Tour of the school
With its subtle colour scheme, the facade of the historical main building offers dignified first impression. The impressive main entrance is decorated with the bust of Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, after whom our school has been namesaked.
Strolling down the hallways, one can enjoy many hand-made boards with former seniors’ photos hanging on the walls. There are classrooms, rooms equipped for ICT lessons, science laboratories (for biology, physics and chemistry), canteen, students’ and teachers’ libraries and administration offices. During the breaks, the solemn atmosphere gives way to the liveliness of students and professors rushing to their next class. The historical feel of the building contrasts with the modern equipment.
This main building faces the Plaza of the Slovak National Uprising, a small square with a statue dedicated to the soldiers, who sacrificed their lives during liberation of Piešťany, towering above beds of flowers and greenery. It is surrounded by sakura trees and every spring amazes passers-by with beautiful views of blooming flowers.
Situated very conventionally nearby is an Art School - a place where students can spend their free time cultivating their talent in dance, music or visual arts. Also, the biggest shopping centre in town is located just around the corner and a few small shops are likewise close by. The city park stretches two minutes’ walk from the school. As it contains a sports stadium, the park is a beloved place of every PE teacher. Numerous tracks make it the right place for running, while the floorball volleyball playgroundsprovide an ideal spot for playing team sports.
Barbora Cepková and Lucia Orlovská, senior students of the 8-year program
The new building is situated on campus of our Gymnasium, between the historical main building and the new sports hall. It´s called a new building because it has been added later on as the school expanded. It´s main purpose is to house the graduating students. On the first two floors, there are 6 classrooms packed with technology like new computers and overhead projectors, and a teachers´ room with a great view of a mountain ridge in the distance. On the highest, 3rd floor, there are apartments for our visiting school partners and one spacious multipurpose room. On the first floor, there is also a wonderful new lounge area extremely popular with the students and on the second floor, two showcases filled with books written in English, which we proudly call our English Library.
It is in this building that our prospective students write their admission tests and where the successful ones then spend their final year of their studies preparing for the school leaving exams so the atmosphere here is quite intense. It´s not all about rigorous studies though. The building buzzes with social life as well as the graduating students prepare for their senior prom night by decorating their classroom doors with their photos, recording videos, learning dances and preparing funny skits for the entertainment of parents, invited teachers and their own.
André Hlinka and Denis Ragan, senior students of the 8-year program
In Slovakia, students are divided into classes at the beginning of their first year and stay together during all the years of studying. Each class is assigned its own classroom which the students (or their parents rather) often decorate on their own; they paint the walls, buy curtains, bring flowers and adorn the bulletin boards. On these boards, they usually display photos from their trips and excursions to really make it their own. Students only move to specialized classrooms, such as chemistry, biology, physics laboratory, IT classrooms, and also the gym.
In contrast to some other countries, in Slovakia, two students typically sit together at the same desk. This set up helps students learn how to cooperate with their classmates, tolerate each other, help others (sometimes in secret during exams). Because students spend so much time together they often times create lifelong friendships, which may later grow into relationships.
In a classroom you can typically find three rows of desks, cupboards for books, flowers and bulletin boards for decoration. The classrooms are fully equipped with modern technology such as an overhead projector and a teacher′ computer. Some classrooms dispose of a chalkboard. However, they are a little impractical, because there is a cloud of dust from chalks. Therefore, these boards are gradually replaced with whiteboards.
Time spent in a classroom is not just about studying though; is also full of fun and new amusing experiences. Classmates become a second family to each other. Often times, students also create excellent relations with their teachers, so we can say that the whole school is one big family.
Monika Jakubíčková and Lucia Chalániová, senior students of the 4-year program
An important part of one’s learning environment, such as school, cannot be anything else but school library or just a collection of books. In general, people should enhance their lives by reading, not only in their maternal language, but also in foreign ones. Our school is a great provider of such opportunity. However, you may ask, why do we mention this information?
Gymnázium Pierra de Coubertina has participated in a competition held by Raiffeisen Bank. The main aim of this kind of contest was to vote for the project that drew your eyes’ attention. The winner was given 1000€ for turning this idea into reality. We weren’t defeated two times in a row and as a result, the school library was created. It is inevitable to note that the campaign was firstly initiated by one of the professors (E. Corticelli) and additionally succeeded thanks to the effort of the students. Furthermore, several books were donated by the teachers, parents and students.
‘The beauty of the world lies in the diversity,’ keeping this thought in our minds, the students were able to choose books of different genres and authors of various nationalities. There is a lot to say about art in general and we wouldn’t want to bore you. But what’s worth mentioning is that this supports the goal of people’s capability of exchanging their experiences, opinions and recommendations. As for the different topics set forth by authors it leads to widening readers’ horizons.
From one point of perspective, the books are the stepping stones of the life. You never know which kind of a book character you are going to come across and from whom you can be inspired. Thus, reading with the correct comprehension, complete focus and concentration are the vital traits of a true book-lover. We await you with open arms, fully ready for your arrival into our small GYPY bookworm family. Lastly, if there should be a motto engraved on the top of our school library it would go as ‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies’.
Terézia Lišková, Daniel Valko – High school seniors
In the IT rooms we learn how to work with several basic programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others, which we can later use in our everyday lives. However, these specialized IT rooms are also used for an after-school programming course where we learn to use programs like Python or C. Sometimes even knowledge competitions such as Geography Olympiad and Maths competitions take place there taking advantage of the IT equipment.
Along the side walls are tables with computers and accessories. Every table has a plank which is used during tests to prevent students from copying from their neighbours. On the right side right next to the door is a teacher desk and a glass cabinet with books related to informatics.
Viktória Bitarovská and Gabriela Baláková, senior students of the 8-year program
The first thing you notice, when you enter the school chemistry laboratory, is a strong smell of chemicals. It hits your nose so hard that you almost forget what you are supposed to do there. You sit down on one of the mental swivel chairs and put your hands down on the cold desk. On the wall in front of you is a large poster of a periodic table of elements. On the desks are gas burners connected by a hose to a gas source hidden in wooden boxes. You may start to think about all the students who sat there before you. Dressed in white coats, sitting there, trying to figure out how these devices work. On your left is a large showcase filled to the top with chemical tools. Beakers, glass jars, test tubes, petri dishes, scales and other things that are important for your chemical research. Teachers usually stand right next to it, in front of whiteboard writing complex formulas. With their help you can figure out what you need to do to accomplish your experiment. You start with the basics. Find all the important tools and light up your burner. Teachers have their own desk with dangerous and less dangerous chemicals. They give you the needed material and closely watch what you do.
"Safety first," they remind you with a stern voice. After you finish your work, you need to clean up. There is a sink right next to your workplace, so you don't have to wait in a line to get to a sink. Lessons there are most of the time a blast. You learn for instance how to make a glass jar by glass blowing. But don't worry, if you injure yourself, a teacher will give you a bandage from the first aid kit.
Most students find chemistry boring, but in our lab you can try what it's like to be a chemical scientist.
Ema Vičanová, senior student of the 8-year program
The biology lab is located on the second floor right in between the regular classrooms. It is interconnected with the biology classroom but it is of smaller dimensions. It feels like stepping into another world – a world of science and experiments. There are glass-door cabinets along the side walls full of different kinds of materials. The cabinets on the left are filled with microscopes and the cabinets on the right are full of notes and books. On top of them are displayed preserved animal parts and bones which often inspire this undefinable tingling feeling of unease and a very particular sense of curiosity as students first walk in. There is usually a fake human skeleton – such a great source for all kinds of jokes - in the right corner, and a sink in the left one. Long desks take up most of the lab accompanied by spinning backless chairs – so much fun :-) In the very back is the teacher´s desk with a computer and a projector, right in front of a big windows with geranium plants. There is a shade above you can pull down for watching a movie or doing a presentation. The atmosphere is welcoming and homey. As a student, I can confirm that doing experiments in this classroom was always exciting.
Adela Bučková, senior student of the 8-year program
This room is called the “Greenhouse”. (I think nobody ever, not since I am in our school, has called it by another name). It is situated between the teacher’s room and the ICT room. For students it is quite a mysterious place, because nobody knows the exact right use of this room. There are four very comfortably looking armchairs (for sure for secret conversations of teachers). The only special moment, when we (the students) may feel the special atmosphere of the Greenhouse is, when we are in a hurry for our lessons and cut across but we can’t linger there for long, because of the ever-present teachers patrolling from the teacher’s room, so it is better to safely and quietly walk away. However, it is a very pleasantly looking place. And this is one of those lovely things about our school – I’ve studied here for four years and I can always find something new and special here J.
Tomáš Marek, grade 4 student of the 8-year program
In our school students can attend physical education on several places. One of them is situated inside the main building of the school, so it is as old as the school. It is equipped with a climbing wall used for after school activities, tables for table tennis, punching bags and gymnastic accessories such as climbing ropes, a vaulting buck and a vaulting box, wall bars, rings and mats. The gym is mainly used for training martial arts and gymnastics as it is not so large and these sports do not require as much space as team sports practiced mainly in the new sports hall. Sometimes it is also used as a place for meetings with special guests and other special occasions such as lectures and presentations.
Roman Turzák and Silvester Dupkanič, senior students of the 8-year program
Modern Multi-Purpose Building
Construction of the modern multi-purpose gym began on April 19, 1999 and was completed in September 2001. Inside is located Evi´s buffet which makes the best baguettes and pancakes ever, or you can just lounge there during your free periods. Of course, as important as it is, the buffet is not the main facility inside. There is a gym where you can go after the end of your school day (students of our gymnasium have special offers in here, like entrance fee discounts) and also a large sports hall were the students have their P.E. lessons. It's so spacious that 3 classes can have P.E. there at the same time as it can be divided into 3 parts by nets. In the afternoon, the gym and the hall are available for rent to sport clubs or just friends who want play when it's not good weather outside.
When you first enter the building you can see a showcase with trophies, which we have won as school, but there are also portraits of the best athletes, foremer students of our gymnasium, who represented our school and Slovakia in European and World championships or Olympic games.
Of course, there is also a bust to honor the man who gave our school his name – Pierre de Coubertin. We are proudly representing this name of the funder of the modern Olympic games.
Juraj Valo, senior student of the 4-year program
The first steps of each student of our school lead into the new gym. That's the place where you first meet your new classmates at the beginning of the school year, where you stand maybe a little bit nervously, but full of expectations trying to guess your new teachers’ personalities. And after a few years´ time that's the last place you see when you leave the school as a proud graduate.
However, during the years of studying all of us enter the sports hall to enjoy our P.E lessons. The hall is mainly used for ball sports and team sports, as it is large enough and equipped for these kinds of sports. The flooring system is marked with marks and lines for ball sports such as basketball and volleyball. As the sports hall has been renovated, various matches and competitions for the whole district of Piešťany take place there. The hall is ready to welcome the viewers with its telescopic risers. Maybe it sounds incredible but we have a sauna there as well. (I haven't heard of it but the Internet says so J)
Even if you are not a big fan of sport you will be fond of the gym. Usually, our school cultural events take place there as well as I have mentioned at the beginning of the article. The newbies are welcomed and introduced to the teachers and older students at the beginning of the school year, the graduates perform their best routines from their prom night programme during our Christmas assemblies, and say goodbye to the school mates they have spent the years with at the year´s end. These tend to be quite emotional times and the gym has seen a lot of tears over the years. Tears of happiness, sadness and relief. Nobody can avoid them watching the graduating students making their thank-you speeches or proudly holding their graduation photo boards as they wave good-bye to their school mates for the last time. As a graduation gift the youngest students recite their own short fare-well poems to their older graduating school mates.
All in all, each of us will remember forever some special moments we have lived through.
Ema Mozoláková, grade 4 student of the 8-year program
School is a place where you acquire not only knowledge but also physical skill. In our school we have two sport halls and one fully equipped gym where you can do just that.
In our gym you can find different types of sport accessories. Wall bars, mats and fit balls are good for beginners. For those who want to gain muscles there are dumbbells, heavy bars and various types of workout machines. If you´d rather improve your stamina and general health, treadmills, stationer bicycle and rowing simulators are perfect for you.
One whole wall is covered with a mirror where you can check your technique as you exercise. The modern look of the gym is completed with big windows overlooking the running track outside.
Jakub Chamraz and Veronika Plačková, senior students of the 8-year program
An integral part of the school area is a buffet. It offers a pleasant space for students during breaks or free lessons, where they can spend time with friends. Lovely seating offers a zone suitable for studying or just chatting and snacking with classmates. You can choose from a wide range of drinks such as different kinds of coffee or tea to warm up on colder days or some refreshing fizzy drinks to help you cool off when the days get hot.
One of the most favourite snacks among students are definitely sandwiches. There are a number of ingredients to choose from based on your preference. Some sugar packed snacks as pancakes or donuts can help you cope with stressful situations during exam period or just fill you up when you forget your lunch. Also, the nice ladies from the buffet can always make your day better just with their sweet smiles.
Klaudia Koščová and Simona Kadlecová, senior students of the 8-year program
Wow! It looks absolutely wonderful and I can tell you that it really is. This huge outdoor playground has a lot of things going on there, but first, let us go back, where it all started. In summer 2015 on the occasion of the 10th International Pierre de Coubertin Youth Forum, we were able to build one of the most modern sports grounds in Piešťany right in the schoolyard. From that moment on, a great many school matches in basketball or even volleyball took place there. Other than that, it is also used for the ceremonies at the beginning of the new school year as well as at the end of the school year. To end the school year on the positive note, our gymnasium every single year organizes Olympic Day sports competitions. Our students compete in many kinds of sports besides basketball and volleyball, such as relay run, football and table tennis. Each class splits up into teams for different types of sports and the winner is the class with the most points. We can´t forget to mention that the winner always gets some valuable prizes. If you choose this school, you might also have a few PE lessons here, because it is used for that, too. And last but not least are the benches that you can find around the playground, where you can eat snacks, read books or just relax for a moment to recharge battery that you will need during next school lessons.
Oskár Bartovic, senior student of the 4-year program
The outdoor area of the school boasts a running track, a long jump runway and a landing pit all reconstructed for the occasion of the 10th International Pierre de Coubertin Youth Forum held in 2015. 110 participants from 21 different countries from all 5 continents, took part in this incredible event and competed in long jump, 60m sprint, cross-country run, basketball and swimming.
During our school Olympic Day, a relay run takes place here accompanied by fierce encouragement from the roaring students. Racers are aroused and motivated and so they push themselves to the maximum.
Simon Valo, senior student of the 4-year program