AZBUKA Russian-English Primary School

AZBUKA Russian-English Primary School admits children between the ages of 5 and 10. To ensure we provide the very best education for our children, the maximum class size is 12 pupils.

Subjects and areas of learning

English and Russian (main languages of the curriculum), Maths, World around us (history, geography, science), Arts, Music, DT, PE, Circus, Dance, Drama, Spanish, P4C (Philosophy for children), ICT, PSHE is embedded in all subject areas and includes Relationship and Sex Education. Assemblies are key part of the curriculum.
Extra curricular clubs: after school club, chess, STEM – SCIENCE club, violin, football
Azbuka runs a culture rich creative curriculum, therefore school year incorporates various celebrations, school trips, community events, productions, concerts and visits.

Children follow a unique programme ensuring equal language distribution. Each class has two teachers dedicated to teaching in their native language.

Under our specialist programme, the subjects are taught in rotation, allowing children to explore, learn and develop their vocabulary and skill sets in both languages.

The AZBUKA School meets all Ofsted and independent school requirements and fully prepares children for UK and Russian standardised testing, allowing for a seamless transition to secondary education in Russia or the UK.

«The school’s bilingual curriculum is a key strength. It is well planned and implemented. Pupils enjoy learning all subjects in Russian and English; they make rapid progress in both languages»


All policies (2023-2024) have been updated and are made available from the school office on demand and free of charge.

The following policies and documents are made available from the school office on demand and free of charge:

  • AZBUKA time-tables
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • AZBUKA Monitoring and Evaluation
  • AZBUKA Accessibility Policy
  • AZBUKA Premises Management
  • Fire risk (prevention) policy, reports, records re to fire safety
  • AZBUKA Managing Contractors
  • AZBUKA Manual Handling
  • AZBUKA Financial Policy
  • Staff Book

The founding members have always been committed to community cohesion and inclusion of diverse families in the life and work of AZBUKA Foundation.
Our admissions policy as well as all other policies and practices reflect the fundamental values of universal access to education.
AZBUKA School is an educational charity and a new specialist school. An educational organisation of this kind has enormous fundraising challenges in the UK today. Generating income is never easy and takes a long time, achieved through the voluntary work of supporters, trustees, parents and patrons.
Despite the challenges, we always knew that this small specialist independent school would be not just about academic achievement as measured only by test results, but as something much more valuable and universal: fostering happiness through an approach to education and schooling rooted in the shared linguistic and cultural values of the participating families, and their common interests in and demand for bilingual education. Since our establishment, we have always strived to be supportive, to admit very different and diverse families into the Nursery and School, and to collaborate externally with the local community and beyond.
Here are some of our achievements so far:

  • There has always been room for Special needs (Senco) children in the nursery, with very good support resulting in amazing progress and achievement in all areas of learning alongside bilingual education. Two children with severe delays have studied at Azbuka Nursery.
  • There are children from families where Russian is not spoken at home and who have been able with our support to develop as bilingual high achievers in secondary schools. They have expressed their gratitude for Azbuka’s system.
  • Our published policies reflect a commitment to the development of special educational provision in the future (see our policy and open days).
  • Four lower income families have benefitted directly from grants and bursaries from the AZBUKA Foundation and the Garfield Foundation, allowing them to begin their education at the AZBUKA Primary school. We continue to search for further grants and external financial support so that we can offer more bursaries to lower income families.
  • The Azbuka Cultural Centre and Bilingual Resource Centre have undertaken substantial activities with support from staff and volunteers, to promote Russian culture, including:
    • o supporting language teaching in other mainstream schools in the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames (LBRUT), including Orleans and St Stephens
    • o organising the AZBUKA Fair for the wider community (2016 and 2017) which attracted many people from both the local area and further afield, and
    • o participating in the Kings College Language Festival, Russian Educational fair in London, Pushkin House cultural events and other joint work
  • The AZBUKA school has been offering volunteering opportunities for secondary school students from local schools working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
  • Pupils of AZBUKA participated in the Holland Park Opera Production of Queen of Spades in 2016.
  • AZBUKA Foundation has run training courses for the wider community, including CPD courses for mainstream teachers to support bilingual development in early years and education.
  • AZBUKA Nursery has been in the directory of educational providers for many years. It has participated in the Quality Assurance scheme to obtain Early Education grants for different families through Richmond Borough, including lower income families for 2-year old children.
  • AZBUKA School has been open to collaboration in supporting academic research and CPD for students in London and abroad. Examples include Goldsmith College students who undertake regular visits to the Saturday school as part of their teacher training and linguistics work, and researchers from Edinburgh University and St Petersburg University, who have undertaken research and work at AZBUKA School.
  • Tara Fortune from CARLA, the main language centre in the US, is one of our consultants and a patron.
  • AZBUKA has support from Russian cultural institutions.
  • Visiting artists, poets and theatre companies from Russia including the writer Andrei Ushachov have been involved in wider community project and visits led by AZBUKA, including at Kings College London, Eton College and Pushkin House.

One planned future project is to establish links with a home for elderly people in London as well as with Russian speaking elderly people in the community, so that our children can help support them while learning and appreciating the importance of charity and community service through long term and meaningful work and school life.
The AZBUKA School has been establishing links with bilingual schools both in England as well as abroad.

  • It has obtained Pupil Premium for 3-4 year olds. This is how it was spent (2016-2017):

Azbuka Russian Nursery School SDP Aut 2017 – Total
£751.68 School trips, visits, contribution towards professional fees (theatre and story telling visits), photocopies (educational materials and resources), staff training

Azbuka Russian Nursery School SDP Spring 2017 – Total £1,373.76
Help to cover costs of school lunches (New Azbuka kitchen), school trips, additional materials, photocopies, additional part-time teaching assistants, staff CPD training

Azbuka Russian Nursery School Summer 2017

Help to cover costs of school lunches, school trips, additional materials, colour photocopies and visiting professionals (story telling, music especially)

The community of parents, teachers, trustees and friends of Azbuka continue to seek financial support to help support the inclusion of people from diverse backgounds in the educational and cultural work and life of AZBUKA.

Visitors are welcome to Azbuka School. They make a contribution to the life and work of the school in many different ways. The learning, teaching, training and research opportunities and experience they bring are encouraged and appreciated  (from the Russian, English and international community).  It is the school’s responsibility, however, to ensure that the security and welfare of its pupils is not compromised at any time.

The school is equally responsible to the whole school community (as well as the community of the partner THS school) for ensuring that visitors comply with the guidelines.

HeadteacherMaria Gavrilova
AZBUKA office
general enquiries
 0208 392 2286
Office managerSvetlana Malinina
Nursery (EYFS) managerOksana Pavlykivska
Reception (Russian section)Lia Smith
Reception (English section)Ahlam Abdisalam
Curriculum lead/Russian sectionElena Rosenberg
Curriculum lead/English sectionPaul Hume
Safeguarding and Child Protection (DSL)Paul Hume
Deputy (DSL)Oksana Pavlykivska
Safeguarding Nominated GovernorJason Manning +44 (0) 750 012 8095
AdmissionsSvetlana Malinina
SEND coordinator (school and nursery)Oksana Pavlykivska


Newsletters and letters




Newsletters and letters

Additional reports

Letters 2019-2020

Letters Archive



The school website is under development and updated regularly.

Curriculum Subjects and Areas of Learning

Two-way immersion bilingual curriculum. Our curriculum is a blend of the Russian and the English education systems.

Subjects are taught in both Russian and English. The curriculum complies with all English legislation relating to primary school education, enhanced with the best of Russia’s educational traditions in maths, science, music, art, language, literature and the humanities.


Language distribution in the curriculum

50%-50% in core subjects


Native Russian and English teachers, qualified professionals, with teaching experience from the UK, Russia, the Baltic States, Europe and the rest of the world. Most teachers have many years’ experience of teaching their subjects to monolingual or bilingual speakers in English or Russian schools or schools with a bilingual educational curriculum from around the world. All are DBS-checked.


Class sizes

Small class sizes – between 5 and 12 children.

Assessments and progress

Ongoing teacher observations, formative and summative assessments, tests, preparation for exams.

School lunches and uniform

There is the option of either packed lunch or hot lunch (subject to availability).
We have compulsory uniform from Reception class.


8.45am – 3.15pm

Monday – Friday.

3 terms a year. The academic year runs from the beginning of September to the end of June. The spring term starts after Russian Christmas (7th January).


Year 1 (5 years old) – admission by interview only. A good balance of Russian and English is required (Russian language competence being more important at this stage).

Year 3 (7 years old) – admission by interview and entry assessments/examinations in English, Russian and maths.

AZBUKA is a selective academic school. Please refer to School ADMISSION Policy.

Open days

Open Days for parents are run twice a year.

Key Facts

  • UK’s leading Russian-English International School (including
  • Full member of the ISA (Independent Schools Association)
  • The only school in the UK implementing a unique Russian-English
  • High ratings across all areas examined by Ofsted and ISI
    (Independent School Inspectorate)
  • More than 15 languages spoken and cultures present
  • We welcome applications from children – refugees from Ukraine
    (Ukrainian or Russian speaking) and consider special bursaries for
    these families. We support the Ukrainian language in the curriculum
  • Culture rich broad curriculum including extensive music, arts and
  • Holistic approach to education and learning
  • Small classes (8-10 children)
  • Successful transition to British independent, state and international
    secondary schools
  • The AZBUKA Foundation has been pioneering Russian-English
    bilingual education since its launch in 2000

For more information on Admission, Curriculum and AZBUKA Project please go to our website