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By: Leisa Grace Wilson

On Friday morning, September 15, 2023, I visited Muna British Academy, a beacon of educational excellence in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. The purpose of my visit was to witness firsthand the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) learning in action at the invitation of the school leadership team.

The warm welcome I received from the Principal, Ms. Sarah Griffitths, and Vice Principal, Graeme Kinkead, set the tone for the day. Despite their undoubtedly busy schedules, they graciously took the time to guide me through the corridors of this esteemed institution, which, I learned, was recently rated ‘Outstanding’ by ADEK during their latest Irtiqaa inspection. This wasn’t a one-time achievement; Muna British Academy has consistently received top-tier inspection ratings.

Owned and managed by Aldar Academies, the school’s physical structures might not be the newest, but what they house is invaluable. The meticulous care taken to maintain cleanliness and upkeep is evident, reflecting the institution’s commitment to providing the best for its students.

Left-Graeme Kinkead-Vice Principal, Centre- Leisa Grace Wilson, Right-Sarah Griffiths- Principal

As we walked from the nursery to Years 5 and 6, the vibrancy of the school was palpable. Everywhere I looked, students were deeply engrossed in their work, a testament to the school’s effective teaching methods and nurturing environment. The staff and students exuded warmth, with friendly nods and polite greetings exchanged as we passed by. Their openness was heartwarming; many were eager to share what they were working on, pulling me into their world of learning.

The upper school students, in particular, left a lasting impression. Their enthusiasm for their projects was infectious, and they confidently walked me through their studies. From future leaders to the intricate histories of the African continent and the rise of the Roman Empire, the thematic approach to learning was evident. These themes weren’t isolated to a single subject but were seamlessly interwoven across disciplines, showcasing the holistic approach to education that Muna British Academy champions.

My visit coincided with ‘STEAM Fridays, A special day set aside each week to ensure students are learning skills necessary for a successful life beyond the school walls. The sight of students so deeply engrossed in their work, even in the presence of a stranger, was a testament to their passion and the school’s ability to foster such dedication. It’s one thing to read about active learning, but witnessing it in action, with students collaborating, problem-solving, and innovating, was energising.

The school’s motto, “work hard and be kind, and great things will happen,” isn’t just a string of words but a living ethos. It resonates in every classroom, every project, and every interaction.

As I left Muna British Academy that day, I carried with me insights into their educational approach and a sense of energy and optimism. The dedication of the staff, the students’ enthusiasm, and the school’s overall atmosphere left an indelible mark on me. I eagerly anticipate my next visit, for institutions like Muna British Academy are not just places of learning but also sources of inspiration for all who walk their halls.

If you would like to Teach Middle East to visit your school to see good practice in action, please feel free to contact us by emailing editor@teachmiddleeast.com.