Cranleigh, Abu Dhabi

Cranleigh, Abu Dhabi

About Cranleigh, Abu Dhabi

Established in 2014 on Saadiyat Island, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi closely mirrors its counterpart, Cranleigh UK, founded in 1865. From 2011 to 2014, teams from Cranleigh UK and Abu Dhabi amalgamated the school's essence with Emirati culture, resulting in its current form in the UAE. 

Operating under the British International Curriculum from FS1 to Year 13, the school accommodates a student body exceeding 1,000, guided by 134 educators and 41 teaching assistants. By maintaining a student-to-teacher ratio of 1:9, each student receives personalised care and attention.

Recognised in 2019 as the International School of the Year at the Tes Independent School Awards and the Red Crescent Charity School of the Year, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi stands as a premier educational institution in Abu Dhabi.

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In Brief

School Details

Grading System at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, Al Hamidiya

From Nursery to Year 13, Cranleigh is an inclusive school for kids ages 3 to 18.




Nursery – Year 2


Year 3 – Year 8

Secondary School

Year 9 – Year 11

Sixth Form

Year 12 – Year 13

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Syllabus

Similar to its sister school in the UK, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi follows the same educational philosophy. It attempts to strike a balance between the extensive range of extracurricular activities and the academic programme.

At Cranleigh, students can study:

  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Latin
  • Arabic
  • Science
  • Islamic Studies
  • History/Geography
  • English
  • Design Technology
  • Art
  • The Libraries
  • Music


Students in the pre-prep level are welcome and are taught according to the Early Years Foundation level curriculum. At Cranleigh, kids successfully strike a balance between unstructured play and teacher-guided instruction. The curriculum itself includes an organised method for encouraging children's natural curiosity and learning through play.

This curriculum incorporates foundational courses including science, math, and English as well as specialised instruction in swimming, music, and physical education. Additionally, nursery pupils are exposed to Arabic through a weekly session of 30 minutes for non-native speakers.

Children in FS2 learn Arabic for one hour each week in addition to learning about ICT, the library, the arts, and focused activities. Islamic Education is provided for Muslim students.


Cranleigh attempts to lay solid foundations for the more complicated concepts of Senior school in prep school. The class teacher in Years 3 and 4 instructs pupils in mixed ability classrooms with the aid of a teaching assistant. Classes in theatre, music, sport, art, languages, Arabic, and Islamic Studies are taught by specialised teachers. In Year 3, French is introduced.

The learning environment switches to specialised instruction in Years 5 and 6. In years 7 and 8 students study the Common Entrance 13+ curriculum. At Cranleigh, pupils are adequately prepared to sit the internal Common Entrance test in maths, english, french and the science courses (physics, chemistry and biology) at the conclusion of year eight.

The Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) has established high standards for these tests.

Non-Muslim pupils in Year 7 have the option of taking either Latin or Spanish as a second language. Arabic is also taught to all students at the institution. While Arabic speakers are taught the Arabic A curriculum by MoE, non-native speakers of Arabic study the fundamental Arabic B syllabus.


Students are equipped with the knowledge and credentials they will need to attend college in senior school. In this curriculum, students can choose the disciplines that best suit their interests and goals.

Students at Cranleigh have a variety of clubs, athletics, and leadership opportunities available to them.

At least eight (I)GCSEs must be taken by students.

English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, and a mix of Sciences are required disciplines. The entire (I)GCSEs in biology, chemistry, and physics will be studied by capable students. Less scientifically inclined students might choose to study two of the three sciences or Dual Award Science. From the list of options shown above, other topics are chosen. The ADEK demands proficiency in Arabic.


When compared to other institutions, Cranleigh offers a distinctive sixth form.

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi uses a dialogue-based method of instruction called the Harkness style. With this method, classes are taught in a tutorial format around an oval table, helping pupils to develop autonomous thought.

A-Levels and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are studied by sixth-formers. Though delivered more thoroughly, the EPQ and IB Extended Essay have a similar conceptual framework. During the two years of sixth form, it is finished.

A programme for work experience is a component of the sixth form. Additionally, this programme offers a recognised pre-college course in innovation and entrepreneurship taught by Dr. Jack McGourty, PhD, at the esteemed Columbia Business School of the elite Ivy League. The Sixth Form is covered in further detail here.

Admission and Fees

Application Process for Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Detailed Procedure

The links to the admission form are only active for a short time due to the great demand. Once the links are available on the website, parents who want to enrol their kids should submit an application right away.

Before October 15th (of the current academic year), students in Abu Dhabi who wish to transfer to Cranleigh during the current academic year may do so.

The school invites parents to schedule a visit and meet with the admissions staff. Three easy stages may be used to outline the admissions process:


On the website, there are buttons that allow students to register. The identical procedure is followed by all candidates. Siblings and kids who are most likely to succeed at Cranleigh, as determined by evaluations, are given preference for admission. Children who are still suitable but cannot be seated because there are no seats available will be put in a waiting pool. In order to apply to the appropriate year groups, parents must also be aware of age equivalents.

Cranleigh establishes the age for each year group using the UK method. Age should be as of August 31.

  • 3 years old- FS1
  • 4 years old- FS2
  • 5 years old- Year 1
  • 6 years old- Year 2

Parents must upload the following documents with this form:

  • Passport with a valid UAE residence visa of the candidate (1 copy)
  • Recent passport-size photograph
  • Birth certificate of the candidate (1 copy, in Arabic or English)
  • Emirates ID of the candidate (1 copy, both sides)
  • Latest academic record
  • Immunisation record (1 copy)
  • Original transfer certificate (if applicable)
  • Records indicating special needs (1 copy, if applicable)

Children who apply will be contacted for an evaluation. For each year a student applies, Cranleigh has a separate evaluation strategy with predetermined goals.

The following is the overall forecast for each year's evaluation plans:


The school invites pupils for a "taster session" at this pre-prep stage.

The growth of the students' social, emotional, and behavioural skills as well as their reading and numeracy abilities are assessed.

Parents are required to produce an academic report for Year 1 and Year 2 that demonstrates the child's level of achievement in all areas, including English, Maths and Science. In order to make sure that students have a positive attitude towards learning and their peers, the school evaluates these reports. The child's prior school is also asked to provide a private reference for the school.


The candidate must pass the assessment test, which is based on a brief piece of English writing and an online review, from Year 3 through Year 10.

Candidates for the sixth form must complete two topic papers of their choosing as well as an online assessment.

Depending on the year group, the tests' precise layout changes. However, they are made to give the school information on three types of cognitive abilities: verbal, non-verbal, and numerical.

Candidates from Abu Dhabi must travel to the institution for a quick, casual interview with a member of the admissions team. The purpose of the interview is to give the school a chance to learn a little bit more about each kid and their unique academic and extracurricular interests.

Assessments might be scheduled at the existing school for international candidates. Additionally, candidates may be required to participate in Skype interviews.

The findings of evaluations assist the school in understanding pupils' present performance levels and their capacity for adjusting to the rigorous curriculum.

Please be aware that there is no special preparation that can be done for the exams, but parents may support their children by encouraging them to read, work quietly on their own, and finish any assigned homework. Children should be encouraged to attempt to find solutions on their own by doing research.

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School Fee Structure

The fee structure is mentioned in the table below: 


Fee Per Term

Fee Per Year

FS1 – Year 1

AED 21,667

AED 65,000

Year 2 – Year 4

AED 25,000

AED 75,000

Year 5 – Year 9

AED 26,667

AED 80,000

Year 10 – Year 13

AED 32,111

AED 96,333

School Facilities

Transportation Facility at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

Parents are expected to drop off and collect their children.

Sports Facilities at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

The PE programme at Cranleigh offers a variety of sports. A complete division of physical education professionals is devoted to assisting pupils in expanding and cultivating their sporting interests.

Boys' and girls' football, cricket, dancing, athletics, badminton, basketball, swimming, hockey, gymnastics, martial arts, netball, riding, rounders, rugby, sailing (at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club), tennis, and volleyball are among the main sports offered.

The school's sporting facilities include the following:

  • A big sports hall, two basketball courts, and a dance studio are all part of an indoor sports complex.
  • Two shady pools: a 10-meter starter pool and a 25-meter competitive pool with six lanes.
  • two shady grass fields for both football and cricket
  • There are two courts for younger schools and three for seniors for netball and tennis.
  • Additionally, the school offers indoor cricket nets to augment its cricket instruction.

Contact Details

The school has established a number of channels of contact because it recognises how crucial parent communication is.

The main resource for informing parents is the official website. Parents may view individualised reports and information about their children on the school's parent portal. The school also maintains a blog where details on forthcoming activities are shared. The school also offers a lot of workshops for parents on how they can actively support their kids development.

The school arranges the following to discuss a child’s progress in detail each academic year:

  • Meet the Tutor Evening (start of term)
  • Interims (just before half-term)
  • Parents’ Evening (second half of term)
  • Interims (just before the end of term)
  • Exam Report (just before the end of term)

Telephone Number:

  • Reception: +971-2-497-0000
  • Headmaster’s PA: +971-2-497-0101
  • Admissions: +971-2-497-0000
  • Arabic Secretary: +971-2-497-0114
  • Uniform Shop: +971-2-497-0218

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the specific hours or time slots during which the school operates?

The school’s gates open at 7.15 a.m., with registration at 7.45 a.m. for all year groups. Lessons start at 8 a.m. In Year 3, each lesson lasts 55 minutes, with a 5-minute break to allow students to transition between classes. Either 12:30 or 2:30 pm marks the end of the school day for the Nursery students.

2. Does the school organize extracurricular activities after regular school hours?

Cranleigh School focuses on holistic education, providing diverse extracurriculars matched to students’ interests. Equal emphasis on music, drama, dance, and art, including collaborative musical exchange workshops. The school calendar highlights concerts, presentations, and events, while hands-on experiences enrich learning for students at all levels.

3. What is the total number of grade levels or academic years in the school?

There are five grade levels in Cranleigh, Abu Dhabi.

4. What is the format of the academic calendar at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School?

An academic year at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School begins in September and concludes in June of the following year.

5. What is the range of tuition fees charged by Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School?

The tuition fee ranges from AED 65,000 to AED 96,333 in Cranleigh.

6. Does the school host holiday camps during winter, spring, or summer breaks?

Cranleigh only provides a few summer camps run by outside companies. For instance, PASS Abu Dhabi provides a football camp for kids ages 5 to 12 throughout the midterm break. Parents are made aware of the camps before the summer break.

7. What is the current number of teachers employed at the school?

There are 41 teachers employed at the school.

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