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Learning with Purpose: Launch of the Arbor School GCSE Programme

by Eddie Rayner

The Arbor School, an ecological school based in Dubai, launches its secondary Year 10 programme in September 2022. The Arbor School offers a purpose-driven education that pays homage to the best traditions of the knowledge-rich British curriculum, applied within the context of authentic local and global challenges. Passionate about the role education plays in creating sustainable change, The Arbor School and its secondary programme focus on the premise that people are interconnected with each other and with nature.

The Arbor School will offer a wide range of traditional GCSE options, providing familiarity and security to families; A-levels will follow soon after. With the facilities and expert staff to cater for all subjects, The Arbor School will have a focus on sustainability and science subjects, design and technology in all its forms and the visual and expressive arts. The introduction of the bespoke ‘Global Impact Certificate’ supplements the core subjects and continues the eco-literacy journey of The Arbor School’s secondary students into Year 10.

This personalised programme acknowledges the uncertainty of the future and will prepare learners for this uncertainty by focusing on universal competencies through distinct yet interconnected subjects. With a strong emphasis on a trans-disciplinary study, students will have opportunities to flex their creative capacities and discover their purpose and passion. In addition to the GCSE programme, The Arbor School will offer the BTEC and ASDAN programmes, but also bespoke opportunities from a range of carefully curated alternatives which will nurture our student’s curiosity and help them to evolve from problem solvers to change-makers.

Commenting on the recent launch, Brett Girven, Principal of the Arbor School said: “Our mission is to prepare the students for this ever-changing world, whether that be into further study at the highest calibre tertiary institute, to enter into an apprenticeship, to become an activist, or stepping into the world of creativity and design. In putting the learner first – their interests, their skills, their needs, their experiences – we recognise their strengths and challenges and provide multiple avenues for them, not just to engage in the learning process but to lead it, demonstrating their understanding along the way. A new narrative for education is upon us, and this calls for bravery. Most schools prepare their students for exams, at Arbor we will certainly do that, but we will also prepare them to flourish in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world which they will inhabit.”

Complementing this approach to learning, the Arbor secondary school offers unique facilities designed for a transformational experience. Each learning space is inspired by nature, blended with cutting edge design and functionality. The result is a range of learning and recreational spaces which allows students to connect to their future. Embracing students’ creativity, the open and airy Market Space provides an area to reflect and study, socialise, present to colleagues, or display artefacts produced in the atelier, from design, fashion, textiles, and fine art to digital media. State of the art science laboratories, computing and sound sites have been carefully curated to help develop students’ STEM skills.

At the heart of the secondary school, the Wahah, is a hub for networking, and homes facilities such as Arbor’s farm-to-fork organic concept canteen, theatre presentation area, sixth form common room, wellness platform, counselling spaces, and clinic, all representing the centre of the Arbor School community.

For more information, visit www.thearborschool.ae