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 FS1 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