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Durham School in the UK has a proud history of providing excellence in education that stretches back over 600 years. Drawing on this rich heritage, Durham Dubai is clear in its aim to provide an authentic British education experience, but what does it actually mean?

Principal Mark Atkins is direct in his assertion that any pupil stepping through the doors at Durham School Dubai can, to all intent and purposes, expect to receive exactly the same quality education, same standards and ethos as they would 3,500 miles north in the ancient cathedral city. Durham Dubai is academically ambitious for its pupils; it expects them to work hard and to make the most of the opportunities made available to them. They are supported in this by an exceptional teaching staff almost entirely recruited directly from the UK. Durham has quickly been recognised for its high-quality teachers and, with more than 800 applications for limited positions to join the school for the start of the next academic year, you can be sure that Durham’s pupils will benefit.

Durham Dubai also takes a more traditional approach to teaching. While acknowledging the importance of technology, Durham is a school that believes in work in books, neat cursive handwriting and judicious use of technology; an iPad is no substitute for a quality teacher.

Authentic British education is about so much more than academic results. While not dismissing the importance of examination results, Durham believes that truly worthwhile education is best measured in pupil progress and social and emotional growth. Durham is a school determined to foster social skills and confidence.

“The most successful people in the workplace will always be those not just with impressive academic results but those who have the ability to communicate, connect, empathise and enthuse,” says Principal Atkins. “We believe in helping our pupils to be young men and women of courage and integrity; outward-looking and determined to make a meaningful contribution to society. Underpinning this is the development of confidence they will receive from our strong focus on the individual and commitment to pastoral care.”

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Like the UK school, Durham Dubai has a strong focus on language and the arts. English, languages and humanities are equally important as mathematics and science. Music, drama and art are strongly promoted, as is sport with all pupils able to benefit from a range of curricular and co-curricular options.

From a strong start, Durham is committed to measured and controlled expansion over the coming years. Principal Atkins is quick to acknowledge the vision and commitment to quality shared by the school governors and investors.

“We all know that the strongest trees are those that take time to grow. Durham School UK has taken 600 years to develop and Durham Dubai, while not taking quite that long, will take its time to grow to ensure that every pupil receives the quality education they deserve.”

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