Brighton College will make its Dubai debut in September 2018, as part of a super campus with the Dwight School of New York. The school will offer a UK based syllabus, while Dwight will provide its IB counterpart. The two premium schools will share a host of equally premium facilities.
Work began on both Dwight School and Brighton College in Dubai in June 2017, with the two premium schools being built adjacent to each other, and sharing some of the facilities. Design and build construction firm Airolink led the work.
The combined development was given a value of more than $75m (AED275m) according to media reports, with the campuses built across a 10-acre site, with two Ground plus 3 floor buildings spread across 89,000 square metres of space.
Around 500 workers and technicians worked on the project. The final handover to school staff was meant to happen July 2018, however finished closer to September 2018 - late, but still on time.
Why the excitement?
Announced as part of a "super campus" (when did Dubai ever announce anything understated) Brighton College Dubai forms one half of a 4000 strong student community - when it and the school it shares a space with reach capacity. That school is the equally prestigious Dwight School, New York. The campus will also include, when finished, a Centre of Excellence for Arabic Language, Culture and the Arts.
The three primary components together take up to 89,000 sqm of a "super" campus, which will be located in what Bloom has described as "the heart of Dubai". WhichSchoolAdvisor.com would probably disagree with at least this statement. Even though "the heart of Dubai" is akin to the Bermuda Triangle (no one quite knows where it is), most residents would not claim it to be Al Barsha South yet - a very much up and coming area we are sure, but currently the definition of peripheral.
Who will be leading the school?
Marco Longmore took up his role in Dubai in January 2018.
Longmore is a 47-year-old father-of-two and studied history at Edinburgh University before beginning his teaching career in 1991 at George Heriot’s School. He became head of history at George Watson’s College in the Scottish capital in 1998.
His next move was to England, as senior deputy head at Alleyn’s School in London, before returning to Scotland in 2008 to lead the Edinburgh Academy, which during his time grew to become one of Scotland’s most successful co-educational schools.
The position will be his first outside the UK.
What's in the name?
History, and academic pedigree. Brighton College is one of the most academically successful co-educational school in the UK.
For reference, 79.84% of Brighton College UK grades were A* to A last year at A' Level. Dubai College, the UAE's most academically successful school in terms of examination results, scored 66.8% A* to A.
“Brighton College is the UK’s top co-educational school, renowned for combining academic excellence with a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities, all underpinned by a deep commitment to the individual needs and enthusiasms of each boy or girl.” Richard Cairns, Principal, Brighton College UK
Brighton College is also a proven UAE school - Brighton College Abu Dhabi is a WhichSchoolAdvisor.com 'Top School', and rated Very Good by the Abu Dhabi Education Council's inspection team. Its sister school in Al Ain has done one better - it is rated Outstanding.
Brighton College Dubai will offer a K-12 British curriculum.
Both Bright and IB based Dwight will benefit from the Centre of Excellence for Arabic Language, Culture and the Arts, an institiution "dedicated to the development of intra-cultural exchange, facilitate both teacher and student development, as well as promote a deeper understanding of the rich Arabic history and traditions."
How connected will the two schools be?
As far as we understand, not very.
Yes, Brighton College Dubai is being built in effectively the same plot as Dwight School but this seems to be more about construction efficiency than a shared approach in any way to actual school operations. There will also be shared facilities, so there will clearly be the need for coordination.
Shared facilities include a 600 seat auditorium that will be used for large events, as well as a running track.
What will the fees be?
Ultra Premium. Brighton College Dubai and Dwight School will carry fees between Dh107,000 an Dh130,000 for final year pupils, respectively. This is considerably more than the 74,000 AED charged for Brighton College Abu Dhabi. Parents would be right to ask what they will be getting for an additional 30,000 AED per year.
Tell me more...
We will - keep watching this review. As more information is released, so this school review will take on further definition. Look out too for our first Hard Hat Tour of the school site...
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