Our Story

In 2012 Dinara co-founded a school in St. Petersburg, where many students were from low-income and marginalised communities. She has been running it for eleven years.

A writer and a committed educator, Dinara has extensive experience working with underrepresented ethnic and religious groups. Being a daughter of a Tatar Muslim woman in the early 1990s Russia, she knows from her own life what it is like to be isolated as a child because of your background or culture and to lack a safe space for expression.

The school Dinara established is focused on nurturing creativity and social, emotional, and ethical skills through art (visual, performative and literary). It is run democratically by students and teachers together.

Learning Approach

Our approach to art education is informed by methods of bell hooks, Corita Kent, Bruno Munari, Reggio Emilia pedagogy, design thinking, and our own experience. Art making is always participant-led and takes shape of installations, bookmaking, digital design, painting, exhibitions, etc, in the spirit of constant curiosity, honesty and openness to mistakes.

We always start our collective work by establishing trust and discovering mutual interests with local collaborators and educators. Only by maintaining focus on learning and reciprocal trust can we build a space where creativity can flourish.

In dialogue with teachers and other partners, we develop an open and inclusive environment, while making art together, cooking, exploring different cultures and strengthening community ties.

Teaching for Change

In 2018, after moving to the UK, Dinara received a Masters in Education degree from the University of Cambridge, her research being focused on diversity and inclusion in Camden primary schools.

In 2019, together with Christos, an artist and an architect, Dinara started conducting art workshops and programmes for early years children, teenagers and adults with the intention to enhance participants’ confidence and foster empathy.

Due to Dinara’s practical experience and extensive research on equitable education, Morley School is able to create and facilitate a compassionate and creative learning environment for children and young adults.