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 Years 7 & 8 (age 3 - 13), 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.

History

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.

Leadership

Mrs Clare Turnbull

Principal

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.

Mrs Charlotte Grieves

Head of Prep School

I am delighted to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai and to have the opportunity every day 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 17 Years, I am here with my husband and 11-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.

Mrs Louise Ford

Head of Senior School

As the newly appointed Head of Senior, I am privileged to have the opportunity to lead the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai through the next phase of its growth in Senior. I am committed to providing a world class learning experience for our pupils and their families and bring my understanding and knowledge of the educational landscape of Dubai to this role. With respect for the incredible legacy of our sister school in the UK, I look to capture the essence of its culture of integrity, mutual respect and tolerance whilst also helping to create an inclusive, aspirational community fit for context and location.

Initially graduating with a History degree from the University of Wales, I have dedicated the past 20 years to education coupled with a commitment to lifelong learning. I gained a post-graduate certificate in the Teaching of Shakespeare from Warwick University a few years into my teaching career and have since gone on to complete a Masters in Educational Leadership, awarded with Merit by UCL in 2019 and most recently completed my NPQH in July 2021.

Holding senior leadership positions in both the UAE and the USA for the past decade has empowered me with the knowledge and experience to lead in a dynamic international setting. This new role excites and motivates me in equal measure, and I believe is the one I have been preparing and training for all my professional life. For me, building confidence is key. Education ignites possibilities and every pupil must be provided with endless, diverse opportunities to learn and achieve. Success, however small or significant, motivates pupils and creating an environment that is exciting, vibrant and enjoyable is paramount.

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.

Exceptional teachers

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.

Our Team

Key Stage 3

Claire Hulme
English Teacher

My name is Claire Hulme and I am delighted to be part of 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. 

Laura Regan
English Teacher

Hello, my name is Laura Regan, and it is my pleasure to be joining RGS as a Teacher of English this September. I look forward to an exciting year ahead.   I am originally from Birmingham, but later moved to Nottingham to study a degree in English Literature at Nottingham Trent University. I worked as a Higher Teaching Assistant for a year before completing my PGCE at the University of Birmingham. Since completing my teaching training, I have had the fantastic opportunity to work in an ‘Outstanding’ Academy in Birmingham, before moving to Dubai in 2019 where I worked at another established school in the area, teaching across Key Stage 3 - Key Stage 5.   I have developed an ethos as an innovative and forward-thinking practitioner. I am a teacher that is dedicated to the attainment and progression of each individual pupil, to the inclusion of every pupil, and to the success of the establishment I am part of.

In terms of classroom practice, exploring different pedagogy approaches is vital to ensure success in the subject. The skills we learn when we study English are more than just reading books and writing stories and the climate in the classroom must reflect the different levels of skills being developed. Reading teaches us empathy and allows us to express our feelings regarding situations we are yet to experience, in worlds we are yet to discover. Writing reminds us that making mistakes is part of a wider process, therefore building resilience. I work hard to ensure I incorporate these ideas into my lessons.   
I look forward to meeting you all very soon. 

Joseph Hulme
Mathematics Teacher

Hello, my name is Joseph Hulme, and i am part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a teacher of Mathematics. 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.

Craig Jeavons
Mathematics Teacher

Hello, my name is Craig Jeavons and I am extremely excited to be joining the team at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Mathematics teacher. Originally from Cheshire in the North West of England, I completed a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne before obtaining a PGCE and PGD at Manchester Metropolitan University. I have been teaching for 14 years in various positions and whilst in the UK, I held the position of Head of Mathematics, Specialist Leader of Education and was part of the first cohort of the DfE's China-England Exchange Program. Six years ago, I moved to Al Ain, where I have been working as an Assistant Headteacher (Teaching and Learning) at the only school in the city rated as outstanding.

I have spoken at several national mathematics conferences and delivered workshops and keynote speeches across the UAE during my time here.
Outside of school, I enjoy reading, watching football and traveling.

Rachael Parkinson
Science Teacher

My name is Rachael Parkinson and I am very excited to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai 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.

Jonathan Lucas
Science Teacher

My name is Jonathan Lucas, and I am excited to be joining RGSGD in September.  Originally growing up and training in the UK, I have been living in Dubai for the last eight years, working as a Primary Classroom Teacher and Head of Subject for another well-established school within the city. Gaining experience across a range of year groups, I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing children both within the classroom academically and during extra-curricular projects that were always close to my heart. I have led both Science and Computing, ensuring children created long-lasting memories whilst enjoying all of what the subjects had to offer.

Being a teacher allows me to work in an ever-changing environment that ensures that no two days are ever the same. With every child harbouring a unique and individual personality, we as teachers, are fortunate to be given the chance to help them grow and flourish into their own learners, driven by their personalities and an understanding of the world around them. 
I look forward to meeting you all in September and continuing the amazing scientific journey so many of our children are on already.

Chloe Amsellem
Head of Music

My name is Chloe Amsellem and I am delighted to be part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai team 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 thoroughly enjoying leading the music programme at RGSGD and I feel honoured to be part of the founding Senior School team at a school whose aspirational ethos and values very much align with my own educational philosophy.

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.

Colin Parkinson
History & Geography Teacher

My name is Colin Parkinson and I am delighted to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I teach History and Geography and am alos the lead for Year 8. 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. 

Melissa Bevan
Specialist Art Teacher

My name is Melissa Bevan and I am excited to be part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai team 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.

Toyin Godfrey
Specialist Art Teacher

My name is Toyin Godfrey and I am delighted to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a specialist Art Teacher and Year 7 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.

Leanne Patterson
Design Technology Teacher

My name is Leanne Patterson and I am originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland. I am absolutely delighted to be part of the team at RGSGD as a Teacher of Design Technology.  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.

Marie-Clare Sherriff
Performing Arts Teacher

My name is Marie-Clare Sherriff and I am excited to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai 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.

Steven Edwards
French & Spanish Teacher

Hola! Bonjour! My name is Steven Edwards, and I am honoured to join the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a French and Spanish teacher. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Southampton and my PGCE at UCL Institute of Education. Over the past six years, I have had the privilege of teaching Spanish and French across various schools in London.  From a young age, I have been captivated by the beauty and richness of languages. This passion has taken me on incredible journeys, such as living in Portugal, volunteering in Nicaragua for several months and exploring the vibrant culture of Colombia. It is my utmost joy to share this passion for exploring new cultures and learning languages with my pupils. In my classroom, I strive to cultivate a genuine love for the subject and create an environment where pupils can authentically express themselves in another language. Witnessing these moments of linguistic growth and confidence is truly rewarding.

I am genuinely excited to contribute to the vibrant learning community at RGSGD, It is my goal to inspire and guide our pupils on their language-learning journey, equipping them with invaluable skills that will open doors to a world of opportunities.  
Beyond the classroom, I lead an active lifestyle. I enjoy playing and watching a variety of sports, as well as traveling and immersing myself in new cultures. I find great fulfillment in learning new languages and working creatively with music and poetry. 

Upper Key Stage 2

Joe Creal
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.

Carly Cannon

My name is Carly Cannon and I am part of the Upper Key Stage 2 team at 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.

Sam Townsend

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.

Andi Price

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.

Robbie Parker

My name is Robbie Parker, and I am one of the Year 6 teachers at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Originally, I am from County Durham in the Northeast of England and moved to Dubai in 2020. After completing my undergraduate degree, I pursued my Primary PGCE at Newcastle University and began my teaching career shortly after. At a small village primary school, I gained valuable experience across the primary phase, teaching pupils from Year 1 to Year 6, before embracing a new adventure in the UAE.   During my time in the UAE, I have worked as a Year 5 teacher and served as the curriculum leader for Mathematics. I am thrilled to be returning to Year 6, which has always been one of my favourite year groups. One of my passions is promoting the importance of reading and inspiring children to explore a wide range of books. As a practitioner, I lead by example, focusing my energy where it has the most impact.

I believe that good support, strong relationships, honesty, and a sense of togetherness are crucial in guiding pupils toward individual success. The children in my class are active in their learning and play a pivotal role in their own development which helps to ensure their education is both holistic and bespoke.  
In my classroom, I strive to create a calm and nurturing environment. I prioritise building positive working relationships with the pupils under my care because their happiness and comfort within our learning environment is essential for them to achieve their potential. 

Matthew Lancaster

My name is Matthew Lancaster, and I am delighting to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai team in August as a Year 6 Teacher. I will be moving from the UK to Dubai with my wife and I am very much looking forward to being a part of the RGS community. I have extensive experience and knowledge of teaching in Year 6 and have led this year group for the past 8 years within a school in the UK.  I graduated from Liverpool Hope University in 2015 with a First-Class Primary Teaching degree, which specialised in Mathematics. I then went straight into the classroom and have been enjoying teaching within Year 6 ever since. I have led in multiple roles in addition to my classroom practises and have coordinated both Computing and Physical Education – raising standards and pupil enjoyment in both. Further to this, in my role as whole-school Assessment Coordinator, I was instrumental in the re-design, implementation and monitoring of an assessment system as well as a home-learning system during the pandemic.

I am a Seesaw Ambassador and thoroughly enjoy incorporating elements of new technology to inspire the children I teach.  
Teaching is my passion. I believe that the pupils are and should be the centre-point of the classroom; that teaching should be personalised to every pupil. I create strong working bonds that are essential to allowing every pupil to grow and learn - helping them to reach and exceed their potential. Every year, pupils within my classroom feel safe, secure, and happy in their environment.
Outside of the classroom, I love travelling to discover and appreciate more about the cultures of the world. I am incredibly excited to be joining RGSGD this year, to embed it as one of the leading schools in Dubai and helping to shape the future generations.  

Georgina Davis

My name is Georgina Davis and I am delighted to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. 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.

Rebecca Antoine

My name is Rebecca Antoine and I am part of the Upper Key Stage 2 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.

Louise Kelly

My name is Louise Kelly. I am thrilled to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai 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.

Ana Maria Santos

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.

Lisa Roberts

Hello, my name is Lisa Roberts and I am really thrilled to be amongst such a great team of educators at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I am originally from London but lived in Brighton for most of my life. I studied for my Bachelors in Primary Education (hons 1st class) at North London University and have then taught in exceptional schools across London and Brighton for over 25 years. I have worked across all key stages and have previously led year groups, key stages and curriculum teams in Art, Design Technology and Science.

I am committed to creating a stimulating and inclusive learning environment where children can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. I firmly believe in the power of education to shape lives and make a positive difference. I foster a supportive and respectful classroom community, where collaboration, kindness, and perseverance are valued. I am proud to be part of the community and am committed to providing our pupils with the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to succeed not only in their academic pursuits but also in life. When not teaching, I have a real passion for travel and taught in Japan for 4 years ahead of working here in Dubai.

Joseph Ablett

My name is Joseph Ablett, and I am delighted to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Key Stage 2 Class Teacher. I moved to Dubai from my home in London, England 1 year ago and I have thoroughly enjoyed becoming part of the community at the school.  Upon completion of my bachelor's degree in music, I went on to achieve my PGCE in Primary Education at the University of Leeds. I have been a teacher for over six years in which I have enjoyed working in Spain and most recently at a Primary school in North London, teaching across a range of year groups in Key Stage 2 and leading subjects including PSHE and Music. 

I feel truly privileged in my position as a teacher, knowing that I am responsible for positively impacting another person’s journey through life, both academically and personally. There is no other vocation that exists, I believe, that provides this satisfaction. I care greatly about the children that I am fortunate enough to work with and strive to place them at the centre of their own learning through fun and engaging lessons. I aim to invoke a sense of curiosity in my pupils and enable them to develop a growth mindset so that they are ready to succeed in the modern world. When I am not teaching, I enjoy music, cycling, travelling and reading. I am very excited to begin my new life in Dubai and experience everything that the UAE has to offer. I am proud to join the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai and look forward to creating some wonderful memories.

Andrew Grainger

My Name is Andrew Grainger, and I am delighted to be joining the team at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Year 5 Teacher. Having taught for 13 years, I have experience leading as a Deputy Head within the UAE and as a member of the Senior Leadership team across several schools in the UK. My passion for technology and Science has also given me opportunities to take on leadership roles as a STEM Lead and Science Lead across multiple schools. Each of these roles has equipped me with a comprehensive understanding of curriculum development and how to bring innovative new ideas into the classroom environment.

Having graduated with a degree in English Language, I then went on to complete my PGCE at Bishop Grosseteste University in 2011. As a teacher, I strive to help children foster a love of learning, empowering them to become passionate, lifelong learners. I believe that pupils should feel confident in taking risks and show resilience when faced with challenges; always displaying a strong moral compass in all that they do. I am thrilled to be joining the team at RGSGD, and I cannot wait to become part of this exceptional community.

Adam Williamson

My name is Adam Williamson, and I am delighted to introduce myself as a key stage 2 teacher at Royal Grammar School Guildford School, Dubai community. Originally from the Northeast of England, I graduated with an Honors Degree in English Literature before completing my PGCE in Carlisle. In my hometown, Nantwich, I taught for nearly ten years across a range of year groups across both key stages 1 and 2. For the past two years, I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching at a British Curriculum school here in Dubai. Throughout my teaching career, building positive relationships has been at the forefront of my values. By creating a warm and welcoming classroom atmosphere, I strive to build trust and rapport with each child, ensuring they feel valued and respected.

Each day is filled with creativity, discovery, and the thrill of seeing students grasp new concepts. I enjoy crafting engaging lessons that cater to their diverse interests and learning styles. Helping students build a strong foundation for their future education is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. The bonds formed with the students and the positive impact I have on their early educational journey make it a truly enriching experience. Outside of school, I am passionate about health and fitness. I enjoy team games such as basketball and football and I cannot wait to get involved in after school clubs where I can share my enthusiasm in these areas with the children.

Chrystal Philippou

My name is Chrystal Philippou, and I am beyond excited to join Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Year 5 Class Teacher. I was born and raised in Cardiff, Wales with a Greek Cypriot heritage. My journey in education began at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where I attained a First-Class Honors degree in Primary Education Studies. This was followed by a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, further enriching my qualifications. With four years of teaching experience, I bring to the classroom my passion for fostering creativity, curiosity, and engaged learners. What I love most about being a teacher is finding out what makes each child special and helping them uncover their unique strengths and talents. My aim is to empower students with a skill set that extends beyond the classroom, nurturing real-world resilience, independence, and confidence.

I believe that authentic challenges and problems provide invaluable opportunities for deeper learning and growth. Ever since I was young, I had an interest in travel and exploring different cultures, languages, and traditions of the world. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy maintaining a healthy lifestyle by regularly participating in yoga, pilates, and running. Cooking and baking are cherished pursuits of mine, as I find great pleasure from crafting a diverse array of dishes in the kitchen. I am thoroughly looking forward to meeting my new class, as our classroom promises endless adventure and discovery. I am enthusiastic about forming meaningful connections with each child, providing personalised support to help them flourish and succeed at RGSG Dubai.

Sophie Ryan

My name is Sophie Ryan, and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai team as a Year 6 teacher. Originally from Buckinghamshire, after completing my teacher training in Oxfordshire, I soon moved away from the rural Home Counties to teach in the city of London. A decade ago, I began my teaching career in Upper Key Stage 2 in an Outstanding primary school in the city centre. After two years, I soon decided to spread my wings to seek new challenges and experience international teaching in the UAE. During my 8 years of teaching in the same school since arriving in Dubai, I have taken on pivotal roles as Head of Year and Head of Department, witnessing firsthand the transformative power of education.

In the classroom, I endeavor to create a caring, nurturing, and supportive environment where I continue to inspire children and ignite their fire and love for learning. As an educator, I cherish the chance to actively engage with and support my students, fostering their growth and development, not just academically, but also personally and socially. Utilizing my background in performing arts, I apply my skills and knowledge to cultivate confidence and communication among my students. This involves providing regular opportunities for public speaking, including presentation practice across all subjects and participation in debates. By setting high expectations for my pupils, this will elevate standards and ensure that they all reach their potential. Over the year, I will assist them in readiness for the transition to secondary school, ensuring they are well-prepared to navigate the new experiences ahead. When I am not teaching, I enjoy watching or playing golf, swimming, and spending time with my family. I am looking forward to being a part of the RGS family, supporting those ‘leaders, dreamers and in-betweeners’ and helping my pupils each year to become ‘world ready’.

Sameera Hussain

My name is Sameera Hussain, and I am thrilled to be joining Year 6 at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, I graduated with a Bachelor of Education Honors degree from the University of Strathclyde. Dubai is now my home, where I live with my husband and two young boys. With 12 years of teaching experience, including 9 years as a Year 6 teacher and Curriculum Leader at an outstanding Dubai school, I bring enthusiasm and dedication to my new role at RGSGD. In my classroom, I strive to create a stimulating and inclusive learning environment that empowers students to reach their full potential.

As a compassionate and child-centered teacher, I prioritize fostering positive relationships because I firmly believe that happy children learn better. My expertise lies in engaging students, raising academic standards, integrating digital technologies, and enhancing the curriculum. I am passionate about creativity and have organized numerous theme days and cultural events to enrich the children’s educational journey. In my free time, I enjoy exploring new countries, capturing moments with my camera, and immersing myself in different languages. I am genuinely excited to be joining RGSGD - I cannot wait to meet my new class and prepare them for life in Year 7 and beyond!

Lower Key Stage 2

James Sherriff
Assistant Head - Lower Key Stage 2

Hello, my name is James Sherriff, and I am excited to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in August as the Assistant Head of Lower Key Stage 2. Originally from Worcestershire, UK, I graduated from the University of Gloucestershire in 2012 and since then, have held teaching and leadership positions in outstanding schools in both the UK and Dubai. Since moving to the UAE in 2015, I have taught and led across all phases of Primary school, gaining invaluable experience and knowledge as I have progressed in my career from class teacher to Head of Year, Phase Leader, and now in my current role as an Assistant Head of Primary.

For me, the children are my driving force and will continue to be in the years ahead at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I truly believe that happy children make for better learners and that through kindness, collaboration, and perseverance we will, together, build confident and successful, lifelong learners. I look forward to empowering the children to be their own source of energy and to take those next steps in their learning journey with courage, innovation, to lead by example and to know their strengths as well as their challenges - allowing them to aspire for greatness and make the progress, we know they are capable of.
Outside of school, I enjoy cooking, travelling and can often be found around a pool with a good book.

Keirina Heatley

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.

Hannah Richards

My name is Hannah Richards and I am part of the team at 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.

Angela Neal

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.

Nidhika Vohra

My name is Nidhika Vohra, and I am a member of the Key Stage 2 team at 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.

Pauline Gayle

My name is Pauline Gayle, and I am part of Key Stage 2 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), this year as a Year 4 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.

Daniel Wilson

My name is Daniel Wilson and I am incredibly happy to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Previously, I have gained experience working with Years 1-6, both as a teaching assistant and a class teacher. After working in Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, and Bedfordshire in England, I decided to broaden my horizons and gain international experience, moving to Abu Dhabi in 2020. Since pursuing a career in teaching, I have been fortunate to be involved in an international project that allowed me to visit schools in both Finland and Denmark. This experience enabled me to observe how time, talent, and technology can be utilised within a learning environment.

I have a strong passion for student-led learning and progressive practices and have written articles about many of the interesting and innovative ways I have worked with my groups to maximize their potential within the classroom. In addition to these articles I am also proud to have established a successful primary school resource website based on these concepts, which is now used by thousands of teachers worldwide.
Outside of the classroom, my favorite activity is walking, although it can be challenging in the heat of the UAE! I am excited about the upcoming year and the opportunity to work with a fantastic new team and group of children. The learning environment looks amazing, and I am eagerly excited to get started at RGSGD.

James Gore

My name is James Gore and I look forward to joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford School, Dubai community. During my 20 years of teaching, I have taught and led teams across all age-groups within Pre-Prep and Prep School. During that time, I have taught as an English specialist in Prep School and a classroom teacher in Upper Key Stage Two. I have been an integral part of senior leadership teams, as Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Head and Deputy Head Academics, in prominent Prep schools in Dubai and Kenya, in ensuring children excel towards high academic standards and are engaged in a creative curriculum that encourages thinking skills.

Over the past couple of years, I have focused on the development of technology within the classroom working as part of the IT strategy team and was awarded by the school’s board of governors during the pandemic for my provision with online learning. I have also led professional development training with staff and parents on the use of technology and teaching methods in the classroom.
In my classroom, I believe in cultivating a community where children are encouraged to take risks, develop resilience and to be inquisitive and curious about their learning and the world around them as they learn and prepare for the future ahead of them. My wish for each child in my classroom is to flourish with a love of learning and reading. Outside of school, I am passionate about music, singing and playing in bands and when time permits writing songs. I look forward to supporting the creative arts at RGSGD.

Rachael Brown

My name is Rachael Brown and I am thrilled to have joined the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in January 2023 as a Key Stage 2 teacher. I began working in education after graduating from Northampton University in 2003 with a BA honours degree. For the next six years I worked across a range of primary, secondary, specialist and Pupil referral schools in the UK in Dudley, Birmingham, and London, mainly in a pastoral capacity. I then obtained my PCGE in Primary Education in 2009 and went on to teach across Key Stage one & two. Most recently, I have worked in several senior leadership roles covering both academic and pastoral responsibilities.

I am a firm believer that as educators, we are always learning which led me to follow my interest in inclusive teaching and a desire to further my knowledge at Newman university in 2020, gaining a Post Graduate Certificate in inclusion and my SENDCO qualification. As a teacher I strive to create a positive inclusive climate for leaning. Building strong relationships with pupils is key to enable our young people to flourish, becoming well rounded global citizens by the time they leave education. I am excited to be part of the RGS community and further deepen my education experiences and memories.

Catherine Moon

My name is Catherine Moon and i am part of the Key Stage 2 team at RGSGD. 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 and thenn moving to RGSGD in August 2022. 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.

Hannah Walsh

My name is Hannah Walsh and I am excited to be joining Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Year 3 Class Teacher. I originally come from a sunny seaside town in England and in the historic city of Canterbury where I gained both my Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree and my Postgraduate Certificate in Education. In August, I will be entering my fifth year of living and teaching in Dubai. My journey in education began in the UK, in the Early Years Foundation Stage and since then, I have both taught and held leadership roles across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. My experience to date includes Key Stage 1 Leader, Year Leader, Performing Arts Leader and Social Studies Leader.

As a teacher, I create an inclusive, caring and happy environment for all pupils, where each child feels valued and safe.Every child deserves to fulfil their potential and I enable this by personalising my practice to meet the needs of each child, whilst maintaining positive relationships built on respect, trust and kindness. I am passionate about education and I am dedicated to building relationships with the children I teach as individuals, helping me support their own strengths and talents and ensuring that every child is provided with the life skills and learning opportunities to achieve their goals. I am most looking forward to becoming a part of such a strong, family-oriented school community and am excited to be contributing to the high standards and inspiring ethos of the school.

Sophie Ellis

My name is Sophie Ellis, and I am really excited to be joining Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai later this year. I studied at Newcastle University where I graduated with a BA Honours degree in English Language and Literature and later completed my PGCE. After graduating, I began working in a primary school in Newcastle before moving to Dubai in 2020, where I have been teaching ever since. Ahead of joining RGSGD my most recent post was Year 6 Leader at an outstanding rated school in Dubai. In England, I taught in Upper Key Stage 2 and was responsible for leading PE across the school.  

I absolutely love to teach and I aim to instill a love for learning within every child. It is my privilege to impact, inspire and guide our children to become successful lifelong learners who are confident, driven and resilient. I am really looking forward to meeting all my new families and I am excited to start this wonderful new journey with the pupils.

Katie Campion

My name is Katie Campion and I am really excited to be part of the team at 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.

Hanifah Khan

My name is Hanifah Khan and I am excited to be joining the LKS2 team this year at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, having been part of the Key Stage 1 Team at RGSGD for 3 years. 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 in both KS1 and KS2 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.

Laura Haddow

My name is Laura Haddow and I am thrilled to be part of the Key Stage 2 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) having spent two years in Key Stage 1. I graduated from Roehampton University in 2009 with a BA in Primary Education with a specialism in English. Throughout my many years of teaching, I have worked at outstanding schools in both the UK and UAE, across EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. During my time in the UK, I lived in Surrey, very close to our sister school.

I was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and then spent much of my own childhood in Dubai. I am delighted to have my own children as part of the RGSGD community.

Rae Bryan

My name is Rae Bryan and I will be joining the Lower Key Stage 2 team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), having previously spend two years in Key Stage 1 at RGSGD. I graduated from St Mary’s University, Twickenham, with a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education and have spent my teaching career as a KS1 and KS2 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.

Madeleine James

My name is Madeleine James, and I am thrilled to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai team as a Year 3 teacher. Originally from Greater Manchester, England, I made the leap to Dubai eight years ago, seeking new adventures and cultural experiences overseas. With six years of middle leadership experience and over 9 years teaching experience with a background in both Key Stages 1 and 2, I have honed my teaching skills in diverse classrooms, embracing innovation and fostering inclusive learning environments. My passion lies in inspiring students and driving positive change within my classroom. Establishing meaningful, lasting relationships with both my students and parents alike, is at the core of everything I do. It is a vital aspect of my teaching philosophy, and one I deeply value and take great pride in nurturing.

At RGSGD, I am eager to bring my expertise to the table, collaborating with the wealth of experience in our school community to create engaging learning experiences. Beyond the classroom, not only do I enjoy exploring the wonderful country we call home, but I also love to travel, read, and listen to books, walk my dog, and spend quality time with my loved ones. Joining the RGSGD family, I am very much looking forward to making a meaningful impact on the lives of my students and ensuring that every pupil thrives and succeeds.

Key Stage 1

Beckie Bennett
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.

Lauren Pennington

Hello, everyone. My name is Lauren Pennington, and I am privileged to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) as a Year 2 teacher. I am originally from the United Kingdom where I worked for several years before moving to the UAE. I am joining RGSGD with 12 years of Dubai based experience in an outstanding school, where I previously held leadership positions such as Assistant Head Teacher & Head of Moral, Social and Cultural Studies.   My classroom is one of inclusivity and kindness, where every child is seen and heard. I am passionate about working in a community focused setting and believe that parent/teacher partnerships are key to the success of the children in my care. I am excited to provide a holistic, fun and memorable learning experience for the pupils at RGSGD.

With a focus on the shared values and learning habits of our school, I will ensure that every child has a fantastic year, providing them with bespoke, personalised learning opportunities.
In my spare time I like to stay active and enjoy cycling and golf. Travelling is my biggest passion and I have visited 76 countries. I love to experience different cultures and feel that this supports me in teaching in an international setting. I am looking forward to meeting you and your children in late August.

Susan Russell

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.

Elaine Forsythe

My name is Elaine Forsythe and I am delighted to be part of 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.

Lily Crane

My name is Lily Crane, and I am really excited to be joining Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Year 2 Class Teacher. I graduated from The University of West of England in 2015 with a degree in Primary Teaching. I taught in the UK for 5 years and have been teaching in Dubai for the past 3 years, working in both Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. I always aim to create a safe and stimulating learning environment, with a balanced and broad curriculum, so that children can achieve their potential and develop a love of learning. I am a passionate and enthusiastic teacher and I always make sure that learning is fun and rewarding. I encourage children to take ownership of their learning, allowing my classroom to be filled with independent, resilient and happy learners.

In my spare time I enjoy being active, playing sports and socialising with my family and friends. I also love travelling and exploring new countries and cities. I am thoroughly looking forward to embarking on an exciting year ahead at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. 

Tasmin Long

My name is Tamsin Long, and I am so excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai and what is, a wonderful school community. I am originally from London but have been living in Dubai for the past 5 years.  August marks the beginning of my tenth year as a teacher which started in an infant school in London, where I had the opportunity to work with pupils across the Foundation stage and Key Stage 1. Throughout my career I have taught both as a class teacher and an interventions specialist, delivering personalised lessons to support diverse learning needs.  As an educator, I firmly believe in building strong relationships and fostering a supportive learning environment where children feel safe and encouraged. I view these relationships as the foundation for pupils to take risks in their learning, challenging themselves to reach their full potential.

It is my utmost passion to ensure that each child in my care has a positive and personalised learning experience at school. As a Key Stage 1 teacher, I am committed to delivering inspiring, fun, and innovative lessons that not only educate but also equip children with the skills they need to become lifelong learners. My aim is to create an engaging and enriching learning experience that will help our young people flourish. I am thrilled to be joining RGSGD because I am eager to be a part of a school that places such high value on community, integrity and kindness. I look forward to teaching all of the amazing children and contributing to the already supportive, family-oriented, and nurturing ethos of the school. 
Beyond the classroom, I lead an active lifestyle. I enjoy going for long walks, practicing yoga with my friends, and going to the gym to stay physically fit. Additionally, I have a great love for traveling and creating new memories with my family and friends. 

Katy Taylor

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.

Rebekah Conway

My name is Rebekah Conway and I am honoured to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I joined RGSGD in August 2022 and have been living and working in Dubai for the past eight years. I am very excited to meet my new pupils in August. 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.

Jessica Brown

My name is Jessica Brown, and I am privileged to be joining the family at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Year 1 teacher. I am originally from the United Kingdom where I gained my degree in Early Childhood Studies at Swansea University, followed by a PGCE. I worked for 2 years in the UK before moving to the Middle East and this year will be my eleventh year of teaching and my ninth year working in schools within Dubai. I have a range of experience across EYFS and Key Stage 1 in outstanding departments, where I have also held a Middle Leadership Roles. I am an experienced and passionate teacher and I aim to provide exciting and engaging learning opportunities which allow our young people to learn through exploration. I think it is of high importance for children to access enquiry and play-based learning, allowing them to engage with their peers and build key relationships.

I believe we should be personalising every child’s learning journey and providing children with the skills they need to be lifelong learners. The school's learning habits and values will be embedded in my class, and this will ensure each child is given the opportunity to flourish at RGSGD.
Outside of the classroom I enjoy exploring new places in Dubai and travelling to new countries with friends. I also enjoy paddleboarding and going for long bike rides.
I am excited to meet all of you in August and to start our journey together.

Penny Newell

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.

Fauzia Afzal

My name is Fauzia Afzal and I am delighted to be part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai community, having joined 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.

Matthew Parums

My name is Matthew Parums and I am delighted to be part of the exceptional team here at RGSGD. I have been teaching for 8 years and have enjoyed 6 wonderful years here in Dubai with my wife and my 1-year old daughter. I have held leadership roles that include Assistant Headteacher, Gifted and Talented and Teaching Assistant Lead, and Arabic Teaching and Learning mentor. This year, I am excited to be joining the Year 2 team and beginning my new role here at RGSGD as our Head of English for the Prep School.

I believe that educators sit in an influential position that is key to a child’s success later in life and it is our privilege to work with young children each day to help them grow and succeed. A passion of mine in education, is using teaching and learning strategies that are underpinned by research, to promote curiosity that enable children to make links to their own life, and the current world that we live in. I believe that our curriculum should be forever evolving and dynamic so that our pupils of today are able to flourish in their future careers and lives. I am looking forward to getting to know more of our RGSGD community as I head into my second year at our school.

Hollie Grainger

Hello RGSGD Community! My name is Hollie Grainger and I am thrilled to be joining RGSGD as a Year 1 teacher. Originally from Cambridgeshire, I gained my English degree at Sheffield University and then went on to study my PGCE. During my 13 years of teaching, I have held leadership positions as an Assistant Head and Key Stage 1 Leader within Dubai, along with numerous Middle Leadership roles within the UK. I strive to develop a classroom environment in which children feel safe and happy, where they can develop a love of learning and a curiosity about the world around them, laying a strong foundation for lifelong learning.

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy exploring new countries and cultures and spending time with my family. You can often find me entertaining my three young boys and going on adventures with them. I am truly looking forward to a brilliant year of teaching and learning and getting to know each and every one of you.

Danielle Burry

My name is Danielle Burry, and I am super excited to be joining Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Year 2 Class Teacher. I grew up in Dorset before studying a Sport Science degree at the University of Bath. Following this, I gained my PGCE and trained to become a KS1/2 Teacher while working at a prestigious school in Knightsbridge, London, and spent four wonderful years there. I have been teaching in Dubai for the past year and I feel fortunate to continue my international teaching journey at this special school. I am a dedicated, personable, and passionate class teacher with a drive for providing influential, holistic, and creative learning experiences that help children cultivate a lifelong love of learning.

I establish and maintain effective relationships with both pupils and parents while providing bespoke pastoral care, assessing each child’s social needs with an eye for their educational development. In my classroom, I ensure that all students succeed in an inclusive, forward thinking, and safe environment, in which each child’s individuality is valued and encouraged. I am confident that I can create a stimulating and nurturing learning environment that will empower all pupils in my class to fulfil their potential. Outside of the classroom, I love to maintain a healthy lifestyle, keeping fit and entering different fitness events. I also enjoy travelling to new places in the school holidays. I truly look forward to the enriching and extraordinary year that lies ahead.

Hayley Weir

Hello! I am Hayley Weir, originally from Cheshire, UK, and now embarking on an exciting journey as a Prep Teacher at The Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai. With five enriching years of teaching experience in Dubai and Thailand, I am deeply passionate about nurturing young minds in the early years and Key Stage 1. My teaching approach revolves around cultivating a genuine love for learning through hands-on, playful experiences that captivate children's curiosity and joy. At the core of my philosophy is ensuring that children are not just educated but also genuinely happy and eager to explore the wonders of education.

Outside the classroom, I am an avid traveller with a penchant for exploring the vibrant cultures of South East Asia and unwinding on picturesque beaches. I embrace mindfulness, yoga, and a positive mindset, values that I cherish and incorporate into my teaching practices. Joining the esteemed team at RGSGD, I am thrilled to embark on an exciting learning journey with my new class, where the happiness and wellbeing of children take precedence. My ultimate goal is to instill a growth mindset in every child, empowering them to believe in their capabilities and aspire to achieve their dreams.

I look forward to fostering a nurturing and inspiring environment at RGSGD, where every day presents new opportunities for learning and fun, and where happy children flourish and love every moment of their school experience.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Jessica Townsend
Assistant Head, EYFS

I am delighted to have joined the RGSGD community as Assistant Head, EYFS. As a dedicated and experienced practitioner and leader, I am committed to nurturing the academic and holistic development of children in their early education. My passion lies with all children making as much progress as possible from their individual starting points. Initially graduating from Cardiff University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, I pursued a PGCE in Primary Education. Before relocating to Dubai in 2017, I gained invaluable experience as a primary class teacher in South Wales. My experience in Dubai has been rich and varied, having held the role of an Assistant Headteacher in both a growing school and an established Outstanding rated school. I am dedicated to enhancing school standards and improving pupil outcomes and have successfully completed Level 1 and 2 PENTA Inspection training. It is through my education and experience I have developed a deep understanding of how children learn best.

Having a wealth of pastoral, academic and wellbeing leadership experience as an Assistant Head of Prep, I am excited and motivated to provide our pupils with a world class education, achieving the very best for every child. I look forward to working collaboratively with staff, pupils and their families, sharing and celebrating the exceptional environment RGSGD has to offer.

Samantha Brusse
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.

Wendy Tulley

My name is Wendy Tulley and I am delighted to be part of 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.

Sarah Noblett

My name is Sarah Noblett and I have been teaching for over ten years, both in the UK and here in Dubai. I feel privileged to be a part of the Early Years team at RGSGD and am proud of the environment we create to welcome the children in every day with huge smiles on their faces. I graduated from Edge Hill University with BA Honours in Early Years Education, specialising in ages three to seven years old. A few years later, I obtained a Masters in Teaching and Learning and focused my studies on the benefits of play based learning for all children throughout the primary age range.

I have held numerous leadership positions throughout my career including Head of Key Stage One, Year Group Leader and Phonics and English Lead for EYFS and Key Stage One. My studies and experience teaching children in Early Years and Key Stage One has further embedded my philosophy that it is imperative that the learning environment should be inclusive for all learning styles and a place where children feel safe and happy. I love seeing children’s personalities shine through as they develop independence and confidence to investigate and explore. I am passionate about teaching and feel honoured to be a part of the team at RGSGD.

Gemma Mathis

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.

Miranda Callaby

My name is Miranda Callaby and I am part of 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.

Keerit Akhtar

My name is Keerit Akhtar and I am honoured to have been part of the founding team at the Royal Grammar School Guilford Dubai as an FS2 Teacher. I have taught in all three key stages, including as a Head of Early Years at an independent school in the United Kingdom. Having had experience across all key stages, my passion does lie in the Early Years; encouraging children to become independent learners and helping to create that enthusiasm for learning. I am a firm believer in not only preparing our children for their next academic journey, but also readying them for the wider world.

Each day I provide children with opportunities to challenge themselves and encourage them to take risks. It is important that children know that we all make mistakes, and when this happens in class, it creates learning opportunities which develop their inquiring minds; helping build their self-confidence.

Danielle Remrod

My name is Danielle Remrod and I am a dedicated and innovative Early Years Teacher with an 11-year wealth of experience working within 'Outstanding' schools in the UAE and UK. Originally from the UK, I have been teaching in Dubai for 8 years, having previously worked across the Foundation Stage as well as holding a range of leadership positions such as Innovation Lead and FS2 Year Leader. Always looking for the next innovation in education, with a passion for developing awe-inspiring learning environments, I am a firm believer of play-based learning filled with challenge, curiosity, and kindness as a catalyst for developing independent thinkers and calculated risk-takers.

Now having the privilege of joining The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai family, I am excited to plan vibrant, meaningful experiences as well as develop imaginative learning environments, with the RGS values, learning habits, and children at the center. In my spare time, you will find me reading, painting, or exercising. I positively love all things art and design and enjoy soaking up cultures from around the world.
I am thoroughly excited to meet my new class and develop our youngest children into lifelong learners.

Laura Bellars

My name is Laura Bellars, and I am delighted to be joining the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, as a Prep Teacher. I am originally from London but have lived and taught in schools across Cumbria and the West Midlands in the United Kingdom. I graduated from Birmingham City University in 2013 with a BA (Hons) Primary Education (QTS) and have taught children in the Early Years and across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.   I am committed to inspiring and motivating all children, encouraging high expectations whilst providing a safe and enjoyable learning experience. My positive and caring nature with the children I have taught has consistently fostered good relationships, enabling them to thrive and always believe that they can become better in every way.

I aim to provide a stimulating and enjoyable environment for children whilst ensuring that they are challenged and motivated to achieve the best they can. My inclusive ethos and sense of humour encourages children to become responsible and determined with a love for learning, equipping them with valuable life skills and a resilience to succeed. 
Having committed to continuing my teaching career outside the United Kingdom, my research established Dubai as my primary focus. I am excited at the prospect of moving to Dubai, meeting my new class, and working with the fantastic team at RGSGD; a school whose values are aligned with my own. 
Outside of school I enjoy exercising, reading, baking, and travelling to new places.

Bojana Velickovic

Hello, my name is Bojana Velickovic and I am part of the EYFS team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I started my career in the field of education as an English teacher in Madrid, Spain, imparting my passion for learning, play, and exploration to young children. I hold a BA hons degree in Teaching and a Master’s Degree in International Education. In addition, I have recently completed a National Professional Qualification for Leading Teacher Development.

I was always interested in teaching internationally and moved to Dubai in 2013, with this fabulous city being my home ever since. I previously had the honour to work at some of the most reputable and prestigious schools in UAE and partake in their outstanding teaching practice.  I have worked extensively in EYFS and KS1 settings.
I have a true passion for working with our youngest learners! Helping each child progress in all areas of their development - academic, social, language, and motor, is a challenge that I am honoured to accept daily. I strive to create a community of learners that nurtures growth in a positive and fun environment

Kerry Fawcett

My name is Kerry Fawcett and I am delighted to be part of the team at 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.

Rosie Douglas-Davies

My name is Rosie Douglas-Davies and I am part of the Early Years team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, having joined in August 2022. 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.

Olivia Adkins

My name is Olivia Adkins and I am honoured to be teaching FS1 at The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD). I am from The Wirral, North West of England and I have most recently been teaching Early Years Foundation Stage for five years at an Outstanding OFSTED graded primary school in the UK. I graduated from the University of Bangor with Qualified Teacher Status in Early Years Education. My Early Years teaching experience has taught me how to stimulate learning through exciting activities and structured play opportunities in the classroom environment.

My goal is for the children to consolidate new skills and take a sense of ownership of their own learning. I believe that FS1 is crucial to the development of childrens key foundation skills that prepare them to become lifelong learners. I look forward to building a strong parent-teacher relationship with you and together we can support our children to reach their full potential.

Khadija Arif

I am delighted to introduce myself as Khadija Arif and I feel honored to be joining the Early Years team at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. With more than 10 years of teaching experience in schools across the UK, Kuwait, and Dubai, I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this role.  Originally from Leicester, I graduated from De Montfort University with a BSc in Human Psychology. Since completing my studies and obtaining my QTS qualification, I have developed a strong passion for teaching. It is truly gratifying to positively impact the young minds of my pupils, helping them grow and develop into the best that they can be.

The rewarding moments of my teaching journey include witnessing the joy on a child's face when they grasp new concepts, observing pupils overcome challenges, and fostering an environment of laughter and exploration through hands-on activities. These experiences continuously reaffirm my dedication to teaching. I am thrilled to be a part of such a prestigious institution that values academic and personal growth in our young people. I am eager to contribute my expertise to help pupils achieve success. I look forward to building a positive relationship with our community and collaborating closely with you all to establish a strong foundation for our pupils’ academic journey. Outside of work, I enjoy reading, traveling, and cherishing my role as a mother to my three boys.

Ashleigh Lewis

My name is Ashleigh Lewis and I will be joining the Early Years Foundation Stage team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in August 2023. I am originally from South Wales but began my teaching journey in Italy, where I truly fell in love with the profession. Following this, I completed my PGCE in England specialising in Early Years. This will be my fifth year teaching and my first year teaching in Dubai. I feel honoured to be part of such a fantastic and dedicated team at RGSGD and look forward to the academic year ahead.

I have most recently been working at a British International school in Morocco, where I became Academic Key Stage Lead and had the opportunity to support all age groups within the Early Years Foundation Stage. My experience has taught me the importance of creating a solid foundation stage that promotes a holistic approach to learning. This enables pupils to develop a love for learning which will guide them throughout their school journey. As a dedicated, passionate EYFS practitioner my daily goal is to make our classroom a happy, safe, and enjoyable place to learn.

Abigail Cummings

I am thrilled to be starting my new role in the Early Years Foundation Stage at RGS Dubai. I bring over 20 years of leadership and teaching experience in independent schools in the UK, and recently three years in the UAE working at an outstanding British Curriculum school. My teaching philosophy centres on creating a nurturing and exciting environment where children feel supported and empowered to express their ideas and thoughts. I take great joy in watching my pupils learn and grow, and I strive to build excellent relationships with families to support each child's development.

In my classroom, I prioritise an engaging and active learning atmosphere that values each child's unique contributions. I am a keen advocate of play, using innovative ideas to inspire and stimulate high levels of creative and critical thinking. Children in my class will experience a fun, supportive and enabling environment designed to help them thrive.
Outside of teaching, I enjoy yoga, travelling, and spending quality time with my family. I am excited to bring my enthusiasm and experience to RGS Dubai and look forward to a wonderful journey with my new pupils and colleagues.

Charlotte Knight
FS1 Music Teacher

My name is Charlotte Knight and I have been teaching for over 9 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.

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.

Specialist Teachers

James Bennett
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.

Laura Evans
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.

Emily Steel
PE Teacher

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.

Victoria Baldwin
PE Teacher

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.

Joe Cahill
PE Teacher

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.

Jonny Bowles
PE Teacher

My name is Jonny Bowles and I am part of the PE department at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, having joined 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.

Syreeta Stanley-Vespero
PE Teacher

Hello, my name is Syreeta Stanley-Vespero and I am thrilled to be part of 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.

Callum Stevens
PE Teacher

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.

Andrew Hepburn
PE Teacher

My name is Andrew Hepburn and I am delighted to be part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai’s PE Department. I graduated from the University of Stirling with a Sports and Exercise Science degree and have been involved with teaching and coaching swimming for 10 years in the UK, USA and UAE. I moved to Dubai in 2021, initially as a swim coach at RGSGD and have loved watching the school grow and develop since opening. I have a passion for developing pupils’ competitive spirit and instilling a lifelong love for all sport.

I love to push myself and teach pupils that they're always capable of more with some belief. In 2016 I became one of the youngest people ever to complete an Ironman, when I completed Ironman Zurich.
I’m truly passionate about all sports having competed as a division 1 water-skier at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, whilst also being both a triathlon scholar at University of Stirling and captain of the touch rugby team.
Sport is taken seriously from a young age in Dubai and in my time here I’ve been amazed by the opportunities for pupils to take part in such a variety of activities whilst making use of some of the world's best facilities. RGSGD has a PE team with values and ambitions which align with my own and I’m proud to be part of the team here.

Georgia Wystawnoha
PE Teacher

My name is Georgia Wystawnoha and I am delighted to be joining the PE department at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) in August 2023. I am originally from Manchester, in the North of England and studied a BSc (Hons) Physical Education and School Sport at Sheffield Hallam University before gaining a Postgraduate Certificate of Education in PE, at Leeds Beckett University.  I have been working across two schools in Yorkshire. I have a passion for Dance and Trampolining, and I have been fortunate enough to lead and develop these activities in both of the schools I've worked at. Sport has always had a huge role in my life, allowing me to travel, meet new friends and challenge myself in many ways.

I believe PE provides a wealth of opportunities for all pupils to engage in physical activity, whilst aiming to achieve and overcome, personal goals and challenges. Outside of school, I enjoy traveling, swimming and playing netball. I am extremely excited to move to Dubai, to start the next chapter of my teaching career and to continue to share my passion for sport at RGSGD. 

Lily Joy Jackson
Art Teacher

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.

Sophie Lamb
Music/Performance Teacher

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

Laura Mullaly
Music Teacher

My name is Laura Mullaly and I am extremely excited to embark on a new adventure in Dubai, working at RGSGD. I studied Music at Durham University, specialising in performance, and later undertook a postgraduate degree in Music Education at Cambridge University. I also hold LRSM and DipABRSM qualifications in both voice and clarinet and have had the privilege of touring around the world as a Choral Scholar. For the past 7 years, I have worked as Head of Music and Performing Arts across leading Cambridge schools. My main educational philosophy is providing children with plentiful performance opportunities that they will relish for a lifetime, for we are all musicians.

I have had school choirs compete in national choral competitions, including performing at the Royal Albert Hall. During my free time, I enjoy visiting different countries, singing in choirs and performing in orchestras. During the summer months, I also work as Pastoral Manager for an independent school and musical theatre company. I am excited to meet the pupils at RGSGD and enthuse them with a love of music.

Elena Alcalde Garcia
Spanish Teacher

Hola, my name is Elena Alcalde and I am delighted to be part of the team at 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!

Sarah Farrag
French Teacher

Bonjour à tous! My name is Sarah Farrag and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai for the next academic year. I come from Lille, the capital of Flanders, located in the Northern part of France and I have been teaching for 12 years in rich and diverse educational settings around the world. I started as a volunteer teacher in a refugee camp in Thailand Mae Sot and I continued as a primary school teacher at the French school on Koh Samui Island. Since I moved to Dubai 10 years ago, I have worked as a KG2 French teacher in a French-English bilingual school and also joined the MFL team of a British school where I taught French to pupils in FS1 up to Year 7.

I initially obtained a master's degree in management of marketing in 2006 in Australia, however after two years of working in International Business, I changed career as I really wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and then graduated in Teaching French as a second language. I am passionate about teaching and learning and am looking forward to having fun with the pupils, helping them develop their language skills but also their creativity, resilience and confidence. I am very excited to embark on this new journey with the wonderful RGSGD community. A bientôt!

Nikki Grant
Inclusion Co-ordinator
FS1-Year 1

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.

Isaac Ince
Inclusion Co-ordinator
Years 2-5

My name is Isaac Ince, originally from Manchester in England, and it is my pleasure to be an Inclusion Coordinator here at the RGS Guildford Dubai. I believe that the best educators are the best learners, and since graduating with a first-class degree in Primary Education (QTS), I have completed a Master’s degree in Education (MA Ed), the National Professional Qualification for Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC) and the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCO).

I have teaching and leadership experience across KS1 and KS2, including as Head of Maths, Behaviour Lead and Head of Year in highly successful schools both in the UK and the UAE. I initially joined RGS as a Teacher in the Prep School, along with being Houseparent for Hamonde across KS2 and KS3. My educational philosophy is centred around the belief that all children, regardless of background or circumstance, should be inspired to set ambitious goals and develop the skills and work ethic to achieve them.

Andrea Kasam
Inclusion Co-ordinator
Years 6-9

My name is Andrea Kasem and I am excited to be part of the Inclusion team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an Inclusion teacher. I obtained my Master's degree in Special and Additional Learning Needs from the University of East London and then I completed my PGCE from the University of Bath. I have been teaching in Dubai since 2016 as an Inclusion teacher and for the past two years, I have served as the Head of Inclusion. I started my teaching career in the Early Years Foundation Stage and gradually gained further experience over the years in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Although my primary focus has always been on providing support for pupils with various learning barriers, in the last two years, I have had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge in assisting gifted and talented pupils. I am very passionate about nurturing, empowering, and encouraging all children to achieve their goals and become independent learners.

Phil Bevan
Learning Support Teacher

My name is Phil Bevan and I am extremely excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an Inclusion Teacher. I am originally from South Wales and I gained my BA (Hons) in Primary Education from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff. I will be moving to RGSGD from another school in Dubai where I have been teaching a class for children with additional needs. I now have over 20 years of teaching experience, ranging from Year 2 to Year 11. I started teaching a Key Stage 2 class in South Wales before spending two years teaching in schools in Guildford, Surrey near to our home school. At this point in my career, I decided to focus on teaching and supporting children with additional needs. I have enjoyed spending the past 13 years working within different Inclusion departments as a Class Teacher, Deputy Head of a Centre for children with social, emotional and behavioural needs, and with an advisory role.

I believe that every child should be treated as an individual, they all have their own specific strengths and areas which may need support. I aim to offer bespoke individual support for every child I teach, thus ensuring they make continuous progress in order to reach their full potential.  
Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and enjoy watching and playing a range of sports including golf, running and rugby. I look forward to joining a strong and supportive team at RGSGD.

Lana Turner
EAL Teacher

Hello, my name is Lana Turner and I am part of 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.

Jennifer Upsall
EAL Teacher

My name is Jennifer Upsall and I am delighted to be part of the team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai in my role as an English as an Additional Language (EAL) Teacher. Originally from Ireland, I moved to England as a teenager and graduated from The University of Sheffield with a Bachelor of Arts and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. I have a CELTA qualification and hold Specialised Certificates in Teaching English to Young Learners and Young Adults. I began my teaching career in Sheffield and in 2007 my husband and I moved to Dubai to teach at an inclusive British international school. In my ten years at the school, I had the opportunity to teach both Primary and Secondary pupils and held a range of positions culminating in Deputy International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator.

Having added to our family with two wonderful children, we began a new family adventure by moving to a leading British school in Beijing where I held the role of Assistant Head of Secondary and IB Coordinator, leading the IB Five Year Evaluation.
After leaving Beijing we returned to our ‘second home’, the UAE, and moved to Abu Dhabi where I held the position of Head of Secondary EAL at a British school. As an EAL teacher, it is both hugely rewarding and a privilege to be part of a pupil’s journey as they grow in confidence and linguistic ability, thereby allowing them to reach their true potential. I adopt a student-centred approach and love building positive relationships with my pupils, knowing that happy children will be successful children. In October 2020, I was nominated by my school for the ADEK World Teachers’ Day Award and was one of three teachers in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to win.
My children and I are incredibly excited to be part of the RGSGD community. 


Seham Albakar
Arabic Teacher

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

Shammaa Makieh
Arabic/Islamic Studies

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. ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Tahani Abdullah
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.

Feda Sawalha
Arabic Teacher

My name is Feda Sawalha and I am delighted to be part of 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.

Maisa Sirawan
Arabic Teacher

My name is Maisa Sirawan and I am delighted to be part of 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.

Khadijah Waeyi
Arabic/Islamic Studies Teacher

My name is Khadijah Waeyi, and I am 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.

Wafa Ahmed
Arabic Teacher

My name is Wafa Ahmed, I am originally from Jordan and i am part of the Arabic & Islamic team at RGSGD. 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.

Hala Bazna
Arabic Teacher

Marhaba! My name is Hala Bazna and I am part of the Arabic & Islamic team at RGSGD. With over 30 years of international experience in teaching and educational management, I am a dedicated professional educator and throughout my career, have always sought innovative teaching techniques to keep my pupils happy, engaged, and challenged. My teaching approaches range from cooperative learning, fostering collaboration among pupils, to independent learning, empowering pupils to take ownership of their education.  I am a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS) visiting team, contributing to schools’ accreditation processes. Moreover, I hold a master's degree in education, reflecting my commitment to continuous professional development

Being Syrian and a very proud mother of two, I deeply value my cultural heritage and strive to incorporate aspects of it into my teaching. I believe that pupils learn best when they can connect their learning to real-life applications. Therefore, I weave teachings about UAE culture into the curriculum, making the learning experience more meaningful and engaging. 
One of the most rewarding experiences of my career was working with pupils of determination. This opportunity expanded my perspectives on teaching and deepened my sense of empathy.  
I am honored to be joining the team at RGSGD, where I am dedicated to providing a high-quality education for our pupils.

Usaima Houri
Arabic Teacher

Hello, my name is Usaima Houri, and I will be joining RGSGD as an Arabic Teacher.   Originally from Syria, I began my teaching career back in 1991 in Syrian public schools. I then moved to the UAE with my family in 1995 and started teaching in Sharjah before eventually moving to Dubai. With over three decades of teaching experience, I have extensive expertise and knowledge in teaching the Arabic language.  As an educator, I believe it is important to create a positive and inclusive learning environment where students feel valued, safe, and supported. I strive to make my lessons engaging and enjoyable, whether through storytelling, songs, games, or other interactive activities.

I am always exploring new ways to make my lessons even better and more effective, with the ultimate goal of instilling a love of learning and a lifelong passion for the Arabic language. It is an honor to be a part of our pupil's educational journey and to have a positive impact on their lives.  
When I'm not in the classroom, you can find me cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I love to prepare traditional Arabic dishes and desserts and enjoy sharing them with my family and friends

Stephanie Creal
Cover Teacher

My name is Stephanie Creal and I am honoured to be joining the team at RGSGD. I qualified from Brighton University with a PGCE in Primary Education and I have over 13 years of teaching experience across Early Years and Key Stage 1. I have taught in a number of outstanding state and independent schools in the UK and UAE, in a variety of classroom, management and leadership roles. I have also been a school governor for a local primary school in my hometown of Guildford, UK. I am passionate about developing a love of learning and confidence for life in the children I teach and I have a particular interest in phonics and the early stages of reading and writing. 

Dominique Radbourne
Cover Teacher

My name is Dominique Radbourne, I am originally from Dorset, a southern county in England. I feel exceptionally privileged to be taking up the post of Cover Teacher at RGSGD in August 2023. This will be my second post in Dubai and my third within an international school. Before moving to the Middle East, I worked in both rural and inner-city schools in England. I completed my BEd Honours degree at The University of St Mark and St John and qualified as a Physical Education teacher. Since graduating, my career has taken me from a PE teacher to Head of Department to Director of Sport, and for the last ten years, I have been a faculty leader for both Physical Education and Performing Arts, bringing together my two passions.

I have a love for learning and have continued to do so throughout my career, I have completed my NPQSL, a Masters in Teaching and Learning and most recently I have qualified as a Level 5 Coach and Mentor in education. 
It is extremely rewarding to see pupils grow and flourish in their journey through school and find their passion.   

Pastoral care

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.

Safeguarding

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.

Our campus

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.

Ownership

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.

Admissions: +971 58 951 2021