FRUSTRATED parents unable to get a place for their children in the school of their choice are being offered the chance to sample the facilities and educational flair at the new kid on the block.
The Multinational School-Bahrain is offering youngsters a taste of Aussie-style education in the kingdom after its overwhelming success in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
The facility, which boasts 20 teaching staff, first started welcoming students between the ages of three to 11 in September to register in classes from kindergarten to Year 6. Since then, the school, located in Adliya, has grown from strength-to-strength with more than 100 students enrolled in Term 1.
Principal David Tansey is expecting many more pupils after the festive break for Term 2 as news of its arrival spreads and word-of-mouth takes off about its academic prowess and endearing teaching philosophy.
Mr Tansey said: "We have seen a strong need for a school in Bahrain that provides academic excellence alongside a supportive and inclusive policy. We believe in providing an excellent education for all children.
"The new school will combine the best traditions with the very latest teaching resources and we feel our aims are straightforward and precise.
"Our school motto is 'Distinction in Diversity'. This truly reflects our school principles. We follow an academically-rigorous programme but provide support for individuals to excel.
"Our philosophy is to support and develop the whole child as we aspire for all of our children to become confident, happy and caring individuals who achieve personal success and develop a love of learning and of life."
The school follows an Australian Learning Standard curriculum that differs from other international syllabuses' by including knowledge and skills in the areas of physical, social and personal learning. The Australian programme encourages a flexible and creative approach to learning.
The Early Years and Primary School are situated in the main three-storey building featuring facilities such as the Specialist Rooms, three Information Communication Technology suites, as well as Learning Support and EAL (English as an additional language) classrooms.
The KG children have their own unit in the garden area. There are two covered hard surface play areas and a large shaded area leading from the kindergarten classrooms for outdoor education and play.
The Learning Support department assists students who have a weakness in one or more learning areas including comprehension, spelling or sentence construction and gaps in education caused by disruptive schooling. It also aids those with specific learning difficulties including dyslexia, attention difficulties including Attention Deficit Disorder, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Children who may require learning support are identified first by teacher observation and assessment. Then the teacher will discuss the analysis with the child's parents to plan how best to meet the student's needs through additional support or intervention programmes.
The school also has a library offering a variety of fiction, non-fiction and reference books and houses eight computers that provide access to the internet and a comprehensive range of CDs in subject areas from general encyclopaedias such as Encarta, encyclopaedias in specialised subjects, or educational games to improve language or maths skills.
There is a wide range of extra-curricular activities for students from Year 3 to Year 6 that take place from 2.15pm to 3.10pm including an arts club, sports, chess, a computer club, board games, a science club and a craft club.
The establishment follows in the footsteps of its sister school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which has more than 1,400 students and 200 teaching staff. It was founded by Julia Jefferson, the principal, board chairman and company director of the Multinational brand. Her husband Grant is also school board vice-chairperson and the company director.
Mrs Jefferson said: "There was a huge need for a private school for students from smaller communities such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada and also for children that required additional learning assistance or had English as a second language.
"The Multinational School was opened in 1998 in response to these needs with the ambassadors to Saudi Arabia of New Zealand, Australia and Canada on the school board."
The Multinational School, Riyadh, has achieved extremely good results in both its primary and secondary programmes.
Mrs Jefferson said: "Students in Years 3, 5 and 7 sit the NAPLAN tests from Australia. We are benchmarked against the top schools in Australia and consistently perform in the top two-three per cent. In our IGCSE and A'level programmes, we have also achieved outstanding results.
"Some of our students have scored the best result, in a subject, both in the Middle East region and in several cases in the world. These are the type of results we plan to emulate in Bahrain."
The Multinational School-Bahrain couldn't have come at a better time as parents are limited for seats in some of the kingdom's most popular private schools due to public demand.
St Christopher's Junior School, for example, has had an increase in enrolment for the past three years.
Samantha Bicknell, marketing and operations support manager, at its infants and junior campus in Saar, said: "We do have significant waiting lists for many year groups up to and including Year 8. With regard to waiting times, it's impossible to give an average, it all depends on the year group and how many leavers we have. But parents should always contact our Admissions Team to discuss their individual requirements."
The Multinational School-Bahrain is planning to offer Years 7, 8 and 9 in the next academic year.
For details, contact 17711444 or visit www.mns-b.com