For this special feature, we spoke to the always energetic and positive Principal, Zara Harrington to find out how work is progressing and just how excited the Safa British School (SBS) children are about their brand new school. To see Zara chat with a member of our team, click play on the interview above, noting that we mute by default. You will need to turn up the volume by accessing the video's controls.
As we discovered at the school's earlier ground breaking the ceremony, the new campus represents something of a homecoming for SBS. The new campus will bring the school right back to its original Al Safa roots. In fact, as Zara tells us in her interview, the new campus is directly opposite the original villa school location.
The Covid19 crisis had, initially, been something of a cause for concern for the SBS team, who worried that lockdown may delay building works. It was a relief then to discover that the construction sector would be exempt from the lockdown. Work has continued to the expected schedule and the team expect to be in their new 'home' in September 2020.
The build will give students much more space and extensive new sporting facilities (including a cleverly designed indoor/outdoor pool, indoor sports hall, football pitches, basketball courts as well as rooftop courts for basketball, netball and more) as well as a new secondary phase. Until now, SBS has been one of only a handful of standalone primary schools in Dubai. The school will open in the new location with both Year 7 and Year 8 and plan to 'grow organically' through to Year 13. A new Head of Secondary is in place to support Mrs Harrington, as is a team of specialist secondary teachers, all keen to help "shape the new school".
The students at SBS have been involved with the plans for the school since inception. Mrs Harrington told our interviewer that students have been involved with all sorts of decisions for the school...right down to "colour schemes and flooring". Seeing their reaction to their new facilities and classrooms will be the ultimate highlight for Mrs Harrington, she said.
One final group of VIPs will grace the campus of the new SBS. In all our school visits, we have yet to see another school with more animals than Safa! The ducks, the rabbits, the chickens will move in to their new home along with the children and we look forward to seeing them reunited.
To use a line we've always wanted to write...the new Safa British School is coming along nicely. Safa, so good!