Chief Learning Officer at ABQ
Sigve Austheim has, since August 2018, been the Chief Learning Officer at ABQ. His main task is to improve teaching and learning across the group, in collaboration with all academic staff. He is a Qualified Teacher and has Bachelor of Arts degrees in both History and Political Science from the University of Oslo, in addition to an MBA from the University of Wales. He came from the position as Principal of Azerbaijan British College and was previously the Founding Principal of a British school in Spain, as well as a private Norwegian upper secondary school in Oslo. He has over 10 years’ experience as a Principal and more than 15 years of teaching practice.
He is very familiar with Cambridge IGCSE and A-Level as well as other examination boards. Through developing, implementing and supervising comprehensive systems for achieving academic excellence, his previous school ranked among the best international schools for their first IGCSE results (A*-A). By writing comprehensive sets of policies, procedures and guidelines for international schools, he was able to put into effect proper structures, strategy and fitting routines. In his previous schools he has contributed to substantially reducing annual staff turnover by enhancing the working environment. He has successfully hosted several school inspections, including the COBIS Compliance programme, CIS Membership and Accreditation, NABSS and from several LEA’S.
Dr. André Nel
Principal at ABQIS
Dr. André Nel joined ABQIS as Principal in August 2014. His main goals when joining the school were getting BSME accreditation, improving teaching and learning throughout the school and implementing the Cambridge Curriculum from Grades 1-12. He holds a PhD in Educational Psychology/Sociology and obtained both his Master and Honors Degrees with distinction in Educational Management and Leadership. In his thesis for his Master’s Degree he focused specifically on the management and leadership skills needed to successfully act as principal of a combined KG-Grade 12 school. He is a trained secondary teacher with experience teaching mostly Geography, English and Mathematics.
ABQIS is his 7th International School having worked in South Africa, Botswana, Romania and Azerbaijan. In total he has worked in Oman for almost 10 years at 3 different schools. He understands the importance of merging the local and international academic requirements and also understands the importance of respecting the Islamic values. He is very familiar with the Cambridge primary and Secondary Curriculums as well as several Other examination boards. Apart from the Cambridge Curriculum he has also worked in schools offering the IB, IPC, A-BEKA and the American Curriculum. He is a qualified school inspector and has successfully lead schools through inspections to become accredited members Of BSME, CIS and COBIS. His whole teaching philosophy focusses on mutual respect.
Principal at Sohar International School
Sharl has been involved with education for the best part of 20 years. After completing his education at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa, he started his career at a primary school in Cape Town. Having to deal with large class sizes and other socio-economic problems associated with inner city schools at the start of his career, prepared him for his future in the multi-cultural environment of International Education. He accepted an excellent opportunity to further his career in the UK dividing his time between playing cricket and teaching. Teaching in the UK for a number of years exposed him to different teaching methods and viewpoints and planted the seed of international education.
On his return to South Africa, he spent three years in the family business gaining valuable experience on the financial front. The call of the education sector proved too strong however and he returned to teach science at a primary school. He worked his way up through the ranks of teacher followed by Head of Department and then Deputy Principal at a prestigious School in Pretoria.
Sharl joined Sohar International School in 2009. He held the position of Head of Primary at Sohar International School for four years before gaining promotion to Principal. He has been in this position since April 2014.
Principal at ABQ Seeb
Natalia Ambridge joined ABQ in 2019 having previously held the position of Principal at a British international school in Azerbaijan. Prior to that she was Head of School in the UK. She is a UK qualified teacher, PGCE QTS from the University of Surrey, with over eleven years of leadership experience. She has an MA in East European Studies from UCL SSEES and a joint honours, BA(Hons) in Philosophy and Theology from the University of London.
Natalia’s interest lies in teaching and learning, specifically curriculum development. She feels strongly that teachers play such a fundamental and formative role in a child’s life that it’s important that they are fully invested. One of the main aspects of her role is to enable and support teachers to do just that. To keep abreast of research in neuroplasticity and the science of learning in order to enhance the educational offering at school.
Before she embarked on a teaching career she was a journalist and magazine editor. During her spare time she enjoys art and literature.
Mentorship Program Director
Rayed Darwish – who is a life-long learner, hailing from Melbourne, Australia – has committed himself to ensuring education and learning inspire and empower students to become genuine learners. He has a BA in Australian and Comparative Studies from Griffith University and, after obtaining his CELTA (B Pass), Rayed began working as a Primary School EFL teacher in Doha, Qatar, in 2008. In 2010, Rayed developed
his primary school teaching skills at the Australian International School in Sharjah, UAE.
The following year, Rayed had the opportunity to teach EFL to adults — especially for the Ministry of Defence and the Oil and Gas industry — in Oman. Since 2011, he has taught English and delivered corporate training to various industries throughout the Sultanate. In 2014, Rayed obtained his Master of Education (TESOL) with Distinction from the University Of Wollongong and soon after became an ILM
Certified Train the Trainer.
Rayed joined ABQ Education Group in 2018 and has since worked with its three schools to introduce a unique personalized education platform (Discovering You) to equip today’s learners for tomorrow’s ever-changing educational and economic environments.