Karen McCord, Executive Principal, Australian International School Dubai with a student Image Credit: Supplied

Karen McCord, Executive Principal, Australian International School Dubai talks about what the education group’s latest offering has to offer

What does AIS seek to achieve through its latest school in the UAE, opening in Dubai this August?

Our partnership in education between our staff and families will provide the best holistic education possible for our students within a safe, secure and happy environment. AIS Dubai continues the relationship the Al Sharif Investment Trading Group began over 15 years ago with the Government of Queensland in delivering the Australian Curriculum framework.

Artist illustration of the new AIS campus Image Credit: Supplied

The Innovative Australian Curriculum Framework, delivered by outstanding Australian teachers, Arabic specialists and skilled support staff is designed to ensure each child within a futures focused, supportive environment learns how to learn, develops a deeper understanding about the world around them and their place in it, and in doing so, develops a love of lifelong learning to ensure they reach for the stars.

How popular is the Australian Curriculum here in the UAE?

Our Sharjah school has been successful for over 15 years, with Emiratis, Australians and many other cultures because of our futures focused curriculum, and the successful outcomes of our graduates. Over the years many Dubai families have expressed their wish to have access to the same opportunities Sharjah families have had for many years. This school is the outcome of so many families making it clear that the Australian Curriculum would be their curriculum of choice. We have been thrilled with the response of our families since the announcement of our 2021 opening.

How is AIS hoping to be a game changer for the UAE education sector?

Australian International School will effectively prepare students for their future. Within each learning area, the Australian Curriculum is organised around key learning principles that reflect a combination of best practice in educational research:

● Engaged Learning –relevance, active learning negotiated, inquiry approach

● Connected Learning – pathways for personal need

● Rigorous Learning – intellectual rigour, literacy, numeracy, ICT links, learning is what students do, not what is done to them

● ‘How to’ Learning – CCEs, Education and Career Planning

● Individualised Learning – inclusive, responsive.

Our pedagogical practice can be categorised around teaching for engagement, teaching for understanding (responsive to cohort data (personality typing, academic data) feedback), and teaching for independence, that is knowing how to learn, not just what to learn.

Our vision for our students is to foster a culture of innovation and our goal ultimately is for them to emerge into society as motivated, emotionally intelligent, reflective, resilient, and investigative thinkers who are self- disciplined, successful and active participants within their community.