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Memory Lane: The SchoolsCompared.Com’s UAE Top School Awards 2018
Good for Sport

2nd Place. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

Children studying at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi


Type of school: For-profit

Curriculum: British EYFS/IGCSE/A Level/EPQ

Age of children: All through

School size: 1100 (capacity 2000)

Location: Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi


Despite a weaker than we hoped for breadth of A Level provision for its Sixth Form opening this year, Cranleigh is a school that shines a light on whole child development. The school tears up any rule book that says all that matters is league tables and breathes cultural life into every aspect of school provision. It does this better than almost any other school we can think of. The richness of its cross curricular activities, strength of innovation across the arts and its out reach to the community in which its sits is a case study for schools across the UAE.

It is a premium school, but it justifies its fees. It’s not a school for all children – but for polymaths and children with sparks and imagination it brings out the very best in them.

It is impossible not to appreciate the courage of its approach and its vision to deliver the absolute best possible education for all its students. That it does this with an open door to the outside world that floods into the classroom, and enables children to explore their interest unconstrained by exam metrics and the curriculum, makes this a deserving runner up for our best school across Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 2017.

This was a (very) closely fought battle, with Jumeirah English Speaking School pipping it to our Best Schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi 2017  top award rating by less time than it takes to blink. Prospective parents should note too that Cranleigh Abu Dhabi secured our coveted Award for Best School for the Performing Arts in the UAE 2017.


Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Examination results



50% of students achieved A*-A

90%+ A*-C

Parents should note that these (we believe admirable) results should be weighted in the context of this being the very first cohort of IGCSE students at the school following its founding in 2014.

A Level

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi opened its dedicated Sixth Form this year (2017) and the first cohort of students will sit for their A Level examinations in 2018. The Sixth Form is unique in the Emirates in its underpinning by the Harkness Method of teaching which is designed to educate each child through engaged, student-led discussion based learning.



Independent feedback: ****

Care of children: *****

Leadership and Vision: *****

Whole and Individual child provision: ****

Facilities (relative to fees): *****

Parental engagement and community:  *****

Happiness: *****

‘Bangs for the buck’: *****

KHDA/ADEC rating: Very Good with Outstanding Features full review: Here


NEXT Page: 3rd Place.


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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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