Meet our New Head of Boarding – David McKeown

At Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai we are committed to ensuring that our students have access to exceptional and caring teachers, boarding professionals and support staff. We aim to attract the best staff and encourage their ongoing development. The Head of Boarding has a very important duty within a boarding school.  One of their top priorities is to create a warm and friendly environment for students while they are studying and living away from home.

Mr. David McKeown is the new Head of Boarding at Swiss International School in Dubai, and he has the credentials to back it up – he’s spent time as a Head of Boarding, a Deputy Headmaster, and a Professional Learning Networks Leader, and has a strong passion for the pastoral care philosophy. We’re proud to have him care for our children’s growth. Learn more about him and his plans for Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai’s girls and boys boarding.

“As a family, we have always held a desire to travel, to explore and to meet people from across the world. Dubai, therefore, seemed to be the perfect multi-cultural society in which to base ourselves. We moved to the UAE 9 years ago now and certainly think of Dubai as our home.
In terms of my career so far, I have worked in some wonderful independent schools in the UK as Head of Boarding, Director of Sport and Deputy Headmaster. I have always been keen to be involved in Pastoral roles and roles which allow me to support and help others. Here in Dubai, I worked as a Professional Learning Networks Leader for a large education group, supporting staff training and leadership development. I recently completed my master’s in education and enjoy seeking ways to further refine and develop my pedagogical approach.”

What is your philosophy in terms of education?

In simple terms, it’s all about the children. I aim to offer support and development opportunities to children at every age and every ability level and to support our boarding students to achieve their future career aspirations.

What is your first impression of SISD?

My first impression of SISD actually came a few years back, soon after the school was built, when I visited for a sports tournament. I was so impressed by the facilities and welcome I received at the school that I decided, when the right opportunity came up, that I would aim to join the team at SISD..….and here I am!

What will be your first task as Head of Boarding?
Getting to know the children and families well is the most important task for any Head of Boarding or Boarding Tutor. By getting to know our boarding students, their likes, dislikes, strengths and areas for development, we can help them to achieve and fulfil their potential.

What goals and expectations do you have for your boarding team?
In addition to getting to know our boarders, our aim as a team is to create a safe, secure, supportive and fun environment where all of our boarders can flourish. Everyone has their part to play in creating such an environment for our students. 

What expectations do you have for your boarding students?
To be the best that they can be as individuals – in terms of academic achievement, sporting success, behaviour, relationships with others and concern for the wider community. We try and we don’t give up, we put others before ourselves and we create an environment which is welcoming and supportive for all. These are the goals that I would wish all of our boarders to strive for.


A Second Home

At SISD, our Boarding School is more than just a place for students to stay while parents are abroad. We adopt the philosophy of pastoral care, where students are nurtured and cared for in the boarding school setting, coming to see it as a second home.


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