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Raha International School UAE 4 - 18
years
Visit
school
Raha International School
Abu Dhabi
, ages 11-16 | Mixed | Day

Middle Years Gardens Campus

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Our View

Part of the Taaleem group, one of the UAEs largest education providers, Raha International School (also known as Raha or RIS) is the first school in Abu Dhabi to be fully authorised to offer all three IB programmes. It has also been rated Outstanding by the Abu Dhabi Department of Knowledge and Education (ADEK) for the sixth year running.

Where?

Out of town in Khalifa City. The original Gardens Campus opened in 2006; just a few kilometres away, Khalifa City Campus opened in 2020. Gardens Campus is located next to a large expat compound, Al Raha Gardens, where many families live (this means that they can walk or cycle to school – a real luxury in the UAE). There are in fact many expat compounds close to the school, so most parents will have a very short drive (parking is a nightmare, however, especially at the Gardens Campus, although a new parking area has recently been built). A bus shuttle runs between the two sites.

Head

Iain Colledge, who also oversees education across all UAE IB schools in Taaleem. Parents tell us that rather than being stuck behind his desk, he is often seen around the school, from greeting pupils at the gates in the mornings to reading stories to the early years.

Admissions

Ninety per cent of the admissions team are parents – a deliberate move by the school to ensure that the process is as personable as possible. For early years, children have a ‘play date’ to interact with others in the school setting. If pupils are applying from Grade 1 upwards, they must complete CAT 4 testing, and RIS requires all previous school reports. The launch of the second campus means that the school has been able to welcome more pupils, so almost all recent applications have been accepted.

Academic

The school follows the IB curriculum all the way through. One family we spoke to said they chose RIS because it follows the IB curriculum, which, for families who move around the world, allows their children to slot into different education systems.

Although RIS has two counsellors (one each for the primary and secondary schools), we hear mixed reports on the SEN provision. One mother said her son had received twice-weekly occupational therapy sessions for a year, but the following year was offered no support at all.

Co-curricular

RIS has a thriving performing arts programme, including an annual theatre production and several choirs and choruses, as well as acting ensembles giving older pupils the opportunity to perform at national and international level. It is a member of the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) and Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS). Stephen Delano, the performing arts director, is deeply passionate about theatre and musicals.  

Team try-outs for competitive sports are held at the start of each term. Team members are expected to train at least once a week, as well as attending a fixture. RIS belongs to the Abu Dhabi International School Sports Association (ADISSA), through which tournaments and competitions are organised. Facilities – which include three gyms, an outdoor pool and two tennis courts and football pitches – are used by external sports teams at weekends.

Extracurricular activities fall into four categories: sports, culture (such as Arabic calligraphy, indigenous art and Japanese club), visual and performing arts (comic creators, contemporary choir and dance) and general (chess, computer club and robotics).

School community

As an IB curriculum school, it’s standard practice that there is not more than 21 per cent of any single nationality – and that policy is upheld at RIS, where there are 80 nationalities. Parents we spoke to said that this diversity means there are no pupil or parent cliques. 

Staff describe RIS as a “large school but a small family” and that is very much the impression we get from chatting to parents too. There are pastoral leaders for all year groups and counsellors available for anyone who requires support.

Since COVID, the school has launched an online portal of resources for staff, pupils and parents, and it is regarded as very useful. RIS is also developing its alumni association: currently, it has a network of alumni who have offered career workshops, advice and work placements to senior-school students. As so many schools are relatively new in the region, this is a real bonus.  

There are brilliant parent groups available, organised by class reps and school-year reps – these are viewed as a lifeline for many, especially those new to Abu Dhabi. 

The school meets monthly with the Parent Team to discuss any pressing concerns. Many parents also catch up in Raptors Nest, the coffee shop on the Garden Campus.

And finally....

For those looking for an all-through IB education, this is a strong contender.

Gallery See All

Raha International School gallery image
Raha International School gallery image
Raha International School gallery image
Raha International School gallery image
Raha International School gallery image
Raha International School gallery image
Raha International School gallery image
  • Admissions

    If you think Raha would be a good fit for your family, it is advised that you begin the application process early. Applications to both campuses are made centrally.
  • Sports

    Badminton
    Basketball
    Cricket
    Hockey
    Netball
    Rugby
    Soccer
    Swimming
    Tennis
    Volleyball
    Fitness/Yoga/Zumba
  • Fees

    Day fees per annum
    From 61,900.00 UAE Dirham







    View currency converter
  • Transport Links

    Nearest international airport: Abu Dhabi International Airport

Essentials

Address
Khalifa City 'A', Al Raha Gardens, Abu Dhabi

Contact
frontdesk@ris.ae
(+971) 2 556 1567

Website
ris.ae/academic/middle-years-programme

Fees

Term Dates

Open Days

Inspection report

Admissions




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