The wait is over and the much anticipated Jebel Ali School is finally finished. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com met with head of secondary Colette Doughty and principal Jacqui Parr for a tour of the school- many thought would not be completed on time.
The primary section will launch with an impressive five forms for each year from FS1 to Year 6, with a further 3 forms for Year 7, bringing the total number of students from 600 (at JAPS) to 900.
Is the structure complete? Construction is now complete at JAS, and the weekend will be spent cleaning.
The building is large, spacious and well equipped.
While staff are clearly enjoying the new purpose-built school, they all retain fond memories of life at JAPS. "On the last day, (at JAPS) we lowered the flags," says Doughty, " and realised everyone was crying - teachers and kids."
Have the teachers arrived? JAS retained the Primary teachers from JAPS, and recruited the remainder from both within the UAE and the UK. All staff have now been at the school for over a week, preparing their classrooms and unpacking equipment.
JAS is also extremely fortunate to have accumulated almost 40 years worth of resources which of course made the move too. "We're a not for profit," says Doughty, "of course we took everything!"
Are the classrooms ready? Both classrooms and breakout areas are fully kitted-out and ready. As JAS is significantly larger than JAPS, many of the classrooms are a mix of both old and new equipment.
However, there's nothing 'old' about the auditorium though, JAS boasts state of the art theatre facilities, a black box theatre, 7 music practice rooms and more. "The grand piano is coming tomorrow, once the cleaners have been in," says Doughty.
The largest of school's multi-sports halls is so vast it can hold two full-sized 5-a-side football games simultaneously.
JAS chose to invest significantly in IT. Classrooms all have docking stations for laptops while classrooms have integrated and fully interactive TVs.
JAS will open on 28th August with a staggered start for pupils.
For further WSA information on JAPS/JAS see here: