Princess Haya inaugurates school in Dubai

Tours school's state-of-the-art facilities; visits three classrooms

Chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, yesterday inaugurated the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai (SISD), Dubai’s first ever private school to offer multilingual education in English, French, German, Italian and Arabic, at its newly opened school campus in Dubai Healthcare City, Phase 2.

Princess Haya was joined by Maya Tissafi, Swiss Ambassador in the UAE; Dr Raja Al Gurg, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Director, Dubai Healthcare City Authority; Fatma Al Merri; and Jamila Al Muhairi from Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA); Mr. Omar Danial, Founder SISD; Mr. Ahmed Seddiqi, Co-Founder SISD; Mr Beat Sommer, Head of School; Mr. Bilbo Perrot, Board Member; Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, DHCC Board Member; Dr Amer Sharif, DHCC Board Member; as well as key members of the School’s staff.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Princess Haya toured SISD’s state-of-the-art facilities and environmentally friendly campus, while learning about its specialised IB curriculum that will soon also boast an exceptional scientific learning programme. As part of the tour, she visited three classrooms, including the Early Years and Primary Years pupils, as well as the School’s Early Years playground and Primary multi-function sports areas. In speaking with Omar Danial and Beat Sommer, as well as the staff and children, HRH Princess Haya was given a real insight into what is on offer at the Swiss International Scientific School.  After the tour, the staff of the Swiss International Scientific School presented Princess Haya a woven tree created by the students at the school.

Dr Raja Al Gurg, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Director of Dubai Healthcare City Authority, commented: "We are delighted that we now have a school, SISD, in Healthcare City offering a specialised curriculum with a strong scientific focus for secondary students, providing a springboard for those who wish to pursue academia in medicine or healthcare. SISD fills a gap in the UAE and indeed region for an education with a dedicated sciences stream, which will support our medical and healthcare professionals of the future."
 
Commenting on the visit, SISD Head of School, Beat Sommer, said: "We were delighted to welcome HRH Princess Haya to visit our brand new campus and offer our students the opportunity to meet such an inspiring individual who epitomises the global citizen we so actively seek to nurture within our students. During her tour not only was she introduced to our state-of-the-art facilities and IB curriculum, but she learned that SISD’s aim is to create a thriving international community built on environmentally friendly standards that promotes a balance across all areas of life. HRH Princess Haya shares with us the ethos that enthusiastic and ambitious children can lay the foundation for a successful and happy life." 

The 67,845sqm campus is also the Middle East’s first low-energy building in the education space, consuming one third of the energy of standard buildings across the region. Sustainability plays a key role in the school’s objectives, which was proudly awarded with the region’s first MINERGIE Certification. The MINERGIE label, which is awarded to low-energy buildings, is thought to significantly improve the comfort and productivity of occupants at viable costs as opposed to traditional construction techniques. The cost reduction will be translated into savings that will fund academic scholarships on offer to students. 
 
Upon opening its doors for the 2015/2016 school year, the school recorded admissions of 270 pupils comprising of 41 nationalities with 57 teaching staff, with classes currently running from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 6. In line with regulatory requirements, grades 7 to 12 will be added in the following years, when the school’s specialised curriculum will also boast a scientific programme. The scientific focus will offer a valuable springboard for secondary students should they choose to pursue academia in medicine or healthcare. The other option is the Swiss Baccalaureate programme, which offers a comprehensive general education, with students graduating with a diploma recognised both within Switzerland and internationally.

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