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Shayeeka Ruknaddin

Lead Montessori Directress

My name is Shayeeka Ruknaddin and I am the Lead Montessori Teacher in Bluebells class. I have worked at Little Land Nursery for almost 8 years so it feels like home for me. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and a Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy from The London Montessori Centre. I chose to pursue a career in education as I love working with children and I’m passionate about creating an environment that supports and encourages a love for learning from a young age.

Children are very inspiring and I love watching how their minds work. I enjoy seeing them excel in the Montessori environment by gaining independence and confidence.

I grew up in Dubai and live here with my husband and three children. Having been in Dubai for more than three decades I am fortunate to have met people of different cultures and nationalities and learn from them. Little land Nursery has further enhanced my experience by providing close-knit community relationships and friendships. Prior to working at Little Land, I worked as an FS2 Lead Teacher in a school and as an Early Years Educator in an EYFS nursery.

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Roberta Sona

Teaching Assistant

My name is Roberta Sona and I am a new Teaching Assistant at Little Land. It is a privilege working with wonderful children in Bluebells; they are a pleasure to be with every day. Their engagement, curiosity and love of learning is without a doubt my motivating factor! I love the smiles on their little faces when they come to class and even more when they learn something new.

I am originally from Italy. I have a degree in English and French. I lived in London for more than a decade before moving to Dubai in 2011 with my husband and young daughter. It is thanks to my daughter that I started working with children in her then primary school, Horizon British School, initially in the capacity of KS2 Teaching Assistant and after as Early Years Librarian. When my daughter progressed to secondary school, I then moved to Dubai Heights Academy as a Year 2 Teaching Assistant to continue my journey as an educator. It is in the library environment that I discovered my passion for the being with the young children in the Early Years, when trying to make the popular stories come alive.


In my free time I enjoy exercising, reading, and spending time with my family and our two dogs, Bianca and Mimi.

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Gemma Buckley

Teaching Assistant

Hello my name is Gemma Buckley and I am a Teaching Assistant in Bluebells 1 where I work alongside Shayeeka and Roberta. I come from Ireland and have been living in Dubai since August 2021. This is my first year at Little Land and I am so proud to be part of the family.

I started my career as a hairdresser which I qualified and completed my colour Masters degree for about 5 years ago. I have always longed to work with children so when the opportunity arose to continue my studies, I took it. I have worked with all age groups in various settings. I love to support children and watch them learn and grow to become independent learners, I find it truly inspiring.


I am also a qualified Special Educational Needs and Disabilities assistant which is what I worked as in Ireland. In my spare time, I really enjoy cooking and playing and watching sports, especially basketball. I have been playing since the age of 10, and have been lucky enough to travel around the world with my team!

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Sumrah Rizvi

Lead Montessori Directress

My name is Sumrah Rizvi and I am the Lead Montessori Teacher in Bluebells 2. I love to teach and am a strong believer that learning should never stop. I completed my Bachelors in Business Administration and then decided to follow in the footsteps of my mother to become a teacher. I successfully acquired a Bachelors in Education degree with specialisation in Child Psychology. To further improve my teaching skills, I completed the KHDA approved International Preschool Curriculum Level 3, after which I focused more on the Montessori philosophy and became a certified Montessori Directress. Finally, I completed my Masters in Education with the specialisation in Curriculum Development and Leadership Management. This combination has given me an opportunity to contribute not only towards teaching but also play a vital role in managerial roles.


Teaching is my passion, as I feel it is the best way to give something back to the community. I have almost 10 years of teaching experience. I feel that the Early Years teacher has a very significant role in shaping our future generation. As a teacher, my aim is not just to help students with the traditional learning but most importantly teach them to become better and responsible citizens. I believe that all children are different and each of them requires specific attention and time. I work hard to achieve results as I care about the progress of all my students. In addition to this, I love traveling, blogging and like to explore the different places around the globe. I am proud member of Little Land family and look forward to meeting you soon.

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Mara Albuquerque

Teacher & Staff Induction Coordinator

Hello.  I’m Mara Albuquerque and I’m a Teacher in Bluebells 2. I’m from Brazil and have been living in Dubai since 2008 with my husband and two children, who are adults now! I finished my formal teacher training in 1989 and graduated with a degree in psychology in 1994. I specialise in Clinical Psychology and currently (Dec. 2021) I’m completing my Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services.
For the past 32 years, I’ve been working with children in an educational environment, giving my best to help them achieve their full potential. I joined Little Land in 2010 and couldn’t wish for a better place to be!

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Misbah Mehta

Montessori Directress

Hi, I am Misbah Mehta, Montessori Directress in Bluebells. I hold an International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy / Early Childhood course, along with my Master’s degree in Public Administration. I decided on a career in “Montessori education” because I love working with children and am passionate about creating an environment for children that supports and encourages a love for learning from a young age. As a Montessori teacher I truly enjoy and appreciate each unique personality that I meet in our little community at Little Land. It is a privilege to have this opportunity to support each child during a time of incredible growth. What I most enjoy about working with young children is observing how they think about and process the world around them. 

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Majida Ahmed

Teaching Assistant

Hello my name is Majida Ahmed and I am a Teaching Assistant in Bluebells 2. I am married with two beautiful children and I have been in Dubai for over 30 years! I completed my undergraduate degree in finance in 2008. When my children were born, I realised that a life full of numbers was quickly trumped by a life full of curious, bright minds and the pitter patter of tiny feet. I followed my passion for working with children and completed a Cache Level 2 in 2019 and I will complete a Cache Level 3 in Early Years Education this year. I am delighted to be a part of the inspiring team at Little Land Montessori and I am grateful to be given a chance to play a small part in your child’s learning and development. It is my passion to ensure that every child embraces their individuality and celebrates their achievements every day. Through our days of exploration, discovery and adventure, I endeavour to ignite a lifelong love for learning in our children.

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