Welcome to the webpage of the Bulgarian School Chuchuliga (Skylark) in Croydon!
Our School started its first classes at the beginning of September 2016 and now for the third school year we continue our work with parents and children living in Croydon and the neighbouring boroughs of South London.
Teaching at the School is done according to Order № 90 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria concerning the activities of Bulgarian schools abroad; our School acts in full compliance with the regulations of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education
The Bulgarian School Skylark is included in the Register of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science (under No. 34) and its work is overseen by the ministry; the School gets some financial support from the Bulgarian ministry for its activities
We want to assure you that in our School you will not only well learn Bulgarian language but will also get to know the history and the natural beauties of Bulgaria, and will have every opportunity to plunge into the magnificent cultural heritage of the Bulgarian people. At the same time you will surely make new friends, and with them you will spend wonderful time
Let us note that knowing or not knowing Bulgarian language is not a hinder - we all together learn the language, both with those for whom it is the native tongue and those for whom it is unknown (yet). Learning the language in communication and playing with your peers is the best way to come to know and love Bulgarian!
This is why communication is exptremely important! Even those who know Bulgarian well sometimes miss the right words to express themselves - so strong is the influence of English on us who live in the UK. Children only speak English six days a week, and Bulgarian - only on Saturdays and only two or three hours on this day. Children speak to each other in English only, as they do at their English schools, and they speak Bulgarian at our classes. But we try to change this - we want our children to speak Bulgarian in the same way they speak English, and even better! And some of the children become so proficient that they start creating their own short stories and descriptions, and even their own poems!
Bulgarian folk dances classes with the students of the School in Caterham and with their parents take place in the big hall of the Methodist church in Hurst Green, Oxted4 Hurstlands, Oxted, RH8 0HG, UK, and the clasess in Bulgarian culture, traditions and customs with the students in Croydon take place in one of the largest classrooms in the High School "Archbishop Tenison's.
Teaching at the Bulgarian School Chuchuliga (Skylark) is done in accordance with the requirements of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science while following the official curriculum and syllabuses in the school subjects of Bulgarian language and literature, Bulgarian Culture, History of Bulgaria, and Geography of Bulgaria. We run classes for children and students from pre-school to primary to secondary and up to high school age.
For those children who don’t speak English yet, we organise special English classes, and for those who don’t speak Bulgarian, we also offer special Bulgarian classes. We can organise classes in English or Bulgarian languages for adults, too, and the teaching in this case is organised as private tutoring; for more details please take a look at the section "Skylark School's External Services" below, or write to us or call us.
Please note: In the new school year 2019-2020 we can organise Bulgarian language teaching for the children that do not speak the language; the group will be a separate class and will have lessons in the afternoon of one of the weekdays after the children's regular classes in their English schools. We can give more details about the group towards 28 September when Skylark's regular classes have already been formed and we know the number of children who need Bulgarian language lessons.
The Bulgarian School Chuchuliga follows both the Bulgarian and the English school year: according to the Bulgarian school system, we have two school terms (not three), the first starting in September and finishing in end-January, and the second starting in February and finishing in end-May or in June (depending on the school age of the students); and according to the English school system, our School observes all school breaks as they are defined for the schools in England between the three school terms.
September 2019: 14, 21, 28
October 2019: 5, 12, 19
November 2019: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
December 2019: 7, 14, 21
January 2020: 11, 18, 25
17 teaching weeks for the first school term
22 – 26 October 2019 – school break between terms for the English schools
22 December 2019 – 10 January 2020 – Christmas break
February 2020: 1, 8, 15, 29
March 2020: 7, 14, 21, 28
April 2020: 4, 25
May 2020: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
June 2020: 6, 13, 20, 27
19 teaching weeks for the second school term
17 - 22 February 2020 – school break between terms for the English schools
5 - 22 April 2020 – Easter break (according to school calendar in England and Wales)
25 May – 1 June 2020 – school break between terms for the English schools
Pre-school children (age 4 to 6/7) and the primary school students, year 1 to 4, finish school on 23 May 2020 (31 teaching weeks), year 5 to 7 finish on 6 June 2020 (33 teaching weeks) and year 8 to 11 finish on 20 June 2020 (35 teaching weeks).
Pre-school and Primary school
Bulgarian language and Bulgarian literature
Bulgarian Culture (as an additional teaching activity)
People in Society (as an additional teaching activity)
Chuchuliga’s school life is interesting, it includes various school activities. Learning is pleasant and is always accompanied by games and free activities. During the breaks between classes we always organise different games and activities in the school yard, weather permitted, or in the classroom; the students can also have their snacks during the breaks.
Celebration of the Day of Bulgarian Enlighteners with the children of the pre-school and 1st and 2nd grades
Chuchuliga's Christmas celebration
The School is headed by an experienced teacher and is run by several subject teachers, and its work is also observed and supported by a Parents’ Council.
Neli Kozhuharova is the founder and the head of the School.
She has had a rich 25-year-long teaching experience in all educational grades of the education system of Bulgaria, from kindergarten and pre-school to primary and secondary; she has had a substantial amount of experience in the system of higher education as well, both at national and international level, as a teacher of Bulgarian language and Bulgarian history in Bulgarian schools and at the Russian Christian University of St John the Theologian in Moscow (2003-2007). Nelli is the author of the book “And his Kingdom was well blessed”, dedicated to the celebration of 1,100 years of the death of the Bulgarian king St Boris the First; she is also the author of articles and other research in Middle Ages and Contemporary Bulgarian history.
Valentin Kozhuharov is a teacher of more than 30 years of teaching experience. He started his teaching career in 1979 as a primary school teacher, then he taught at different levels of the Bulgarian system of education. For a number of years, Valentin has taught at the university department of Philology and that of Theology of Veliko Tarnovo University, and also at colleges and universities in Russian, Hungary and the UK, including work as tutor and mentor in Pedagogics at Teacher training courses. His PhD dissertation deals with didactic aspects of teaching at primary and secondary schools in Bulgaria. Valentin is the author of many books and articles, he is member of a number of international organisations working in the area of education and Christian formation. In the last 15 years he has taken part in more than 100 international forums with papers delivered and then published; he is also member of examination bodies to several universities, editor of specialist research journals and consultant in education and European school system at the Council of Europe within the framework of the education platform “European Commission on Church and School”, Germany.
Zory Burner is a music composer and artistic leader of the vocal ensemble Peregrina EnChantica, thus presenting London audiences to the Byzantine style of Eastern Orthodox chants (in Bulgaria arrangement), as well as to her own music works being part of her different artistic projects.
In addition to her education in music and artistic career, Zory graduated with a BA in English Philology and also obtained an MA in British Studies. One of her lessons at a Bulgarian school was recorded and then used at the Commission of Culture and Education of the European parliament in Brussels as an example of a high-level teaching methodology and teaching skills of the Bulgarian teachers.
Being not only an educator but also a brilliant artistic personality, Zory greatly contributes to both the high learning abilities of our students and their creative, musical, dance and versatile cultural development which help them preserve and enrich Bulgarian culture and traditions.
The School's work and activities are managed on two levels: by the company that established the School (registered with Companies House) and by School administrators and representatives of the Parents' Council. The Company oversees the overall work and activities of the School, whereas the administrators and the Parents' Council oversee specific School activities.
The School business administrator is Mr Valentin Kozhuharov, members of the Recruitment Committee are the School's headteacher, the Parents' Council president and the business administrator. All School staff have valid enhanced DBS, and the School helps newly recruited to obtain enhanced DBS, too. The responsible person for this procedure is the School business administrator.
The Bulgarian School Skylark meets the requirements for safe work in education in England by complying with all regulations, prescriptions and recommendations relating to Safeguarding Children and Adults in Education. Mr Valentin Kozhuharov is the Designated Safeguarding Lead of the School, and the governor for the School's Safeguarding policies is the president of the Parents' Council.
According to the regulations set out by Order No 90/29.05.2018 of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers as they apply to all Bulgarian schools abroad, since the first opening day of our school in the autumn of 2016 we have elected a Parents’ Council (PC) who supports the School’s activities. The Order clearly defines what the Council’s responsibilities are:
1. To monitor the School’s activities, including the lawful and appropriate spending of its funds;
2. To discus and offer suggestions as to how any current problems and issues be most appropriately dealt with;
3. To give any help in educating the School’s students and to encourage all parents to take part in the extra-curriculum activities with the aim of preserving Bulgarian national awareness, culture and traditions (article 10, paragraph 5 of the Order)
Paragraphs 7 and 8 of article 5 indicate that the Parents’ Council prepares an annual report on the performance of the School. The report is sent to the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, a copy is sent also to the Bulgarian Embassy in the corresponding state; the report can be sent on paper and/or in electronic format by the 30th July each year.
The Parents’ Council of the Bulgarian School Skylark includes the following parents:
1. Mrs Svetoslava Gospodinova – head of the PC (mother of a student Year 6)
2. Mr Kostadin Iliev – member of the PC (father of a student Year 3)
3. Mrs Borislava Takova – member of the PC (mother of a student Year 4)
4. Mrs Krasimira Dimitrova – member of the PC (mother of a student Year 3)
These include acquaintance with samples of Bulgarian folk music, adapted for children, contemporary music and drama works for children and popular Bulgarian songs. Music lessons aim to present to children some examples of Bulgarian music art while forming abilities in performing them and encouraging children to create their own samples of music art.
Bulgarian Dances, Creative and Applied Arts
Our School offers free arts’ activities where children create their own art works by using coloured paper, textile pieces, woollen and other type of thread, wood, etc. They try to make different items used at home, national art embroidery, parts of Bulgarian folk costumes and elements of traditional and contemporary costumes interwoven in the same dress or costume.
For those interested, our School offers dance classes according to specifically adapted choreography programmes on Bulgarian folk dance performances.
With the beginning of the second school term of 2018-2019 school year, the dance group for Bulgarian folk dances, started their first classes in the school in Caterham. At the beginning of November 2019, we started exptracurricular activities in the school at "Archbishop Tenison's" in Croydon, too - we are learning and acquiring skills in the field of Bulgarian culture, traditions and customes.
All extracurricular activities at Skylark are free of charge, including folk dances.
Our School is supported by the parents’ contribution for their children’s education which for one school year is £220 for one child or £160 for a second, third, etc. child of the same family. The fee is to be paid at the beginning of the school year and it can be paid in two installments: the first in September and the second in February.
Please pay the school fees into Barclays PLC, IBAN: BG64BUKB 204545 636121 39, SWIFTBIC: BUKBGB22, sort code: 20-45-45, account No: 63612139. For reference use the name and surname of the child.
Please pay the fees by the end of September, and for the second term - by the end of February; don't be late with the payments as we need to plan the School's budget and form it at the beginning of the school year - this would allow us to carry all planned activities in a timely manner and with the highest possible quality.
Skylark School external services
At the Bulgarian School "Skylark" we can also organise several types of services that can be used by those living in the UK; we want to point out that each service is done at the highest possible level and as quick as possible.
Although the services we offer are not directly connected with the teaching activity of the School, in fact they add to the educational and cultural activity of "Skylark" but are done at the office of the founding organisation in addition to the teaching activity.
• translations and interpretations: we offer translations and oral interpretations in Bulgarian, English and Russian languages;
• reviews and proofreading and corrections: we review, proofread and correct texts written in the above three languages, no matter how big the texts are;
• scanning and printing, both in colour and black-and-white: we scan and print documents and texts of unlimited number of pages (up to size A4); we can send (by email, as a rule) the scanned images to those who need them;
• language courses: we can organise courses in the three languages at all levels of competency;
• publishing: we can publish brochures, folders, books and other printed editions by preparing, editing, pre-printing and copy-editing and then type setting and printing of the editions; we also help with the distribution.
• help and advice with scholarly works: we can give advice to those who intend to write or are in the process of writing and/or completing scholarly pieces of work (school, college and university assignments, theses, dissertations, PhDs, etc.) and help them better understand what scholarly work is and how it directly relates to their own piece of research. We offer help and advice with such types of work only in the area of humanitarian studies, including such sciences as history, languages, psychology, philosophy, theology and religion, citizenship and human rights' studies, cultural studies, international relations, and the like.
For more details about the services, please take a look at the document Chuchuliga Services and Price List or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us. Please be advised that the parents and the students of Skylark School get a 25% discount of the prices for the different services we offer! The same discount applies also to school and university students and to those who live on a modest income.