Academy Academy Description ADEK Rating Curricula Location
Al Ain Academy

Primary & Secondary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding Features English National Curriculum Al Ain
Al Bateen Academy

Secondary, Mixed

Outstanding English National Curriculum,IB Diploma Programme Abu Dhabi
Al Mamoura Academy

Primary Mixed / Secondary Girls Only

Good With Very Good Features English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
Al Muna Academy

Primary, Mixed

Outstanding English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
Al Yasmina Academy

Primary & Secondary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding Features English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
The Pearl Academy

Primary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding Features English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
West Yas Academy

Primary Mixed / Secondary Segregated 

Good American Massachusetts State Curriculum Abu Dhabi
Al Forsan Nursery

Nursery Mixed

Not Applicable English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
leadership team

Ms Kate Davies

Head of Primary

Welcome to an Al Yasmina Primary education! I have been in teaching for 25 years now, after a short sojourn into the world of publishing after graduating from the University of Aberdeen in 1987. Of those 25 years, I have been teaching in the Middle East for 19 of them.  

I have been at Al Yasmina for 8 years now, seeing the school develop from its opening in 2008, to it being the massively popular and heavily oversubscribed educational institution that it is now. My previous schools include British School –Muscat, Oman; Jeddah Prep and Grammar School, Saudi Arabia and Gulf English school, Kuwait. I have also taught for 6 years in an excellent primary school in the London Borough of Lewisham.

I am a keen golfer – please note that I did not say I was an accomplished one, but definitely a keen one! I am proud to say that I am a former Lady Captain of Al Ghazal Golf Club in Abu Dhabi. I am a British Schools of the Middle East (BSME) International Inspector and have participated in BSME accreditations in various schools across the Middle East. 

In 2015, I achieved my Degree of Masters of Arts in Education, from Liverpool Hope University. I am very grateful to Aldar Academies for having offered me the opportunity to study for a Master’s degree and as much as the extra workload hurt at the time, the research was incredibly interesting and very relevant to my role and it has allowed me to keep my knowledge of educational research current.

An Al Yasmina Primary education will develop each child through a challenging, holistic, skills based and personalised education. Students benefit from diagnostic, child friendly advice on how best to maximise their learning. The children participate in setting their own targets and feeling in control of mastering their learning, through consultations with the teacher and through self and peer assessment.

We are a large school; 5 forms in each year group, but the excellent care and attention given to the pastoral welfare of the students creates a very family feeling throughout the school. As we are a ‘through school’, from FS1 to Year 13, the children often meet their older siblings as they walk around the school and for us teachers, it is lovely to see our former students grow and flourish into young, independent adults. Al Yasmina Academy is the school of choice for so many parents across Abu Dhabi and I am incredibly proud of our school, our students and of the teachers that make the school such a unique and special place. To achieve a reputation of excellence, as Al Yasmina has, takes a great deal of hard work and commitment from our staff, students and parents. We work in partnership with our parents whenever possible and enjoy sharing in a mutual pride at the accomplishments, big or small, of all our students.

Ms Nikke Alley

Head of Secondary

Qualified with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A Hons) in 1991 from Liverpool University, went on to complete PGCE and a MSc in Education Management from Manchester University.  Have been teaching for twenty three years now and has been fortunate to have experienced working in many different types of school and I continue to look forward to new opportunities in leadership.

My teaching began in 1992 as teacher of English and Drama at Culcheth High School in Warrington. In my first year I was promoted to Head of Drama. I then went on to develop a new Media Studies Faculty which won numerous awards and was promoted to Assistant Headteacher responsible for Raising Achievement, lead behaviour professional and leading on school improvement. (1992 – 2002)

After securing a National Professional Qualifications in Headship (NPQH), I then moved to Knowsley County Council and took up a permanent post as Deputy Headteacher at Ruffwood Comprehensive for almost three years I held responsibility for Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Continuous Professional Development and National Strategy. (2002 – 2005)
Over the last seven years been the Deputy Head in two very different schools.  In both schools I have an excellent track record of raising achievement and school improvement. Committed to raising achievement I am passionate about learning and teaching and motivating students to achieve their true potential.  I led the design of a brand new £24 million build as part of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and led several Salford schools in this initiative.  (2005-2009)
I believe that a good education is far more than excellent examination results. Although these are crucial they must be underpinned with the correct skills and attributes to succeed in an ever changing world. I feel I have made numerous contributions at Al Yasmina, raising the standards of learning and teaching, developing effective CPD for staff, introducing and being involved in the implementation of a PLP across Aldar, introducing lead learners, coaching and leading by example in every aspect of leadership and management on a daily basis. Key improvements for next year are Arabic, QWF and effective curriculum design to meet the needs of all learners.

I spend my spare time with my three sons, (two at Al Yasmina) watching them play football and following my favourite team Liverpool FC.

Mrs Samantha Pyper

Assistant Principal 

Assistant Principal – Curriculum and Achievement (September 2018 to Present). Responsible for creating the Whole School Timetable, Data Management and Curriculum Design (Secondary), Curriculum Compliance, Extra Curricular Activities and Reporting Procedures. 

After qualifying with a BA in English Literature and Educational Studies from Keele University, (Staffordshire in 2009) I began my PGCE in English at King’s College London. I completed my NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) at Haverstock School, in North West London in 2010, where I taught English Literature and Language from years 7 to 13. Whilst teaching, I continued my education and completed my MA in Sociolinguistics in 2014 also at King’s College. In the UK I held a position of responsibility for Head of English Literature (KS5), as well as leading and participating in a number of research based working parties. I completed six years of service at Haverstock School and will be forever grateful for the young people I worked with and the experiences it afforded me.  

In 2015 my husband and I decided to look wider than the borough of Camden, where we had both worked for so long, and that decision brought us to Al Yasmina Academy in 2015. I joined Al Yasmina as Assistant Head of English, with responsibility for KS3. My continuing interest in educational research allowed me my first SLT appointment of Associate Assistant Principal for Teaching & Learning, in 2016. Through this role I was able to experience on a much larger scale, the challenges of planning whole school projects. I was lucky to be a part of the team that created and delivered John Hattie’s Visible Learning Initiative to Al Yasmina. In May of 2018 I was appointed to my current role as AP for Curriculum and Achievement.  

The transaction of knowledge that takes place in a classroom is an incredibly special and treasured experience – not just for the student but for the teacher as well. It is our responsibility to ensure that every child feel empowered enough to take risks and that every teacher feel confident in doing the same.

Bearing this in mind, the key improvements for this academic year is the launch and embedding of Learner Traits – we are asking of ourselves  (as teachers) and our students ‘What kind of learner are you?’, ‘Are you a  Motivated, Resilient or Passive Learner?’, ‘How does this affect the progress you make in school?’. Our vision is that students, teachers and parents will work together to enable the best possible outcomes – in life, in the community and in examinations - for our children. 


Mr Nick Washbrook

Assistant Principal

In 2000, I graduated from The University of Manchester with a degree in Acting Studies and spent the first 5 years of my professional life working as an actor. During this time, I found I had a passion for drama within school and its impact on young people. In 2006 I went back to university to study my PGCE in Secondary Drama teaching. After graduating, I completed my first year of teaching in Derby which was a fantastic learning opportunity. In 2007, I was appointed Head of Drama and then Deputy Curriculum Leader for PE and The Creative Arts at a school in Runcorn where I remained for 6 years.

Al Yasmina Academy is my first international position and one where i have moved into Senior Leadership.

Living in Abu Dhabi has provided my wife and I with many wonderful memories so far, one of which was the birth of our first child in November 2016.

I am a keen cricketer and are a founding member of Abu Dhabi Gentleman’s Cricket Club who play their home fixtures at Emirates Palace.

Ms Jennie Kellett

Assistant Principal

After completing my Geography degree at the University of Derby in 1996 I decided I wanted to combine my love of the world with working with children so in 1998 I embarked on a new journey and trained to be a teacher of Geography at the University of Leeds; 18 years later I am still driven by the same underlying factor – I want to make a difference.

My first school, Hatfield Visual Arts College, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, gave me many leadership opportunities including being Head of Upper School with responsibility for all aspects of pastoral and achievement, Head of Humanities and lead teacher for raising boys achievement across the school. Then in 2009 my journey brought me here to the UAE, joining Al Yasmina as Head of Humanities in 2011 and then being promoted to Assistant Principal in 2015. During my time at Al Yasmina I have contributed to developing teaching and learning with a child centred approach.

Over the years, having held responsibilities for curriculum, pastoral and now teaching and learning, I truly understand the importance of developing the whole child. For me education is the key to success and this success is enveloped by a growth mindset where learning is at the heart of everything we do. With this philosophy in mind there is no ceiling to learning, no limit to success and no cap to achievement; learning truly is an exciting journey of discovery for all.

Beyond my responsibilities across the academy I enjoy spending time and building memories with my young son as he explores the world for the first time. Becoming a mother has allowed me the time to reflect on the preciousness of life and the importance, we as adults, play in a child’s life.


Ms Sarah Griffiths

Assistant Principal

I have been teaching for over 22 years, and within that time I have seen the role of the teacher evolve as new practises come into play. What hasn't changed for me however, is the necessity for school/teachers to recognise that the school environment plays a major role in the social and emotional competence and wellbeing of children.

I recognise the importance of pastoral care within schools, and delight in the fact that I play a part in this development of children. 

Traditionally, definitions of pastoral care have been associated with the fostering of children’s moral welfare and values of mutual respect through extra-curricular activities, however we now recognise that today the health and wellbeing of students is attributed to school conditions, school relationships, means of fulfilment, and health status. With this in mind, pastoral care at Al Yasmina Academy has taken on a more inclusive function, being seen as inextricably linked with academic curriculum and the structural organisation of the school, thereby promoting: students’ personal and social development and fostering positive attitudes: through the quality of teaching and learning; through the nature of relationships amongst students, teachers and adults other than teachers; through specific pastoral and support systems; and through extra-curricular activities and the school ethos.

As a mother to four children myself, I am of course eager for my children to attain the best that they can academically- but the importance of pastoral support in establishing life long practices can not be ignored. Promoting mental and physical well being, developing resilience leading to autonomy and a sense of purpose and future, all supports enhancing the academic progress a child can make. Pastoral care at Al Yasmina is an area of strength and consistently receives the highest grading with ADEK inspections. It is an area that I feel passionate about and that all staff invest in.

Mr Phil Cheetham

Assistant Principal

I began my journey into education over 13 years ago. I have had a relatively unique teaching career, involving different schools, roles and even countries along the way!
Since graduating from the University of Hull back in 2005 and securing my first teaching job in one of the smallest schools in the UK, it seems that every school I move to just gets bigger and bigger; culminating in my current position in Al Yasmina Academy with over 1000 Primary students!
In 2007 I took the opportunity to move to Dublin, Ireland, to pursue my teaching profession – during this time I became fluent in the Irish language, met my wife, became Head of ICT and also Cluster manager for 5 Primary schools. I remained in Ireland up until 2014 where the opportunity arose to move to Abu Dhabi, where I worked as an English and Maths teacher for ADEK. Moving with a young family had many challenges but the sunshine more than made up for those!
In 2015 I joined Al Yasmina Academy, as a class teacher. Since then, I have overseen the successful implementation of our Pastoral House system through my previous role of Primary House Leader, as well as taking an active role in the development of technology across the Academy. 
At the beginning of 2017 I became Assistant Primary Principal, overseeing the development of a skills based curriculum and focusing on the achievement and progress of our students. The attainment, progress and well-being of our students underpins everything that we do here in Al Yasmina Academy. Education never stands still and I am relishing the opportunity to develop a curriculum that is forward thinking, interactive and exciting for all our students!