ADMISSIONS ENQUIRY
ADMISSIONS ENQUIRY

Our Teachers


Mary Donnelly

Head of Teaching and Learning

Joining as a founding teacher, Mary has since stepped into the role of Key Stage 2 Leader at The Arcadia Preparatory School. With a particular passion for English, she co-ordinates this at Arcadia, driving forward areas including Reading and Writing. With Talk for Writing being our core approach, Mary is leading the development of this across the school, ensuring that both teachers and children are appropriately supported.

Mary’s teaching, based on a rigorous structure intertwined with a current, stimulating, exciting and challenging curriculum, 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.

Mary was drawn to the The Arcadia Preparatory 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.

Mary Donnelly

Head of Teaching and Learning

Thomas Gayler

Head of Digital Innovation

Thomas 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, Thomas 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.

Thomas is one of our founding teachers, having taught at The Arcadia Preparatory School in our maiden year. As Thomas 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.

Thomas Gayler

Head of Digital Innovation

Kieran Ballard – Tremeer

Head of Performing Arts

Kieran BallardKieran has performed clarinet and saxophone for many years, both in Southern Africa and Dubai. She attained her Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from The University of Pretoria. Kieran won the National UNISA DJ Roode Overseas Study Teaching Licentiate competition.

Kieran has performed extensively as a solo musician, in chamber music ensembles and was principal clarinet with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra for many years. She enjoys many genres of music including classical, jazz and celtic music. Kieran has recorded music for big screen movies, DVD and television recordings and broadcasts and has recorded a CD of her own to assist babies in sleeping.

In her spare time Kieran enjoys endurance swimming and triathlon racing.

Kieran Ballard - Tremeer

Head of Performing Arts

Mufida Al Digeil

Head of Islamic Studies

Mufida has taught in UAE for the last 15 years. She has worked in early childhood, primary and secondary education teaching Islamic studies, Arabic culture, social studies and the Arabic language. She has a deep appreciation of each child’s unique way of learning and has become adept at tuning her teaching accordingly. From her experience, she recognises that children of different ages have different approaches to knowledge and she enjoys helping children learn about themselves.

Mufida holds a Bachelor’s in Islamic studies, a Montessori Certificate in Early Childhood as well as NLP life coaching certificate. Her aim in education is – as she betters herself through continuous self-development- to instill in children the love of learning.

Mufida is honoured to be a founding teacher at Arcadia and is excited for the new journey.

Mufida Al Digeil

Head of Islamic Studies

Rima Al Tarawneh

Head of Languages & Arabic Teacher

Rima 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.

Rima is highly motivated to ensure the learning of Arabic is fun and engaging for learners. She describes how working at The Arcadia Preparatory 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. Rima believes that the key to success in teaching is to 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, Rima is driven to apply her knowledge and experience to providing excellent learning opportunities for the pupils of The Arcadia Preparatory School.

 

 

Rima Al Tarawneh

Head of Languages

John Simmons

Head of Physical Development

John SimmonsSince graduating top of his year from The University of Edinburgh (BEd Physical Education), John has worked in various schools throughout Scotland, gaining experience teaching pupils aged 3 to 18.

John has a keen interest in curriculum development, and recently had a curriculum research paper published in the international journal ‘Sport, Education and Society’. He focuses on delivering innovative and exciting lessons that both engage and challenge pupils. John is a very enthusiastic teacher who focuses on social and cognitive development through physical activity, accompanied by an appreciation of the importance of skill mastery and improving physical competencies.

With regards to specific sports, John’s main areas of expertise are tennis, rugby, football and badminton – all of which he has played and coached to a high standard. John is delighted to have been welcomed as part of the team here at Arcadia and is looking forward to initiating representative sports teams, further developing sports enrichment and improving the quality of Physical Education for every pupil.

John Simmons

Head of Physical Development

Sanam Bozorgi

Head of Library

Sanam BozorgiSanam is a founding staff member of our school and brings with her a wealth of experience in library management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Science and is currently completing her QTLS. Prior to joining Arcadia, she had worked for 14 years in several types of libraries, ranging from the national library to school libraries.

Her experience of working with the Children’s Book Council has provided her with a unique understanding that a child who reads will become an adult who thinks and she believes that our world is in need of more thinkers.

Sanam approach is based on the premise that a library’s value cannot be measured in books only; at Arcadia the library is a place to ignite the passion for reading in children, to equip students with lifelong learning skills, to develop their critical thinking abilities and enable them to live as responsible citizens.

Sanam Bozorgi

Head of Library

Emily O’Neill

Head of Inclusion

Emily O'NeillEmily’s belief is that individual differences should be cultivated and celebrated and she is determined to instil this attitude of self-belief and confidence into the children of The Arcadia Preparatory School.

With a background in Special Educational Needs and experience of teaching children with English as an Additional Language, Emily aims to create an environment where learning is life-long, where excellence is rewarded and where teaching is of the highest quality.

As a passionate advocate for inclusion in the classroom and wider environment, Emily looks forward to helping every child at Arcadia reach their maximum potential.

Emily O’Neill

Head of Inclusion

Tia Linton

Foundation Stage 1 Leader and Teacher

A founding teacher at Arcadia, Tia brings passion and dedication to working with young children. Her previous experience of working with children with a wide range of needs, allows Tia to create an inclusive learning environment for all learners and build strong relationships with children, enabling them to become well rounded and successful individuals. Tia enjoys living and working in Dubai, experiencing new cultures within the classroom and learning and supporting Foundation Stage children on a daily basis.

Tia Linton

Foundation Stage 1 Leader and Teacher

Nicole Viljoen

Foundation Stage 2 Leader and Teacher

NicoleNicole joins Arcadia as a Foundation Stage teacher with 15 years of valuable teaching experience in a range of age groups including Foundation Phase, Key Stage One and Special Educational Needs. Originally form Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Nicole attained her Bachelor’s Degree in Education, cum laude, at the University of Port Elizabeth. Previously to working at Arcadia, Nicole worked in South Africa at Parklands College and Elkanah House as Head of Foundation Phase.

Nicole enjoys sharing her knowledge and ideas with her colleagues and is passionate about the implementation of an exciting and challenging curriculum. Nicole is a creative and organised teacher who believes in forging strong relationships with the children in her class, parents and her colleagues.

She is excited to be part of such an innovative and dynamic teaching team and looks forward to welcoming new children and parents to the Arcadia Family as Arcadia grows from strength to strength.

Nicole Viljoen

Foundation Stage 2 Leader and Teacher

Heather Wright

Year 1 Leader and Teacher

Louise CuttPrior to moving to Arcadia Heather was year group leader and class teacher at a primary school in Abu Dhabi. Heather developed her considerable teaching skills in the United Kingdom where she taught in both key stage 1 and key stage 2.

Heather enjoys keeping fit, and travelling to new countries exploring different cultures. She is a well organised, creative and passionate teacher who strives to build great relationships with children, encouraging them to become lifelong learners.

Heather has previously led whole school mathematics which involved training for staff, parents and teaching assistants. She has developed a range of strategies and teaching skills in mathematics across school to bring fun, engaging and collaborative learning.

Heather is thrilled to have joined the dynamic Arcadia teaching team and aims to develop an exciting and challenging curriculum for her pupils.

Heather Wright

Year 1 Leader and Teacher

Rebecca Gray

Year 2 Leader and Teacher

RebeccaPrior to joining Arcadia, Rebecca was teaching in a rural school outside of Newcastle, which included a role as Head of English. Based on her passion for literature, Rebecca developed a whole school literacy scheme which has been shared with other schools in the North East of England.

Rebecca describes herself as being a hardworking, creative individual who forges strong relationships with students and staff. She feels extremely privileged to be given the opportunity to join the Arcadia family and looks forward to working in such an innovative teaching environment.

Rebecca Gray

Year 2 Leader and Teacher

Alice Foley

Lower Key Stage Leader and Year 3 Teacher

Alice is a founding Arcadia teacher having moved to Dubai in August 2016. She has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the founding team and watching the school grow over the first academic year. She is excited about developments over the coming years as the school welcomes new staff and children to join the Arcadia family.

Alice 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, Alice 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. Alice has a passion for dance and movement and has thoroughly enjoyed being involved with school productions and performances at Arcadia.

Alice 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.

Alice Foley

Lower Key Stage Leader and Year 3 Teacher

Liam Cain

Upper Key Stage 2 Leader and Year 5 Teacher

Liam Cain

Liam has recently joined the Arcadia team and is thoroughly looking forward to becoming joining a dynamic school. Liam is a highly skilled teacher and has recent experience of delivering the new English National Curriculum to primary aged children.

As a passionate teacher, Liam believes positive relationships to be at the centre of a successful learning experience for children. Liam has a proven track record of working successfully with pupils, parents and staff to generate excellent outcomes for learners in his care.

Before gaining employment at Dubai, Liam 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.

Liam is a firm believer that children learn best though inspiring, fun lessons and uses this as the foundation for his teaching.

Liam Cain

Upper Key Stage 2 Leader and Year 5 Teacher

Ikram Oukal

Arabic Teacher

Ikram OukalIkram Oukal is an experienced teacher, having worked with both primary and secondary students in both IB and British curriculum schools. She brings a wide knowledge of education in the Gulf region, having taught in Qatar and the UAE for more than 13 years. Ikram has a background of specialist teaching in both Arabic and Islamic Studies.

Ikram sees herself as a lifelong learner and has undertaken a wide range of professional development opportunities, most recently through the Knowledge and Human Development Authority.

She strives constantly to make the learning of Arabic fun and engaging for all her pupils and successfully applies modern techniques of interactive teaching and learning.

Ikram Oukal

Arabic Teacher

Sandy Wilson

EAL Teacher

Sandy Wilson

Sandy has been teaching English as an Additional Language (EAL) to international students for over 12 years. She is a certified Apple-Teacher, who has a BA in English Literature and Linguistics and a Postgraduate Certificate in International Education from the UK.

In her most recent role, she worked as a Whole School EAL Subject Leader and teacher, in which she managed the EAL Department and supported all primary and secondary EAL Students’ language development, social integration and educational achievement.

As a teacher, she believes in meeting the needs of diverse learners and creating a positive learning atmosphere. One of her favourite quotes is “You can’t make your child speak a language. However, you can set the stage so they will want to speak it.” –an extract from The Bilingual Edge book. She incorporates technology and other motivational resources to encourage learning in the classroom and beyond.

Sandy believes that being a part of The Arcadia Family is an exciting opportunity that will enable her to thrive in a positive, successful and exceptional community.

Sandy Wilson

EAL Teacher

Laura Hitchings

Art, Design and Food Technology Teacher

Laura Hitchings

Laura graduated from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David with both a BA HONS in Fine Art and an Art and Design PGCE. Since graduating Laura has experience teaching pupils aged 3 -18 including the subjects of Art and Design, Textiles, Food Technology and Ceramics in both the UK and New York.

Laura delivers all lessons with great enthusiasm for her subject, motivating and inspiring confidence in learners, providing an uplifting atmosphere to the class. Laura aspires to give pupils individual learning opportunities through different themes that enrich and enhance the taught curriculum including skills such as drawing, painting, sculpture and print work.

During her spare time Laura enjoys travelling, experiencing new cultures, visiting galleries to discover new artists and producing her own art and photography.

Laura is excited to be working at Arcadia to develop art and design technology into integrated topics, and motivating individual learners to stimulate their creativity to produce excellent outcomes in our premium facilities.

Laura Hitchings

Art, Design and Food Technology Teacher

Sheila Fegidero-Robinson

Inclusion Support Teacher

Sheila

Sheila is a highly qualified special needs educator with over nine years of extensive experience in diverse and multicultural educational contexts, 5 years of which is teaching in the UAE.

She attained her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education as a Cum Laude Awardee and her Masters with High Distinction as an Academic Excellence Awardee.

She has been granted a professional license for special education under the CDA (Community Development Authority) after completing an equivalency certification for her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Her key areas of expertise revolves around inclusive education in creating and implementing Individualised Education Plans (IEP), adapting the general education curriculum from Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum for England. She values differentiating lessons and materials to provide unique and individualised learning opportunities and she integrates the use of augmentative and alternative communication to promote and support learning.

Sheila is more than excited to be part of the dynamic Arcadia Team in continuing the mission of moulding lifelong learners for students with special educational needs.

Sheila Fegidero-Robinson

Inclusion Support Teacher

Amna Tanveer

Foundation Stage Teacher

Amna TanveerAmna graduated with a degree in Economics and Management from the London School of Economics in 2015 and a PGCE from University College London (IoE). Her experience includes teaching in the UK and, more recently, the UAE.

Amna is a hardworking individual with a passion for developing children’s abilities. She focuses on fostering skills of collaboration and engagement in her pupils. As an EAL specialist teacher, she believes strongly in the importance of delivering interactive and engaging learning opportunities, providing new to English pupils with skills in speaking, reading and writing. She researches, locates and incorporates a variety of resources to accommodate learners through visual, audio, tactile and kinaesthetic methods. Amna is privileged to join such an innovative and aspirational school.

Amna Tanveer

Foundation Stage Teacher

Micaela Jenkins

Foundation Stage Teacher

Micaela JenkinsMicaela brings a wide experience having working for thirteen years in both Special Educational Needs and Mainstream education establishments in the UK and she is excited to join the Foundation Stage team at The Arcadia Preparatory School.

As well as being a fully qualified UK teacher, Micaela has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree in Early Years from Huddersfield University.

As well as being a talented and dedicated Early Years teacher, Micaela is also an aspiring children’s author and aims to have her first book published very soon!

Micaela Jenkins

Foundation Stage Teacher

Tara Furness

Foundation Stage Teacher

Tara FurnessTara is an enthusiastic and highly motivated English Studies (English Literature, Language and Creative Writing) graduate with a teaching qualification in Early Years/Primary Education. She gained these qualifications while studying in in the UK at both Sheffield and London.

Her experience includes teaching in the UK and, more recently, the UAE. These experiences have helped shape and refine her attitude to teaching and learning – she firmly believes that each and every child should be provided and accommodated for through various individual and progressive teaching styles and strategies. She ensures a very hands-on, interactive and engaging learning environment, based on developing creative, independent learners.

Tara Furness

Foundation Stage Teacher

Sara Lowndes-Rostek

Foundation Stage Teacher

Sara Lowndes-Rostek brings a wealth of experience to Arcadia, having lived and worked in Dubai for the last 11 years in various educational environments and in different capacities.

With an extensive teaching background Sara is passionate about education, in particular the development of young children, with a focus on allowing the children to develop their own sense of self.

Allowing the children to follow their interests and develop a sense of enquiry and curiosity. Sara is a dynamic, child-centered teacher with a breadth and depth of knowledge regarding the U.K. Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

Sara Lowndes-Rostek

Foundation Stage Teacher

Irne Potgieter

Foundation Stage Teacher

Irne Potgeiter

Irne is an experienced Foundation Stage teacher with a strong emphasis on individual child development. Irne is a passionate, caring and resilient teacher who always strives to provide the very best learning opportunities for her children. She focuses on lessons that are interactive, hands on and challenging for young minds to think and problem solve. Irne is a lifelong learner and embues the children in her class with the same ethos.

Irne Potgieter

Foundation Stage Teacher

Sara Hogan

Key Stage Teacher

Sara graduated from The National University of Ireland, Maynooth with a Bachelor of Education in Primary Teaching. Since graduating she has taught at international schools in Al Ain and Dubai where she taught Year 2 and worked as year level coordinator.

She has a keen interest in the teaching of reading and writing and carried out her final year research on the teaching of reading comprehension.

Sara’s teaching methodologies include child centred and discovery based learning where children are actively engaged and are given the opportunity to be leaders of their own learning.

Sara describes herself as a dedicated, engaging and innovative teacher who is passionate about her job.

She enjoys travelling to various countries and experiencing different cultures. She also enjoys exercise and has taken part in various sporting events in Dubai.

Sara Hogan

Key Stage Teacher

Lauren Welfare

Key Stage Teacher

Lauren WelfareLauren brings strong recent teaching experience to Arcadia. Her teaching career began in Bristol in the South West of England where she gained a first class honours teaching degree. Whilst training, she spent two months volunteering in a township school in South Africa which is where her love for exploring different cultures began.

Since then Lauren has gone on to specialise in teaching in Key Stage 1 children and she considers herself to be extremely organised, compassionate and dedicated to ensuring that every child reaches his or her full potential.

More recently, Lauren has taken responsibility for mentoring university students to enable them to become successful teachers.

Lauren looks forward to using the incredible learning facilities ay Arcadia and making strong relationships with parents and pupils.

Lauren Welfare

Key Stage Teacher

Ajay Banger

Key Stage Teacher

Ajay Banger

After graduating in 2013 with his first degree at the University of Birmingham, UK, Ajay followed his passion for teaching and completed his PGCE with Mathematics at the University of East London in 2014. Ajay believes that teaching is a vocation that requires commitment, flexibility, creativity, hard work and most importantly, the ability to gain children’s, parents and colleagues understanding, trust and respect. With this in mind he is currently completing his Masters of Education to further develop his desire for teaching.

Ajay has worked with pupils from a range of different ethnic backgrounds throughout his career both in the UK and the UAE and he has over 4 years of teaching experience with the British Curriculum. With his knowledge of teaching at the upper primary level, Ajay is expert at sharing his positive and charismatic energy with his pupils. He relishes the opportunity to share his skills and to help move the curriculum and education in a forward direction.

Ajay Banger

Key Stage Teacher

Pav Kaur

Key Stage Teacher

Pav Kaur

Pav is a dynamic teacher with a commitment to creativity and innovative learning. She has five years teaching experience within the UK Curriculum in across Key Stages 1 and 2. She has experience of being the Grammar leader and Maths leader in her previous teaching position in the UK. Prior to moving to Arcadia, Pav was the KS1 co-ordinator in a UK curriculum school in Dubai. Her role involved her delivering training and supporting staff members in delivering lessons where children are independent and active learners.

Pav has a philosophy of valuing each child as an individual, as well appreciating the importance of children engaging in the wider community. She aims to give children as many learning opportunities and experiences as possible in order to engage, motivate and prepare them for life. Pav has a passion for personalised learning, setting high expectations for the pupils and herself.

Pav Kaur

Key Stage Teacher

Charlotte Corkhill

Key Stage Teacher

Charlotte Corkhill

Charlotte graduated from the University of Cumbria with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Primary Education QTS with the specialism of Science. Since university, she was teaching at a local school in Blackpool, UK. Charlotte has a passion for sport, playing hockey at international level. Throughout her school and university career, she had the opportunity to play hockey for her country, traveling to many places around the world to compete.

As a teacher, Charlotte describes herself as creative, encouraging and dedicated; having always encouraged children to take pride in their achievements, both by the way she responds to their work and the way it is displayed in a classroom. She sees this as a delicate balance; ensuring children celebrate their success and have a sense of pride in their work while giving them constructive feedback for improvement. Charlotte believes that every child, whatever their ability, should feel they have achieved at the end of each lesson.

Charlotte designs and delivers learning programmes that motivate, excite and challenge children. She feels Arcadia encapsulates her philosophy of being a teacher ensuring lessons are meaningful and targeted; ensuring each child will develop a lasting desire to continually learn, grow and develop.

Charlotte Corkhill

Key Stage Teacher

Eleanor Hickey

Key Stage Teacher

Eleanor Hickey

Eleanor qualified as a teacher in 2014, graduating from The University of Lancaster. She has just completed her fourth year teaching at a primary school in her home town of Manchester in the north west of England and has also completed her Master’s Degree in Education studies during this time.

Before gaining employment in Dubai, Eleanor taught across Key Stage Two and also led school wide programmes aiming to improve reading attainment and engagement at primary school level. She has a particular interest in reading and the teaching of this across school. Eleanor has also supported trainee teachers in the classroom.

Eleanor is an organised and enthusiastic teacher who believes firmly that successful teaching requires a passionate teacher and strong relationships with children in the class. She aims to make her lessons engaging, inspiring and purposeful for all abilities.

Away from the classroom, Eleanor is a keen traveller and enjoys visiting new countries and learning about other cultures. Eleanor enjoys continually furthering her own education and believes Arcadia’s ethos of nurturing lifelong learning is key when educating young children.

Eleanor Hickey

Key Stage Teacher

Laura Cole

Key Stage Teacher

Laura Cole

Laura graduated from Birmingham City University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Primary Education where she specialised in ages 3-7.

Once graduated, she taught both Year 1 and Year 2 in England before moving to Dubai in 2016 where she has worked in an international school teaching Year 2.

Laura has a passion for ensuring children love to learn and are given the skills to become independent. Her teaching approach enables children to self-challenge and learn through exploration.

She is well organised and creative and forms strong relationships with pupils and parents.

Her interests include travelling, reading, running and tennis.

She is excited to join the Arcadia team and to work alongside a team of excellent teachers.

Laura Cole

Key Stage Teacher

Aaron Rubra

Key Stage Teacher

Aaron Rubra

Aaron graduated from the University of Chichester in the South of England, with a degree in Primary Education and Teaching with an English specialism. Before joining Arcadia, he taught at a primary school in Guildford for 4 years where he was also the subject lead for Science and English. He has worked effectively with children, parents and staff to successfully improve attainment and progress for pupils across the primary age range.

Aaron believes in creating an engaging and motivating atmosphere in the classroom where children are encouraged to try their best and to not be afraid of making mistakes. He feels that children’s happiness is at the heart of their ability to learn, so he makes this a priority in the classroom.

Aaron also enjoys sports such as squash, basketball and snooker and playing games like chess and backgammon.

Aaron Rubra

Key Stage Teacher

Madeleine Storey

Key Stage Teacher

Madeleine Storey

Madeleine graduated with a history degree from the University of Sussex before going on to complete a PGCE at the University of Hertfordshire. Madeleine taught in a diverse school in London for three years with experience in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. During her time at the school she thoroughly enjoyed leading history, particularly focusing on the opportunity to make more cross-curricular links throughout the school.

Madeleine strongly believes in creating a classroom community where each child’s individual strengths and passions are celebrated and encouraged in order for them to develop their own identity both in the classroom and beyond. She strives to promote an environment where all children are challenged, fostering resilience, perseverance, curiosity and critical thinking.

When not at school, Madeleine enjoys reading, playing netball and swimming. She also enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures.

Madeleine Storey

Key Stage Teacher