The British National Curriculum School opened its doors in 1982 as Dubai Montessori, then became Beacon House International School and in 1995 was renamed as The British National Curriculum School. The school is now stuck with this name but will be moving over to a new 60,000 sq feet premise ...

By Ilyas Qureshi

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Published: Thu 27 May 2004, 1:49 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:58 AM

in Nad Al Hamar Rashidiya. The land for the new building has allotted by the Dubai Municipality.

'We run classes up to grade eight and are under pressure to start grade nine as well. With the present premise, which is almost 22 years old, it's just not possible to expand. Therefore we will be moving over to the new building in the academic year starting September 2005,' said Lubna Khawaja, the Kenya-born British citizen who is the vice principal of the school.

'I joined the school some three years ago and can say that the student intake has gone up. At present we have some 250 students from 33 nationalities but we are expecting 600 students in the new building next year. Our 13 faculty members, again coming from several countries, prepare students for International General Certification School Examination (IGCSE) UK. Though we don't refuse admission to anyone, we still make them go through an entrance test where we test their IQ level and if the child is weak, we advice special courses,' said Lubna.

'The best part of our school is that we admit children with special needs, not the ones with extreme disability but those with minor learning problems and integrate them into the main stream education. We have two students suffering from autism in grade eight and a few more in second and third grades and a dyslexic child in grade sixth. We are, in fact, planning to open a separate section for these children in the new building,' said Lubna. She called in a special needs student, Y. Eashwar Chandranad to support her statement.

Chandu, as the boy is called by his teacher and classmates, likes to talk a lot unless asked by the vice principal to answer to the given questions. 'Earlier I studied for five years in the Wadi Kabeer Indian School in Muscat and came to Dubai and joined Oxford School. Everything was fine there except that some of the students teased me in the bus so I left that school and joined this one. I am fine here and have no problems so far as the students are very co-operative.' Chandranad has not decided what he wants to do in the future but according to Lubna he takes part in concerts and sports. 'For our last annual concert the selection was done but with only three days left Chandu came up with a request to include him for the Munnabhai MBBS dance number. We took him on and enjoyed every bit of his performance,' said Lubna adding, 'The exam papers of these children are set separately and they are helped all along their schooling career.'

Mohammed Hussain Atlasi, 14, who joined the school some two years ago has come from the Adab Iranian School. He is the head boy of grade eight. 'I wanted to improve my English to get better therefore I joined this British educational system school and yes the changeover has made the difference as I speak and write good English now.

This will also help me in my higher studies as I will join another school and take up a career in computers.'

A seventh grader, Assad Al Ghadi Mohammed who is from Sudan looks forward to the long summer break. 'I want to spend the holidays here in Dubai. I think I deserve it because I have been studying hard for the last few months.'

Iram Arendse came from South Africa and is a former student of Al Khaleej School. 'Initially I had some problems with maths but now I am coping well,' said the eighth grader. Her classmate Tahreem Dalvi was born in Dubai but studied at the Hiranandani School in Powai, Mumbai, and also at Westminster and Al Khaleej Schools.

She finds the studies tougher in Indian syllabus because they teach eight grade lessons to the sixth and seventh graders there. 'Here we get more holidays,' grins the teenager who aspires to become a skin specialist.

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