Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
23 May, 2024

A School of Opportunities

A School of Opportunities - A School of Opportunities
A message from the Assistant Head of Secondary
In April, I was fortunate enough to watch 3 of our students present at the World Energy Summit hosted at the Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi. Their presentation was titled ‘Embedding Sustainability into the Ethos of The British International School Abu Dhabi’ and they shared the stage with a VP for Sustainability at FAB Bank, and a scientist who worked for the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency. As I looked around the exhibition centre that day, and watched our students talk so articulately and confidently on that stage, I had one thought running through my mind ‘what an opportunity for these young people’.

From 12th to 19th June 2024, those students will also be flying off to Houston, Texas to take part in the @nordangliaeducation-@unicef Summit. . Again, the same thought springs to mind, ‘what an opportunity.’ One of the most amazing things about our school is the opportunities it provides for our students. Last week, the international trips and residential information was sent to our Secondary School families. Residentials to Al Ain for Year 7 and Khorfakkan for Year 8. International trips to Berlin, skiing or trekking in the Swiss Alps, Tanzania for Year 10, and World Challenge trips to Malaysia and Nepal for our Senior School. Incredible opportunities no matter the year group. These trips allow students to develop skills of independence, leadership, teamwork, and resilience - valuable life-long skills. All the excursions and residentials are far more exciting than my school days when our annual trip was to the Cadbury World in Birmingham! The chocolate was great, but I watch with pride as our students get to take advantage of the opportunities here. 


Besides these 'once a year opportunities', school offers students opportunities to embrace every day. That could be through signing up for our vast array of CCAs, taking part in sporting teams, BSME, performing arts, debates, Model United Nations, leadership conferences, Global Campus, the list goes on. This week, I had the pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony for our class of 2024 where Mr. Cocker spoke about students being ‘ready’. Ready to be independent university undergraduates, ready to go and have successful careers, ready to make positive changes to our world. Part of what has helped them be ready is the opportunities they have embraced during their school life. It has helped to shape who they are, and helped them become well-rounded, knowledgeable, and determined global citizens.


Another proud moment of our Graduation Ceremony was hearing about where our students are moving on to next. We have students continuing their education at the very best universities around the world; Oxford, Cambridge, Kings College London, UCLA, Notre Dame, Edinburgh, Toronto, Penn State, Hong Kong to name just a few. The student speaker at the ceremony highlighted that this was made possible because they had made the most of the opportunities available to them at our school. I therefore encourage all our students to make the most of the opportunities available to them, and this includes every single lesson of the school day. Students are encouraged to grasp the opportunity to ask questions to their teachers, grasp each opportunity to learn, and with that develop positive life-long learning habits.


Famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, ‘Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.’ We are a school of opportunities. We urge our students to take those opportunities or create their own, because when they just do that, as our graduating class now knows, the world will be their oyster.


Ben Stanier

Interim Assistant Head of Secondary


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