Examinations sessions organised by the British Council have enabled our students to test their language skills and get internationally recognised certificates, as well as build their self-confidence. It was an extremely valuable experience for students with special needs” – Barbara Planta, Educational Centre for Visually Impaired and Blind Children in Krakow.
Training English Teachers in Poland
The British Council in Poland is now expanding its reach into the arena of teacher training, with a wide range of new courses being run both in Warsaw and Krakow. In Krakow, we have trained over 500 teachers to date since initiating the training centre in 2010, with all successful graduates from all corners of the globe receiving a CELTA certificate (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), an internationally-recognised qualification that can be a passport to a teaching post anywhere in the world. To meet ever-rising demand, two courses were run simultaneously in summer 2013, and additional courses were held in Warsaw to kick off the teacher training centre there. Online-blended and part-time CELTAs are open to those who want to upgrade skills while continuing to work both in Krakow and Warsaw. And for more experienced teachers, the DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) course has been launched in Warsaw, with many of our previous CELTA graduates already showing interest.
“I could observe my progress clearly. It was very intensive, but I was expecting it. I now feel I’ve achieved something. I would definitely recommend it, British Council, Kraków and its tutors" - Gozde Ozgen, Turkey
British theatre on big screen
We started a new partnership with Multikino, owned by the British Vue Entertainment, focussing on bringing British theatre and arts to cinema screens in 12 cities across Poland. Viewers can watch high quality productions from the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English National Opera or Royal Opera House. In 2013/14 year screenings attracted over 3,600 paying customers and we will cooperate further with Multikino with a full arts programme throughout the year 2014.
Teaching English to Belarusians
We successfully implemented the first stage of the two-year Roots and Treetops project worth 2m Euro, fully financed by the European Commission and run together with the Goethe Institute in Minsk and Alliance Française in Moldova for 300 young Belarusians. 117 of them have received intensive face to face English language training and attended EU cultural programmes, focusing on developing their intercultural communication competencies. This was followed by 160 hours moderated online learning. The project allows us to test new products and delivery models, and enables us to work outside our normal operating boundaries.
Polish students writing for BBC
In spring 2012, seven Polish schools who were participating in the Connecting Classrooms programme, were involved in preparations for the BBC School Report project. We organised training sessions and 70 students changed into reporters preparing news briefs, films and interviews. The results of their work were posted to BBC for evaluation and some were displayed on the BBC website for students, alongside school reports from other countries all over the world. Polish students also received a few tickets to EURO 2012 football matches organised in Poznan in June and prepared great reports which the BBC Sport displayed on their main website. This was the first instance of the BBC publishing students’ report on their main sport site. Read the reports from Euro 2012 written by Jędrzej and Filip (age 14) and Marianna & Agnieszka (age 15), whose article had been prominently published on the main BBC Sport website which has never happened before.