Włochy Campus

Joseph Plass

Cambridge Lower Secondary programme and IGCSE (International General Cambridge Certificate of Secondary Education) coordinator

BA English and Education with Honours, University of Sussex
Post Graduate Certificate in Education
iGCSE Examiner Certificate

Professional background:
I contribute to the development of the school through the full implementation of the Cambridge Curriculum, and am very confident that your child will benefit greatly from this program. I am also excited to teach English - it’s truly when I am at my happiest!
I have spent my whole adult life working passionately and diligently to improve and achieve satisfactory outcomes for young people: managing a residential home for children with special needs, a therapeutic home for those with chronic emotional and behavioural difficulties, a referral unit within a secondary school, and, for the last ten years, very enjoyable experiences within the secondary school system. I have also volunteered, throughout my time in Africa, in an informal capacity, at an orphanage within Kawangware - a slum in Nairobi, Kenya.

Robert Hodgdon

Coordinator of IB DP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme)

BS English with Honors, University of Southern Maine
MA Teaching School for International Training
Teaching Certification in Maine and Vermont in English Language and Literature; ESL
IELTS Speaking Examiner
Post graduate certificate in IB Teaching and Learning
IB Leading the Learning Certificate

Professional background:
Robert holds a Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, U.S.A. He holds teaching licenses in both language and literature as well as ESL/EFL and the International Baccalaureate Certificate in Teaching and Learning from Bethel University. He also holds a BA in English with Honors from the University of Maine.
Robert has lived and worked in Japan, the Czech Republic, Germany, the UAE and Poland. In the Middle East, he was a course designer, instructor and Faculty Fellow in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the United Arab Emirates University. He is a certified examiner for a respected high-stakes international English exam. He has designed and conducted trainings for a wide range of companies and institutions in both government and private education organizations throughout Europe.

The IB curriculum is a holistic approach to learning and teaching. Its foundational philosophy, that education should nurture international awareness in learners by developing personality traits and habits of mind in order to build a better world for all of us is inspirational and practical.

Using these tenets as a framework around which to build learning experiences, our teachers and learners pursue intellectual excellence by acquiring subject area knowledge, while at the same time creating a personal approach to life that is rooted in a genuine belief in the potential of individuals and societies to realize their full potential as an integrated, sustainable and just whole.

As IB Coordinator, I am here to listen to families’ concerns, clarify questions, and be a friend in the journey through the IBDP Programme.

Aldona Ponikowska

High school principal

I graduated from Catholic University in Lublin in 2001 with a MA degree in English Studies.

Professional background:
After graduation I taught English in state and non-state schools in Poland. In 2006 I completed postgraduate studies in Business Management at Illinois University.
After spending eight years teaching English, I was excited to expand my role at International High School, first as a Theory of Knowledge teacher, and then as an IB Diploma Programme Coordinator. I was lucky to have spent almost 10 years working in the capacity of a IB Diploma Coordinator in our school. I am excited to create a love of learning and exploring knowledge in students. My aim is for the students to achieve their fullest potential studying in a supportive, engaging and safe atmosphere. I would like them to develop positive character traits that reflect the values of the international and national curricula offered at Thames British School.

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Wawelska Campus

Katie Street

Cambridge Primary programme coordinator

BA Psychology & US Studies, Liverpool University;
CELTA, Cambridge;
PGCE, University of East Anglia; MEd, Open University

Professional background:
I began my experiences in formal teaching as a teacher of English as a Foriegn Language in South Korea, where I was part of a team establishing a new language school. My subsequent EFL experiences took me to Thailand, Poland, Italy and Mongolia. During that time, I taught a variety of ages for a range of purposes, including tourism, industry and exam preparation.

I extended my training to enable me to teach Primary children and completed my induction in a small town in Norfolk, UK. I took my learning and experience to lead a teacher development and training programme focusing on implementing active learning techniques in Ethiopia.

I taught in international schools in Romania, Germany and Egypt before returning to Poland to teach at the British School. In September 2019 I led the team that opened Thames’ Piaseczno campus. Following the successes with the implementation of the curriculum in Piaseczno, I transferred to Wawelska as Head of Primary Curriculum.

About me:
I enjoy exploring my world through a range of interests. I enjoy cycling in and around Warsaw and swim a few times a week. I love experimenting with colours and materials and enjoy painting and making clothes. I also enjoy playing games such as carom, backgammon and scrabble. The world is full of learning opportunities and I have enjoyed a range of free courses offered online.

My teaching philosophy:
I believe enjoyment is central to learning and I provide a range of activities for children to explore their ideas. I see my role as a teacher as facilitating opportunities for children to express what they want to find out, how to find the answers to their questions and to compare answers to draw their own conclusions. I value mistakes as golden opportunities for learning. I encourage children to question their own assumptions and try to understand the reasons for perspectives that differ from our own. I believe that communication and collaboration are essential life skills and lead to success for both the group and the individual.

Marta Filipek

Head of administration of Wawelska Campus

English Language and pedagogical preparation, University of Warsaw;
Cambridge University, Certificate of Proficiency in English, Level C2;
Doctor, Agricultural Sciences in the field of Food Technology and Nutrition;
Politics and Management in Education, University of Warsaw;
Qualified Teacher Status, Department of Education, United Kingdom.

Professional background:
I have been working with children of all ages for about 15 years. Firstly, I worked in a public primary school and secondary schools in Warsaw as an English teacher; then, as a part of administration, in Cecylia Plater Zyberkówna Schools and later in Pitagoras School. In 2017 I started my adventure in Primary School. At the beginning of my tenure I was responsible for years 1-3; before eventually becoming a Principal of the school.

Piaseczno Campus

David Blakemore

Academic Head - Piaseczno Campus

BA (Hons) Cultural Studies
Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE/QTS)

Professional background:
My life as a teacher began in 2003, in the UK, where I spent my first four years teaching at an inner-city primary school in Leeds. I then went on to work for a period of time in public schools in New-Zealand (Auckland and Wellington) before eventually finding my international teaching feet at The British School of Beijing. Prior to my arrival at Thames, I spent five enjoyable years working at a small-scale international academy in Shenzhen (China). During this time, I transitioned from the role of class teacher and became the principal of the school.
In my dual-role, as both Academic Head and Year 3/4 Teacher, I am looking forward to drawing on the wealth of inspiration which my work experience has given me, and adapting to this new and exciting situation at our Piaseczno campus.

About me:
I live in Warsaw with my wife and two young children. We are no strangers to Poland, and have visited Warsaw on an annual basis for the last five years. I now look forward to getting to know the city better, and to exploring parts of Poland as yet unseen, as well as visiting some of our European neighbours.
In my spare time, I enjoy making music using various electronic gadgets, reading science-fiction, fantasy and the occasional thriller, and studying Mandarin Chinese. I also like to play the ukulele, with or without an audience.

Teaching philosophy:
Life is a learning journey. My role as an educator is to serve as a guide, whilst providing students with the necessary tools to allow them to navigate their own way as confident, independent and inspired learners. A school is like an eco-system (a river of learning!), in which we all have our part to play, and in doing so, we affect the whole. No action, success or moment of understanding could be considered so minor as to be insignificant.

Anthony Rusecki

Head of Secondary

MSc in Interactive Multimedia
Postgraduate Diploma Computer Design,
BEng in Engineering Science

Professional background:
I had several careers in IT before going into teaching. Prior to my teaching career I did an intensive advanced Maths course. I then joined a large secondary school in West London, where I worked for several years, teaching up to A Level. Due to a shortage of staff, I was also asked to teach ICT and Computer Science, because of my computing background. I found that by linking the two, students developed their thinking and problem solving skills - something I am keen on bringing to Thames British School.
My teaching philosophy is that teaching should not remain only in the classroom but should drawn from and applied to the world around us. For this reason I like to bring real life examples to my lessons and encourage students to learn. While I am a teacher myself, I always like to learn new things and challenge myself, and I hope to instil this desire in my students.

Natalia Magiera

Head of EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)

MA Philosophy, Postgraduate Teaching Studies (PGCE/QTS),
Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), Diploma in Child Care

Professional background:
My teaching journey began over a decade ago in one of the top independent schools in London. I worked in Hyde Park School which then became a part of Eaton Square School. First as a TA then two years later I took an Early Years Teacher position. I also had an opportunity to teach Y1 and Y2 classes. After completing my second postgraduate study (EYTS) I became an Early Years Coordinator and a Deputy Head of Hyde Park School (Eaton Square School). In 2018 I was offered a Head of Early Years position and I had a pleasure and a privilege to run the school for a year. It was a great challenge and a fantastic experience to me but when a year later in 2019, Thames British School in Warsaw called out for me, I decided to try something new. I left London to enrich my experience and to get on with a new adventure of creating a school. Our school – the best place to be!

Park Szczęśliwicki Campus

Earlene Clarke Abbey

Head of Curriculum Park Szczęślwicki Campus

Master of Education (M.Ed.) with specialisation in Curriculum and Instruction. American College of Education.
Post-Graduate Studies in Education, Primary School. University of Sunderland, UK

Professional background:
I have had the pleasure of teaching children for over a decade. My teaching journey began in 2006 in Shanghai at the British International school. Several years later, I taught at Singapore International School as a Literacy Teacher for Early Years Division. After six years of working there, I took a post at Harrow International School, in Shanghai, where I taught Early Years, Year 1 and became Key Stage One Coordinator.
I am looking forward to calling Warsaw home and continuing my teaching at Thames British School. My children and I live an active lifestyle. Our adventures include hiking and camping on the Great Wall, bike riding and participating in sports such as football, track and basketball.

About me:
My children and I live an active lifestyle. Our adventures include hiking and camping on the Great Wall, bike riding and participating in sports such as football, track and basketball. We enjoy travelling and are fascinated about different cultures and languages. One of the languages we speak is Mandarin; although much more difficult to grasp, we are looking forward to learning Polish. We also play a variety of musical instruments and occasionally have a jam session.

My teaching philosophy:
A belief that guides me in teaching is the ability to understand and care about each individual child. Understanding the individual learning needs creates an environment where children feel accepted because their learning needs are met, which will further their academic growth and success. Teaching strategies incorporated in an accepting learning environment are differentiation, collaborative learning, and inquiry-based learning. This invites a child to participate in activities, make their own choices and a willingness to express their creativity. I am honoured to contribute this philosophy at Thames British School Warsaw, knowing students are understood and cared for.

Agnieszka Kruszyńska-Ziaja

Head of Park Szczęśliwicki Campus

MA Early Years and Primary Education with Early English Teaching, Pedagogy, Warsaw University
Postgraduate Studies in Educational Organization and Leadership. Łazarski University

Professional background:
I took up teaching English back in 2003 and worked in various language schools for over a decade. An adventurous soul as I am, in 2011 I bought a one-way ticket to Spain and stayed there for two years. That is where my preschool and primary school teaching begun. I have worked at international or bilingual schools and preschools ever since, operating within Spanish, Polish, British and American curriculum; first as a teacher, developing into a team and programme coordinator, and finally running a private nursery and preschool.
When Thames British School reached out to me in February 2019, I decided to embark on a new yet risky adventure of helping to create a new community and value among other international schools in Warsaw. I started off as the Head of Polish Curriculum, teaching Polish as native and second language in preschool and later on in primary school at Piaseczno Campus. In November 2019 I took over as the Administrative Head and continued teaching Polish at Park Szczęśliwicki Campus. I will no longer be teaching this upcoming year but your children will surely see me in their classrooms, observing, substituting, leading extra activities or events.

Learn more

We are always delighted to hear from prospective parents that are considering our international school for their children’s education. Please do not hesitate to call us on the phone number above or select from the options below:

Note: As an international school we conduct admissions placement all throughout the year. Applications for the academic year 2020-2021 are for children in Nursery (2.5 years old) through to IB (18 years old).