DUBAI // A new school is opening in the emirate this autumn that aims to help pupils master three languages – English, German and French.
Swiss International Scientific School, which will open in September, will become the emirate’s second boarding school after Repton Dubai.
At first, the school will have space for 1,400 pupils from the ages of 3 to 11. A secondary school with 1,000 extra spaces is expected to open two years later.
Its boarding facilities will open a year or two after that.
The school will teach the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, one of the most sought-after curricula in the emirate.
A recent report by the private school regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, said that the emirate’s seven IB schools are at 93.3 per cent capacity.
Beat Sommer, head teacher of the school, said: “The majority of the curricula here are either British, American or Indian, and the IB is certainly growing quite rapidly.”
The school’s multilingual curriculum is aimed at the country’s multinational families.
School founder Omar Danial, a Swiss national who lives in Dubai, said: “As a father of six children who are being raised in a multilingual household, the school’s linguistic curriculum was essentially designed to cater to my children whose needs are shared by many other types of families.
“A growing number of mainland European families are migrating to Dubai and looking for alternatives to mainstream English UK/US curriculum, and we are providing a world-class option for them.”
The school will allow pupils to spend 50 per cent of their time learning in English and 50 per cent in their second chosen language of French or German.
“We believe that through languages, you also have access to the culture and the different ways of understanding each other,” Mr Sommer said. “This is also within the IB philosophy, if you look at the learner profile, a lot of it’s inquiry based, it’s a bit of a different approach. It’s a more holistic approach than just a purely content-driven approach.”
Pupils above Grade 1 must demonstrate language proficiency to be admitted.
Construction of the primary school, located at Al Jaddaf along Dubai Creek, is expected to be completed in June.
Annual tuition fees range from Dh60,000 for pre-kindergarten up to Dh95,000 for Grade 6.