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Reach British School, Abu Dhabi – First Review

Reach British School is owned by Malik Melhem, a Jordanian national and founder of the Reach Foundation, which is involved in a range of commercial development and business activities in Abu Dhabi.  Reach British School is his first venture into Education.  The school opened in September 2014.

More: Read the Q and A with Reach British School here.

The school is located on a large site in Baniyas East, close to the E11 highway towards Mafraq.  The school is constructed around a central courtyard, which is shaded.  On the two longer sides of the courtyard are teaching blocks; at the furthest end is the Foundation unit (a single-storey, independent purpose-built block) and at the opposite end is an area still under construction that will house a multi-purpose hall, 25m swimming pool and the main entrance and reception areas.

Unfortunately, although the school offers a great deal of internal space in large size class-rooms, it lacks external green space, with outdoor play sessions and sports all taking place on the concrete central courtyard area.

The school currently has approximately 700 students, the majority of whom are Emirati. Approximately 20 other nationalities are represented, including expat-Arab families and a small number of Europeans.  The eventual capacity of the school is 2,100. The current teacher to student ratio is 1:28 – on the low side.

Reach currently teaches to Year 7, with places available only in Year 6, and will add Years 8 and 9 for September 2015.  The school teaching is currently co-educational and there has been some discussion as to whether this will continue through the Secondary school, or whether classes will be split into separate boys and girls streams.  The Head feels that the school teaching should be co-educational throughout (with the exception of PE as per local norms), as is usual in UK curriculum schools.

With 30 students per class planned, it is important that adequate staffing is in place; there is currently 1 teacher and teaching assistant in FS1 to year 1 and a teacher and shared teaching assistant in years 2 and 3.  There is a strong demand among the students for English as an Additional Language support, and the school is ensuring that additional recruitment is taking place to cover this requirement.

Similarly, additional staff  to support children with Special Educational Needs are also being recruited, now that the requirements are known.  All staff are native-English speakers, the majority from the UK.

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For expat families seeking to have real access to and involvement with local families in a UK curriculum school, Reach British School offers an interesting opportunity.

Fees for Reach British School currently range from 19,800 AED for FS1 and 2, rising to 23,100 AED for Years 1 through to 6. Fees are paid in two installments. The school also offers transportation, which costs an additional 4,500 AED, covering the bus journey both to and from school.

 

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If you are the principal or the owner of the school and note any factual inaccuracies in this review, kindly contact us at editor@edu2021.com.

 

Update on June 26, 2015 | Reviewed by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com on October 26, 2014

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