The Open Gate grammar school and primary school open their 14th academic year
On 3 September 2018, the gates of the Open Gate grammar school and primary school were opened to the next academic year for the 14th time. At Open Gate, 378 pupils and students are starting the 2018/19 academic year, 98 of them at the primary school and 280 of them at the eight-year grammar school. The Kellner Family Foundation supports the enrolment of 96 grammar school students from all over the Czech Republic through means-tested grants. Since the establishment of the school, the Foundation has contributed to school fees for 332 students of the Open Gate grammar school. Beginning this September, the pupils and students are wearing new school uniforms featuring modern designs and made from comfortable materials.
In the 2018/19 academic year, 98 pupils are attending the Open Gate primary school and 280 students are enrolled at its grammar school; almost one half of the students live in the dormitories in the school’s campus. One hundred employees of the school take care of the students; of those, 35 are teachers at the eight-year grammar school, 17 are teachers at the primary school, and 14 are educational childcare staff.
The 2018/19 academic year sees an extension of the no. 428 bus service on the Říčany-Babice-Říčany route, which now includes services at times before the beginning of classes and also services in the afternoon and evening. The Open Gate school bus helps to bring some of the pupils to and from the school this year again.
Student-organised learning and new academic clubs at the Open Gate grammar school
Instruction at the Open Gate grammar school is based on the modern SOL (Self-Organised Learning) method that places great emphasis on students’ participation in the formation of classes. In the 2018/19 academic year, the school has also broadened the range of academic clubs to include robotics and IOT (Internet of Things). In science, teachers now focus on the very hot issues of genetics and biotechnology.
The quality of instruction is borne out by the excellent IB results achieved by Open Gate graduates on a long-term basis. “This year, 42% of the graduating students scored 41 points or more out of the 45 points possible. One of the students even scored the full number of points, which only a few hundred IB graduates out of the more than 100,000 IB graduates worldwide accomplish every year,” Kateřina Kožnarová, Open Gate Headmistress, comments on the IB results.
The grammar school is also preparing the construction of additional classrooms with state-of-the-art equipment and furnishings for teaching subjects that are part of the IB curriculum.
New school uniforms
Since September, pupils and students have been wearing new school uniforms from comfortable materials; a total of 62 different parts of the school uniform attire and accessories offer a great variability to students as regards clothing. There are different styles of clothes for ceremonial and everyday wearing in winter and in the hot summer weather. For girls, the uniform includes a skirt, a dress, and a pair of trousers, which they can enliven by a tie, scarf, cardigan, or jacket in the school’s colours. At the primary school, boys have a choice of long trousers and shorts. Accessories also include leather belts and badges with the school’s logo, and knee-high socks for girls at the primary school.
A group of professionals is available at the Counselling Services for Open Gate primary school and grammar school pupils and students; these professionals accompany the children throughout their enrolment. In its current form, the Counselling Services was set up last year with a view to helping students to prevent potential difficulties in learning and also in personal life. Amongst Czech schools, this is a quite unique scheme; through the broad range of the services that it offers it confirms that individualised superior care for students is a priority at Open Gate. A psychologist, a school counsellor, a special pedagogy expert, a coach, a prevention guide, a psychotherapist, and other professions are available for students. The Counselling Services also cooperates with specialists on a consultant basis and right in the Open Gate campus it also operates a pedagogical and psychological counselling unit.
Means-tested grants for 96 grammar school students this year
While the primary school is a conventional private school where all pupils pay the school fees, at the grammar school, students from all Czech regions meet; they are growing up in various, frequently very different social environments. Again this year, the Kellner Family Foundation is paying means-tested grants to 96 students, of whom 14 come from foster care, 5 from children’s homes, 42 from single-parent families and 35 from complete families. Over the time of the school’s existence, the Foundation has contributed to 332 grantees for their enrolment. “Open Gate is a school for those who long for high-quality education. And thanks to the support provided by the family foundation of Mrs Renáta Kellnerová and Mr Petr Kellner, students coming from various social strata can receive education here, which creates a unique environment. We also guide students towards responsibility and solidarity in addition to learning. Part of the education is each student’s involvement in philanthropic activities of their choice,” adds Kateřina Kožnarová. In addition to means-tested grants, the grammar school students also have a chance to receive academic excellence scholarships or those for extraordinary contributions to society.
What candidates for Open Gate enrolment should know:
Those who aspire for Open Gate enrolment will have an opportunity to see the campus on the Open Days held on 22 November 2018 and 24 January 2019, or on another day subject to prior arrangements.
The decisive factors for admission to Open Gate include the student’s academic aptitude and their mental motivation for learning. The school also allows transfers in higher forms for students of other secondary schools and pupils at the second level of primary schools.
Fig. 1 Numbers of means-tested grantees at Open Gate by Region, total: 96; situation as at September 2018