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).
Meet Our Staff 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 and Child Protection Officer 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.
Hello, my name is Alejandro Juan Torres, I am 25 years old and I am from Spain. I will be the PE teacher at Willow International Academy.
I am a semi-professional athlete in middle distance running. Thanks to this sport, I got a scholarship to study in the United States, where I graduated in Exercise Science at High Point University, NC. Recently, I have just finished a university masters degree in Sport Management at UCAM, Murcia.
I also work as an athletics coach in Elche and as readapter and personal trainer in clinics in Elche and Guardamar. I have one year of experience as a PE teacher in an international school, where I enjoyed and found it very satisfying to teach and transmit the knowledge and values of sport to children. I am as professional as possible in all my jobs. For this reason, my aim is to teach and enjoy imparting Physical Education at all levels.
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.
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, 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.
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 Michelle and I have been teaching biology and science for around 20 years. I have also worked as a Veterinary Nurse in the Land-based Industry where I worked in a laboratory and learnt lots of fascinating things about science!
I have always enjoyed teaching and have a particular interest in microbiology, which I taught in England for a specialist educational facility.
I have a Masters degree in Education and I really enjoy bringing learning to life through teaching science in a fun and active style of learning.
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, I am Suzanna.
I have worked in U.K. 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.
Hi, my name is Natasha and I teach English Language and Literature. I moved to Spain at the age of 9 with my family, starting a Spanish school but growing my love for English and literature with after school book clubs. I started my teaching career while studying English Literature at university, working part time in academies teaching English as a second language, learning and growing as a teacher and in my love for teaching, although I had always enjoyed tutoring my younger sibling and friends in their tougher subjects which became the start to my journey on reaching my goals of teaching as a career. I have always had a passion for teaching and for English, and getting to bring those passions together in the classroom is one of the things I love most. Sharing my knowledge with my students and watching them find interests in new things is such a joyous thing to witness. I am very enthusiastic about teaching and wish to inspire this enthusiasm in my students and bring a creative and dynamic way of teaching to the classroom.