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Bloom World Academy. Major New IB Flagship School Launched in Al Barsha. Promise of UAE’s First Progressive School Confirmed. EXCLUSIVE.
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In a  major announcement for the UAE, Bloom Education has confirmed launch of the first stand-alone Bloom school in the UAE – and the emirates first truly progressive school.

Bloom World Academy will launch in August 2022 on the previous site of Dwight School Dubai. The school sits on the well-established, premium Tier 1 Bloom Campus in Al Barsha which currently hosts Brighton College Dubai, itself a partnership between Bloom Education and its UK founding school.

It has been confirmed that the new Bloom World Academy will offer an all-through International Baccalaureate curriculum education to students between the age of 4 years and 18 years, but will initially open to Year 9, with remaining years opening in gradual phased launch to culminate in the awarding to students of the International Baccalaureate Diploma in Grade 12.

In a radical twist, one heralding far reaching implications for education in the UAE, Bloom World Academy is to offer a number of UAE firsts and innovations. Bloom World Academy will:

  • be the first school in the UAE to offer a late start time of 9:00am;
  • be the first all-through IB school to offer a flexible school day, offering families significant scope to educate children around their family commitments;
  • be the first to offer “Learning Achievement Passports” which will enable students to much more significantly customise their learning around the own individual needs, potential, ambitions and talent; and
  • be the first school in the UAE to offer an incubator programme, the Lumos Centre. “Driven by an outward look on learning, students will be challenged to explore, play and create in preparation for real-world scenarios; will be taught how to harness innovation and entrepreneurship”; [and will] “develop technical, digital and physical products that can be prepared for market.”
  • be the first truly progressive school in the UAE.

The aim of the school is to put family first and centre of a child’s education and place wellbeing at the heart of a child’s education – inverting the current orthodoxy that in practice means that schools come before family and the wellbeing of children plays second fiddle to the structural restraints of the rigid school curriculum and day integral to other schools in the UAE.

The view is very much that traditional schools have not moved with times. We are no longer in an age where school should be a punishment, or a toughening-up exercise. We are no longer in an age where schools should squash how and what children learn into boxes We are no longer in an age of treating children as automata and cogs in a system.

Bloom World Academy Dubai

Bloom Education, speaking from the new school, told SchoolsCompared:


“Bloom World Academy is a school that dares to do things differently; still providing the highest quality of education expected from a premium school, but [in a radical new way] that is flexible and customised for each child, making it the ideal choice for parents who care as much about how their child receives an education, as well as the end results.”

Bloom Education, building on more than a decade’s experience running some of the most prestigious school brand partnerships in the emirates, including that of Brighton and Dwight, believes that the very special and supportive framework of education in the UAE, together with its exceptional school regulator, the KHDA, in Dubai, means that this is the time to start delivering world-first changes in how a Tier 1 premium education is delivered.


The key drivers are putting children and parents first…

Photograph of landscapted grounds and setting of Bloom World Academy in Dubai

The education group is well-placed to take on such an extraordinary and ambitious project. Bloom Education is part of National Holding, the major Abu Dhabi headquartered conglomerate with a deep-seated commitment to, and integral role within, the future of the emirates and its people. Bloom Education currently provides an outstanding Tier 1 education to 9,000 plus students through Brighton Colleges in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai, Bloom World Academy in Dubai, Charter Schools across Al Ain and Blooms Nursery. Bloom also founded the first Dwight School in the emirates.

The ambition, with Bloom World Academy, is for Dubai and the UAE to have its first truly progressive school, of which Bedales and Summerhill in the UK are probably the best known examples. Progressive schools are built ground up around the individual needs of children, delivering a type of child-centric education that many commentators have long called for but had near given up hope of seeing in the emirates.

Practically, this will mean that parents will be free to design their own bespoke school timings around the official school day of 9:00am to 4:00pm. The school will make available care for students between 7:00am and 9:00am, and later between 5:00pm and 7:00pm. After school activities will run between 4:00pm and 5:00pm.

Photograph of Nilay Ozral, CEO, Bloom Education on the launch of Bloom World Academy

Nilay Ozral, Chief Executive Officer, Bloom Education said:

“Bloom World Academy is a school that harnesses a progressive way of thinking.

The school offers something truly different and dynamic that really does put children’s wellness and development at the forefront of all that it does.

We are so happy to finally be able to offer a school to parents who are looking for the ability to personalise their child’s academic journey in a premium high-quality education setting.”

In terms of when, what and how children learn, the core International Baccalaureate program will be delivered around the concept of ‘stage not age’ – this absolutely core to the delivery of progressive education in the UAE for the first time. 

Children will progress and develop their learning based on their own wishes, aptitude, interests and abilities, not on the arbitrariness and integral unfairness of their age or academic year. The school will empower each student, with their parents, to take ownership of their own learning with a Learning Achievement Passport (LAP). This will empower each child individually to design their own personal curriculum based on their passions, gifts, ambitions and talent. Reviewed monthly, the aim is for the curriculum to change and evolve as children develop their interests and gifts, not squash them into boxes of other people’s choosing.


Experienced Leadership

The ambition is to deliver on what an IB education, faithful to its core values, would really look like, free of the constraints that weigh down other schools, children and families.

Photograph of John Bell, Founding Principal of Bloom World Academy - ex Cognita

Founding Principal of Bloom World Academy, John Bell, confirmed:

“Bloom World Academy is the embodiment of what a true IB curriculum school should be.

We are a firm believer in stage not age when it comes to education – and the school’s flexible, customised approach will support this in every sense.

We are so happy to finally be able to offer parents an education for their children which really does put the student first.”

Mr Bell comes to Bloom World Academy as a highly experienced, senior educationalist with four decades experience in education worldwide. A successful Head Teacher and Executive Head Teacher at outstanding schools in both the United Kingdom and Spain, his most recent role saw him playing a critical role as Executive Principal and Director of Learning and Services at Innoventures Education in Dubai, best known for its Raffles schools in the UAE. Mr Bell was responsible for overseeing the strategic and operational delivery of education and the line management of six schools that included five IB curriculum schools, one British curriculum school and eight early learning centres.

Before moving to Dubai in 2018, Mr Bell was Director of Education at Cognita Group (best known in Dubai for its launch of the Tier 1 Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai) of UK and International schools where he was responsible for the quality of education at 62 schools around the world.

Mr Bell has also served in an advisory capacity to national governments, co-chaired a working group of the Council of International Schools on safeguarding – and has a strong track record of leading school inspections and training teachers and school leaders worldwide, including in the UAE, Jordan, and Singapore.

Read our full 2023 interview with Mr Bell here.


Facilities and School Structure

Bloom World Academy opens Pre-KG to Grade 9 provision in August 2022. The school is uniquely divided into five pastoral phases from Primo, the Early Years Centre, through to Nexus, the Pre-University Centre. In this later of education, students will be taught how to pass examinations successfully, how to prepare for life on graduation and will be supported in applications to university, business, industry and other life decisions they make. The latter will open in phased launch as students grow through, and with, the school.

Facilities are Tier 1 premium plus.


School Fees and Enrolment at Bloom World Academy

Enrolment is now officially open (March 2022) with Founders Fees exclusively for students enrolling into academic year 2022/23 (Pre-KG – Grade 9). These Founding Family fees will be guaranteed for three years.

Bloom World Academy fees

Students will also be given a personal IPAD/MacBook laptop on joining the school, renewed for 3 years between Grade 1 and Grade 9), daily (Monday to Thursday) school-led co-curricular activities, a school uniform package as well as further sibling discounts where applicable.

Our first looks review will be published as the school opens – watch this space.

The evolving story of how Bloom World Academy delivers on its ambitious promise of progressive education will be one to watch over time – but with the experience, backing and no small amount of thoughtfulness behind this launch we would not want to bet against this being an extraordinary, important and ultimately successful and empowering school for children and families.

Further information can be found here or by calling the Bloom World Academy Admissions Team directly on  (+971) 4 371 4774.

© 2023 – 2024. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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