General management

Raymond Finch

Managing Director of Thames British School, Warsaw

Qualifications:
• BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations, University of Southampton
• Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Middlesex University
• National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), The National College for Teaching and Leadership
• Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Educational Leadership, University College London

In all, Raymond’s career in education spans twenty-three years, the majority of which was spent in British International or Bilingual Schools.

He began his teaching career in London in 1999 where he taught for four years before accepting his first overseas posting. Raymond’s first Senior Management position was Key Stage Two Leader at the British International School of Moscow in 2005 and, since 2010, he has led schools as a Headteacher and Executive Principal.

Raymond was the founding Headmaster of the British School of Tashkent (2010-2013), the Headteacher of the International School of Moscow, Rosinka (2013-2016) and, most recently, the Executive Principal at MTK International School in Baku (2018-2022); during his time in Azerbaijan, he successfully led the improvement and reorganisation of a Preschool, a Primary School and two Secondary Schools. His team in Baku created a unique bilingual curriculum for Primary and Secondary students, established MTK as Azerbaijan’s leading centre for Social-Emotional Learning and founded a high-quality Cambridge IGCSE and A-Level programme. In addition to his school leadership work, Raymond inspects schools on behalf of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

Raymond’s hobbies include playing and watching rugby, cricket, badminton and football; he is a devoted fan of Liverpool Football Club and all the Home Unions’ rugby teams. He enjoys studying history and politics, travelling, learning languages and listening to and playing music. Having visited the school and met the team in October 2021, he can’t wait to relocate to Warsaw and get started!

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.

Mokotów Campus

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.

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.

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.

Katarzyna Wiśniewska

Head of Lower Secondary, Cambridge 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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Piaseczno Campus

Monika Chwesiuk

Headteacher

BA, College for Training Teachers of English, Warsaw University;
MA, Institute of Applied Linguistics at the Glottodidactics and Translation Studies, Warsaw University - in progress;
CELTA, Bell Schools; QTS certificate.

I began my teaching experience in a Language School in Warsaw in 2008, while I was still working on my BA. I was teaching groups and individual students at different levels, young learners and teenagers, as well as adults. I have created my own course programmes for one-to-one classes and groups of students. I have also been responsible for creating my own teaching materials. Next, I became the methodologist of the school and was responsible for resources and course programmes, as well as supervising other teachers’ work.

I have taught English during summer school in England: Bath, Oxford and London.

In class I like working using methods such as TPR and communication method - Communicative Language Teaching, Community Language Learning, Cognitive Code Approach, Comprehension Approach, Content-Based and Cooperative Learning. These methods work well with students of all needs: auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners as well as a variety of multiple intelligences.

David Blakemore

Academic Head of Preschool and Primary School

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.

Park Szczęśliwicki Campus

Agnieszka Makulska

Headteacher

Qualifications:
BA-Hons English Language & Literature with QTS - University of Central England in Birmingham, United Kingdom, with one year ERASMUS programme at Leopold Franzens Universitat, Innsbruck, Austria
Post Graduate Certificate in Education - Primary (PGCE with QTS) – University Of East London, United Kingdom

Professional background:
In 2005 I started my teaching career at Benthal Primary School, London. Leaving behind a successful career in the city, I had worked both in advertising, working freelance producing commercials, and for dot com start-ups as a customer service manager/marketing assistant. I was looking for something more fulfilling and I certainly found it. In fact, I found something altogether more challenging that has kept me happy and busy right up to the present day. I have grown immensely over that period and am happy to say that the message I convey to children “you never stop learning” is just as true for us as adults as it is for children. I believe it’s what keeps me on my toes and always looking out for ways to improve.

About me:
I really enjoy cooking (and eating) and have also worked as a food stylist. Did you know that many of the foods you see in magazines are not edible? For instance, most ice creams are actually mashed potatoes mixed with food coloring! I also have a keen interest in Politics and have done a speech for the Teachers’ Union in front of over 3000 people. Quite terrifying but a great experience and very uplifting.

My teaching philosophy:
I have a high standard and expectation of the learning environment in my own classroom, ensuring it is first and foremost for the children and is an example of good cross-curricular practice.
I am committed to working towards child-centered creative environments that produce improved results and happy children that want to discover the world for themselves and by themselves, with a little support from us, staff, and parents, when we work together we get the best results.

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 2022-2023 are for children in Nursery (2.5 years old) through to Cambridge A/AS Levels and IB DP (19 years old).