by Belinda Breeze

Many schools offer a personalised education, but what does that actually mean and how does this work? With hundreds of students in a school, surely it’s not practical to run hundreds of different timetables. One pioneering school in Dubai, Bloom World Academy, has gone further than most, offering a tailored timetable for each and every child through their Personal Pathways programme.

Pathways are wide-ranging to cater for all interests and needs and include subjects from across the curriculum, focusing on developing the learner holistically. There are currently over 100 different programmes and more than 50 Bloom Enrichment Learning Activities (BELA) that students can choose from for their afternoon timetable. These range from Vikings Surf Sports, where students explore a variety of surf lifesaving, water safety, first aid and rescue techniques not only on the school’s campus but also on the beach at the Viking Surf Sports Centre, journalism, World Scholars Cup, and the Electric Vehicle Grand Prix, which offers a thrilling opportunity for students to not only design and build an electric race car but also compete in high-speed races. This experience opens a pathway to exciting careers in motorsport and electric vehicle engineering, where students can drive innovation and shape the future of transportation.

Other pathways include foreign languages (Russian, Arabic, German, English, Spanish and French), visual art, performing arts, music and movement, science, PE, design technology, information and communication technology, life skills and additional maths for those who either need support or need to be stretched.

The school also offers a Community Service and Action Pathway, which allows students to participate in the community where they live, paying special importance to developing their sense of social responsibility and improving those skills that will enable them to make effective contributions to society.

Bloom World Academy has taken customised education to a whole new level introducing a ground-breaking range of new programmes from Surf Lifesaving to Model United Nations and Electric Vehicle Grand Prix

Bloom World Academy’s wide range of offerings means that every student’s timetable is uniquely different. Students are able to customise their education, and this choice is accessible to both the junior and senior schools so that even the youngest school members can choose between subject options. The ‘stage, not age’ approach means that children from different grade levels can work together according to their aptitude and attitudes, allowing them to progress at the pace that best suits their learning. Through the Personal Pathway’s programme for students who enjoy and thrive in physical, health and education, the school is able to offer up to 100 minutes of PE lessons per week within the timetable, rather than the standard 40 minutes that are allocated to students in the UAE. A great advantage to those who love sport.

Feedback from the students themselves has been overwhelmingly positive. One Grade 3 student said: “Pathways are enjoyable because some are not subjects you normally do in school or day-to-day life, so you try new things.” Another Grade 7 student said: “The pathways are great; it’s nice to see change happening in the school system.”

John Bell, Founding Principal of Bloom World Academy, said: “Our Personal Pathways programme allows students to explore their passions beyond the core curriculum. It’s not about choosing subjects that are the easiest, but rather what they are genuinely interested in, exploring and developing their skill sets. In practical terms, it means that those children who are above their age in a certain topic, such as languages, can be taught at their stage rather than their age, as we don’t see the benefit of holding any child back.”

“Our Personal Pathways programme allows students to explore their passions beyond the core curriculum’’

Nishi Saran, Senior Vice Principal, Nexus & Senior School, Bloom World Academy, added: “Bloom World Academy believes in preparing students not just academically but for the wider world. The Personal Pathways Programme offers diverse opportunities to develop essential skills for the future, ensuring that students are not only book smart but also resilient, collaborative, and adaptable. By seamlessly integrating these pathways into our core curriculum, we provide an immersive learning experience that extends far beyond traditional classrooms and offers a unique approach that opens doors to diverse career opportunities and real world experiences, making education at Bloom World Academy truly transformative.”

Bloom World Academy has been making waves in the UAE’s education sector since its launch in August 2022. The first school in the UAE to start the school day at 9.00am, and offer flexible hours to support family life, the Academy’s ‘dare to be different’ approach has proven immensely popular with parents, students, and teachers. The school has already built a thriving parent community with its open-door policy, offering weekly parent meetups and monthly workshops to encourage conversations from parents and active participation in their children’s progress.

To read more from Bloom World Academy