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Bloom World Academy confirms seven firsts for children in launch of new Tier 1 IB school for Dubai – and first progressive IB school in the emirates

Background – Bloom World Academy to be the first progressive International Baccalaureate School in the UAE

Bloom World Academy (BWA), the landmark new progressive Tier 1 IB school opening for Pre-KG to Grade 9 students at its state-of-the-art campus in Al Barsha, in Dubai in August 2022, has announced a series of firsts for education in the Emirates. Bloom Education is best known in the UAE for its outstanding Brighton Colleges in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain; its historic role in establishing Dwight School in Dubai; its working with the UAE government to establish new Charter Schools; and, its much loved Bloom Nursery Schools and Early Learning Centres.

Bloom World Academy shares a 10-acre campus with its sister school, Brighton College Dubai, and takes over the landmark buildings of Dwight Academy which is moving to a new site in Sports City. It he school will be co-located with its sister school, Brighton College Dubai.

The new Bloom World Academy is very much the third stage in that journey, building on the strengths of its schools and history in the UAE to deliver a new benchmark IB school that better meets the academic and whole child needs of students and the aspirations of parents. John Bell, Founding Principal of Bloom World Academy, explained:

“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 aspect of school life.

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

To date, Bloom Education has played a pivotal role in the education of more than seventeen thousand children across the emirates.


Setting up Firsts in IB education from ‘Day One’

The new Bloom World Academy aims to offer firsts in seven areas initially:


Firstly, Bloom World Academy will offer a flexible school day for families with 12-hour opening. Parents will be able to choose when to drop children at school at any time between 7:00am and 9:00am, and when to pick up between 4:00pm and 7:00pm. The move to a 9:00am school start time ‘proper’ is designed not just to help families, but also support children who work better with a later start. Co curricular programmes will run between 8:00am and 8:45am, and later between 4:00pm and 5:00pm for students who attend school during these hours.

Secondly, the school will be hosting family days every week during one lunchtime. The aim is for there to be less of a schism between home and school life, with parents genuinely welcomes into school rather than its being just part of the marketing blurb as is so often the case at other schools. The aim is that not only will parents spend time with children, but also with each other, building stronger parental relationships, with its many knock on benefits on school culture and shared understanding. By genuinely engaging parents within school life in this way, the aim for parent opinion to be far better represented in school life. Many schools do have parents cafes, but the move to weekly lunches is designed to take these a stage further by properly integrating the parental community in the life of the school.

John Bell, Founding Principal of Bloom World Academy, explained to SchoolsCompared the broader benefits of using lunchtimes to build school community:

“At Bloom World Academy we will continually question education tradition and accepted wisdom at what works best for children and our families. They come first.

Our team of inspiring educators are on a mission to change the face of education and introducing a “Parent child lunch break” at the heart of school life every week is just one example of this.

It is no secret that the pandemic has driven children to experience an isolated lunch break.

They were forced to eat alone for more than two years.

This is of course going to have an impact on their development and social skills.

We are a school that is all about community, cohesion and connection. That’s what we hope to rebuild as we move out of the pandemic with our lunch break initiatives. Lunchtime is a vital point of the day for them to disconnect from learning and engage with others – and we believe that our parents should be able to play a vital role in this.”

Third, teaching faculty have been recruited based on skills and commitment in progressive education. Nicola Upham, Vice Principal of Student Development, brings to Bloom World Academy almost two decades of experience as an educationalist in the UK and Dubai and is a respected proponent of student well-being as a key mechanic of every child’s academic and broader development. Ms Upham is pioneering Bloom World Academy’s commitment to personalised education and building learning around the individual needs of every child.  Damien Marshall, Vice Principal of the Primo Centre and Junior School, brings with him 15 years’ experience in education and leads at Bloom World Academy on building powerful links with families and meaningful relationships between students, teachers and parents across every part of school life. Nishi Saran, Senior Vice Principal to lead the Secondary School and Nexus Pre-University Centre, has been recruited to build powerful relationships with top universities globally and personalise student academic achievement and pathways to their university and industry destinations on graduation. Mr Sharan  plays a key role in the UAE Oxbridge Society.

Fourth, through its Learning Achievement Passport (LAP), Bloom World Academy enables each student to develop their own personal curriculum, timetable and targets. The aim is that students are empowered to follow their own individual learning needs and ambitions, being led by what inspires them, and areas in which they excel, rather than, as at other schools, being forced to follow a definite, pre-programmed timetable where a love of learning can be so easily lost.

Fifth, Bloom World Academy has created an inspirational architectural division of the school into “learning zones”, in which each area of learning can be brought to life. By concentrating different areas of the academic and whole child curriculum into their unique, ring-fenced space in the school (for example, zones in the Performing arts, Science, Sport…), each area is brought to life in an individual space filled with inspirational hubbub and a sense that students are visiting a focused, different and exciting space focused only on that area of education. At other schools, too often, subject areas are blurred together creating a sense that school is just school and not a collection of different faculties each meeting the very different needs, potential and gifts of children.

Sixth, the school has built innovation, entrepreneurship and technical/vocational education into the curriculum and school life from Day One. We are hoping that the school will provide the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme – but this is still to be confirmed. Regardless, students will be provided with the funding and resources to develop new products and take them to market through the school’s incubator programme; Lumos Innovation Labs, and the school has already developed a junior apprenticeship programme and connections with business and industry. A junior MBA programme will provide graduating students with a formal qualification in business.

Finally, as a Tier 1 school, the investment in school facilities and resources is significant. The aim is that children will want for nothing, with facilities and resources on hand and growing to meet the often different individual and personalised academic and whole child journeys of every child.


Enrolment and further information

Photograph of the front facade of the main engtrance of Bloom World Academy in Dubai

Enrolment is now open and interested parents can visit the official school web site here  or speak directly with the school on (+971) 4 371 4774. Founding fee discounts reduce the KHDA approved fees from a range between pre-KG and Year 9 of AED 50,000 to AED 78,000 for Grade 9, to AED 40,000 to AED 72,000, these fees guaranteed for three years. Further, the first 50 students registering in Grades 6 to 9 will receive a further discount which will reduce KHDA fees in all years by 50% for one year. These students will also receive a personal iPad or MAC included for the first three years of education, together with a school uniform package.

You can read our first looks review of Bloom World Academy here.

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

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