Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

First school in Abu Dhabi for autistic Emirati pupils to open

Al Karamah School will boast a team of teachers and therapists to support up to 260 children

Al Karamah School will be dedicate to teaching Emirati children with autism. Courtesy ADEK
Al Karamah School will be dedicate to teaching Emirati children with autism. Courtesy ADEK

A school for Emirati children with autism will open in Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s education authority has announced.

Al Karamah School will be the first institution dedicated solely to serving local pupils with autism in the capital, according to Abu Dhabi Department of Education (Adek).

Operated by Priory Education and Children’s Services, school staff will include a team of dedicated therapists and teachers for up to 260 Emirati children who are on the autistic spectrum.

Priory Group is a provider of specialist education and behavioural care. This will be their first autism school outside the UK.

“We are delighted and immensely proud to support the opening of the UAE’s first school dedicated to the needs of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder,” said Sara Musallam, Adek’s chairperson.

“We firmly believe that every child deserves to be given the opportunity and necessary tools to learn and succeed in their chosen path. Al Karamah School will offer unprecedented levels of specialised teaching and expertise and correlates with our vision to provide world-class education that supports all learners.”

The school has been designed to provide an engaging learning environment, while ensuring pupils feel safe and secure. This includes special classroom ‘hubs’, a multi-purpose hall and dining room, and a large oasis-style garden.

Classrooms will be kept small to ensure each child can be provided with the individual support needed to help them succeed, the announcement from Adek read.

The school’s educational programme seeks to look beyond standard approaches to deliver bespoke packages and a holistic approach to education, developing social needs, self-esteem and confidence.

“We believe there is a significant opportunity to support children with special educational needs across the Middle East,” said Trevor Torrington, Chief Executive Officer of the Priory Group.

“Our first overseas school, in Abu Dhabi, draws on our vast experience in the UK by creating a positive learning environment from which pupils are able to reach their true potential and go on to lead fulfilling lives and careers as adults.

“An important part of our philosophy is also about working to include and integrate all children into local partner schools and the community, working alongside parents, the educational authorities and other stakeholders.”

Updated: February 4, 2019 06:43 PM