Meet our Head of Primary School – Emmanuel Gauthier


Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai recognises that experienced and qualified teachers add value by bringing their own unique perspectives on teaching and learning. Every teacher and member of the school’s leadership is fully qualified, certified and subject to thorough pre-hire background screening. SISD’s faculty and staff are comprised of 250 experienced members of staff who strive to provide an inspiring, inclusive and challenging learning environment for our students. We encourage and support all our students to become successful, global minded, enthusiastic lifelong learners who will confidently take advantage of future opportunities and help make a difference.

There is therefore no better choice to lead our Primary School than someone who’s been all over the world. Meet Mr. Emmanuel Gauthier, our Head of Primary, who has spent most of his life in transit. Mr. Gauthier brings almost two decades of experience teaching Modern Foreign Languages, as well as an eclectic and diverse set of experiences in traveling, moving from Africa to Europe, to America and Abu Dhabi.

Born near Paris, I have been an expatriate for most of my life. Having developed a taste for internationalism by living in many diverse settings in the West Indies, Africa, the Americas and Europe, working in the UAE, Abu Dhabi at first and now in Dubai, such a global-minded city, seems more than appropriate. My wife Naïma is the Academic Counselor at SISD and our two daughters Lilia and Sarah are joining the Secondary School this year, respectively in Grades 8 and 9.” – Emmanuel Gauthier Head of Primary School


What is your philosophy in terms of education?
To quote the educationalist, inspirational speaker and author Sir John Jones, “Excellence is the norm”. I fully adhere to SISD’s central mission of inspiring excellence. It is important to keep the children at the heart of what we do in order help them fulfill their potential. In our ever-changing dynamic world, we have to teach the children under our care to be adaptable and lifelong learners. These days, and even more in the future, the ability to be flexible and learn new skills quickly is crucial. 

What do you enjoy most about working in a school?
Without a doubt, working with young people! We are truly a community of lifelong learners. There is not a single day when I do not learn something new from our students or my fellow colleagues. If we are to instigate this love of lifelong learning in our students, we must lead by example and be open to new ideas and change.

What is your first impression of SISD?
The school’s exceptional facilities was the first thing that caught my eye. The resources and equipment we have at our disposal are world-class. I must also add that the dedication, enthusiasm and high level of professionalism displayed by the staff is exceptional. Our teachers have made a strong impression on me. The competence and knowledge displayed here are inspiring… and so is the number of languages spoken collectively!


What goals and expectations do you have for your teachers?
Research demonstrates that the relationship between the teacher and the student has a powerful academic impact on the student’s attainment. Our teachers must ensure that their lessons are engaging and structured to personalise and inspire learning. Making learning fun, whilst not forgetting to be rigorous, is therefore a key expectation.


What expectations do you have for your students?
Be curious, ask questions, try new things. The attitude to learning is as important as demonstrating a positive and curious mindset. The simple act of being kind, for example, is an evident expectation. 


Our Primary School

SISD’s Primary School encompasses Grades 1-5, ages 6–10, and follows the IB Primary Years Programme. Even at this early stage, we already create student-centered learning environments to engage our children and promote critical thinking. We also offer bilingual education right from the very beginning to confer the benefits of multilingualism to our students.

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