The Aquila School: Providing Children with Amazing Learning Experiences

“We provide children with amazing learning experiences, and ensure every child loves coming to school and makes as much progress as possible.”

Located close to The Villa, Dubai, The Aquila School is an exciting new international British school with so much to offer. The Aquila School is part of the International Schools Partnership and opened in September 2018.  The school is conveniently located to serve a number of communities, including The Villa, Dubailand, DSO and beyond. The school offers an exciting and creative STEAM curriculum, based on the British curriculum, combining science, technology, engineering, maths, and the arts, enriched to meet the needs of the culturally diverse community. The staff of the school are experienced and committed to providing amazing learning. They ensure that every child develops a love of learning and acquire the skills and knowledge they need for the future.

Underpinned by academic rigor the school values creativity and innovation, combining the traditional STEAM curriculum with technology through the arts. The school follows its mission of “real learning for a real future” ensuring the curriculum is relevant and engaging, preparing children for work and life in the 21st century.

The Dawn of the Institute 

Opened in September 2018 in a residential area of Dubailand, The Aquila School is the flagship school of the International Schools Partnership (ISP), a UK based global education group with 32 schools worldwide. The Aquila School is the first school ISP has built from inception. Initially open from FS1 to year 6, the school will steadily grow year by year to become a through school up to year 13.

As a new build school, resources and facilities are of a very high standard. Spacious light classrooms are conducive to calm, purposeful learning. All of the teaching staff have UK qualifications and many have UAE experience. A unique feature of the school is a hydroponic farm, enabling every child to grow organic fruit and vegetables. This unique facility also includes a small farm where children learn to care for animals.

From the Principal’s Desk

I am incredibly proud to have the privilege and responsibility of being the founding Principal of The Aquila School. Having worked in the UAE for seven years and now entering my twenty-first year as a principal, I am excited by the unique opportunity to employ brilliant and experienced teachers and create an amazing school.

We believe in providing children with ‘amazing learning’, helping them to learn to levels that amaze them and to inspire them to be successful now and equip them to be successful later. We will inspire and support children to discover and pursue their passion in learning through maximum choice and authentic learning linked to life. Our vision places the interests and needs of children at the heart of everything we do. We want Aquila children to be resilient, independent, thoughtful and caring individuals, well equipped for future work and life experiences.

I am delighted to be working alongside Mrs. Kylie Cleworth, our Head of Primary to make this happen. We both share similar aspirations for The Aquila School, and for the last six years, we have worked together at the first ever school in Abu Dhabi to have been graded as OUTSTANDING in all areas. – says Wayne Howsen, Principal of the school.

Distinct Academic Programs 

The school follows the English National curriculum alongside the local MOE Curricular. The

English Curriculum is adapted to be relevant to their global community. As the school grows they will offer a choice of IGCSEs at the end of Key Stage 4 and both BTEC and IB in years 12 and13, appealing therefore to a range of learning styles.

The school learning approach combines STEAM with technology through the Arts. In practice, this means that activities take place where there is a link between the various disciplines.

The school supports learning through a robust, child-focused curriculum, and enriching after-school program. The Aquila School focuses relentlessly on each child’s ability to amaze. Whether through mentoring, enrichment or personalized study, the school is committed to:

  • Empowering children to make decisions about their own learning
  • Providing an amazing curriculum in English and Arabic
  • Employing the very best British trained and qualified teachers
  • Ensuring every child makes as much progress as possible

Extra-curricular Activities  

The school places pupil’s choice at the heart of its work, the children have been involved in deciding the range of CAS (Community, Action, and Service) activities on offer. Every member of teaching staff, including the leadership of the school, led a CAS activity. Activities include; drama, arts and crafts, basketball, mask making, Qur’an studies, cookery, football etc. Although the school is new, they are already establishing traditions such as their annual bring a family member to school day, global day and community Iftar. Through their curriculum they want to provide as many opportunities as possible for the children to be enterprising. Part of this is done through using an approach to teaching called ‘Mantle of the Expert’ where children learn to work together to solve real life problems.  Recently the children organized the very successful official opening of the school and through the year they will work together and lead enterprise initiatives such as organizing table top sales, film events and special events such as our Mother’s Day celebration.

Healthy lifestyes are important part of the school. So in addition to regular PE and swimming sessions the school takes advantage of community initiatives to develop fitness. Through the curriculum, the school wants children to learn how to prepare healthy foods, so that they have a specialist food technology room, as well as how to cultivate food sustainably.

A long term aim of the hydroponic farm, alongside the educational benefits, is to grow around half a tonne of fruit and vegetables annually; enough food that the children can sell it back to the catering partner in their canteen or the local supermarket, bringing their “homegrown” produce into the community.

The teachers are empowered to adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of their children; in other words, to teach them what they need to learn right now. The core knowledge is still taught through the English National Curriculum. Through this approach children are encouraged to learn to make choices and to be resilient, independent learners.

Words of trust:

The Aquila School is my favorite school in the UAE because there are very nice people here and animals. I really like the idea of the hydroponic garden and the chickens that we can collect eggs from and use in our food technology room. I will be very sad to have to leave here to move back to Australia.

-Liam Johnson, year 5

I like The Aquila School because you learn how to collaborate. I also like how small we are because we can do group work and really get to know everyone in our school.

– Ayesha Mainuddin, year 6

I love The Aquila School because here we get to know lots of people. The school is really fun, the teachers are kind and we get to do amazing things.

-Sara Magdy, year 5

We are thrilled with how quickly our children have happily settled at The Aquila School, and love how they can’t wait to tell us about their day of amazing learning!

-Kirsty Reeves, Mother of two children, the very first family to sign up!

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