Introducing Ms.Alison McDonald - Principal
Ms. Alison is a highly qualified and experienced educator of 28 years. Following the completion of a Bachelor’s degree at Christ Church College University Kent, in English Literature and Professional Education, Ms. Alison went onto the University of Bath to pursue a Master’s degree in Educational Management and Leadership. She has focused on these fields of education throughout her career as a school teacher, manager, leader, advisor and trainer.
Between 1991 and 2008, Alison held leadership positions in a number of prominent UK schools including: Framlingham College in Suffolk, The Royal High School in Bath, Pembridge Hall in Chelsea, Danes Hill School in Surrey, and Windlesham House School in West Sussex. Alison’s main responsibilities in these schools was to lead primary years, improve the teaching of English from KG to Senior Years, and to prepare students for scholarship exams to some of the top academic senior schools in the UK.
Alison also has vast experience working in this region. She has worked in the Sultanate of Oman and held the position of Literacy Curriculum Lead in the British International School Muscat and Senior Lead Trainer of Omani trainers, for the Ministry’s ‘Centre for Specialized Educators’ in Muscat. Since 2008, Alison has worked in the UAE as an educational advisor for international education providers, GEMS, Nord Anglia and CfBT; writing and delivering professional development training and support to teachers and school leaders in Al Gharbia, Al Ain, and Abu Dhabi schools.
Throughout her career, Ms. Alison has been a passionate advocate of reading. She acknowledges that this passion was created through her parents who ensured that she, and her five brothers and sisters, were surrounded by a wealth of age-appropriate literature from an early age. During her UK school career, she promoted reading and literature through visiting authors, theatre trips and poetry performances. She believes that reading is the vehicle through which students can achieve and excel across allsubjects. She also knows that students who are read to, and who regularly engage in independent and shared reading, both at home and at school, develop not only a deeper understanding of language and the techniques of writing, but also develop a deeper knowledge of the world in which they live and a greater sense of empathy towards others. She believes that through reading, a child learns to understand the past, establish their place in the present, dream of their future and can also escape to see the wonders of other worlds through the imagination.
Ms. Alison would relish the opportunity to work with parents who have the same passion and interest to create well-stocked libraries, reading corners and home/school initiatives to support and promote reading across the school.
Alongside education, Ms. Alison is also a partner in the website company ‘Heritage Charts’. She has spent many years trawling through the British historical archives and, over time, has identified and created a collection of hydrographic maps and charts that formed the surveys conducted in this region from the 1750s to 1910. She continues to research the stories behind the surveys and has enjoyed writing historical and geographical summaries for each map that are now produced as pieces of fine art.
When Ms. Alison is not reading and writing, she tries to stay active and will lend her hand to any sport or activity. She enjoys diving off the Oman coast, and spends much of her free time keeping fit through running, cycling and swimming. She enjoys all water sports, camping and skiing – passions created initially through her involvement in UK school trips. She believes that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind, and that all students should be actively encouraged to participate in fitness and sporting activities.
Ms. Alison’s preferred UAE charities are ‘Animal Action’ and ‘Saluki Rescue’. She admires their mission to rescue abandoned, lost or abused animals; and supports the charity’s efforts to find kind and loving ‘forever’ homes, where the rescues will be safe and secure for the rest of their lives.