Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé – Meydan is a sister school to the long-established Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé in Muhaisnah.
The popular Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé (LLFP), established in 2003, finally has a sister school closer to the popular residential areas of Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, Dubai Marina and Dubailand, where increasing numbers of families have relocated to in recent years. The Meydan school will initially offer the equivalent of pre-KG to Grade 5 year groups (PS to CM2) in its first year of operation, and will offer all grades to Terminale from the 2022-23 academic year.
With a relatively small campus in Muhaisnah which can accommodate only 1,200 students, the French-speaking Lebanese school has been in high demand for many years. The new branch has a total capacity of 1,875 students.
The addition of the Meydan branch brings to seven the number of registered French schools in Dubai, with the two campuses of Lycée Français International Georges Pompidou, AFLEC - Lycée Français International, International Concept for Education (also at Meydan, though this school offers both the International Baccalaureate Primary Years programme and the French curriculum) and the most recent entrant, the Lycée Français Jean Mermoz, all competing for students with the two Lycée Libanais branches.
Despite the competition, it would seem that the Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé – Meydan has successfully launched its new campus with 400 students, though the majority (300) have transferred from the original school.
Almost all students are Lebanese passport holders, but more than 50 percent of students hold a second passport with the main second nationalities being French, Canadian and American.
On opening, students were supported by 25 teachers and 7 assistant teachers, whose nationalities are divided equally between Lebanese and French citizens. There is a maximum of 25 students per class.
With the Muhaisnah branch having been rated Very Good in the most recent KHDA inspection in 2018-19, the Founding Principal of the Meydan branch, Lena Tahan Khalil, who was a member of the Muhaisnah team for seven years, is clearly keen to emulate the original school's success in terms of academic reputation and popularity.
Commenting on the opening of the new school, Ms Khalil said:
“This project has been years in the making, and we’re delighted that we can offer children an enhanced curriculum with our facilities and resources. We’re very confident that this will raise the bar even higher, and our children will grab the opportunity with both hands. This is a really special project and we’re delighted that we can offer this to our community”.
The official inauguration of the school will take place at the launch of Expo Dubai in coordination with the Cultural Section of the French diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi and will include senior officials and ambassadors from the French government.
The new school will follow in the footsteps of the original branch and will provide the French National Curriculum through all four sections of the school, covering the École Maternelle (pre-KG and KG 1 and 2), École Primaire (Grades 1-5), Collège (Grades 6-9) and Lycée (G10-12). All graduating students will be entered for the French National Diploma (the Brevet), and the French General Baccalaureate prior to leaving the school.
The school tells us that all children are given an equal opportunity to join the school and although French is the main language of teaching, non-French speakers learn French when they join at an early age. Arabic language is taught in all the classes of the school with Arabic language for non-native speakers offered for non-native speaking students.
In addition to the academic focus, LLFP Meydan says it will offer a “stimulating and creative learning environment, conducive to the personal development of their academic, artistic and athletic potential, as a whole” .
The LLFP Muhaisnah has shared its students public examination results as an indication of the achievements of the school's students and its expectations for the future.
For the Diplôme National du Brevet in 2020, 41 candidates were entered for and passed the examination, all of them with 'mentions'. In 2019, the number of candidates was slightly higher at 44, all of whom passed the exam and 42 of whom achieved 'mentions'.
The results for the school-leaving Baccalauréat reflected similar success, with 47 candidates entering the examinations in 2020, all of whom achieved a pass and 'menitons'. This compares with 44 candidates in 2019, all of whom were successful and of whom 38 achieved 'mentions.
In a testament to the design of the new campus by architects Dorsch Gruppe, it has already won two architectural awards for “sustainable and efficient architecture” and as the “Design Education Project of the Year” 2021, both at the Architecture Leaders Awards 2021.
Not only is the campus designed to be sustainable and efficient, it also clearly designed to be attractive, functional and future proof. The campus is spread across an area of 35,686 sqm, incorporating seven buildings with large areas of green space and with social areas built into the masterplan.
The school has an auditorium that will be used to celebrate “the cultural heritage of the pupils with performances, conferences and film screenings” while a greenhouse will allow students to discover the living world as part of the delivery of the programme and various spaces will allow students to grow vegetables and study ecology and plant science.
All classrooms, laboratories and language rooms are equipped with interactive LED screens and a range of sports facilities have been included that feature two indoor gymnasia, a football field and running track.
Fees at the school range from AED 38,000 to AED 44,000 for the opening phase, with fees rising to AED 66,000 for the final years, a significant increase from those of the original, sister school where fees range from AED 24,622 – AED 52,764. The increase is justified by the significant improvement in facilities.
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