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Parent's Review of Atlantic International School in Moscow, Russia

Submitted by babazoo

What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)

Atlantic International School

In what town or city is this school located?


How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

Turkish-run school with international students

What grade levels are represented at this school?

Kindergarten to year 12

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

Most arrive by metro or private car.

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

In regards to the secondary campus in Dubrovka campus, the facilities are very limited. There are no extra-curricular activities at this school.

What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?

We wanted our children to be taught by western trained English speaking teachers. There are some, but Turkish administration appears to have decided that hiring Russian teachers is better and cheaper. The English speaking teachers do the best they can under the circumstances. Children speak Turkish or Russian in the corridors and there appears to be no effort in establishing English as the common language. Resources are extremely limited. Classrooms cramped.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

There are no social activities for parents. There is no parent-teacher organisation. Turkish administration has limited contact with us. There are many offices with Turkish businessmen in them within the school, but they don't speak English or communicate.

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

I am very worried about this school. Is it a school? I'm not sure. It seems so strange that this is a school run by Turkish businessmen who have been given offices in a tiny school, when there are not enough classrooms for the children. I am getting the feeling that they have employed a few western teachers to give it a look of being credible, but they are hiding behind them. Everything is done so cheaply - and so is the canteen food. My children complain of the boring food! Not enough resources for students! ICT VERY tiny. I am paying good money - for what?

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Comments about this Report

May 20, 2013 06:57

The Atlantic International School group has now almost completed its fourth year. In the three previous years negative reviews have been written about the school and how it is managed. I feel it is my duty as one of the directors of the school to try to balance the argument. I am English and have been a director of Atlantic, for one year, having been a previous head teacher and curriculum manager. I have assisted with the development of the school into a highly respected member of the international school community of Moscow. I work very closely with the other directors in moving the school forward. Atlantic has established itself as the only provider of the University of Cambridge Curriculum in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the most recent inspection in St. Petersburg by the University of Cambridge they reported the school as excellent. We had our second AS/IGCSE external examination inspection this year and again we ticked all the boxes. This year we have become a member of the European Council for International Schools ECIS and are working towards accreditation by Council for International Schools CIS. We are an active member of the Association of European Businesses AEB and are working with the association to establish and education committee for the group. Our recruitment policy has evolved over the past 4 years and now we work with respected recruitment agencies and the Times Educational Supplement TES. We have had to change our policy to meet the demands of our parents. We now look for experienced English speaking teachers who will be able to contribute to moving the school forward. Attracting the best staff to Russia is not easy due to many factors so the school will move to a three year contract to try to improve retention amongst staff. There have understandably been problems in the early years but as we open new schools we recognise the problems that have occurred and try to ensure that we are not repeating earlier mistakes. We have had difficulty bringing resources to Russia. Importing books is difficult, and meeting with agencies to have e-learning takes time. Our curriculum is beginning to bear fruit as our children begin to succeed with the Cambridge Curriculum. Our children are formally assessed as early as year 2 and have Cambridge assessments built into their learning programmes. Children do external ESOL exams from year 2 and Cambridge Checkpoint exams in year 6 and 9. We have children in upper school attending IGCSE and AS classes and we are optimistic about the outcomes. Our children this year will go to study in universities in the UK, USA, Asia and Europe. This year our school, came first in the European Maths Challenge beating over 500 schools with 22 000 competitors The school is evolving. The directors are listening to staff more and more and are adjusting to the demands of being an international school. The package the school offers is now very competitive with other international schools; our staff all have comprehensive medical insurance with Zurich. The contract is protected by Russian law; the school pays the income taxes for its employees. Each member of staff receives a working, multi entry, visa for up to 3 years The developments of Atlantic will continue at some pace with many people in Russia wanting to have Atlantic as their education provider. We will probably make mistakes, but less and less as time goes on. If you feel you would like to apply for work at Atlantic or would like to get more information about one of our schools or kindergartens please visit our website or contact the school and we will be more than willing to answer your questions. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Damien Butters Atlantic International School

May 20, 2013 12:47

The report written about Atlantic International School (May 20, 2013 06:55) is understandably pro-school. This is because it was written by a director of the school. This director is the only English director; the others are Turkish. This director was given this position in order to give the school an 'English gloss', and to 'legitimise' the school. Also to promote it. There is no way that this school wants parents to know that they are dealing with Turkish businessmen who are simply there for profit, with limited to no educational background. The fact that the school has come out on the back foot and has to defend it self and say that it is listening to its teachers, goes to show that it is exactly not doing this. It's rather unconvincing stuff to the least. Unhappy teachers = unhappy school = unhappy students = Turkish management worried about profit. It's amusing to see that this defensive stance also has a recruiting line in it for prospective teachers. I guess while you're writing it, why not hustle, hey? LOL

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