Winner of the International School of the Year at Tes Independent School Awards 2019

We are very happy to announce that Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is this year’s winner for International School of the Year at the prestigious Tes Independent School Awards 2019. Cranleigh was presented the award in recognition of the ambitious arts and cross-curricular project, Water in the Desert: A Zayed Legacy, named for the centenary of the birth of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

At its heart was an original opera created by more than 80 students in collaboration with European opera experts. Fusing the UAE’s rich heritage with the Western music genre, students worked together to write a libretto, design sets and costumes, develop the score and choreograph dances. Their ideas were incorporated into the final production, which was staged in October to great acclaim.

We were in very good company, initially shortlisted with the following schools: British School Muscat, Oman; Doha College, Qatar; Forsan British School, Alexandria, Egypt; HELP International School, Malaysia; Prince of Wales Island International School, Malaysia ; The Arcadia Preparatory School, UAE and The English School, Kuwait.

The prestigious Tes Awards are run by Tes Global, a digital education company committed to supporting teaching and learning. The organisation is best known for publishing Tes – formerly known as the Times Educational Supplement – the market leading weekly UK publication which was first published in 1910 as a pull-out supplement in The Times newspaper. Home to the world’s largest online community of teachers, with over 8 million registered users, Tes Global also publishes the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

In January 2019, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi was shortlisted for various competitive awards by Selected for five different categories, the school was recognised for its “outstanding breadth of academic, technical and ECA options for students to ensure that every child can meet his or her individual ambitions, potential, and ability”.

The categories include: British School of the YearBest New SchoolBest for SportBest for MusicBest for Theatre & the Performing Arts. Winners will be announced at Schools Compared, Top School Awards ceremony on 7 March 2019.







The GESS Awards has also shortlisted Cranleigh Abu Dhabi for Best Initiative for Inclusion and Wellbeing, which recognises institutions or individuals that “can demonstrate a positive impact either within their school or community of their inclusion and wellbeing initiatives either by increasing the physical, mental, and/or social wellbeing of their students and/or staff or by positively contributing to a more inclusive approach in education.” 

Winners will be announced at the Gala Awards Dinner on 27 February, 2019. 



Cranleigh named runner up in UAE Top Schools Awards…and top school in Abu Dhabi

In September 2017, – an independent UAE-based institute – announced the top 25 UAE schools. We were thrilled to be named number two across all Dubai and Abu Dhabi schools, and the top school in Abu Dhabi. The quote picked up by the media from Brendan Law, our Headmaster captures our reaction: “We are so proud that the collective efforts of our wonderful team have been recognised in these prestigious awards. In a world where league tables are primarily about academic achievement, mostly the preserve of highly selective schools, it is refreshing to see an independent assessor take the whole child into consideration.”

For Gulf News Article Click Here


Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Opera Education Middle East Awards

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi’s Beautiful World opera wins Arts Programme of the Year 2017

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi’s performing arts team won the Drama/Arts Programme of the Year 2017 award at the Education Journal Middle East Awards.

The Beautiful World Opera Project saw 80 students devise, create and perform an original opera in less than five days, drawing inspiration from a poem written by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Students who participated in the project worked with calligraphy artist Narjes Noureddine and Karen Gillingham freelance music educationalist and Artistic Director of the Youth Opera Company at London’s Royal Opera House. Everything, from set design to costumes, and dance choreography to musical libretto, was created by the students themselves. It made such an impact that the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development requested that it be brought back as part of its 45th National Day celebrations in December 2016.

Commenting on the scope of work the project entailed, director of performing arts Susan Hamilton said: “It was an organic evolution. We didn’t have a clear idea how it was going to develop when we started with this poem. It was always about the process, we never knew quite how it was going to respond and how the actual performance was going to go.

“I think it challenged everybody. It raised the bar, everybody had to just go that little bit further. We relied on every single person and together, achieved an incredible result.”


New British International School of the Year 2017

The British International School Awards were launched in 2016 to recognise the best of British schools overseas, celebrate the success of the sector and help set benchmarks in best practice. In their inaugural year, there were eleven different categories, each one calling for outstanding examples of excellence and innovation during the 2015-2016 academic year.

The Awards are organised by British International Schools magazine, with the support of ISC Research. More at:

We were thrilled to be named New British International School of the Year 2017 at the Awards ceremony in London on January 23rd 2017, and were also one of four schools shortlisted for Teaching Initiative of the Year.

The New British International School of the Year award category recognises a new school (under three years old) that has made an immediate impact on the pupils and community it serves. Cranleigh was up against Epsom College Malaysia, Le Régent Crans-Montana College in Switzerland, and Nord Anglia International School, Dubai.

The judges’ decision was made following an in-depth review of key milestones, independent reviews and community feedback achieved since the school opened its doors in 2014.

Particular highlights included:

BIS Awards 2017 - Staff Retention rates in excess of 90% Staff Retention Rates in excess of 90%: This includes 100% of senior management re-signing contracts for the next stage of development.


BIS Awards 2017 - 100% A* grades in first set of iGCSE examinationsAcademic Results: 100% A* grades in first set of iGCSE examinations taken by pupils a year early in Mathematics, French and Spanish.


BIS Awards 2017 - Outstanding growth in numbersOutstanding Growth in Numbers: Record start of 637 pupils in September 2014, growing to more than 960 in second year of operation. Projected 1100 by end of third year, with significantly oversubscribed year groups in Nursery to Year 4.


BIS Awards 2017 - ADEC Band A Status achieved after just 128 operational daysExcellent Reputation Established: ADEC Band A Status achieved after just 128 operational days. WhichSchoolAdvisor School Survey 2015 ranked CAD joint first in their Most Recommended Schools in the UAE, based on parent feedback, with comments such as: “This school provides exceptionally good education with assistance of devoted teachers. Efforts of management and teachers are highly commended.”


BIS Awards 2017 - Academic programmeAcademic Programme: Regular first place in Mena Maths Challenge (Africa and Middle East region); team and individual placings at regional and global round of World Scholars Cup; individual pupil placed 33rd of 2000 in 2016 Bangkok WSC global round; Best Delegate at the Model United Nations in Dubai; fully established ‘Enrichment’ programme.


BIS Awards 2017 - Cultural ProgrammeCultural Programme: Extensive drama, music & dance performances, as well as several art exhibitions. Auditorium has hosted eminent speakers such as Sir John Holmes in our Open Minds enrichment lecture series, and Carlos Acosta, the world leading ballet dancer. We have also hosted 33 Music scholars and 5 staff from Cranleigh UK for a week of concerts and music making.


BIS Awards 2017 - Sports ProgrammeSports Programme: Pupils are given broad exposure to sporting options and 100% of children participate in ECAs. Rugby cup and league double champions in Abu Dhabi, with other tournament wins across the full range of sports: from U14 Abu Dhabi Schools Cricket Champions to Abu Dhabi Schools Sailing Champions.


BIS Awards 2017 - CommunityCommunity: An integrated, multi-cultural community that revels in the strength, interest and power that comes from its diversity. Mutual respect prevails among the more than 60 nationalities represented in our student body. It has been said that school life at Cranleigh has a unique atmosphere of calmness and relaxed purposefulness; that great achievements take place without pressure being applied.


BIS Awards 2017 - UAE Culture and HistoryUAE Culture and History: Cranleigh places great store in celebrating its UAE heritage. Highlights include: HH Sheikh Zayed’s poem Beautiful World which was the trigger to an ambitious project with 80 children, a creative team of four, two professional opera singers and a talented Emirati artist (November 2016).


To experience Cranleigh Abu Dhabi for yourself, please contact to book a tour.


What our community says:

“My life was previously a ‘normal’ one. Only when I arrived at Cranleigh was my true potential released and my flame for learning lit”

“We are pushed and encouraged to surpass our limits with the support and guidance of our experienced teachers”


“I think that the Cranleigh Year goes by much quicker than a year at my old school. One of the things that makes Cranleigh really fun is that the teachers are so nice and the after school activity choices are really great”

“Cranleigh students and teachers alike love spending their days here because time flies when you are having fun, right!?”


“I think that fun is at the heart of the matter. Lessons are fun, teachers interact with students quite a bit”


“Honestly, it just feels quite weird. They make lessons exciting here at Cranleigh. They make most lessons exciting and thrilling”


BIS Awards 2017 - Facebook Feedback