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OUR TEACHERS



Marina Mitchenko

My name is Marina. I graduated from Saint-Petersburg Hertsen State Pedagogical University as a primary school teacher. After graduation I was working in this capacity for 9 years in Russia. I conducted lessons of Russian language and literacy , maths, science, PE, art and craft, outdoors games and different activities.
I have been living in the UK for more than 7 years and during this time I helped my elder daughter to prepare for the Russian language exams: GCSE and A –levels which she passed with top marks. I am well familiar with all aspects of bringing up bilingual child.
Here, in Solnyshko school I am teaching expanding vocabulary and language development for different age group.
I'm striving to make our lessons interesting, entertaining, inclusive of various forms of learning: telling stories, role-playing, sensory games, funny rhymes and crafts.
The children enjoy studying here, they perform at their best and I am very pleased with their progress and enthusiasm.



Olga Efremova (PhD in Chemistry, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry)

I came from Novosibirsk (Russia), where I studied for a Chemistry degree at the Novosibirsk State University. After graduation with distinction and a medal from the Russian Ministry for Science and Education for the best student scientific work, I did a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry, for which I undertook research in three different countries.  Now I work as a Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Hull, where apart from teaching I also lead research in the area of materials chemistry trying to deliver new innovations for healthcare, such as new biomedical sensors and new technologies for cancer treatment.

 I have a strong passion for natural sciences and believe that a love for the sciences should be developed from an early age. I show my passion to children during science lessons at the Russian Language school, where I demonstrate that everyday things are in fact interesting objects for research and experiments.




Anna Ponomareva

I was born and grew up in St. Petersburg. Graduated from St. Petersburg State University and then I worked as a teacher. I also worked in a kids summer camp in USA. I moved to UK in 2007 and have been teaching Russian language at “Solnyshko” since 2013.
My classes are designed to help children to learn/improve reading and writing abilities, constantly expanding their vocabulary and using correct sentence structure. Other aims are: correct use of words and sentence structure as well as the introduction of classic children's literature in Russian language and developing an interest in Russian culture and national traditions.



Humai Verdiyeva

My name is Humai. I graduated from Lugansk National University named after Taras Shevchenko and obtained a bachelor degree in education as a Primary School Teacher. I’ve had worked in a private school “Dunya” (adopted IB system, in particular PYP) in Azerbaijan, Baku for 4 years, as a primary school teacher, specialised in teaching of Russian-speaking children.

For me, the learning process is not only teaching the subject as such, but also interacting with children. This is an opportunity to unleash their potential, to understand the inclinations and interests of students. An important part of successful schooling is the solid language base. Learning through an active communication and involving the child in this process is my key objective.

Currently, I teach Russian at the school "Solnyshko". I am glad to be a part of our creative and friendly team that helps child master the Russian language in a form that is also fascinating for him/her.




Tatiana Staskova

My name is Tatiana. I was born in Riga, Latvia. From an early age I loved children and playing school with my younger brother and cousin. Even back then, I dreamt of becoming a teacher when I grew up. Time passed, I grew up and moved to England. In 2011, I had my amazing little girl, Sasha. After her birth, I realised once again, that I certainly wanted to work with children.
I attended a Childminder Induction Course and received a certificate approved by Warrington Borough Council and then worked as Childminder with Russian speaking kids. I'm successful finished "Teacher Assistant" course and working as a volunteer Teaching Assistant at the Latchford St James CofE Primary School.
 I joined the play group “Solnyshko” in August 2012 when I brought my daughter. I was very keen on her spending time with other Russian speaking children. Two-weeks later, I joined “Solnyshko” team as a volunteer secretary. Following the school opening in 2013 I became the youngest group teacher and since then have been teaching children aged 3-4 years old. I can certainly say my dream to work with children has come true! I love communicating with children, share knowledge with them and monitor their progress. My classes involve lots of games, crafts and poetry. My aims are: children speech and writing development, vocabulary expansion and preparation for higher level groups.



Maya Margishvili

Iʼm from Vladikavkaz. Iʼm enthusiastic and devoted Foreign Language Teacher with excellent communication skills demonstrated by 7 years of teaching experience. High degree of fluency in Russian, Georgian, German, Ossetian and English languages; specializes in managing students and maximizing learning opportunities in diverse classroom settings. Extensive travel study and residence experience across Europe. My objective is to gain employment as a

linguist – translator of Russian language, literature, and composition at an outstanding high school and to continue spreading love for the Russian language by instilling passion for the subject in the hearts and minds of high school students.


Alexandra Vladimirovna Weston

I was born in Russia but due to my father's occupation as the submarine officer we moved to Odessa, Ukraine, where I grew up and got my education. 

After marriage I moved to England in 1995, where I am currently am bringing up 3 children. 

I have got a lot of experience in teaching music with piano as a main instrument and started working in "Solnyshko" in April 2016 as a music teacher. 
During our music lessons we are teaching Russian language through music. 

It's fantastic that we've got this wonderful  opportunity for children and adults to learn Russian Language, traditions, culture and music in such warm and friendly atmosphere as our school "Solnyshko"! 



Valeriya Hall

I am from the far eastern capital of Russia, Vladivostok. I have a pedagogical education which I got from the Pedagogical State University in Russia. 

My length of teaching experience with children and students is 23 years. 10 years at a Russian children’s junior school as a track and field athletics training coach, 11 years as a teacher in the Far Eastern State University and College in Vladivostok City and 2 years in the Russian language school “Solnyshko” in Warrington. In “Solnyshkoo” I work as a rhythmic teacher. 

Professional skills: love of working with children, knowledge of pedagogical theory and basic psychology, pedagogical teaching techniques, pedagogical creativity, excellent communication skills, high standard of discipline, organisation skills, highly responsible

My philosophy is very simple: in a healthy body – healthy spirit: Mental and physical development are interdependent. This is very important for children in nursery school, primary school and secondary school. I know how to make a happy atmosphere in my lessons by using games, sports and dance exercises to achieve an individual and harmonious development of the child. 

I love to work in “Solnyshko” because there is a lovely atmosphere and i work in a team of like-minded, highly qualified teachers who have a rich experience of working with children.



Vera McKenna

I’ve been with "Solnyshko" from the earliest days and I'm a member of the school committee. I'm proud of my work, we have a wonderful team and the best pupils!  For me working in our school is my favourite work and a rewarding hobby.
I have a higher pedagogical education in the speciality of "Russian Language and Literature".  For many years I've worked in a school environment, including experience of social work for people with disabilities. I also have a librarian diploma and work experience in public and school libraries.  Including winning an award in "The Best Librarian of the Year".
In "Solnyshko" I teach the speech development for groups 4, 6 and 7.  I'm also the school librarian, photographer, webmaster and web administrator of our school web-site and Facebook page.