The British School Al Khubairat history is interwoven with the history of Abu Dhabi itself. The school has grown up with Abu Dhabi, and has a special relationship with the place, its people, and the British and wider expatriate community who call it home.
The school was established in January 1968 on land generously donated by the then Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in an area of the city known as Khubairat. This area was the part of the Corniche where the pearl fishing fleet used to be first sighted on their return from sea. One suggested translation of the word 'Khubairat' is 'good news'.
In May 1971, the school was formally registered as a legal entity by Amiri Decree No. 5 of 1971, with its management vested in the Board of Governors. The Board is made up of elected governors and those appointed by His Excellency the British Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. The school has been sponsored since 1980 by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The President of the UAE.
In 1980 the school moved into its new purpose built facilities at its current location on Airport Road in Al Mushrif. The facilities reflected the school's main purpose at that time of providing primary education for children aged between 3 and 11-years-old. The original campus comprised an administration block, four teaching blocks and two sports halls. It also included a 25m swimming pool, around which were constructed staff quarters that accommodated the school's first teachers.
Towards the end of the 1990s it became apparent that there was a growing need in Abu Dhabi for the provision of secondary education. Increasingly, Abu Dhabi was no longer a posting of two to three years for most British expatriates, with more families staying here for five to ten years. As The British School was the centre for educational provision within the British expatriate society in Abu Dhabi, the Board of Governors responded to this demand by approving the construction of a new secondary school alongside the original primary buildings on the existing site. This was Phase 1 of The British School recent development programme.
Whilst Phase 1 was under construction, the Board of Governors decided to proceed with the construction of Phase 2, a new purpose built three-storey building for the primary school. This project not only improved primary provision but also released space for further buildings. Construction commenced in April 2001 and the Jubilee Building (Years 3-6) was formally opened by HE Sheikh Nayhan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan in April 2002.
As the construction of Phase 2 was drawing to a close, the new secondary school was proving to be a resounding success with full classes progressing into Years 7, 8 and 9. It became apparent that many families in Abu Dhabi wished to see their children continue their education at The British School into the sixth form so they could sit their A Levels in Abu Dhabi. The first A Level students completed their studies in June 2005.
A third phase of development was started in October 2002. This flagship building includes a theatre, auditorium, library, sixth form accommodation, an additional gymnasium, drama studio, music centre and a range of academic and administrative facilities. This building was opened in September 2005. The whole school now holds approximately 1,800 students.
The British School is now in the process of raising funds for Phase 4 of its development programme, The Ruby Building, a new primary block for our very youngest children.
The School has undergone dramatic and extensive redevelopment in the last decade both to modernise its facilities and to meet the changing requirements of the British and wider expatriate community. The three phases of development have been entirely financed by the school itself, reflecting our principle as a non-profit organisation that reinvests all its income back into the school for the benefit of the children.