Our Staff

Greg McDonald


Greg originates from Australia where his career was initially in International Banking. After many years in banking he decided to chase his dream of working with children and in 1993 left for upstate New York. He stayed for four years where he worked alongside children and adults with mild to severe learning difficulties before moving to London.In London Greg worked as a classroom teacher at Dr Rolfe’s Montessori School before progressing to deputy and finally Headmaster in 2004. As Headmaster Greg took the school from strength to strength. The school received excellent Ofsted Reports and under Greg’s leadership the school became a highly sought after Nursery in Notting Hill. Rolfe’s Nursery (as it is now known) is part of the prestigious Alpha Plus Group of private schools.Whilst at Rolfe’s Greg decided to always include children with special needs. He works in close partnership with parents and staff to ensure the children reach their full potential and as a result, Rolfe’s has become well known in the private sector for accepting special needs children.Greg is actively involved with all aspects of Early Years Education. He has served on committees for Training and Development in The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea as well as heading the committee for The Children’s Workforce Development Council.Greg believes that every child deserves the right to a happy, carefree education that is play based and child centred. He strongly feels that children should be able to learn at their own pace guided by good quality teaching; that every child is an individual and that no child, no matter what their abilities, should be discriminated against.

Helen Williamson

Deputy Head

Helen is from England; she holds a BA in History and a PGCE.  She has an in-depth knowledge of the British National Curriculum (Key Stages 1 – 4) and many years of experience in curriculum development and as a school SENCO.  Helen has worked throughout the Middle East and has extensive knowledge of post 16 student progression.

Laurice NascimentoSEN Class Teacher
Laurice is of South African origin, although she has spent many years in Portugal. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology & social work, as well as a PGCE gained through Sunderland University in the United Kingdom. She has a very good understanding of SEN and has worked at The Children’s Academy since 2009.
Tasmin Greig SEN Class Teacher
Tasmin is from the UK and holds a Bachelor of Arts with QTS in Primary Education from Leeds Trinity University, UK. She has a wide knowledge and foundation of SEN having undertaken many courses and training in this field.
Janine Walters Early Years SEN Teacher
Janine originates from the United Kingdom and holds a PGCE in teaching as well as a BA in Criminology. Before undertaking her PGCE Janine was a teaching assistant at The Children’s Academy and has a comprehensive understanding of our children’s needs.
Fiona Greig Early Years SEN Teacher
Fiona is Scottish and holds a NNEB from the UK. Previous to The Children’s Academy Fiona was a kindergarten teacher at The British School, a post she held for 11 years. Fiona has worked with youth programmes in her native Scotland and is actively involved with the Dreamflight charity.
Ciara Mcloughlin Early Years SEN Teacher
Ciara is from Northern Ireland and has a BA in Childhood Studies and Early Years together with a PGCE.  Ciara has an extensive background working with special needs both in the UK and Bahrain.
Abdulla Al Alawi SEN Teacher
Abdulla is from Bahrain and has a BSc in Sports Science from London Metropolitan University. Abdulla joined The Children’s Academy in 2011 as a teaching assistant before progressing to his PGCE studies with the University of Sunderland, UK; he became a class teacher in 2018.

Florin Nistor Physiotherapist
Florin has been working as a physiotherapist since 2012. He has a Bachelor of Physical Therapy from Cluj-Napoca in Romania and has extensive experience working with special needs children and teenagers.