Building for Success
11 May. 2017

Building for Success


As one of the oldest private schools in Al Ain, AAESS is continuing to grow and develop.

Principal, Andrew Thomas said, “I’m pleased to announce that there is a lot going on here which is to be celebrated.  Firstly, the amount of A*s predicted in this year’s exams are unprecedented.  They were high last year and we gained a lot more than the UK national average.  Secondly, I am pleased to say that the senior teams here at Al Ain English Speaking School, are building capacity for the future and for the continued success of our students.  Zaheer Abbas (Assistant Principal & Deputy Head of Secondary), is celebrating 15 years at the school this year.  He will be undertaking his NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship) in the new academic year and has signed up for another 4 years!  Chris Ebbinkhuysen (Assistant Principal, Deputy Head of Primary School), has just undertaken a Master’s Degree in Education and has also signed for another 4 years alongside Mrs Helen McCauley (Deputy Principal, Head of Primary), who is entering her 6th year having just completed her Inspector’s exams.  Miss Suzy Eagles, (Associate Principal responsible for Teaching & Learning) has also committed to another 4 years and is also just about to undertake an educational Master’s degree with Chris at Bath University in the UK.  This shows fantastic commitment to the profession where their part time studies will only continue to enhance the student’s outcomes and better the school as a whole.  Knowing that they are still part of the team for another 4 years also helps build the vital capacity and drive for continued success, bringing about stability for the school and the stakeholders”.

The school has also seen much change to the buildings and landscape this year.  At the start of the academic year, a new Library and Virtual Learning Centre was built, alongside 2 new ICT suites, and a new 6th Form centre complete with its own terrace for the students to study and relax.  Over the coming summer, more building work is planned, with a new Astro-turf being laid, more primary classes being added, and a brand new two-story administration building being complete to welcome and serve the parents better.

Andrew added, “We are even improving the canteen over summer and adding a coffee shop for the parents.  We have also just completed building two new blocks of flats off site for our staff, to make them more comfortable too. There are even further plans to expand over the next 3 years.  This really is exciting times in the school where we look to improve and develop the school to enhance the experience and development of our students”

Working alongside lead inspectors and The Knowledge Group, Andrew concluded, “This school is on a path for great success.  The changes and growth in the last 18 months have been spectacular.  Having been a previous leader in an Outstanding UK School, I know what it takes and what it looks like to be a leading school: We are certainly on course and myself, the Trustees and the Chairman will not stop to continue to achieve excellence for all”.

About the author

The Al Ain English Speaking School is a privately owned ‘not for profit’ school. It was set up by seven local and international companies in 1978. The rationale was to provide an appropriate standard of education for the children of expatriate employers, to ensure that they would not be socially or academically disadvantaged when they returned to their home countries. We are located on the border between the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the scenic UNESCO world heritage site in the oasis city of Al Ain.


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