Members of our international teaching staff possess rich experience and outstanding track records, and complement the knowledge of our local talents. Every member of our academic team is vastly experienced, highly qualified and extensively trained.

Our teaching staff will regularly undergo rigorous in-service training in order to stay up-to-date on the latest teaching and learning methods as well as keep up with global trends and challenges. The teachers are also assessed on their abilities and knowledge from time to time by international governing bodies and educational authorities to ensure the highest standards are aspired to, achieved and maintained.

Senior Management

Poonam Bhojani - CEO, Innoventures Education

Poonam Bhojani  is an Economics Honours Graduate with an MBA from India's premier business school, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Prior to envisioning and cofounding Dubai International Academy, Poonam has had significant industry experience working on leading edge technology solutions with a range of organizations across India, Hong Kong, USA, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands, Oman and UAE. She is the CEO of Innoventures Education and has served as the President of the Middle East IB Association of Schools and is the Secretary of the Dubai Private Schools Group.


Timothy Roberts - Principal, Raffles World Academy

Tim took over as the Principal of Raffles World Academy in 2016.  He has held leadership positions in the Middle East, Europe and most recently in Abuja, Nigeria.  A graduate in Business Education and Information Technology, Tim also has a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management.  He brings with him extensive experience as a Teacher, Head of School and as an inspector of schools.

Michael Stephen - Director Finance and Administration, Innoventures Education

Michael Stephen is a Chartered Accountant and has a Diploma in Portfolio Management with over 20 years’ experience in consulting and industry. He was part of the core team of Innoventures Education that set up Dubai International Academy. Michael started his career in an accounting firm focused on audit, tax, corporate law, and business and investment advisory services. He enjoys business and financial modelling to develop new business ideas, building key relationships, and the challenge of establishing new projects. In 2005, he cofounded Eternus Foundation in Chennai which provides education and health cover to needy children. Michael is a Fellow of the Association of International Accountants, UK and has been on the faculty of a business school in Dubai.


Primary School

Dr. Armeena Tabassum - Vice Principal & Head of Primary

Armeena Tabassum comes with 27 years of teaching, leadership and management experience at primary, middle years and higher secondary level. The core 23 years of which have been with the International Baccalaureate Programme in IB authorized world schools. She holds a dual Master degree in education and educational psychology with a focus on inclusion and a PhD in education, where her field of research was ‘Early Childhood Education’. Armeena has taught in leading IB World schools in India, Bangladesh, Croatia and the UAE.

As a trained and experienced accreditor for the Council of International Schools (CIS) Armeena visits schools, assessing and evaluating them as part of their accreditation process. She has a passion for increasing students’ academic and holistic development, raising standards and improving teaching and learning. Armeena holds a clear vision and strategic direction that promotes continuous school improvement and inspire, motivate, challenge and empower all stakeholders to carry the vision forward. She enjoys writing academic plans and policies, organizing events, writing poetry, interior designing, cooking and travelling.

Yolanda Maccallum, Deputy Head Academics (Lower Primary) and PYP Coordinator

As the deputy head of lower primary and PYP Coordinator, Yolanda is responsible for ensuring a personalized and rigorous curriculum is delivered to all students. At RWA we use the IB Primary Years Programme philosophy as the lens for all academic decisions in the school. Yolanda works closely with all teachers, collaboratively planning lessons and units of inquiry to produce innovative learning experiences for students.

Yolanda has been working in education for 15 years, and has her Bachelors Degree in education, specializing in early childhood development and foundation phase. She has spent six years in RWA as a homeroom teacher, as well as two years as a middle leader, and this current academic year will be her third year as a part of the Primary Leadership Team.

Daniel Allmark - Deputy Head Academics (Upper Primary) and Head of Assessments in the primary

As the deputy head of academics in the upper primary school, Daniel is responsible for continuing to develop the quality of teaching and learning in the upper part of the primary school (Grades 3-5). As the head of digital learning, he is responsible for supporting the high-quality integration of technology into classrooms across the school, supporting students and teachers in classrooms, as well as leading the strategic planning for the school in this area. Daniel also has a role across the Innoventures group of schools as the digital learning coordinator, helping to support schools with their strategical planning in regards to digital learning, as well as the implementation of this planning in the schools.

As Deputy Head of Academics in the upper primary school, Daniel is responsible for continuing to develop the quality of teaching and learning in the upper part of the primary school (Grades 3-5). Daniel also leads assessment across the Primary School and is responsible for the monitoring and development of a rigorous assessment programme which enhances teaching, learning and student progress within the classroom. Daniel has 12 years' experience as an educator, with 6 of those years’ experience in the United Arab Emirates, after moving from the United Kingdom, the last 4 years being spent at RWA. Daniel has a passion for teaching and learning, striving to further enhance, develop, and innovate classroom practice. Daniel holds an honours degree in History, a PGCE in Primary Education, and has also most recently participated in the NPQSL programme (National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership).

Emily Hunton, Deputy Head Pastoral and Administration

As the deputy head of primary – pastoral and administration, Emily works with a network of staff such as the counsellors, learning support department, and all the primary teachers to ensure RWA has a welcoming, caring, and safe environment, in which all students can flourish. Emily facilitates collaboration between students, teachers and parents to build strong and positive relationships in and across the primary school.

Emily has been working in education for 9 years and has spent 6 of those years in RWA.  Previous to this role Emily was teaching Physical Education and 4 of those years she was the head of the department.  Her passion lies in the pastoral field, supporting students engagement with learning.

Ciske Louw – Head of Early Years

Ciske Louw has over 14 years of experience in education and has worked with Kindergarten students through to Grade 5. In 2008 Ciske graduated with a degree in foundation phase education. Since graduating, she has taught in the Early Years in the UAE. Ciske’s belief in the importance of early childhood education has inspired her leadership roles in the Early Years. She has a strong understanding of good Early Years practice thanks to her prior experience as an Early Years practitioner. Ciske’s role as Early Years Coordinator is to provide professional leadership and management of the Early Years and its staff, and to successfully manage the day-to-day running services and deliver high-quality standards, care, and education for all our early years students. She believes that a child’s experience in the Early Years should be a happy, active, exciting, fun, in a secure environment where students are happy to explore and take risks.

Secondary School

Pam Parasram - Deputy Head Academics - Secondary

Pam Parasram hails from Durban, South Africa and moved to Dubai in 1996. She has over twenty two years of IB teaching experience across both the Middle and  Diploma Year programmes across two leading IB schools in Dubai. She has rich multicultural experience working with students and parents across almost 86 different  nationalities. Her appointments  include: Head of English where she led the department to an Outstanding KHDA rating, Diploma Coordinator for 7 years and Deputy Head - Academics for three years at Dubai International Academy. Her key roles include raising student attainment and preparing staff and students for inspections and evaluation visits.

Simon Foster - Deputy Head Pastoral - Secondary

Simon graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in Geography, and this led to him pursuing a career in education as a Geography teacher. Simon has been teaching since 2005, both in England and in Eastern Europe, and joins RWA as an experienced secondary school senior leader, having previously been a Head of Geography, Head of Year 11 and a key member of the senior leadership team at a school in the south west of England. Simon was also part of the team of Geography teachers who produced lessons for Oak National Academy, a UK government program to provide high quality lessons through the Covid pandemic.

Simon believes that all young people are capable of achieving great things and that as a pastoral lead his role is to ensure students at RWA continue to fulfill their potential, both academically and in their personal development. He will work to continue to build the already strong and positive relationships between students, teachers and parents across our school.

Stephen Pinto, IBDP Coordinator 

Stephen Pinto joined Raffles World Academy in 2010 as an IGCSE and IBDP biology teacher and has recently become the Middle Years Programme Coordinator.  His previous roles at RWA were Cambridge IGCSE coordinator and exams officer from 2011 to 2014.   In 2016 he took on the post of head of science department and continued as the IGCSE exams officer. He has a Masters in animal physiology and in education. He is an IBDP examiner, team leader and an IGCSE examiner. He has 18 years of teaching experience and has taught across various curricula such as the ICSE, IGCSE (Edexcel) AS and A-level, IGCSE (Cambridge), and IBDP. Stephen, together with his team is responsible for implementing the Middle Years Programme (MYP) Stephen is passionate about curriculum development and assessment. He will work closely with his MYP team as well as the heads of department to oversee the various subject areas, the Personal Project, the Community Project as well as the Inter Disciplinary Unit and the approaches to learning to ensure that the highest standards and practices of the Middle Years Programme are implemented at RWA.

Maria Sayyed, IBCP Coordinator 

Maria Sayyed, the IBCP Coordinator and Head of the Business department at Raffles World Academy, is a seasoned educator with a wealth of experience specializing in Business and Economics.

Armed with a Master's in Economics from Mumbai University and an iPgCPP from Liverpool Hope University, UK, Maria's academic journey reflects her dedication to knowledge and expertise. She is also an IB examiner for Economics, Global Head of IB Business content creation and an accomplished author in Business and Economics.

Maria's passion lies in inspiring students to explore diverse fields and excel professionally. Her vision is to elevate the IBCP program to new heights, instilling curiosity and global perspectives among students and empowering them to become trailblazers in their respective domains. With Maria at the helm, the students at Raffles are bound to flourish and make a significant impact in the world. 

Shagufta Hadayat, IBMYP Coordinator 

Shagufta, who joined RWA in 2014, is a passionate and inspiring IB educator. With a career spanning almost two decades, Shagufta considers herself a lifelong learner. She is part of the IB educator network, (IBEN) and she is a workshop leader for IBMYP. Shagufta is inspired by IB’s mission and philosophy and believes that IB education is the future of education. With a master’s degree in educational leadership and management, and 12 years of leadership experience in schools within and outside the UAE, Shagufta firmly believes that effective leadership can be the difference between a motivated and productive team and a disengaged and underperforming one. She identifies strongly with the collaborative and transformational leadership models. She believes that truly great leaders inspire, motivate, and encourage teachers and students in a school to achieve greatness. In her free time, Shagufta enjoys cooking and being a mother to two wonderful teenage boys who have not only made her a better human being but also a better professional. 


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