OWIS Riyadh is part of the Global Schools Foundation, a Singapore-headquartered, not-for-profit organisation. The Foundation educates students of over 70 nationalities, with 28,000 active students, and a faculty of 1,800, spread over 35 campuses in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, the UK and now Saudi Arabia.
One World International School Riyadh is the latest school opening for the Global Schools Foundation, a Singapore-based not-for-profit organisation that now operates over 30 schools, predominantly throughout Asia, but with branches in India and the UK.
One World was acquired by Global Schools Foundation in 2015, since when, the group has opened three new campuses, including One World International School Nanyang campus in January 2018, a second campus in Suntec Singapore in January 2021, and OWIS Riyadh as the third campus, following the One World philosophy with a progressive American curriculum.
OWIS Riyadh commenced operations in September 2022 and will be offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) along with and American Curriculum based on Common Core and Next Generation Science standards.
The school has confirmed that it is a candidate for the IB PYP programme, but has not said whether it will seek accreditation in the US in respect of its US curriculum offering, which will include a High School Diploma for Grade 12 graduates.
OWIS Riyadh opened initially from pre-KG to Grade 4 and will be co-educational through to Grade 6. Thereafter the school will have separate Boys and Girls sections, reverting to the mixed gender format for High school Grades 11 and 12.
According to the school, it believes in “educating students to be lifelong learners and well informed and productive community members who are active, engaged, and responsible citizens for both the local and global community.”
The school is led by Shannon Pipes. As the Founding Principal, Ms. Pipes brings experience of almost a decade and a half in the education sector. As someone who prioritises values-based education, Ms. Pipes was felt to an ideal fit for OWIS, where nurturing respectful, responsible and emotionally intelligent global citizens is the primary focus.
OWIS offers a combination of the US Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards curricula (the school does not mention which State curricula they are following or whether this will be AERO curriculum for internationally-based US curriculum schools). Nor do they mention whether they will seek accreditation from one of the US-based Schools and Colleges Associations which will ensure that students' High School Diplomas, once issued, will be recognised in the US.
When the school opened in September 2022, students joining in pre-KG to Grade 4 will study through a combination of Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards and the International Baccalaurate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP). This essentially means that the content will from the US curriculum, but the teaching and learning methodology will follow the inquiry-focused IB PYP.
OWIS makes no mention of support for students with SEN although it will need to provide provision for English Language Learners at a minimum.
OWIS Riyadh features ‘Smart Campus Facilities’ with world-class digital facilities and child-friendly infrastructure that aims to ensure a holistic development for students through excellence in academics and beyond.
Primary classrooms are described as student-centered classrooms and, in addition, the school will offer a range of specialist facilities including a Skills Studio, Performing Art Studios, Science Labs equipped with state-of-the-art data-logging equipment including high-precision balances and a range of STEAM-related apparatus for learning, Composite Labs, Culinary Labs, a Dance Studio, Design and Technology rooms, a Music Room, an Art & Crafts Room, a Computer Lab and a Library. A Multipurpose Hall will allow for indoor sports and performing arts activities, as well as other major events including parent-teacher meetings.
Outdoor facilities include a Sports ground, Basketball court, Football pitch, and Open play areas.
OWIS says it is committed to offering families a well-structured education at a moderate price. The school says that this ensures that its doors are open to every student who dreams of a world-class educational experience without compromise.
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One World International School Riyadh is part of a sizable South East Asian group. Whether the experience in their home markets is likely to transfer smoothly to a Saudi Arabian environment will only be evident once the school is up and running. It is one of several that planned to open in September 2022 under the auspices of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, the majority of which are offering the UK curriculum. The option to study the US curriculum blended with the IB programmes is unique among these new schools currently.
Fees include an Application Fee of 500 SAR and a 'One time Registration Fee' of 3,000 SAR.
Annual fees which are payable in three termly amounts (inclusive of VAT) are 36,000 SAR for pre-KG, 39,500 SAR for KG1, 43,100 SAR for KG2 , 47,100 SAR for Grade 1, 52,900 SAR for Grades 2 and 3, and 54,700 SAR, for Grade 4. Fees beyond these grades have not been released. There is a Founders' discount of 15%, but no indication as to whether this is purely for the first academic year, or whether Founding families will benefit from this discount going forward.
These fees are largely in line with those of the other new international schools that are opening in Riyadh under the auspices of the RCRC.
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