500 years of academic innovation
The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai campus is designed for boys and girls aged from 3 to 18. We accept primary age pupils (age 3 -11), and our school shall continue to grow year by year.
Our school embodies the ethos and values that have underpinned the Royal Grammar School Guildford in the UK for over 500 years. These, combined with a spirit of innovation and development, will prepare pupils for the challenges of the 21st and 22nd centuries. We lead by example, stay true to our values, innovate, collaborate and strive to be the very best we can be.
The Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGSGD) is a true sister school of one of the most respected and successful schools in the United Kingdom, the Royal Grammar School Guildford (RGS).
RGS continues to grow and flourish while retaining its proud historical roots and traditions. It is consistently one of the top boys’ schools at both A-Level and GCSE in the UK, according to national league tables. The school is exceptionally proud of its Oxbridge record; in the last decade alone, over 350 of our pupils received offers of places from Oxford and Cambridge universities.
Since its foundation in 1509, the Royal Grammar School has established a national and international reputation for academic excellence. Much admired among its peers, it is an ambitious school that values scholarship and community, striving for excellence in all things while acting with great compassion.
RGSGD reflects the same high standards and inspiring ethos of its home school in the UK.
RGS was founded in Guildford thanks to a bequest from Robert Beckingham, a Freeman of the City of London. In 1555, an imposing Tudor schoolhouse at the top of the High Street in Guildford was purchased. As the architectural heart of the school, this original building is a landmark in the local town. Over the centuries, RGS acquired further buildings, and there has been significant development of facilities over recent years.
In 1978, the school acquired the prestigious and successful Lanesborough Preparatory School, also in Guildford. Lanesborough continues to enjoy close links with the RGS; both schools are owned by the same charity and share the same governing body. Lanesborough also works alongside the RGS in supporting and providing guidance from the perspective of the primary sector to its international schools in Doha, Qatar and Dubai, UAE.
Mr Craig Lamshed
Craig Lamshed has educational leadership experience spanning more than 20 years, including as a Principal in Dubai, and his roles have encompassed the British, UAE, International Baccalaureate, Australian and American curricula.
He was a brand leader for Cambridge Schools in Dubai, a member of the Global Education Review and is an accredited British Schools Overseas reviewer. A graduate of Monash University in Australia, he holds a Master's in School Leadership.
He brings to Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGSGD) proven experience of founding a senior school in the UAE, broad educational leadership practice and a passion for excellence.
Mrs Clare Turnbull
Head of Prep
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.
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.
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.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Assistant Head, EYFS
I cannot tell you how excited I am to be joining the founding team as Assistant Head of EYFS at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Along with my passion to help and guide young children through their early years, I have 16 years of School Leadership experience across the Primary age range, particularly in EYFS.
I obtained my Bachelor of Education Degree from Liverpool Hope University and furthered my studies to achieve the National Award for Special Needs Co-ordination. It is through my education and experience that I have developed a deep understanding of how children learn, particularly in the acquisition of Language, Phonics, Reading and the Arts.
With my 4 years' experience of applying the British National Curriculum to teaching at a large international school in Dubai, I am honoured to be part of the culture and diversity that comes with living and teaching in the UAE. Likewise, I am equally honoured to have been given the opportunity to be integral part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I look forward to working with our pupils and their families, as we embark on an exciting journey that fosters both character development and academic excellence.
Head of Nursery
It is an honour to be part of the founding team at The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD). I will join as the Head of Nursery and am looking forward to meeting you and your children in person. I feel 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 bring 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.
Early Years Teacher
My name is Keerit Akhtar and I am delighted to be joining The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, as an Early Years teacher. I have taught in all three key stages and am currently Head of Early Years in 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.
Having previously worked in Dubai, I am very much looking forward to moving back out with my husband and our 6-month-old daughter. Becoming a mother has only driven me more, to ensure that the youngest of our children are given an outstanding education, which is fun, engaging and is centred around them.
Early Years Teacher
My name is Gemma Mathis and I have been teaching for almost 7 years now. I am so excited to be joining The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an Early Years Foundation Stage teacher. Prior to my teaching career, I studied English at Bournemouth University. I 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.
Since then, I have returned to the UK and have enjoyed further developing my skill set, and passion for teaching within the Early Years. During my career I have also had a range of extended leadership opportunities within phonics and middle leadership.
I am looking forward to joining and contributing to the future development of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I cannot wait to meet you all and welcome your children at the start of their learning journey with us.
Early Years Teacher
I am thrilled to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) as an Early Years Teacher. Teaching is my passion and I feel extremely lucky to have spent that last 8 years doing something that I love. I enjoy creating positive relationships with each of the pupils in my care so that I can inspire and support them in a way that is best suited to their individual needs; and create a learning environment that reflects their interests and ideas.
I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education. During this time my passion for international teaching began to blossom and I carried out some of my studies in Finland. Since qualifying I have taught in outstanding schools both in the UK and the UAE and the last 3 years I have been teaching at a British School in Abu Dhabi.
I take pleasure in developing my knowledge and skills and I have recently achieved a Master’s in Education. I focused my studies on some of my passions such as developing a love of reading in all children and parental engagement. I enjoy taking time to continue my professional development as I believe it is just as important for a teacher to continue to learn so that we can provide innovative opportunities for our pupils to learn too.
I cannot wait to welcome you and your children to RGSGD this coming September and to be a part of your children’s first steps of their learning journeys.
Early Years Teacher
My name is Danielle Owen and I am part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I am incredibly excited to be joining the founding team of such an esteemed school. This is my ninth year of teaching and I have lived in the Middle East for eight years. I earned a degree in English Language from Bangor University where I also obtained my PGCE. My goal as an Early Years practitioner is to instil a love of learning in every child. I adore the UAE the values and culture of this country and I enjoy teaching pupils about the UAE’s heritage.
In the classroom, I enjoy creating an environment that is safe, nurturing and, of course, fun, where every child can reach their full potential and feel comfortable to express themselves. I believe that children should be encouraged to be open minded and independent from an early age. The Early Years are the foundations of life and a positive environment where children can truly be themselves, communicate and risk take, allows new generations of leaders and innovators to emerge from my classroom every year. I am so proud to be part of this exceptional team of teachers and I cannot wait to meet my new pupils very soon!
Early Years Teacher
My name is Rebecca Hall and I am so excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as an Early Years teacher. After graduating from the University of East Anglia, I have spent the last three years welcoming Nursery pupils into an international school in Thailand and starting them on their educational journey. I have been working in the field of education for nine years, with children between the ages of 1-18 and this helped me discover my passion for the early years. My experience taught me the importance of an exceptionally strong early years education to build every child’s academic and social foundations and foster their love of learning.
I create a safe and inviting environment for my children and support them in developing their independence, expressing themselves and encouraging them to be inquisitive. As well as teaching early years, I have a passion for dance which I have taken into many schools. I believe it to be a great way to build confidence, express emotions, build new friendships and support children's wellbeing. I like to use dance in the classroom to support pupils' physical development and make learning fun. I am very excited to meet my new pupils at RGSGD!
Key Stage 1
Assistant Head, Key Stage 1
My name is Beckie Bennett and I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to be the Assistant Head of Key Stage 1 at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. 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 10 years in teaching and senior leadership.
I am so excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, with its inspirational curriculum, resources and focus on values, learning habits and personal development. I am sure that this is certainly one adventure where I can apply my teaching expertise in ensuring that all children obtain the very best kind of education at our school. With your children, this is going to be a great adventure - I am looking forward to it!
Key Stage 1 Teacher
My name is Katy Taylor and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), as a Key Stage 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 a Director of Studies. I have worked in selective 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 is something that I am familiar with. It is such a thrilling adventure to be part of, and the opportunity to do this again, with a well-established, respected school such as The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, is an honour. I look forward to 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.
Key Stage 1 Teacher
My name is Adeleina Williams and I am thrilled to be teaching Key Stage 1, at The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. After completing my degree at The University of Leeds, I decided to embark on a career in teaching, and then obtained a PGCE from the Institute of Education. Since then, I have worked in various schools across London and supported the development of a newly established school.
A particular area I feel very passionate about is creating a positive learning environment, centred around the wellbeing of each individual pupil. I believe that by creating a positive climate for learning we allow pupils to confidently enquire and explore new topics. I cannot wait to provide pupils with fun and memorable experiences, that will help them to embed new learning.
The school’s vision at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, aligns closely with my own teaching philosophy. I am confident that the school’s exceptional curriculum offer and strong focus on values will not only encourage pupils to strive for academic excellence, but also, support their development into well-rounded individuals.
Key Stage 1 Teacher
My name is Susan Russell and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), as a Key Stage 1 or 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.
I have spent the last 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 be a part of the founding team at RGSGD and look forward to providing an outstanding education to all the pupils, delivered within a caring, nurturing, and supportive environment.
Key Stage 1 Teacher
I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Key Stage 1 teacher. After graduating from Hertfordshire University, I began my teaching career in a boys prep school in Hertfordshire. I became Head of Year 1 where I developed continuous provision within the year. I encouraged children to learn through creative play which I thoroughly enjoyed as I love an environment where children can feel free to express themselves.
I feel very privileged to embark on this new adventure of teaching in Dubai, and I look forward to learning from the diverse pupil, parent and staff body. I am proud to be a part of the founding team at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai and look forward to delivering an outstanding, inclusive and creative education where children can grow and flourish together.
Key Stage 1 Teacher
I am honoured 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 with an Honours degree in Early Childhood Studies and received my PGCE from the University of Nottingham. I look forward to 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 promoting the RGSGD Learning Habits in all areas of school life and fostering a lifelong love of learning in every child.
Lower Key Stage 2
Assistant Head, Lower Key Stage 2
My name is Imran Akhtar, and I am Assistant Head of Lower KS2 at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Over the course of my 13 year career in education, I have played an integral part in leading teams of faculty in various schools. At each school, it was always my goal to continue to improve the standard of teaching and learning, whilst adhering to the cultural values of the school and its community.
As I completed my BSc Honour's degree in Sports Development with Coaching from Sheffield Hallam University, I discovered that it was my calling to enrich the minds of children. I therefore completed my teacher training at Nottingham Trent University the following year.
I bring to the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai my experience, passion and dedication, as inspired by the fostering of distinctive values and learning habits that prepare young minds for the 21st century and beyond.
I look forward to meeting all of you and your children very soon!
Key Stage 2 Teacher
My name is Keirina Heatley and I am extremely excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) as a Key Stage 2 teacher. 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 our children as all-rounders, who each has the chance to experience excellence in not only academia, but in sports and the creative arts. I feel it is important to recognise and encourage every child’s talents, no matter what they may be and embrace this in our wider classroom environment.
I graduated with a First-Class Honours Degree in Sports Management in 2004, spending 10 years working at a high level within the professional sports industry. I then moved to follow my other passion, in helping to develop the dreams of our next generation, by graduating with a PGCE with QTS from Manchester University in 2015.
At RGSGD we will encourage our children, through their varied experiences, to develop their inner confidence to investigate, try and take risks, thus setting them up for the ever-developing world that we live in.
I very much look forward to meeting you all in August!
Key Stage 2 Teacher
My name is Russell Phillips, and I am a Key Stage 2 class teacher at the Royal Grammar School Guilford Dubai. Over the course of my 8 years of teaching experience, I have been a year leader and have coordinated subjects across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. I am extremely pleased and excited to be part of the founding team and look forward to bringing our school to life with vibrant, rich and inspiring teaching and learning.
After completing my BSc Honour’s degree in International relations and global development, I completed my PGCE in Primary Education at the University of Leicester in 2012. My desire to experience new cultures and explore this wonderful world of ours has led me to teach in different British International schools across the globe and I now bring great insights and experience into my classroom.
Empowering and guiding children to use their minds and talents for a brighter tomorrow is one of the greatest privileges I believe I could ever have, and I look forward to starting our journey together soon.
Key Stage 2 Teacher
My name is Pauline Gayle, and I am really excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) as a Key Stage 2 teacher. Over the last 19 years I have worked in KS1 and KS2, and for the last 8 years I have held a position on 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 the school’s values and beliefs.
Key Stage 2 Teacher
I am delighted to be teaching Year 3 at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. After graduating from Queen’s University, Belfast with a degree in Music Performance, I decided to pursue a career in Primary Teaching and graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2010. A desire to travel led me to the UAE in 2012 where I have taken on several roles from class teacher to subject specialist and STEM Coordinator, in leading British Curriculum schools.
I am passionate about teaching using cross curricular methods to develop children’s curiosity and take immense pleasure watching them develop and take on new challenges in the classroom, on the sports field, in the pool or discovering the arts. I look forward to creating a safe, positive, and fun environment where every child thrives and flourishes, empowered by the opportunities and outstanding education provided. I cannot wait to get started in August!
Upper Key Stage 2
Assistant Head, Upper Key Stage 2
My name is Joe Creal, and I am the Assistant Head of Upper KS2 at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I am excited and eager to return to the UAE after holding many roles in a variety of Prep schools both in the UK and in the UAE. Most recently, I have been 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. I 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.
Key Stage 2 Teacher
My name is Andi Price and I have over 20 years of teaching experience across many roles. I have been a headteacher both here in the UAE and in the United Kingdom, and a member of Senior Leadership Team for 13 years. In 2017 my craving for fully utilising Educational Technology to inspire and enhance learning led me back full-time into the classroom.
I graduated from the University of St. Mark & St. John with a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education. I am a certified Apple Teacher, Seesaw Ambassador, Pobble Champion and HundrEd Ambassador.
I am delighted to bring 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. I cannot wait to meet you all and welcome your children at the start of their learning journey.
Ana Maria Santos
Key Stage 2 Teacher
My name is Ana Santos and I am excited to join 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 fifteen 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. In my most recent post, I 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. I am looking forward to implementing the RGSGD Learning Habits and values into my everyday teaching. I strive to support pupils to achieve their potential socially and academically, always prioritising their safety and welfare. I cannot wait to meet all the children coming to year five and starting this new founding in school together.
Director of Sport
My name is James Bennett. I am genuinely excited 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 am looking forward to serving as a guide for our Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai pupils. I aim to support them all as they endeavour to achieve their sporting goals and overall success so that each and every one of them becomes a fully participating member of our community.
Head of Inclusion
I cannot wait to welcome you and your children through our doors this September! My name is Laura Evans, and I am the Head of Inclusion at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I have been the Head of Learning Support for the last 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.
I look forward to sharing the excellence and values of RGS Guildford with the families of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. 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. I look forward to sharing these exciting opportunities with you and your children!
Sajida Al Bashir
Head of Arabic and Islamic Studies
As salamu alaikoom, parents and children! My name is Sajida Al Bashir. As Head of Arabic and Islamic Education at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, it brings me great joy and honour to be in a position to make a difference in the lives of our pupils. I have over 24 years of leadership and teaching experience, educating pupils in the fields of Arabic, Islamic and Social Studies, along with Personal, Social, Health, and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) in American, British and IB curriculum schools in Dubai.
I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Islamic Law from the University of Jordan in 1996, and then acquired a Master’s in Education from the American University in Dubai in 2019.
Here at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, I am excited to have been given the chance pursue my personal commitment as an educator, as I continue to build relationships that foster trust, confidence and hope for the future. I look forward to meeting you and your children soon!
My name is Emily Steel, and I am delighted to be joining the founding team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a PE teacher. I cannot wait to share my passion for sport with the pupils; I 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.
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. My most recent teaching role has been at a prep school in London where I have led the swimming and athletics programmes and have also been a Year 5 form teacher. Working at these schools has allowed me to gain 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. I look forward to meeting you all.
My name is Victoria Baldwin, and I am delighted to joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) as a PE Teacher. I have 12 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 am looking forward to 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 will be a place where children can feel confident, supported and challenged. I will be joined by my two sons as founding members of the RGSGD community; all three of us cannot wait to get started and I look forward to meeting the pupils and parents soon.
Lily Joy Jackson
My name is Lily-Joy Jackson. I am so excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as the lead Art Teacher. I grew up in Bath 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. I am so looking forward to joining and contributing to the future development of each child at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai.
I am very excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) team 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, and I have been very fortunate to work at many top international schools around the world. I have taught music in Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Beijing, and I am currently leading primary music across two school campuses in Hong Kong. I am looking forward to returning to the UAE and being part of the founding team at RGSGD.
I will be teaching Primary music from KG1 up to 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. I am really looking forward to sharing this musical journey with your children and meeting you all very soon.
Learning Support Teacher
My name is Siobhan Terrington and I am joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as a Learning Support Teacher. After obtaining my bachelor's degree in Spanish and International Relations (BA Hons) in Leeds, UK and then went on to gain my PGCE. I taught for 4years in the UK where I qualified as a Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCo) before moving abroad and teaching in both Thailand and the Czech Republic.
Whilst in Thailand I created an inclusion system for the school and held Middle Leadership roles as a Head of House and ECA coordinator. I am currently in the Czech Republic as an Early Years teacher; I have also taught in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and as a SENCo I have experienced supporting children in Early Years through to Key Stage 3.
Every child has unique potential and I consistently go above and beyond to create activities and lessons that not only interest but also motivate children to learn. I wish to inspire and lead children so that they can achieve their true potential. I pride myself on building lasting relationships with families and the community and I am excited to help create a wonderful school for all the pupils, parents and staff.
Assalamu Alaykom! My name is Seham Albakar, and I will be joining The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) as an Arabic teacher. I am very honoured to be one of the founding teachers at RGSGD working to build a happy welcoming environment with a strong base. In 2003, I obtained my Bachelor of Education Degree in Jordan.
I then went on to start my career in teaching and now have 17 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 welcoming our founding pupils and families in September.
Assalamu Alaykom! My name is Hammadi Shaheen and I am very excited to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) as an Arabic Teacher. I have 14 years of experience teaching within international schools and, for the last 7 years have been teaching in a prestigious school here within Dubai.
I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Arabic from Halab University in Syria and am currently doing my Masters at Ajman University in UAE. I am passionate about finding different ways in which to bring the learning of Arabic alive within the classroom. I enjoy researching new pedagogies to ensure that my pupils have the best experience. Alongside my love of teaching, I have also been involved with work on television and supporting other teachers with their training. I am very much looking forward to joining RGSGD.
Alaa Abu Arab
Islamic Studies Teacher
Greetings, Salam! My name is Alaa Abu Arab, and I'm thrilled to be part of the founding team at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. I grew up in Jordan and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Foundation from Jordan University in 2010 and a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies from Jordan University in 2014. I have over 10 years of experience teaching Islamic studies and will be teaching pupils at RGSGD from Year 1 to Year 6.
I have a passion for working with young learners! Helping every pupil progress in various areas of their development: academic, social, emotional and inspiring them to develop a love of learning is a challenge that I am honored to accept every day. I strive to create a community of lifelong learners in a nurturing, positive and fun environment. I look forward to working together with you as a partner in your child's growth and development.
I am honoured to be part of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai’s founding team and I look forward to teaching Arabic and Islamic Studies to all of my new pupils. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Arabic language from Damascus University, Syria and have over ten years of teaching experience in the UAE. I look forward to contributing to the Royal Grammar School Guildford learning community in Dubai!
My name is Kate Riddle and I am delighted to be joining the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as the School Librarian. I began my teaching career as an Early Years practitioner. It was during this time that I developed a particular love and interest in literacy and storytelling. After obtaining my PGCE in Education, I went on to study for a Master of Arts in Teacher - Librarianship from Charles Sturt University, Australia.
I very much enjoy working within the international community and its schools, and I have lived and worked in Ireland, Portugal and the UAE.
I am a published children’s author and am passionate about reading and most importantly about instilling a love of reading in my pupils. I place a strong emphasis on ‘Reading for Pleasure’. This idea is supported by research into the reading habits of children which shows that those who read for pleasure have advanced levels of text comprehension and have higher levels of achievement across the curriculum.
I am committed to making sure that children have a positive and happy learning experience. I encourage my pupils to take risks in their development and learning. My aim is to guide and facilitate independent learning, helping pupils reach their full potential. With over 10 years' experience as a teacher - librarian in Dubai, I hope to encourage children to become critical thinkers, skillful researchers, and enthusiastic lifelong readers.
Maintaining the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of each pupil is our number one priority. Our pastoral care system is designed to support every pupil and includes a close working partnership with parents. At the Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGSGD), we passionately believe in two principles: firstly, that if our pupils are happy, they will flourish and, secondly, that each pupil is an individual. Irrespective of their passions, outlook and interests, each pupil at RGSGD has the space in which to grow.
Building on the long tradition at the RGS in the UK, we expect our older pupils to take on a caring role for younger pupils. That is what makes the RGSGD a family. Our staff offer outstanding pastoral care overseen by the Deputy Head.
The school has a duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of its pupils. Safeguarding our pupils is always our number one priority. Our commitment to safeguarding is outlined in our Safeguarding Policy.
All members of our team are trained in the latest safeguarding practices, and all new staff undergo extensive background checks before any appointment is confirmed.
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 75 schools in Europe, Asia and Latin America, including 40 in the UK, we employ 7,500 teaching and support staff in the care and education of more than 52,000 pupils.
You can find further information on Cognita here.