“Real learning for a real future”
Aquila is a new school for Dubai, due to open its doors in September 2018. The school is billing itself as a new ‘affordable’ school with a strong focus on inclusion. The school site is located in Dubailand, between the Al Ain road and the Centro/Villa communities.
The school is in experienced hands on two counts. One, it is owned and managed by the International Schools Partnership, an established education brand with 30 schools worldwide in 8 different countries, who are already responsible for educating over 3,000 children. Secondly, the Principal, Wayne Howsen, has been a Principal for nearly 20 years and has come from running an outstanding primary school in Abu Dhabi. He has spent the last 18 months working on launching Aquila, recruiting staff, designing the curriculum and taking to parents. The school will initially be taking children up to Year 6 and will extend organically to be all-through by 2025.
The ethos of the Aquila School is about being a community school centred on inclusion and offering maximum choice for all students. It will be pitched at an affordable fee point for parents. In light of the debate around school fees in Dubai at the moment and with the new Inclusion Framework, this is likely to be a popular USP with parents in the region.
It aims to achieve inclusion by offering a breadth of curriculum choice through a combination of the National Curriculum for England and the International Primary Curriculum. The curriculum will be take a project/enquiry based learning approach, shaped to allow for intellectual challenge and research-based learning that can be effectively differentiated for all types of need. There will be a big focus on learning by doing and empowering the children to make sensible choices about their learning.
The Principal’s view is that as long as the children are safe and well cared for they will learn. He is a fan of keeping things simple and real. A breath of fresh air in an ever more complicated education market place.
Even though we saw it as the building site stage, it was clear from the spaces that were ready that it has been carefully designed to create a calming and learning rich environment for students. There will be a good balance between indoor and outdoor space with a free flow between the two. Plus, the school has invested significantly in state-of-the-art technology and innovation across the site. There will be the usual complement of sporting facilities with 2 pools and 2 sports centres.
By focusing on breadth and balance, the academic curriculum has been developed to set children up to succeed in the future. The school aims to instill in children the skills needed to develop “future solutions for everyday challenges” and does so not only through the academics but also with a strong emphasis on technology and the arts. Children will be set problem solving challenges such as organizing the launch party for the school, working out who they want to invite, how to book caterers, what food should be served, how to budget for the event; all the while learning about maths, language skills, design and communication,.
When the school expands to GCSEs the school intends to offer a broad range, suitable for all types of learners. Plus, at sixth form alongside the IB Diploma the school aims to offer BTECs in travel and tourism, sports, performing arts and music, hospitality and creative media production. An excellent choice for a perhaps more vocationally focused child.
The school views CAS (Community, Action, Service) as an integral part of the school day and all children are expect to participate in the range of sporting, cultural and creative activities on offer. The proposed selection is incredibly diverse from Arabic Calligraphy to musical theatre to African drumming.
What makes the school special?
- Truly inclusive school with genuine care for each individual
- Unique cultural exchange with sister schools across the world
- Vibrant arts and music programmes with strong emphasis on CAS
- Excellent opportunities for vocational learning in the future
- A school that keeps things simple and real
KHDA approved fees range from 45,000 – 55,000 AED. Founder’s discounts are available at reduced rates of 38,250 – 46,750 AED.