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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 23, 2016

Merryland International School, Shabiya 9, Musaffah

Updated November 2016

““At Merryland, we celebrate the wedding of traditional forms of education with white hot technology. But we do this bearing in mind the universal truth that the ultimate aim of education is to form men and women of character who shun evil and fear God. We stand by Victor Hugo in this regard: “When we open a school, we close a prison.” Susheela George. Founder. Merryland International School.

It is difficult not to be inspired by the founder of Merryland. It’s not a strange place to start a story, because if a school is founded, as is the case here, by an owner driven entirely by a care for children and their future, there is simply no better [...]

474
 
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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 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 27, 2016

Lycée Francais International Georges Pompidou, Dubai Academic City, Al Ruwayyah

KHDA Outstanding, with fees around half those of its competing equivalent Tier 1 English and IB peers, Lycée Francais International Georges Pompidou (LFIGP) is a school that is hard to find fault with. The parent school, based in Sharjah, and established in 1973, it should be noted, is equally as impressive.

In Dubai, LFIGP provision is split between what are, to all intents and purposes, two campuses. The Oud Metha school, offers an FS1-2 Maternelle education to children between the ages of 3 and 6 years, and acts as the slipstream to the main Primary and Secondary school in Dubai Academic City. The DAC campus/school completes each childs education, offering all-through [...]

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June 18, 2016

GEMS Our Own Indian School, Al Quoz 1

Formerly the Varkey International Private School, GEMS Our Own Indian School (OOIS), in its current form, was founded in its move to Al Quoz in 2002.

There are so many good things about this school – and some frustrations.

First, this is not simply a good school. It is in some key respects an outstanding one. This is recognised in the Dubai Schools’ Inspectorate’s awarding of such a broad splay of results. It is not usual for a school to be graded by the Dubai Inspectorate with such diversity – and especially for a school to effectively, in practice, be operating at Good, Very Good and Outstanding levels simultaneously.

The core problems first. [...]

467
 
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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 [...]

339
 
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June 12, 2016

Sunrise English Private School, Shabiya, Mussafah

Sunrise Private English School presents us with many difficulties in making sense of its offer. There is no question, in terms of the school’s exceptionally affordable fee structure, that it represents good value for money. It is also classified, in part given its fee context and in part its commitment, as a Highly Performing Band A 3 School by the Abu Dhabi School Inspectorate.

Make no mistake, An A3 grading is a real achievement. It is particularly impressive too given that in 2014 the school received an equivalent C6 “Unsatisfactory” grading indicative of a school very significantly failing its children.

However, newly secured “Good” school rating notwithstanding, [...]

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June 12, 2016

Emirates National School, Abu Dhabi City Campus, Al Nahyan

Established by Presidential Decree, and owned by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MOPA), so much is expected of Emirates National School (ENS). Given the brand, cache, stamp of the President, and significant investment, one would expect the school, or what is actually a cluster of schools operating under a single brand, to be setting benchmarks for the sector and shining a light for best practice as beacon schools in the emirate. We would have expected glowing ADEC reports, happy, positive feedback from teachers and glowing reports from students.

In contrast, the schools as a whole have fared badly since the first school, established in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, opened its [...]

199
 
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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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June 5, 2016

Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé-Dubai, Al Muhaisnah 4

Founded in 2003, the Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé (LLFP) was originally created to meet the needs of the Lebanese and Francophone community established in the Gulf. Today, whilst remaining a fundamentally Franco-Lebanese school, LLFP welcomes a broad range of nationalities between KG and Year 12 for its core French syllabus culminating in the General Baccalauréat, the French system’s equivalent to UK A’ Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma [IB DP]. Since 2009, the school has shared extremely close educational, academic and administrative inks with the prestigious Collège Notre Dame de Jamhour Lebanon. It remains resolutely a not-for-profit.

Whilst somewhat [...]

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June 4, 2016

Dubai Arabian American Private School, Al Muhaisnah 1

Dubai Arabian American Private School is an all-through American curriculum school offering FS to Year 12 “education” for students between the ages of 4 and 18.

It is not a school that can currently be recommended for prospective parents. The school is identified as a “Weak” school by the KHDA, meaning that the school is not functioning effectively for its children. It is one of seven schools performing at this, the lowest current grading awarded to any school in Dubai.

However, it is important to note that the school has now been purchased by new owners who have claimed that they are genuinely committed to delivering an outstanding school.

KHDA inspectors note: [...]

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June 1, 2016

The Universal American School, Dubai Festival City

The Universal American School (UAS) provides a hybrid, parallel stream, mixed, co-educational FS – Year 12 US-International Baccalaureate education for 1473 pupils between the ages of 4 and 18 years.

The Early Years (Elementary) curriculum follows the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme [IB PYP].

The Middle Years curriculum follows a “This We Believe” (TWB) curriculum created by the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE).

The High School curriculum is split between (1) an in-house, New York standards based US education built on Common Core and Next Generation standards in Grades 9-10; and (2) an International Baccalaureate programme [...]

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May 29, 2016

Greenfield Community School, Green Community, Dubai Investments Park

It is worth stating upfront that we think that there are many things that make Greenfield Community School special in the UAE. We also believe that parents should not be diverted from the many exceptional features of the school by the headline grading of the latest KHDA inspection, although there are issues raised which we will address. For a genuinely inclusive, all-through International Baccalaureate education, that can deliver for children of all abilities, we believe that Greenfield Community School sets a key benchmark for the sector.

What makes Greenfield so impressive can be summarised in the following key points:

This is a pioneering school in the delivery of the [...]
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May 26, 2016

Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Jumeirah 1

Spread over 8 acres of landscaped grounds, and in one of the best locations in Dubai, Taaleem’s Jumeira Baccalaureate School [JBS] is one of the flagship International Baccalaureate [IB] schools in the Emirates, with facilities and IB programmes competing with the best in Dubai.

The IB World school provides an inclusive, co-educational education to 975 children between the ages of 3 and 16, through Pre-K to Year 12 grades, with complete IB provision across the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP), Diploma Programme (IB DP), and the IB Career-related Programme (IB CP).

The school provides a slipstream for all of the three Taaleem “The [...]

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May 26, 2016

Al-Mizhar American Academy, Al-Mizhar 1, Mirdif

Al-Mizhar American Academy (AAM), previously Al-Mizhar American Academy Private School for Girls, is best understood as a single-sex all-girl through school offering an FS to Grade 12 education based on the US, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, curriculum to children between the ages of 3 years and 18 years. AAM is a co-educational school for Pre-KG to KG 2, this provided very much following the request of, and as a service to parents. The school is owned and managed by the highly respected Taaleem.

Stand-out features for prospective parents are:

An all-girls school from Grade 1, rare in meeting a defined requirement for single-sex education by many [...]
86
 
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May 18, 2016

Japanese School of Abu Dhabi, (Abu Dhabi Japanese School), Al Bateen

The Japanese School in Abu Dhabi, also known as the Abu Dhabi Japanese School, provides an ADEC “High Performing A3 Good School” certified FS1/2 – Year 9 education to children between the ages of 3 years and 15.

Prospective parents should note that education is compulsory in Japan only between the ages of 6 and 15, with schooling divided between elementary provision between the ages of 6 years and 12 years, and Junior High/ Lower Secondary provision between the ages of 12 years and 15 years. This division does not fit easily in our tables and to compensate we have provided extra clarification.

The Japanese School in Abu Dhabi (ADJS) is one of only two Japanese schools [...]

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May 16, 2016

Japanese School in Dubai, Al Wasl

Prospective parents should note that education is compulsory in Japan only between the ages of 6 and 15, with schooling divided between elementary provision between the ages of 6 years and 12 years, and Junior High/ Lower Secondary provision between the ages of 12 years and 15 years. The Japanese School in Dubai (DJS) mirrors this, with formal structured education beginning from the age of 6 years, and no educational provision after the age of 15 years. This division does not fit easily in our tables and to compensate we have provided extra clarification.

The Japanese School in Dubai is one of only two Japanese schools in the UAE, the other being the Japanese School in Abu [...]

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