The following article comes from Eesha Mashruwala, a student at Deira International School, Dubai.

At Deira International School, the importance of student voice and development for students’ needs is never overlooked. In line with the vision, mission, and values of the Al Futtaim Education Foundation (AFEF), our school and us, the students, ‘aspire to transform the educational landscape’ of our school to ‘embrace a lifetime of happiness and growth’. We strongly believe that every student is capable of having a dream with no ceiling, and that it is up to them to raise their personal bar of endless possibility.

The Dream Big Foundation, founded in early October of the year 2021, is a group of creative and like-minded students that recognised the potential within the infrastructure of the school. Placing an emphasis on the four pillars of ‘Collaboration’, ‘Digital’, ‘Creativity’ and ‘Well-Being’, we embarked on a journey of creating a space that would be an outlet of innovation for the brilliant young minds in our school, and a space that boosts student productivity.

The core of this journey stemmed from nothing but a message on a group chat, which read “Think of a way you want the IB spaces at DIS to be more stimulating and innovative”.

With a multitude of ideas emerging from our initial meeting, it was certain that we were adamant on pursuing this collective dream, for the betterment of our school community.

After months of discussion amongst the team, we shared our presentation to the senior leadership team at DIS, which was an incredible milestone that allowed us to showcase our vision and ideas.

Catching the attention of people in the Al Futtaim Education Foundation with our detailed plan, we were extremely lucky to be invited to meet members of the AFEF as well as an architectural firm, who were introducing their plans for our school at Dubai’s Expo 2020. Our goal was to focus on refining and filtering our ideas, as we had to find a way to fit the most meaningful concepts into the space provided.

Following this event, we started communicating directly with the architectural firm that would assist us in making this project come to life. Hearing back from the architects was an unreal experience for all of us, as we could see the poetry of our journey in motion. Through renders and official floorplans, we were ecstatic to find out that these plans would be implemented for us within the next four months.

On the fourth of October, 2022, the IB Hub was open to all IB students at Deira International School. Walking in and seeing people’s jaws drop made us relive our entire story and all the obstacles we overcame to witness that very moment.

The IB Hub at Deira International School consists of three floors; the Innovation Hub, the Productivity Hub and the Social Hub. It is an incredible facility where there are no limits to creativity and collaboration, whilst allowing students to explore the digital world or spend some time for themselves and their mental well-being.

There is always a place for you in the IB Hub at Deira International School.