We know that language learning is most effective when learners enjoy themselves and participate fully in lessons. We also know that children learn best when their parents are interested and involved in their learning.
Information for parents
The British Council provides learners with a rewarding and stimulating English language learning experience. We help all learners reach their full potential by respecting them as diverse individuals, and by encouraging them to be active participants in their own learning. Our curricula offer continuity and progression for every learner, at whatever age they begin their English language learning with the British Council.
YL course structure
- Young learner courses are divided into life stages: Primary Plus 6-10 years old, Secondary Plus 11-13 years old, Upper Secondary Plus 14-17 years old. When your child turns 18, they can join an adult group in the next academic term or straightaway upon their birthday if they wish to.
Courses for 6-17 year olds are also divided by level.
Structure of the year: One academic year for children of all age categories consists of 96 clock hours divided into two terms of 48 hours. Almost all Young Learner CEFR levels take two academic years to complete (please see table below which displays the levels for different life stages).
- Summer Intensive courses take place in June, July and August follow the 2nd Term.
- British Council holidays do not always coincide with school breaks – please check the calendar carefully.
Young learner calendar 2020-2021
Academic Year - 12 September 2020 – 15 May 2021
Semester 1 – 12 September 2020 – 16 January 2021
Semester 2 – 23 January 2021 – 15 May 2021
Winter Holidays – 21 December 2020 – 11 January 2021
Total duration of the academic year is 34 calendar weeks.
HOLIDAYS AND NON-TEACHING DAYS
14 October 2020: Defender of Ukraine Day
21 December 2020 – 10 January 2021: Christmas Break
8 March 2021: Women's Day
3 May 2020: Orthodox Easter
4 May 2020: Labour Day
10 May 2021: Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation
21 June 2021: Trinity Day
28 June 2021: Ukrainian Constitution Day
24 August 2020: Independence Day
- We use on-going formative assessment (4 skills and mini-tasks) to monitor your child's progress and actively encourage them to reflect on their own learning.
- We hold Parents’ Days twice a year where you get a chance to talk about your child’s progress with the teacher.
- The successful completion of a level depends upon your child’s progress, work in class and at home, and their attendance (attendance of 80% of all classes is strongly recommended. This means that your child should not miss more than 12 classes per academic year). In exceptional circumstances we will show flexibility with this at our discretion.
- Every Young Learner who has completed full Academic Year is issued an End of Year certificate that is given only once and in one sample on the last lesson of the course.
- At the end of the academic year the teacher makes a next level recommendation. If a child has not made enough progress, we will strongly encourage parents to consider a summer intensive course or continue at the same level.
Homework and learning outside the classroom
- We will give your child homework every lesson to support what they have done in class. Details of this will be written on the ‘homework record’ in their British Council notebook. Primary Plus learners have access to the Primary Plus portal practice activities.
- We run year-round Reading Time and Writing of the Month competitions to develop your child’s skills.
- You can find lots of resources for your child at our Learn English websites:
You play an important role in your child's education
We would like you to:
- Check the ‘homework record’ in the notebook and make sure your child does their homework before their next lesson. Write on the homework record or ask to speak to your child's teacher if you had to help them or if they found the homework very difficult.
- Play an active role in supporting your child’s learning and encourage your child to take part in the Reading Time and the Writing of the Month competition.
- If your child is studying on Primary Plus course - homework is completed on the online portal and your child will get a game or video as a reward upon successful completion of the task.
The British Council teachers
We recruit English language teachers with internationally recognised qualifications in English language teaching who have the knowledge, skills and experience to develop the language communication skills and learning strategies of our learners. Our teachers receive on-going professional development and are supported by a team of academic managers in order to deliver a high quality learning experience for each learner.
- Our teachers understand the particular developmental needs and interests of children at different ages.
- The students and the teachers will speak English in class. The teachers will insist that your child uses English in class, not just to demonstrate knowledge, but for everything they need to communicate during the lesson. Our teachers encourage learners to be actively involved in learning and set up lessons that promote meaningful communication and efficient learning.
- The British Council is an equal opportunities employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, nationality, race or sexuality. We are proud that our teaching team is made up of a diverse range of individuals and we consider this a great strength.
Accuracy of information and feedback
The accuracy of the information
Please ensure that your contact details are correct on our systems. For this please talk to our Customer Service staff. Should we need to contact you urgently we would prefer to do so by phone or email.
We’re always interested in what you think of our courses and services.
If your problem, suggestion or complaint is about something that happens in the classroom the best person to talk to is your teacher. If you think that you’ll find it difficult to explain in English, we can always find a translator for you.
We also give you the opportunity to talk to us through:
- an e-mail feedback address firstname.lastname@example.org
- feedback record form available from the website
- two Parents’ Evenings in Autumn and Spring terms.
- Customer satisfaction surveys that are sent to you twice a year to find out how satisfied you are and to ask your opinions.
- Focus groups, where small groups of students/parents meet the management team to express their class’ opinion about our services and make suggestions about possible improvement.
Additionally, our customer service team and management team are also always happy to speak to you about any aspect of the British Council.
Positive discipline policy
The majority of our young learner students are responsible, well-behaved and help us to maintain a positive learning environment in lessons.
We emphasise to our students that they are responsible for their own actions and we expect them to choose to behave well while at the British Council.
We look to positively reward good behaviour in classroom. We avoid punishment for responding to misbehaviour/poor academic performance due to the effect this has on children’s development.
At the beginning of course, we take time to set up agreed class behaviour rules and then build classroom routines which remind students of our behaviour expectations.
- Follow the teacher’s instructions.
- Listen to teachers, staff and other students.
- Let everybody contribute and take part in classroom activities.
- Respect everyone and keep everyone safe.
- teach children that everybody is welcome and important at the British Council.
- teach children about good classroom behaviour.
- take action against any form of bullying and speak to you if your child has been bullied.
- only discuss your child’s behaviour with you (not other parents).
- speak to your child if their behaviour is disruptive and explain to them why their behaviour is a problem.
- Preventing other students from studying
- Being rude or aggressive
- Disrespecting the teacher
- Damaging property
- Constantly refusing to follow instructions
In cases where a child’s behaviour is not meeting our expectations there are a series of steps that we will take.
- The teacher talks to the student
- The teacher talks to the parent
- The teacher talks to the Senior Teacher and agrees a behaviour improvement contract signed by parents, where we monitor the behaviour for a series of ten lessons. If after any of these stages the child’s behaviour improves, then we will not need to take the matter further. If unacceptable behaviour continues, the student will be expulsed from the British Council without a refund.
Keeping our child safe – our child protection policy
The British Council has been awarded the Keeping Children Safe Certification.
We ensure that all students and families feel included, safe and valued. We ensure that the physical and digital settings are safe and secure. We have safeguarding, behaviour and diversity polices.
Child Protection Policy Statement
The British Council firmly believe that every child matters - everywhere in the world. Children are a top priority as they have a unique honesty and willingness to exchange knowledge and ideas that can meaningfully build trust and make a sustainable difference in the future worldwide.
Child protection is everybody’s responsibility. We recognise that we have a fundamental duty of care towards all children we engage with including a duty to protect them from abuse. We aim to achieve this through compliance with child protection laws in each of the countries we operate and to adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), 1989 which is the international legal framework which sets out the specific rights of children.
The British Council affirms the position that all children have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse as set out in article 19, UNCRC, 1989. A child is defined in the British Council as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday (UNCRC, 1989) irrespective of the age of majority in the country where a child is, or their home country.
The British Council is committed to:
- valuing, respecting and listening to children
- ensuring all necessary checks are made when recruiting staff
- sharing information about child protection and good practise with children and parents/carers
- look after your child from when they arrive until you collect them.
- only let your child go home alone if you have told us they can (if they are 11 years old or older).
- only let your child go home with the people you have told us about.
- speak to you if your child has hurt him/herself.
We’d like you to:
- bring and collect your child on time.
- Complete the Permission to leave form to tell us who will be collecting your child (you can name three ‘designated guardians’)
- If your child is older than 11 years old, you can name three ‘designated guardians’, who will collect them
- let us know if your child will be absent for one or more lessons.
Rules for parents and students
As part of our Child Protection policy parents should observe the following rules in any of our locations:
- parents are not allowed to enter a classroom where there are children unless there is a teacher present and they have invited you in.
- parents are not to reprimand any children who are not their own. If you have a complaint against another child this must be reported to management.
- according to the British Council Child Protection policy parents or guardians are obliged to collect children under 11 y.o. from the classroom.
- if your child is to be regularly collected by a driver or a third party you must state so in the ‘permission to leave the building’ form
- if your child needs to leave classes early the British Council must be informed in writing before the class. In exceptional cases this may be approved by a phone call to our customer service team followed by a written note from parents.
- parents are forbidden from providing their children with self-defence weapons
- do not wait in corridors and classrooms – the waiting area is on the ground floor.
- do come up to the corridors to pick up your child, but no earlier than 5 minutes before the end of the lesson.
- do not run or make a lot of noise in the corridors.
- do leave your coats in the cloakroom.
- do not eat in the classrooms or corridors.
- do not film or take pictures of children in the classrooms.
- do speak to one of our friendly floor supervisors if you need help.
If you have any doubt, please ask us.
Permission to leave the building
We ensure that children are adequately supervised when they are in our care and that they are returned to their primary carers after lessons if they are under 11 years old.
If your child is under 11 years-old:
- You should complete a form to tell us the names and contact details of three ‘authorised guardians’ who you give permission to collect your child from lessons.
- At the end of lessons we will ask the ‘authorised guardian’ to come up to the classroom and show the teacher (or member of our staff) some photo ID before they collect the child.
- If no ID is produced, we will phone to verify the identity of the person who is there to collect the child before we allow the child to leave our care. If the carer does not pick up the child in the corridor, the child will be taken to the YL waiting area downstairs and can be picked up there. Please remember that we do not provide supervision or childcare services beyond class times and pick up your child on time.
If your child is 11 years old or older:
- Your child can leave the building alone.
- You may choose the procedures for children under 11 if you would not like your child to leave unsupervised.
Equal opportunities and diversity policy
The British Council is strongly committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Equality of opportunity is about treating people fairly and without bias and about creating conditions in the workplace and wider society that encourage and value diversity and promote dignity.
It is also about trying to redress past imbalances and ensuring that dealings with clients, customers and suppliers are conducted in a constructive way which does not give rise to unjustified discrimination and supports appropriate inclusion.
Our Equal Opportunity Policy commits us to ensuring that there is no unjustified discrimination towards our staff or clients, customers, partners on the basis of age, disability, gender including transgender, HIV/AIDS status, marital status including civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, political opinion, race/ethnicity, religion and belief, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, work pattern and on the basis of having or not having dependants or any other irrelevant grounds.
We treat individuals with whom we work fairly and with dignity and respect as well as we treat all children equally and do not allow any form of discrimination in our classes.
At British Council, we are here to help children who are suffering from any type of abuse. Abuse can be:
If you believe a child is suffering from abuse, please inform your teacher, Customer Services, The Senior Teacher Young Learners or call the following number:
The National Child Protection hotline: 0 800 500 225
At the British Council Ukraine we want to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our students and staff. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at the British Council Ukraine. If your child is bullied or sees bullying, we encourage them to tell a teacher, someone in Customer Services or you. Any bullying seen by members of staff, or raised as an issue by either you or your child will be taken seriously and dealt with promptly and effectively.
What is bullying?
Bullying is deliberately and repeatedly hurting others either emotionally or physically and it may occur in many forms. Some of these include:
- physical: Hitting, pushing, kicking, biting, taking other students’ things etc.
- verbal: Name-calling, laughing at others’ mistakes, saying nasty things to people etc.
- indirect: Ignoring a classmate, whispering about someone, excluding other students from activities etc.
- cyber: Indirect or verbal bullying using mobile phones (SMS) and internet (social networks, emails, etc.)
Why is it important to respond to bullying?
Children come here to learn and in order to do so they need to feel safe in the classroom. If they feel threatened in any way they will not learn and may not want to attend courses. Children, especially at a younger age, are susceptible to emotional and physical distress and the impacts of bullying can have profound and deeply felt effects on their personal and academic development.
At the British Council Ukraine we place an emphasis on creating a child-safe learning environment for your children.
What will we do if bullying is reported?
If bullying is reported, we will deal with the incident immediately, even if your child tells us in confidence – this is part of our Child Protection Policy aimed at creating a safe and welcoming environment for all our students. The following steps may be taken:
- Single minor incident: teacher deals with it by speaking to both parties and perhaps parents
- First repetition of minor incident: parents of both parties contacted to discuss the incidents
- Second repetition of minor incident: parents of both parties meet with Senior Teachers to discuss the incidents and action to be taken.
Disciplinary steps may include a behaviour contract, suspension for one or more classes or expulsion from classes at the British Council without refund.
The student who has been bullied will be supported by having the opportunity to talk about the experience with a staff member of their choice, reassurance and continued support from the teacher in class to help restore their confidence.
The student who has bullied a child will be helped by discussing what has happened and why he/she did it, establishing that their behaviour is wrong and unacceptable and informing parents/guardians to help change their attitude.
What will we do to prevent bullying?
All our teachers are made aware of our Anti-Bullying and Child Protection Policies and are trained on how to follow them.
- presentations will be given in all YL courses and all our Young Learner students will be made aware of the policy and how it guides their behaviour at the beginning of each academic year/course.
- visual displays highlighting the key policy points will be around the building.
- all students and parents will be made aware of the possible consequences of bullying, including expulsion without refund.
- students will understand be informed of how to report bullying, and our staff will be given training on how to support and help children in making a disclosure of bullying.
Mobile Devices Policy at the British Council Teaching Centre
By mobile devices, we mean:
- Mobile and smartphones
- Or any other technology that is able to access the internet.
At British Council Kyiv Centre, students must use their mobile devices responsibly; this policy outlines how to safely use mobile devices that are owned by young learners or their parents.
- Mobile devices are allowed in the Teaching Centre, but the British Council does not accept responsibility or liability for any lost, stolen or damaged devices.
- You cannot use the British Council public WiFi as it is not appropriate for those under 18.
- Mobile devices must be on silent and don’t distract you from class work.
- You are not allowed to make or answer voice calls, or send/read any personal messages during lessons in the classroom.
- Please go out of the classroom if you need to make an urgent call.
- Mobile devices are sometimes used in class activities. In this case, you must follow the teacher’s instructions.
- The teacher will warn you or put away your phone for the lesson if you are using it too often.
- You must never use your mobile device to bully or hurt others.
- Respect people’s privacy at all times and do not use your mobile phone for recordings in the toilets.
- Do not upload photos or video to social media without the permission of everyone who appears in the photo or video.
- Do not take photos or make video of anyone with your mobile device without asking for permission first. (this can be allowed if other children agreed to it)
Frequently asked questions
How many students will there be in my child’s class?
In our effort to provide you with the best conditions for learning, we consider two factors:
- the average size of a group for effective learning
- the size of the room
Our class size for students aged 6-7 is maximum 10 students and there is a teacher and a classroom assistant in class, for students aged 8 -17 - 14 students on average.
Can I choose the teacher?
No. The British Council is an equal opportunities employer. All our teachers are professionals with relevant experience regardless of nationality. Students are reminded that they sign up for courses, not teachers.
What do I do if I have a problem?
Remember, if you have any questions, you can speak to your teacher or a member of the Customer Excellence Team (CET) or send an e-mail to email@example.com
We hope you have a pleasant experience at the British Council.