More about Aldar Academies
Academy Academy Description ADEK Rating Curricula Location
Al Ain Academy

Primary & Secondary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding Features English National Curriculum Al Ain
Al Bateen Academy

FS2 - Year 3 PYP Primary School, Year 7-13 Secondary School. Mixed

Very Good English National Curriculum,IB Diploma Programme,IB PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME Abu Dhabi
Al Mamoura Academy

Primary Mixed / Secondary Girls Only

Good With Very Good Features English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
Al Muna Academy

Primary, Mixed

Outstanding English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
Al Yasmina Academy

Primary & Secondary, Mixed

Outstanding English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
The Pearl Academy

Primary, Mixed

Outstanding English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
West Yas Academy

Primary & Secondary, Mixed

Good American Massachusetts State Curriculum Abu Dhabi
Al Forsan Nursery

Nursery Mixed

Not Applicable English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi

Mr. Joseph Kotarski- Principal

At West Yas Academy, I am focused on leading a learning community where the teaching and learning culture is centred around inquiry and project-based classrooms. By exposing and challenging students to grapple with and solve authentic real world problems, we will empower them with the needed skills to be active change makers, positioning them to engage with the challenges the 21st-century will present. To that end, as Principal I believe that integrating service-learning opportunities into the curriculum that connect and engage students with their own and the greater global community are essential in their social-emotional and intellectual development.  I pride myself on service leadership to the school and community, through service, leadership, and engagement and I am extremely excited to lead the continued development of West Yas Academy.

Mrs. Kathryn Head - Vice Principal and Head of Elementary

Mrs. Kathryn Head brings over 25 years of educational experience to West Yas Academy, including fourteen years in leadership positions. She has a Bachelor of Education qualifying her to teach from KG - Year 10, with her Post Graduate studies in Educational Leadership and Administration. Mrs Head also recently completed a MIT Course, 'Launching Innovation into Schools', completing a cycle of study and experimentation as a change leader in instructional improvement. Before moving to the UAE, Mrs. Head worked in both Asia and Australia and has experience in US, UK, IB, Australian and International Curriculum. Mrs. Head has extensive experience in curriculum development, specialising in the Inquiry based approach. With her extensive skill set in curriculum and leaderhip, she has had the priviledge of training and upskilling teachers and mentoring leaders. Mrs. Head promotes learning through creative thinking skills and values innovation, promoting 21st Century learning skills to enhance teaching and learning. Mrs. Head is passionate, dynamic and embraces international mindedness, valuing diversity while embracing the UAE culture in which she lives.

Mr. Anthony Millington - Assistant Principal

West Yas Upper School is a dynamic and exciting environment to be a part of and I’m immensely proud to lead such a wonderful team of teachers and students.  Having joined West Yas when it opened in August 2016, I have witnessed year on year growth and we are now in our most exciting expansion yet.  I firmly believe that every student should meet their full potential and my role is pivotal in ensuring that all students are given engaging learning opportunities and curriculum pathways to success.  It is privilege to lead the Upper School and serve this vibrant school community.

Mr. Thomas Nelson - Head of Secondary School

Mr. Nelson is from the North of England with over ten years of pedagogical experience, blended across pastoral and curriculum leadership roles within international and UK schools. Initially, teaching in socio-economically deprived areas of the UK, Mr. Nelson taught Physical Education to students with a range of behavioral and social difficulties before his career progressed to work in the United Arab Emirates in 2015. During this time, he completed his MA in Educational Leadership and continued to teach Physical Education and the IB Theory of Knowledge, while becoming a senior member of a pastoral team within a large, multi-cultural school within Dubai. Mr. Nelson is passionate about developing students holistically, equipping them with the skills that are required to flourish within the 21st century in becoming world-ready. He strives to develop these skills in students by promoting a love of learning, through generating a supportive, enriching, and responsive support network that meets the needs of all students and their parents.

Mr. Robert Weaver - Director of Sports and Performing Arts

Mr Weaver has been teaching for 17 years and has arrived at West Yas Academy from London via Dubai. As a full-scholarship student athlete he graduated with a BSc in Sports Management from Liberty University in Virginia, USA. He began his teaching career at a large sports college in East London where he held various roles and responsibilities during his 11 years of service, progressing to Assistant Director of Sport. Wanting a new challenge, his family moved to Dubai in 2013 where he took up the position of Head of Secondary Physical Education at GEMS Wellington International School, before moving up to Director of Sport and Performance at GEMS FirstPoint School in 2017. At West Yas he been tasked with increasing the opportunities for students to participate in Sport and Performing Arts and to develop links that will enrich the school community for all stakeholders. Mr Weaver firmly believes in the positive benefits that come from participating in sports and performing arts and hopes that all students find activities that will ensure lifelong participation.

Mrs. Aida Horany - Parent Relations Executive

My role as PRE lies at the heart of school parental relations. I am here to ensure that your voice is clearly heard, and your concerns are addressed and supported. I am your point of contact to assist you as you guide your child through the years at West Yas Academy and to deal with any queries that you may have about your child’s learning and welfare. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with me in order that I can assist you to ensure that we make these years the happiest learning years of your child’s education. 


Ms. Kate Healy- Head of Kindergarten

Miss. Kate Healy brings 12 years of educational experience to West Yas Academy. Miss. Healy holds a Bachelor of Education from Mary Immaculate College Limerick, Ireland. Prior to joining West Yas Academy, she worked at Scoil Ghobnatan in Cork, Ireland where her 10 years of experience has been dedicated to Early Childhood and working with children aged 4 to 6 years old. She was involved in piloting Literacy Lift Off; an intensive program that gives children lots of opportunities to read books at their own level of competency and gradually lift the complexity of what they can do in both reading and writing. This is Miss. Healy’s first year in leadership but she is looking forward to the challenge with the very supportive West Yas community. Miss Healy is firm believer in play based learning for Early Years which fosters and develops our 21st Century skills; collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. She is passionate, dynamic and pro-active and is looking forward to continuing her journey here at West Yas.

Mr. Matthew Starr - Head of Department for Grade One and Two

Mr. Matthew graduated from Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln, England holding a Bachelors Degree in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status. Matthew is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and holds his NPQML. Matthew brings a wealth of experience, working in educational settings for ten years. He has been with West Yas Academy for three years and before joining WYA he taught in the United States and the United Kingdom. Over the course of his teaching career, he has taught ages 5 – 11, working across the elementary grades. Matthew has also had the experience of different leadership roles in the past as a Literacy Coordinator and Head of Early Years and is excited to be working with all stakeholders at WYA.

Mrs. Melissa Patrick- Head of Department for Grades Three, Four and Five

Mrs. Melissa Patrick brings over 15 years of educational experience in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. which includes 10 years in leadership positions. Prior to joining West Yas Mrs. Patrick worked at Gems American Academy and Gems World Academy in Abu Dhabi and was the Director of a Nursery school. Mrs. Patrick’s scholastic positions have included KG 1, KG 2, Grade 1, Library, P.E. and Learning Support. Mrs. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education Studies from Universities in Australia. Mrs. Patrick is a PYP qualified Educator and was involved in the 3 year candidacy program for IB accreditation in her previous school. She advocates for learning through play and inquiry based learning where Teachers are viewed as facilitators and not distributors of knowledge. Mrs Patrick is collegial and internationally minded and believes in leading by example.

Mrs. Amanda Molloy - Head of ELA

Mrs. Molloy brings 13 years of experience to West Yas Academy. She's held positions as a classroom teacher from Pre-K through 5th grade as well as leadership positions in Literacy, English as an Additional Language, and Special Education in the US and UAE. She is the Head of Literacy and EAL at West Yas Academy and is responsible for developing literacy programs, managing literacy and English proficiency assessments, supporting teachers in professional development of literacy topics, and working with students at all grade levels. Her goal is to raise the reading and writing achievement of our students by inspiring a lifelong love of literacy. 

Ms. Lisa Proctor -Head of Physical Education and ECA's

Miss. Proctor has been teaching for 10 years, including six in Abu Dhabi in the U.A.E.This is her third year at West Yas Academy as the Head of P.E., ECAs and is the school scheduling co-ordinator.Miss. Proctor holds a Bachelor of Coach Education and Sports Development from the University of Bath and a Master in Sport and Exercise Science from Oregon State University.Outside of West Yas Miss. Proctor runs the Abu Dhabi Netball League n achievement that won her the accolade of U.A.E. Coach of the Year in 2018.Under Miss. Proctor and her teams leadership West Yas Academy won Best Sports School (Newcomer) in 2017 and Best Female Emirati Sports team 2018.Miss. Proctor believes in lifelong physical activity for all and ensuring that every student is able to find an activity that they enjoy and can participate in.

Mr. Mostapha Alfaour - Head of Inclusion

Mrs. Lucy O'Connor - Assessment Coordinator

Mrs. Lucy O'Connor, is originally from Brighton, England and has lived in Abu Dhabi for the past eight years, she brings with her over fourteen years of educational experience over a wide range of Grade levels and subjects.  Mrs. O’Connor  graduated from The University of Brighton with a Degree in Primary and Secondary Education. For the first five years of her teaching experience she taught in and lead the Information and Communication Technology Department at a secondary school in Brighton. Five years later, she moved to Doha, Qatar and taught as a primary and secondary teacher at Qatar International School.  She then moved to Abu Dhabi three years later working at Gems American Academy, first as an ICT Coach before moving on as an elementary and kindergarten teacher for a further five years and then joining West Yas Academy in it’s opening year.  Mrs. O’Connor is passionate about teaching and learning, she strives to create an active, collaborative learning environment in which students get excited about what they are learning by igniting their inner curiosity and giving students the confidence to learn.  This year she looks forward to teaching ICT in the Elementary School whilst working alongside teachers and parents in her role as Data and Assessment Coordinator.

Mr. Derek Jung- Team Lead for the Arts

Mr. Derek Jung is going into his 8th year teaching music at the Elementary and Middle School level.  Before arriving at West Yas Academy, he spent graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors in Music Education and spent two years teaching at an elementary school in America.  After teaching in Al Ain for the past four years, he has arrived to bring his knowledge and passion for music and teaching to Abu Dhabi and West Yas Academy.  Mr. Jung believes in music for all students to enhance both their core curriculum and to meet their creative needs as human beings.  He hopes to bring his extensive knowledge of wind instruments and band programs to West Yas Academy and build a flourishing musical community within the school.

Mr Lewis Williams - Arts Performance Lead

Mr. Lewis Williams began teaching 12 year ago after graduation from Bath Spa University. He has taught in the UK, Spain and UAE throughout his career, teaching in the British and American curriculums as well as the International Baccalaureate. After teaching in the city for 4 years Lewis made the move to West Yas Academy where he brought his enthusiasm and passion for Drama and the Arts. He is a strong believer that Drama can help all students of all abilities in various areas of their personal and academic growth. It is his aim to develop student’s appreciation of Drama and their participation in the annual school productions.

Mr. Lewis Williams - Arts Performance Lead