Glenelg School, Ruwais, Abu Dhabi
Glenelg School, Ruwais is a private not-for-profit primary school located in, surprisingly Ruwais. The school was established on September 2010 by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). The school is co-educational with three campuses, for males, females and for elementary schooling.
Glenelg as a group has three branches: in Abu Dhabi city itself, in Madina Zayed and in Ruwais.
Faculty at Glenelg is said to be Western, and US in large part. The student body is said to be predominantly Emirati.
For those of you wondering about the name, the school is run in collaboration with the Glenelg Country School, an independent school in the USA. Glenelg’s principal building is based on a Scottish Castle built in the 19th century, given the name Glenelg Manor. So now you know – a version of Scotland, via the US, in Abu Dhabi.
Glenelg School Ruwais says it aims to challenge students academically and provide them with a wealth of knowledge about fine arts, IT and world culture. The group of three schools has unusually specific stated ambitions to:
- become a première school in the Middle East, with an emphasis on technology, science, mathematics, and the arts
- closely follow the model of international independent schools provided by the Glenelg Country School in Maryland while still meeting all criteria established by the UAE Ministry of Education
- offer the full Advanced Placement (AP) Curriculum once the school has reached enrollment capacity
- remain a fee-paying, not-for-profit school.
The Ruwais based school certainly seems to be well liked by its students, with largely positive feedback coming to WSA specifically about this campus. That said choice in Ruwais, certainly for expats is limited, with The Asian International School, International School of Chouefat and Glenelg School the three main choices.
Glenelg follows a Maryland based, US curriculum with subjects being taught in English with the exception of Arabic, Social Studies, Islamic Studies, and World Languages which follow the UAE MoE curriculum. The goal of the school “is to prepare every school graduate for admission into colleges and universities of the highest standing both here and throughout the world.”
The gateway to university is via Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. The Advanced Placement program comprises college-level courses maintained by the College Board in the US.
Currently, according to the school’s web site, the Ruwais branch is open only for students in KG1 through Grade 10. The Abu Dhabi branch offers education up to Grade 12. This may now be out of date however.
The group does not publish details of its external examination results, something that all parents assessing schools would like access to, and would certainly give credence to that stated ambition. Neither does the school offer details of the universities of its alumni to prospective parents, again something that would give its ambitions a little more resonance. However, to be fair, the school is very young – and it could be just too early for this kind of information.
Parent feedback we have had from the school as a group rather than the Ruwais branch in particular is that while the curriculum is predominantly US based, the style of teaching is not. Less exploration based, and considerably more strict and learning by rote. This suits some children considerably more than others. The school is also said to be very homework based.
The school claims to encourage participation in a range of sports including basketball, soccer, tennis, table tennis, badminton, swimming, volleyball, and handball.
School fees (as of 2012) range between 22,500 AED per year for KG1 students to 39,500 AED per year for Grade 12 students. Official fee information for Glenelg Ruwais here.
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