Staff Profile: Jacquie Atkinson

This year, we will continue to share staff profiles to get to know members of our school family a little better. Each week we will feature a member of staff across all areas of the school including teachers, admin staff, support staff and more.

Our profile this week is Jacquie, our Deputy Lead Teaching Assistant. Below Jacquie gives us a snapshot into her background and how she came to work at BIS:

When I moved to Abu Dhabi six and a half years ago, I never would have imagined how much the world around me could open up.

Back in East Anglia, UK, where I grew up and lived in the heart of the lush green countryside, I loved nothing more than taking long walks with the family and our pet Labrador (the best times were in the crisp white snow). To be surrounded by nature is where I am in my element and would always try to expand my knowledge on the flora & fauna around me. Some of my free time was spent as an adult volunteer with the local Scout Group on Family Camps and as the group Treasurer. I was also an Army Cadet Assistant, aiding the Cadets and Instructors where required.

My career for many years was as a Quality Inspector/Administrative Assistant for a manufacturing company, until redundancy led both mine & my husband’s occupations down a different path, ultimately ending in Abu Dhabi. In the spring of 2012, I left my last position of Laboratory Assistant in a Weather Monitoring company to join my husband in the UAE along with our (then 11 year old) son and beloved dog.

I joined BIS Abu Dhabi in 2013 as a Student Support Assistant to two students; one in FS2 and one in Year 6. This first year was invaluable to me in helping me understand how the school worked and some of the needs of the pupils within. After that, I became a Teaching Assistant in Year 2, where in 2016 my attributes were recognised when I was promoted to Deputy Lead Teaching Assistant for Year 2. I also have a secret skill that often gets utilised within the Primary School; I am quite arty and am frequently commissioned by a few teachers to assist in painting their window displays.

Outside of school, I have still been very involved with animals in Abu Dhabi: pet-sitting, fostering, arranging TNR for street cats, rescuing and even adopting (I now have extra family members in the shape of a Saluki cross and two Arabian Mau’s!). Most of my weekends (when the weather is cooler) are spent camping with family & friends in the amazing landscape of this beautiful country.

Jacquie, Year 2 Deputy Lead Teaching Assistant