Our School Spotlight series showcases what makes our global community so special, shining a light on the individual strengths of our exceptional learning environments and understanding the benefits of being part of our wider community. March’s Spotlight falls on the outstanding Horizon English School in Dubai, which is the ‘Happiest School in the UAE’ according to #sctsa2021.

Horizon’s History

As one of the oldest schools in Dubai, Horizon English School offers British curriculum education to children aged between 3-11 years. In 1989, we started as a small villa school with just 12 children, and over the years our school campus has changed beyond recognition, much like Dubai itself.

Although we now have almost 1,200 children enrolled at Horizon, our commitment to children and our ethos of child development through engaging, innovative learning, has remained the same. At the start of 2021, we became part of the Cognita global family of schools of which we are delighted to be part of.

In 2021, we were also awarded ‘Happiest School in the UAE’ (schoolscompared.com Top Awards) – something we are very proud of. Horizon really is a very happy place and visitors to the school always comment on the big smiles and friendly attitude from both students and staff. We were also shortlisted for Best Primary School in the UAE. Our community spirit is strong and backed by our wonderful Parent Group ‘Friends of Horizon’, we bring a wonderful calendar of extra-curricular events to the Horizon community each year.

School Community 

Horizon, like Dubai, is a hub of multiculturalism. We currently have around 80 nationalities within our student population and this is something that we are very proud of. Our students have a real sense of being global citizens with a real depth of understanding in respecting those with different cultures, customs, language and beliefs.

Our recent International Day showcased our diverse community and everyone enjoying coming together to share their own country’s way of doing things.

Horizon’s Vision

Horizon has an ambitious and progressive vision. Just under three years ago the school involved it’s stakeholders in creating an updated vision for its future. This includes our ‘Three Horizons’ – with the first Horizon being ‘A Flourishing School’.

We strive to nurture independent learners and critical thinkers, with the skills to form lasting relationships with others and the ability to manage themselves in any situation. While academic excellence is at the core of our teaching program (Horizon English School results rank us in the top 0.5% of schools in the UK and we are recognised as being one of the top 25 schools in the UAE), we are not an exams factory and our emphasis is on the well-rounded child, with the strength and self-belief to make mistakes and then to learn from them. Music, sport, art and design, and performance, all have an integral part to play in our curriculum and we strongly believe that every child has something to offer.


We know from our yearly parent surveys and the feedback we get from our community, that people really do love this school. For those who have moved on, we often hear them say that their years here at this school were some of the happiest in their lives, and this means a lot to us. Happiness radiates through our school, community & ethos. It shines through from the classrooms into the corridors and shows on the faces of every individual you encounter. We pride ourselves on the ‘happiness experience’ when visitors come to the school, and for those who work and learn here.

Happiness and the wellbeing of our Horizon community reaches much further afield than the curriculum. The school has actively taken measures to prioritise and maintain student happiness which has long been an embedded part of the Horizon ethos. We provide a range of opportunities for the children to engage with beyond the curriculum to support them to flourish.

Happiness is more than an emotion to us, it underpins everything our school stands for and achieves.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Horizon English School. We’re very proud to have you in our global Cognita community.