Dubai, UAE: Praxis Education today officially the Arbor School – inspired by the UAE’s Vision 2021, which calls for a shift to a diversified and knowledge-based economy and a commitment to sustainability. Set to open in the Al Furjan district of Dubai in September 2018, it is the region’s first school to embed eco-literacy, sustainability and environmental justice into its curriculum.
At an exclusive event hosted at Jumeirah Al Naseem – which is home to a state-of-the-art Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary – Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, director general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) was present to witness the momentous occasion and comment on the Arbor School’s potential contribution to the UAE educational landscape.
Dr. Abdulla Al Karam said “The Arbor School places eco-literacy, sustainability and the environment at the heart of its curriculum, giving parents another specialised education choice for their children. We welcome the Arbor School to Dubai and we look forward to the contribution it will make to the community’s happiness and wellbeing.”
The Arbor School will provide a high standard of education based on the National Curriculum of England, enriched with an educational vision that is compassionate and ethical, and reflected in all lessons and tasks. Through project-based, experiential and outdoor learning, children will plan, collaborate, reflect and make meaningful changes to the world around them in an inclusive and supportive environment. Arbor students will benefit from both a scientist and artist in residence, who will inspire the whole school community to think and act differently, facilitating their engagement with environmental projects both locally and globally. In support of this vision, the school boasts top-class facilities, using three climate controlled biodomes and learning gardens as key educational spaces to engage children in a deeper understanding of their ecology and environment.
Dr. Sa’ad Al-Omari, the CEO of Praxis Education, explained the vision behind the school: “Human activities are seriously impacting global climate, threatening not only ecosystems, but also economies around the world, leading to an increase of hardship in societies on every continent and on generations to come. A contemporary ethic based on compassion and responsibility towards both the human and non-human world is needed now more than ever. It is this higher ethical sense that we aim to instill in our students, in the hope that they will form a vanguard generation that can begin to reverse the harmful trajectories we see unfolding around us.”
The Arbor School will be led by the Founding Principal, Mr. Charles Grayhurst, who has acquired more than 20 years’ experience in education and international school management, including work in the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China and Malaysia.
Mr. Grayhurst says, “It shall be an exciting, dynamic and forward-thinking school that prepares young people for a rapidly changing world, nurturing a core belief in mindfulness, sustainability and environmental justice. Our educational vision shall reflect this core mission from lesson to lesson and task to task, concentrating upon providing children with opportunities to plan, collaborate, reflect and make meaningful changes to the world around them. Arbor will be a fully inclusive school, creating a happy and safe environment whereby students of all abilities can thrive. We believe in high academic expectations, but also that students should be encouraged to fulfil their potential. This shall be a core strength of the school, ensuring a personalized learning environment for every child, giving them the greatest opportunity for both personal growth and academic development.”
The Arbor School will provide a very high standard of physical facilities consistent with our educational aspirations on a campus area of 30,000 m2. The buildings will include climate controlled atria, learning gardens — and three biodomes, in which students can regularly interact with soils, flora and fauna as a fundamental part of their educational experience. Our facilities shall also include specialized science laboratories, art rooms, auditorium and associated black box, libraries, canteen areas, film photography rooms and vocational workshops. In addition to these, our sports facilities shall also be well resourced and include a FIFA compliant soccer pitch, multi-purpose hall for indoor sports, a variety of outdoor courts and a specially designed swimming pool.
All school facilities are in line with the Arbor School’s environmental commitment: buildings are built to the exacting standards of LEED Gold Certification, and daily operations shall emphasize ethical practices, paying close attention to matters of resource utilisation and ecological footprint.Feb 2018