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Cognita + Kidzink: real consultation, real listening and great relationships!

Updated: Feb 1

Cognita + Kidzink: real consultation, real listening and great relationships!

Having partnered with Cognita Education on a number of successful past projects, Kidzink were invited to revitalise the latest UAE school to join the Cognita family – Horizon International School.

Horizon International School Principal Darren Gale spoke with our team about his excitement for a ‘new trajectory’ for his popular and growing Dubai school.

Darren, there is so much going on this summer at HIS! How has working with Kidzink helped make all these changes and upgrades happen – so fast?

Kidzink just gets it. They really get education. To kick things off, the team came in and just listened to what I had to say. They went away and interpreted my ideas…just right!  I’ve found that, every step of the way, there has been real consultation and real listening from Kidzink. Jennifer, Richard, Charlotte – everyone…in a short space of time the whole Kidzink team have shown a great understanding of what we want to achieve at HIS.  It’s been a partnership, a feeling of “people over paper,” you know?  It strikes me that relationships are at the heart of Kidzink’s work, and that really resonates with our own culture here at Horizon International School.

What excites you most about the changes to the school?

My answer to that is the potential of where our new spaces will lead us.  We have the most incredible students and teachers and I want them to have modern, cutting-edge spaces they can look at and think “yes, we deserve this.” That kind of environment raises everyone’s game and everyone’s aspirations. We want to modernise the school and give our families a premium experience at a great value for money fee point.  I want the new facilities to underscore just how committed we are to providing brilliant quality education.  I can’t wait to see our students faces come September!

Speaking of your students, have they been involved in the design process?

Yes, of course!  In particular, our Post-16 students have had a major input into their new hub. We felt it was especially important that the older students were part of the design journey.  We have some great courses on offer to the kids in Post-16, and we want to combine that with somewhere which gives them a blend of school and a “university like” experience.  They need that independence!  

As the school continues to grow, it may be that we eventually need to build a standalone Post-16 building.  The great thing about the design that Kidzink has come up with for the sixth form, is that we can quickly and easily repurpose the space when that moment comes. It would make a perfect staff work room, for example.

It feels very mature and sophisticated, it uses our school colours, but in a muted, grown-up way. The end result feels almost like a co-working space. I love it!

HIS - Kidzink's great designs on show
Darren, what is next for Horizon International School?

Refurbishment – phase 2!  With Kidzink involved, I know it’s going to be just as fabulous.

plan it

plan it

plan it

#internationalschool #schooldesign #horizoninternational #interview #Cognitaschools #DarrenGale #newschool


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