Register for one of our November open days

Big Education is delighted to announce the appointment of two exceptional people as the co-headteachers of our new primary school on Sugar House Island.

Sarah Seleznyov is currently Director of the London South Teaching School Alliance.

Andrea Silvain is currently deputy head of Middle School at School 21 in Stratford.

We know they will make a  great team and will shape a truly wonderful school.

The school opens in September 2021 and before then they will be spending a lot of time planning an exciting curriculum, hiring the most creative teachers and supporting all the children and families that become part of our first cohort of pupils.

Your first chance to meet them is at our open days.

Sarah and Andi watching the school building going up. It’s on track for a September opening!

Sarah Seleznyov

Sarah works as Director of the London South Teaching School Alliance, an alliance of schools across South London, working collaboratively to improve teacher and pupil learning.  The school has recently been designated as a National Research School, one of only 30 in the UK.  The alliance’s professional development portfolio includes longer sustained programmes, short courses and high profile speaker events, all of which are built around research evidence on effective teacher learning. Sarah leads a number of research-oriented professional development projects for teachers and school leaders.

Sarah Seleznyov has worked in London schools for over 25 years. She has been a Deputy Head, a School Improvement Consultant and still works as a School Improvement Partner. Before leading the alliance, she worked at The London Centre for Leadership in Learning, UCL Institute of Education, where she designed and led a range of research-informed programmes for school leaders and teacher enquiry projects. She also acted as a facilitator on the National Professional Qualification for Executive Leaders.

During her career, Sarah has also worked for the Fischer Family Trust and the National Literacy Trust. She is a specialist maths tutor on the Cognitive Acceleration research project based at King’s College University:  www.letsthink.org.uk.

Sarah’s research specialism is Japanese lesson study, and she has published widely on the use of lesson study outside Japan. She is a member of the Collaborative Lesson Research UK group. She is very excited to be shaping the new Big Education primary school.

Andrea Silvain

Andrea trained as a primary school teacher and has worked in education for the last 12 years. She was born in Newham and has spent her career working in and around East London.

Prior to teaching, Andrea worked at the BBC and in theatre in diverse roles that have provided opportunities that enhance her skills as an educator and leader. She is an advocate of the Arts and worked as a Stage Manager in theatrical productions across the country. Using creativity-driven thinking, Andrea enjoys crafting the big picture and shaping this into an on the ground reality. This has directly translated into her work building and developing the Middle School at School 21, where, as Deputy Head, she specialises in wellbeing and embedding school culture.

Andrea is a skilled teacher and holds a particular interest in the Early Years and is passionate about the development of the whole child – head, heart and hand.  Her drive and passion centres around social mobility, equality and the empowerment of young people. She thrives on developing those around her and being authentically engaged within all aspects of the community she serves.

The opportunity to build Big Education’s New Primary as co-headteacher is an incredibly exciting next step in her journey.

Stratford's groundbreaking school

School 21 is a state-funded, non-selective 4-18 school in Stratford, East London with a reputation for high standards, great teaching and an expansive and exciting curriculum

Expansive education

Big Education  is  an organisation that runs and supports schools, designs programmes and toolkits and provides thought leadership, for example Learning from Lockdown.

Voice 21

Giving every child a voice

Voice 21 exists to enable teachers and schools to provide a high quality oracy education so that all young people can find their voice for success.

Big Education’s new primary school will open its doors in September 2021 and we intend it to be something special.

Our aim at Big Education is to develop a more expansive education, one that develops head (academics), heart (growth and well-being) and hand (creativity and problem-solving). To achieve this requires fresh thinking – about the curriculum, teaching and learning and ways of working. This school is the chance to put these ideas into practice and develop a school that can over time become a beacon of what a Big Education can look like.

The new primary school will not be isolated but part of a cluster of three Big Education schools in the area as well as an array of educational, creative and business partners – a Big Education Zone. We believe in our schools being rooted in their communities, responsive to the full range of diversity of our local families and children, and providing a curriculum that skilfully weaves together head, heart and hand. We want young people to be taught how to solve problems in creative ways, and make a difference to the world around them. There are exciting opportunities to develop a professional learning community that develops a series of courses and experiences for pupils that draw on the huge expertise and creativity of our partners.

The new primary school is part of a new development created by Vastint. Apartments, social enterprises and creative organisations will be housed alongside this two form entry primary school to form a thriving community – Sugar House Island.

The school is close to the Olympic site – now home to UCL, Sadlers Wells, the V&A and other extraordinary educational and cultural institutions who we already have strong relationships with.

The school will be part of a group of 3 Big Education schools in close proximity: School 21, a 4 to 18 school in the heart of Stratford with a strong reputation for innovation, and a new secondary school and sixth form that will open in 2023 next to Plaistow station.

Head

The Head is about rich knowledge  – and how to apply it to  the world around us. It is about bringing subjects together to gain deeper meaning and it is about wrestling with big ideas and concepts.

Heart

The Heart is about well-being and growth. It is about every child having a sense of identity and developing the qualities that will be needed to thrive.

Hand

The Hand is about creativity and problem solving and the joy of the creative and performing arts.

Register your interest

Are you interested in your child attending our new school?

Are you interested in joining the team at the school?

Or are you just interested?

Use the contact form to be kept in the loop about any of the above. You’ll be contacted as soon as new information is available.