500 years of academic innovation
The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai campus is designed for boys and girls aged from 3 to 18. We currently accept pupils in Prep and Year 7 (age 3 -12), and our school shall continue to grow year by year.
Our school embodies the ethos and values that have underpinned the Royal Grammar School Guildford in the UK for over 500 years. These, combined with a spirit of innovation and development, will prepare pupils for the challenges of the 21st and 22nd centuries. We lead by example, stay true to our values, innovate, collaborate and strive to be the very best we can be.
The Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGSGD) is a true sister school of one of the most respected and successful schools in the United Kingdom, the Royal Grammar School Guildford (RGS).
RGS continues to grow and flourish while retaining its proud historical roots and traditions. It is consistently one of the top boys’ schools at both A-Level and GCSE in the UK, according to national league tables. The school is exceptionally proud of its Oxbridge record; in the last decade alone, over 350 of our pupils received offers of places from Oxford and Cambridge universities.
Since its foundation in 1509, the Royal Grammar School has established a national and international reputation for academic excellence. Much admired among its peers, it is an ambitious school that values scholarship and community, striving for excellence in all things while acting with great compassion.
RGSGD reflects the same high standards and inspiring ethos of its home school in the UK.
RGS was founded in Guildford thanks to a bequest from Robert Beckingham, a Freeman of the City of London. In 1555, an imposing Tudor schoolhouse at the top of the High Street in Guildford was purchased. As the architectural heart of the school, this original building is a landmark in the local town. Over the centuries, RGS acquired further buildings, and there has been significant development of facilities over recent years.
In 1978, the school acquired the prestigious and successful Lanesborough Preparatory School, also in Guildford. Lanesborough continues to enjoy close links with the RGS; both schools are owned by the same charity and share the same governing body. Lanesborough also works alongside the RGS in supporting and providing guidance from the perspective of the primary sector to its international schools in Doha, Qatar and Dubai, UAE.
Mrs Clare Turnbull
Clare Turnbull has over 20 years of experience in educational leadership roles. She has direct senior leadership experience from RGS Guildford, where she was a member of the senior leadership team for 16 years, 13 of which she was Head of the Preparatory School of RGS Guildford.
Clare graduated from the University of Exeter with a Bachelor's degree and has a Masters in Educational Leadership (Distinction). She has been a governor of three independent schools in the UK and is an experienced inspector with the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).
She brings the academic excellence of RGS Guildford to her role at Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGSGD), as well as a deep understanding of its distinctive culture, values and learning habits.
Mr Nicholas Radbourne
Deputy Head, Senior School
As Deputy Head of Senior at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, I am excited to be part of this enthusiastic and dynamic community, and the RGS family. Our co-operative and supportive relationship with our sister school back in the UK gives us a wealth of experience to draw upon. Our alignment with the RGS learning habits and values, which are founded on 500 years of history, also gives us the foundations to create a new, exciting and happy community for our pupils to thrive.
I initially trained and qualified as a Physical Education and Geography teacher at the University of Exeter gaining a Bachelor of Education. I have a passion for teaching and have over 30 years of experience working in a range of schools in the UK in educational leadership.
This has given me an excellent understanding of what is required when developing outstanding teaching and learning in schools, and how to create an innovative and challenging environment for our pupils. How we foster and develop teams within the school is important, and then how those teams communicate, overlap, co-operate and nourish each other will be the key to a successful and outstanding environment for all our pupils, teachers and the wider community. This is my second Leadership role in an international setting after moving out to the Middle East with my wife, and when the chance to work at RGSGD building our Senior school came up, this was opportunity that could not be missed.
I am a very enthusiastic sportsperson, and enjoy Skiing, Water Sports, Rugby and Cycling. I have two sons so I understand the value of education and how important good schooling is to any child. I look forward to supporting our pupils as they start their journey through RGSGD.
Mrs Charlotte Grieves
Deputy Head, Prep School
I am delighted to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai and to have the opportunity to work and learn with the children and families, in a school where it is very evident that everyone wants to learn and thrive.
I have lived and worked in the UAE for 15 Years, I am here with my husband and 10-year-old daughter and have previously worked at 3 outstanding schools in Dubai. I am passionate about wellbeing and believe that all children deserve the absolute best education, to have that sense of belonging, to thrive beyond their potential and develop as pupils to be confident, world ready individuals.
I am genuinely committed to High Performance Learning and as a former leader of an accredited World Class School my ethos is to ensure that children are immersed in motivating learning environments, guaranteeing that all pupils are enriched from the moment they walk in the door.
I believe that every opportunity is a learning opportunity where children are given every chance to be change agents and who are ready to be challenged in a happy and stimulating school. I love seeing how children flourish into well-rounded pupils every day and the development of the child as a learner, both in the classroom and in the world outside, is at the core of my pedagogy. We are in a very privileged career as educators, and nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing children succeed, academically, socially, and emotionally.
I cannot wait to meet you all in September and look forward to leading and learning with the exceptional children, teachers, and leaders at RGSGD.
At the Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGSGD), we value our community. Our staff are unquestionably one of our most valuable assets. Their expertise and guidance are vital to inspiring young minds, sparking curiosity and promoting a love of learning in and beyond the classroom.
To complement the experienced, passionate, innovative, creative and committed staff at RGS Guildford in the UK, the team at RGSGD are made up of outstanding international educators with vision and drive, who are also committed to making RGSGD a phenomenal experience for our pupils and their families.
Key Stage 3
My name is Claire Hulme and I am delighted to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Secondary English teacher. I am from London in the UK, and after graduating from the University of Reading with a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature (BA Hons), I worked as a teaching assistant and then obtained my PGCE from the Institute of Education in London. I began teaching in 2006 and have taught in Sydney, Australia, London and most recently in Bournemouth, on the south coast of England. I have also worked as a Head of English at an outstanding school in London, as a GCSE examiner and private tutor.
I love building relationships with pupils helping to nurture their literacy skills and well-being, and cultivating a love of reading, literature and writing. It is a real privilege to watch, enable and support pupils to grow, mature and flourish. I am very much looking to forward to joining the team at RGSGD and I will be joined by my husband, Joseph Hulme, who will be teaching Maths and our two children, who are also joining the school: we are all so excited to meet the pupils, parents and staff.
Hello, my name is Joseph Hulme, and I will be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a teacher of Mathematics from August 2022. I am originally from Lancashire in England, and I have taught Secondary school Maths since 2009. I graduated from the University of Liverpool before completing my PGCE in Mathematics (Senior) at Liverpool Hope University. During my teaching career I have been a Head of Year, Head of Maths and most recently an Assistant Headteacher. I feel these roles have allowed me to fully experience school life and to learn what makes a successful, happy school. To watch pupils, grow and prosper in a learning environment, on their journey to becoming young adults, is a privilege.
Outside of school, I like to spend time with my family and friends, playing or watching many sports, and I also enjoy travelling and experiencing new cultures and places. I am extremely excited about joining RGSGD, and will be joining with my wife, Claire Hulme and our two children. I look forward to meeting you all very soon.
My name is Rachael Parkinson and I am very excited to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in August as a Science teacher in the Senior School. After graduating from Imperial College London with a degree in Biochemistry, I worked in the science industry for a short time, but soon realised my passion for teaching and travel, and subsequently moved to Japan where I taught English as a foreign language. I trained as a Science teacher at The University of Nottingham, and have taught Key Stage 3, GCSE, A level and the International Baccalaureate (IB) in all three Science disciplines. I was a Head of Science in the UK until I took a year away from the classroom to work in assessment, and to help develop the new A level Chemistry Specification in 2014, working closely with the Department of Education, UK, Ofqual, the National STEM Centre and the UK Exam Boards.
I missed the classroom and became a Secondary Science specialist in the UK supporting Heads of Science to improve academic achievement and progress across eight schools, giving me the opportunity to work in a range of different environments.
I love Science, and I believe a passion for your subject is important. I want pupils to recognise the importance of Science in their everyday life. There are a huge number of transferable skills that they develop in Science and I believe it can truly help them to understand the world, and potentially become those who develop solutions to the challenges of the future.
I will be joining RGSGD along with my husband, Colin Parkinson who will be teaching History and Geography. We moved internationally in 2016 and have previously worked in both Dubai and Ecuador. I cannot wait to start at RGSGD and get to work in the schools wonderful facilities and with such enthusiastic pupils.
Head of Music
My name is Chloe Amsellem and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as Head of Music. After graduating from Royal Holloway, University of London with a BA in Music and Spanish, I decided to pursue a career in teaching. This led me to completing a PGCE at the University of Cambridge, where I obtained a Masters of Education the following year. For the past six years I have been working in Gibraltar, where I have benefitted from being a part of the founding team in a new school. I am looking forward to leading the music programme at RGSGD and I feel fortunate to be joining the founding Senior School team at a school whose aspirational ethos and values very much align with my own educational philosophy.
In addition to teaching music next academic year, I will also be teaching French, which is one of my native languages. I am a firm believer that artistic endeavor forms an integral part of a young person’s education. Music in education, in its many forms - supports the development of the whole child and it impassions me to be a part of this process. Getting to know my pupils as individuals and supporting them to reach their full potential is genuinely one of the most rewarding aspects of the profession. I feel privileged to be embarking on this new adventure with RGSGD and I look to meeting you all very soon.
History & Geography Teacher
My name is Colin Parkinson and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I will be teaching History and Geography. After studying History in Canterbury in the UK, I taught English in Japan for three years and in Australia for a year. After returning to the UK and working in London, I trained as a History teacher at Warwick University and I worked in the East Midlands as a teacher of History and Geography, Head of History and as the Head of Humanities. In 2016, I moved to Dubai with my wife, where I worked for 5 years as Head of History teaching GCSE and A Level History. In 2021, we moved to Ecuador in South America, where I have been teaching International Baccalaureate (IB) History and Global Politics.
I believe that variety is key to a successful learning experience. In History I try to engage all learners through effective differentiation, and through active learning, where pupils are encouraged to learn and apply their understanding through various activities and tasks that are designed to engage them. I try to encourage pupils to develop their ability to think critically to answer contentious historical questions.
I am thoroughly looking forward to returning to Dubai and joining RGSGD with my wife, Rachel Parkinson who will also join the school as a Science teacher. Outside of work, I love all sports, particularly cricket, football and golf.
Specialist Art Teacher
My name is Melissa Bevan and I am excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Specialist Art Teacher. I am from a small town called Maesteg in South Wales, I have been teaching in the UK for 18 years. I completed my BA Hons degree in Photography at Manchester Metropolitan University, and followed this with a PGCE in Art and Design at the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff. In my lessons I use a range of processes, methods and techniques to engage and enthuse pupils. I strongly believe that all children are creative and it is possible for everyone to be successful in creative arts. I currently teach GCSE Art and Design, GCSE Digital Photography and A Level Art and Design, I have also been an artist-in-residence, delivering art lessons to Primary aged pupils.
Along with my teaching roles I am currently a Lead Examiner for GCSE Art and Design, allowing me to coordinate a team of moderators for many schools throughout the UK.
Outside of work really enjoy sewing, making my own clothes, crafting and reading. I am looking forward to becoming part of the RGSGD community with my husband and two daughters, who are also extremely excited to join RGSGD and make new friends.
Computer Science Teacher
My name is Rich Bennett and I am thrilled to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Computer Science teacher in August 2022. Having been a huge fan of programming and building computers from a very early age, I always knew a career in the IT sector beckoned. After spending my formative years in South Africa, I returned to the UK with my family where I graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Computer Science back in 2004. An opportunity then arose to work at an outstanding school in Birmingham, UK and it was there I discovered a love for training staff and pupils within IT. I therefore decided to embark upon a teaching career, and completed a PGCE in Secondary Computer Science in 2016.
I have worked as a lead teacher and Head of Computer Science in outstanding schools both in the UK, and internationally in Hong Kong. I am now looking forward to having the opportunity to create and develop a new Computer Science department at RGSGD.
I am very proud to call myself a geek for all things technological and will bring my enthusiasm and passion for a subject, that I not only teach, but love, to the wonderful RGSGD community.
Design Technology Teacher
My name is Leanne Patterson and I am originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland. I am absolutely delighted to be taking up the post as Teacher of Design Technology at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai this academic year. After completing a BA Hons Degree at Blackpool and the Flyde Arts College, I attended Liverpool John Moore’s University and completed my PGCE in Design Technology. It was in Liverpool where I began my teaching career and spent many years as Head of Design Technology - working in a comprehensive school, before moving into teaching pupils with additional educational needs. I then decided it was time for a new adventure and moved to the UAE where I enjoyed four very happy years at an outstanding rated school in Dubai.
Previously i worked in a private international school in Central London and although I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the pupils, I did really miss everything Dubai has to offer, hence my decision to return as a teacher of Design Technology. I specialise in Product Design, Resistant Materials, Graphics and CAD/CAM. I love how my subject gives pupils the scope to be innovative, and the chance to design, invent, develop and manufacture. I really look forward to becoming part of the RGSGD community and helping to develop RGSGD to become one of the best schools in the region.
Performing Arts Teacher
My name is Marie-Clare Sherriff and I am excited to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in August as a Performing Arts teacher. After graduating from the University of Glasgow with a Master of Arts in Theatre Studies, I then went on to complete my PGCE in Drama at the University of Aberdeen. I made the move to Dubai in 2015 as Head of Performing Arts after teaching in Scotland for three years, and now live here in Dubai with my husband and baby girl. I truly believe that drama, music and the arts are extremely important to a child’s education and wellbeing.
In over 10 years of teaching, I have been able to see first-hand how drama classes offer children opportunities to engage in dynamic group work and develop their confidence in ways that can be adapted to real-life situations.
I am very passionate about drama and musical theatre and have directed a number of school productions in the UK and UAE. I strive to ensure my lessons inspire creativity, through engaging and enjoyable stimuli, allowing the children at RGSGD to learn something new about themselves in a safe and caring environment. I am really looking forward to meeting the pupils, parents and staff and developing our fantastic RGSGD performers.
Upper Key Stage 2
Assistant Head, Upper Key Stage 2
My name is Joe Creal, and I am the Assistant Head of Upper Key Stage 2 at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I have thoroughly enjoyed returning to the UAE and being part of the founding team at RGSGD after holding many roles in a variety of Prep schools both in the UK and previously in Abu Dhabi. Before taking up the role here I was previously teaching at the Preparatory School of the Royal Grammar School Guildford, UK for the past 4 years. There I have served as Head of Science, Housemaster, teacher Mathematics to Years 5 and 6, and Games coach. I bring the full experience of the RGS to Dubai as I was a pupil myself at the Royal Grammar School Guildford in the UK.
I obtained a BSc in Sports Science and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Canterbury Christ Church University and have recently completed my Master’s in Education Leadership.
I believe that the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of each pupil is our top priority and our values, learning habits and leadership development here at the RGS is so important to our young people’s growth and development. I am therefore both honoured and excited to be part of this exceptional journey with fellow teachers and parents, as we empower children to succeed and become valuable leaders of society.
Year 6 Teacher
My name is Andi Price and I have over 20 years of teaching experience across many roles. I have been a Headteacher both here in the UAE and in the United Kingdom, and a member of Senior Leadership Team for 13 years. In 2017 my craving for fully utilising Educational Technology to inspire and enhance learning led me back full-time into the classroom.
I graduated from the University of St. Mark & St. John with a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education. I am a certified Apple Teacher, Seesaw Ambassador, Pobble Champion and HundrEd Ambassador.
I am delighted to have brought the knowledge of working in new schools in the UAE to my role at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as well as a strong desire to impact on pupil’s learning through traditional and progressive methods. It has been a wonderful founding year at RGSGD and helping our Year 6 pupils on their journey towards Senior school, has been a privilege.
Year 6 Teacher
My name is Carly Cannon and I am really excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I studied at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, London where I graduated with a BA Honours degree in Primary Education. After graduating, I began working in a primary school in central London before moving to Dubai in 2016, where I have been teaching ever since. I have been teaching now for 10 years and have had the pleasure to teach across both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, as a Class Teacher and a Year Group Leader.
As a teacher, I believe it is important to create an engaging learning environment where children feel safe, happy, and secure. Relationships between pupils and teachers is a key element in teaching and learning and is something that I strive to build with my pupils from their first day of school. Getting to know the children and nurturing their well-being is crucial in order for children to become effective, enthusiastic and independent learners.
I feel extremely fortunate to be joining the RGSGD community ready for the next academic year.
Year 6 Teacher
My name is Toyin Godfrey and I am delighted to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in August as a specialist Art Teacher and Year 6 Form Teacher. I have been fortunate to have taught for over 14 years in outstanding rated schools in the UK, US, and UAE in various positions including Head of Year and Art Curriculum Lead. Originally from London in the UK, I relocated to Dubai 9 years ago, with my husband and we now have two young children.
Prior to teaching, I worked in the fashion industry upon completion of my BA Hons in Fashion and Textiles Design. I then obtained my PGCE in Art and Design from the Institute of Education in London, and later completed my Master’s in Education focusing on Teaching and Learning.
As an art specialist, I have loved teaching internationally, working with art practitioners I continue to learn from and exchange ideas with. This helps with developing talent and inspiring hands-on lessons that will inspire success and capture a child's imagination. I also have a deep love for wellbeing and focusing on the PSHCE and MSC elements of the curriculum. As a certified Mental Health First Aider (MHFA UK), I have an enthusiastic approach both in and outside of the classroom, creating opportunities for healthy critical thinking and self-reflection. I am looking forward to getting to know the pupils, parents, and staff as well as fostering the talents of our outstanding RGSGD pupils.
Year 5 Teacher
My name is Sam Townsend and I am incredibly excited to have joined the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, initially as a Year 6 teacher and now as a Year 5 teacher for academic year 2022/23. During my eleven-year career as an educator, I have worked at numerous schools in England and gained a vast amount of experience during this time. Ahead of joining RGSGD my most recent post was Assistant Head Teacher at a large primary school in England, which allowed me to learn about how a school can move forward whilst still expanding.
I am passionate about ensuring the wellbeing of children is a top priority in my classroom. I believe that children learn best when they are comfortable and feel they are in a safe environment. Working with children has offered me the chance to help develop the leaders we will have in the future and I promote the enjoyment of problem solving and challenges, to help children have as many opportunities as possible in their futures.
Ana Maria Santos
Year 5 Teacher
My name is Ana Santos and I am part of the Key Stage 2 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Year 5 teacher. I am an experienced Primary school teacher with 16 years of experience both in England and Dubai. I completed my PGCE Primary at London South Bank University and taught in London primary schools before deciding to embark on a career in teaching in Dubai. Before joining RGSGD in 2021, my most recent post was a class teacher and the mathematics lead for KS2. I have taught across KS1 and KS2 in well-established schools and private schools.
As well as teaching in schools, I have also worked in children’s summer camps in Vermont, USA. During our founding year at RGSGD, I have thoroughly enjoyed implementing our learning habits and values into my everyday teaching. I strive to support pupils to achieve their potential both socially and academically, always prioritising their safety and welfare. I have had a fantastic year at RGSGD and cannot wait to get started in Year 5 again, for academic year 2022/23.
Year 5 Teacher
My name is Rebecca Antoine and I am really excited to join the amazing team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Over my 15-year teaching career, I have worked across Key Stage 2 as a teacher and Year Group Leader and have also worked for my Local Authority creating schemes of work to be used in schools. As a teacher, my goal is to inspire every child to be the best version of themselves that they can be. To do this, I ensure that I create learning environments and learning experiences that enable pupils to become curious about the world around them and to continuously ask questions, promoting positive, happy and respectful relationships between all members of the class.
Pupils should feel confident to take risks and set ambitious goals for themselves in all aspects of their lives. The well-being, happiness and emotional resilience of my pupils is paramount in my educational ethos.
I am extremely excited to be joining the community at RGSGD, and am looking forward to being part of the school’s growth in Dubai.
Year 5 Teacher
My name is Louise Kelly. I am thrilled to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in August 2022 as a Key Stage 2 teacher. I bring over nineteen years of secondary and primary teaching experience to the team, having been an Assistant Headteacher of two successful and dynamic comprehensive schools in England. I graduated from the University of Surrey with a First-Class Honours degree in Drama and Theatre studies in 2001, then gained my PGCE from London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. I became an Assistant Headteacher in 2010 and led my teams with a vision and passion for collaborative and inspirational Teaching and Learning.
My desire to spend time living and working abroad brought me to an excellent Cognita school in Spain, where I have spent the past four years working in the primary sector, most recently as leader of Drama and Oracy across our primary school. I look forward to meeting you, working with you, and being part of the vibrant and successful school community at RGSGD.
Lower Key Stage 2
Year 4 Teacher
My name is Keirina Heatley and I am honoured to be part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) team as a Key Stage 2 teacher, currently in Year 4. In my career to date, I have taught at highly regarded Independent Schools in the North-West of England, UK and within well-established and high-level UK curriculum Private Schools in the UAE.
As a teacher, I am passionate about developing an all-round child, who has the chance to experience excellence in not only academia, but in sports and the creative arts. I strive to see children develop the inner confidence to investigate, try and take risks, setting them up for the ever-developing world that we live in. I feel it’s important to recognise and encourage every child’s talent, no matter what they may be and embrace this in our wider classroom environment.
Year 4 Teacher
My name is Angela Neal, and I am delighted to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, as a Key Stage 2 class teacher. During my 17-year teaching career, I have held several different leadership positions, and completed my BA (ITT) Primary Education degree at St Mary’s College, University of Surrey in 2006.
I have been very fortunate to have taught in different prestigious schools around the world within Germany, in Beijing, China and in Dubai. I cannot ever imagine doing any other job than teaching. It is my passion; it is what drives me to learn and do the best for the children that I teach. I consider it an honour and privilege to shape and guide children through their learning journey, and I am thoroughly looking forward to another year at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai.
Year 4 Teacher
My name is Robert Clay and I will be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in August this year. I have been teaching for the best part of seventeen years and am trained to teach all ages of students, after gaining PGCEs in both further Education and Primary Education. My teaching journey began in Wales but has also included a year in Japan and four years in Hong Kong. For the past ten years, I’ve been back in the UK, and I currently teach a Year 5 class at a small country school in North Yorkshire, UK.
I am also passionate about anything IT-related, from coding to stop motion animation and it is essential to me that all pupils in my classroom experience a positive and fun learning environment.
Outside of school, I am kept busy with my family. We are all very excited to be moving to Dubai and are looking forward to becoming part of the RGSGD community and meeting you all very soon.
Year 4 Teacher
My name is Katie Campion and I am really excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I studied at Leeds Trinity University, where I graduated with a BA Honours degree in Primary Education. After graduating, I began working in a primary school in Doncaster in the North of England before moving to Dubai where I have been teaching ever since. I have been teaching in Key Stage 2 for four years and have had the pleasure to teach at two outstanding schools as a class teacher and a subject leader of Science.
As a teacher, I strive to build a classroom culture where all children have a sense of belonging and feel safe and happy. Positivity and praise are defining features of my teaching practice, celebrating little successes within each lesson. I am committed to caring for the well-being of all children, as well as providing my pupils with the skills they need to become independent, responsible, life-long learners.
I feel extremely fortunate to be able to become a part of the RGSGD community and look forward to joining the school for the next academic year.
Year 4 Teacher
My name is Nidhika Vohra, and I am thrilled to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Year 4 class teacher. Over the past nine years I have taught across all three Key Stages, as well as leading several subject areas and year groups in a range of outstanding schools in London, UK and am now excited to be teaching in Dubai. I am passionate about education because as well as being an outstanding teacher, I also strive to be an inspirational role model for the children I work and care for.
I wholeheartedly relish in nurturing and developing pupils to reach their full potential. I find working with children to be a priceless gift and this has influenced the career that I have built thus far.
I am looking forward to joining the RGSGD community in the next academic year and making new memories and experiences with everybody.
Year 3 Teacher
My name is Russell Phillips, and I am a Key Stage 2 teacher at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Over the course of my nine years of teaching experience, I have been a year leader and have coordinated subjects across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. I has been a privilege to be part of the founding team at RGSGD and to have played a part in bringing our school to life with vibrant, rich and inspiring teaching and learning.
After completing my BSc Honour’s degree in International relations and global development, I completed my PGCE in Primary Education at the University of Leicester in 2012. My desire to experience new cultures and explore this wonderful world of ours has led me to teach in different British International schools across the globe and I now bring great insights and experience into my classroom.
Empowering and guiding children to use their minds and talents for a brighter tomorrow is one of the greatest privileges I believe I could ever have, and I am thoroughly excited for another year at RGSGD.
Year 3 Teacher
My name is Pauline Gayle, and I am part of Key Stage 2 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), currently as a Year 3 teacher. Over the last 20 years I have worked in KS1 and KS2, and previous to joining RGSGD I have held positions within a Senior Leadership Team. I have led a number of subject areas, but my favourite is Global Learning, where children learn to respect and appreciate the world we live in through critical thinking, and by becoming future global citizens.
What I love about teaching is seeing the lightbulb go on in a child’s head when they understand a new concept and seeing children having fun with their learning. I foster a learning environment where every child matters and every child is special. I am a passionate teacher, knowing that I am developing lifelong learners, I encourage independent thinking underpinned by our school’s values and learning habits.
Year 3 Teacher
My name is Georgina Davis and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai ready for the new academic year. I graduated from York St John University in 2012 with a First-Class Honours Degree in Primary Education, where I specialised in Additional Educational Needs. Over the past 10 years, I have taught in the UK, Kuwait, Australia, and the UAE. I am currently working in Abu Dhabi as a Year 4 Teacher and have been there for a total of four years.
I am passionate about teaching and learning and believe that a rich and stimulating learning environment is crucial to instilling a love of learning in children. Teachers can inspire and motivate the children in their care and I believe that having a strong rapport with the children and approaching learning creatively, enables them to achieve their full potential. For me, seeing the children flourish both academically and pastorally makes teaching one of the most rewarding professions.
Year 3 Teacher
My name is Charley Annan and I am incredibly excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Prep School Teacher in August 2022. Having graduated with my undergraduate degree in Maths and Philosophy, I went on to do my PGCE in Key Stage 2/3 Mathematics at the University of Sussex, completing placements as both a Secondary Maths Teacher and a Primary Classroom Teacher. Upon qualifying, I took on a role as a Year 3 Teacher at a prep school in West Sussex and after three years became Head of Maths.
I am passionate about nurturing curiosity, ambition, and resilience in children, throughout all aspects of the curriculum. Themed days and cross-curricular projects are always a highlight of teaching for me. By building strong relationships with the pupils in my care, I aim to allow each child to flourish in their own unique way.
I love to get involved with all aspects of school life and I cannot wait to join the RGSGD team and be a part of the school’s journey as it continues to grow.
Year 3 Teacher
My name is Hannah Richards and I am really looking forward to joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Key Stage 2 class teacher. I graduated from the University of Chester with a degree in English Literature and then went on to study for my PGCE in Primary Education. I have been teaching for nine years and have taught across both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in the UK and here in Dubai. As well as being a Key Stage 2 year group leader and a curriculum leader for both English and Computing, I have most recently led Year 4 at an outstanding school in Dubai.
Key Stage 1
Assistant Head, Key Stage 1
My name is Beckie Bennett and I am honoured to have been part of the founding team at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as the Assistant Head of Key Stage 1. After I graduated from the University of Gloucestershire with a specialist degree in Early Years and Sports Teaching, I looked for exceptional and challenging school environments where I could have the opportunity to pioneer forward-thinking learning environments for children in EAL and SEN programs.
This is how my experience in adapting to the culture and learning needs of each pupil spans over the course of more than 11 years in teaching and senior leadership. I am so excited to continue the success of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai during the next academic year, with our inspirational curriculum, resources and focus on values, learning habits and personal development. I am sure that next year I can continue to apply my teaching expertise in ensuring that all children obtain the very best kind of education at our school.
Year 2 Teacher
My name is Susan Russell and I am part of the Key Stage 1 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), currently as a Year 2 teacher. After graduating from Brighton University, I began my teaching career in the UK. Subsequently, I moved overseas to experience new countries and cultures and enjoyed the privilege of teaching and developing my leadership skills in International British Curriculum schools in Brunei, Singapore and Thailand. Prior to joining RGSGD in 2021 I spent the previous 15 years teaching in two prestigious schools in Dubai, holding the position of classroom teacher as well as continuing my role in management and leadership.
I believe reading is the key to all success, and I love to create an environment where children are inspired to develop a passion and love for reading. This combined with a cross curricular approach to teaching leads to meaningful and purposeful learning that helps children to make connections with the real world. I am so proud to have been part of the founding team at RGSGD for our first academic year and look forward to continuing to provide an outstanding education for our pupils, delivered within a caring, nurturing, and supportive environment.
Year 2 Teacher
My name is Adeleina Williams and I am thrilled to be teaching in Key Stage 1, this year as a Year 2 teacher at The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. After completing my degree at The University of Leeds, I decided to embark on a career in teaching, and then obtained a PGCE from the Institute of Education. Since then, I have worked in various schools across London and supported the development of a newly established school.
A particular area I feel very passionate about is creating a positive learning environment, centred around the wellbeing of each individual pupil. I believe that by creating a positive climate for learning we allow pupils to confidently enquire and explore new topics. After a wonderful founding year at RGSGD I am once again looking forward to providing pupils with fun and memorable experiences, that will help them to embed new learning.
The school’s vision aligns closely with my own teaching philosophy and having been part of the founding team, I am confident that the school’s exceptional curriculum offer and strong focus on values will again encourage our pupils to strive for academic excellence, whilst supporting their development into well-rounded individuals.
Year 2 Teacher
My name is Hanifah Khan and I am a Year 2 teacher at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. After graduating from Queen’s University, Belfast with a degree in Music Performance, I decided to pursue a career in Primary Teaching and graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2010. A desire to travel led me to the UAE in 2012 where I have taken on several roles from class teacher to subject specialist and STEM Coordinator, in leading British Curriculum schools.
I am passionate about teaching, using cross curricular methods to develop children’s curiosity and I take immense pleasure watching them develop and take on new challenges in the classroom, on the sports field, in the pool or whilst discovering the arts. I strive to create a safe, positive, and fun environment where every child thrives and flourishes, empowered by the opportunities and outstanding education provided.
Year 2 Teacher
My name is Rae Bryan and I will be joining the Key Stage 1 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), as a Year 2 teacher. I graduated from St Mary’s University, Twickenham, with a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education and have spent my teaching career as a Year 2 teacher and newly appointed Art Subject Leader. I have worked in various schools over the past few years, developing my knowledge of different teaching strategies and have tutored children in primary schools across London.
Ensuring that children are developing their resilience as creative, independent learners and thinkers is something that is at the core of my teaching. I believe that anyone can become a teacher, but it takes incredible effort, time, dedication, and the right mindset to become a great teacher, to care and support all children. I am incredibly dedicated to all the children I teach and always ensure that what I teach is delivered in a creative, memorable and fun way where my pupils are always challenged to achieve their best. I am thoroughly looking forward to joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai team and to continue my teaching journey.
Year 2 Teacher
My name is Elaine Forsythe and I am delighted to be joining the Key Stage 1 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Year 2 teacher. After completing my teaching degree in Scotland, I began my career in Abu Dhabi and have taught at schools in London, Spain and Italy before returning to the UAE with my family where I have now taught for more than 20 years.
During my many years overseas, I have gained a wealth of experience working in a variety of different schools with a wide range of curriculums such as British, American and International Baccalaureate. My teaching ethos is to ensure my pupils leave the classroom as happy, independent and confident learners. I am thrilled to be joining RGSGD to help build on the wonderfully successful founding year the school has had.
Year 1 Teacher
My name is Katy Taylor and I am part of the Key Stage 1 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), currently as a Year 1 teacher. I graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2011, with a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education, and have spent most of my teaching career as a Phase leader and then as a Director of Studies. I have worked in private schools around the Midlands and North West of England and have tutored children across the primary phase.
Being part of a founding team in a new school has been such a thrilling adventure to be part of and the opportunity to build on the success during our founding year, with a well-established, respected school such as RGSGD, is an honour. I look forward to again enhancing an enriched curriculum, with my love of the arts, creativity and energy, and embracing the ethos, high standards and values that RGSGD holds firmly. I believe that empowering children with the skills and knowledge they need to become the very best version of themselves is a priority; preparing them for an ever-changing world where they can adapt, thrive and succeed as valued leaders of our global community.
Year 1 Teacher
My name is Sheena Karavadra and I am part of the Key Stage 1 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, as a Year 2 teacher during our founding year and now as a Year 1 teacher for academic year 2022/23. After graduating from Hertfordshire University, I began my teaching career in a boys’ prep school in Hertfordshire, UK. I became Head of Year 1 where I developed continuous provision within the year. I encourage children to learn through creative play which I thoroughly enjoy as I foster an environment where children can feel free to express themselves.
It has been a wonderful founding year at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai and I look forward to once again delivering an outstanding, inclusive and creative education where our pupils can grow and flourish together.
Year 1 Teacher
It has been an honour to be part of the founding team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I am originally from South Africa and have lived in the UAE for twenty years working in Early Years education as both a teacher and in a leadership position. I graduated from Anglia Ruskin University, UK with an Honours degree in Early Childhood Studies and received my PGCE from the University of Nottingham. I take pride in facilitating a seamless transition for all the pupils in my care from the EYFS to Key Stage 1.
I believe that each child has a unique potential and I really enjoy being part of the process of helping them grow into the best version of themselves socially, academically, and morally. I am passionate about making learning a fun and memorable time for my pupils. I look forward to once again promoting the RGSGD Learning Habits in all areas of school life and fostering a lifelong love of learning in every child.
Year 1 Teacher
My name is Fauzia Afzal and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai community in August 2022. I have lived in the UK, in leafy Surrey all of my life with my family. I have two grown up children, a son who is 23 and a daughter who is 17 years old. I am looking forward to joining RGSGD as I am well aware of the outstanding reputation held by RGS in Surrey, UK. I worked at an independent primary school where the majority of pupils chose to continue their secondary education at RGS.
After completing my BA Honours degree in Early Childhood Studies at Hertfordshire University, I followed this with a Graduate Teaching Programme at an outstanding independent school in Surrey. I am in my 20th year of teaching and have experience in leading Literacy across the school. I have also been on the Safeguarding team and have led the Key Stage 1 team.
I am a passionate and creative teacher who has a real love for Literacy. It is through Literacy that we can navigate our way around everyday life. It is imperative that we, as educators and parents, inspire our children and create opportunities for them to enjoy reading and writing.
Year 1 Teacher
I am delighted to be joining the RGSGD team in August 2022, ready for the next academic year. I was born and raised in Surrey, very close to where our sister school is located, and I look forward to joining the wonderful school community and promoting the ethos and values of RGS here in Dubai. I graduated with a BA Hons in English Language and Linguistics at The University of Kent and subsequently completed a PGCE at Kingston University where I graduated with a distinction. I taught as an FS2 teacher and a Year 1 Teacher at an outstanding infant school in outer London for three years and then progressed to become the Head of Physical Education.
My interest in travel and teaching abroad brought me to Dubai where I taught Year 1 for three years at another reputable school, before becoming the Head of English. I have a special interest in reading and phonics and helping children to become aspiring young readers. My teaching philosophy is aimed at ensuring children are happy at school by building strong relationships with both the pupils and their parents.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Assistant Head, EYFS
My name is Angela Sutherland and I am Assistant Head of Early Years Foundation Stage at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Along with my passion to help and guide young children through their early years, I have 17 years of School Leadership experience across the Primary age range, particularly in EYFS. I obtained my Bachelor of Education Degree from Liverpool Hope University and furthered my studies to achieve the National Award for Special Needs Co-ordination. It is through my education and experience that I have developed a deep understanding of how children learn, particularly in the acquisition of Language, Phonics, Reading and the Arts
With my 5 years' experience of applying the British National Curriculum to teaching at prestigious schools within Dubai, I am honoured to be part of the culture and diversity that comes with living and teaching in the UAE. Likewise, I am equally honoured to have been part of the founding team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I look forward to working with our pupils and their families again next year, as we continue to embark on an exciting journey that fosters both character development and academic excellence.
Head of Nursery
It has been an honour to be part of the founding team at The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD). I am Head of FS1 and am looking forward to meeting you and your children in person as you join us in our second year. I am entirely ethically aligned with the aspect of ‘quality’ in the RGSGD vision for education. I hold honours in a Bachelor of Arts with Psychology and English as majors. Having attained qualified teacher status, I continued to achieve a master’s in educational leadership from Bedfordshire University, UK. I stand before you with close to 20 years teaching experience and join you from an outstanding British curriculum school in Abu Dhabi.
I have a track record of excellent pastoral care, regulation knowledge and consistency in standards, having resolute leadership skills in both opening new schools and within established schools. It is my desire as an educator to ensure each child is treated as unique, that they are excited as learners. My focus is differentiation and being in tune with next steps. I am appreciative of the culture and diversity that teaching in the UAE brings. The UAE has been my home for the last 7 years and I am happily settled here with my family. I am very much looking forward to meeting your family and children and welcoming you to our school.
I feel privileged to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Since graduating with BA Honours in Primary Education from Canterbury Christchurch University, I spent 14 years broadening my teaching experiences in the UK and held various leadership roles across Key Stage 1 and in Early Years. Prior to joining the founding team at RGSGD, I worked at one of the UK’s most successful prep schools in West London for 6 years, where I further developed my specialism in Early Years. During this time I completed my Masters in Early Years Education at UCL, London.
As a keen traveller I have been involved in various educational projects around the world. These opportunities have been very influential in my life and have helped to form my educational ethos and values. By providing holistic educational experiences, underpinned by mutual respect, ensures that all pupils become independent thinkers and calculated risk takers, enabling children to strive for excellence and develop a love of lifelong learning.
My name is Gemma Mathis and I have been teaching for almost 8 years now. I am part of the Early Years team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an FS2 class teacher. Prior to my teaching career, I studied English at Bournemouth University and then went onto obtain my PGCE in Primary Teaching with Early Years specialism at Kingston University. From here, I completed 3 years of teaching in England before moving to the UAE for 2 years, to further develop my career overseas.
I returned to the UK and enjoyed further developing my skill set and passion for teaching within the Early Years ahead of moving back to Dubai in 2021 to join RGSGD. During my career I have also had a range of extended leadership opportunities within phonics and middle leadership.
I am looking forward to further contributing to the success of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai and building on a wonderful founding year for the school.
My name is Danielle Owen and I am part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I am incredibly excited ahead of the second year at RGSGD, having joined in 2021 as part of the founding team. This is my tenth year of teaching and I have lived in the Middle East for eight years. I earned a degree in English Language from Bangor University where I also obtained my PGCE.
In the classroom, I enjoy creating an environment that is safe, nurturing and, of course, fun, where every child can reach their full potential and feel comfortable to express themselves. I believe that children should be encouraged to be open minded and independent from an early age. The Early Years are the foundations of life and a positive environment where children can truly be themselves, communicate and risk take, allows new generations of leaders and innovators to emerge from my classroom every year.
My name is Rebecca Hall and I am an FS2 class teacher at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, within the Early Years team. After graduating from the University of East Anglia, I have been working in the field of education for nine years, with children between the ages of 1-18 and this helped me discover my passion for the early years. Prior to joining RGSGD in 2021, I spent three years welcoming Nursery pupils into an international school in Thailand and starting them on their educational journey. My experience taught me the importance of an exceptionally strong early years education to build every child’s academic and social foundations and foster their love of learning.
I create a safe and inviting environment for my children and support them in developing their independence, expressing themselves and encouraging them to be inquisitive. As well as teaching early years, I have a passion for dance which I have taken into many schools. I believe it to be a great way to build confidence, express emotions, build new friendships and support children's wellbeing. I like to use dance in the classroom to support pupils' physical development and to help make learning fun.
My name is Miranda Callaby and I am very excited to be joining the Early Years Team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I am originally from London, UK and graduated from St. Mary’s University College London with a Bachelors in Primary Education. After graduating, I worked in an outstanding primary school in London for many years. I have had the privilege of teaching in Dubai for the past seven years, specialising in the Foundation Stage.
I am passionate about teaching English, Reading and Writing and providing my class with hands-on, engaging and exciting learning experiences. One of my favourite parts of teaching is getting fully immersed into a good book as a class, that allows for many learning opportunities to take place. I am excited to get to know each member of the class and I cannot wait to hear about your child’s favourite activities, hobbies and interests.
I am so glad to be joining The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, known for their great partnerships between parents, children and teachers as well as the enriching curriculum. I believe that by having a strong partnership between myself, pupils and families, we can all work together to ensure your children reach their highest potential and achieve their goals, dreams and ambitions.
My name is Rebekah Conway and I am honoured to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai for the next academic year. I have been living and working in Dubai for the past seven years and am very excited to meet my new pupils in August and start our journey at RGSGD together. I graduated from Edge Hill University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Years teaching and have been teaching for eight years both in the UK and UAE.
I am dedicated to continuing my professional development and constantly improving my classroom practice and my philosophy for learning is that happy children make the best learners. I am passionate about creating a classroom in which pupils can harbour resilience, creativity, and independence.
I am very excited to become part of the RGSGD community and look forward to a successful year of teaching and learning.
My name is Tara Harrison and I am part of the Early Years team at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) as an FS1 teacher. Teaching is my passion and I feel extremely lucky to have spent that last 9 years doing something that I love. I enjoy creating positive relationships with each of the pupils in my care so that I can inspire and support them in a way that is best suited to their individual needs; and create a learning environment that reflects their interests and ideas.
I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education. During this time my passion for international teaching began to blossom and I carried out some of my studies in Finland. Since qualifying I have taught in outstanding schools both in the UK and the UAE and prior to joining RGSGD in 2021 I spent 3 years teaching at a British School in Abu Dhabi.
I take pleasure in developing my knowledge and skills and I have recently achieved a Master’s in Education. I focused my studies on some of my passions such as developing a love of reading in all children and parental engagement. I enjoy taking time to continue my professional development as I believe it is just as important for a teacher to continue to learn so that we can provide innovative opportunities for our pupils to learn too.
I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education. During this time my passion for international teaching began to blossom and I carried out some of my studies in Finland. Since qualifying I have taught in outstanding schools both in the UK and the UAE and the last 3 years I have been teaching at a British School in Abu Dhabi.
I take pleasure in developing my knowledge and skills and I have recently achieved a Master’s in Education. I focused my studies on some of my passions such as developing a love of reading in all children and parental engagement. I enjoy taking time to continue my professional development as I believe it is just as important for a teacher to continue to learn so that we can provide innovative opportunities for our pupils to learn too.
My name is Charlotte Knight and I have been teaching for over 8 years. It is a privilege to be part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai family, having joined in the founding year as an Early Years teacher. I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Years and Childhood Studies. Since then, I have gained teaching experience both in the UK and in Thailand.
I have recently spent 4 years teaching in 2 International schools in Thailand. I am a passionate and driven teacher with a love for teaching. I create a warming and welcoming environment for the children, using their interests to support their learning through play.
My name is Kerry Fawcett and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an Early Years teacher. I am from Edinburgh, Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2009. My teaching career began in the UK, before moving to the UAE where I have been teaching for the past 11 years across all Key Stages and in inclusion.
In the classroom I create an inclusive, supportive and nurturing learning environment where children feel safe and confident to take risks and become independent learners. I ensure lessons are fun and help children to develop a passion and love for learning.
I am delighted to be joining the RGSGD community and am very much looking forward to meeting the pupils, parents and staff.
My name is Rosie Douglas-Davies and I will be joining The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in August 2022 as one of the new Prep teachers. I am from South Wales in the UK and have been teaching since 2008. I graduated with a BA Honours Degree in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff and have teaching experience both in the United Kingdom and the UAE.
I use a variety of teaching styles and enjoy creating resources to help the children reach their full learning potential, in a safe and nurturing learning environment. I believe that all children should be taught equally and fairly regardless of their background or ability and I have a passion for helping our children become innovative learners and encouraging them to be the best they can be. I am very excited to be returning to the UAE and to be joining the RGSGD family.
My name is Wendy Tulley and I am delighted to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an Early Years Teacher. I am originally from Aberdeen in Scotland but lived in West Sussex for 10 years, before moving to Dubai 7 years ago. I graduated from Birmingham University with a BA Hons in Childhood Education and have taught in Early Years and across all Key Stages.
Before teaching, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry within the NHS, both in research development and in management and training.
As a teacher, I believe it is essential that children feel happy and secure in their environment. I enjoy building relationships that enable them to feel confident and become independent learners. I feel incredibly fortunate to be joining such an outstanding school and I look forward to becoming part of the community in the next academic year.
Director of Sport
My name is James Bennett. I am honoured to be a part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai team as Director of Sport. Sport/s brings me joy, as can be seen from my over 20 years of experience as a PE and Games practitioner and leader. I started my teaching career at the Prep School of the Royal Grammar School Guildford, and progressed through the department until I became the Director of Sport.
Having gained coaching qualifications in a multitude of areas such as cricket, football, swimming, athletics, gymnastics and most recently climbing, I constantly look for ways to further my knowledge. I wish to impart that love for learning to your children.
The pastoral wellbeing and personal development of our pupils is central to all that we do at the RGS and I prioritise recognising the specific needs of each pupil, both on the sporting field and in life. I have been a Housemaster and Tutor across a wide variety of age groups, and I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as a guide for our Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai pupils thus far. I will continue to support them all as they endeavour to achieve their sporting goals and overall success, so that each and every one of them becomes a fully participating member of our community.
Head of Inclusion & Assessment Coordinator
My name is Laura Evans, and I am the Head of Inclusion and Assessment Coordinator at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Prior to joining RGSGD as part of the founding team I was the Head of Learning Support for 12 years at the Royal Grammar School Guildford, UK where I managed a successful Learning Support Department that guided many children and their families by identifying and supporting their learning needs.
My career in education began as a Secondary level English teacher, being an integral part of various schools in London and the South East of England. I then obtained a Master's in Special and Inclusive Education from the Institute of Education, University of London.
In our first year, implementing the excellence and values of RGS Guildford with the families of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, has been extremely rewarding. It is a privilege to be part of a school with such an inspiring tradition that provides a wealth of exciting opportunities for our pupils.
Sajida Al Bashir
Head of Arabic and Islamic Studies
As salamu alaikoom, parents and children! My name is Sajida Al Bashir. As Head of Arabic and Islamic Education at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, it brings me great joy and honour to be in a position to make a difference in the lives of our pupils. I have over 24 years of leadership and teaching experience, educating pupils in the fields of Arabic, Islamic and Social Studies, along with Personal, Social, Health, and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) in American, British and IB curriculum schools in Dubai.
I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Islamic Law from the University of Jordan in 1996, and then acquired a Master’s in Education from the American University in Dubai in 2019.
Having joined the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as part of the founding team in 2021, I am once again excited to have been given the chance pursue my personal commitment as an educator, as I continue to build relationships that foster trust, confidence and hope for the future.
My name is Emily Steel, and I am part of the Physical Education team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Having joined RGSGD in 2021, I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my passion for sport with our pupils, and I once again look forward to helping foster an enjoyment of sport in every child, allowing them to grow and progress as an individual in all aspects of their school life next year.
After graduating with a degree in Sports Management from Loughborough University, I completed my teacher training via the University of Buckingham at an independent secondary school. Here, I also gained valuable pastoral experience as a Resident Tutor. Prior to joining RGSGD my most recent teaching role was at a prep school in London where I have led the swimming and athletics programmes and was a Year 5 form teacher. Over the past few years, I have gained a breadth of experience teaching children of all age groups, as well as continually developing my coaching and pastoral skills. My own sporting endeavours and experiences have shaped the kind of teacher I am today. I am passionate about not only nurturing a child’s sporting ability but also focusing on the importance of sport in developing their mindset and overall well-being.
My name is Victoria Baldwin, and i am part of the founding team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), as a PE Teacher. I have 13 years of teaching experience both in Dubai and the UK, and have held various positions including; Head of Year, Head of Girls PE and as a Senior School Transition Manager. I have a real passion for physical education and sport in school - particularly netball, athletics, swimming and football. Having spent most of my teaching career here in Dubai, I enjoy maximizing the sporting opportunities that Dubai offers for young people and helping our pupils realise their sporting potential.
I care deeply about the character development and well-being of every child, and I believe that RGSGD is a place where children feel confident, supported and challenged.
My name is Joe Cahill, and I am delighted to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), as a PE Teacher. This is my second time working at RGS, having previously spent six years at the Prep School of the Royal Grammar School Guildford, UK as a Computing, Physical Education and Games Teacher.
Prior to arriving in Dubai, I lived in Bangkok, Thailand, spending four years teaching Physical Education to pupils in Early Years through to Sixth form. During that time, I held positions of responsibility including Junior PE and Sports Coordinator and Performance Lead for Basketball.
As well as teaching in schools, I have also coached basketball at various levels on the performance pathway in the UK. This has seen me serve as a coach at club level, to regional teams and to the Wales U16 girls' national team. It is my passion to create opportunities for young children to thrive and be challenged in physical activity, physical education, and sport.
My name is Jonny Bowles and I will be joining the PE department at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in August 2022. I have been teaching Secondary School PE for the last six years, and am very much looking forward to the exciting next chapter of my career, and continued development at RGSGD. I have enjoyed working in a highly successful school in Solihull, UK, where I have been an integral part of an outstanding department, holding positions of responsibility, particularly in a mentoring programme for trainee PE teachers and as a GCSE examiner for our Key Stage 4 pupils.
I graduated from Brunel University in London, studying Sports Science & Coaching (Hons) before completing my teacher training at Birmingham City University.
Developing and refining my coaching skills, enables me to expertly pass on my knowledge to others, enabling them to reach their own personal goals. I am passionate about sport and understand how important a healthy active lifestyle can be for a young person. I personally enjoy Football and Cricket and keeping myself fit and healthy. Previously I have lived in West Africa for 6 years, and have also worked in North America. I am excited to move to Dubai and join what looks to be a fantastic team at RGSGD.
Hello, my name is Syreeta Stanley-Vespero and I am thrilled to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a PE teacher. I completed my undergraduate degree and PGCE at the University of Birmingham in the UK and taught at Secondary level in London for several years before moving to Dubai in 2013. In full circle, I am currently completing my MSc in Physical Education and Wellbeing through the University of Birmingham, Dubai. My extensive experience teaching in Dubai allows me to ensure that all the pupils I work with flourish and have positive experiences of PE. They will develop a lifelong love of physical activity that lasts well beyond their school years.
My sporting interests are very broad and balanced, but I have passions for netball, athletics, and trampolining. With 15 years of experience, I have held various positions as a PE teacher, house leader, curriculum/middle leader and PGCE/NQT mentor. I look forward to supporting and working with a fantastic and dynamic PE department, to help ensure that RGSGD continues to grow the outstanding reputation the school has across Dubai and the Middle East.
I will be joined at RGSGD by my three children, and we are all very much looking forward to being part of the wonderful school community.
My name is Callum Stevens and I am a passionate PE teacher and sports person. I completed my degree from Edinburgh University in 2001 and then completed my PGCE which allowed me to move into the world of teaching. I have been fortunate to have lived and travelled abroad for large portions of my life which has helped to shape the person I am now. I moved to Dubai in 2003, and have been teaching for nearly 20 years. I am really excited to be part of the RGSGD team and wonderful community, supporting the pupils in achieving their sporting goals and In life.
My passion is linked to sport and I am fortunate enough to have played rugby at a high level. This allowed me to represent the UAE Rugby 7’s team in Borneo, which was a fantastic experience. Aside from rugby I am a keen fitness enthusiast and I’m happy to try most things, which in the past has included: ultra-marathons, marathons, wadi races and wakeboarding to name a few. At home I enjoy spending time with my wife and we have an 8 year old son who also seems to have taken on the sporting connection.
Lily Joy Jackson
My name is Lily-Joy Jackson and I am honoured to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as the lead Art Teacher in Prep. I grew up in Bath, UK then moved to Surrey to complete my fine art degree at UCA Farnham. I then began my teaching practice and I started to gain experience across local schools in both the independent and state sector. I then went on to obtain my IPGCE with the University of Buckinghamshire whilst working as a Key Stage 1 class teacher and the Head of Art.
After two fantastic years in Key Stage 1, I was able to become the reception class teacher which enabled me to develop my teaching style and practice.
Teaching Art has truly been my passion as it encourages creativity, imagination and independence. I was lucky enough to have watched our children’s artistic practises grow all the way from reception to KS2 and even develop their scholarship works. Art is subject that is inclusive and explorative; allowing space for the individual to express themselves, to learn new skills and techniques all whilst having fun within the school environment. For me, this has always been the most rewarding part of teaching.
My name is Sophie Lamb and I am part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) as lead teacher in Music and Performance. After gaining a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Music, where I specialised in Performance (piano and flute), I continued my studies and achieved a Master of Arts Degree in Music and Piano Performance. I then trained for my PGCE where I specialised in the Early Years and Primary sectors.
After working at various independent schools in the UK, I made the decision to teach abroad. Prior to joining RGSGD, I was very fortunate to work at many top international schools around the world, and have taught music in the UAE, Qatar, Beijing and Hong Kong.
During the past year I have taught music to pupils in FS2 - Year 6. I feel very fortunate that I can share my passion for music with the pupils, seeing their musical skills and confidence develop during lessons, concerts and performances, as they progress through the years
Learning Support Teacher
My name is Siobhan Terrington and I am a learning support teacher at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. After obtaining my bachelor's degree in Spanish and International Relations (BA Hons) in Leeds, UK and then went on to gain my PGCE. I taught for 4years in the UK where I qualified as a Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCo) before moving abroad and teaching in both Thailand and the Czech Republic.
Whilst in Thailand I created an inclusion system for the school and held Middle Leadership roles as a Head of House and ECA coordinator. Prior to joining RGSGD in 2021, I taught in the Czech Republic in Early Years. I have also taught in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and as a SENCo I have experienced supporting children in Early Years through to Key Stage 3.
Every child has unique potential and I consistently go above and beyond to create activities and lessons that not only interest but also motivate children to learn. I wish to inspire and lead children so that they can achieve their true potential. I pride myself on building lasting relationships with families and the community and I am excited to help create a wonderful school for all the pupils, parents and staff.
Learning Support Teacher
My name is Nikki Grant and I am delighted to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an Inclusion Teacher. I am originally from Aberdeen, Scotland and moved to Dubai with my husband 8 years ago. I have been teaching for 13 years with the majority of my experience in supporting children with additional needs.
Inclusion is my passion, and i knew very early into my teaching career that I wanted to support those with additional needs. I was fortunate enough to secure a teaching position at a flagship school for inclusion in Aberdeen where i taught, before moving to Dubai. Supporting pupils, teachers and working alongside parents to provide an education that meets the needs of all children - is what I pride myself on.
Hello, my name is Lana Turner and I will be joining the inclusion team at RGSGD as an English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher. I am originally from London and received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Surrey. My teaching career began 16 years ago after completing my PGCE in Primary Education. I taught in London for six years before deciding to move to the UAE in 2013. Since completing my master's in Applied Linguistics, I have been supporting EAL pupils in both primary and secondary settings.
I have a love for travel and languages and am deeply passionate about ensuring that pupils' cultures and languages are both reflected in their environment, and celebrated in their communities. My passion for research allows me to use and share evidence-based strategies to ensure multilingual learners can access the curriculum and make excellent progress, whilst developing their proficiency in English.
I am incredibly excited to join RGSGD with my two daughters in August 2022.
Elena Alcalde Garcia
Hola, my name is Elena Alcalde and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Spanish teacher. I have been teaching Spanish for over 8 years and have experience teaching children from a variety of different countries and with varying degrees of expertise in the Spanish language. I completed two Bachelors Degrees in Primary Education, the second with a specialisation in English, from the Complutense University and the UCJC University in Spain. In 2020 I also completed my Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language.
I began my teaching career in Madrid in 2014, as a Spanish teacher and in 2016 I relocated to Dubai with my husband. In Dubai I worked as a lead teacher in a Montessori nursery school, whilst teaching Spanish in the afternoon club programme.
I am passionate about education, I love to see children learn and I carefully plan and carry out my lessons so the syllabus is delivered in a structured, interactive and fun way. My greatest reward as a Spanish teacher, is when a child demonstrates their learning progression and is able to comprehend Spanish questions and respond with the answer in Spanish. Each child’s authenticity and diversity is always encouraged in my classroom.
I am looking forward to a successful year at RGSGD, you are all very welcome in my classroom and I look forward to meeting you soon!
My name is Claire Guillon and I am the French teacher for Years 3, 4 and 7 at RGS Guildford Dubai. I come from a beautiful town in the Loire Valley in France and graduated with a BA in English and French as Foreign Languages. I obtained my Professional Degree in Elementary Education and Teaching and became Head of Elementary at a school in the Marais Poitevin. My nomadic life took me to Wales, Italy and Turkey, before settling in the UAE in 2018. I have over 15 years of experience as an instructor, coordinator and innovator in the fields of languages, education and digital technology.
Being a teacher is the most rewarding job you can do. I am always eager to empower my pupils with 21st century skills through language learning and teaching. I speak French, English, Italian, 'Intermediate' Turkish and I am currently learning Arabic. I am thrilled to be part of such an intercultural team here in Dubai and am excited to be part of the RGS family, contributing to a caring environment for learning, teaching, and living.
My door is always open, collaboration is the key to not only success but also the well-being for each of our pupils.
Assalamu Alaykom! My name is Seham Albakar and I am part of the Arabic & Islamic team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), as an Arabic teacher. I am very honoured to be one of the founding teachers at RGSGD having joined in 2021. In 2003, I obtained my Bachelor of Education Degree in Jordan, I then went on to start my career in teaching and now have 18 years of teaching experience throughout different British schools within Dubai; teaching early years and primary pupils.
I have a true passion for working with our pupils, helping each child progress in all areas of their development; academic, social, and language. This is a challenge that I am delighted to accept daily. I strive to create a community of learners that nurtures this growth in a positive, fun environment and I look forward to building on what has been a wonderful first year at RGSGD
Assalamu Alaykom! My name is Hammadi Shaheen and I am part of the Arabic & Islamic team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), as an Arabic Teacher. I have 15 years of experience teaching within international schools and for the last 8 years, have been teaching in prestigious schools within Dubai.
I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Arabic from Halab University in Syria and am currently doing my Masters at Ajman University in UAE. I am passionate about finding different ways in which to bring the learning of Arabic alive within the classroom. I enjoy researching new pedagogies to ensure that my pupils have the best experience. Alongside my love of teaching, I have also been involved with work on television and supporting other teachers with their training. I have thoroughly enjoyed our founding year at RGSGD and am very much looking forward to the next academic year.
Alaa Abu Arab
Islamic Studies Teacher
Greetings, Salam! My name is Alaa Abu Arab, and I'm thrilled to have been be part of the founding team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I grew up in Jordan and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Foundation from Jordan University in 2010 and a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies from Jordan University in 2014. I have over 11 years of experience teaching Islamic studies and have been teaching pupils at RGSGD from Years 1 to 6.
I have a passion for working with young learners! Helping every pupil progress in various areas of their development: academic, social, emotional and inspiring them to develop a love of learning is a challenge that I am honored to accept every day. I strive to create a community of lifelong learners in a nurturing, positive and fun environment.
I am honoured to be part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai’s founding team and have enjoyed teaching Arabic and Islamic Studies to our pupils this past academic year. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Arabic language from Damascus University, Syria and have over 11 years of teaching experience in the UAE. I look forward to further contributing to the success of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai.
Arabic/Islamic Studies Teacher
My name is Tahani Abdullah and I am part of the Arabic & Islamic studies team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Originally from Jordan, I have lived in Dubai since 2005 and have 19 Years of teaching experience, throughout British Curriculum and International Baccalaureate schools. I enjoy helping my pupils to grow and develop in a fun and enjoyable environment and having been part of the founding team at RGSGD, I am looking forward to helping the school continue the success of our first year.
My name is Feda Sawalha and I am delighted to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an Arabic teacher for non-native speakers. I graduated from Jordan. I started my teaching Journey in 2005 in Dubai until now. I am very excited to start the new journey for the next academic year and use my long experience to help pupils learn Arabic using 21-century strategies.
I truly believe that our pupils learn and grow more from the mistakes they make, teaching Arabic as a practical language to be used in their daily life is one of my targets. I look forward to meeting you all soon.
My name is Maisa Sirawan and I am delighted to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an Arabic teacher. After graduating from the University of Warsaw with a master's in Arabic Literature, I moved to Dubai in 2010 and since then have been working as an Arabic Teacher at several outstanding schools within Dubai. Throughout my teaching journey, I have always been proud of creating a happy and exciting environment for my students. I am very passionate about teaching Arabic and building strong relationships in the classroom.
I truly believe that our students can learn and grow from their mistakes, and I am passionate about teaching Arabic as a practical language for them to use in their daily life. I am very excited to be joining RGSGD and look forward to meeting you all in August.
Arabic/Islamic Studies Teacher
My name is Khadijah Waeyi, and I'm delighted to be starting as an Islamic Studies teacher at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I graduated from the International Islamic University Malaysia with a master’s degree in Arabic Language and Literature and a bachelor's degree in Arabic Language and Literature. I've been teaching for twenty years, and I've taught both Key Stage 1 and 2.
I am passionate about my pupils' well-being and happiness and take pride in consistently providing a safe and engaging environment that is tailored to each child's unique needs, and that promotes their personal and intellectual development. I am looking forward to joining the team in August and being a part of the RGSGD journey.
My name is Wafa Ahmed, I am originally from Jordan and am excited to be joining the team at RGSGD next year. I hold a Masters degree in Education from the United Arab Emirates University and I hold a bachelor’s degree in Arabic from the University of Jordan. I have been teaching Arabic for the last 15 years and am honoured that teaching gives me the platform to make a difference in the lives of our students.
I have a passion for teaching Arabic and believe it is very important for children to enjoy Arabic lessons. I look forward to meeting you all later this year.
My name is Kate Riddle and I am delighted to be part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai community as the School Librarian. I began my teaching career as an Early Years practitioner. It was during this time that I developed a particular love and interest in literacy and storytelling. After obtaining my PGCE in Education, I went on to study for a Master of Arts in Teacher - Librarianship from Charles Stuart University, Australia.
I very much enjoy working within the international community and its schools, and I have lived and worked in Ireland, Portugal and the UAE.
I am a published children’s author and am passionate about reading and most importantly about instilling a love of reading in my pupils. I place a strong emphasis on ‘Reading for Pleasure’. This idea is supported by research into the reading habits of children which shows that those who read for pleasure have advanced levels of text comprehension and have higher levels of achievement across the curriculum.
I am committed to making sure that children have a positive and happy learning experience. I encourage my pupils to take risks in their development and learning. My aim is to guide and facilitate independent learning, helping pupils reach their full potential. With over 11 years' experience as a teacher & librarian in Dubai, I am thoroughly enjoying helping the RGSGD pupils become critical thinkers, skillful researchers, and enthusiastic lifelong readers.
Maintaining the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of each pupil is our number one priority. Our pastoral care system is designed to support every pupil and includes a close working partnership with parents. At the Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGSGD), we passionately believe in two principles: firstly, that if our pupils are happy, they will flourish and, secondly, that each pupil is an individual. Irrespective of their passions, outlook and interests, each pupil at RGSGD has the space in which to grow.
Building on the long tradition at the RGS in the UK, we expect our older pupils to take on a caring role for younger pupils. That is what makes the RGSGD a family. Our staff offer outstanding pastoral care overseen by the Deputy Head.
The school has a duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of its pupils. Safeguarding our pupils is always our number one priority. Our commitment to safeguarding is outlined in our Safeguarding Policy.
All members of our team are trained in the latest safeguarding practices, and all new staff undergo extensive background checks before any appointment is confirmed.
As part of our commitment to providing teachers and pupils with a quality learning environment, the Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGSGD) delivers world-class facilities that provide every child with access to the level of education needed to thrive in the 21st century.
The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai is a true partnership between the Royal Grammar School Guildford and Cognita. We work collaboratively on every aspect of the school – sharing the highest expectations and aspirations, underpinned by a deep respect for the respective organisation.
The Royal Grammar School Guildford brings a long and distinguished track record of excellence in all areas of education. For further details on the history of the Royal Grammar School please click here.
Cognita is an extraordinary group of diverse but connected schools, joining forces in an inspiring world of education with one common purpose: to build self-belief and empower individuals to succeed.
With over 80 schools in Europe, Asia and Latin America, including over 40 in the UK, we employ 8000+ teaching and support staff in the care and education of more than 55,000 pupils.
You can find further information on Cognita here.