Hello, my name is Amanda Riding and I am the current owner and director of Willow International Academy. I have over 20yrs experience in education and special educational needs. I also have 5 years experience in health care, working as a SEN nurse in paediatrics and ENT.
I am truly passionate about education and I believe that every single child has the potential to achieve their goals. With the right care, compassion and guidance we can achieve anything. We welcome all children, irrespective of their culture and ability.
Hello, my name is Michael Dixon (Mike), I am the Deputy Headteacher at Willow International Academy and deliver KS3-5 Maths & ICT. I am a dual professional Engineer/Teacher having served 22yrs in the British Army with the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (R.E.M.E) as a Helicopter Technician and Vibration Analysis Specialist. I am a Master of Education (MEd) and Fellow of the Society for Education & Training (FSET).
I am experienced in T.E.S.O.L education and providing differentiated learning for Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia. I also mark GCSE Literacy & Maths exams for the three main qualification providers in the U.K. Edexcel, AQA, and City & Guilds. As an examiner, this
has given me relevant inside knowledge on the U.K. curriculum and international specifications with which your child will experience their tertiary education journey – from Primary, through Secondary and onto 6th form college. I am passionate about education and the continued practice of learning throughout life, where we not only improve our academic skills, but also our life skills and real-life experiences. All staff at Willow International Academy will complete Continuing Professional Development in current and future areas of education, to provide our cohort with up to date and relevant knowledge, methods and resources which will enable your child to reach their maximum learning potential. I look forward to welcoming you and your children into a modern, safe, caring and passionate
environment, where they will experience a fun and active way of learning, in our new state of the art school – Willow International Academy.
Hello, my name is Sam and I am the school administrator at Willow International Academy. My background in the U.K. is educational administration in both Early Years and High-School settings. I am passionate about children having equal opportunities and receiving the best possible support available to them. During my 9 years working in the education sector, I gained lots of valuable experience working with multi agency teams, families and children. I am looking forward to working with the Willow team of talented teachers to drive our school forward, to provide fantastic learning experiences and a safe and welcome environment for our children.
My name is Lisa and I will be the teacher in Primary 1 and will also be the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Coordinator. I have been
teaching for the past 14 years at various levels. I had a full and active 24-year career in the Army achieving the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 within the Royal Logistic Corps and deployed on various overseas operations. As a Sergeant, I was selected to teach
in the ‘School of Excellence’ for the young soldiers, this was my first experience of teaching which I thoroughly enjoyed and found
extremely rewarding. As part of my transition back into civilian life and coupled with my leadership and management transferable qualifications, I went on to gain a distinction on the PGCE course at the University of South Wales. I have been teaching at Canolfan yr Avon Special Educational School in South Wales for the last twelve months, with pupils ranging from 4-18-years-old who have a variety of
Emotional, Sociable Behaviour Disorder (ESBD) needs and I can honestly say it’s the most rewarding job I have ever had, with no
two days being the same. This is where my passion, love and all-inclusive outlook on teaching grew, giving me a new vocational
purpose. I believe that every pupil, irrespective of what their level or special requirements may be, are entitled to receive the same
standard of education in a fun, safe and secure school environment.
Hello, my name is Eva Ghost. It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity of teaching my true passion at Willow International Academy. Having previously had the role of ‘Head’ at an International School in Spain, I am now very excited to be able to focus, once again, on
teaching the subject I studied for 5 years in the UK – Drama and Musical Theatre. Having taught Secondary and Primary in both the UK and Spain for over 22 years, I hope that my wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for the Arts, will bring a lot of fun and exciting times, to our learning environment at Willow International Academy.
Hello, I am Suzanna. I have worked in UK Secondary Education for 22 years , most of that time as Head of Department. In addition to working as an examiner for various exam boards, I am also PHSE qualified. I have lived in Spain for five years and I am excited to be part
of this new venture. I am looking forward to sharing my passion for Religious Studies and Humanities with our new students.
Hello, I am Noemi. I was born in Spain and have been managing a Cambridge preparation centre for over 20 years. Although I got my University and Masters degree in Spain, I became a specialist in the U.K. Over recent years, I have worked as a languages Curriculum Leader in Secondary Education in the South of England. I will be teaching Spanish. My bilingual ability will be essential in providing students with quality language lessons and will also contribute to show them the Spanish culture and way of life in Spain. I am currently a Pearson and AQA moderator, team leader and examiner, which will allow our students to have an inside view of subject qualifications.
Hello, my name is Helen and I have over 20 years’ experience in teaching. I have taught children of all ages in my role as a teacher and SEN Coordinator. As an English specialist in my role as an English Consultant/ Lead teacher & English exam moderator, I have supported both pupils and teachers in the schools I was working in, as well as other schools across different counties in the UK. I believe all students should be supported to reach their true potential and I am excited to be working with the new KS3/4 students, sharing my passion for English, in this new, vibrant school.
Hello, my name is Andy and I have worked in both primary and secondary education in the UK before joining Willow, including working with SEN pupils in a specialist school in the Lake District (UK). It is my aim to help build pupil’s confidence and independence as I aim to foster intellectual growth and engage students to develop the key transferable skills required to achieve in the modern world.
My education includes completing a Postgraduate qualification in ICT, (University of Liverpool), and a PGDE (Teaching) qualification from Edge Hill University. Having spent twenty five years working in retail management and sales/marketing, (both here in Spain and in the UK), I passionately believe in differentiated learning to help prepare the future generation for successful careers in a fast moving and dynamic world.
My “hands on experience” of the business and commercial world are combined with business related qualifications (Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Management and a professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, (Business School Staffordshire University), and a business and administration degree from the University of Essex. I will use my experiences to encourage pupils to always look to progress through critical reflection and be successful in life.
My Name is Susan, and I am a teacher in the secondary department of Willow international School.
I have been teaching for 32 years in various roles in Secondary and Primary schools. I have taught Science, Mathematics Physical Education and Art. For the most part of my career I have been Head of the Mathematics department. For the past five years I have been working with children with Special Educational Needs and Emotional Sociable Behaviour Disorders. have found this extremely rewarding and enlightening.
I am now delighted to be part of the team here at Willows. I hope to be able to enable children to develop a love for lifelong learning and achieve their true potential. I am sure being part of this dedicated, enthusiastic team will facilitate this.
My name is Emily Thackray, I’m 28 years old, originally from Sheffield, U.K. where I lived with my parents and sister. At the age of 12 we all moved to Guardamar del Segura, Spain where I went to school. After I finished my high-school studies, I went on to get my teaching degree where I found my passion for teaching children. Since then, I have been travelling and working internationally and have lived in Argentina for the last 6 years, working in a Bilingual school with primary and pre-school children. Now I’m ready to come back to Spain and continue my teaching career as a primary teacher at Willow International Academy. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy swimming, travelling,
going to new places and listening to music.
My name is Olivia, I began my teaching journey way back in college when I embarked on a Level 3 course for childcare. I knew from the start, that I wanted to work with children. However, this gave me a proper insight on what it was like to work in the field and secured in my head, that it was something that I really wanted to take further. I then began my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Studies in Leeds which gave me the skills and confidence to lead and teach young children in a variety of settings. I did this while working full time in a nursery which helped me put my knowledge into practice. I love teaching because every day is different… the things children do and say always brings a smile to my face with their infectious positive outlook on the world! I love knowing that helping these young children find their feet in this world, is going to help them turn into happy, curious individuals with a love of life and learning. My aim in my teaching is to level the playing field for all children… no matter what their background or abilities, they should be given equal opportunities to flourish and grow.
Hello and good day! My name is Ann and I am originally from London, England but have lived in Spain since 2003. I qualified as a teacher in 1999 in English as an Additional Language (EAL) from Cambridge University and worked for the London Borough of Waltham Forest Learning Service. I spent two years in Singapore and Thailand working in EAL to gain extensive and valuable experience with adults and young learners which fore-fronted my career as a specialist in this area.
During my time in Spain, I have taught in academies, businesses and for five years at an International private primary school focusing on key stages 1,2 and 3 following the British curriculum. Therefore, I am well versed in identifying, developing and attaining results in all core subjects for young learners and non-native speakers.
I believe that education is a collaborative process. To this end, in my opinion, the best teachers are those that inspire and facilitate self-learning and development which I encourage in all my students so that they can achieve the goals and dreams that they want from life.
Hello my name is Jo. To the Children of Primary school I’m known as Mrs “B”.
I studied for a BTEC National Diploma in Science and Health Studies and began working as a Healthcare Support Worker within a Social care environment. I completed an NVQ level 3 in care, and branched off to working with children and young people with special needs/learning difficulties.
I worked as a community support worker and trained for a Teaching support role.
My family and I wanted a new adventure so we moved to Spain in 2020. I am privileged to work in the position of
Teaching support for Willow International primary school. I love my job and work with a fantastic and dedicated team
of Primary staff. Together we encourage all of our students to flourish whilst on their learning journey at
Willow International School.