Having been in education for the last 25 years I have witnessed many changes, however the one constant factor remains: An education is one of the most valuable things we can possess. It influences how we see the world and contribute to it.
I have been fortunate to be a part of Aldar Academies for the last 9 years, and fully endorse the vision that it is our purpose to empower the next generation to shape our future.
We achieve this effective by recognising the importance of a holistic approach to education, being fully inclusive and allowing children to develop their skills in which they can realise their dreams for their future.
Taking on the role as Principal of Al Muna in March 2020 has allowed me to continue my passion in developing a community approach to educating our children, where all stakeholders play a part in a child’s development.
MEET OUR LEADERSHIP
Gregory Edward DeSouza
Prior to working in the UAE, I have held a range of leadership roles in the UK including Head of Year and Head of PE. I have taught in Essex and Cheshire in the UK in several schools with a variety of roles. A major achievement was in 2017, when I was voted ‘Inspirational Teacher of the Year’ at the Cheshire Schools Awards and was then selected by the Queen to attend Prince Harry’s royal wedding.
I joined Al Muna Academy in August 2019 as the Head of PE and Sports, through the support of Aldar Education my role progressed to Associate Assistant Principal and then more recently on to Assistant Principal for Pastoral Welfare and Standards.
My main role in the school is to make sure the children feel safe and happy, this is when our children can thrive and achieve their potential. I took the challenge of moving from Secondary education down to Primary because I felt I could have a bigger impact on the lives of children from a younger age to give them a strong foundation to be the best they can be. I believe in enabling children to have a growth mindset in everything they do and give them opportunities to become independent and resilient learners.
Anyone who has been to Al Muna Academy will tell you that it has an amazing family feel. The staff, children and parents make it such a wonderful place to work and I genuinely treat them all like my own family.
My wife and I have two young boys, we love living in Abu Dhabi and this incredible country.
I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2005 with a MA (Hons) in Psychology; while studying for this degree, I found I had a particular interest in Developmental and Educational Psychology and decided to go on and study Primary Education.
I completed my PGDE in Primary Education from the University of Strathclyde in 2006. I worked in inner-city primary schools in Glasgow before embarking on a wonderful experience of travelling in Asia and Australia for a year. On my return to Scotland, I decided to combine my passion for teaching and travel and move to the UAE in 2010.
I have been a proud member of the Aldar Academies family for ten years, working at Al Yasmina Academy. During my time there I taught across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and held various leadership positions as Head of Subject, Head of Year, Head of Key Stage and Associate Assistant Principal for Visible Learning. I believe that the children should be central to everything we do; teachers should see the learning through the eyes of their students, setting challenging goals and facilitating the students’ learning journeys so they can reach their full potential, with no cap on expectations. I am proud to be part the Al Muna community as Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Assessment, working to continually develop an enriching and engaging curriculum, to ensure all students are motivated and realising the endless possibilities available to them throughout their education.
I spent my formative years growing up in a beautiful coastal village in Northern Ireland.
I moved and graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Primary Education, and I have been privileged to hold both teaching and leadership roles in outstanding schools in The UK, The UAE and Kuwait.
My goal at Al Muna is to develop the outstanding pastoral care that the school already offers. I have always been passionate about ensuring that school is a safe and welcoming place where children enjoy coming, and I will work hard to ensure that every child feels valued and has the opportunity to develop as both a learner and a person.
Outside of school, I spend my free time with my wife and three children. At the weekend I enjoy watching my favourite football team play and when time permits it, playing squash and hockey. Over the coming months and years, I look forward to developing positive relations and getting to know all of the students, their families and the wider Al Muna community.
Sarah Louise Johnson
Head of Inclusion
A long time ago I graduated from Edge Hill University with a degree in Primary Education. My journey has since led me to different school settings in the UK, Qatar and now Abu Dhabi.
My family and I have been part of the Aldar family, as students and staff, for the past eight years and relish the time we have spent here making memories and friends for life.
I have worked with special needs children for the past eleven years and two years ago I gained my National SENCo Award and in February 2022 moved to Al Muna as Head of Inclusion. I am a committed and dedicated advocate for students with special educational needs – passionately pursuing inclusive education that empowers all children. I wish to make a difference, however small, every single day.
My goal at Al Muna is to help each child reach their potential through the growth of their strength, perseverance and resilience, ensuring they feel that they are good enough, brave enough and strong enough to overcome obstacles and difficulties to be successful and achieve.
It is a true privilege to be part of the Al Muna family, it is a very special place where I feel proud to belong.
Muna Abu Safi
Head of MOE
I have over 20 years of teaching experience in both Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, where I have been teaching both primary and secondary students, Arabic and Islamic Studies.
I am proud to be a member of the Aldar Academies family for 16 years. Working for Aldar Academies has given me the opportunity to achieve a high-level teaching career, enabling me to achieve both personally and professionally. My approach is very simple happy children flourish and happy children learn. Our greatest responsibility as teachers, and leaders is to create an environment where our children feel safe, valued, and listened to. I always aim to create opportunities for children to be excited and truly engaged in MOE Subjects, which I believe leads naturally to excellent academic progress.