Victory Heights Primary School
Victory Heights Primary School
Victory Heights Primary School

Leadership Team

Meet the schools senior leadership team:


Sasha Crabb - Principal

Sasha has been a literacy advisor in Wales, a Deputy Head Teacher in London and a Head Teacher in Cairo, Egypt. For the past 20 years she has enjoyed working with a diverse mix of educators who are passionate about teaching and learning. Sasha graduated from Chester with a BEd Honours degree and she gained her NPQH status in 2006. She continues to think outside the box with school initiatives and her autobiography will be called Method to the Madness. She is passionate about ‘CPD’ for teachers and enjoys bringing out the best in all children in a school. She was awarded Principal of the Year by Educational Journal Magazine in 2017. Sasha is currently undertaking a MSC in Human Resource Management. She is committed to reducing teacher workload and that purposeful projects give children a depth of learning . Sasha is enjoying lecturing at University of Birmingham with undergraduate students and currently working on expanding opportunities for children with determination in Sports City and beyond.

Laura Dowlman - Headteacher

Laura holds a Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Primary, with English and Drama as her main subjects, from Liverpool University . She is currently completing her NPQH (National Professional Qualification of Headship). She has over 20 years experience in teaching and management, both internationally and in the UK. She has worked in the Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur and at MES in Cairo. Prior to her time in Dubai she was an Assistant Head in a large primary school in Bristol, UK. Laura is passionate about developing high quality ‘talk’ in the classroom and improving speaking opportunities within school. She is currently championing a whole-school project to improve Oracy from FS1 to Y6, enabling our students to become confident, articulate problem solvers. 

Matt Hawley - Deputy Headteacher

Matt holds a Master's degree in Education Management from King’s College, London, alongside both his PGCE qualification and a BA in English. Before joining the team at VHPS in 2016, Matt functioned as both an Assistant Headteacher and a Head of English in schools across London. He has been fortunate enough to teach in a wide variety of contexts, and is committed to ensuring that children from all backgrounds are given the best possible opportunities to succeed. He is particularly passionate about encouraging children to become enthusiastic readers and writers, and enjoys applying 'Visible Learning' approaches to help children become reflective learners. At VHPS, Matt is one of the strategic leaders for teaching and learning, assessment, data and CPD, in addition to functioning as the curriculum leader for maths. Outside of school, Matt is a keen sportsman, who particularly enjoys football and swimming. He also loves spending time with his young family.

Ben Rothwell - Head of Technology and Innovation

Ben Rothwell graduated Canterbury Christ Church University with a BSc in Business Information Management, and then undertook a GTP leading to QTS status. He is passionate about the integration of technology throughout schools and how it can lead to transformational learning experiences. Before moving to Dubai, Ben worked at Kent College, Canterbury, a leading private school, as Head of ICT & Computing. Ben's professional experience also includes working in an all-boys grammar school and a large secondary modern. Ben is currently studying for his National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).

Magda Abdulraheem - Head of Arabic & Islamic Studies

Magda graduated from Cairo University and has an Educational Diploma in Arabic. She has also undergone a proficiency test in Arabic in Al Ain university in 2011. Magda is a qualified Arabic teacher. She has 26 years of experience as an AA and AB teacher. Having worked in the region for 12 years, Magda has managed to earn the "Good" rating for her department by the KHDA multiple times, which she is extremely proud of. Magda spent 8 years working in Taaleem schools. She aspires to improve the level of Arabic in Victory Heights amongst both native speakers and non native speakers through innovative methods in teaching. In her spare time, Magda enjoys filming authentic recipes and spending time with her 3 children.

Hannah Hepworth - Foundation Stage Coordinator

Hannah HepworthHannah Hepworth graduated from De Montfort University with a B.Ed. in Primary Education. She taught in two schools in the UK for 9 years in which most of her experiences were based in the Early Years. She then moved to Abu Dhabi to work at Brighton College where she become head of year for FS2. Last year, Hannah decided to make a move to Victory Heights to become the Early Years Coordinator for both the school and nursery. Hannah has a passion self-initiated learning through play but also ensuring all children individual needs are met, ‘no lids on learning’.

Hayley Martin - Head of Year 1 / KS1 Coach

Hayley Martin graduated from Oxford University with a BEd in Education. She is passionate about the ‘creative classroom’ and incorporating the arts into all areas of the curriculum. Before moving to Dubai, Hayley taught in several schools in Oxfordshire. She then moved abroad, where she taught for seven years in Cairo at the Modern English School, leading the FS2 team. Outside of school, Hayley is a voracious reader and is currently teaching herself to sew.

Paul Dowlman - Head of Year 2 / KS2 Coach

Paul Dowlman Paul Dowlman graduated from the University of Plymouth with a BEd in History. During his 23 years in Primary Education, he has been fortunate enough to work in a variety of UK and international contexts. He has been responsible for coordinating Physical Education and PSHE in an inner-city London school, coordinated Science in Cairo and held the position of Year Leader for years 2 – 6. Paul is passionate about how children and adults learn.  As a learning coach, Paul devotes part of his time at VHPS facilitating the growth of teachers and enabling them to share good practice. Paul set up the ‘Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI)’ here at Victory Heights and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Education. He is currently Head of Year 2.

Michelle Choytooa - SEN Coordinator

Michelle graduated from the University of Lancaster wit a BSc(Honors) in Occupational Therapy. Michelle has worked as an Occupational Therapist for 10 years in the National Health Service and in a Private clinic in Dubai, specialising in children with a variety of developmental and educational needs. During her time as an Occupational Therapist she has advocated and advised schools on how to best facilitate learning and development for children.Michelle is currently working on embedding personalised learning and effective curriculum modification throughout the school, with an emphasis for children who are involved with the inclusion team. She has a commitment to help drive and advocate for the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework and ensure that all children succeed with their physical, social , emotional, cognitive and academic skills.