Park Lane moves on up
New secondary school campus set to continue individual approach to learning
Posted: January 23, 2013
By Clare Speak
For the Post
Park Lane International School has been providing English-language education for nursery and primary school-aged children since 2006, and now, with the opening of a new grammar school planned for this September, it is set to expand its horizons.
Set in a refurbished former embassy building on Valdštejnská street, directly beneath the walls of Prague Castle, the new school hopes to allow current primary students to continue their studies and development in line with Park Lane's methodology. As the campus develops over the next couple of years, a full secondary school syllabus will become available for years 7 to 13.
"Our centrally located school will connect our students to the cultural center of the city and enable them to enjoy the historical atmosphere," says Principal Paul Ingarfield, whose experience in international education spans 13 years.
"While many of our current primary students will join the secondary school, spaces will be available for new entrants joining us in year 7 and above from other international and/or English curriculum schools. In 2013 and 2014, we are also planning to open a year 7 acceleration class for competent Czech students transferring from Czech schools," he says. "Our smaller scale makes it highly feasible for us to bring out the best in each individual student and maximize their potential."
The school will have a total capacity of 200 students in all grades in order to create an "intimate, almost family atmosphere." Park Lane International Primary School currently teaches students of 22 different nationalities, with studies based on the British national curriculum and incorporating the Czech language. Park Lane will continue to teach the British syllabus, with Czech either as a foreign language or as part of a program designed to allow national pupils to meet the requirements of the state exit exam. Students will sit the Cambridge IGCSE exams at the end of year 11, going on to complete their studies by taking the internationally recognized IB Diploma exams at the end of year 13.
The school also plans to create a "21st-century learning environment" by investing in modern technology. "Emphasis on information and communication technology throughout the curriculum ensures that our students will be as well-prepared as possible for the technological future ahead of them," Ingarfield says. "Indeed, while the splendor of the past surrounds us, our principal aim is to produce resourceful and responsible global citizens who will be ready to meet and fully engage with the complexities and challenges of this young century."
There is much emphasis on parent-teacher relations at the school, as well as on students' "personality development, self-reliance, self-confidence, mutual respect and practical solutions to problems." As Ingarfield explains, "We have a strong philosophy of inclusion, which is built into every lesson plan. We prioritize participatory learning opportunities, strongly encourage teamwork, use tried-and-tested praise and reward systems, and encourage students to speak out in class and to listen carefully and respect their classmates' contributions."
There will also be an enrichment program on offer in which students can take part in community and charitable service, work experience placements and even model United Nations conferences.
The new building will be introduced March 5 as part of the school's Open Door program.
Clare Speak can be reached at