Cranleigh Abu Dhabi was named New British International School of the Year 2017 last night at a ceremony in London, as part of the prestigious British International School Awards, organised by British International Schools magazine, with the support of ISC Research.
The annual Awards are designed to celebrate innovation in strategic, financial and educational projects and aim to recognise excellence in British schools overseas. The New British International School of the Year award category recognises a new school (under three years old) that has made an immediate impact on the pupils and community it serves.
Headmaster of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, Mr Brendan Law, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we’ve opened such a stunning school, fully equipped, with a world-class team of inspiring teachers and enthusiastic pupils, who have already shown their commitment to a broad and inspiring Cranleigh education that truly echoes our motto of Ex Cultu Robur (from culture comes strength). Cranleighans get stuck in: day one showed just that spirit, with a full range of academic, cultural, sporting and co-curricular activities from the off.”
There were eleven different award categories, each one calling for outstanding examples of best practice and innovation during the 2015-2016 academic year. Cranleigh was up against a shortlist of Epsom College Malaysia, Le Régent Crans-Montana College in Switzerland, and Nord Anglia International School, Dubai.
The School sits at the heart of Saadiyat Island, the cultural showpiece of the United Arab Emirates, and is located near to the New York University Abu Dhabi campus, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The junior school opened its doors in 2014 and the senior school one year after. By 2020 it will educate more than 1,500 students aged from three to 18 years.
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is the result of a close productive partnership between the UK Schools, the Royal Group based in Abu Dhabi, and the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the Emirate’s master developer of major cultural, leisure, educational and residential properties on Saadiyat, which has described the school as a ‘flagship educational project’.
Mr Michael Wilson, Headmaster of Cranleigh Preparatory School (UK), worked on the project since inception, helping to create the superb facilities and shaping the academic and co-curricular timetable to reflect the ethos of Cranleigh UK. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi echoes a broad academic curriculum, with emphasis on the individual, while a wealth of opportunities allows students to explore their full range of talents in fine arts, performing arts, music, sport and cultural activities.
Mr Wilson said: “It is overwhelming to see how the special Cranleigh ethos has been embraced and translated into such a wonderful school in Abu Dhabi. It is a unique school and a perfect embodiment of our special family and community philosophy. The idea was the brainchild of a group of Old Cranleighans living in Abu Dhabi, they contacted their former teacher and together we developed it with two other OCs. Even the founding Headmaster, Brendan Law, is a former Cranleigh UK governor.
“We are all so proud of what has been achieved with our partners the Royal Group and TDIC and delighted to have had our work recognised with this Award. Last year the UK sent pupils on a Music tour to Abu Dhabi and we are all excited about what the future holds and are looking forward to more cultural exchange between our Schools.”