First look: Aspen Heights British School, Abu DhabiSeptember 11, 2017, 7:05 am GMT
Aspen Heights British School, managed by International Schools Partnerships, opens this month in Abu Dhabi's Al Bahya neighbourhood.
The school is led by Emma Shanahan, who has more than nine years of experience in the Middle East. Shanahan has previously been part of two other new school opening teams, but this is her first school launch as a principal.
"As an educator in the region for nine years, as a parent in the region for nine years, I do understand the concerns of families and what they're going through at different stages in their child's education. Understanding and empathising with their concerns and worries. I know communication is key with families and supporting their children. The needs and anxieties of families in the region is different from elsewhere in the world and I'm familiar with that," she told Education Journal Middle East during a school visit.
The British curriculum school will offer classes from FS1 to Year 6 in its first year, and will extend up to Year 13 gradually, offering the GCSEs and A Levels in sixth form.
"We really focus on curriculum delivery - enquiry-based, hands-on collaborative learning, specifically using the locality as the inspiration and context for learning," Shanahan notes.
Facilities at the new school include a sports hall, auditorium, swimming pool, cafeteria, science and design technology labs, and outdoor play areas.
The school currently has 20 teachers, and a total of 45 staff at the school, a number that is expected to grow as new year groups are added.
Shanahan expects to have close to 150 students enrolled in the first year. The school will have one-form entry in its inaugural year, with four-form entry when it reaches its capacity of 1800 students.
While most families enroled at the school are from the Al Bahya area, Shanahan notes there are several children from Abu Dhabi island too.
Fees at Aspen Heights range from AED 35,000 in FS1 to AED 45,000 in Year 6. The school is also offering a 10% founding discount, as well as sibling discounts.