Mr Navin M. Valrani Founding CEO
BSc (Hons), MBA (Distinction), M.S. Ed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prior to joining Arcadia, Miss Jessica Walkinshaw was leading the Music and Performing Arts department in a large school in Dubai. Alongside the completion of her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology. She graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Bachelor of Arts in Music before undertaking a music PGCE at the University of Huddersfield.
Throughout her career, she has worked as a Literacy Coordinator for a secondary school in the UK, and led music and performing arts across EYFS to KS3, supporting special educational needs and played a key role in developing wellbeing across the Primary and Secondary phases in the UK, Working as a music teacher and school counsellor at Arcadia this year, Miss Jessica Walkinshaw aims to share her love of learning and passion for music, wellbeing and positive education with all students. She strongly believes in the application of student-centred and solution-focused positive psychology interventions to achieve the best possible progress for the child.
As a lifetime learner of the arts, Miss Jessica Walkinshaw has a special interest in incorporating the expressive arts into counselling techniques used with her students. She believes in the power of creative expression to enhance the lives of students and discover their individual strengths.
In her free time, Miss Jessica Walkinshaw enjoys singing as part of the Dubai Opera Festival Chorus, playing netball, Gaelic football and CrossFit. She is a seasoned traveller who loves exploring new places and learning new things. She is excited to be part of the Arcadia family this year to support and motivate all learners to achieve their potential and flourish in an ever-changing world.
Miss Edele Nolan is from Ireland and has 17 years of experience in Education. Edele started off her career as an Early Years Educator and has a B.A in Early Years and Montessori Education. She has worked in Ireland, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia and been working here in the UAE for 5 years. Edele has a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, is a qualified Play Therapist, Mental Health First-Aider and, is also a Mindfulness Educator.
Edele is extremely passionate about what she does and believes in the importance of supporting student’s emotional and social wellbeing. Her experience of working in different countries has given her a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to supporting students and their families. Her goal is to build positive relationships of kindness, empathy, respect and understanding with the students and families of Arcadia. Her door will always be open
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.
Arcadia School is committed to the protection of pupils against any physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and/or neglect. The protection of children is an important part of the Arcadia School’s role as an educational institution. We strive to maintain the highest levels of safety to every pupil with particular attention to the most vulnerable and pupils of determination. Child abuse and neglect are violations of a child’s human rights and are obstacles not only to a child’s education but also to their physical, emotional, and spiritual development.