You’ve come from Moscow, your previous post was in Mongolia. You have extensive experience working in challenging environments, adapting to changes. Your focus will be to stabilize BISL development. What are your priorities for 2023/24 in terms of changes at the school?
My focus is two-fold; to improve the infrastructure by updating the existing playground and expanding our library and to improve the quality of teaching and learning so that we become the first-choice international school for parents. Our core business is education and therefore, our focus needs to be on offering the best of the British curriculum, whilst taking into account the 37 different nationalities we currently have enrolled at the school.
Why would you recommend BISL and what kind of education do you offer that could benefit Slovenia?
BISL is a British school offering a British education, considered by many to be the gold standard. We offer an education that is skills and knowledge based and designed to educate the whole child for the twenty-first century. For Slovenian parents the attraction of BISL is the emphasis on the acquisition of skills, and the various teaching methods we employ to ensure that what we offer is accessible to all students, no matter where they are starting from. For our 14-18 age group we offer IGCSE and A Level qualifications which are accepted by universities around the world. However, we are also skilled in educating students with additional needs and have recently introduced a new suite of qualifications for students who are unable to access academic qualifications.
What are the advantages of A Level qualifications when compared to other?
The A Level qualification has been taught in the English education system since 1951. Although they have undergone many revisions since then, A Levels are accepted as being one of the most academically rigorous pre-university qualifications in the world and as such are accepted across the globe. They offer students the opportunity to begin to narrow their field of study into specialisms at an earlier age than most other qualifications, which enables students to study subjects that are of interest to them. The A Level encourages independence of thought and study, skills which are vital for students about to embark on their journey into higher education.
At BISL, would you say that you focus exclusively on grades or is student growth also an important aspect?
The focus on BISL is on the personal growth of students and their academic progress, no matter what their starting point is. We educate the whole child by ensuring that not only do they study a range of subjects, including personal, social and health education, but engage in activities outside of the classroom that will expand their horizons and develop their characters. Teachers here differentiate their lessons so that all students make progress. In addition to what they learn in the classroom, students also have the opportunity to undertake MEPI (Duke of Edinburgh Award in Slovenia), raise money for, and work with, local charities, undertake residential trips and celebrate and learn about topics such as mental health, sustainability and inclusion.
Is there any specific requirements that the students enrolling to BISL need to have, as in grade average, English levels, etc?
In a nutshell, no! In addition to our SEN department, we also have an EAL (English as an additional language) department. The EAL team comprises of three specialist teachers who assess incoming students and provide a personalised package of English language support if needed. BISL also has a department dedicated to students with additional needs, and in 2023 we are introducing the UK based Laser Awards, which are qualifications designed to support students who are unable to access traditional IGCSE or A Levels, so we are fully inclusive.
How do you find Slovenia?
I love the greenery and walking opportunities. Most evenings during the summer you will find me pounding out kilometers on Rožnik Hill! As a walker (not a hiker, I am not a fan of heights), I like the fact that I can walk to any part of the city. I am also enjoying the culture and have already seen an opera and ballet here.