Nord Anglia
15 May, 2021

Performings Arts at NAS Dubai

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The performing arts curriculum at NAS Dubai enables all students to enhance and enrich their learning experiences by way of a broad and balanced range of activities and experiences. Students develop creativity, self-confidence, decision-making skills, and self-evaluation skills and hence, become more effective as independent learners. An important part of this learning experience involves celebrating student's achievement by way of displays and performances of work within many performing arts presentations both inside and outside of NAS Dubai.

The Dubai Opera and Nord Anglia Exclusive Partnership

Nord Anglia International School Dubai is also the Exclusive Education Partner of Dubai Opera. This partnership opens doors to our students in the way of direct experiences in music, dance, drama and stage management. Our students are given bespoke experiences on the inside of the Dubai Opera giving direct contact with performers on stage and behind the scenes. Recently, students have had tours of Dubai Opera and watched a dress rehearsal of Turandot performed by the Shanghai Opera House. Our students are also invited to ‘Music in the Studio’ and participate in several master classes.   

The NAS Music Academy 

The NAS Music Academy boasts a faculty of highly-qualified instrumental teachers administering lessons to over 200 students throughout the school day in one-to-one sessions on piano, voice, guitar, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, drums, music theory and music composition.

The NAS Music Academy offers over ten student recitals per year promoting student performances at all levels of music making including ensembles. Several of our students have been featured in Masterclasses and Concerts at the Dubai Opera. Nord Anglia International School Dubai hosts the International Youth Orchestra for advanced young musicians from over 15 schools in the UAE bridging cultures at the same time as promoting a high level of music making. 

Primary Provision 

Students at NAS Dubai have a wide variety of opportunities to embrace the benefits of a musical education. Each student has at least one hour of Music per week and many of our pupils receive individual instrumental lessons. We are privileged to have a music curriculum which has been designed collaboratively between Nord Anglia Education and the Juilliard School in New York. This curriculum allows our pupils to engage with twelve core ‘masterworks’ throughout their time at school and each lesson is designed to be active, engaging and to foster a love for music and a flair for creativity. Our curriculum has also been designed to allow for flexibility in terms of our content and approach and our students love being able to engage in projects and to make new music. 

A fixture of weekly life here at NAS Dubai is our busking session every Thursday before school. This early morning activity sees our Primary students performing to a live audience of parents, staff and their peers. It is often the highlight of the week for our students and there is currently a waiting list to perform. Everything from Bach to Beyonce has taken centre stage of the Thursday morning and for many of our students this can be their first experience of solo public performance, often sparking a hunger for more opportunities like this.

In terms of our extra-curricular provision, many of our primary students are members of the Primary Choir who were the deserved winners of the 2017/18 Dubai Choir Fest. After winning the ‘heats’ for Primary choirs by fending off many other Dubai schools, NAS Dubai’s Primary choir had the accolade of being invited to open the Secondary Choir Fest’s Competition Final Concert at Dubai’s Opera House.  In 2019, we were thrilled to win the Best School For Music Award in the UAE’ by Which School Advisor.  


NAS Dubai have participated in Desert Dance since 2016 with numbers growing from 12 students to over thirty in both primary and secondary age groups. Throughout the years NAS Dubai has been recognized for best use of costumes and props, best musicality and best use of space.

Visiting artist Ingrid Kapteyn and Salla Saarikangas from The Juilliard School have worked with our students in various workshops.

In 2018 we have added GCSE Dance to our curriculum and through the huge popularity of dance within the extra-curricular provision and push towards boys dance we now have an exam group which includes boys. The Nord Anglia partnership with Dubai Opera has also allowed these students to take part in workshops at the Dubai Opera with professional performers throughout the year.

The Dance extra-curricular provision has increased year upon year and NAS Dubai now has two dance groups per primary and secondary phases, as we have introduced the NAS Elite Dance Company which is a group of our most elite dancers. 


All Drama lessons in both Primary and Secondary are taught by teachers who are highly qualified and experienced within their performing arts discipline. We are teaching drama as a standalone subject in Primary and the school is currently developing its very own personalized Drama curriculum which has links to the Juilliard Curriculum teaching dramatic skills to children from Year 1 upwards. 

The NAS Dubai School productions pride themselves on being inclusive and community building bringing many members of teaching and support staff to be involved with the building, prop making, set design and lighting, allowing for collaboration, thus building staff moral and the opportunity of being part of something great and connecting and reaching out to students out of the classroom.

This has led to outstanding teaching and has resulted in the majority of GCSE drama students achieving level 8 and 9. In fact, two students received an award for the highest marks in the world!

The exciting Juilliard Creative Classroom Curriculum provides students with engaging and dynamic lessons allowing students to experience all aspects of drama including script work, devising techniques, set, costume and lighting design. Cultural links in Drama are an intrinsic part of the curriculum as are social and moral aspects, supporting issues across the school and wider community such as bullying, war, conflict and social media.