Brighton College opens in Al Ain in September 2013

Brighton College Al Ain

Brighton College Al Ain will open in September 2013 in the Zakher district.
The co-educational Junior School will open for pupils in FS1 up to Year 4, together with the Boys’ School and the Girls’ School for boys and girls from Years 5 to 9. Years 10 to 13 will open from 2014 and by 2017 the College will educate 1,200 pupils across the full 3-18 age range, offering a British-style curriculum leading to GCSE and the IB Diploma. 

Alun Yorath

The founding headmaster will be Alun Yorath who has just finished working as the Head of the Senior School at Brighton College Abu Dhabi – so he has experience of expat life and of settling into a new country. (Alun’s pictured on the right with his wife Natasha, and his daughter.)
In August 2013 approximately 60 new staff will arrive to begin a new life in Al Ain and work for the school.
The vast majority will be new to the UAE.
Visit the Brighton College website for more information and up-to-date photos of the building in progress.

Al Ain English Speaking School

This is the main school that children from the UK attend in Al Ain. (Our children spent a year at the Choueifat School in Al Ain as there were no spaces at AESS in September 2009. Only one other child at that school was from the UK.)

AESS is an excellent school with enthusiastic teachers and a lively community.

(If you have searched the net for information about this school you may have come across some criticism. Most of this is very out of date now.)

Walking round it ‘feels’ like a British school.

I drop my sons off at the school entrance at 7.15am. Our 8-year-old in Year 3 finishes at 2.30pm, so to keep out of the heat we go into the school library for 20 minutes until our 11-year-old in Year 7 finishes at 2.50pm.

A few afternoons a week one or both boys stays after school to play football (soccer) or cricket.

There are lots of out-of-school activities including overseas holidays, trips to museum, trip to an explosive, fun-packed science show called Brainiac in Dubai. Music lessons take place during the day. There’s an orchestra. The football teams compete against other teams in Dubai. There was a Quiz Night for parents at a local golf club at the start of term. The parents evening in October was very well organised and attended. A large book supplier in Abu Dhabi brought thousands of books in October and completely filled the large hall with popular British children’s books, with part of the takings going to school funds.

Here are some photos.

This one shows the left of the main entrance…


…and this shows the main entrance, and what’s to the right of it…


Inside the grounds…


And to the right of the above shot…


A covered play area for younger children…


See a separate article on the Community Library at this school.

The Choueifat School in Al Ain

Our first choice for schooling was the Al Ain English Speaking School, but by the time we booked in the summer of 2009 there were no places for our boys, so we signed them up at our second choice, the Choueifat School in Al Ain. They had a great year there. Half way through his first year at Choueifat, Toby told me that he felt he had learned twice as much in the last few months there than he had done the previous year at the private school he attended in the UK. So he felt he was getting a good education.

Choueifat School

Choueifat School

Choueifat classroom

The headmaster there is Mr Ramzi Eid. During the following year, our 7-year-old, Felix, complained to my wife and I that he was being bullied. I went to see Mr Eid, and this matter was quickly resolved.

This is a photo of the 2 of us in the main lobby of the school…

Mr Ramzi Eid

… and a close-up.

Mr Ramzi Eid 2

His wife, Mrs Indira Eid, is the exam officer at the school, and she was the one who showed us round the school when we first arrived in Al Ain.

During the year I would drop the boys off at 7.20am for a 7.45am start, then pick them up at 4pm. (The 7-year-old finished at 3.15pm, but happily went into the late room til 4pm.)

The Al Ain English Speaking School starts at 7.45am and finishes at 2.30 in the primary school and 2.50 in secondary.