King’s Academy (Arabic Translation: أكاديمية الملك) is an independent, co-educational private day and boarding school for students in grades 9 through 12 that opened its doors in August 2007 in Madaba-Manja, Jordan. It is named in honor of King Abdullah II of Jordan and seeks to fulfill His Majesty's vision of producing "a new generation of enlightened and creative minds". King Abdullah attended high school at Deerfield Academy in the United States as there was no school of comparable standing in Jordan when he was a boy, but his son Crown Prince Hussein attended in the new school's second intake (2008). The new school's first headmaster, Dr. Eric Widmer, was a former headmaster of Deerfield.
The primary language of instruction at King's Academy is English. Both Arabic speaking and non Arabic speaking students are required to study Arabic. The academy recently became a member of the G20 Schools group.
- 1 Location and campus
- 2 Student body
- 3 Academics
- 4 Co-curricular activities
- 5 Board membership
- 6 Round Square
- 7 Arabic Year
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Location and campus
The King’s Academy campus is unique in the Middle East. Designed by renowned Egyptian architect and Director of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London Khaled Azzam, the campus and buildings are constructed on an extensive 575-dunum site (144 acres) and comprise some 23 major buildings. These include state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories and a 50,000-book library, a multi-faith spiritual center and garden, dormitories incorporating faculty family apartments, and a magnificent auditorium that will serve not just the school but the nation as well.
The athletic facilities include a semi-Olympic swimming pool, tennis, swimming pool, squash, handball and basketball courts, and cardio and weight training facilities. There is also an outdoor sports stadium, that includes a full-size football field, two additional football fields and a track.
King Abdullah II Spiritual Center
The King Abdullah II Spiritual Center is a non-denominational spiritual center that is available for use to all members of the school community, regardless of their religious preference.
The Abdul Majeed Shoman Auditorium
The Abdul Majeed Shoman Auditorium holds 700 people and is the location of both school and community events including, concerts, student recitals, and dance performances. The auditorium also serves as the place for daily school meetings between the headmaster and the school community.
The HRH Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Adiministration Center
The HRH Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Administration Center houses the departments of academic affairs, admissions, communications, finance, human resources and information technology. The office of the headmaster, the deputy headmaster is also located in this building.
The HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library
The HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library is designed to accommodate 50,000 volumes. The building is outfitted with wireless internet, reading tables and study spaces, including a circular reading room (Rotunda) that overlooks the campus.
The King’s Academy campus was built to accommodate 600 students, of which about 75 percent are boarding students. Boarding students can choose to be either week-day boarders (returning home for the weekend) or full-time boarders.
For the 2010-2011 academic year, 430 students were enrolled at the school, representing some 24 countries in the Middle East and around the world. Of these students, 40 percent are female and 60 percent are male.
The school draws students from diverse ethnic, geographic, religious and economic backgrounds, and between 15 and 30 percent of King’s Academy’s tuition revenue has been set aside for financial aid, in addition to an endowment fund for scholarships.
Mohammed Ashour, CEO of Microsoft
The school’s curriculum is based on the American Advanced Placement (AP) program, although it is modified to accommodate for the different needs of the students. Students are able to receive 'equivalency' to other programs in the region, such as the Jordanian 'tawjihi' examinations. The primary language of instruction at King's Academy is English.
The academic departments at King's Academy are:
- Communication, Rhetoric and the Literary Arts (Incorporating both English and Arabic)
- World Languages
- Physical and Life Sciences
- Computer Science
- History and Social Studies
- Ethics, Philosophy and Religion
- Fine and Performing Arts.
The school was recently accredited by the international CIS group.
All King's Academy students must participate in four afternoons a week of co-curricular activities. These activities include community service, yearbook, performing and visual arts, sports and the school newspaper (called The Rexonian).
Established concurrently with the founding of the school was KAMUN (King's Academy Model United Nations), which holds the bi-annual international King's Academy Model United Nations conference in the Dead Sea, making it the lowest MUN conference in the world.
Community Service is strongly encouraged. Students volunteer to help teach English to children, work with refugees, assist in clean-up projects and work with non-profit social service organizations on environmental, educational and social welfare issues. Each year a community service fair is held to encourage students to participate in community service programs during the summer months.
King's Academy has a strong focus on athletics as part of its co-curricular program. The school competes in both local and international leagues, traveling to places such as Damascus, Beirut and Istanbul to compete with other schools. Competitive sports offered during the 2010-2011 fall, winter and spring seasons include:
- Basketball (Varsity and Junior Varsity)
- Soccer (Varsity and Junior Varsity)
- Volleyball (Varsity and Junior Varsity)
- Cross Country
- Flag Football
The school also offers a number of recreational programs, where students work to develop skills rather than compete against other schools. These include:
International Advisory Board members:
- His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan
- His Royal Highness Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain
- Her Royal Highness Princess Areej Ghazi
Board of Trustees members
- Karim Kawar (Chairman)
- Dr. John Austin, ex officio
- Ms. Randa Ayoubi
- Dr. Amin Badr El Din
- Mr. George Faux
- Ms. M. Burch Tracy Ford
- Mr. David Pond
- His Excellency Mr. Samir Rifai
- His Excellency Mr. Bassem Salem
- Mr. Peter Weinberg
- Ms. Lubna Olayan
In 2010, King's Academy became the first Arab school to gain full membership in Round Square. The Round Square Conference of Schools is a worldwide association of more than 60 schools that allows students to travel between schools and tour the country or do community service. King's Academy has also been awarded the bid to host the 2014 International Round Square Conference.
In 2011, King's Academy initiated the Arabic Year at King's Academy (AY) program which offers one year of intensive Arabic study, culture immersion and experiential learning to American and international high school students (grades 10-12) interested in Arabic and Middle Eastern study. The program offers AY students two classes of intensive Arabic each school day as part of a normal raft of college preparation courses. In addition, students enjoy extensive outings and trips throughout the historic country of Jordan.
- King's Academy Website
- Arabic Year at King's Academy Website
- Monarch lays cornerstone for King's Academy boarding school Jordan Times, July 23, 2004