THE official launch of St Mary’s Ukrainian School in Hillingdon was an occasion for music and motivational words. 

The school, for children aged four to 16, is open on Sundays from 9.45-3pm at Sutton Court Road. It’s the first one in Hillingdon, but there are numerous other St Marys in and around London.

The launch featured a rendition of Imagine by the children’s choir plus other moving Ukrainian folk songs performed under the direction of choir master Olena Svitlyk.

Motivational words came from head teacher Inna Hryhorovych and directors Orysya Novestka, Teji Barnes and Mykola Koval.

The head celebrated by sharing the Ukrainian bread, Korovai. Nataliya Kaplun supplied the buffet enjoyed

St Mary's Ukrainian School, with a legacy of more than 65 years, has been a cornerstone of the UK's Ukrainian community, fostering identity and offering educational and cultural enrichment.

It is registered as a Community Interest Company and as a charity, since June. A  board of five directors and trustees provides expertise in education, law, finance and commerce.

St Mary’s has grown rapidly since the war broke out and has gone from having 200-plus pupils to well over a thousand. 

All its schools are run and managed by Ukrainian qualified teachers and specialists.  More than 80% of staff and pupils are displaced Ukrainians.

The curriculum educates the children in qualifications recognised in Ukraine, so that, on their return, they will not have missed out.

St Mary’s Ukrainian School Hillingdon still has spaces. If you are keen to join, email Katia Markovsk on