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Hard Hat Tour: Arcadia Global School


Construction is now well under way on Arcadia Global School, the new “high quality value school” from Arcadia Education, set to open in Dubai’s Al Furjan community in August 2023. The new school is positioned as offering the English national curriculum in premium facilities, yet at an affordable price point. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com enjoyed a hard hat tour of the school site with Founding Principal, Andrew Wilson, and Arcadia School Executive Principal, Giles Pruett. 

The new school campus, situated just a stone’s throw from Al Furjan metro station, is set to have capacity for 4,200 students in total, from Foundation Stage 1 through to Year 13. The school will launch in 2023 with the primary school campus, which is set to have a capacity of 2,400 students, with the secondary campus due to open in 2024. 

Founding Principal, Andrew Wilson, explained that school’s facilities will be on par with those of the group’s premium fee Arcadia School in JVT. Facilities will include outdoor sports courts, multiple swimming pools, fully equipped science labs and a multi-purpose hall for performances and indoor sports. 

Mr Wilson explained:

“Arcadia Global School follows the vision of our chairman, Mohan Valrani, who wanted to provide the highest quality education possible, for an affordable fee. The school is being built from his own investment, meaning we can follow this vision without being answerable to investors. This allows us to actually deliver without compromise.” 

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Arcadia School Executive Principal, Giles Pruett, and Arcadia Global Principal, Andrew Wilson, talk us through the campus layout

Perhaps the section at the most advanced stage of construction is the early years unit, which will have its own separate entrance and spacious outdoor play facilities. FS1 and FS2 classes will have a maximum of 25 students, and will follow the same child-led approach used in Arcadia School JVT. 

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Visual of Early Years play space and classroom exterior

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Arcadia Global’s Early Years section rising.

The early years and primary school swimming pools are already taking shape. Mr Wilson explained that these facilities will be used as part of the school’s regular education provision, with swimming sessions integrated into the curriculum. 

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One side of the vast primary school building, which extends into an L-shape (corner of early years swimming pool below)

Giles Pruett, Arcadia School Executive Principal, explained that the new school has been designed with the benefit of lessons learned in the creation of Arcadia Primary and Secondary schools. This not only includes the integration of sustainability features from the design phase (solar power will be heavily utilised, in addition to energy efficiency measures), but also what Mr Pruett describes as the “smaller details” that make a significant difference to the operations of a school and the students’ education experience.

So how does a school offer all these premium facilities, as well as a premium curriculum, but at an affordable price point? Perhaps unsurprisingly, class sizes are a little larger than those of its sister school, with a maximum of 25 children per class in the foundation stage, and going up to 30 from Year 1 onwards. These sizes are on a par, perhaps even a little smaller than, other schools in the more affordable fee range. 

Mr Wilson was quick to assure us that teaching quality would not be compromised on. He explained that the school’s staffing would be deliberately diverse and it would not just recruit from the UK. This would help in it being a truly ‘global’ school. However, all teachers would need to come with considerable experience in the English National curriculum. 

For those who are eager to have a look, a number of classrooms are planned for completion as early as January, to allow families to visit the campus in advance of the August 2023 opening. Until then, Principal Andrew Wilson welcomes families to visit the Arcadia School campus in JVT, for a glimpse at a similar level of quality facilities. 

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Visual of the school’s exterior (above) and current point in construction (below)

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Hard Hat Tour: Arcadia Global School
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