The Arbor School, a new English National Curriculum School, that embeds "eco-literacy, sustainability and environmental justice" into its curriculum, launched with fanfare in Dubai last week.
The launch was held at Jumeirah Al Naseem - home to a state-of-the-art Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary - and plans were unveiled by Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, director general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) with Praxis Education's CEO, Dr. Sa’ad Al-Omari.
The Arbor School is set to open in Al Furjan, Dubai in 2018. It will start with classes from FS1 to Year 6, and clearly has sustainability as one of its key selling points to parents.
Dr. Abdulla Al Karam said: “The Arbor School places eco-literacy, sustainability and the environment at the heart of its curriculum, giving parents another specialised education choice for their children. We welcome the Arbor School to Dubai and we look forward to the contribution it will make to the community’s happiness and wellbeing.”
According to the management team as Praxis, The Arbor School will include project-based, experiential and outdoor learning system, where children will "plan, collaborate, reflect and make meaningful changes to the world around them in an inclusive and supportive environment".
The environmental focus is supported by three bio-domes, one acting as "a sensory experience, one for the eco-system and one as a teacher-student lab".
Founding Principal, Charles Grayhurst, said:
“The vision of the school is to give children an understanding of how they can change the planet. The facilities we have, like the zen gardens, and bio-domes, are enablers of education."
He added that the curriculum is unique with a focus on play space learning, experiential learning, providing a values based education.
The school is being built on an area of 30,000 m2. The buildings will include climate controlled atria, and learning gardens. The three bio-domes will allow students to interact with soils, flora and fauna as a fundamental part of their educational experience.
There will be specialised science laboratories, art rooms, auditorium and associated black box, libraries, canteen areas, film photography rooms and vocational workshops.
Sports facilities include a FIFA compliant soccer pitch, multi-purpose hall for indoor sports, a variety of outdoor courts and a specially designed swimming pool.
All school facilities will be in line with the Arbor School’s environmental commitment: buildings are built to the exacting standards of LEED Gold Certification, and daily operations shall emphasize ethical practices, paying close attention to matters of resource utilisation and ecological footprint.