Our Staff

Dene Bright – School Principal


Prior to choosing to join Reach British School, I spent over 30 years working in education in a variety of locations and positions. These include primary classroom teacher, Education Advisor, Leadership Consultant, Principal and Vice Principal in both rural and metropolitan schools. I have had the opportunity to work in Abu Dhabi, as well as Egypt, Africa, Qatar, Fiji, Canada, Saudi Arabia and schools across Western Australia.

My most recent position was head of a British School in Cairo, a fantastic school with wonderful staff and vibrant, fascinating city.  Reach British School lured me away with the prospect of returning to Abu Dhabi where I previously worked as part of an ADEC school reform project.

I have a son and a daughter who keep me young and focused on what today’s students need for the future workforce.  I’ll have to work hard to find time to add to my list of 56 countries visited and to reduce my golf handicap on the wonderful golf courses here in Abu Dhabi!

Sally Gibson – Head of Early Years


I moved to Abu Dhabi in April 2017 to join Reach British School as Head of Early Years, having worked in many primary schools in the United Kingdom. While I now live in Abu Dhabi with my husband, John, my two sons, Oliver and Marcus, are both living and working in London.

With a passion for rich and challenging play based learning, I believe I bring a wealth of expertise to this role. I believe that effective Early Years education is essential to equip children with a thirst for knowledge, skills and understanding that will motivate and develop their academic and social abilities to succeed in our ever-changing and challenging world. I am enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by Reach British School, its community and the country itself and I look forward to being part of the school’s journey towards being an outstanding provider of high quality learning for families in Abu Dhabi.

Johannes C. Bodenstein – Vice Principal


I started my teaching career in 1996 in South Africa and moved to the Middle East with my wife and two daughters in 2006. I have worked as a middle and senior school leader in several countries that include Syria, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. I bring 21 years of experience to the Reach education table. My expertise lies in a wide range of schools with a goal of raising academic standards.  I am passionate about teaching and learning and believe that setting high expectations for students can lead to outstanding achievements. All students are capable of learning and can reach their full potential if we work together as a team to support them. I am very excited to be part of the senior Leadership Team at Reach British School and look forward to working with students, parents and staff.

Matthew Croasdell – Head of Secondary


Personal Background                                                                                                     
Born and raised in the North West of England, I’m a father of two boys, aged 1 and 2. I have recently taken up running, competing in a number of half marathons and the London Marathon 2018. I’m a keen football fan and often play (casually) in a weekly get together. Other hobbies include Golf and Scrabble. My biggest interest, however, is spending time with my children.

Teaching background                                                                                                                              

My Bachelor’s Degree was Mathematics with Management at the University of Liverpool and I have a Post Graduate Certificate of Education in Secondary Mathematics. I taught in both comprehensive and private schools in the UK before moving to Qatar originally to take up a post as a mathematics teacher in a private school there. I then moved to the UAE to take up a post as Head of Mathematics at Emirates National School, MBZ. During my seven years there I had a number of promotions up to my previous role, which was as Assistant Head of Secondary. In this role I was part of a team that took the school from unsatisfactory to very good in a period of 4 years.
Why Reach British School                                                                                                                     
 I chose Reach for a number of reasons, but mainly because it is a young school with much to prove and lots to achieve along the way. Having met with the SLT, I’m optimistic and very much looking forward to being a part of the team.

Mr. Osama Elsayed – Head of Islamics & Social Studies


Before joining Reach British School, I worked as a department manager, teacher of Islamic education and Social Studies in several schools inside and outside the country. As head of Islamic and Social Studies Department at Reach British School, I look forward to developing a team of teachers who will be able to raise a generation who  respect the leaders of the nation, the traditions and laws of our country and soon to be the leaders of the future who serve their countries in international forums

Alan Moody – Head of Primary


Dear Students, Parents, Staff and Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I join Reach British School. I am coming to you with a wealth of experience in the UAE, working here for many years. I am a successful school leader, having previously been a Head of Department in ADEK and was also Head of Primary/Vice Principal in ADNOC Schools for the past three years.

I believe that successful education is about inspired teaching that is firmly founded in the idea that the learner is at the centre as an individual. As a school leader I will look to ensure that our students are nurtured in both academic and emotional/social aspects of schooling.

I have extensive experience, skills and a proven track record of driving schools forward in teaching and learning and assessment. I have prevalent experience supporting staff and student development, which in turn improves progress and attainment.

I have, using the School Development Plan and long term Strategic Plans, pin pointed the needs of our school and will strategically work towards strengthening those areas of need. Parental involvement is pivotal, thus working closely with the parents and community to further enhance the reputation and status of Reach British School, and sharing our vision we will all drive the school forward and ultimately become a Band ‘A’ school.

The British curriculum will allow for our students to be challenged appropriately, while upholding our high expectations and allowing for students to be successful learners. I will strive as a new member of the SLT to further strengthen our core values so that students succeed, are creative, confident, and equipped with the knowledge, passion and skills to thrive. We will collectively support the development of each student towards resilience and perseverance to flourish in an ever changing and ever challenging world.

I continually foster positive relationships with staff, students and parents based on honesty, integrity and genuine care. I am available to staff, students and parents should they need any support or need to provide any feedback to the primary section. I look forward to meeting the Reach British School family in September and working closely with all of you for a positive year filled with great success.

Shane Ruane – Assistant Head of Primary


As Assistant Head of Primary, I value all interactions with students, colleagues and parents as we work together to provide a high quality education to students where they feel supported, encouraged and celebrated each and every day. I firmly believe that as teachers, we are also life-long learners. To this end, I am currently studying a M.Ed. – Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Management.

This will be my 4th year living and working in the UAE. Having taught for a number of years in Dublin Ireland, I moved to Abu Dhabi. In Ireland, I have been involved on a National Level in curriculum development, creating learning resources for primary students as well as consulting on induction programmes and mentoring for newly qualified teachers. In recent years, I worked as part of the educational reform in Abu Dhabi Public Schools before joining the leadership team at Reach.
My educational philosophy is to help prepare our students to be citizens of the future. It is important that we develop our students holistically through their studies, physical education, extra-curricular activities, interactions with their peers and engagement in school life. Abu Dhabi has so many facilities and learning opportunities for our students. I intend to continue making strategic links and partnerships with businesses and organisations in Abu Dhabi to provide students with learning experiences both within and outside school to consolidate our students’ learning in a real-life context.
I have been involved in many areas of school development since joining Reach in 2017. As the school continues to grow and develop, I look forward to celebrating the achievements and addressing the potential challenges ahead. I work closely with our Key Stage Leaders, Heads of Year and Primary Teachers, to ensure we provide students with the best possible educational experience and curriculum programme in a supportive, inclusive environment.
I look forward to welcoming parents to the school for Parents’ Evenings and to share in our schedule of events and celebrations as they occur throughout the school year. I trust that parents will support us on the journey as partners in your children’s education as students’ progress through the school. This will enable our student community to develop their skills going forward to Lead, Learn and Inspire in future.

Layla Keylani – Head of Finance


Before joining Reach, I had 15 years of experience in finance and advisory services in various industries, of which eight years were as a finance manager after earning my CMA.

I joined Reach British School September 2015 in its second year of operation. I have witnessed the impressive progress this young school is achieving and I’m proud to be part of the hard working and dedicated team at Reach, who are targeting excellence in all aspects of teaching, learning and caring. Myself with all my other colleagues in administration department are happy to be supporting both our educational team and valuable pupil’s parents, to see our students well equipped by Reach for their bright future.

Ghadeer Al Kharoof – Head of Arabic


I am Ghadeer Al Kharoof from Jordan. I have a BSc in Arabic Literature and a Diploma Certificate in Teaching from Abu Dhabi University. I have worked as Arabic language teacher in Jordan, then as a Head of Arabic Department and primary school Vice Principal.
I Have also taught Arabic Language for Arab and non- Arab, and worked as a coordinator for Arabic, Islamic and Social Studies Department in different private schools.  I look forward to join Reach Team in the academic year 2018-2019 and achieve all the best for the students!
Best regards
Ghadeer Al Kharoof
Reach British School - Abu Dhabi

Clare Mascarenhas – D’Souza – HR Manager


Clare has joined Reach British School in the capacity of Human Resource Manager. She is a Certified & experienced senior HR professional with comprehensive human resources & finance experience including recruitment and retention, conflict resolution, change management, labor relations and benefits administration.  She has over 4 years of management experience and has worked with a leading university in Abu Dhabi for over 11 years. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her children and cooking.