Phone: +44 20 3959 9370
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A unique approach

Our team

The Academic Summer team are here to help you. We aim to offer you an individual and personal service.

Helen Lami, Managing Director; helen.lami@academicsummer.co.uk, +44 7968152795

Vincent Smidowicz, Principal: info@academicsummer.co.uk

Eleanor Callon-Jones, HR Manager: ellie.jones@academicsummer.co.uk

Caroline Marshall, Head of Operations: caroline.marshall@academicsummer.co.uk

Petra Sedivcova, Relations Director: petra.sedivcova@academicsummer.co.uk

Betty Ho, Finance Manager: betty.ho@academicsummer.co.uk 

Tabby Rogers, Admissions and Leadership Manager:tabby.rogers@academiccamp.co.uk

Paige Phillips, HR Business Support officer: paige.phillips@academiccamp.co.uk

Academic Summer employ a team of teachers, leaders and other positions in the summer. If you are interested in working with us and you feel you would fit into the Academic Summer team then please contact us for more information. 

Vincent Smidowicz, Principal of Academic Summer

Academic Summer programme offers from one to eight-week courses for British and international students aged 12 to 17. The philosophy of the academic programme is based on Theory of Knowledge as studied in the International Baccalaureate. The areas of knowledge explored are: Sciences, Mathematics, Humanities, Literature, Language and the Arts. The course is delivered by subject specialist teachers and the medium of instruction is English.


In keeping with the ethos of the IB and the principles of CLIL, Academic Summer programme aims to develop your content knowledge, cognitive skills, communicative competence and cultural awareness. You will also be encouraged constantly to engage in culture communication with fellow members of the international Academic Summer programme community.

Pastoral care and attention to your social and personal development is an important feature of Academic Summer. We are also aware that the course takes place in your school holidays and we provide the highest quality of surroundings, accommodation, leisure facilities and catering. This year we will be based at Sidcot School near Bristol, DLD College in London and Abbey College, Cambridge.

My thirty years in teaching, teacher-training and academic management has involved work with UK study centres; preparing students to join academic programmes and running teacher development courses. I have examined for International Baccalaureate English A2, designed and run pre-IB programmes and visited international schools in many countries.

My aim as Principal of Academic Summer is to share the benefits of my experience with students and teachers to help everyone achieve his or her personal best.

Helen Lami, Managing Director of Academic Summer

I have over 20 years experience working on summer schools and I look forward to welcoming you to Academic Summer. I believe Academic Summer offers you a quality summer camp with a difference. We help you to achieve your Personal Best academically and socially. The programme is integrated and focuses around the ethos of the IB Diploma which we believe is useful to all students whether or not they are planning to study the IB Diploma. We encourage you to be an independent learner and we help you prepare for your future studies.

I lived in Albania between 1994 and 1998 which is where I met my husband. While I was in Albania I taught English to the President's daughter.

I enjoy working in education and I especially like working in the international market and I love meeting people from different cultures. I believe that English is an International language which we all use to communicate. It is exciting when we get together and share our different cultures and experiences. I hope Academic Summer will help students to have this experience.

I would be very happy to discuss students' future academic plans with them and suggest appropriate schools and courses for them. I can recommend different schools including our host schools Sidcot School, DLD College in London and Abbey College Cambridge.

I look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you may have about Academic Summer.

Caroline Marshall, Head of Operations

Caroline has spent 4 memorable years with Academic Summer.  During the year she is head of operations, holds the academic summer knowledge chest and looks after our markets in Albania, Italy, Switzerland and Japan. In the summer she has taken on the role of Camp Director both in London and Cambridge, she has also spent a happy half term at Sidcot.  Caroline has 15 years experience working in international education including her role of Registrar at London’s premier boarding school and a period teaching in Japan.  During her brief life outside of education, she worked for the Japanese Embassy in London assisting the First Secretary for work and … EDUCATION. Caroline holds an MA Hons in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh, a PG Cert in International Student Advice and Support and an MA in International Education both from the  University of Nottingham.  Caroline loves being able to meet students from all over the world and learn about their perspectives and styles of learning. She also enjoys being beaten at chess by clever 8-year-olds!

Betty Ho, Head of Finance

Betty graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of York.  She has since worked in the International Education field for 18 years within a variety of establishments including boarding schools, sixth form colleges and summer camps. During this time, she has embraced all her different roles from International Liaison Officer, to International Admissions, Pastoral Care, Safeguarding Lead, to Boarding, Marketing and Finance Manager.

She has worked together closely with Academic Summer since it was first established in 2010. As the agent, she sent students with full confidence in the high quality teaching programmes and services. She subsequently joined Academic Summer as a full-time employee 4 years ago. She started her first 3 years as camp director in the Cambridge campus. Last year, she accepted the major challenge of setting up a brand new campus in Switzerland. In addition to her role as camp director, throughout the year she is also the Head of Finance and Marketing Manager for Asia, Nigeria and Serbia. 

Above all, her pride and passion is working together with our students during the half term and summer holidays where she wears her “Aunty Betty” hat. She endeavours to promote Academic Summer’s ethos: “Reaching to your Personal Best” to every one of our students."

Petra Sedivcova, Head of Marketing

Petra loves marketing!  With 15 years of experience in International Education Petra brings a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to Academic Summer.  Petra has worked in numerous top boarding schools in both the UK and the Czech Republic working her way from marketing assistant to Director of Marketing.  Petra has been with Academic Summer for 5 years during which time she has been our Course Director at Sidcot School, Relations Director and now Director of Marketing, she also takes great care of our Russian, Polish, Czech, Ukrainian and newly Turk markets.  With a Master’s Degree in Business Administration Marketing from Prague University of Economics, a Professional Diploma and a Postgraduate Professional Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing Petra is super organised with a passion for marketing and a strong business skill-set.  However, she has many strings to her bow and loves working in education, talking to fellow professionals and meeting students from all over the world.  She enjoys making sure everything is perfect for them and ensuring they have a summer and learning experience they will never forget.

Tabby Rogers, Leadership and Admissions Manager

Tabby is our youngest and yet longest-serving member of the Academic Summer team. At just 18 years old, Tabby joined us as a fresh-faced, enthusiastic camp counsellor at our Sidcot campus. Since then she has graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BSc Hon in Sports and Materials Science, and then from Bath Spa University with a PGCE in Primary Education. From here she went on to become a successful and popular primary school teacher. After gaining valuable experience in the real world, Tabby has recently joined the Academic Summer team on a full-time basis to fill the role of Admissions and Leadership Manager. Tabby has worked in all our UK campuses in almost every role possible including camp counsellor, senior leader, activities coordinator and developed our Get Ready for Academic Sports programme. This was while also spending the last 3 summers on our senior management team. Tabby’s experience has given her the insight and knowledge to really understand what our students enjoy. This has inspired her to design our new Be a Leader programme (which attracted great praise during a recent BAC inspection).  Tabby loves working with younger students and takes great joy seeing our camp participants develop and improve their English. Tabby is an intrepid traveller and has been all over the world. She loves to learn about other cultures and traditions and can often be spotted in the front row of our much-loved talent shows and world dance competitions.

Paige Phillips, HR Business Support Officer
Paige has worked in many different roles since joining Academic Summer, from a Teacher, to a Camp Director, to Human Resources. She holds a large role in Academic Camp Canada, has directed Academic Summer @home, and has ran a half-term camp in the UK. Her love of working with youth in an international setting, mixed with her Bachelors in Human Resources and Leadership Management has made her an ideal fit for our team. Although staffing and training are enjoyable parts of Paige’s job, she favours her time working at the camp where she can build relationships with students from around the world and learn about their cultures and ideas on a global scale. And of course, staff vs. student competitions are a close second.


Anastasia Vasiliou, Director of Studies

I am the Director of Studies at Academic Summer Sidcot School, near Bristol. I also teach at a big private school in Greece, my homeland, which follows the GCSE and A-level program. I have more than 30-year experience in teaching and I hold a Master’s Degree in School Management. I am currently doing my PhD in the University of Cambridge. I love teaching and working with people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. I also have a big family with four kids (all adults now) living all around the world.

Academic Summer is a unique experience for students and teachers! It is the perfect combination of learning through different subjects and activities, while meeting people from all over the world! The CLIL method, that we follow, is the ideal method of learning English, without even knowing it, getting an idea of the British curriculum and having fun at the same time. As a student you will be living with other students from different parts of the world, learning interesting subjects every day and following our activity afternoon program and our fantastic trips over the weekend. Our dedicated and specially trained pastoral staff will guide you all the way and our mentors will make sure that you are having the best time of your life! We have specialized academic programs for all ages from Juniors to GCSE’s and IB students. Take a look at our brochure and our philosophy and join the Academic Summer family!

I will be more than happy to welcome you in Academic Summer and discuss with you your future, your academic needs and expectations and help you reach your Personal Best!

Giedre Balcytyte, Director of Studies

Giedre is a doctor of social sciences, an associate professor of linguistics at Vilnius University, an IPA (UCL, UK) certified phonetician, a researcher, a lecturer and a teacher trainer. Her special research and teaching focus is on the acquisition of English by non-native speakers. Verbal and non-verbal communication including the nuances of vocal skills and the prosodic/musical features of the English language is the area she is particularly interested in. Her empathy and understanding makes her one of the students' most favourite Academic Summer teachers.


The Academic Summer teachers

Ed McCool - As the art department curriculum leader and GCSE personal tutor at DLD College, I develop and raise the abilities of our students, who will go on to play key roles in the UK and International creative sector. I believe that every student has the potential to achieve in the arts and I nurture this potential by being an enthusiastic and inspirational teacher who responds to student’s individual needs. In reflection of this my lessons were deemed “excellent” in recent ISI assessments. I lead a team of four teachers and am heavily involved in the development of new courses. I was a ‘Beacon Teacher,’ sharing my knowledge & teaching with local primary & secondary schools. I consistently raise achievement in all centres and I am the recipient of a Protocol Professional “New Horizons Award for part time teaching, full time dedication” award.

Richard Earle - Richard has been a designer and design and technology teacher since the 1990's. He has been a subject leader for electronic products and teaches resistant materials and graphic products. In 2002 he helped develop the national strategy for design and technology assessment. He is a designer of; contract interiors for a large retail chain, national and regional press advertising campaigns for the motor industry, many international architectural projects, bespoke handmade furniture, hospital ward redesign, local mental health awareness campaigns and Southern England's section twelve approvals corporate identity and video advertising. 

Michael Turner - Michael began teaching humanities in 1982. Since 1975 he has visited 100 countries to collect pictorial images to illustrate and add relevance to his lessons. Michael can often supplement the text book by teaching from personal experience such as from his meetings with Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. Michael is a published author of human rights and the life of Sir Francis Drake. The latter topic has enabled him to make national television and radio documentaries. Michael tries to inspire students to study humanities beyond the GCSE exam by encouraging them to visit the real world and help those less fortunate than themselves.

Academic Summer Richard DolphinRichard Dolphin – Richard spent the first nine years of his working life in banking. He then ran an export business and a financial advisory service: at the same time he was a director of a plastic moulding company based in London. At the age of fifty he translated to the university of Durham where he read a master's degree in Business Administration. Subsequently he wrote a bestselling book on organisational communication before becoming head of Economics at Yeovil College. Later he taught Marketing up to postgraduate level at Northampton university, Investor Relations at Bournemouth university, Management on the university of Derby's Israel programme and, most recently, Service Marketing at the university of Exeter. An examiner in Business for AQA and OCR: and economics for International Baccalaureate: Richard teaches Economics on MPW's Easter Revision programme in Cambridge each year and offers Business, Economics, History and Politics on Academic Summer's Sidcot programme. He believes passionately that humour is an essential ingredient in good communication: which after all is at the heart of good education.

Medical Studies staff:

DR Deborah Lloyd, General Practitioner – Doctor Lloyd trained at Charing Cross medical school in London, this is now part of Imperial college. After qualifying in 1998 and starting her junior doctor jobs she signed up for the 2000/2001 BT Global Challenge. She was  team medic on board yacht Olympic and circumnavigated the globe via the southern ocean and Cape Horn. The whole race took 10 months. She completed her GP training in Wessex working in Portsmouth and started work in a practice in a very deprived part of Gosport where she stayed for 6 years. After having her 2 children, she decided to become a locum and joined a chambers organisation. She has worked all over Hampshire seeing general practice at its most diverse. During the last 6 years of locuming she has become a GP appraiser in Wessex and embarked on the MA in medical education through Winchester university. She has recently started facilitating seminars for year 3 medical students at Southampton university. She also works as a prefect examiner for the Wessex RCGP CSA course and has set up and run courses on musculoskeletal topics for the Wessex RCGP.

Dr Allestina Ho - Allestina is a doctor working in intensive care and emergency medicine at Hampshire Hospital Trust. She trained at University of Southampton and completed her foundation training at University Hospital Southampton. She will soon be embarking in her speciality training in anaesthesia and critical care. She has a special interest in medical education. She designed and developed the popular Get Ready for Medicine programme, in aim to inspire and guide young people to pursue a career in medicine. In her free time she has interests in a variety of sports including running and hockey.​

In the summer we employ a team of teachers who are qualified to teach their subjects and have A-Level, IB and TEFL experience. As well as experience our teachers have enthusiasm and a love for their subjects. They make their subject options interesting for you and the lessons will be a mixture of theory and practical work.

Some teachers from Sidcot School, Abbey College Cambridge and DLD College work for us in the summer and this helps us to offer a quality academic programme.

A quote from a teacher from Sidcot School who worked with us:

"I did wonder if giving up part of the holiday was a good idea, but I have thoroughly enjoyed working for Academic Summer. The students in my groups were a pleasure to teach and I was impressed with their level of English, chemical knowledge and level of motivation". Jim Scott, Head of Science, Sidcot School