Children from The Aquila School organise their own school opening event

Launch coincides with the win of the Best Design Education Project of the Year Award

The Aquila School, a brand new international British school in The Villa, Dubailand, presented its students with a fantastic ‘real life’ learning opportunity when its students organised the school’s official opening event.

The launch event comes very soon after The Aquila School were awarded the Best Design Education Project of the Year at the Design Middle East Awards 2018, hosted by the National Engineering Bureau in Dubai on Tuesday 9th October. The Awards honour the best of designers, architects, projects, and design oriented companies, and this a testament to the quality and design of The Aquila School’s building and facilities.

The school launch event, held on Thursday the 11th October, 2018, was entirely planned and executed by a team of 14 Year 5 and 6 children. They worked hard, came up with wonderful ideas, and everything, from the invite list, the invitations, the set-up for the event, and the welcoming and hosting of guests, was organised by the children, on their own and with minimal support from staff.

Traditionally, an important event such as the official launch of a new school would be the school’s responsibility, however, Principal Wayne Howsen was adamant he wanted this to be organised by the children. The Aquila School integrates an educational approach into its curriculum called Mantle of the Expert, which uses imaginary contexts to generate purposeful and engaging activities for learning, and in this case, the students were cast as a team of experts working for a client (the school) on a commissioned project.

“Of course, the ‘easy’ route to organising an important event such as this would have been to have it run by our staff. But The Aquila School is different from many other schools in Dubai. We wanted to give the children the opportunity to plan and execute the event themselves, so that they could really understand and learn what goes into organising an event – something they may need to do one day in the future. Projects such as these – what we call Mantle of the Expert – provide unique immersive opportunities for learning and are invaluable to a child’s education, and we’re hugely proud of what our children are already accomplishing so soon in the school year,” he commented.

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said, “It’s always great to welcome a new school to Dubai and we are pleased to witness the opening of The Aquila School. They are part of a community of schools who want to make the most out of life and out of the city we live in. We’re looking forward to seeing how this new school progresses.”

“The Aquila School is the flagship school of the International Schools Partnership, a focused, growing and financially secure group of schools located within eight countries across the globe. We want all our children and students to achieve all they possibly can during their time at school. The Aquila School’s unique learning-focused approach helps us to ensure that we can make that happen, and this launch event is an early prime example of that,” added Steve Brown, Group CEO, International Schools Partnership.

The Aquila School opened in September 2018 to serve the growing educational needs of the surrounding communities in The Villa, Dubailand, and across Dubai. It offers a British education to children from FS1 to Year 6 in their first year of operation, and in September 2019 they will open their secondary school.

The school’s curriculum prepares children for a complex, challenging and competitive future, by enhancing the traditional STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) with the just-as-important Arts. Their STEAM curriculum combines the best of STEM learning, whilst integrating design, art, music and performance, to give life to learning.

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