Malahat Vatankhan - Our Team

Malahat Vatankhah

Primary Teacher

Malahat grew up in Iran and developed a passion for education through over a decade of diverse teaching experience. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Guilan, Iran, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of East London. Her educational background is further enhanced by TESOL certifications from both the University of Hong Kong School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKUSPACE) and Trinity College London.

In her extensive teaching career, Malahat has specialized in Mathematics and English as a Second Language. She is well versed in various phonics curricula, including those from Cambridge and Trinity. Malahat has made significant contributions to international kindergartens and primary schools, skillfully implementing the British curriculum in subjects like Math, Literacy, Art, Cooking, Music, and even Yoga.

Malahat's expertise extends to supporting students with diverse learning needs. While at ESF - Bradbury Primary School in Hong Kong, she excelled in providing learning diversity support. Her approach focused on tailored academic, emotional, and social needs education, implementing individual education programs, and assisting students in integrating effectively into mainstream classes.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Malahat has a rich palette of interests. She is an avid fan of music and sports, particularly Yoga and Pilates, and is an accomplished culinary expert. Her literary interests are varied, encompassing history, psychology, education, and novels. Central to Malahat's philosophy of education is creating an inclusive and nurturing learning environment, fostering each student's unique strengths and interests, and inspiring a lifelong love for learning.

Other Bloom Members

Ashley Novak

Primary Teacher

Ashley graduated from University of Waterloo, Canada with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and later obtained her Degree in Education at Nipissing University, Canada. She moved to Hong Kong over 7 years ago and cultivated her love for teaching young bilingual learners.

Ashley’s background in both education and psychology not only gave her knowledge in her teaching subjects and pedagogy, but also a better understanding of how others think and how their mindsets develop. Her students benefit doubly from her strengths.

Ashley is passionate about inspiring and educating young learners, particularly in foundational phonics, reading, and writing. She strongly believes in and practises hands-on learning and seamlessly integrates STEM education into her teaching. She loves to foster a nurturing and supportive classroom environment and has excellent relationships with her students and their families. Ashley’s gradual teaching approach -- from observations and basic value exploration to student engagement and real-life application -- empower her students with a positive attitude towards learning. Through differentiation and accommodation, Ashley acts as the guiding light of great flexibility and patience throughout her students’ learning journeys. This process encourages her students to seek answers on their own and eventually achieve Ashley’s goal for them to develop greater independence.

The primary attraction of being an educator to Ashley aligns fully with what Bloom also values: the curiosity, innovation, and openness of the children she is entrusted to guide in their learning journeys. Naturally, she constantly strives to better herself in teaching.

Shu Chen

Primary Teacher

Shu Chen is an expert in several Chinese dialects. A native Mandarin speaker, she is also proficient in Shanghainese and Cantonese as well as English. Her skills and passion in language learning led her to a career in education where she can share the beauty of Chinese culture with non-Chinese as well as Chinese students.

After her Bachelor of Science degree in business at Benedictine College, Shu obtained her Post Graduate Diploma in Education and Master of Education from the Hong Kong Baptist University. She taught Mandarin for 8 years in local Hong Kong secondary and international schools, as well as Liberal Studies for secondary students. Well-trained in the IB teaching system, Shu was also a grade-level teacher who incorporated interdisciplinary learning across various subjects. She was most recently Year Level Head at the Singapore International School Hong Kong overseeing curriculum planning, designing assessments, and developing immersion programs in cultural studies.

Over her decade-long teaching career, Shu observed how a student’s l environment can impact their mental development. She believes that successful positive learning is best achieved by teaching students to be self-motivated to pursue knowledge and become inquisitive learners through asking questions. Shu’s students practice learning-by-doing to reinforce active recall of their knowledge and language in real-life situations and to acquire critical thinking skills to analyze different situations they might encounter.

Shu is currently working towards her Doctoral Degree in Education with research on the development of Chinese curriculum. She is excited to join Bloom to share her love for Chinese language, history, and rich cultural heritage.