The PED programme emphasises the acquisition of knowledge that forms the foundation of the Czech school system as well as the development of so-called soft skills which emanate from Anglo-Saxon educational traditions.
The scope of these skills includes empathy, human understanding, communicability, self-reflection as well as self-confidence and the ability to lead a team or to share one’s enthusiasm for a common goal with others. All of this might sound self-evident or platitudinal, but in reality represents for many the most difficult lesson and the highest obstacle on their way to success in life. It is therefore necessary to start paying attention to the development of these skills at the earliest possible moment.
English language lessons in the bilingual PED programme are directed towards the development of English language abilities at the native-speaker level. All subjects taught in English are instructed by qualified teachers who are native speakers. Students routinely communicate with native speakers not only during their English language lessons but also in various clubs and in other school subjects. In their fifth year, students should be ready to pass the PET Cambridge English Language Assessment exam.
During the second semester of the first grade, children gradually begin to use the iPad and its educational applications during instruction. The lesson plan of the PED programme also includes project assignments, presentations and oral preparation. In the fifth grade, students are taught to create mind maps and to work with them.
Students are regularly awarded for their work. Evaluated are independent efforts, teamwork and group activities, participation in the classroom, creative thinking and ideas, voluntary tasks and many other aspects. At the end of each week, students recapitulate the main events of that week and take home award letters for their specific successes during the given week. First and second grade students also compete in who gets to take home the class mascot for the weekend.
PED also understands the importance of appropriate physical exercise and relaxation.
Preparation at home and parental support are an important part of this type of education. Students are not unnecessarily burdened but support at home is essential for their success. Parents are kept abreast of study materials and lesson plans through weekly reports and are regularly informed of any assessment of their children’s work, their classroom activities, completion of home assignments, and their participation in team projects.