After graduating from The University of Glasgow (PGDE Primary), Paul Fisher embarked on his teaching career, working across Key Stage 1 and 2. Following a move to Dubai in 2017, Paul Fisher moved into a leadership role as Head of Key Stage 1. This role then evolved into Assistant Principal, where Paul Fisher was responsible for the strategic development of the school.
Paul Fisher has always been an advocate for innovative teaching and has worked with local authorities in the UK to expand their use of technology within the classroom. He has experience in curriculum development and adaptation to enhance its ability to meet the needs of all learners. He believes learning should be fun, purposeful and engaging for the children.
As a teacher, Paul Fisher is passionate about inclusion. He believes that meeting the needs of all learners is vital to ensuring that all children feel successful and are able to reach their full potential. Mr Fisher believes that a positive, successful and enjoyable time at primary will inspire children to become lifelong learners.
Paul Fisher is delighted to become a member of the Arcadia team. It is a very exciting time to become a part of the Arcadia team as the school is growing from strength to strength.
Mrs Tia Neale is an inspirational and passionate teacher. One of her central beliefs is the importance of creating a positive learning environment, where there are high expectations of all children. With ten years experience in primary and early years, Mrs Tia’s aim is to inspire young inquisitive minds by delivering lessons which are engaging, exciting and challenging, motivating all of the children to reach their full potential. Mrs Tia Neale is enjoying being part of the Arcadia team and at influencing the start of the children’s lifelong learning journey.
Giles Pruett is an educator through and through. After completing his A-Level studies in the UK, he trained and competed as a professional tennis player for five years until moving back into full-time study to complete his Bachelor of Education at Bedford, reading Geography and Sport Science. He immediately returned to his home city of Bath and subsequently started his teaching career as Director of Rugby, Boarding Housemaster and Geography teacher in the independent community of Prior Park College. After completing a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Management at Bath University in 2012, gaining a distinction level, Giles transferred into the international education community, joining Jumeirah College in Dubai as Vice-Principal, where he remained for four years, before becoming Secondary Principal and Deputy Head of School at GEMS World Academy, helping them to become the highest rated full IB programme school in the city.
Giles is also a qualified corporate coach with a specific interest in building impactful professional learning communities by empowering others. He has developed pastoral structures to support learning and development in three previous leadership positions, ensuring that educational outcomes have been met and exceeded. Giles has experienced and driven inspection outcomes as a Senior Leader within several different frameworks, including Ofsted, HMI, CSCI, DSIB, CIS, BSO, COBIS, working as a Lead Reviewer within the GEMS organization and as Lead Evaluator for the Council of International Schools. His core inspection specialisms fall under the domains of teaching and learning, safeguarding, child protection and leadership and management.
Giles brings a wealth of experience in coaching, school operations, pastoral care and strategic school leadership and has been instrumental in developing an Apple Distinguished Teaching Programme, Entrepreneurship and Innovation curriculum alongside the design and construction of a new Senior School Learning Centre and Entrepreneurship Hub. He has a keen interest in this strand of education, recently completing a diploma from the Penn Graduate school of Education.
Above all else, Giles is a committed father to three wonderful girls and a husband to Joanna, who is also an educator and former British Olympic Modern Pentathlete. Together they share a passion for working with children, striving to bring learning to life and making a difference.
BA Primary Education with QTS (Hons)
Joining as a founding teacher, Mary has embarked upon a developmental journey into leadership which led firstly to Key Stage 2 Lead. Within this role, Mary successfully oversaw the improvement of student outcomes across Key Stage 2. Further to this, Mary also showed a particular passion for English, driving forward areas across the school including reading and writing.
Through continued exposure to whole school improvement and strategic planning, Mary’s passion for leadership continued to grow which led to being successfully appointed as Arcadia’s Head of Teaching and Learning. Within this role, Mary will be responsible for whole school improvement using outcomes from lesson observations and assessment data. Using information of this nature, Mary will develop the curriculum, ensure our staff have continual and relevant development and ultimately ensure that our students are engaged within a wholesome and efficient learning programme.
Using her previous experience as a teacher, Mary’s approach was based on a rigorous structure intertwined with a current, stimulating, exciting and challenging curriculum which ultimately instils children with the open minds, knowledge and ability to view the world critically and believe that they can make a positive contribution to society. This will inform her guidance and development to teachers across the school.
Mary was drawn to The Arcadia School as an institution that promotes strong values for providing children with a joyful experience full of modern approaches to education, combining innovative teaching methods and advanced technological provision.
BSc (Hons), MBA (Distinction), M.S. Ed
Navin Valrani has a passion for lifelong education. After completing his primary schooling at Dubai English Speaking School (DESS) and his secondary education at Dubai College, Navin went on to achieve academic honours at the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors of Science in Economics from the prestigious Ivy League School. Subsequently, Navin completed his MBA with academic distinction from London Business School and his M.S. Ed from the University of Pennsylvania.
Having worked in the Al Shirawi Group for over 20 years in various roles, Navin continues to serve the world of academia: being a member of the Wharton Alumni Board from 1997 through to 2003; presently on the Board of Overseers at the Penn Graduate School of Education and on the Wharton Executive Board for Europe, Middle East and Africa; and serving as the Chairperson of the UAE Alumni Interviewing Committee for the University of Pennsylvania for the last 25 years. Navin was also a member of the Campaign Committee and the International Alumni Council at London Business School and the Chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee on the Council.
Navin is the former Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Emirates Chapter, having served for over 5 years on the chapter board. In 2014, Navin furthered his commitment to the University of Pennsylvania and the London Business School by instituting the Monica and Navin M. Valrani scholarship fund to support students to attend both schools.
Lisa Whyte is an experienced School Registrar Professional. Having come from a well subscribed, established, British Curriculum School in the UAE, she brings a wealth of experience to be able to plan and process your child’s admission and enrolment, efficiently and as stress free as possible.
Before joining the Education industry, Lisa worked for a multi national, luxury goods, American company. Spanning more than 20 years experience her role was in Retail Management, Sales and the Service Arena, working in her home country UK then based in India and more recently The Middle East. Therefore, her experience working in and with a multi cultural environment is well honed, along with her ability to offer exceptional customer service.
Lisa is excited to now be working for Arcadia School and would be delighted to tour you around the state-of-the-art facilities, show you the most advanced technological teaching aids in the world and share with you, the adventure of your child’s education journey.
Bcom (Hons), MSc (Merit), CPM, CIL
With over 14 years of experience in business and finance and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, Pamela is passionate about shaping the future of organizations and helping them deliver growth. A high-energy, tenacious and goal-driven leader, she has a proven track record of identifying new opportunities, forging long-term strategic alliances, and offering clients real and innovative solutions to their problems.
Presently, Pamela is the Director of Strategic Alliances at Arcadia Education. In this capacity, she manages all non-academic activities like communications and digital strategy, events, partnerships and more. At the same time, she also serves as the General Manager of Secure Parking UAE where she oversees its day-to-day operations and drives its business growth. Previously, Pamela served as the Head of Business Strategy at London Business School (LBS), where she defined, set-up and delivered LBS Dubai business development and outreach strategy for the MENA region. Prior to that, she was Head of Customized Solutions at Thomson Reuters and spent eight years at Zawya where she led and managed the Financial Solutions Division.
Pamela is also a co-founder, board member and mentor at Reach, a non-profit organisation registered in DIFC that is dedicated to helping young professional women unlock their true potential through structured mentoring and professional support.
Ms Chikhani believes in continuous learning and self-development and holds several certifications from various prestigious institutes such as the Coach Training Institute (CTI), Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM). She is also a certified digital marketing expert, having earned this distinction from the prestigious Columbia Business School in the US. She has completed with Honors a Masters in Economics from the University of London in the UK and a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
With more than 13 years of experience in FM Industry and MEP Maintenance services, Charalampos is passionate about optimising built assets. His focus is firmly on operational and service excellence, which he achieves through outstanding leadership and people management skills.
He is currently serving as the Director of Facilities at The Arcadia School and is the General Manager of Al Shirawi FM. Prior to this, he headed the Operations of Al Shirawi FM and was accountable for its 320 active contracts and the productivity of its over 1,500 employees.
During his career, Charalampos held important positions in other reputed organisations in the GCC as well as Europe and accumulated a wealth of industry expertise and diverse market experience. He remains committed to delivering world-class standards of facilities management through innovation, encouraging professional development and ensuring superior customer service.
Charalampos holds a degree in Technical Mechanical Engineering from Technical University Crete, Greece and earned several FM industry certifications, as part of Continuous Professional Development, in HVAC& R, LPG Common Elements and Plastic Technology to name a few. He is also certified in Strategic Management and Marketing of Enterprises.
BA Management (Hons)
Jaclyn Redgwick has over 15 years’ experience within customer services. This time was predominantly spent within the aviation sector in a supervisory role for a major airline. Having been schooled in both the UK and Africa, and working in various countries throughout Europe, Jaclyn is familiar with the varying customs and cultures from living Internationally.
Since moving to the UAE Jaclyn has worked in the education sector, prior to taking up her role at The Arcadia preparatory School she worked in a similar position for an established EYFS Nursery in Dubai.
Jaclyn is excited to bring her experience of customer relations to the school and is looking forward to interacting with the parents.
Dileep Yadav graduated in Accounting and Finance in 1999 from the University of Mumbai, India. He is also a certified Investment Advisor and keeps abreast of market movements. After working for six years with renowned companies in Mumbai as Finance Manager, he moved to Dubai in 2006. He joined the Al Shirawi Group as a Senior Auditor and thus began his close association with Mohan Valrani.
Dileep was a key member in developing the Silicon Oasis branch of the Indian High School, playing a major part in the supervision of the school’s construction and also served as an honorary adviser to the Board. When Arcadia Education embarked upon its ambitious programme of the school building in 2013, Dileep assisted in the negotiation of the construction contracts and subsequent supervision of them.
He is presently overseeing all the aspects of the administration and financial management of Arcadia Education and its related companies.
Mr Liam Cain is a highly skilled teacher and has experience of delivering the new English National Curriculum to primary aged children.
As a passionate teacher, Mr Liam Cain believes positive relationships to be at the centre of a successful learning experience for children. Mr Liam Cain has a proven track record of working successfully with students, parents and staff to generate excellent outcomes for learners in his care.
Before gaining employment at Dubai, Mr Liam Cain taught at a Primary School in the North East of England for 3 years and completed his degree at Newcastle University, in which he completed a PGCE. He also has a passion for all sports, in particular, football, keeping fit and has been involved in teams in both Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
Mr Liam Cain is a firm believer that children learn best though inspiring, fun lessons and uses this as the foundation for his teaching.
Miss Alice Foley is an organised and creative teacher who ensures strong relationships with children, colleagues and parents, as well as making learning fun and engaging for all abilities.
Previous to working at Arcadia, Miss Alice Foley taught at a Primary School in Lancashire in England for 3 years and her degree was completed in Leeds, where she specialised in Key Stage 2. Miss Alice Foley has a passion for dance and movement and has thoroughly enjoyed being involved with school productions and performances at Arcadia.
Miss Alice Foley believes that the staff and children at Arcadia benefit from an amazing learning environment and state-of-the-art facilities that enable her as a teacher to deliver creative, innovative and challenging lessons.
Mr John Paton is a passionate and committed inclusion teacher, who believes all children deserve an outstanding teaching and learning experience.
As an experienced leader and teacher who has worked both in mainstream and in inclusion both in the UK and Dubai, John Paton has a breadth of experience in working with children in a variety of contexts. He firmly believes that giving children a well-rounded and personalised education will open doors for a happy and successful future, which is his goal for every student at Arcadia School.
Miss Rima Al Tarawneh has been working in the field of education and teaching for over 10 years. She has held several positions in high ranked private schools in Jordan and has experience in teaching the Arabic language for first and second language speakers in British Curriculum schools and for multi-nationality students from FS1 up to year 6.
Miss Rima Al Tarawneh is highly motivated to ensure the learning of Arabic is fun and engaging for learners. She describes how working at The Arcadia School as a founding teacher has added to her experience and effectiveness by enriching her lessons with technology and a wide range of exciting resources available to her as a professional. Miss Tarawneh believes that the key to success in teaching is to understand what really motivates each individual student in order to ensure they are able to apply their learning in meaningful ways.
A highly talented and passionate Arabic teacher, Miss Tarawneh is driven to apply her knowledge and experience to provide excellent learning opportunities for the students of The Arcadia School.
Mr Tom Gayler qualified as a teacher in 2012 from the Bishop Grosseteste University in his home town of Lincoln, England. For the first four years of his career, he worked in a small, rural village primary school. In the role, he has taught upper Key Stage Two and has had a particular interest in Mathematics, Computing and Physical Education.
During his time teaching in England, Mr Tom Gayler also qualified as a Special Educational Needs Coordinator. This means he can see the challenges that some children face and knows how good practise can combat these challenges, allowing all children to succeed. Thomas is hoping to complete the rest of his Masters degree in the next few years.
Mr Tom Gayler is one of our founding Our Teachers, having taught at The Arcadia School in our maiden year. As Mr Tom Gayler moves into his sixth years of teaching, he is taking on a new role as Head of Digital Innovation. He is excited to lead and develop the way we use the fantastic technology in school to improve our teaching and learning.
Miss Tania Ahmad hails from London, UK and brings a depth of experience having taught GCSE and A-level English there for six years, prior to moving to Arcadia. Miss Tania Ahmad held the distinctive position of Teaching and Learning Lead Practitioner, whereby she researched innovative teaching methods, designing and delivering professional development workshops for colleagues, enabling them to become outstanding practitioners. Miss Tania Ahmad is a strong advocate for the use of enriching technology in learning and incorporates these within many of her lessons. She was also appointed RSC Lead Teacher, in which she was in charge of her school’s partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, receiving specialist training in the delivery of teaching Shakespearean texts. This partnership afforded Miss Tania Ahmad the opportunity of co-directing the performance of her students in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the prestigious Barbican theatre. Miss Tania Ahmad comes from a strong educational background, with a BA (Hons) in English Literature, her PGCE in English and most recently a Masters degree in English Education (UCL), with a special focus on Shakespearean literature. Miss Tania Ahmad has a passion for the arts and loves to replicate this in her classroom with her students when studying literature.
Ivan Rigney graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway with a Bachelor of Engineering degree. He was then given the opportunity to work on a research Masters in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and attended several international conferences where he presented papers on his work. Whilst pursuing this Masters, he started to lecture and it is then that he developed a love of teaching. Since then, he has spent the last 16 years working in schools in Ireland, the UK, Egypt and the UAE. He firmly believes in the power of education and the difference that outstanding teachers and schools make to a student’s opportunities in life.
Ivan has been very fortunate to be part of and contribute to teams who have made significant improvements in each school he has worked in. He has spent the last 5 years at GEMS World Academy Dubai in the role of Head of Department for Maths and most recently as Assistant Principal in the Secondary School. In this time, the school has become one of the most highly regarded in the country with the Maths department as one of the strongest performing departments, gaining international recognition for outstanding performance in Mathematical Olympiads.
Ivan and his family love living internationally and exploring countries and their cultures. Ivan is a very proud husband to Laura and the father of three amazing children.