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Garden City British School

by Eddie Rayner

Garden City British School (GCBS), widely regarded as Al Ain’s premier British curriculum school, is noted for its vibrant and energetic learning environment. This dynamic environment, produced by native-speaking teachers, demonstrates that active learning practices are the only way to make education exciting and successful.

GCBS has a blend of the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) and the English National Curriculum (ENC). While the CAIE is primarily followed for English, Maths and Science, the English National Curriculum is followed for Art, Music, Design Technology, History and Geography and Computer Science. CAIE helps students develop an informed curiosity and a lifelong enthusiasm for learning. Its qualifications are recognised by the world’s leading universities and employers, providing students with a diverse choice of educational and career opportunities.

Per the requirements of the Ministry of Education, all children learn Arabic and UAE Social Studies. In addition, Muslim children study Islamic Studies.

The curriculum is divided into three sections: Early Years (KG1), Primary (KG2 to Grade 5), and Secondary (Grades 6 to 8).

UK Early Years

The EYFS curriculum in KG1 directs the learning and teaching process and assists the school in creating an ideal learning environment in its classrooms. The team at GCBS believe that to engage, achieve and make positive contributions, students must be healthy, secure and safe. The school values all of these needs and understands their contribution to the development of happy students in an enjoyable, encouraging and stimulating atmosphere.

The learning environment combines high standards with a broad and rich curriculum. The school uses various play-based and structured activities, striking a delicate balance between both teacher-led and student-initiated play. Play underpins all development and learning for young children. Most children play spontaneously, and it is through play that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.

Every student and parent is given a Weekly Overview, which covers the topics and content that will be covered throughout that week.

Every student and parent is given a Weekly Overview, which covers the topics and content that will be covered throughout that week

Primary School

Nothing brings greater joy than to see our children experiencing success and enjoying their learning whilst at school. GCBS aims to achieve this by providing opportunities through a cross-curriculum and technology-driven approach, as well as high standards of learning and teaching in a pleasant, organised, and caring environment.

GCBS’s examination results show its progress through TIMSS data, another crucial factor of the National Agenda

In both ability-based and mixed-ability classes, teaching strategies are used to ensure that children receive personalised instruction. As a result of this individualised learning approach, children frequently learn different things at different rates than their peers in the same or different classes. Gamification and active learning are two proven methods for keeping students involved in the learning process.

By including a variety of resources from multiple sources, the curriculum aims to ensure breadth and balance. The school does not encourage or prescribe set textbooks. Instead, it carefully prepares topics so that continuity and progression are smooth and development is facilitated. Topics enable the school to identify skills, concepts, knowledge and ideas from individual subjects and bring them together in a cohesive way.

Every student and parent in KG2 to Grade 5 receives a Weekly Letter outlining the topics and content being covered, clarifying the learning focus for that period.

The primary curriculum is divided into two stages: Key Stage 1 (KG2 to Grade 1) and Key Stage 2 (Grades 2 to 5).


Secondary students are encouraged to be self-directed learners who possess the skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to handle life’s challenges. This is underpinned by GCBS’s positive attitude, which encourages its students to become self-assured, productive, and caring members of the local, national, and global communities.

The school provides a framework that enables teachers and students to be creative and challenged and parents to be curious yet assured, in a safe, focused and enjoyable environment. Everyone is provided with opportunities to grow and learn.

Every student and parent receive a Weekly Newsletter for each subject outlining the topics and content being covered for that period.

The secondary curriculum is divided into three stages: Grade 6 to 8, Grade 9 to 10, and Grade 11 to 12.

Garden City British School will function only for KG1 to Grade 8 for the current academic year (2021-2022).

This is an opportunity for all students to hone the skills that will help them succeed academically and personally. This is accomplished through a dynamic and rigorous curriculum that emphasises inquiry and creative problem solving through authentic tasks, resulting in students who are not afraid to fail in order to learn. Set texts are not recommended or required by GCBS. Instead, teachers will draw on a wide range of information from a variety of sources.

Meeting the Challenges of a Constantly Changing World

GCBS’s examination results show its progress through TIMSS data, another crucial factor of the National Agenda. When a student, teacher, or member of the community joins GCBS, they take on the responsibility of maintaining and cultivating the school’s distinctive culture. This culture permeates all aspects of the school, manifesting itself in the way students think, feel, and behave. As a result, all learners are adaptable and versatile, with attributes and thinking skills to embrace the challenges of a constantly changing world.

 While the school produces 21st-century thinkers and independent learners, it is the skills that are difficult to measure that count. Compassion, empathy, humility, civic-mindedness, and how we treat each other every day are at the core of GCBS’s culture. These create a symbiotic relationship in which students and teachers are both challenged and inspired by one another. Positive relationships, combined with a sense of purpose and ambition, make for an irresistible combination.

At GCBS, a student’s world extends far beyond the classroom. The same norms and expectations apply whether they compete in sports, perform on stage, develop their creativity, or contribute to the local and global community.