Teachers at the Heart winner - Anastasia Reva

Mrs Anastasia Reva has been teaching at the Russian state school 'Spring Voices' and for the Volzhskiy Institute of Humanities for the past 15 years.  A passionate and proactive member of the teaching community, she organises free in-set training for teachers and has written over 25 articles for Russian journals. She has a PhD in Children’s Education and – as well as being a winner of our scholarship – won the International House Global Reach Scholarship in 2015!

Here, in her own words, Anastasia tells us all about her award-winning 'Opening the world with English' project and how it helped to build cultural awareness and life skills with her young learners.

What was the goal of your project?

"The main goal of the project 'Opening the world with English' was to start developing intercultural competence through the English language, to equip students with life skills and to teach them to think creatively and challenge stereotypes.

Our aim was that by the end of the project our students would:
  • Be aware that the English language can be used naturally outside their classroom
  • Have an opportunity to socialize and act in the real world
  • Develop positive attitudes about people from different cultures
  • Be familiar with the world map and interested in information about other countries"

What did the project involve?

"The project was centred on the website we created www.postcrossing.com. The site allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards. We registered on the site and gave some information about our class, location of the school and asked  senders to tell us a folk story from his/her country. So the project work started.

We were given 5 addresses of ‘postcrossers’ from different countries and then children wrote and sent postcards to them. After our postcards were received, we started getting postcards back and we kept track of where they had come from on our world map on the wall. Then the children brought encyclopedias to learn more information about the country, its capital, flora and fauna and famous people.

Many of my students have never been outside the country but said during the project that it made them feel as if they had travelled and met new people. We got a lot of fairy tales from around the world and then staged a play of the Little Red Hen."

How did it benefit your students and institution?

  • "The project helped to make abstract geographical knowledge more personal and concrete
  • Other teachers participated in this work so cross-curricular links were created
  • The work enabled students to act cooperatively not competitively, thus developing interpersonal intelligence
  • Students developed holistically as their cognitive, social, cultural dimensions were given a high priority
  • Students had opportunities to construct their own knowledge, apply existing knowledge and skills to new situations – integrating new and prior knowledge"

How were the results measured?

"I created classroom observation sheets and arranged classroom observation of the students engaged in the project. Student discussions demonstrated thinking and learning about the concepts contained in the activities. We also interviewed children and parents."

Finally, how do you feel about winning the scholarship?

“I’m very proud to be one of the winners of Macmillan Scholarship Competition. I’ve been working in the Volzhskiy Institute of Humanities in Russia for 15 years and completed the dissertation on children’s education in 2006.

Working with Young Learners is my passion. I’m always in the process of planning creative activities, even in summer weeding flower beds in my garden I think about table games to make and new worksheets to create.

Once you decide to become a teacher, you  agree to become a life-long student, and  need loads of preparation to make sure your lessons are interesting for your pupils. I’m very grateful to Macmillan Education for such a great opportunity.”

They said:

Anastasia was nominated by Mrs All Davydova, Principal at 'Spring Voices'.  Of her work, she said:

“Anastasia is a very creative primary English teacher who applies modern methods in her work. 'Opening the world with English' project influenced our school life very much. Children, teachers, parents took active part in it.”

Our judges verdict:

“A fun, creative and engaging project that has the potential to have a real positive impact on children’s intercultural awareness. The project was outlined in detail and can be pictured clearly. There were also measurable outcomes for students and teachers. It would be great to participate in this project both as a teacher and as a learner!”

What's next for Anastasia Reva?

As part of their scholarship prize, Anastasia will be attending a two-week training course at the NILE teacher training institute in Norwich this summer.  Find out more about the courses available and how Macmillan Education is working in partnership with NILE.

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