King's Academy

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King's Academy
King's Academy Logo.png

TypePrivate, boarding
International school
MottoFloreat Scientia
HeadmasterJohn Austin
Color(s)Red, blue, and gold
AthleticsCo-educational curricular activities

King's Academy (Arabic Translation: "كينغز أكاديمي") is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for students in grades 7 through 12 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."[1] 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 enrolled in the new school's second incoming class (2008). The new school's first headmaster, Dr. Eric Widmer, is a past headmaster of Deerfield.[2]

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 is a member of the G20 Schools group.[3]

Location and campus[edit]

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 (144-acre) site and comprise some 33 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 an auditorium that seats 700 people.

Athletic facilities[edit]

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[edit]

The King Abdullah II Spiritual Center is a multi-faith spiritual center that is available for use to all members of the school community, regardless of their religious preference. Both the indoor prayer room and the open-air courtyard are available for use at all times by students, faculty, staff and campus visitors.

The Abdul Majeed Shoman Auditorium[edit]

The Abdul Majeed Shoman Auditorium holds 700 people and is the location of both school and community events including concerts, student recitals, plays, and dance performances. Students and faculty members gather here for weekly school meetings.

The Sheikh Jabir Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Building[edit]

The Building has a total area of 2,200 square meters and houses the Middle School, the Office of the Headmaster, and the Office of Admissions. The Middle School comprises 10 classrooms, two fully equipped science labs, an art wing, a study lounge, and a large multipurpose room, in addition to the dean's office and the school counselor's office. The building is fully accessible with an elevator and additional ramps.

The HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library[edit]

The HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library is designed to accommodate 50,000 volumes.[citation needed] The building is outfitted with wireless internet, reading tables and study spaces, including a circular reading room (a rotunda) that overlooks the campus.

Student body[edit]

The King's Academy campus was built to accommodate 600 students, about 75 percent of which are boarding students. Boarding students can choose to be either week-day boarders (returning home for the weekend) or full-time boarders.

For the 2015-2016 academic year, 557 students were enrolled at the school, representing some 36 countries in the Middle East and around the world. Of these students, 45 percent are female and 55 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. Approximately 40% of students receive financial aid.


The school's curriculum is based on the American Advanced Placement (AP) program, and the middle school curriculum is based on the College Board’s QUEST framework for teaching and learning. Students intending to attend a Jordanian university or gain certain professional licenses in Jordan can obtain a certificate of Tawjihi equivalency in lieu of taking the national Tawjihi examination. The primary language of instruction at King's Academy is English, but the study of Arabic is required of all students throughout their years at King's.

The academic departments at King's Academy are:

The academy is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). It is a founding member of Global Online Academy (GOA), a member of the G20 Schools group, and is a Round Square school.

Co-curricular activities[edit]

All King's Academy students participate in three afternoons a week of a major co-curricular activity and one afternoon a week of a minor co-curricular activity. These activities include community service, yearbook, performing and visual arts, sports, the school newspaper (called The Rexonian), and Model United Nations (KAMUN).

Community service[edit]

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. Competitive sports offered during the 2015-2016 fall, winter, and spring seasons include:

The school also offers a number of recreational programs, where students work to develop skills rather than compete against other schools. These include:

Board membership[edit]

International Advisory Board members:

Board of Trustees

  • His Excellency Mr. Bassem Khalil Al-Salem, Chairman
  • Mr. Tarek Aggad
  • His Excellency Mr. Aqel Biltaji
  • Ms. M. Burch Tracy Ford
  • Mr. Michael Hess
  • Mr. Ali Kolaghassi
  • Mr. Sabih T. Masri
  • Mr. Zaki Nusseibeh
  • Mr. David Pond
  • Mr. Talal Shair
  • Mr. Peter Shoemaker
  • Mr. Peter Weinberg
  • Dr. John Austin, ex officio

Legal Counsel to the Board of Trustees

  • James F. Warren, Esq.

Round Square[edit]

In 2010, King's Academy became the first Arab school to gain full membership in the global Round Square organization, an association of more than 100 schools on five continents that allows students to travel across the world and participate in community service, exchange programs and adventuring. Since becoming a Round Square school, King's Academy has held three regional conferences and hosted some 600 student and adult delegates from 53 schools across the globe during the 2014 international conference.[4]

Arabic Year[edit]

In 2011, King's Academy initiated a new program called Arabic Year at King's Academy (AY), which offers American and international high school students one year of intensive Arabic study, cultural immersion and experiential learning. The program provides AY students with two classes of intensive Arabic each school day as part of a standard load of college preparation courses. In addition, students enjoy extensive outings and trips in Jordan and other countries of the region.


  1. ^ "King's Academy". King's Academy. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  2. ^ Paumgarten, Nick. "Our Far-Flung Correspondents: Deerfield in the Desert". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°45′12″N 35°50′53″E / 31.75325°N 35.848142°E / 31.75325; 35.848142