A very warm welcome to Arbor School

We at Arbor School are delighted to be the newest members of the Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Programme!

Arbor, an environmentally focused school, teaches our students to think in the wider context of the world, instilling an awareness of environmental justice and sustainability. We are uniquely prepared to jump right into sharing some meaningful projects; from the bespoke place-based, inquiry-driven Ecoliteracy curriculum we deliver to our FS through KS4 students; to our outrageously adventurous teaching spaces which features a working farm, learning gardens, a reflection garden, mud kitchens, and six geodesic domes – two of which have been curated into tropical biodome teaching spaces and one a project-inspired collaboration space.

As part of our service-learning project work, the students in KS4 develop their own inquiries and develop outreach projects to the wider community of Dubai. This has recently involved co-founding the Dubai Oyster Project, working with a local environmental group and Dubai-based oyster restaurant to build artificial reefs using discarded, gargours (fish traps which are now illegal) and discarded oyster shells from the restaurant. The students have been inquiring into how oysters and other bivalves are pivotal to marine ecology and have begun to develop ecological sampling skills to measure the success over time.

Meanwhile, our KS3 students have been developing UAE-based projects inspired by their inquiries into our deserts, wadis, mangroves and wetlands, culminating in self-initiated projects to promote awareness of conservation issues. The students have been taking advantage of the tools and resources available to them to reach out to the community.

One student wrote to Emirates airlines with a carefully written article for their sky magazine which had been based on their research into responsible activities when visiting Dubai’s beaches, targeting overseas tourists.

Another fantastic idea that a student developed was inspired during a visit to the cinema, noticing the amount of waste that was generated. He created the concept of bringing your own box to collect your popcorn in, to minimise waste and pitched it to Vox Cinemas with the slogan: “Bring your own box, when you watch at Vox!”

Ambitiously, two students in Year 7 wrote to Emaar, the company responsible for the management of the Burj Khalifa, asking them to project a design they had created onto the tower to raise awareness about barbecuing in the desert, making sure not to leave any trace behind.

Our wonderful students have been motivated to drive forward authentic changes using tools that are within their reach; we have had Instagram accounts go live, reef-safe sunscreens being researched and produced, websites being developed, mobile pop-up ads created, desert-cleaning robots coded, and many more fabulous, innovative creations. As a school, it is incredibly rewarding to see our young people care so much about making changes to our city, understanding the implications of their actions.

Stand by, as we prepare the next batch of eco projects in the new school year…. And keep an eye on the Burj Khalifa, Emirates flights and at Vox Cinemas, where you may just notice some Arborists!


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