“Hartland is a unique and vibrant place filled with the energy of inquisitive minds and the dynamics of individual characters”
Hartland International School first opened its doors in 2015, with the aim of creating a quality British international school through a blend of traditional values and innovation. After a couple of changes of Heads in its first two years, it now seems to have really hit its stride under the experienced hands of Fiona Cotham (formerly at GEMS) and Yasmine Danawy also a familiar presence on the UAE education scene. With 50% of their teachers recruited from within Dubai it feels more bedded down now than many other new schools. The investors, the Sobha Group, are in education for the long term (they have recently built North London Collegiate in the same area) and are backing the Head to the hilt with her ideas to develop the facilities and resources for the Hartland children
Hartland is one of those schools which is easy to see but hard to find! Located close to the Al Khail and Al Ain roads, it is accessible for many families living or working in the downtown area. Although a challenge to find parents report that traffic flow is far easier compared to other schools and new access roads are promised as soon as the Villas and facilities nearby come on stream.
The school is currently open from FS1 through to Year 9 and plans to expand organically up until Year 13. Offering the UK curriculum with IGCSE’s in Year 11, the plan is to offer IB at Sixth Form but this had yet to be confirmed.
Hartland’s aim is to unlock potential, nurture talent and help children realise their dreams and aspirations. There is a significant focus on the enrichment programme with an hour allocated on most days to the 70 different activities on offer. There is a compulsory ‘Kindness Club” once a week and the sharing of values is very important to the school community. “The Hartland Way” includes the individual passports each child has which helps them to acquire and log their academic, creative and life skills.
The school is rigorously focused on meeting the needs of all learners, whether that is through their excellent SEN and Gifted & Talented programmes or through their robust pastoral care. Headteacher, Mrs Fiona Cottam, sums this up nicely:
“We care passionately – about excellent learning and teaching, about learning for life, about education – but most of all we care passionately about the children in our care” and as a school inspector said “Hartland is a great place to be a kid”
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As a huge site, there really was no expense spared when it came to the school’s facilities and resources. The classes are bright and equipped with the latest technology, world-class science labs and robotics and computer facilities and two extensive libraries.
For the creative and artistic child, the school has a beautiful auditorium, a sprung-floor dance studio, black box studio, recording studio, recital rooms and many practice rooms and they work closely with the Sylvia Young Theatre school, famous for growing UK talent such as Keeley Hawes, Emma Bunton and Rita Ora.
For the sporty, there is an eight lane swimming pool, indoor sports centre, football field, rooftop multi-purpose courts and range of indoor activity rooms.
The school prides itself on ensuring that every child succeeds. The cross curricular approach helps children to make the links between, for example, History and English. There is an open thinking room which serves as a collaborative learning space. Tech skills are also paramount and the children learn coding from a very early stage. Streaming of children takes place in Year 3 for Maths and English so lessons can be properly differentiated.
The school has a partnership with The Chinese Language Institute which gives children the opportunity to learn Mandarin from scratch or to maintain it as a native language.
Learning is often outside the classroom where students are encouraged to investigate, think and question, skills that will no doubt set them up for success in the future.
Special educational needs is a strength of the school with a dedicated SEN resource and a culture where all staff ensure that the curriculum is effectively adapted and differentiated to meet different types of need.
The school places great emphasis on its teacher training and professional development with a dedicated time in the week for staff CPD and a centre to support ‘learning for life’.
Learning outside the classroom is a high priority at Hartland International School. Students are required to spend four hours a week outside of traditional lessons broadening their horizons. This can be an opportunity to build on a current talent or acquire a new one but they are required to select up to 2 sporting activity, one creative and one intellectual activity. A favourite is the Literary Cooking Club where children identify a dish in a favourite book and then learn to cook it – recent culinary delights include Charlotte Russe from To Kill a Mocking Bird and Cauldron cakes from Harry Potter.
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What makes the school special?
- Happy and friendly atmosphere with excellent pastoral care
- Inclusive environment where staff are focused on the needs of the individual
- School built on traditional values of compassion, empathy, kindness and honesty
- Strong emphasis on learning outside traditional subjects through enrichment programmes
- A great team of experienced leaders
Hartland International School is a non-selective school and welcomes applications from students of all abilities. Currently, enrolling children from FS1 to Year 9, there is an application fee of AED 500 and there is an age-appropriate assessment session before entry to help understand your child more fully.
Fees per year range from AED 49,750- 81,000.