Who teaches at Ahead

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Svetlana Vodolazskaya

(Maths and Computer Programming)

I live in England, not far from London. I can’t remember when I started teaching, it was a very long time ago. My passion is to discover new meanings of familiar things and concepts. I believe it is very important that children see the relationship between subjects; physics and chemistry do not exist without mathematics. I aim to develop logic and critical thinking in children, to teach them how to solve problems that seem too difficult at first. My students investigate and make their own discoveries in each lesson.

In order to understand maths, it is important to know what discoveries different mathematicians have made. In class, we often discuss the history of mathematics. What did ancient Egyptians believe? How was time measured in ancient Babylon? What number system did Maya invent? What are axioms and how do they differ from theorems, and what did Euclid do for the development of mathematics? I do not ask students to memorise; instead, I teach them to understand where a formula comes from.

Artem Bobrovskiy

(Computer Programming)

I started programming websites from the age of 13 and have done it ever since – both for work and as a hobby. Along with teaching, I work for a company developing business systems as a product manager.

For me, one of the main questions in life and education is “What for?” Only understanding the goal enables us to properly plan our work and achieve the desired result. When I teach, I know exactly what the students should be getting out of the course, and I adapt the material and approach accordingly.

I live and work in England. I love mathematics and physics; in my free time I write music. I am learning to play football with my 13 year old son.

Julia Earey


I live in the north of England, West Yorkshire. I moved here 2 years ago from Belgorod, where I worked as a maths teacher. Although I started teaching long before I got my degree.

I remember very well my first day at school and what I did when I came home: I sat my younger sister in front of me and started teaching her. That was the beginning. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop doing this. I love mathematics, and even more I like to see the insight in the eyes of students. It’s so great to watch how they begin to understand what the problem is and look for different ways to solve it on their own. That skill is very useful for solving any problems, not just maths problems.

Anna Mihailik


I grew up in the Ukraine in a family of mathematicians. I started to give private lessons during my first year at the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics. I enjoy developing the knowledge and thinking skills in my students.

15 years ago I brought all my enthusiasm to England, soon organising a maths club for my children and friends to share how interesting maths could be! By now my expertise has grown significantly, and I teach mathematics not as a set of separate facts and skills, but as a coherent logical system full of beauty and clarity.

Viktor Glukhov


My Alma Mater is the Physics and Mathematics Boarding School at Leningrad State University and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

For more than twenty years I taught at Riga Secondary School – a course of advanced mathematics in selective physics and mathematics groups. I was happy to work with the schoolchildren who were seriously interested in mathematics, led maths clubs, and prepared my students for maths Olympiads. Among my students, there are six participants and winners of the International Mathematical Olympiads and more than fifty competitors in the National Mathematical Olympiads in Latvia. I have lived and worked in London since 2012 – and teach mathematics (A-level Maths and GCSE Maths) at the international boarding school, DLD College, in London.

At the AHEAD school, I lead a maths club, where we go far beyond the standard school curriculum, solve interesting and non-trivial problems encountered along the way, come up with exciting new subjects based on the problems we solve, and learn to see the beauty of mathematics.

Ivanka Panova


I am an architect by training, but was always interested in teaching. I have been working at a primary school in London for 12 years, so I know the education system in England very well.

At the core of my work is a personalised approach to every child. I adapt the material and the presentation to the particular needs and capabilities of each student.

I teach Years 1 to 6 (5 to 11-year-olds). This age is crucial in shaping a child’s attitude to maths. I really enjoy helping children progress to higher levels in maths, develop their mathematical thinking, and, most importantly, to enjoy studying maths.

Olga Lazareva


I live in the east of England, in the county of Norfolk. I am a mathematician by education, graduated from Kazan State University. I love maths very much and I am delighted when students start to understand maths and to volunteer their answers, when it becomes their favourite subject, when they are not scared of tests any more and start volunteering their answers. To achieve this, I am happy to spend hours looking for interesting material, explaining the incomprehensible again and again, and inventing different games to develop logic and mathematical thinking.

I love it when my lessons are bright and memorable.

Dina Strong

(English, preparation for 11+ exams)

I am passionate about languages ​​and especially English. Born into a family of an English teacher, I heard and absorbed English early on. I went to summer schools in England, then came to study for an undergraduate degree in English and Literature, and later did a PhD in Applied Linguistics and Communication in London, where I now live with my family.

I teach academic English, in particular preparation for IELTS – a test that foreign applicants need to pass in order to enter universities in English-speaking countries. I also prepare 8-10 year olds for the 11+ entry exams administered by selective secondary schools in the UK; my specialisms are English, Verbal Reasoning and Creative Writing.

The skills my students work on are reading and analysing texts in English, writing those texts, as well as vocabulary, grammar, spelling and punctuation. I believe that the best results can be achieved with a clear goal and a good teacher who shows you how to achieve this goal.

Preeti Singh

(English, Verbal Reasoning for 11+ exams)

I live in Eltham, South East London. I hold a PhD in Education and M.Ed. and B.Ed. from India. I have been teaching in primary and secondary schools, and have provided teachers’ training to in-service teachers. I have 7 years of experience teaching in India and 3 years in the UK (DBS checked).

As a tutor, I specialise in English and Verbal reasoning for students preparing for 11+ exams. I’ve got a passion for teаching and а wealth оf knowledge with experience of teаching children in Years 4 and 5. I аm аn enthusiаstic teаcher, whо believes аny child cаn grоw аnd leаrn frоm tutoring that is engaging, relаtаble, exciting аnd personal to them. I ensure thаt my sessiоns cаter tо eаch child’s needs, interests аnd аbilities, sо thаt they make great progress, increаse their cоnfidence аnd enjоy leаrning. I also offer access to an online portal that helps them learn through flashcards, games and tools.

I conduct Mоck Tests at regular intervals to check the level of preparedness of my students. I have in-depth knowledge оf requirements fоr CEM, GL аnd privаtе school entrаnce tests аcrоss the country. Over the pаst severаl yeаrs, in my tutоring cаreer, most of my students have passed their 11+ entrance exams and got their first choice of school. I feel happy being part of their 11 plus journey.

Colin Young

(English, Storytelling, Spanish)

It was a cold, rainy December day in Vancouver, Canada, and I sat looking out of the window with a decision to make that will change my life forever. I had two options. Option A was buying a suit and tie and going into sales training for a communications company. Option B was going to the Korean embassy to begin the visa application process for a travel trip.

After 15 years working in the education field, I am still incredibly happy that I chose the path that has helped me travel around the world teaching, meeting new people and learning about different cultures and languages. My enthusiasm and motivation to help students develop is still as strong as ever. I have learned that both students and teachers must enjoy and be fully involved in the learning experience for it to be successful.

I believe in three Cs which help kids learn: Competition, Curiosity and Creativity. Competition and games with the chance of winning helps motivate students. Students love to hear stories and show amazing memory capabilities when learning vocabulary through curiosity created by storytelling. Creativity comes after the language has been taught and lets students practice independently, finding a way to express what they want.

Mateusz Galka

(Writing Fundamentals, Essay Writing)

I have always been fascinated by the English language and I love helping learners to reach their potential through the study of English. Therefore, I studied English Language and Literature / English Language Teaching as an undergraduate degree, and I also obtained a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from The Manchester Metropolitan University.

I have been teaching English language for over 8 years and I have extensive experience of working in different schools with various methodologies, as well as with a range of learners (young and adults, and also those with learning challenges, such as dyslexia, and motivational issues) in the UK, Poland and Spain.

I specialise in teaching Academic English to students who wish to commence their study at British universities. In my classes, students focus on grammar, vocabulary and four language skills paying particular attention to reading and writing.

I am a compassionate and approachable teacher, who remains sensitive to students’ needs and employs both effective teaching and learning. I apply the Communicative Teaching Method in the classroom through interactive, students-centred activities which maximise “student talking time”. Moreover, I integrate critical thinking activities and online technology ensuring that each student is able to comprehend and retain the concepts and language.

My goal is to provide both an individual and whole group support, as well as to promote and maintain an honest, positive and communicative classroom environment, in which each student feels safe, special and appropriately challenged.

Josh Kean

(English, Spanish)

I’ve always loved interacting and spending time with children – I think it´s the greatest gift in the world to laugh with and listen to them. Since I was a teenager I would look after my younger cousins, playing crazy games with our shared vivid imagination and just discussing topics with them. Teaching was always a pathway I knew I would follow; it´s a job that truly possesses meaning and makes me feel proud of what I do.

Four years ago I decided to fulfill my ambition to work with children, so I completed a TEFL course and successfully applied for a teaching job in Shanghai, China. I worked in an extra- curriculum English academy for just over a year, teaching students from ages 4-16 and varying in English levels, improving their speaking, writing, reading and listening skills.

I moved to Barcelona to continue my romance with teaching. I have worked for two years at a company which focuses on teaching English in topics – such as human rights with teenagers right the way through to superheroes or dinosaurs with the little ones. As part of my employment, I have taught within many schools and education camps across the Catalan region and this has been a dream job for me.

Developing a strong relationship with my students and ensuring they have a positive association with learning the English language is important to me. Speaking and writing good English can create so many opportunities for children in later life and I want to give as many children as I can those opportunities.

Bethany Mason

(French, Spanish)

I’m Beth, I’m 25 and I am originally from Liverpool in England. At the age of 18, I moved to Scotland in order to study for a degree in French and Spanish at the University of St. Andrews. During my degree, I had the opportunity to live in both France and Spain teaching Primary School aged children about British language, culture and identity.

Upon completion of my degree and returning to my home city, I worked in a local Secondary School tutoring both GCSE and A Level Students who were preparing for their French examinations. As I myself had sat GCSE and A Level examinations several years prior, I was already well-acquainted with the English system, and I was able to tailor my teaching methods to ensure the student’s success.

In order to truly master a language, I believe that you need to immerse yourself in the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken. This is why I particularly enjoy introducing my students to the contemporary arts of French, Spanish and English Speaking Countries by using literature, film and music as pedagogical tools.

My lessons are responsive to both the capabilities and interests of my students, and witnessing how my students grow in not only their mastery of the language, but also their love for it is an incredible reward.

Masha Zotova

(Creative Writing, GCSE English)

I live in South East London. My specialisms are Creative Writing for 11+ exams and preparation for GCSE English Language. My focus is developing the skills needed for those objectives, making sure the student is secure with their basics first.

I do not believe in aimless language learning. I believe in learning a language in order to build a deeper connection with family and friends, who speak it as their native language. I believe in language learning because you want to achieve better results in study and work. I also believe in learning a language because you love that language.

We are all different, and we learn different things in different ways. For each student, I have a personalised approach to help them reach their goals.

I am a qualified teacher ​​(PGCE / Goldsmiths), a linguist (Moscow State University), a former senior producer at the BBC. Everything that I learned in my career, I use in my lessons.

Tatiana Lavrova


I live between Moscow and Berlin. For twenty-five years I have been translating from German into Russian and vice versa, on a variety of topics – from politics to medicine. When I have time, I run family walking tours to different parts of Berlin; I have been able to find common ground with children of different ages. Several years ago I started teaching: Russian – to my bilingual children and their bilingual friends, German – to different people of different ages. My style of teaching is not academic; I like to interest and captivate my students so that they build a connection with the language, which becomes a communication platform rather than a grammatical skeleton.

In German lessons, we … just talk. About the student’s interests, whatever they would like to discuss in their native language. I am very comfortable in using audio resources in German; we always start by finding out what the student wants to listen to and then discuss – from everyday stories to Harry Potter, from demonstrations to cooking recipes, from psychology to medicine. We also tell jokes and laugh a lot. My main goal is get the student chatting. I also provide specific bits of grammar, but I don’t focus on it; the important thing is to break that communication barrier.

Ekaterina Skulskaya

(Russian Literature, Italian, Latin)
I have university degrees in Philology and Italian.

Before moving to America, I taught Italian at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, along with teaching Italian, Latin, its culture, art and literature at a selective secondary school. I also had my own children, who often agreed to me teaching them something. There were summer camps and various programmes that we devised for children of our friends and for friends of our children. I am not a scholar, I am a teacher – I love to learn myself and to share that enthusiasm with others.

I work offline and online with students of different ages and from different countries, but the people who can use my lessons the most are children and teenagers who moved from Russia recently and want to study Russian language and literature for their own pleasure. The key words here are “for their own pleasure” as I do not believe in classes “to make mum happy”. But if someone who’s 10+ years old actually wants to learn, I can give them a lot.

My literature course “Reading the Classics” consists of short cycles about various works. You can take the whole course or choose separate topics. We talk about books in Skype groups, where some students live in Russia and some outside of it. We agree and disagree with each other, exchange English and Russian comments in the chat. Suddenly it turns out that “Little Tragedies” are not just old stories told by Pushkin 200 years ago, but something personally relevant to you.

Some of my courses are tailored for 10-12 year olds, some cater for older teens and even adults.

Alla Antonenko


I live in the picturesque county of Kent, known as the “Garden of England”. Before that, I lived in Russia, the Ukraine and the United States. I graduated from Dnepropetrovsk State University as a teacher specialising in the Russian language and Russian literature. I am passionate about Russian art, especially Russian avant-garde. I travelled a lot with my family, worked in journalism and business, but I always came back to teaching as it’s the most fulfilling job for me.

I used to teach English language and literature at the Kiev University. For the last six years, I have been teaching Russian language and literature at one of the largest schools in London – the Lycee Francais. Every year many graduates write to me, grateful for opening up the stunningly beautiful world of the Russian language and Russian culture to them.

For me, the key to successful teaching is establishing a connection with the student. If there is mutual interest and respect between the teacher and the student, both enjoy the process. No matter the distance between us, if we can see each other (albeit through a computer monitor or a tablet) and we have a common learning goal, we will succeed.

Each student is an individual, and I tailor my methods and curriculum to their personality. It is not easy and it takes time, but it works.

Anna Suchkova

(English film club)

I am not a teacher, but a professional translator. For many years I worked as a translator for the Board of Directors of M.Video company. Much of the time, I teach adults for business purposes. I often come across people who got the short end of the stick with the way English was taught in their school.

I believe languages should be learnt not out of fear, but out of love. Hence the importance of finding out what you or your child love. I enjoy watching a good movie in the language it was originally filmed and reading good books. I’ve got a teenager at home, who was the reason I originally came up with the Harry Potter English club. The club is for those who love Harry Potter and who don’t want to be afraid of English. We learn to make mistakes, speak out loud, argue, respect other people’s opinions, find our Patronuses and defeat boggarts. Wingardium Leviosa! 🙂

Evgeny Mironov

(Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

When I moved to Cyprus, I realised that the children of immigrants existed in two worlds – mentally, culturally and linguistically. There was only one world of science though. Russian-speaking locals wanted me to help their kids understand the science curriculum of schools where teaching was in English. I enjoyed it, and so did the children.

I had a student that was generally known to be more interested in football than academic subjects. After just six months of lessons, he got the highest grade for his Chemistry exam. I wasn’t sure how that happened, but it was instrumental in developing my own learning approach.

The idea is to form a partnership with a student. Together we set a goal and chart a course; together we come up with definitions and derive formulas. Sometimes I become a coach, showing the student that they can do more, and taking their thinking process to another level.

I have a degree in Biotechnology from Tomsk State University (Siberia). Later I worked in R&D for one of the companies that form part of the prominent Skolkovo Innovation Centre in Russia. My research focused on finding the cure to treat malignant tumors; this incorporated all three sciences – biology, chemistry and physics. I am more than happy to discuss this with students who are contemplating a medical or hi-tech career.

Natalia Jigounova

(Psychology, History, Biology)

I live in Reading, near London, in the county of Berkshire. I moved to the UK in 2000; for almost 20 years I have been teaching psychology, sociology and history in secondary schools (GCSE and A-level), as well as online tutoring in these subjects. For several years I was the Principal Examiner in Psychology for Pearson (Edexcel exam board). I composed exam questions in psychology, hired and trained examiners.

I hold a PhD degree in Psychology from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and a BA from Moscow State Pedagogical University. I am registered as a psychologist at the British Psychological Society.

I am convinced that the study of psychology and history helps teenagers to understand their inner world, to get to know themselves, their cultural heritage. They also learn to understand other people and connect with them. At Ahead, I offer original courses called ‘Everyday Psychology’ and ‘Russian History in the 19th-20th Centuries’, taught both in Russian and in English.

Outside of teaching, I work with children (mainly teenagers) and their parents as a psychologist. I focus on overcoming issues with learning and peer communication, as well as help with adaptation to studying in another country. I offer one-on-one and group sessions on reducing stress and anxiety, overcoming depression, increasing self-confidence and interpersonal skills.

Inna Guterman

(Psychology, History, Biology)

After 16 years of living in England, my family and I moved to southern Germany, not far from the charming Lake Constance. I work at a research laboratory Ulm University, where I study the mechanisms of regeneration, which is the process of tissue and organ repair. Although I started my scientific career working with plants, currently, we use a small zebrafish known as Danio Rerio as a model for studying regeneration. These fish have an incredible ability to regenerate their hearts, which can be damaged up to 30-40%. This unique characteristic is what attracts scientists who hope to find insights into rehabilitating human heart injuries by studying these fish.

I enjoy sharing information about my work, and it brings me joy to see the interested eyes of schoolchildren and students. Many universities collaborate with schools and offer science days for high school students, inviting them for work experience days in the laboratories. However, these opportunities are usually aimed at those who have already chosen specific subjects for in-depth study.

What I want is to introduce younger students, those who are just starting secondary school, to the world of scientific biology. I hope that by the 7th or 8th grade, they will have the chance to learn fascinating details about cell structure, understand how the human immune system works, and unravel why antibiotics no longer kill bacteria as effectively in the modern world. I want to show them that biology is an engaging, interesting, and very “alive” science that actively collaborates with mathematics, physics, chemistry, and programming.

The process of exploring nature gives children the opportunity to learn how to ask questions and experience the joy of discovery.

Natalia Jigounova

(Psychology, History, Biology)

I live in Reading, near London, in the county of Berkshire. I moved to the UK in 2000; for almost 20 years I have been teaching psychology, sociology and history in secondary schools (GCSE and A-level), as well as online tutoring in these subjects. For several years I was the Principal Examiner in Psychology for Pearson (Edexcel exam board). I composed exam questions in psychology, hired and trained examiners.

I hold a PhD degree in Psychology from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and a BA from Moscow State Pedagogical University. I am registered as a psychologist at the British Psychological Society.

I am convinced that the study of psychology and history helps teenagers to understand their inner world, to get to know themselves, their cultural heritage. They also learn to understand other people and connect with them. At Ahead, I offer original courses called ‘Everyday Psychology’ and ‘Russian History in the 19th-20th Centuries’, taught both in Russian and in English.

Outside of teaching, I work with children (mainly teenagers) and their parents as a psychologist. I focus on overcoming issues with learning and peer communication, as well as help with adaptation to studying in another country. I offer one-on-one and group sessions on reducing stress and anxiety, overcoming depression, increasing self-confidence and interpersonal skills.

Hanna Osher (Kazarnovsky)

(History, Economics, Business Studies)

I teach at a business school in London. PhD, MSc Research Methods (Hons), PG Cert Theoretical Economics (Hons), MA International Political Economy (Hons), BA History and Social Sciences (Hons), PG Cert HE, BA Pedagogical.

I was originally a historian in Belarus, later my economist colleagues persuaded me to move to their department, and then I moved to the UK, where I have been working for the last 13 years. I haven’t abandoned history though – it is an intrinsic part of my new specialism.

I teach Economics (GSCE and A-level in English), Business Studies (so far GSCE and IGSCE in English), History (both in English and in Russian), including A-level preparation. I have a course on the history of the world, from primitive society to modern times, to help children and adults streamline their knowledge of history.

Anastasia Emelyanova

(Education Consultant)

I have been living in London for 19 years. My first degree was Maths from the Moscow State University, later I got an MBA in London. Education has always been my passion, and after many years of corporate business development I decided to make it my profession.

Here are some of the services I offer:
– I advise on suitable primary/secondary schools and universities in the UK, based on the individual needs of the family as well as the abilities and interests of the child;
– I give lectures and seminars on the education system in the UK and help parents come up with their own set of criteria on choosing the right schools for their children;
– I advise on the job market prospects in the coming years, enabling parents to discover the qualifications needed for specific professions, industries and career pathways;
– I test children for potential admission to top UK schools;
– I recommend successful tutors with a proven track record.

My strength is structural thinking; my motto is “The Future Needs Creative People”, which is why children need to learn how to think creatively.

Tanya Khandurova

(Negotiation and Self-Presentation Skills)

I have always loved studying. After graduating from a selective school specialising in maths and science, I wanted a change and completed a foreign languages degree at university. At the same time, I started missing formulas and maths problems, which resulted in a economics degree. I also studied with the London Institute of Linguists.

Despite my teaching qualifications and experience in teaching academic disciplines, I have long been helping people to develop practical skills – particularly teenagers about to enter the adult world of university and work. I draw on more than 20 years of experience leading teams in major international companies, including Mail.ru, McCann Erickson Worldwide and Google, to teach students how to set goals and achieve them, write remarkable CVs and resumes, differentiate themselves at interviews, communicate effectively in the adult world, negotiate, set boundaries and protect themselves against manipulation.

These topics are not addressed at school or university in any meaningful way, but they are vital skills for living and working in the real world. People often ask themselves, “Why did that low-performing happy-go-lucky student get an interesting job, whilst I, with my A* and first-class diplomas, never get past the first interview?” The answer to this question may turn out to be more important than all the qualifications in the world. How others perceive us and how we create a positive impression at the right moment is down to how well we communicate. Normally teenagers have to learn the hard way; my purpose is to ease this transition.

Mihails Lahmans


I live in Scotland. I have been teaching chess for 10+ years, working with students of all levels, from beginner to advanced.

My first experience of chess took place at school, after I came across this excellent quote from Benjamin Franklin: “By playing at chess, then, we may learn foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action.”

When I play with people of a different age, language and outlook, I feel that the game of chess provides a common ground despite all those differences. Learning how to play chess gives you an advantage in studies, work and even in relationships with people around you.