The girls were delighted to be welcomed at the airport by Mike Wilson, Headmaster of the UK Prep School (and our incoming Headmaster here in Abu Dhabi next year), as well as by Amanda Reader, Head of Careers. On Sunday Mr and Mrs Wilson kindly welcomed the group into their home for supper when they shared their personal experiences of the history and growth of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, looking at photos of the sandy plot which became the school building site and is now our campus.
After wrapping up warm to explore the stables, hockey pitches and outdoor education centre, pupils went indoors to classes. Swetah was particularly interested to tour the Design and Engineering studios in the context of her Extended Project Qualification in functionality as art, elevating a chair to a piece of artistic expression. The Art Department, with its life drawing rooms and exhibits was a highlight for both Shamma and Rodothea, who were captivated by the sculptures and photography at the Woodyer Art Studios. Kenza was excited to find out more about the school's theatre programme and concert series at the Merriman Music School.
Beyond Cranleigh, the group has also been able to soak up some of Britain's rich culture. This has included a visit to Windsor Castle where they explored the famous baroque State Apartments and saw many of the incredible works of art in the Royal Collection, before making their way to Queen Mary’s Dolls' House - reputed to be the largest and most beautiful dolls' house in the world.
They have also experienced the legendary 'Tube' (the London underground) when they travelled into the capital to enjoy the rides, markets and ice skating at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Then it was on to Piccadilly Circus in take in a show. The girls loved Annie and spent the rest of the night singing the songs as they wound their way down Regent Street to marvel at the festive lights.