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Why Choose A New School: Arcadia Preparatory School

Why Choose A New School: Arcadia Preparatory School

With almost 20 new schools set to open in Dubai over the next few months, whichschooladvisor has been inundated with questions about each one and their distinct lack of ‘track-record.’

We’ve had questions on: building completion, recruitment, the lack of KHDA inspections, new facilities, curriculum delivery and more.

But what if we told you every school opening this summer has its own ‘unique selling point,’ and whether that’s the backing of an international brand, a ‘celebrity-principal,’ or that its part of a proven and well established local group, they’ really can’t be considered ‘unknown’ at all!

To answer the questions Dubai’s parents want answered, whichschooladvisor spoke to each new school’s principal to find out just what makes their school unique and why it should be top of any parent’s potential school list.

We spoke to Graham Beale, founding principal at Arcadia Preparatory School to find out his views on new schools.


Briefly explain why Arcadia Preparatory School should be on every parent’s’ shortlist?

The Arcadia Preparatory School has a unique offering that appeals to parents that are looking for a school that offers an English education in an innovative environment. Our Enrichment Learning Programme offers an extended day filled with learning opportunities for our children. We back that up with a technology programme, based exclusively on Apple products, which supplements our curriculum, providing our children with learning tools that truly make a positive difference. We also provide full in-school homework support for our children, as parents indicated to us prior to school set up, that this was a major point of stress for them at home. Last but not least we want to ensure that we prepare all our children for secondary school, so apart from a solid curriculum based on EYFS and the English National Primary Curriculum, we have a very strong English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme, that also ensures our non-native English speaking students graduate our school with a comprehensive understanding of the English language.

We truly believe we are the first school in the country that puts our teachers at the forefront of our philosophy. Our core set of teachers has been recruited directly from the UK through Gabbitas Education, a 143-year old British education firm. Each and every teacher has been handpicked through a rigorous selection process. We are also building premium accommodation for our teachers within walking distance from the school – Arcadia House will provide a great living experience for our teachers.


Why do you think prospective parents are less receptive in sending their child to a new school

It comes down to credibility. Many schools are promising various things and parents are quite naturally hesitant to accept what is being said until they see the school up and running. This is true not only here, but also all over the world. We are extremely excited to open our doors to the community and are confident that what we are offering will put any parent concerns at ease.
What do you see as the ‘pros’ of  choosing a new school?


With a new school comes all the excitement of an innovative curriculum, brand new facilities and teachers who are up to date with the latest changes with the English National Curriculum. Besides, in the case of The Arcadia Preparatory School, our parents will enjoy a lifetime 30% scholarship subsidy for children enrolled during the 2016-2017 academic year as well as their siblings.


What do you think are the ‘cons?’

The cons are that parents do not really know what the ethos and culture of the school will be until it starts. However, parents can get a fair sense of this when interacting with the school leadership prior to the opening of the school.


What are the questions you think parents should ask of a new school and what should they look for on their tour?

Parents should be asking questions concerning the school ethos, its ability to impart the curriculum, its provision of extra-curricular activities and its teacher quality. They should also be aware of any hidden costs – at Arcadia, our uniforms, textbooks and enrichment learning are all included in our school fee.
How would you suggest parents go about assessing the suitability of a new school in the absence of KHDA inspection results, parent testimonials, etc?

The KHDA is a very ‘parent friendly’ organisation, therefore parents should not hesitate to contact them and ask them any questions that they may have with regards to a new school. I would encourage parents to spend time with the school principal and really understand the vision and ethos behind the school. At the end of the day, every school needs to look at parents as partners and deliver the best learning environment for their children, therefore it is important that parents feel comfortable with the school leadership from the outset.

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