Gulf News: 'Schools of the Future'

Encouraging children to think independently and creatively

The Aquila School in Dubai is a new school offering a high quality British curriculum with innovative approaches to learning, ensuring children learn resilience and the skills and knowledge they need to prepare them for the future.

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A variety of methodologies and strategies such as group work and enquiry-based learning are used to encourage children to think independently and creatively. Rather than follow more traditional ways of teaching such as using worksheets and pre-planned lessons, teachers are empowered to tailor their teaching to the interests and learning needs of their children. Aquila is enabling children to think for themselves, and to be responsible for their own learning.

“Our teachers are incredibly talented and passionate about teaching the Aquila way – they essentially ‘start from scratch’ with every lesson, and they think very carefully about what their children learned today, and what they need to learn tomorrow, so planning is very much adapted to the learning needs of the children. This makes learning far more engaging and ensures our children truly develop a love of learning,” says Wayne Howsen, Principal.

Aquila provides unique ‘real world’ opportunities for learning, such as a 2000 sqft hydroponics farm and 800sqft of soil farming where children learn to cultivate their own produce, the largest and most advanced of any school farm in the UAE. Technology such as interactive screens and tablets are integrated across the curriculum to reinforce the children’s learning, and children are taught and encouraged to be responsible digital citizens.

Bharat Mansukhani, Regional Managing Director for International Schools Partnership (ISP) in the Middle East, commented: “As part of ISP, Aquila has access to invaluable technology and resources such as the ISP Learning Hub, a global digital platform that enables students, educators and administrators to connect and collaborate with each other, as well take courses online and further their studies, so we can develop the best student experiences possible in a rapidly changing world.”

“We don’t really know what the future will hold, but nurturing resilience in our children will ensure they will be able to adapt to and embrace whatever that future looks like. This is Aquila’s fundamental purpose as educators of the next generation.”