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How to choose the best school for your child in Abu Dhabi


Choosing a school for your children is a challenging task but The British International School Abu Dhabi has the experience and facilities to put parents and students at ease.

The transient nature of Abu Dhabi means that expat families arrive into the emirate constantly throughout the year and top of mind is how they are going to fit into this new way of life, from where to live and which school will be the best fit for their children.

According to Julie Jones, Head of Admissions at The British International School Abu Dhabi (BIS Abu Dhabi), one question that all parents need to ask when they are searching for a new school is “What is important to my family? All schools offer great things but all schools approach things differently. Academics are key, but if they want any adds on such as a holistic approach to schooling depends on the family’s needs and wants.”

Parents will need to conduct their own investigation into each school before they reach the UAE. “Once they arrive in the country, they should visit schools and speak to staff members, academic leaders and so on,” she advises.

Stephen Buckley, Admissions Officer, suggests that parents join local social media groups to connect to parents who are already residing in Abu Dhabi.

“For those parents who contact our school, we put them in touch with parents who have children who are already enrolled. It’s a great way to find out about the school and Abu Dhabi itself, such as where to live, the bus schedules, among other useful information.”

It is not just about expats arriving in the country for the first time, though. Parents who are already living in Abu Dhabi may have secondary aged children that may be thinking about the next move for their children in terms of education.

“They may be considering which university their children want to study at, which is related to a specific curriculum,” says Julie, who goes on to say how being part of international education opens so many different so many different doors for pupils. “There are lots of different options for students and that needs to be considered when you are picking a school in terms of where you are going on to in the future.”

BIS Abu Dhabi offers the British National Curriculum throughout all the years and IB for Year 12 and 13. The IB is recognised globally and takes a holistic approach to learning that not only focuses on academics but also fosters diversity and curiosity.

BIS Abu Dhabi provides many opportunities for pupils and parents, whether families are new to the country or have been here for years.

“We are part of the Nord Anglia family and have 76 schools worldwide,” says Julie. “Families who move on to another country have the option to place their children in the same school family, where the same curriculum is taught and standards are kept.”

The school also has collaborations with renown institutes such as Julliard School in New York and MIT for example.

Stephen explains how school facilities in UAE schools are higher than those found elsewhere in the world. “At BIS Abu Dhabi, 95 per cent of teaching staff are from the UK, there’s a higher ratio staff per student, the number of pupils per classroom are lower, thus pupils get more individual attention from teachers.”

Julie describes BIS Abu Dhabi has a big school with a small community feel, one where the entire team ensure that any new pupils and parents joining the school are made to feel welcomed and settled.

“The school has a strong community group that involves parents, teachers and pupils. There are regular coffee mornings where new parents can meet current parents, and be in contact with parents from similar cultural backgrounds. You will then get a feel for the school and know if that school is right for you and your family.”


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Image source The British School Abu Dhabi


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