Following the announcement by the Slovenian Government that all schools will close from Monday, 16th March, the British International School of Ljubljana has taken the decision to close the school premises from Monday 16th March 2020 and move to online learning. Our admissions team remains available to discuss enrolment so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The British International School of Ljubljana offers a traditional British education in the beautiful Slovenian capital, with a personalised approach to learning which enables each child to achieve beyond their perceived potential. Our ethos is to instil a passion for learning amongst our young learners within this uniquely international setting.
Following the English National Curriculum, our school currently welcomes students aged 2 to 18 from over 40 different countries. As such, our school has one of the most varied international student bodies in Slovenia, which, as well as providing a stimulating and cosmopolitan environment, also means that English is truly the common language, spoken throughout the school by all students and staff alike.
All subjects, except foreign languages, are taught in English by a team of dedicated and enthusiastic professionals, most of whom are native English speakers and bring with them a wealth of experience both from the UK and internationally.
Our older students in Secondary School will sit IGCSE and A-Level examinations, which are considered gold standard qualifications as far as university admittance is concerned.
BISL is an accredited member of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) – the premier global association for international British schools overseas; is a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS) – a membership community that works together to shape international education through professional services to schools; and is also a Cambridge International School – following Cambridge programmes and qualifications that set the global standard for international education.
I hope that, as you visit our website, you will get a flavour of the British International School of Ljubljana: who we are, what we’re doing, and where we’re going. Like many things within our school, I hope this site will be a blend of consistency and tradition, yet ever changing and evolving, as events, curriculum and the school environment combine to better meet the needs of our young people.Paul Walton, Principal
The British International School of Ljubljana provides a unique educational experience - combining tradition and innovation, ever changing to better meet the needs of our young people.
Founded in 2008, BISL offers an unparalleled, traditional British education in Slovenia. We foster a thirst for learning with a personalised approach to education. As a community of teachers, students and parents, we are rightfully proud of our growing school.
Our strong, British-based curriculum from Early Years through to Sixth Form enables our students to achieve outstanding examination results, consistently above the world average. Our incredible young learners come from an array of nationalities and backgrounds, making our school a vibrant international community and an environment of respect and understanding. We offer a broad range of enrichment opportunities for our students equipping them with much needed practical life skills which today’s employers are looking for. Our team of experienced staff are dedicated to their students and passionate about their subjects. And our parents, who truly care about our school, are always keen to help and support us in many ways.
As part of the Orbital Education Group, we welcome children of all abilities, backgrounds and cultures. Whilst learning is, and always will be, our main focus, our aim is to ensure that each and every student has a balanced, happy and fulfilling learning experience throughout their time with us. We want them to take every opportunity, accept every challenge, build firm and lasting friendships and to be the creators of many wonderful, unforgettable and positive experiences during their time here. Most of all, we want them to be engaged and inspired to believe in themselves, so that they can achieve to the very best of their abilities, in whatever they do.
I’m confident that our website will give you a flavour of who we are as a school, but I encourage you to contact us to see for yourself the kind of friendly, caring and vibrant community that we have here at the British International School of Ljubljana. I look forward to welcoming you to our school.Paul Walton, Principal
Our Unique Approach to Education
We aim to inspire lifelong learners and caring global citizens, in a community where everyone feels encouraged, supported and challenged.
We provide a high quality British style international education in English, balancing tradition and innovation. Our passion is creating a positive, safe and nurturing learning environment in which everyone is valued as individuals, empowering them to be versatile, motivated and caring people. We will endeavour to create opportunities to develop creativity, collaboration and critical thinking skills through an inclusive and personalised experience.
RESPECT - We learn at school by showing respect to everyone in the community.
EMPATHY - We develop empathy for those around us.
EXCELLENCE - We strive for excellence in everything we do.
CHALLENGE - We embrace a challenge as it enriches our learning.
We aim to employ the highest quality, fully-trained professionals who are selected for their experience, excellence and dedication.
Paul graduated as an Information Communication and Technology teacher in the UK and worked for over 10 years at 2 different schools. He then moved overseas and has enjoyed working in leadership positions at four different international schools in Hungary, Malaysia (twice) and Texas.
He believes that we should encourage students to follow their passions, ambitions and inspire them to reach beyond what they feel is possible. All students should enjoy a great learning experience that is progressive, exciting and personalised. Paul has a MA in Leadership and Management and the UK’s NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Head teachers). He has worked for two different exam boards, developed a pilot IGCSE course and led a group of schools in ‘Assessment for Learning’ in the UK.
His track record of school improvement, student-led learning and leading excellent academic outcomes is something that he is extremely proud of. Paul has led a UK school out of over 600 others to be awarded the SSAT (The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust) ‘Learning Experience Award’ in 2005, received awards from BECTA (The British Educational Communications Technology Agency) and was nominated for ‘Teacher of the Year’ in 2008 from the National Teaching Awards Trust.
He is a qualified outdoor leader (Snowsport England), has led Skiing/Snowboarding trips, International Award trips and a European Code Camp promoting computational thinking across 7 schools. Paul is excited to learn about Slovenian culture, getting involved in a wide range of sports and exploring this wonderful country.
Primary PE Teacher
Alex is originally from Lincolnshire in England. He has previous experience working in a primary school recently rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted within the PE department. Alongside working, he is also completing an Open University BSc (Hons) degree in Sport, Fitness and Coaching.
Alex is very passionate about sports, especially Football (Soccer), and has played for a few of his local teams whilst growing up before going into football management at youth level as he got older.
Andrej studied electro-technics at high school and at university in Ljubljana. After working at the Swedish Embassy and at the Mons Hotel, where he was responsible for much of the Conference facility, Andrej joined BISL as Facilities and Enterprises Manager in 2010 and played a major role in establishing the after-hours programmes and on-site school lunches. Having already been assisting with accounts, Andrej changed role to Finance Assistant after back surgery in 2014.
Outside of school, Andrej is passionate about dogs, (he is an active member of Kinološko društvo Barje) and spending time with his family and his two Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Head of Music
Andrew has gained an MA in Digital Music Technology from the University of Keele as well as a PGCE from the University of South Wales, a BA in Music from the University of Southampton and a Master Certificate in Orchestration for Film and Television with Berklee College of Music.
He started teaching at Music and Music in Performing Arts at Wilberforce Sixth Form College in Hull, England. His love of travel soon took him abroad where he taught Music in Dubai, Madrid, Malaysia and Tanzania. Upon his return home, Andrew taught BTEC National Diploma in Music Performance at Reigate College, one of the top three performing Sixth Form colleges in England and Wales.
Andrew believes there are many great benefits of music in education but most importantly for him is how it opens up new sound worlds for students to explore. A good music education is important for students to appreciate, not only their own musical history and culture but also that of other countries from around the world. He believes that studying music and learning to sing or play a musical instrument improves a student's learning ability in other subjects. One of Andrew's great passions is to write music and as a freelance composer, he has been producing music for an Italian based music library.
Head of PE
Anže is a former professional ski jumper. As well as competing at the top levels, he has worked as a coach and is a trained masseur. He has finished Faculty of Sports of Ljubljana with a degree in Nordic skiing.
Since joining BISL to assist with Primary play breaks in January 2013, Anže has taken responsibility for the school’s lunch arrangements, administration, all site operations, including Health & Safety and from this year he has taken on a role of PE Teacher.
Anže actively participates in a number of sports and outdoor activities, and operates a sports massage clinic in the evenings.
Since graduating in Economics from the University of Ljubljana in 2012, Borut has continued to study and is currently completing his Masters degree.
Borut joined BISL in 2012 as Finance Assistant, but his passion for technology and other IT related areas enabled him to change roles and is now the school’s IT Manager.
A keen sportsman, Borut particularly enjoys playing football and loves volleyball, basketball and swimming.
Secondary English & EAL Teacher
Brad has been living in Slovenia for the past 18 years where he has spent a lot of time running his own English language school, writing music and lyrics for his own band or a number of local pop stars, representing Slovenia in the national cricket team as well as all the other things that make life in Slovenia so fascinating.
Year 4B Class Teacher / Primary Mathematics Coordinator
After teaching English in language schools in Indonesia, England and Slovenia, Chris went back to Australia to obtain his BEd(Hons) in Primary Education, specialising in Mathematics, TESOL and PE.
In 2008, he returned to Slovenia, teaching in Secondary schools across the country as part of the European Class Project and Enriched Foreign Language Learning Project, in which he also held the position of English Co-ordinator at the National Institute of Education before joining BISL in 2011. He is also an IELTS examiner for the British Council.
He is married to a Slovene and has 2 children. In his (limited) free time he enjoys playing a wide range of sports, including cricket, windsurfing, tennis, diving and snowboarding. A keen traveller, Chris has explored Asia, the Middle East and Europe and his favourite pastime is indulging in the culinary delights of the world and the replicating them in his own kitchen.
Biology & Science Teacher
Experienced in teaching Science, Claudia completed her degree in Science and Sports, and is completing her Masters in Education this summer. Aside from her teaching experience, currently working in a school rated “Good” by Ofsted, Claudia has experience in teaching Physical Education and has also spent two summers in Virginia, USA working at a Girl Scout camp as a counsellor and lifeguard.
Her passions are the outdoors and trying new foods from around the world.
Daragh is originally from Cork, Ireland and qualified from Dublin University with a degree in education, before beginning work as a primary school teacher in a school in North County Dublin. Daragh has since worked in international schools in Berlin and Cairo, gaining experience with both the English National Curriculum and the International Primary Programme (International Primary Programme (IBPYP).
Daragh is passionate about Yoga and meditation and has been on various retreats around the world. Daragh also has a keen interest in music and sports, having played hurling(a native sport of Ireland) for many years growing up.
Emina is driven by exploring new places and opportunities. A week after graduating in Special and Rehabilitation Pedagogy from the University of Ljubljana, for instance, she travelled to Gambia to work with the youngest students and assist with curricular planning in a school there.
Following a period working within the Slovene school system, Emina joined the SEN team at BISL in 2012 and, following a year of maternity leave, she has come back to us this year.
As well as exploring new places and situations, Emina enjoys spending time with her new daughter, her family and friends; hiking and rollerblading; and she loves walking through the city centre in the early morning, as the first rays of the sun break through the darkness.
Joining us from Tollbar Academy and Sixth Form College, rated by Ofsted as an “Outstanding School” for the past 8 years, Fushia graduated from the University of Lincoln with a First-Class degree in Fine Art and went on to complete a Post-Graduate teaching qualification.
Before teaching in the North East of England, she led a photography programme in New York and taught English in France. These experiences encouraged her to move overseas to Slovenia, where she looks forward to interacting with and learning from different cultures, whilst enjoying her other passions for hiking and running.
Head of Humanities
Joining us from the Tenby group of international schools in Malaysia, Gary has a BSc in Archaeology, an MA in Palaeolithic Archaeology and a PGCE in Geography. His teaching philosophy has been hugely influenced by his own experiences as a student at an international school in Zürich, being exposed to an internationally-minded and friendly learning environment where positive student-teacher relationships were highly regarded. Gary likes to keep up to date on current affairs and world news as these can often be directly incorporated into lessons.
Outside of teaching and learning, he loves to travel and in particular enjoys walking or hiking, especially in Scotland, his home country.
Harry qualified as a teacher with a PGCE in Secondary Geography from the University of Warwick, and has experience working in both good and outstanding schools in the UK. Before completing his PGCE and gaining QTS, Harry taught EAL for 3 and a half years in Vietnam too. Outside of work, Harry likes to get outdoors as much as possible - hiking, climbing and skiing whenever he has the chance. He likes to live an active life and loves sports, especially football and cricket.
Already during the studies, Jan knew he wanted to teach Slovene language. He has a BA degree of Slovene language and literacy at the University of Primorska. Therefore, he started to work with many schools in Koper and in Ljubljana. After many years of experience in August 2014 he joined BISL community for a school year. In 2018 he re-joined the MFL department as a teacher of Slovene language. His hobby is being a tour guide for English, Italian groups.
Jan loves trekking, reading, learning languages, going to theatres and spending time with his family.
Head of Sixth Form / Head of Mathematics / Examinations Officer / Mathematics & Psychology Teacher
Head of Sixth Form / Head of Mathematics / Examinations Officer / Mathematics & Psychology Teacher
Jason gained his BSc in Psychology from Kingston University, in London, before undertaking a PGCE in Mathematics at Brunel. Whilst working in England as a Mathematics and Psychology teacher, he added a TEFL qualification to his repertoire and decided to explore more parts of Europe, teaching in Toulouse, Vienna and Barcelona.
Jason joined BISL in August 2010 as a part-time teacher of Psychology and ESL and soon became a full-time member of staff, also teaching Maths. He has been the Mathematics Co-ordinator since 2012, whilst continuing to teach Psychology and took on the role of Examinations Officer in 2015.
Jason divides his free time between long distance running and running after his two beautiful twin daughters.
Head of English
John completed his degree in English Literature at Lancaster University, specialising in Shakespeare, American Literature, and British Romanticism, followed by a PGCE qualifying as a Secondary English teacher at Leeds Trinity University. He has taught in “Good” schools in the UK and, for the past three years, in a BSO accredited school in Bucharest, Romania, preparing students for Cambridge IGCSEs and A Levels.
John’s passion for literature extends beyond the classroom: in his free time, he enjoys writing and has won several prizes for his poetry and short fiction. He is also a keen guitar player and enjoys performing live music.
Primary Assistant Teacher
Katarina has completed her Masters degree in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana and is now working towards a teaching qualification, specializing in the early years.
Katarina first joined the BISL team in 2014, as the afternoon receptionist and later assisting in Student Services and organising school trips. She has returned in 2016 to cover Reception in the afternoons and evenings.
Outside of school, Katarina is a passionate scout leader and organises training courses for young leaders on behalf of the National Scout Organization of Slovenia. She is also an advocate of Forest Kindergartens and is organising workshops to promote the idea in Slovenia. She also enjoys travelling, sports and jazz dance.
Head of Primary / Whole-school SEN Coordinator / Designated Safeguarding Lead
Katarina was born in Slovenia, but grew up in the UK. She gained a BSc in Psychology and Social Anthropology from Brunel University and trained as a TEFL teacher before joining the International School of London. She later moved to Spain, as School Psychologist and SEN Coordinator at the International College of Marbella and other schools in the area.
After returning to Slovenia, Katarina joined BISL in its opening year as a Music and Art Teacher, working with both Primary and Secondary students, and as SEN Coordinator and Administrator. In the years since, she has also been a Primary Class Teacher, has taken on the role of Child Protection Officer and has been the Head of Primary since 2014.
With her musical background and her experience in performing arts and training young people, Katarina has been a keen member of the BIMS, as both a teacher and student, and is currently working hard to master the saxophone.
Primary Art Coordinator / Primary Assistant Teacher
After gaining a BA(Hons) at Wrexham, Katherine worked in a Pre-School in the UK, initially leading arts and crafts activities. During this time, she also trained as a TEFL teacher.
Leaving the UK, Katherine traveled and worked in Europe before arriving in Slovenia in 2012, where she became actively involved in a number of social-care arts projects with disabled adults and children charities around Ljubljana, as well as teaching in Language schools. She spent a year working in a Slovenian Primary school, offering cross-curricular lessons with English, before being joining BISL as an Assistant Teacher in 2014.
Katherine enjoys cycling, road trips abroad, cooking, creating artwork and gardening.
Kathleen Domjan Poulet
After being a primary teacher in Educational Priority Zones in France for several years; Kathleen joined BISL in August 2018. She is excited to promote the french culture and to teach the beautiful language that is French.
Kathleen has an International Relations degree and a Primary Teacher diploma from the Pedagogy and Education University of Lyon, France, where she wrote her thesis about teacher's practice in bilingual school. She believes that the school purpose in to enable students to build strong fondations (academically, socially and emotionally ) in order for them to reach their own potential.
Kathleen is married and enjoys travelling, reading, dancing and painting. In her spare time she likes spending time with people she loves.
Early Years Teacher
Katie was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. She graduated from University College Dublin in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Geography and a Master’s Degree in Social Science. She also holds a TEFL diploma. Over the past 6 years she has taught in Ireland, Tanzania, Honduras and Slovenia. Following her graduation, she spent a year in Slovenia as a teaching assistant. She fell in love in and with the country and just had to come back. Before joining BISL in 2019, she taught Year 1 - 4 in IES Ljubljana International School for 3 years.
Katie believes in student-centred, student-initiated and interactive learning. She thinks that every child should have the opportunity to learn and grow in their own way and strives to create that environment everywhere she goes.
Katie loves travelling and travels as much as she can. She is a sports fan and spends a lot of her free time playing and watching sport. She plays football and lacrosse and enjoys walking, swimming and spending time outdoors.
Finance and HR Officer
Katja gained her Bachelors Degree from the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana, where she majored in International Relations.
She is a licensed tax adviser, but after working for a number of years in an international tax advisory company and at the Egyptian embassy in Ljubljana, she joined the Accounts team at BISL 2014.
Katja spends her free time with her family.
Ken spent his student years in Edinburgh and fell in love with the city. During his PGCE year he was selected out of the cohort of 18 as Musical Director for the College - Moray House, Edinburgh University - pantomime.
This led to his involvement in Music Theatre at school and professional level for over three decades.
He was a visiting examiner for the Scottish Qualifications Authority for many years which he found interesting as he visited dozens of schools all over the country. He has been Head of Music, Head of Whole School Music and Head of Visual and Performing Arts including Drama and is now thoroughly enjoying his role as Primary Specialist.
His main hobbies are cycling, swimming, reading and composing and watching football. He cycled to work in Scotland, Egypt, China and Thailand.
He is already impressed with the enthusiasm and respectful behaviour of BISL students and the warm Slovenian welcome from everyone.
Joining us from St. Columb’s College, a school which received the “Best Whole School Award” in Northern Ireland, Kieran completed his BA degree in English and History at Maynooth University, followed by a Master’s degree in History and International Relations at UCD and a PGCE in English at Ulster University. In addition, he is also a CELTA qualified EAL teacher.
His main hobbies include sports (especially football), learning foreign languages and watching films.
Year 2 Class Teacher / Primary Humanities (Topics) Coordinator
Laura studied Theology and Education in London at St Marys University and completed her PGCE in Birmingham where she has been able to work in a range of schools, most recently in a Catholic Primary school rated “Good” by Ofsted, working in Key Stage 1.
Outside of school, Laura enjoys fitness, cooking and spending time outdoors as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and so she’s very excited and looking forward to starting her journey in Slovenia.
Like many of our students at BISL, Louisa also has an international background, having lived in Austria, Scotland, Romania, Spain and England. With broad subject exposure across humanities, and a specialisation in History, having most recently worked in a school rated “Good with Outstanding” by Ofsted in the UK, Louisa studied BA History at Royal Holloway, University of London, and completed her Secondary PGCE in History at the University of Cambridge.
When Louisa is not in a library, she loves to travel, hike, ski, dive and plays the piano.
Maja Gal - Varga
Head of Marketing and Admissions
Maja is an experienced Marketing Manager who completed her studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, specialising in Marketing and Marketing Communications. After a good decade in multinational companies in the fields of Marketing and Sales and after setting up a marketing agency, she joined our team as Head of Marketing and Admissions.
She is married and has three children and loves to spend her free time with her family. She enjoys reading books, walks in nature with friends and spending time with her family.
Maja Majzelj Kralj
Primary EAL and Slovene Teacher
Maja has worked in various language schools around Ljubljana, principally teaching very young learners and primary students. She has also worked extensively on a number of translation projects.
After finishing her CELTA teaching qualification and spending a year teaching at Mint International House Maja initially joined BISL in 2010 as a part-time EAL teacher. Since then she has taken on a full-time role, also teaching Slovene as a Second Language.
Maja enjoys travelling (especially to Spain), reading, and learning languages. She spends her free time with her daughter and husband.
Early Years Coordinator / Early Years Teacher
Maja graduated from the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana as a Pre-School Teacher and worked in Slovenian Kindergartens until her passion for everything British took her to the UK, where she taught in London for 3 years. She returned to Slovenia in 2008, working in Kindergartens here whilst completing her postgraduate studies in Teaching English to Young Learners.
Maja completed a work experience placement for these studies at BISL, and then joined us full-time in 2014.
A mother of three children, Maja loves reading and spending time with her family on trips in their motor home. She is passionate about children’s books, especially picture books, and her aim is to continue her professional development through a Masters degree in Children’s Literature.
Primary Assistant Teacher
Marion arrived in Slovenia from the UK in 2007, after her two sons ‘flew the nest’. She started as a volunteer in the BISL Pre-School and now fulfills a very valuable role within the Primary team as Classroom Assistant, supporting the children’s learning across the whole section.
Through the school, she has gained NVQ Level 3 qualifications in Children's Care, Learning and Development, and a Diploma (with Distinction) in Dyslexia.
Marion’s hobbies and interests include walking, cycling, tennis, wild flowers and everything that Slovenia offers!
Mateja has a Bachelors Degree from the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana, majored in Management and Organisation.
After working at a society for elderly self-help groups where she co-led one of the groups and helped organising events, she started working at BISL in March 2019 as a Business Secretary, where she can combine her love of English language and working with people from different cultures.
She likes to travel and experience new things and is always on a hunt for the next exciting book to read. She adores her Yorkshire terrier called Diggy and spends her free time with family and friends.
Joining us from a school recently rated as “Outstanding” by Ofsted, Megan completed her degree with first class honours at the University of Bedfordshire, in BA (Hons) Sport and Physical Education, followed by a PGCE in Secondary Physical Education.
In her spare time, Megan enjoys spending quality time with family and attending weekly fitness classes.
Head of Science
Previously Michael’s original profession was a career as an Aeronautical Design Engineer. He worked on Military and civil design projects in the UK and Europe. Tempted into teaching, Michael graduated with Physics and Science Bed from Liverpool John Moore’s University (JMUL) in 1997 and began teaching in Liverpool. He subsequently became responsible for managing and developing teacher training programmes with JMUL and Liverpool University.
Over the following 20 years Michael has worked in several schools in the UK overseas territories. He has managed several departments in different subjects as well as whole school leadership roles. He is passionate about teaching and learning and has delivered papers at international conferences on holistic learning and cognitive science. He has worked with various Universities in the UK to develop learning strategies and closely with Sheffield Hallam Mathematical department on proposals for educational development in Africa. Michael has worked as a consultant in public, private and corporate sectors. He has extensive experience in mentoring, training, and coaching at both professional level and with students. He has coached Rugby and Football teams to National Competitive Level.
Nermina Baltić Papež
Primary EAL Teacher
Nermina is a graduate of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, with a degree in teaching English language and literature, focusing on teaching grammar to different age groups to best fit the learner's needs. Her work with children has been recognised by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which awarded her a certificate of merit for her dedication and services to the Southeast Europe Youth Leadership Institute.
Nermina joined BISL in 2013 as an EAL teacher and fell in love with the school, the community and the culture.
Nermina is married and considers spending time with her family as the source of her happiness. She also loves her orchids, dancing, travelling and falling in love with life itself. This year, she set herself a new challenge … and finished her first ever marathon.
Year 6B Class Teacher / Primary ICT Coordinator
Nino received his Bachelor of Elementary Education from the University of Maribor. He also holds a Certificate of Advanced English from the University of Cambridge and is a certified swimming instructor.
Nino first came to BISL to complete a voluntary teaching practice, and then focused his thesis onto the integration of a foreign language into the IPC. He subsequently joined the school as a full-time teacher in 2009 and is now the Topics Coordinator for the Primary school - which ensures that his interest in developing the minds of young people is continued.
He enjoys married life in Višnja Gora and renovating his home. In any spare time he has, he likes to travel, read and participate in various sporting events with friends.
Year 1 Class Teacher / Primary Science Coordinator
Joining us from Trinity St. Peter’s Primary School and Nursery, rated as “Outstanding” in all areas in its most recent inspection, Oliver holds a PGCE in Primary Education, specialising in EAL. He has really enjoyed developing his own teaching philosophy; developing the mind, body and spirit, through creative and expressive mediums that empower children. He has a passion for outdoor adventure, including: hiking, camping, fitness and snorkelling.
For the past four years, Oliver has spent his summers living and working on the Greek island of Paros, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures, something he is eager to continue in the future.
Secondary Maths Teacher
Pete was was born in London and grew up there. First he got a degree BA Hons in Economics & History from Keele University. Then BSc at Maths Open University, followed by MA in Education Open University.
This is his tenth year working internationally (previously Jordan, China twice & Thailand). He spent 25 years teaching in London before going overseas. Most of this time he was Head of department and a Senior Teacher at two Schools. When he is not not working, he enjoys travelling, the outdoors, reading, chess & live music.
Petra Škofic Damjan
After-school Activities Coordinator / Dance Teacher
Petra has been a dancer since she was a young girl, training and competing in Ballroom and Latin-American in particular. Upon graduating in Pedagogy from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana, she taught at the Urška dance school before running independent dance classes around Slovenia. She trains other dance teachers through Dance Association Slovenia and is a leading teacher, and performer, of wheelchair dancing.
Since starting at BISL in 2009 as a part-time and after-school dance teacher, Petra now works full-time, teaching dance throughout Primary and to clubs, co-ordinating the lesson 9 activities and the BISL Creators after-hours programmes, and supporting the general administration of the school at the Reception desk.
In the winter, Petra is a keen skier, but her real goal is to have her own dance school and to show everyone that dancing can be easy, fun and healthy.
Philip graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a 1st in Applied Accountancy. He also completed the examination for ACCA, which is one of the UK Chartered Accountancy bodies. He began teaching full time in 1990 and has taught at universities, colleges and schools in Europe and Asia.
Chemistry & Science Teacher
Polona moved to the UK from Slovenia to complete her BSc from the University of Warwick in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry as well as undertake some research on biodegradable plastics. Having completed her PGCE at Warwick, she has taught in two “Good” secondary schools in the UK.
In her spare time, Polona likes to cook, hike and play handball.
Year 5 Class Teacher / Primary Internationalism Coordinator
Sam obtained a degree in Law prior to completing his PGCE at Liverpool Hope University. An energetic and inspiring teacher, this won’t be his first overseas teaching post, having previously worked in Vietnam before working in a school rated “Good” by Ofsted in Liverpool. Sam also has experience in working with SEN students, supporting their progress in mathematics in particular and has led extra-curricular activities in mindfulness as well as coaching football.
He is an avid sportsman and, away from playing football, has completed two half marathons and enjoys travelling around the world.
Sarah Fairchild Gojković
SEN Assistant Teacher
Sarah studied Sports Management at George Mason University while also competing as a multi-sport NCAA Division 1 athlete. She was a part of three USA Olympic Development Programmes including US Track and Field, US Rowing, and US Speed Skating.
Recently, she spent four years helping to build and grow DC International School, assisting in the creation and monitoring of students IEP’s. Sarah has experience teaching students diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, executive functioning challenges, autism, and EAL. She also holds an International Neuro-Linguistic Programming Certification.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and is also a signed writer, having set herself the goal of having her first children’s book completed by the end of the year.
Sergey graduated from The Open University with a Masters degree in Mathematics and is currently working towards his Masters in Education. Before moving to Slovenia to join BISL, he taught for over ten years in private schools in England and China. Sergey believes that creating a learning community considering all aspects of students’ learning is the way of improving students' outcomes in both academic and social areas.
In his spare time, Sergey enjoys gardening, reading history and spending time with his family.
International Young People's Award Coordinator / Primary Assistant Teacher
Simon became part of the team in July 2012. His previous career roles have included team leadership, and caring for young people with behavioural problems. He is also the proud father of two rather grown-up ‘children’, and one child that is of nursery age. Simon enjoys being active and spending time in the great outdoors, but admits that his love of reading, and enthusiasm for cooking, have not been beneficial to his current level of fitness!
Head of Secondary / Director of Assessment / Mathematics Teacher
Stephanie is Greek/Australian. She graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelors degree in Education and is currently working towards her Masters. Before moving to Slovenia to join BISL, she taught for several years in one of Australia's top private schools.
Stephanie's real passion is working with middle school students, building in them a strong foundation and high standards and expectations from which their academic, social and emotional wellbeing can flourish. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys Latin dancing and loves going on long walks to explore the countryside with her Slovene partner and their dog.
Suzana graduated from the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana and worked in the private sector in marketing and as a translator. She also taught in Primary schools and conducted workshops for teenagers before joining BISL as a Slovene teacher in 2013.
Suzana is a passionate volunteer and currently gives her time as a friend of the elderly in a nursing home.
Špela Peršl Mlakar
Špela gained her Economics degree in Ljubljana, majoring in accounting and marketing. She is currently working towards a further degree in the management of life-long learning.
Whilst working in the finance department of a furniture factory in Idrija, Špela set up her own accountancy services company and through this started working with BISL in 2012. She took on the full-time role as Finance & HR Manager in 2014.
Špela is married, and has a daughter and a beautiful golden retriever called Gal.
MFL Coordinator / Slovene Teacher
Tanja graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Univesity of Ljubljana in Slovenian language and literature and is a specialist in Slovene as a Second or Foreign Language. During her studies, she worked as an assistant at the Centre for Slovene as a Second or Foreign Language at the University of Ljubljana and continues to work with them though their many Youth Summer Schools and Language courses at the faculties in Ljubljana and Koper.
Tanja has also worked with international families living in Slovenia, assisting them with their language and integration in Slovenia, and with pre-school children.
Tanja joined the BISL team in January 2012.
In her free time Tanja enjoys hiking, reading, concerts and spending time with the people she loves.
Year 6A Class Teacher / C4C & Global Citizenship Coordinator
After completing her BSc in Adelaide and post-graduate studies at Monash University, Tanya worked in the field of sleep science until choosing to move into teaching, gaining a BEd at Deakin University, with qualifications as both a Primary teacher and as a Secondary Biology teacher.
As well as in schools, Tanya has worked in orphanages in India, with illiterate adults in Australia, and with severely disabled children. These experiences created the spark for setting up the Caring for the Community programme at BISL. C4C empowers students to make a positive difference to our own school as well as the local and wider community. Additionally, Tanya has a passion for reading and writing, which comes across clearly in the creative activities she organises as Primary Literacy Coordinator at BISL.
Tanya is married, and has three children, one dog, two cats, two turtles and a lizard to keep her busy while traveling and writing her novels.
Admissions and Student Services Manager
Tina studied English Language and Literature and Czech Language and Literature at the University of Ljubljana and started at BISL in September as a part-time Receptionist to help support her studies.
As soon as she took on a full-time role, she became the ‘go-to’ person for may aspects of school life and has been managing Admissions and Student Services since 2014. As part of this, Tina arranges the logistics for school trips, organises class photos and the year book and keeps the community up-to-date through social networks.
In her free time, Tina enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors.
Prior to joining the BISL team in 2018, Tobija worked in an IT firm in Slovenia as a Key Account Manager. After graduating from Ljubljana's Faculty of Arts with degrees in English Language and Literature and Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, he spent more than two years teaching at the Montessori Elementary School in Ljubljana.
Tobija is also an experienced translator and a writing enthusiast. Among his many translation projects are the books from prominent authors such as Gary Chapman and the education and creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson.
Tobija is a combination of a bookworm and a people's person. He loves spending time alone, reading, writing or running, but couldn’t imagine a life without his wife and three children or an occasional get together with colleagues and friends.
Primary EY Assistant
Urška graduated from the Faculty of Theology and is finishing her PhD at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Ethics, at the Faculty of Theology, University of Ljubljana. She was also an ASEF Fellow and did her research at the University of Sheffield, UK. Urška earned her IELTS Certificate and Montessori Module 1 and 2. She also completed courses in Gestaltpedagogics.
Urška has worked as an educator through a variety of animator courses. Some of her roles included project management, organising games, running workshops and facilitating sports for children. As a mother of three children, Urša loves to spend time outside, playing sports, hiking and playing instruments such as the Cajon and the ukulele. She is passionate about ski-jumping and was among the first female ski-jumpers in Slovenia.
Viktorija Osolnik Kunc
Secondary German Teacher
Viktorija has studied in Ljubljana, Graz, Leipzig and London. She has an MA in German Linguistics and a BA in German translation and English language and literature. She has been teaching German translation and German LSP at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana since 1999. She is a published author in the fields of legal translation, and has recently started a PhD program in Law at the University of Maribor.
Viktorija is a specialist in court interpreting and legal translation and is an advisor to the Slovene Ministry of Justice. In 2012 she founded the Association of Sworn Court Interpreters and Legal Translators of Slovenia SCIT.
With her more than twenty years of experience as a teacher on different levels of education, Viktorija was an ideal choice for BISL to approach to join us in 2014 as Secondary German teacher for German IGCSEs and A-levels.
Viktorija has two grown-up children and a dog. She spends her free time with her partner, on their motorcycle or lecturing at international conferences worldwide.
The British International School of Ljubljana belongs to the Orbital Education Group.
Who we are:
Founded by Kevin McNeany in 2005, Orbital Education brings the best of British education to the world. We own and operate a fast-growing group of British style international schools in Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, Russia, Qatar, China, and Ecuador with further expansion planned in the GCC. Based in our UK head office in Cheshire, our highly qualified and experienced team guide and develop our schools with their expertise, supporting across a wide range of operational functions.
What we do:
We want students in our schools to be happy, safe, and challenged in their learning. Our schools are non-selective, and our UK-qualified teachers are dedicated to working with families to support and nurture each student to achieve their potential. This may be through outstanding academic success, or by development of a student’s unique talents through a range of co-curricular activities.
Our British schools cater for students between the ages of 2 and 18 years and specialise in delivering the English National Curriculum, specifically enhanced for our diverse student population and the unique context of each school’s location.
Our schools are also resourced to provide language support for those who are learning in English for the first time and deliver innovative digital technology solutions to promote personalised and collaborative learning.
We ensure that the highest standards are delivered with the support of our Orbital experts and through accreditation bodies such as the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and the Council of International Schools (CIS)
In 2019 Orbital Education was honoured to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade. “Our company believes that quality, transparency and accountability lead to success for our students, their families and the company,” chairman and founder Kevin McNeany said.
Orbital Education – Bringing the best of British education to the world