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Early Years Foundation Stage

The UK based Early Years Foundation Stage is a framework sets out welfare and developmental goals for children five years and under. It covers six key areas of learning around which activities should be based: Personal, social and emotional development; Communication, language and literacy; Problem solving, reasoning and literacy; Knowledge and understanding of the world; and Physical development and Creative development.
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Early Years Foundation Stage EYFS
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December 21, 2016

Brighton College Dubai, Al Barsha South

“Brighton’s reputation is built upon offering its pupils an innovative curriculum and outstanding pastoral care in their pursuit of academic excellence, all underpinned by a passionate belief in the importance of the individual.

Every child in the Brighton College family of schools is valued for his or her own sake, encouraged to develop his or her talents to the full in a community where there are no stereotypes and where every achievement, however small, is noticed.” Ian McIntyre, Director of Schools, Brighton College International Schools

 

Background

Founded in 1845, Brighton College (UK) is a top-tier UK independent secondary day and boarding [...]

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October 31, 2016

The City School International, Nad Al Hamar

“We aim to develop each one of our students into true learners, individuals who always seek to broaden their perspective and to face life’s challenges with courage and conviction.

Education is a pursuit that goes far beyond a qualification. While we aim to help our students excel in the course they are studying, we also hope to instil in them a thirst for learning throughout their lives.  At The City School, our teachers, students, and parents work together to realise this goal.”

Dr. Farzana Firoz, Chief Executive Officer, City Schools (Pvt.) Ltd.

Updated November 2016

City School International presents an extraordinarily mixed picture for [...]

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September 22, 2016

Foremarke School, Dubai Science Park, Al Barsha South

“I am extremely proud of our achievements here at Foremarke. Our pastoral care not only aims to prepare our pupils for any challenge they may face in their future but also shapes them into true Foremarkians; children with common sense, who are aspirational and respectful and most importantly, children who will enjoy their education. Our unique small class sizes set us above all other academic institutions in Dubai, allowing for a truly tailored approach for each child. Additionally, children benefit from specialist teaching from Nursery up to Year 6 and this approach is reflected in our latest academic achievements, which has put us well above international standards in all areas of [...]

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September 22, 2016

Dubai British Foundation, Jumeirah Islands

Updated November 2016

Taaleem’s Dubai British Foundation [DBF] is a new, specialist, self-contained Early Years Taaleem British school teaching an enriched but targeted Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) British curriculum in Foundation Years 1 and 2 only for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years. Opened in 2014, the Foundation provides the Early Years feeder to the Dubai British School Jumeirah Park reviewed here. Dubai British School provides continuity through all-through Year 1 – 13 British schooling to IGCSE and A Level) The pre-school is set on a 1.5 acre site in the Jumeirah Island with close proximity both to slipstream school and the Springs community in [...]

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September 21, 2016

Oaktree Primary School, Al Quoz

Updated November 2016

““Oaktree Primary is determined to provide an excellent education which is based on positivity and happiness. We are looking to combine the familiarity and family-focussed nature of an English primary school with the internationalism of the community here in Dubai. We believe that the happy child is the child that will learn best, and so we are focussed on being positive and welcoming at all times, both to our children and to their parents.” Christopher McDermott, Founding Head, Oaktree Primary School.

Al Quoz based Oaktree Primary School, a new British FS to Year 6 Primary, opened in September 2016 and aims to swiftly establish itself as [...]

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September 18, 2016

The Children’s Garden, Dubai Investments Park, Jumeirah 2, Al Barsha 2

‘Childhood should be a journey, not a race’ Mission Statement. Taaleem's The Children's Garden. Dubai.

Taaleem’s The Children’s Garden [TCG] offers for its children both a childhood and education.  There are three nurseries. The first opened in the Green Community in 2005, this followed by the Jumeirah 2 pre-school in 2012. The latest, The Children’s Garden, opened in Al Barsha 2 in 2012.

Updated November 2016

The Children’s Garden has a curriculum, developed within Taaleem in-house that we think is deeply thoughtful and unique. It is founded on the EYFS English National Curriculum but enriched with languages and a deep-seated conviction that education must be [...]

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September 16, 2016

British Pre-School Nursery Curriculum Guide & EYFS

Updated November 2016

Our pre-school guides have been written following requests from parents for us to help make sense of the early years choices facing them in deciding provision for their Child(ren). One concern that has been relayed to us is that parents, when visiting pre-schools as part of their shortlisting, face schools that to some degree seem “much of a muchness,” with children painting and generally carrying on activities that seem pretty standard and similar to what they would expect from  simple day care.

In the following, and related Pre-school Guides for the range of alternative curricular nurseries, we explore the differences between [...]

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September 11, 2016

International School of Creative Science, Nad Al Sheba 3

Updated November 2016

The International School of Creative Science [ISCS] is a new Arabic-American dual curriculum faith school launching Phase 1 of its provision in Nad Al Sheba 3. The school is situated in the prime education corridor between Kings School Nad Al Sheba and Repton School on a circa 11-acre site.

The school has been established with the single aim of balancing the best of Western education, and its currency for later university and career development, with the protection, appreciation and nurturing of Muslim and broader Arabic culture, language, faith and morality within its role. It’s an East meets West equation that is far from simple to resolve and [...]

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September 6, 2016

Victory Heights Primary School, Dubai Sports City

Updated January 2017

Founded in 2013, Victory Heights Primary School is a new school bedding in Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 2 provision with remarkable pace. After only its second formal inspection by the KHDA in 2016 it has secured Good School status, its ratings jumping up by between 20% and 40% in key categories of inspection in a single year. The key pointer prospective parents should take from this is that headline Inspection grading has to be understood in context. An improving school, particularly when showing this rate of progress across all phases, subjects and management indicators, is indicative of a school with significant potential across the board. [...]

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September 4, 2016

Dubai British School, Springs 3, Emirates Hills

Updated November 2016

There are a number of schools in Dubai that, notwithstanding inspection data, offer a very high level of education for children across all phases and which present very little difficulty in securing our recommendation. Dubai British School in Emirates Hills (DBS) falls into this category.

That DBS is now classified by the Dubai inspectorate as “Very Good” school category (and is a British Schools Overseas “Outstanding School”) merely confirms what parents have known for a long time: Despite the many excellent schools in the UAE, this is a school that any parent interested in a UK based education should shortlist.

The latest BSO report can be [...]

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June 26, 2016

Manor Primary School, Al Safa 1

Manor Park Primary is a new, FS to Year 6 British English National Curriculum Primary school for girls and boys between the ages of 4 and 11. This is, however, absolutely not your standard new school launch – and there is a bigger picture.

Manor Primary School is a new school, but in some ways also the re-opening of the English College Primary School (ECPS), a deeply loved and cherished school that closed in 2014 for business reasons. ECPS was the primary slipstream for The English College, our latest review of which can be found here, and Manor Primary School will replace this.

The opening of Manor Primary, in conjunction with the extremely well thought of new [...]

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June 25, 2016

Smart Vision School, Al Barsha 2

Smart Vision School is located in the heart of Al Barsha 2 – and, as a new school, Vision stands out for being a school that actually exists in nearly complete form. Prospective parents can actually visit the school – and not have to depend on off- plan drawings in making decisions for the future of their child(ren)’s education.

The English National Curriculum school is now open to applications for places between FS1 to Year 4 starting in September 2016. Phased launch of future grades to Year 13 will follow. Eventually all-through provision will take students through complete all-through British education from the Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS) to IGCSE and A [...]

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June 23, 2016

GEMS Founders School, Al Barsha South

Updated January 2017

GEMS Founders School(GFS) was established as an international UK curriculum school in September 2016, promising a “reasonably priced world-class education” meeting “the high standard of education that GEMS Education embodies.”

Founders offers an all-through English National Curriculum to IGCSE and A Level for students from FS1 to Year 13, between 3 and 19 years.

In build, GEMS advised us, and our sister site, whichschooladvisor, that Founders was being modeled on its family of Winchester schools. This, however, we felt in practice, told us little as the “Winchester” brand covers a multitude of very different schools from the fabulous, [...]

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June 16, 2016

GEMS FirstPoint School, The Villa, Dubailand

Updated November 2016

GEMS FirstPoint is a very interesting school in a multitude of areas – and it is also, importantly, a very good one. So what sets it apart. There are two defining features that standout and which we believe will be of particular interest to prospective parents.

First, with FirstPoint, GEMS has set up a Tier 1 premium British School, but set the fees, deliberately, at the very lowest level of the fee structures we typically associate with this class of schools.  The following graphic is taken from its own marketing literature:

When you average the fees over thirteen years, the school offers a considerable value proposition for [...]

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June 14, 2016

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Island

One of a few WhichSchoolAdvisor.com “Good Schools”, and an ADEC A3 High Performing Good School with Outstanding Features, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is a school in phased launch offering an all-through, British-founded, education from FS to Year 13.

The school has had a single ADEC review thus far, completed in 2015, and we anticipate the school edging even higher in terms of rating as it works through its considered, very careful phased launch of all-through Senior school provision. On this note, we are awaiting guidance as to whether the school will maintain the A Level as the focus of Secondary provision, move to IB Diploma provision (unlike its UK counterpart), or offer parallel [...]

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June 8, 2016

Al Ain International School, Al Nayadat, Al Ain

Al Ain International School is quite extraordinary: It is an exceptionally good school by any standards, but it achieves this in ways that you have to experience to really appreciate just what has been achieved for children – and what they achieve for each other, their community and the school.

This is one of those schools that is resolutely not about numbers.

Our sister site, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, has long campaigned for schools to calculate “value-added”, in simple terms, what a school achieves with its children from where they start on entering a school. Many schools will advertise themselves on the basis of stellar examination results – but this is less of an [...]

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June 6, 2016

The Winchester School – Jebel Ali, The Gardens, Jebel Ali Village

What a wonderful, extraordinary school. It is a rare thing to be able to be so positive about a school that many parents will simply not have heard of, this partly because it (confusingly) shares a name with another very different GEMS school, GEMS Winchester- Dubai (the poorest performing of all GEMS schools). The two schools could not be further apart.

Where to begin? First, this is a big school. With 3,583 students, The Winchester School- Jebel Ali (WSJA) may strike alarm bells with some parents. The logistics of managing this number of children – with a role that dwarfs the size of many companies, would be testing of the skills of any leadership team. But Winchester [...]

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May 29, 2016

Fujairah Private Academy, Fujairah

Mooted to be one of, if not the best school in Fujairah, the Fujairah Private Academy (FPA) is certainly its most prestigious. The school is owned by the government of Fujairah, and the rulers of the Emirate play a significant role in school governance. The school’s honorary patron is His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah who founded the school in 1982.

The school itself occupies beautifully designed Arabic buildings, their stone facades carefully designed to blend with the extraordinarily beautiful Hajar mountains that provide their backdrop.

FPA provides an English National Curriculum all-through education to students between FS [...]

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May 18, 2016

Dovecote Green Primary School, Dubai Investments Park

Dovecote Green Primary is a primary, FS to Year 6 British, selective preparatory slipstream school for Repton Dubai offering an English National Curriculum based education for children aged between 3 and 11 years.

Before discussing the school in detail it is worth noting at the outset that Dovecote provides the single most affordable in-house direct route to Repton Dubai from Year 7. The alternative preparatory, Foremarke School, has KHDA approved fees of 90,000, although current “founders fees” are less (65000-85000 AED per annum). Studying with Repton itself in Dubai between FS and Year 6 requires fees between 50,379 AED at FS1 through to 64,011 AED in Year [...]

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May 16, 2016

Blossom Nurseries – Various locations

Blossom Nurseries currently operates five nurseries:

Blossom Burj Nursery, Umm Al Sheif Blosssom Viillage Nursery, Umm Suqeim 1 Blossom Mudon, Al Salam Town Centre, Mudon Blossom Early Learning Centre, Dubai Academic City Blossom Downtown, Yanzoon 7, Al Manzil

A sixth, Blossom Marina, is in phased launch to open at Dubai Marina in September 2016 (more information can be found here.)

The Blossom Group was established in 2009 and combines an EYFS core English National Curriculum with an in-house developed “Sky Garden” approach to teaching through the senses (which combines elements of Montessori and Reggio Emilio philosophies). Blossom Nurseries offer provision to [...]

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