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Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai

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The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) will welcome its first pupils in September 2021. Our campus is designed for boys and girls aged from 3 to 18. Initially, we will be accepting primary age pupils (age 3 -11), and the school will grow year by year.

Key information

Vision & mission

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) is a sister school of one of the most respected and successful schools in the United Kingdom, the Royal Grammar School Guildford (RGS).

Our school will embody the ethos and values that have underpinned the Royal Grammar School Guildford in the UK for over 500 years. These, combined with a spirit of innovation and development, will prepare pupils for the challenges of the 21st and 22nd centuries. We lead by example, stay true to our values, innovate, collaborate, and strive to be the very best we can be.

RGS continues to grow and flourish while retaining its proud historical roots and traditions. It is consistently one of the top schools at both A-Level and GCSE in the UK, according to national league tables. The school is exceptionally proud of its Oxbridge record; in the last decade alone, over 350 of its pupils received offers of places from Oxford and Cambridge universities.

RGSGD reflects the same high standards and inspiring ethos of RGS in the UK. Since its foundation in 1509, RGS has established a national and international reputation for academic excellence. Much admired among its peers, it is an ambitious school that values scholarship and community, striving for excellence in all things while acting with great compassion.

The education at the Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai, is based on our school offering in the UK with some adaptations for life in Dubai. We offer our pupils a happy, well-ordered and stimulating environment where they can progress to their full potential. Our curriculum is carefully planned to maintain a balance between ‘what’ is to be learned alongside ‘how’ we learn.

To complement the experienced, passionate, innovative, creative and committed staff at RGS Guildford in the UK, the team at RGSGD are made up of outstanding international educators with vision and drive, who are also committed to making RGSGD a phenomenal experience for our pupils and their families.

School values

We remain loyal to our founding principles to educate students, irrespective of background, and we inherently believe in establishing a culture of diversity and acceptance, and in educating our students in a welcoming, tolerant community where each individual is valued and enjoys a deep sense of belonging.

We encourage the growth of intellectual curiosity, independence, creativity, innovation and habits of learning within a scholarly community through inspirational subject specialists who provoke and stretch the students’ minds and inculcate a lifelong love of learning.

We promote the development of self-discipline, responsibility and a personal moral code, and cultivate an ethos where enduring qualities of decency, honesty, courtesy, humility and good humour are celebrated.

We nurture an atmosphere of mutual respect between all members of our community, and foster self-respect and self-esteem in terms of physical health, emotional maturity and personal well-being, while establishing lasting friendships in a positive, happy environment.

We develop leadership, teamwork, resilience and life skills through a diverse range of activities where all students, regardless of their talents and attributes, are encouraged to challenge themselves, take appropriate risks and work hard to fulfil their potential.

We work closely with others for mutual enrichment, and encourage a spirit of generosity and service, a sense of perspective, and a firm belief that we can work in partnership with others, locally and internationally, to make a difference and have a positive impact on society.

Why choose – Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai?

Whats makes this school unique?

500 years of pioneering heritage, knowledge, and practice of what makes great education and how to maximise the learning experience for each pupil through: exceptional teaching, a curriculum that maintains a balance between ‘what’ is to be learnt and ‘how’ it is learnt, as well as a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities. 

Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai is truly a sister school of RGS Guildford UK; we share our values, our learning habits, our language and ethos.  Our Head of Prep Mrs Clare Turnbull joins us from RGS Guildford, where she was a member of the senior leadership team for 16 years, 13 of which she was Head of Lanesborough, the Preparatory School of RGS Guildford. Clare is joined by several members of the senior leadership team who have experience of the Royal Grammar School Guilford. In addition, the Headmaster of RGS Guilford, Dr John Cox, will be the Chair of Governors of RGS Dubai.

Our pupil/teacher ratio supports personalised learning for all pupils in our care, with a maximum class size of 20 in EYFS and 22 in subsequent years. This is about more than just ratio – it is about a commitment to each and every pupil: that our staff will know them, look in detail at their individual journey and support them in their progress.

Character development through the Riyada curriculum and our learning habits will encourage our pupils to understand how they learn, how to acquire the tool kit that allows them, as young people, to have the skills to thrive in an ever-changing world.  This then, in turn, allows our young people to understand and not be daunted by some of the significant challenges in the world. It allows them to understand how they can make a positive impact and become global thinkers.

Who is the leadership team?

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai’s senior leadership team includes three teachers who have a wealth of experience from teaching at the parent school in the UK and include Assistant Head, Upper KS2, Mr Joe Creal, Head of Inclusion, Mrs Laura Evans and Director of Sport, Mr James Bennett. 

Mr Joe Creal, Assistant Head, Upper KS2

An old Guildfordian, former student, and current teacher at RGS Guildford in the UK, Mr Joe Creal is extremely excited to be part of the founding team in Dubai. He is very much looking forward to bringing to Dubai the spirit of the Royal Grammar School Guildford in the UK, a school that he loves and knows so well. 

Mrs Laura Evans, Head of Inclusion

Mrs Laura Evans is a proud custodian of the Royal Grammar School Guildford’s values and learning habits after heading up the Learning Support and EAL Departments at the Prep school at RGS Guildford for the past 11 years. Mrs Evans will also be joining RGSGD in April to assist with the new pupil assessments.

Mr James Bennett, Director of Sport

Mr James Bennett brings with him more than 15 years of experience in teaching at prestigious preparatory schools in the UK, including the role of Director of Sport at RGS in Guildford. Mr Bennett has extensive coaching experience in cricket, football, swimming, athletics, gymnastics and climbing, and is looking forward to helping the pupils at Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai, achieve their sporting goals, as well as helping them develop a love of physical activity.

Mrs Angela Sutherland, Head of Early Years

Mrs Angela Sutherland has 16 years of school leadership experience across the primary age range from roles in both the UK and the Middle East. She is delighted to be bringing her knowledge and experience to RGS Guildford Dubai and joins from a school in the UAE, which has consistently been rated outstanding for the past five years for its Early Years Department.   

Mrs Beckie Bennett, Assistant Head of KS1

Mrs Bennett, has more than 10 years of primary, early years and sports teaching experience. After spending the last three years as a Deputy Head, Mrs Bennett is highly experienced in adapting to teaching a variety of cultures and nationalities and has spearheaded forward-thinking learning programmes for children across the UK in subjects such as English as a Foreign Language, as well as a Special Educational Needs programmes.

Mr Imran Akhtar, Assistant Head, Lower KS2

Mr Imran Akhtar has 13 years of teaching experience both from schools based in the UK and outstanding rated schools within the UAE. Mr Akhtar is returning back to Dubai from a primary school in the UK, where he was a member of the Senior Leadership Team and a Curriculum & Phase Leader.

Mrs Sajida Al Bashir, Head of Arabic and Islamic Studies

Mrs Sajida Al Bashir brings 24 years of Arabic, Islamic and Social Studies teaching experience from schools across the Middle East with her to her role at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Mrs Bashir’s depth of knowledge in this sector covers a variety of curriculum boards that include British, American and IB schools. She is an experienced Head of Department, holds a Masters in Education, and regularly contributes to conferences and national debates about curriculum developments. 

Why choose this curriculum/programme?

Each curriculum has its place within the world of education today; each fits the needs of a certain group of pupils. The British curriculum has long been considered the gold standard of education; it is broad and individualised at the same time. Throughout, our highly trained team use the English National Curriculum as the basis for planning and assessment. We balance the richness of this curriculum with activities and topics that are led by the interests of our pupils. Young children connect learning through exploration, and our enquiry-based approach allows conceptual development to be encouraged through a multi-subject and sensory approach. This allows the pupils to go far beyond the acquisition of knowledge and develop critical thinking, creativity, risk-taking, perseverance, and teamwork through their investigations. From the beginning, we encourage our pupils to develop the ability to be organised, to reflect, to self-evaluate, and so to refine their work and approach, thus making great progress.

Do they offer a lunch service?

Absolutely, lunchtime and eating together is an important part of the day.  Allowing our pupils and teachers to relax, rejuvenate and spend some quality time chatting and sharing experiences over the eating of lunch.  This is a very traditional part of the school day in a school in the UK.  We are currently deciding on our catering partner.

RGSGD is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and will support pupils in making healthy food choices.  Food on site will be available, with a range of healthy options for pupils to eat at break times and lunchtimes. All food preparation and service areas will be in-line with Dubai Municipality and DHA expectations. The menus will cater for a wide range of pupils, with a strict policy on allergens.

Campus information/details on facilities and sports

As part of our commitment to providing teachers and pupils with a quality learning environment, the Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (RGSGD) is incredibly excited to deliver world-class facilities that will provide every child with access to the level of education needed to thrive in the 21st century.

What are the school timings?

For FS1 – FS2:

  • 07.00: Breakfast Club
  • 07.50: Registration
  • 14.30: Pick-up (if not participating in clubs or after-school care)
  • 14.30 – 15.15: Clubs/Extra curricular activities
  • Through to 16.30: After-school care

For KS1 – KS2:

  • 07.00: Breakfast Club
  • 07.50: Registration
  • 15.15: Pick-up (if not participating in clubs or after-school care)
  • Through to 16.30: After-school Care

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Learn more about Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai


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Main Number: +971 58 951 2021
Email: [email protected]