Experiences of Jumeirah College

Staff Stories

Heidi Godinho - Teacher of Science

I joined Jumeirah College in 2015, having previously taught in the UK. In addition to my teaching role, I am also the Head of Sina House and the Wellbeing Coordinator. I love working at Jumeirah College, the students are so polite, very hard working and I leave every lesson smiling. In my first ever lesson here, I didn’t understand why the students were waiting behind when I had dismissed them, I couldn’t believe it when I realised they were waiting to say thank you for my lesson. The staff are also amazing, with everyone working hard to make sure that our students achieve the best possible education. This is a truly magical place to work and I feel very lucky to be a part of it.


Laura Radcliffe - Teacher of ICT and Head of Year

I have worked at Jumeirah College since 2008, teaching ICT and Computer Science from Year 7 to Year 13. I was appointed as a Head of Year in 2009, and I have followed three year groups through their journey at Jumeirah College. I studied ICT at Lancaster University and did my teaching qualification at Edge Hill University. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, running and practising yoga. I love to travel, visit new places and learn about different cultures. Spending quality time with my family is my main priority when I’m not at school.

Our students are incredible, diverse, culturally aware and all round good people. They make coming to work a true delight! Many staff say that students at Jumeirah College are one-of-a-kind and no other school is lucky enough to have such a perfect mix – I agree with them.

The staff I get to work with at Jumeirah College are supportive, dynamic and at the forefront of education. We are all constantly striving to progress and be better versions of ourselves each day.


Sam Pedder - Teacher of PE and Head of Year

I love working at Jumeirah College because of the amazing students and staff. The students are always challenging themselves to reach the top. Their zest to conquer each and every subject and achieve is admirable – if only we could spread this enthusiasm all over the world it would be an even better place!


Joanne Small – Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages

I teach Spanish and French and I am KS3 Coordinator of Modern Foreign Languages. Given that Dubai is so culturally diverse, I have found that students here really value the importance of languages, which makes my job a lot easier! Students here also really enjoy the challenge of mastering a new language and are not afraid of making mistakes.


Nicola Kesterton - Teacher of Geography

I have been at Jumeirah College since 2010 and one of the first things that struck me about the College was how hard working, polite, well-motivated and respectful the students were. These are all traits that eight years on, remain as strong as ever and make teaching at Jumeirah College so rewarding. Results days are some of my favourite days, where all that hard work and effort really comes to fruition in the fabulous achievements students make, setting them up for exciting times ahead at university and in their careers. As a Geographer, I feel it is important for students to study the environment around them and our students here have so many opportunities to go out and explore the world. Some of the most memorable experiences include visits to Sri Lanka and Iceland where students get first hand experience of amazing landforms and geographical processes at work. It literally brings the curriculum to

life and provides them with life-long memories. I have one child at Jumeirah College about to take his GCSEs and two more children on their way and I feel very secure in the knowledge that this school really will allow them to fulfill their potential and set them up for a successful life ahead.


Emma Davies - Head of PE

I started at Jumeirah College in 2015, having previously been at a school in Derby in the UK. Since then, I have held a number of leadership roles including Head of Year and Head of Girls PE, before being promoted to Head of PE. I am also responsible for the peer-mentoring programme across the school. I cannot stress enough that Jumeirah College is a fantastic place to work. The students are fun, witty and they get involved in so many activities across the College. Students represent Jumeirah College with a positive attitude and real passion. The staff too are amazing - brilliant teachers who are truly supportive of each other and all College events. There is a great togetherness across the school, encompassing staff and students, making it a great place to be!


Steve Bonnar - Teacher of Science and Head of Year

I joined Jumeirah College eight years ago after moving from Qatar to teach Physics.  I mostly teach KS4 and KS5 classes and enjoy the challenges of the A Level course.

The outdoors is a massive part of my life and I love to travel, especially to see US national parks and wildlife. I was able to take charge of the International Award for three years which helped me and several hundred students explore the UAE, and even other countries at the gold level.

I’m the biggest space nerd around and I do quite a lot of astrophotography in my spare time (www.stevethephotonthief.com), yet again another excuse to get outdoors.

As Head of Year 11 I’ve been with the Year group for almost 5 years and have seen them double in height and transform into confident young adults with ambitions and hopes for the future that make me feel like a proud parent of sorts. There’s never a dull day in my job and that’s why I love it.

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