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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 May 2018

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi school celebrates inaugural year

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi school celebrated the end of its inaugural year by launching a photography exhibition and an accompanying coffee-table book of its busy pupils.

A preview of the exhibition, which features about 65 photographs, was held for parents on Tuesday. Delores Johnson / The National
A preview of the exhibition, which features about 65 photographs, was held for parents on Tuesday. Delores Johnson / The National

ABU DHABI // Cranleigh Abu Dhabi school celebrated the end of its inaugural year by launching a photography exhibition and an accompanying coffee-table book of its busy pupils.

A preview of the exhibition, which features about 65 large photographs displayed in the junior school’s main lobby, was held for parents on Tuesday and is open to the public by appointment until July 9. The 176-page hardcover book, called Cranleigh Abu Dhabi: The Story So Far, is being sold for Dh200.

“We wanted to just let the pictures speak for themselves,” headmaster Brendan Law said.

“In terms of the school, what do we value the most? It’s the children, they come first. They really are important to us. What you’ll see is not so much the history, what you’ll see is the vision become a reality, and that’s really the purpose of the book.”

Nancy McManus, who teaches second-year pupils at the school, was among the first to get a glimpse of the photos, which were shot by her Cranleigh colleagues Julian John, Simon Johnson and Craig Nichol.

“It’s bringing back a lot of wonderful memories actually,” said Ms McManus, a New Zealander who is also deputy head of pre-prep.

“It’s hard to believe how much we’ve managed to squeeze into nine months of operation. I think there’s an overwhelming feeling about the photos.”

The photographs show pupils participating in one of dozens of extra-curricular and after-school activities offered at the school.

The school opened in August with 64 teachers and 637 pupils between the ages of 3 and 14. Next academic year, it is expecting an enrolment of more than 1,000 pupils between the ages of 3 and 15, and is adding another 36 teachers to its payroll.

In the new academic year Cranleigh will open the senior school, auditoriums, athletic facilities and housing for teachers, a large apartment complex located across the street from the campus.

Mr Law said plans to open boarding facilities in 2017, making the school the only boarding school in the emirate, were still under way. There are also continuing discussions about the potential establishment of an all-girls school in the near future.

rpennington@thenational.ae