More things you need to know about Edinburgh

You would expect to find lots of statues in an ancient city like Edinburgh, but did you know that there are more statues of animals than of women? We have the famous Greyfriars Bobby statue and also Wojtek the bear, but only one statue of a woman – Queen Victoria.

Some parts of Edinburgh are REALLY ancient. For example, the rock on which Edinburgh Castle is built is a volcanic plug and over 340 million years old!

Nowadays, we expect every city to have a Fire Service to tackle fires in buildings, but Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have such a service. After a number of fires in the city in 1703, “The Edinburgh Act” was passed and a “Company for Quenching of Fires” was formed. All the firefighters in those days were volunteers.

Ecole Diagonale – Our Sister School In Paris

École Diagonale is a private High School in the 5th arrondissement in the heart of Paris, with its four buildings located within a very short walk from the historic and magnificent Jardins du Luxembourg. It is a school that strives to combine the exceptional artistic and sports talents of its students with a rigorous academic programme and very responsive follow-up by its dedicated professors.

In the distant 1990, the establishment Diagonale started as a small education centre for additional classes in various subjects to help students improve their academic scores at their respective schools.  Quite rapidly, with the innovative teaching approach and the amazing ambition of our Principal and school owner, Mr. Michel Naniche, the education centre became a French State-recognised High School in 2008. These past years, we are proud to announce our excellent results at the National Baccalauréat with up to 92 % success rating. While, our school tends to be flexible towards the students ranked at high national level in various sports in France, our teaching methods of constant availability for our students proves to be very effective and productive. Although it started as a small education structure, today, we have about 600 students aged 14 to 18 in our establishment, and we plan to expand and be able to accept 800 students, next autumn!

As the main English professor to our senior students, I have always been trying to develop international projects and ways of co-operation with other schools abroad which would be a beneficial and enriching experience and opportunity for our ambitious students. Therefore, as part of my personal efforts and with the tremendous support of Ecole Diagonale, I initiated and am currently working on the development of our first international agreement of cooperation with another group of schools, the Glasgow/Global Schools of English in Scotland, with its two centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Filip Zafirovski (left) with Principal Michel Naniche.
Filip Zafirovski (left) with Principal Michel Naniche (wearing the Edinburgh sweatshirt!).

I have been a full time professor of English and Specialised English at Ecole Diagonale since 2011 and my personal international education background confirms my firm belief that language and international training are indispensable for any young person seeking to succeed personally and professionally. Since the age of 16, I have been travelling and studying abroad, earning my certificates and diplomas in foreign languages, international education, politics and international affairs, co-operation and development, cultural diplomacy and globalisation, which was crucial in my decision to teach my students to become well-rounded citizens of the world. Moreover, having done parts of my education in New York, Berlin, Bordeaux, Paris and southern Italy and Macedonia, I encourage my students strongly to travel, explore the world and study abroad in order to broaden their horizo

Finally, I sincerely hope that this sister school arrangement with the Glasgow/Global Schools in Scotland will be an excellent asset and option for our students to visit Scotland, learn about the Scottish culture, while above all, they improve their English skills at very reasonable prices. As the person responsible for developing this collaboration, I will personally do my best to enhance this joint project between our two schools, for the benefit of our students and all our staff members.

Filip Zafirovski

 

 

 

96% of our students recommend us!

If you are spending your money to come to the UK to improve your English then you want to have a good time here and know that your language skills will improve.  We can tell you how good our School is, how friendly everyone in Edinburgh is, and how our lessons will help improve your English, but how do you know if what we say is actually true?  It’s quite simple really: you don’t have to take our word for it, just read what our students say about us.

Every term we ask our students (that’s some of them over there, in the picture) what they think about us. They can say what they like – whether we’re good or bad – because the surveys are anonymous (that means the students can’t be identified from their responses).

Fortunately, the vast majority think we’re very good.  Our last survey asked a number of questions about the School and the answers show that in every area our students are getting great value for money and enjoying themselves in Scotland.

Agree strongly Agree Disagree
I liked the teaching style. 59% 40% 1%
I liked the class materials. 45% 52% 3%
I liked the friendliness of the school. 57% 14% 0%
The lessons met my needs. 54% 43% 3%
My English has improved. 47% 52% 1%
I liked the school trips. 51% 47% 2%
 
Yes No
Would you recommend the school to a friend? 96% 4%

 

For us, the most important statistic is probably the last one.  The fact that 96% of our students would recommend us (and do recommend us!) is what makes all our hard work worthwhile.  Our students also take time to write comments about our teachers, including the following:

“All my teachers are outstanding.”

“Really good teachers.”

“Thank you, your school is fantastic!”

That last comment makes us feel good.  Thank you (whoever you are!).

Some more amazing facts about Edinburgh

We like trees! There are more trees per head of population in Edinburgh than in any other city in the United Kingdom.

The city has two nicknames. One is “Auld Reekie,” which came about due to the smog and smells of the old city. Please don’t worry though – the city is not like that nowadays! The other is “The Athens of the North,” which started to be used to describe Edinburgh in the 1800s and was considered to reflect the city’s architecture and cultural achievements.

The number of people in the city can quadruple (increase four times) during the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe Festival. In 2014, it is estimated that 2 million people attended the Festival and Fringe!

Glasgow and Global Schools’ of English – our first sister school arrangement in Russia

Following our recent establishment of a sister school arrangement for France, Glasgow School of English and Global School of English Edinburgh are pleased to announce we have now established another bilateral agreement, with Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Russia to work together to give students and staff of the Faculty the opportunity of studying English in Scotland.

The Scottish schools are offering a sister school relationship to be developed with the Faculty. Our new sister school arrangement will provide the following to each of the institutions:

  • The Faculty will send to Glasgow /Edinburgh a group of students each year.
  • The Scottish schools will provide a prize each year to be offered to senior students of the Faculty.
  • The prize will be a two-week course of English, including accommodation, transfers, teaching materials and sight seeing.
  • The Faculty will provide an award ceremony each year where the prize(s) will be awarded to its students by a Scottish school representative.
  • The Faculty will provide opportunities to promote the Scottish schools and what they offer, to students and staff of the Faculty..
  • As the relationship matures, teacher exchange will be considered and developed for the mutual benefit of both parties to the agreement.

Andrew Lennox, President of the Scottish Schools stated “ I have for many years tried to establish this type of arrangement with overseas schools and I am delighted that Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Faculty of Foreign Languages, has recognised the mutual benefits of such a cooperation.  We look forward to welcoming their students.

Glasgow and Global Schools’ first Sister School arrangement

We are delighted to announce that Glasgow School of English and Global School of English Edinburgh have established a Bilateral Agreement with Ecole Diagonale School in Paris to work together to give students and staff of the French school the opportunity of studying English in Scotland.  Pictured here are Filip Zafirovski from Ecole Diagonale and Andrew Lennox, President of Glasgow and Global Schools.

The Scottish schools are offering a sister school relationship to be developed with Ecole Diagonale.

  • The sister school arrangement will provide the following to each of the institutions:
  • Ecole Diagonale will send to Glasgow /Edinburgh a group of students each year.
  • The Scottish schools will provide a prize each year to be offered to senior students of Ecole Diagonale.
  • The prize will be a two week course of English including accommodation, transfers, teaching materials and sightseeing.
  • Ecole Diagonale will provide an award ceremony each year where the prize(s) will be awarded to its students by a Scottish schools’ representative.
  • Ecole Diagonale will provide opportunities to promote the Scottish schools and what they offer, to students and staff of the French school.

As the relationship matures, teacher exchange will be considered and developed for mutual benefit to both parties of the agreement.

Andrew Lennox, President of the Scottish Schools stated “ I have for many years tried to establish this type of arrangement with overseas schools and I am delighted that Ecole Diagonale has recognised the mutual benefits of such a co-operation. We look forward to welcoming their students.

Interesting things about Edinburgh

As well as being an ancient city, Edinburgh is home to lots of fascinating places, people and things. We’d like to tell you about some of these, beginning with what is probably the only penguin in the world that has been knighted (given the rank “Sir”) by a king.

This penguin lives at Edinburgh Zoo. The zoo is a really interesting place and well worth a visit while you are staying in Edinburgh. Their penguin enclosure is amazing, with a huge glass wall where you can see the penguins swimming under the water.

One of these penguins is the Colonel-in-chief and mascot of the Norwegian Royal Guard. When he was knighted in 2008, he was also given the name Sir Nils Olav. After the ceremony when he was knighted he then “inspected” the guard of soldiers who attended the ceremony. When the Norwegian Royal Guard soldiers visit Edinburgh, as they sometimes do for the Edinburgh International Festival, they always pay Sir Nils a visit!

A statue with a traffic cone on its head!

Although Global School is based in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, many of our students take a trip to Glasgow, fifty miles to the west.

Edinburgh, as you’ll see when you come here, is an ancient, historic city, with lots of statues. Glasgow is another very old city and it has quite a few statues in its public squares and other places too. However, while most people in Edinburgh probably don’t know who all the statutes in the city represent, in Glasgow just about everyone knows the statue of the Duke of Wellington (the famous British soldier, politician and Prime Minister) seated on his horse, in Royal Exchange Square.

The statue of the Duke is in front of the Gallery of Modern Art. When you come to study at Global School of English, if you go to Glasgow you will have the opportunity to go to see the modern art in this Gallery and when you do make sure you have a look at this statue.

The reason why everyone in Glasgow knows this statue is because it has, for many years, had a traffic cone on the head of the Duke. Originally put there as a joke, it’s now regarded as an essential part of the statue and if it’s ever removed then it’s soon replaced.

A few years ago, the Council (local government) decided that they would raise the plinth (the block on which the statue sits) a few feet so that no-one would be able to get the cone back on the Duke’s head. The Glaswegians were not pleased and the Council changed its mind. However, as this video shows, it’s not easy to get the cone up there!

“Going to the pictures”

Whether it’s Star Wars, James Bond or a romantic love story, everyone loves a good film. While you have to have a reasonable level of English to watch most of them, there is no doubt that “going to the pictures” (as we say in Scotland) is a good way to improve your English.

We know that many of our students like going to the movies and there are lots to choose from in Edinburgh. The main ones are listed below, with a link to each website so you can see what films are being shown.

Cineworld, Fountain Park, close to the city centre.

Vue, also close to the city centre, in Leith Street.

The Dominion, in Morningside, also close to the city centre.

Cameo is just on the edge of the city centre.

The Odeon, Edinburgh, is in Lothian Road, just a few minutes walk from Princes Street (the main street in Edinburgh city centre.

Edinburgh Filmhouse is also in Lothian Road.

There are other cinemas too, so if you like films then you’ll be spoiled for choice when you come to study with Global School of English in Edinburgh.

 

 

Наш первый визит в Шотландию (Our first visit to Scotland)

Visiting a new country for the first time is always an exciting experience. For us, as two English language academics from Novosibirsk in Russia, it was particularly interesting as we were in Scotland to meet Andrew Lennox, the President of three schools of English, based in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

We arrived in Glasgow on 28th of January and stayed there for nearly a week, with various excursions to Edinburgh and other Scottish cities and also had time to travel around the beautiful countryside (it really is a very beautiful place). During our time in the city we were really taken by the warm welcome we received: everyone is very friendly and helpful.

On the 29th, we went with Andrew to Stirling University, to see the purpose-built campus (see picture below) where Hamilton School of English holds its summer programme for young learners.

Close by Stirling University is the Wallace Monument, an impressive tower that celebrates William Wallace, the Scottish patriot who led the war of independence in the 13th century (he is the central figure in the movie Braveheart). We climbed the steps and from the top (see next photo) there is an amazing view of the surrounding countryside, including Stirling Castle (in the background on the lower ridge behind Andrew), which is also well worth a visit.

The next day we visited Glasgow School of English and then on the 31st we went to Edinburgh to view Global School of English (see next photo) where we met Duncan Fitzhowie, the Director of Studies.

We were able to spend some time in a class in each School and were very impressed by the classrooms and the quality of teaching on offer. In both cities we went on “hop-on/off” tourist busses, which gave us a good idea of the range of buildings, museums, parks and other sites that are available for students to enjoy.

Finally, on our last day in Scotland we went to Oban, north of Glasgow on the west coast and also visited Loch Lomond and the countryside around it. It really is very scenic and it’s no surprise that Scotland was last year voted the most beautiful country in the world.

Throughout our stay we were very well looked after and had some lovely meals (see photo above!), with Andrew and a few of his colleagues. We took away an impression of a very safe and secure place where our students would feel at home and where they will be able to improve their English to a high standard.

Ekaterina Kostina,
Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages,
PhD, professor of the English Language Chair,
Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University.