Ahead School History

Ahead School has been working with children and adults around the world since 2015

My family moved to England in 2015. And our new, very interesting and adventurous life began. One way or another, my whole life is connected with children, the first time I became a mother back in 1997, and then again, and again and again!

I love to teach and learn and I like to organise things that one remembers with warmth and joy – children’s camps, workshops, birthday celebrations, an unexpected surprise for friends and strangers. For many years I have been organizing various children’s camps and running art and maths workshops for them. Previously, these were creative camps in Belarus and Ukraine, now it is the AML (Austrian sports and mathematical camp) in the Austrian mountains.
I like to do maths with big kids and little ones. I always had students, but the idea of creating an online school came to my mind in 2015, when my children started studying on Skype, and I started teaching my first students online. Gradually, the school concept has developed, and now caters for different aspects of education – for example, the specific educational needs of bilingual children.

 

Svetlana Vodolazskaya, Head Teacher 

More details about the specifics of the school

Our school does not have an address, it is virtual, so it is everywhere – it is truly global. Time zones and distances are no obstacle: we may all be separated by thousands of kilometres and several time zones, but we can all meet in class wherever and whenever we are. 

We use modern technology, record lessons, use electronic whiteboards, allowing a teacher and several students to write and draw at the same time. On the board, you can upload files with tasks, solutions sent by students, and analyze errors.

The duration of each class is usually 60 minutes. Lessons of 40 minutes are possible for the youngest, and there are double lessons with the older ones.

The volume of homework is agreed with parents and students and depends on the goals. As a rule, if the goal is to pass exams, then homework is necessary. If we are engaged for the sake of pleasure and broadening our horizons, then we can do without homework.

What parents and students say about the Ahead school and teachers

What a blessing, when fortune sends such people to you – smart, friendly, energetic, sensitive, and if such a person is also a professional Teacher, a mathematician from God, then you’re lucky twice.

It is difficult for me, as a hopeless humanities fan, to determine the degree of Svetlana’s knowledge and skill. I can only admire with aspiration all tasks and puzzles on her School of creative Thinking page (the name itself is some kind of balm for the soul for a writer).

My children are a completely different matter! Petya will soon be 13 years old, already two years in love with mathematics and programming. Even if he is sick, he does not want to miss classes, dragging his sore-throat-cough-running-nose to the computer.

On Saturday morning (a sacred time to lie in after an intensive academic week), you open the door to his bedroom and see a familiar profile in headphones in front of the screen – a favorite programming lesson in progress with a group of like-minded guys led by Svetlana. They work wonders: “draw” flowers on a computer and other amazing shapes to show and give to their parents later.

Nina, Petya’s elder sister, is not a mathematician at all, but for her, studying with Svetlana is always well-explained and encouraging, which gives her faith in herself and the belief that she can do it. It is priceless.

Thank you, Svetlana! We feel honoured to know you!

Svetlana has been teaching mathematics remotely to my sons for more than two years. They started aged 12 years old. I am very pleased with the course and in particular with these strengths:

– Svetlana knows the mathematics curricula taught in both Russia and England, which makes it possible to determine where children may have knowledge gaps;

– Svetlana also teaches children to understand problems and do it independently;

– Svetlana uses modern interactive tools and teaching methods;

– The possibility of a flexible schedule is also very useful.

Children show undoubted progress in learning, and I plan to continue educating my children with Svetlana in the near future.

We have been studying with Svetlana for a year.

Before meeting Sveta, my daughter was “afraid” of mathematics and was very insecure.

Now Anya loves mathematics, she likes lessons with Sveta, she has never asked to cancel))

She is always interested in what they do in the lesson.

I asked Anna what she could say about the teacher and classes.

Anya replied: “Svetlana is cool!”

We are very grateful to her !!

Latin lessons with Katya – this is the time of my “glass bead game”. Katya is a teacher who knows how to combine disparate meanings. Phonetics and grammar become excursions into the everyday life of people, into the habit of speaking quickly or slowly, into the history of Latin itself and the languages ​​that grew out of it.

Learning words – my personal nightmare when learning any language – turns into an exciting hunt for words. And Katya very patiently, time after time, leads to the point where the meaning is revealed  and “the light turns on” in your head. 

My son (almost 13 years old) has been doing Latin on Skype for the second year with Ekaterina. When they started to study, he hated Latin and refused to work with tutors. To be honest, I didn’t think he would last long this time either. But thanks to Ekaterina’s work, he calmed down about Latin and no longer hates it; he calmly (sometimes even with pleasure) sits and learns, gets good grades on the subject at school and the school teacher is pleased with him. For us, these are very significant positive changes, for which I am grateful to Ekaterina. I want to commend her psychological instincts, wisdom and tact, which made it possible to establish a good connection with my son, and I want to thank Ekaterina for the support that she gives me as a mother of a difficult child.

My eldest son has recently begun to study with Masha. My main concerns were that classes might be too academic and boring. Modern children are not very inclined to work if they are not interested. But with Masha all these fears were in vain. Masha is a very lively person and an enthusiastic teacher. After classes, my son gladly invents stories, and is ready to spend his free time learning a few new words. It is important that he uses all the knowledge gained in his usual school life. His school teacher noted that progress had been obvious lately. The classes are on Skype, and I was not quite sure that this would be a suitable format for a ten-year-old boy. However, Masha uses a lot of different tools, so the classes are not not very tiring and time flies.

Lessons are built the way that Steven wants to study. Steven is a teenager. Additional English classes were not his choice initially, but a necessary due to our move to England. So he began with a sigh, “lessons again”, but after the first lesson his mood changed. In just a few lessons, Masha helped Steven get ready for, and successfully pass, his first exam. But the main success, in my opinion, is not an assessment at school, but the way Steven started to work. This is the main guarantee of the result.

 I had only a few classes with Masha, but she already managed to help me prepare well for an exam. In general, I like the fact that whereas at school we all progress together along the same common school programme, with Masha I can discuss and decide what I personally need to do. These lessons are much more useful.

Denis is studying of his own free will, and even sometimes praises the lessons. I see satisfaction in his eyes – although he complains about the lack of time and gets stressed about having to do homework. But Denis’s motivation speaks volumes about the teacher’s enormous talent. At school, the teacher went on a long sick leave … until the end of the year they will have a replacement teacher. My child does English independently and he does his homework. Thank you, Masha! It is impossible to force a young man of 16 years to do extra studies, but the fact that there are teachers who can motivate my son to do this seems like a miracle to me.

This year we were learning mathematics with Olga.  We are very happy with it. What brings joy is an innovative form of lessons. And, of course, the fact that all tasks are not formal and standard as per the school curriculum, but ones that develop thinking. The teacher communicates with my child at the same level, calmly and kindly. Throughout the lesson, she keeps her student interested. She directs the child to find a solution to the problem, and so encourages independence and engenders a positive emotional attitude.