Meet Our Team
Educated at Brighton College and with a degree in surveying, Nicholas went on to receive a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and then a Certificate to Teach English as a Foreign Language from the University of Cambridge. He has since completed the UK’s rigorous National Professional Qualification for Headship.
With over 25 years in teaching and leadership roles across the entire 3-18 age range, Nicholas brings a wealth of experience from both UK and international schools, including headship positions in top-tier schools in the UK, the Middle East and Asia. He has worked on numerous school start-ups including Japan’s flagship first government-backed international school and subsequently, its first British curriculum boarding school. An experienced school inspector, he is a keen advocate of school improvement and child-centred learning. He has both supported and led numerous schools through a range of accreditations.
More recently, Nicholas was Founding Headmaster of King’s College Doha. Under his leadership, King’s Doha grew quickly into one of Qatar’s best international schools, becoming the fastest school in the country to be awarded the QNSA government accreditation.
As someone with significant existing experience within the King’s College family, Nicholas is very well placed to lead the opening of King’s College Riyadh.
Head of Early Years and Reception Teacher
Joanna holds a BSc. Hons. degree in Microbial and Cellular Biology and a Post Graduate certificate in teaching. These qualifications started her on her journey of firstly teaching Senior school Science and then teaching all year groups within the Primary school section, the last 7 years in Riyadh.
Joanna considers herself a ‘life-long’ learner and continually strives to develop her professional skill set, holding Science Curriculum Leader, Head of Year, Head of EYFS and Senior Leadership roles.
She strongly believes that a holistic approach to education is essential, every child should be given the best opportunity to shine both inside and outside the classroom and she strives to ensure that each child has the best possible start to their education journey.
Head of Lower Primary and Year 1 Teacher
Denise is delighted to be a founding member of King’s College Riyadh and brings the experience of over 15 years of educating young children, both in the U.K. and internationally. Her Honours degree in Inclusive Education has been the baseline for developing teaching environments and practices that are focused on meeting the needs of each pupil as well as supporting them in making optimum progress. She is an advocate of holistic education and strives to offer children a broad range of opportunities and experiences within their school days. In her private life, Denise is passionate about wellbeing. She brings this to the school through the empowerment of both pupils and teachers, in order that they develop their self-esteem and self-confidence to become first a contributor to and then a director of their own outcomes.
Jackie holds a BA in Portuguese and Social Sciences from the University of Manchester and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Sunderland. Jackie originates from Manchester, UK and has lived in Riyadh with her husband and daughter for 3 years. She has experience in Primary and Early Years education from both British and International schools in Saudi Arabia.
Jackie enjoys getting to know each child and their interests to promote a happy and fun learning environment. She loves to encourage and capture the imagination of children through stories and songs and likes to incorporate these regularly into lessons.
Zainab comes to King’s College Riyadh as a teacher with a background in Early Years, SEND and studies in health and social care. She brings over 10 years of experience of working in various British schools. She is always looking for ways to make the curriculum inclusive for all children and believes a play based, open ended and creative approach is key to instil the love of learning. She is passionate about teaching and looks forward to making a difference to lives of young pupils. Originally from Leicester, UK and graduated with a BA Honours degree and pursued her PGCE with a specialization in early primary at the University of Leicester. She has worked in many schools across the UK both primary and secondary and most recently at an international school in Riyadh. Zainab feels as an educator it is important to inspire children to always try and perform their best, it is important to plant seeds to allow the youth to blossom in all aspects of life. As an avid reader she enjoys exploring her imagination and enhancing her creativity, she also enjoys participating in team games which tend to bring out a competitive streak, but in a productive manner!
Year 1 Teacher
Lucy is from Wales, UK and has lived in Riyadh for the last 4 years. She lives with her husband, 2 children and pet dog. Lucy holds a degree in Journalism from Lincoln University, England, where she briefly worked as an Editorial Assistant in London before undertaking a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Chester, England. She has worked in primary schools in England and Wales before moving to Riyadh and teaching at the British International School. Lucy brings 6 years of teaching experience to Kings College Riyadh and has a passion for teaching through play ensuring children are enthusiastic and inquisitive learners. In her spare time Lucy enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures.
Year 3 Teacher
Hodan comes from Wales and holds a BA Honours degree in English Language and Communication from Cardiff University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. With more than four years of teaching experience in Riyadh, Hodan is well-versed in the culture and education of the city. Hodan is passionate about cooking, yoga and exploring different cultures. By developing children’s communication skills, Hodan nurtures their journey to become global citizens who can express themselves effectively in a variety of ways. As a result of her strong belief that a pupil’s wellbeing and academic performance are equally important, this holistic mindset empowers Hodan to fulfil her responsibility to provide students with learning opportunities that not only allow them to develop their strengths, but also provide them with new and exciting experiences.
Mohammed Abu Hasna
Head of Arabic and Islamic Studies
Mohammed Abu Hasna holds a Bachelor degree in Arabic Language and Literature from Cairo University, Egypt. Mohammed brings over 20 years of experience teaching in international schools in Riyadh. Since 2001, Mohammed has held the position of Arabic language teacher. In 2013 he was appointed as the Head of Arabic language and Islamic Studies at King Faisal School in Riyadh. Mohammed joins Kings College Riyadh with a strong commitment to delivering excellence in the classroom and outside the classroom for all children.
Director of Music
Kate holds a BEd from Birmingham Conservatoire and an MA from the University of Manchester. Originally from Cheshire, England she has worked as a music specialist and Head of Department in both primary and secondary schools and enjoys helping children develop their creative and musical skills. Kate has worked in education for over 20 years, working in Warwickshire UK, Dubai, UAE and Amsterdam in The Netherlands. She enjoys the performing arts, craft activities and learning about different cultures.
Iole De Simone
Director of Sport and ECAs
Iole has 24 years’ experience in teaching all areas of Physical Education from Pre-school to Year 13. She has taught in Riyadh for the past 5 years, including one year in an Education Government Project. She is an experienced and qualified Head of P.E. Department and P.E. teacher with a passion for her profession and subject. Iole has coached at competitive and recreational level in Swimming, Athletics, Netball, Football, Basketball, mx Riding, Gymnastics, Parkour, Beachball and Rugby school teams. She is the founder, director and rider of the First Saudi Women’s Rally Team.
Iole is not just committed to teaching her subject as a professional, she loves what she does. Her holiday periods are often given over to taking part in sporting activities which, not only assist her professionally but also fulfill her own personal passion and interests. Iole feels it is essential to her teaching to be a role model to her students, hence her participation in competitive sport activities.
Teacher of Arabic and Islamic Studies
Rasha has over 10 years of experience teaching primary, middle and secondary school pupils, having worked in a variety of Saudi Arabian schools but mainly in a leading international school. She is driven by a desire to develop a future generation who are passionate and knowledgeable about Arabic as a language, as she believes that teachers have the responsibility to change pupils’ lives and future to success. Rasha has a BSc degree in Arabic Language & Education from King Abdulaziz University, with a focus on Arabic Language and Sociology. Throughout her career, she has received excellent evaluations and she is constantly working to continue developing in order to meet the highest teaching standards. Rasha comes to King’s College Riyadh with a strong and determined desire to provide an A-class quality in the classroom for all children.
Enrol your child at King’s College Riyadh
Children who join King’s Riyadh will leave as well-rounded young adults, having fulfilled their potential and having gained a place at the UK, US, or local university of their choice. They will have been prepared for life beyond school and will be able to contribute positively to society.