Just over a year since its opening, Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai has quickly become a respected and highly praised choice among the many British schools on offer in Dubai. Whichschooladvisor.com caught up with Dr Jon Cox, Head Master of RGS Guildford UK during his September 2022 visit to the school, and Mrs Clare Turnbull, Principal of RGS Guildford Dubai, to hear their reflections on the school’s first year, and find out what’s in store for the year ahead.

After being open a year, how has RGS Guildford Dubai changed and developed?

Dr Jon Cox: I last came to the school when it opened, which really went well, but the difference now is extraordinary, it’s palpable. After just a year, we have a real feeling of community from our young people, you can feel that they’re really proud to be here. I was shown around today by the four school captains, which was a wonderful experience.

At RGS Guildford UK, we are so proud of what Clare [Turnbull] has done in terms of building the school’s reputation here. It’s all about the young people that we are educating, and they seem genuinely pleased to be here, and parents too seem delighted that their young people are having that opportunity.

Clare Turnbull: We actually asked our children and their families who were here last year what they feel has changed from when we opened, and they told us that they don’t feel that it’s different, just that’s it’s bigger. I was really pleased to hear this, as we would not want to lose that special character that the school has had.

I think one of the reasons for this is that so many of our new children have been referred by families who were with us last year. The community has grown from the families who were our amazing founders, they have felt that we have really delivered, and have shared their experience of the school with their friends. So, our school does feel different, in that it has really developed into a community, and yet it also feels the same.