Katie Smithers is the Primary Computing Curriculum and Innovation Leader at GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai.
While born and educated in Wales, Katie earned a BA (HONS) in Primary Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Studying here, Katie realised her passion for the evolution of education and opted to take a specialist module in 21st century languages and literacies. In 2011, she moved to Dubai to take on the role of Assistant Head of Primary Mathematics at Emirates International School in the Meadows, gaining great experience in the PYP and inquiry learning. Shortly after, she became Head of Primary Mathematics and tasked with developing assessment policies, aligning standards from across a range of international curricula leading to a bespoke tracking system for the school. Then in 2014, GEMS Wellington International School offered Katie the position of Primary Computing Leader/year 5 class teacher where she integrated the New UK Curriculum expectations in Computing. Her successful approach to learning through technology led Katie into the role she is in now as she heads the school on many professional development focuses linked to innovation and digital learning across all subjects.
At present, Katie is leading numerous innovation projects at her school, more notably, The Tech Gurus. Playing a huge role in the digital development of the school, The Tech Gurus also regularly feature at educational conferences and events including the KHDA What Works series, GEMS Maker Day and GESS 2017. This group of students are having an infectious rippling effect as they meet with other schools in Dubai to share their practice.
A passionate educator, natural innovator and developing maker, Katie hopes to encourage others to refocus their perspective on the heart of education.