The Team

Our team at River House Academy is made up of fully qualified teachers from Europe and India. We also have TEFL support teachers and a small team looking after our office and kitchen.

Our staff is committed to working within the ethos of River House Academy, to ensure that our children receive the best education possible within a holistic, nurturing environment.

Ellie Cottrell (Head Teacher)

Ellie Cottrell is the founder and Headteacher of River House Academy.

Ellie taught for 11 years in Norwich, England where she worked with students with a wide range of skills and abilities. She enjoyed finding innovative ways of engaging learners so that they reached their full potential: academically, creatively and socially.

Having two children of her own, Ellie is clear that a rounded education must offer a balance between academic achievement and creative expression.

This balance is the defining strength of River House Academy.

Divya Shetty (Primary Teacher and Teacher Support Co-ordinator)

Divya discovered her love for working with children when she volunteered at educational organisations like The Akanksha Foundation and Mumbai Mobile Creche in Mumbai during her weekends off from work. In 2015, she took the leap of faith and started working full time in the education sector. She completed her 2 year fellowship with Teach for India (a part of the Teach For All network) where she worked as a full-time teacher to children from a low-income community in Mumbai.

She believes in developing her classroom into a community where every student feels free and safe to express their ideas and opinions, which resonates with the ethos of River House of educating the whole child. She believes that River House provides a safe and nurturing environment to all children where they learn while developing a well rounded personality. She believes that working in River House with such a diverse community will make her a better teacher and a better global citizen.

Akhilesh Kumar (Secondary Science Teacher)

Akhilesh Kumar is a compassionate, student-minded secondary-school educator, with 3 years of experience in teaching mathematics and science to teenagers from Year 7 to Year 11 (Ages 12 to 18). He worked with Teach for India, a non-profit organization, to offer the less privileged a chance to educate themselves. He also brings six plus years of both social entrepreneurial and corporate management experience.

He believes in a multi-dimensional classroom setting where students can explore, experiment, discover, and learn in a variety of ways. His vision of the learning space is to offer a wide variety of academic inputs, which involve visual, auditory, and experiential methods. Acting as a facilitator rather than in the traditional sense as a knowledge provider, he allows students to discover their own voice, their own interests, and their own point of view so that they can take ownership of their lives with awareness and with confidence.

Ananda Mitra (Secondary English Language and English Literature Teacher)

Ananda (Andy) holds a Master’s degree in English, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Education and has been teaching English language and literature, both as first and second language, for over 12 years across various curriculums including IGCSE.  

Keeping in the spirit and motto of River House Academy, Ananda believes in imparting knowledge and instilling confidence in every child while making academics more interesting by incorporating games, performances, music, interactive storytelling and classroom discussions for a multi-sensory learning experience, thereby empowering students to develop effective communication, reasoning and leadership skills.
Being a student of arts himself in various disciplines through his life, he believes in honing the intrinsic creative fervor in students that help them expand their horizons of self-expression and aspirations.    

Louise Fernandes (Head of Art)

Lou has been working within the education sector for over 10 years, mainly in the UK as well as in India. She is a qualified teacher of Secondary art as well as having a Masters in Art Therapy. Lou has worked with a wide range of young people and adults, supporting them in their creativity in many different settings. She believes in the importance of creative self-expression within education for emotional health and well-being, allowing for a holistic approach to an individual’s learning experience.

Lou strives to create a warm, nurturing, creative classroom where each child can reach their potential, meeting the needs of her learners in an individualised way. She enjoys being part of a diverse yet unified community where the needs of the child are central.

Being a mum of a 3-year-old daughter, Lou is excited for her family’s future in Goa, and hopes to develop her work as a teacher and therapist further at River House Academy, as it continues to grow.

Resha Varik (Support Co-ordinator)

Resha is from a local family and has worked with our children for many years.

She is an integral part of the smooth running of the school, looking after our kitchen, administration of our day-to-day affairs as well as helping us to maintain strong relationships with the local community, neighbours and businesses.

Resha’s smile is available for rent 🙂

General Terms & Conditions


These terms & conditions form a legally binding agreement made between you and River House Academy

Admission fee
There is an admission fee of Rs.7500 charged as a one time non-refundable payment to reserve the place.  Until this has been paid the child’s place will not be confirmed.  

Administration Fee
There is an annual administration fee of Rs. 2500 per child made at the time of enrolment.

Before your child starts you will be required to fill out an enrolment form and sign our terms & conditions form. The link for the enrolment form will be sent to you a couple of weeks before they start.

Once you have submitted an admissions form you will receive an invoice which outlines exactly what needs to be paid throughout the year and when payments need to be made.

Late fees
Any late fees will be subject to late payment charges of Rs.100 per day.

Sibling discount
A discount of 10 % will be given for your 2nd child and 30% on the 3rd and any subsequent siblings.

Personal holidays and absence
There are no fee discounts available for holidays or absences (including illness) from the school. Where possible please try to avoid taking holidays during the school term. Before booking your trip, it is essential that you check with the school to avoid missing important dates.

Notice of leaving
When you enrol your child at the academy you are required to give your attendance dates. Should your departure date be brought forward, you will be expected to pay according to your original dates given at enrolment.

Do not bring your child into school if they are ill, or are showing signs of being ill. If your child becomes ill at school, a Parent/Guardian will be contacted and asked to collect your child. Please text, email or telephone in the morning to let the Headteacher know if your child will be absent from school due to illness and what the illness is if it could potentially affect others. All medication must be brought in by a Parent/Guardian with clear instructions as to how and when it should be administered. Please do not allow your child to come to school with medication in their bag. Please check your child regularly for head lice. If we discover your child has head lice, they will be sent home from school and not allowed to return until the head lice have been treated.

Valuable items (including all electronic devices)
Valuable items, including all electronic devices, are not allowed to be brought into school. Children in the Secondary class may bring in a mobile phone but it should be kept in their bag at all times. We do not accept any responsibility for any items that are brought in.

School opening times
School lessons start at 9am. Please ensure your children arrive at school between 8.45 am-8.55am so that lessons can start promptly. If you are going to be late, please let us know. There will be no adult supervision before 8.45am. Please be aware that staff are busy at this time preparing for the day. Should you wish to speak to a member of staff please do so at 3pm or by prior appointment.

Collection from school
Children need to be collected from the school building at 3pm. Please let us know If someone else will be collecting your child from school.

Unexpected school closure 
Occasionally the school may be forced to close due to unforeseen circumstances in the interest of health and safety. In such cases, you will be informed by Whatsapp as early as possible.

Contacting the school
Should you need to contact somebody at school please message the school phone only, during office hours. Please do not contact staff on their personal numbers.

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