Ola Lipke moved to England at the age of four and is using her skills at learning a new language to help and support children of the future
A Polish student has taken advantage of learning a new language to help support her future career.
Ola Lipke moved to the UK from Poland at the age of four, with her mother and older brother. This was after her dad got a job in England and the family set up their new life in Blackpool where they have been for the last 14 years.
As she moved at the age where children start school, Ola had the difficult task of developing her Polish as well as a brand new language, English, in the country she had to quickly call home. “It was difficult for me at the time to learn English,” 18-year-old Ola told LancsLive.
The heartbreaking poverty crisis that’s set to hit nearly 2 million schoolkids
As the new school year approaches, many parents struggling with the cost of living crisis can’t afford to buy new school kit. But turning up in old, worn and ill-fitting uniforms is putting an estimated 1.8 million children at risk of bullying and low self-esteem.
The problem is so bad that one in 10 parents say they’ll miss meals and go hungry so they can buy their kids what they need. Even more will go without new clothes for themselves, or reduce energy use in their homes to afford it.
But it’s feared that with prices rocketing, even these measures won’t be enough.
That’s why George at Asda and the children’s poverty charity Buttle UK have stepped in to help. The supermarket clothing chain has committed £125,000 to help ensure kids in low-income families have everything they need for the start of the school year – so they can turn up in a uniform to be proud of.
For for information and to support the campaign, visit buttleuk.org/uniforms
“One of my teachers was actually married to a Polish man and although she wasn’t fluent, she would help me with what she could and tried her best. Eventually, other Polish staff joined and as I got older, I realised how much people had helped me and I wanted to try my best to give back.”
As part of wanting to show her appreciation to those that supported her, Ola decided she wanted to give the same to other children and opted to take a placement at Christ the King Catholic Academy Primary School in Blackpool. She took the placement there with a teacher who used to teach her, but this time things were different.
Ola added: “There’s a large Polish community in Blackpool now and there was actually six Polish kids in the class I helped in. Usually, with these kids you find that the parents don’t speak English fluently so I was glad to help bridge the gap and support them with their English and communicate with the teachers.
“I also support my siblings who go to school in the area as my parents speak English but not quite fluently.” Using her passion for helping others, Ola opted to go for a T Level qualification – the first of its kind in the UK which provides a more employer-led education.
The course is available at Blackpool and The Fylde College, near where Ola lives. She continued: “It’s really technical doing a T Level course which helps me, so rather than learning and then getting a career and putting it into practice, I could learn the theory on the Monday and then be doing it in my placement on Tuesday.
“I would recommend it to anyone who knows what they like and how they learn. I just got into UCLan to study Social Work which I’ll be starting in September and I used my teaching assistant role to find that I want to help other families and support foreign children and give back.
“In the future I’d like to work for Ofsted and inspect schools and help there.”
- 05:45, 21 AUG 2022