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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



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

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May 12, 2016

Safa Community School, Arjan, Al Barsha South

New sister school to the Safa (British) School in Al Quoz, and originally named the Safa British Academy, Safa Community School is an all through British School currently offering English National Curriculum based provision from FS1 to Year 8, with Years 9 – 12 opening in phased launch from 2016-18.

The school welcomes children of all nationalities, and aims to be engaging and genuinely inclusive. There is a buzz about the school – and a lovely, warm atmosphere.

The design of the school is a plus. Safa shines a light on the importance of school design in creating an environment in schools that in its own right inspires children to excel. Buildings matter – and Safa is [...]

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March 24, 2016

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah, Sharjah Schools Zone, Al Muweilah

Updated December 2016

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah [GWSS] is a 2518 capacity school offering a British, National Curriculum for England based, education for boys and girls from FS2. The school, established in 2012, is to all intents and purposes a new school and is in a process of transition to opening secondary provision from 2017-18. Whilst GWSS has announced planned opening to Grade 13 and full provision to GCE A’ Level, its handbook currently confirms planned academic provision to AS Level only.

The school is modelled on GEMS Westminster School in Dubai, its largest UK curriculum (IGCSE, AS and A’ Level) school. The Dubai school is currently double the size of [...]

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March 13, 2016

Raffles World Academy, Umm Suqeim 3

Updated December 2016

Raffles World Academy was established by Emaar Education in 2006 following negotiation with Raffles Campus, a school management company in Singapore, which eventually led to Emaar purchasing the company and “Raffles International” brand outright in 2007.

The Raffles brand was rolled out to the then “Raffles International School – West Campus”; “Raffles International School – South Campus”; “Raffles International School – North Campus”; and “Raffles Nursery.”

As part of the purchase, Ng Boon Yew, the founding chairman of Raffles Campus Singapore, moved to Dubai to set up and run the UAE schools as the chief executive of Emaar [...]

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March 9, 2016

Hartland International School, Sobha Hartland, Nad Al Sheba

Updated March 2017

Hartland International is a school that has launched with many of the teething pains that we expect of new schools opening in the UAE, and is still in the process of working through what has amounted to quite a turbulent start – more on this below. Despite this the school made it to the top 5 of whichschoooladvisor’s rated “Top New Schools for 2015-16,” largely on the back of the schools facilities and its stated aspirations: Hartland International has been established ground-up as a premium, Tier 1, full-phase KG to Year 13 school.

The school has been built at the heart of the newly developing Sobha Hartland Community in Mohammed Bin Rashid [...]

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March 5, 2016

Dubai Scholars Private School, Al Ghusais School Zone, Al Qusais

Updated December 2016

Dubai Scholars Private School [DSPS] brands itself as having academic foundations rooted in the “British model for teaching and learning, offering students a rigorous program to progress from one stage to the next supported by classroom interactions that challenge students to think deeply.”

The school is run for profit and, founded in 1976 as a micro primary school operating from a villa in Deira, was the first school opened by the Scholars International Group [SIG] which today owns the Scholars International Academy, Sharjah and the newly established Clarion School in Dubai.

Dubai Scholars educates around 1600 predominantly Indian students [...]

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March 5, 2016

Grammar School, Al Garhoud

Updated December 2016

Prospective parents should note that we have been contacted by the Grammar School [December 2016] and our review should be read in conjunction with the following advice by the school:

The school was purchased by new owners in November 2015 A new UK senior leadership team, husband and wife, William and Margaret Deacon, took over management of the school in February 2016 The school has been “completely overhauled” in academics, improvements to infrastructure and in educational and administrative software to aid teaching and learning The school has now moved away from grades and introduced the formal all-through UK Year system from FS to Year 13 The [...]
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March 1, 2016

The Oxford School Dubai, Muhaisnah 4

The Oxford School Dubai [OSD] was established “Mom and Pop” fashion by the for-profit IQRA Group within a villa in 1986. “50 students and a tiny villa in Jumeirah” was all we had write its owners. The school followed similar establishment of the IQRA’s villa-based Apple Nursery in 1981 in Karama which started with just a handful of students. Today the group also own the English National Curriculum based Apple International School {AIS], the CBSE based Indian Academy Dubai [IAD]and Indian Academy Sharjah [IAS] and the Emirates Tender Care Nursery, together educating over 6,000 students.

None of the IQRA Group schools in Dubai achieve “Good” school accreditation by the KHDA and [...]

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March 1, 2016

The School of Research Science, Al Warqa 4

Updated December 2016

Prospective parents should note that The School of Research Science [SRS] moved to landmark new premises in 2014, increasing the student body by 678 from 2047 to 2725 children between February 2014 and September 2015 when the school moved from Al Qusais to Al Warqa.

The new school has a capacity of 3,000 children and outstanding new facilities compared with an already very good standard of facility provision at the previous school.

Very popular with local families, almost 7 out of 10 students studying at the school are Emiratis. The remainder come largely from Arabic families.

The school is academic, providing the full-phase English [...]

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February 28, 2016

The Sheffield Private School, Al Nahda 2

Updated December 2016

The Sheffield Private School (TSPS] is a for-profit, near full-phase English national Curriculum school offering education from EYFS through to (I)GCSE GCE A’ Level.

The school provides insufficient information for prospective parents to benchmark the school in the sector or make a considered decision for considering the school for their children. Information provided (March 2016) is some of the most limited provided by any school in the Emirates, extraordinary for an established school and particularly one managed by a UK qualified Principal.

Information gaps include

No information on Post-16 GCE A’ Level provision Limited information [...]
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February 28, 2016

Dubai GEM Private School, Oud Metha, Bur Dubai

Updated December 2016

If Dubai GEM Private School was magically transplanted into modern buildings and facilities, it would almost certainly be a KHDA Outstanding school. This is not a school typical for its value sector.

Opened in 1973 as “Dubai Nursery School and Crèche”, Dubai GEM Private School [DGPS] is a private, for-profit full phase FS-Primary-Junior-Secondary providing a British, English National Curriculum based mixed education from EYFS to (I)GCSE O’ and GCE A’ Level to 2143 boys and girls.

The school, founded by Sultana Rabi, its current owner, began as a typical villa nursery school, providing first phase education to around 20 children from 0-5. [...]

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February 26, 2016

Al Diyafah High School, Al Quasais Industrial Area, Al Nahda 2

Updated December 2016

Growing from a micro villa school established in 1982, Al Diyafah High School (ADHS) was given a 100,000 square foot plot of land by the Dubai government in late 2001 to build a new school after villa schools were gradually closed in order to improve the standard and quality of education throughout the emirate.

The new site saw the school retain its name as it moved from Al Diyafah Street in Satwa to its current home in Al Nahda.

In September 2013 a sister branch of ADHS opened in Abu Dhabi, the Diyafah International School, in part responding to the demand created by its sister emirate’s completion of its own villa closure [...]

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February 22, 2016

GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail

Updated December 2016

Worth seeking out the “end of year” videos for on You Tube, GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail [WEK] is a (relatively) new school (2013), set to launch full provision to Sixth form through 2017-18. Al Khail itself is pretty much a GEMS-only school zone currently, and Wellington is bordered by GEMS New Millennium, GEMS International – and pretty much little else. This said, it’s reasonably accessible to prospective parents based in the New Dubai areas (Meadows, Greens etc.) or on the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road (Arabian Ranches, Dubai Sports City).

GEMS leverages the premium-plus Wellington brand for Tier 1 British English National Curriculum [...]

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February 21, 2016

Al Mamoura School, Al Nahyan

Updated December 2016

Al Mamoura School is an intrinsic part of ADEC’s Future Schools Programme, the ambitious project to build 100 world class schools by 2020 to transform education in the Emirate.

Al Mamoura seeks to set the benchmark for single-sex, girls only secondary provision in the Capital whilst primary phases will be fully co-educational.

In structure, Al Mamoura will see Aldar’s KHDA “Outstanding A1” Al Mushrif Primary re-branded to Al Mamoura; its students will move from their current location within Aldar’s equally exceptional “Outstanding A1” Al Bateen School. Al Bateen itself will serve as the automatic slipstream for boys at secondary [...]

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February 13, 2016

Kent College Dubai, Meydan City, Nad Al Sheba

Updated April 2017

Kent College Dubai is the second campus of Kent College, Canterbury, United Kingdom. The school is insistent that it is neither a franchise, nor a school run simply under a brand – Kent College is the “real deal”. The school is managed in partnership with the UK as a second campus and the aim is that, to all intents and purposes, children attending the Dubai campus should experience the Canterbury experience – and changing between schools, when and if required, should be relatively seamless.

Culturally the UK context provides for a caring Christian family community based on a Methodist school foundation “with religious education a strong [...]

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February 9, 2016

Jebel Ali School, Akoya, Arabian Ranches

Updated January 2017: First Inspection

“Every detail is considered in the day to day management of the school.” KHDA Dubai School Inspectorate Report 2016

Established in 1977 as a (resolutely) not-for-profit primary school, Jebel Ali (Primary) School [JAPS] traced its routes through an extraordinary history that marked it for generations of parents and children as one of Dubai’s best loved British schools.

Much of that recognition came from its rare combination of academic results and nurturing approach to whole-child provision – and its status as an independent and not-for-profit, this formally established by the decree of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin [...]

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February 4, 2016

Sunmarke School, Jumeirah Village Triangle

Updated April 2017

Sunmarke is a 3000-student capacity English National Curriculum based British school, opened by Fortes Education in September 2016. Three factors strike as being of note.

First, the Sunmarke School is being built because Fortes believe that existing provision at secondary phases has outgrown students at its existing Regent International School [RIS]. Our sister site, has praised the move by Fortes; a number of existing schools in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have clearly outgrown their facilities after rapid expansion and have either refused, or deferred building new schools to the detriment of pupils. Fortes has [...]

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January 30, 2016

Arab Unity School, Al Mizhar 1, Rashidiya

Updated December 2016

The Arab Unity School evolved from a micro-school established by Zainab Taher in two apartments in Al Nasr Square with 15 students and six teachers.

In 1974 the late Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, former ruler of Dubai, gifted the Taher family its current site in Al Mizhair, and the school started, ground-up, in a then deserted area of Dubai without lights or water, by developing a nursery, kindergarten and an early years’ curriculum between Grades 1-3. Today the school is executively managed by Arwa Taher, the founder’s daughter, educating 3300 children aged between 4 and 18 to Grade 13 in a bustling education schools’ hub bordered by Al [...]

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January 30, 2016

Pristine Private School, Al Nahda 2

Updated December 2016

Founded in 1992 by Shahida Salam, the Pristine Private School, offers an English National Curriculum based education from Early Years Foundation Stage [EYFS] to (I)GCSE O’, AS and A2 Level for students aged 3 to 18 years.

Pristine falls into the medium-large school category and has a feeder from its sister Pristine Rainbow Nursery which provides places to children from 15 months. The nursery, formally opened in January 2011, was the first nursery to be opened in an apartment building in Dubai. Pristine is heavily over-subscribed and attendance at the nursery is the only secure way of prospective parent’s guaranteeing a place for their child(ren) at [...]

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January 27, 2016

Al Salam Private School. Al Nahda 2, Al Ghusais

Updated December 2016

Established in its current form in 2002 as a near full spectrum nursery to secondary school (current provision is only to KG12/AS Level), Al Salam Private School traces its roots back to 1985 as a micro villa school.

Offering a British education aligned with the English National Curriculum, the school has a fabulously warm, structured environment premised on 4 “Houses”: Windsor, Tudor, Norman and Stuart. Other British influences are found in the school’s election by peers of Head Girl, Head Boy, School Captains, School Vice Captains and Prefects.

School facilities include a science laboratory, computer lab, canteen, [...]

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The IGCSE, or International General Certificate of Secondary Education, is (usually) studied over a two-year period between Year 10 and Year 11 in English National Curriculum schools by students between the ages of 14 and 16 years. In some cases, particularly “bright” children can choose to study the IGCSE over 1 year.

For a full guide as to why IGCSE, .


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