What we are trying to do at the RGS is prepare young people for the test of life, not a life of tests. That means all those things that they are going to need to know as well as excellent learning habits, like being able to think critically, being independent and creative of thought, being organised, being self-motivated and being able to work as part of a team.

Dr Jon Cox, Headmaster of the Royal Grammar School Guilford, UK

Dr Jon Cox, the engaging and energetic Head Master of the Royal Grammar School Guildford, is key to understanding the intentions and ambitions of sister school, the Royal Grammar School Guildford, in Dubai. We spoke to Dr Cox to learn more about the UK and Dubai schools, and how the two will work together to create a cohesive, recognisable ‘RGS education’ here and in the UK. We began by asking Dr Cox how he would describe the original RGS Guildford.

What I want is for our international schools to have at their heart, exactly what we do at the RGS Guildford. I am really proud of the ethos we have created. When I hold the first assembly for students joining the RGS, I say to them “listen guys, I have got three expectations of you as RGS students…kindness, kindness and kindness”. That is the most important thing. If you have got a community where young people are treating each other well, you are ahead.

I think it is very easy for schools to have an international ‘arm’ and just leave them to just get on with it. That is not what happens with our international schools. I’ve visited some of our other schools over 20 times in the last four years. As Head of the RGS it is my job to keep our international schools as a close part of our community. A name is just a name, you need the heart and you need the sense that when you walk in the door, this really is RGS.