Planting seeds for growth and prosperity, Dwight School Dubai marked its official opening with a special ceremony in November.
Planting seeds for growth and prosperity, Dwight School Dubai marked its official opening with a special ceremony in November. Two months earlier, our first school in the Middle East welcomed students from pre-K through grade 10 — and they have been blossoming ever since!
Dwight School Dubai, located in Al Barsha South, will ultimately grow to full capacity with 2,000 students through grade 12. It features state-of-the-art academic, athletic, and arts facilities to ignite the spark of genius in every child.
To celebrate the momentous opening, Dwight School Dubai launched Spark Week, inspired by Dwight’s signature Spark Tank incubator program in New York, which teaches entrepreneurial, innovation, and leadership skills beyond the classroom. As readers of Dwight Today know, many students have pursued their passion projects in Spark Tank since its 2015 inception, including those who have successfully introduced their products — ranging from novel apps to signature fashion lines — into the marketplace.
“It was wonderful to kick off our celebrations with Spark Week to inspire our creative minds and fuel our thirst for innovation. Our students were so excited to share their ideas and began right away to develop their own projects,” reports Janecke Aarnæs, Head of Dwight School Dubai.
“During Spark Week, we welcomed professionals from IBM, Sharaf DG, and Jotun to share their entrepreneurial expertise with students. We also initiated a student challenge to design school merchandise such as backpacks and sweatshirts, with the best of each design chosen for production,” Ms. Aarnæs says. “There were so many great concepts, we had a hard time selecting!”
Dubai’s Spark Tank Center is equipped with the latest technology, including 3D printers, HD touch-screen collaboration tables, electronic stations, a large-bed laser cutter, as well as flexible working spaces and pitching areas, to help students design and engineer their ideas into reality. “While we are thrilled to have the finest facilities and best tools to facilitate invention, it is our culture of innovation that matters most,” reports Ms. Aarnæs.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Ms. Aarnæs relocated from Norway to watch Dwight School Dubai emerge, literally, from the sand. She recruited a team, including Associate Head of School Rebecca Skinner, and began building a community dedicated to bringing the Dwight spark of genius educational ethos to Dubai. Seven members of the Dwight family relocated, bringing their IB expertise — Jaya Bhavnani, Filiz Sevil, and Yumi Lee from New York; and Justin Dacanay, who began in Seoul, moved from London with Viktorija Rude, Geoff Cusack, and Anneloes Hobbeling.
Less than a year later, Dwight School Dubai has already become a standout in the competitive independent school arena. As the school continues to take root, we look forward to it being on the forefront of education and innovation in the entire UAE.