Menu

Our People

Fiona Walker
Fiona Walker
Group Managing Director, Julia Gabriel Education
Qualifications:

  • Master of Education and Bachelor of Education (Honours) degrees in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Australia.
  • Diploma in Montessori Teaching from the Maria Montessori Training Organisation.

Background Information:
Read More

My family comes from Scotland, however I was born in Singapore and spent my childhood living in the United States, Canada and South Africa before my family returned to Singapore, allowing me to finish high school here. After completing a Montessori teaching diploma in London, I came back Singapore and joined Julia Gabriel Centre as a teacher of the PlayClub and Written Language Arts programmes in 1991.

I quickly found that the philosophy which underlies all of Julia Gabriel Education’s programmes strongly mirrors my own belief in the importance of respecting and nurturing each individual through positive interactions and collaborative experiences.I left Singapore in 1994 to help establish a nursery school in Scotland. I enjoyed this experience, but I missed the warmth and passion which was integral to the environment at Julia Gabriel Centre. So I came back to Singapore two years later and re-joined the centre. I then moved to Chiltern House and became the Head of Centre at Chiltern House Forum. I’m now the Principal of both Julia Gabriel Centre and Chiltern House in Singapore. I also work closely with other professionals to help establish best practices in childcare in our community in Singapore. I thoroughly enjoy working with all our staff to ensure we provide the best possible education for our children and their families, and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful children, parents, teachers and support staff.

Personal Interests:

I have two children and my favourite thing to do is spend time with my family and friends. Whether I’m walking my dogs, preparing meals, travelling, doing yoga, watching movies or just chatting and catching up, I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by those who are dear to me. I also love reading and my Kindle is usually within an arm’s reach. I believe we never stop developing and learning, and that we should constantly try new things, eat new food and visit new places. That must be why I love planning meals and holidays when I’m not at work!

Iris Lim
Iris Lim
Principal
Qualifications:

  • Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Studies from Roehampton University.
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from Massey University.
  •  Diploma in Education from the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University.

Background Information:
Read More

Working with children has always been a passion for me. I began my career as a primary school teacher at CHIJ Bukit Timah, where I taught for four years. I then decided to move into early childhood education and I joined Chiltern House as a Kindergarten 2 teacher from 2001-02. After my first stint at Chiltern House, I went on to work for other early childhood organisations, teaching for a further three years before moving into management roles.

I also wrote a preschool English Language curriculum and two series of assessment books on mental mathematics and English grammar, as well as lecturing part-time in Communication Skills and English Language at Nanyang Polytechnic. I returned to Chiltern House as a Senior Teacher in 2007, and I was the Head of Centre at Chiltern House Forum from 2008-10. I’m now the Principal of Chiltern House and I oversee the running of all our centres in Singapore.

Personal Interests:

I love listening to music, particularly jazz music, musicals and original soundtracks. I also really enjoy attending concerts, plays and musicals. I love making embroidery beading accessories like earrings, bangles, broaches and necklaces, as well as adding “bling” embellishments to bags, shoes or anything else within my reach using Swarovski crystals, lace, ribbons, etc, to make my things unique and one-of-a-kind!I’m a travel bug and I make sure that I travel to at least one country every year. I love the unexpected and therefore enjoy adventures of any kind during my trips abroad.

Charmaine klyneCharmaine Klyne
Head of Centre,
Chiltern House Thomson
Qualifications:

  • Diploma in Preschool Education from Advent Links-SAUC.
  • Certificate in Preschool Teaching from the Julia Gabriel School of Education.

Background Information:
Read More

I was born in an era of big families. There were always get-togethers and parties throughout the year, and it was the norm for the older children to care for the younger ones. My experiences growing up have left me with a love of spending time with young children.I worked in banking for 26 years before opting for early retirement. I soon became bored, and I jumped at the opportunity to work at Chiltern House in 2002. Since then, I have never looked back.

After starting out as an assistant teacher, I then became a class teacher before becoming the Head of Centre at Chiltern House Halifax Road in 2013.What attracted me to Chiltern House? Firstly, I would have to say that is the warmth that exists between the staff, the children and the parents. We are like one big family, taking every challenge as a gift and an opportunity to learn. And secondly, it’s the programme which gives each and every child respect, support and the opportunity to shine with confidence. Chiltern House has taught me that learning is a lifelong process. I continue to learn every day, not only from my colleagues, but also from the children. They constantly remind me what life should be all about.

Personal Interests:

I have six grown-up children and am now a grandmother, and I loving spending time with my family. I also love entertaining guests at home, and when I do, everything must be perfect. My mother always told me that if you want to do something, you must do it right and give it your best. This is evident when I entertain as I go all out to give everyone the best experience possible.Music helps me relax and unwind after a long day. I love sentimental tunes and songs with deep meanings in the lyrics. One of the songs which often runs through my mind, especially when I’m surrounded by young children, is ‘The Greatest Love’ by George Benson. Listen to it some time – it’s a reflection of my thoughts.


Masita Abdul Rahim
Head of Centre,
Chiltern House Mountbatten
Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies degree from Monash University.
  • Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Care & Education from Advent Links-SAUC.
  • Diploma in Montessori Education from Modern Montessori International.

Background Information:
Read More

I started my teaching career in 1987. After working at a couple of different preschools, I joined Chiltern House in 2002. I have taught nursery and kindergarten classes, served as the Curriculum Co-ordinator for Nursery 2, and was the Deputy Head of Centre at both Chiltern House Halifax Road and Chiltern House East Coast before I became the Head of Centre at Chiltern House Mountbatten in 2013.I think that teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs that anyone can have. I am a firm believer that a safe, warm, secure and nurturing environment can make a big difference in children’s lives, helping to bring the best out of every child and allowing them to achieve their potential.

Personal Interests:

I have two children and I am happiest when my family are busy cooking or spending time reading together. I am blessed that my interests are very similar those of my children and my husband so we can enjoy them together as a family.We’re a family of travel-bugs, and we have enjoyed many interesting and adventurous trips around Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and Australia. There are many more places that I hope we will be able to discover.I also love listening to music and enjoy watching plays and musicals.

elena Jayaratna
Selena Jayaratna
Head of Centre,
Chiltern House Turf Club Road
Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies degree from Monash University.
  • Diploma in Early Childhood Studies from the Singapore Institute of Management.
  • Certificate in Preschool Teaching from the National Institute of Education, Nanyang
    Technological University.
  • Certificate in Speech and Educational Drama from Kinderland Learning Centre.

Background Information:
Read More

I joined Chiltern House as a teacher in 1999, having spent the previous seven years working at a various different preschools, international schools and children’s centres in Singapore. During my first few years at Chiltern House, I was also a part-time teacher of the Written Language Arts programme at Julia Gabriel Centre. I’ve taught classes of all four of the year-groups at Chiltern House, and have served periods as the Curriculum Co-ordinator for the Nursery 1, Nursery 2 and Kindergarten 2 year-groups, helping to develop the curriculum for our centres in Singapore and overseas.

After eight years at Chiltern House Forum, I moved to Chiltern House Turf Club Road in 2007, and was the Deputy Head of Centre before becoming the Head of Centre in 2012.I thoroughly enjoy working with the preschoolers at Chiltern House. It is my firm belief that only through a warm, supportive environment can our teachers bring out the very best in every child.

Personal Interests:

I love exercising as it’s my way of keeping myself physically and mentally balanced and relaxed. I have a strong interest in fashion and try to always keep myself up-to-date with the latest trends. I also enjoy cooking, especially experimenting with exotic recipes from the countries I visit.

elena Jayaratna
Noa Joy D. Sunga
Head of Centre,
Chiltern House East Coast
Qualifications:

  • Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (Teaching and Leadership) from Advent Links-SAUC, Singapore.
  • Master of Arts in Basic Education Training from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.
  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from University of Santo Tomas, Philippines.

Background Information:
Read More

When I was young, I was very sure that I was going to be a pediatrician because, cliche as this may sound, I wanted to be instrumental in making children grow up healthy. However, after finishing my pre-medical course, I decided that I wanted to effect change in children on a more personal level – mould their minds and hearts to grow up into caring, smart and strong individuals. So I became a teacher.

I have been in this profession since 1996. I started teaching computer skills to the nursery and kindergarten levels back when computers were not a household necessity yet and everyone was scared of how everything would reset back to zero once the year 2000 stepped in. I developed a curriculum for the toddlers age so that the skills could be passed on to even the youngest in the society. Eventually, I started to teach in a preschool in the Philippines and later on became the Head Teacher in one of the English-Chinese preschools there.

I came to Singapore one time and got enchanted with the happy laughter and music coming from one of the centres in a shopping mall while I was out shopping with my sisters. I found out that it was a centre named Julia Gabriel and I knew I wanted to be a part of them; I wanted to be the type of teacher who gave that kind of warm, fuzzy feeling to children at the end of the day. Fortunately, I became a teacher at its preschool counterpart at Chiltern House Halifax in 2005. I remembered one child telling me how much fun he had as he was going home and I promised myself I would always bring that joy to everyone I taught. Two years later, I became a Senior Teacher and I helped to develop the Nursery One curriculum. In 2013, I moved to Chiltern House Mountbatten to teach in the morning and to help the Head of Centre with the operations in the afternoon before taking on my post as the Head of Centre of Children House East Coast @ Mountbatten in 2019.

It has been a wonderful blessing to be in this field. I get to work with beautiful and passionate people every day – no matter what the age – and there are still so many more things to learn. I am excited about what tomorrow brings.

Personal Interests:

I love books and I like writing stories. I have children’s stories that I have not published and I have a novel that I have e-published. Stories and characters come alive when I read and it is always interesting as the plot unfolds when I read. If a zombie apocalypse happens, I wish to be trapped in a library or a bookstore with my family (preferrably with a cafe inside) and I’ll be happy to wait out the days until a miracle serum is discovered!

ford
Ford Lim
Head of Centre,
Chiltern House Forum
Qualifications:

  • Diploma in Early Childhood Education & Leadership

Background Information:
Read More

Working with children has been a life-long passion that I have honed all my life. Due to the lack of male figure influence in my growing up years, it has always been my strong belief to ensure that children were not deprived of a male-figure in their lives – especially during their early years.

When it was time to choose a programme to specialise in, I chose to take up the Diploma in Early Childhood & Leadership (Ngee Ann Polytechnic) without any hesitation. After I began my career in Early Childhood 15 years ago as an Assistant Teacher, I have since taken up roles as a Form Teacher, Senior Teacher before promoted to a Principal about 5 years ago.

Through the many years of Early Childhood experience, I have been exposed to a few different school settings, philosophies, cultures and programmes. I was also given opportunities to be a Cross country Coach and to specialise in Pastoral Care and Physical Education for young children. I have also imparted my knowledge to young adults when I took up part-time lecturing at Nanyang Polytechnic for an Interdisciplinary Module.

I continue to feed off positive vibes from a vibrant community of educators & children alike as there is nothing else more fulfilling than moulding the future of our generation and the Educators who are part of the process. I am confident that I will be able to bring all my experiences I have developed over the years into my leadership journey at Chiltern House.

Personal Interests:

I love to bake; especially filo pastries and Peranakan treats, attend theatre plays, exploring countries and living their cultures; but more importantly – I love finding out the physical and psychological limitations of my body through extreme fitness pursuits. I used to race in Ultramarathons; and represented the country – and inaugurated the nation’s pioneer Ultrarunning community: Ultra-Running Singapore.

Being uncomfortable is a crucible I truly reap happiness from.

When I have the time, I also love dismantling items and rebuilding them back to it’s original form.

iona McDonald
Fiona McDonald
Head of Learning Support
Qualifications:

  • Master of Education, Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies and Bachelor of
    Education from the University of Tasmania.
  • Certificate in Special Educational Needs from the London Montessori Centre Teacher Training College.

Background Information:
Read More

After graduating from the University of Tasmania in Australia, I spent three years working in Tasmanian primary schools. I then moved to the UK and spent two years working there, during which time I completed a Certificate in Special Educational Needs at the London Montessori Centre Teacher Training College. Keen to experience somewhere new, I moved to Singapore in 1995 and was involved in setting up a new preschool where I worked for three years.

I then returned to Tasmania to complete a Master’s degree programme (with a focus on special needs education). I came back to Singapore in 1999 to work as an Assistant Principal at a centre where I established a class for children with additional needs. I then joined Chiltern House in 2000 to help establish the first Green Room at Turf Club Road.I became Chiltern House’s Head of Learning Support in 2004. I thoroughly enjoy this role as it allows me to focus on my two great interests – working with children with additional needs while simultaneously supporting our teaching team through training and curriculum development.

Personal Interests:

In my spare time, I enjoy reading and travelling. I also like eating out (although I’m still trying to learn to enjoy spicy food!). I value the time I am able to spend time with my friends here in Singapore and, when I get the chance, with my family who are overseas.

uang Ying
Huang Ying
Head of Mandarin
Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese Language & Culture from Beijing Language &
    Culture University.
  • Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Beijing Preschool Teacher Training
    Academy.
  • Julia Gabriel Foundation Teaching Certificate (Speech & Drama).

Background Information:
Read More

I was born and raised in Beijing and spent the first ten years of my career there, working as a kindergarten teacher before becoming a preschool principal. I then moved to Singapore in 1997, where I worked initially at Julia Gabriel Centre, and then moved to Chiltern House. Since then, I’ve held a variety of roles within the Julia Gabriel Education organisation. I’m currently the Head of Mandarin at both Chiltern House and Julia Gabriel Centre, and the Head of Chengzhu Mandarin Centre.During my career, I’ve developed a teaching philosophy which is both outward looking and culturally responsive. Recognising the diverse and individual needs of students from different cultural backgrounds, I employ ideas and methods gathered from a wide range of progressive Western and Chinese pedagogical systems.

My time in Singapore has brought me into contact with many gifted teachers from different countries and cultures, each of whom have brought with them a rich diversity of competencies. These influences have helped to broaden my outlook and strengthened my ability to work within a modern and progressive team. I’m dedicated to learning and always willing to embrace new challenges. I’m fortunate to work with a wonderfully creative team who have established a special and unique learning environment and who treasure the sense of family which is at the heart of Julia Gabriel Education’s philosophy.

Personal Interests:

My family is very important to me, and I love spending time with them. I met my British husband, Matt, in Singapore, and we have a son, Jim (who is fluent in both English and Mandarin).In my spare time, I also enjoy visiting the theatre, reading good novels,cooking for the family, walking my dog and cuddling my cat!

Genevieve Pereira
Senior Curriculum Specialist

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies degree from the University of Melbourne.
  • Diploma in Early Childhood Studies from the Singapore Institute of Management.
  • Certificate in Preschool Teaching and Certificate in Preschool Management &
    Administration from the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological
    University.

Background Information:
Read More

My initial entry into the field of early childhood education was accidental. Back in 1992, I substituted for a friend who was working in a kindergarten and found that each day was a joy and that I loved working with children and developing young minds. So I decided to make this my career. After working at two other preschools, I joined Chiltern House in 1995. Over the next 12 years, I taught both Nursery and Kindergarten classes and became the Curriculum Co-ordinator for Kindergarten 1, and later overseeing the development of the curriculum for Chiltern House in Singapore and for our overseas centres. I left Chiltern House in 2007 to explore a new teaching opportunity with another organisation where I worked with children up to the age of eight.

In that role, I continued to be involved in curriculum development while also in mentoring and training teachers, setting up new centres and establishing quality control procedures. I then returned to Chiltern House in 2010 to take on the challenge of becoming the Senior Curriculum Specialist. I really enjoy this role, which allows me to develop my interest in curriculum development and staff training.

Personal Interests:

I enjoy reading, baking, dancing, watching movies and working on creative art projects like making candles and flowers. I love spending time with my friends and family and, when the opportunity and time permits, I really enjoy travelling, sightseeing and exploring historical sights.

x

Ask an expert

The preschool years mark many significant milestones, for the children as well as the parents. We have a large number of educational specialists who are happy to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have.

Name:

Email:

Contact:

Your Question:

I hereby consent to receiving updates, promotional and marketing information from Julia Gabriel Education through my email account, telephone and/or SMS at the details provided in this form. For the purpose of this consent to Julia Gabriel Education shall refer to Julia Gabriel Centre Pte Ltd, Chiltern House Pte Ltd, Chengzhu Mandarin Education Centre and Chengzhu Mandarin Kindergarten.