Wawelska Campus

Katie Street

Academic Head - Wawelska Campus

Qualifications:
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.

Gary Lycett

Primary Teacher

Qualifications:
Creative Writing, Leeds University
CELTA, Cambridge University
CELTYL, Cambridge University
PGCE, Nottingham University
Currently studying MA Education and Management, Wrexham University

Professional background:
My first experience in teaching began in Leeds after having obtained a Creative Writing degree from Leeds University. It was voluntary and it involved teaching asylum seekers elementary English so that they could build up the confidence to use it in their everyday lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, but I especially valued how they were able to express their cultural backgrounds to me with the English I had taught them.

This motivated me into gaining a CELTA which allowed me to teach in language schools around the world. I chose to teach in Taiwan and then on from there to Spain. I’ve been in Warsaw for over ten years now, and I have taught in language schools and international schools and I continually strive to improve myself as a teacher which is why I am currently studying an MA in Education and Management.

About me:
In my spare time, I like to watch classic and modern British sitcoms and I’m a big fan of satirical shows such as ‘Have I Got News for You’. I’ve also started to rediscover poetry and I spend time reading the works of many poets on the commute to and from work. I still like to flex my Creative Writing muscles on occasion and write plays, short stories and the odd humorous musing on life.

My teaching philosophy:
As a teacher, I believe that pupils gain deeper understanding through application. Even when observing my first students whom I taught many years ago, applying their knowledge to real world situations, I could see how they could grasp the intricacies of their learning through practical applications. That is why I value the fact that involving every child within the classroom gives them the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the work they do in lessons and how that can transfer itself into their personal life.

Marta Filipek

Head of administration of Wawelska Campus

Qualifications:
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.

Włochy Campus

Aldona Ponikowska

High school principal

Qualifications:
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.

Robert Hodgdon

Coordinator of IB DP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme)

Qualifications:
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.

Katarzyna Wiśniewska

Head of Lower Secondary. Cambridge Secondary & IGCSE Coordinator

Qualifications:
English Philology, University of Warsaw
Educational Management, University of Social Sciences in Łódź
Methodology of Teaching English, Warsaw High School of Applied Linguistics
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) awarded by the Teaching Regulation Agency, England

Teaching philosophy:
I believe that combining my experience as a school teacher, university teacher, interpreter and administrative leader has enabled me to develop a thorough understanding of the educational field, students’ and parents’ needs, as well as growing my own pedagogical, management and communication skills. I love seeking novel and innovative solutions in order to benefit and develop all school community members. I am thrilled to continue my lower secondary teaching and leadership position that began in 2015 at the International schools, and, as of academic year 2020/2021 - at the Thames British School.

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Mokotów Campus

Katarzyna Kurzac

Head of administration of Mokotów Campus

MA in Special Pedagogics and Resocialization. University of Maria Grzegorzewska in Warsaw
Postgraduate Studies in Early Years Education, Ateneum-University in Gdansk
Management of Education, Warsaw
Certified Mediator, Warsaw

I have 26 years of teaching experience in state and non-state schools in Poland and 5 years of school management in bilingual preschools and schools. I’m the author of two educational programs for Years 1-3 of Primary School.

In my spare time I love travelling, reading and bike-spinning. I also have two lovely hunting dogs, so I spent hours walking with them and exploring nature. I’m a big fan of cuisine from different parts of the world and, to be honest, cooking relaxes me.

Christian Rosser.

Academic Head - Mokotów Campus

Qualifications
Bachelor of Arts in Education with Qualified Teacher Status (Honours)

Professional background:
Teaching has always been my professional passion. I qualified as a teacher at Bath Spa University College in the UK, specialising in infant education. I continued teaching in the UK for 12 years, primarily teaching Year 1 and 2 children. Moving to Poland 9 years ago provided me with my first opportunity to teach infant children in an international setting, and a great opportunity it turned out to be. Entering my 22nd year of teaching I am excited to be part of the Thames British School community moving forward.

About me
Having grown up in Wales, rugby has always been a passion of mine. Although I no longer play, I still enjoying watching and supporting my home nation. When I am not in the classroom, I can often be found playing pool with my family and friends, relaxing on a cycle ride and enjoying some of the wonderful towns and cities around Poland.

My teaching philosophy
When I think about my role as a teacher, the one thing that I have always focused on is the relationships that I have built with my students. I enjoy talking with them on subjects and issues that are important to them, and learn how they are feeling about and experiencing the world and what we are learning in class. I want my own classroom to be less of a class and more of a community, where we are all sharing ideas and communicating and learning from one another at the same time.

Piaseczno Campus

David Blakemore

Academic Head - Piaseczno Campus

Qualifications:
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.

Natalia Magiera

Head of EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)

Qualifications:
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

Joanna Sękowska

Head of administration of Park Campus

Qualifications:
BA - Pre-school and Early School Education - University of Warsaw
MA - Teaching English to Young Learners

Professional Background:
I began my work-experience at an European preschool focused on an emotional development program. I worked there as a bilingual teacher in close cooperation with native english speaking teachers. Afterwards, I had an opportunity to work at a polish preschool with an extended english program as a bilingual teacher and english speaking dance teacher. Moreover, I conducted music, experiment and sensory integration classes in English for young learners. My most recent experience was at Thames British School, as I had the pleasure to be part of the Park Campus team as an English speaking co-teacher, Polish and sports teacher as well as being the substitution head teacher.

About me:
I am a huge fan of nature and animals as I was brought up surrounded by those. I am a happy owner of a dog and a cat, which makes my life certainly more interesting. In my free time, I love to indulge myself in yoga, baking and dancing.

My teaching philosophy:
When I think about my role as a teacher, I think about the most democratic approach, as all of my students have a voice, which has to be heard and respected. I love using project methods and other approaches, which stimulate critical thinking, individuality and a sense of agency in my students. Discovering knowledge rather than being taught is, for me, the most crucial part to make the learning process interesting and most importantly truly effective.

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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 2021-2022 are for children in Nursery (2.5 years old) through to IB (19 years old).