Raha International opened its second campus from September 2020, but with a difference. The branch school, to be known as Raha International Khalifa City, will focus on sports, with its 'state of the art' facilities available for use for both schools.
The story so far...
Al Raha International Khalifa City opened in September 2020 to cater eventually for up to 3,000 new students from KG to Grade 12, one and a half times the 2,000 students at the existing Raha International Gardens located in the Gardens area. The new school has a sports focus to complement the arts focus of the existing Raha International Gardens.
A ground-breaking ceremony took place at the new site on Monday, 18th November 2019. Given the size of the school, it was probably rather later than Taaleem (owner of the school) would have ideally planned.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, they therefore announced that only the Early Years section (KG2 and Grade 3) would open in September 2020 with further grades opening in the next academic year. To the school's developers' credit, the main sections were ready for their opening on time.
The Khalifa City Campus will be expanding to welcome up to Grade 8 in September 2021 with remaining grades joining in subsequent years.
Parents interested in the school will find that all admissions (and school management) activities are centalised between the two campuses. This means that both will be managed as one operation. One important aspect of this is that applications for places will be managed across both campuses and although parents may state a preference between the two campuses, an offer at the preferred campus is not guaranteed.
Raha International Khalifa City offers a separate Early Years Centre with an "emphasis on safe, innovative and integrated outdoor learning spaces".
Like Raha International Gardens, the new school follows the International Baccalaureate Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programs for students aged from 4 – 18 years. Raha International Gardens is currently the only full IB continuum school in Abu Dhabi and the only Regulators' inspection process Outstanding-rated IB curriculum school in the UAE.
The Early Years Centre curriculum places an emphasis on innovative and engaging child-initiated learning. The outdoor play areas have been developed in conjunction with an occupational therapist and Raha children themselves, to design and source equipment that compliments and challenges their natural stages of physical development.
Anna Lacey, Deputy Head of Early Years, Khalifa City Campus; “Learning outside is so important for our children, it allows them to learn in a totally different way. The space outside is bigger, which in turn allows their thinking and learning to be bigger. It has been amazing to see the den making, problem solving and collaboration that has been happening in our new outdoor spaces.”
Whilst the new school will have a specific focus on Sports, the original Gardens school will continue to focus on the ‘Arts’ for which there has been considerable investment in recent years.
The new campus will offer a centre of ‘Sporting Excellence’ to complement the sports activities in both school campuses. The state of the art campus will include outstanding sporting facilities that will be used by all Raha students, including an 8 lane 25-metre training pool, a double size gym with indoor running track and three football pitches. The two schools will share facilities so that students from both campuses will benefit from these new, world-class facilities.
The school has been designed by CPG Consultants from Singapore, architects responsible for award-winning educational facilities globally, with sustainability as a key driver in the design. It will be constructed by Al Hikma Building Contracting (HBC) which previously built a number of other Taaleem facilities including the Raha Arts Centre, Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, Uptown International School and Dubai British Foundation.
The Raha IB philosophy encourages Early Years students to learn through investigation, exploration and play. Each classroom is purposefully planned to promote learning in an engaging way using open-ended resources which builds communication and social skills, but most importantly, allows the child to take their learning in any direction. Maths, science and language development can be seen through role play, construction and sensory zones, enhancing the learning experience to be spontaneous and exciting.
Fees at the new campus start from AED 39,330 EY1 (KG1), AED 41,300 for EY2 and rise to AED 54,100 for Grades 1-6 and to AED 61,900 for Grades 7-12.
Applications for the 2021-22 academic year are already open.
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