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UAE Premium Plus Schools

A growing band of schools, premium plus schools charge fees in excess of 90,000 AED per annum. These are usually new schools, often offering IB and/or an England and Wales based curricula, and increasingly have a heavyweight brand attached to them,

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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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December 18, 2016

Dwight School Dubai, Al Barsha South

“Dwight New York is delighted to extend Dwight’s 150-year commitment to ‘ignite the spark of genius in every child’ to Dubai, where students will be part of one global Dwight family.

Our new school in Dubai will join those in New York, London, Seoul, and Shanghai that share this mission.” Stephen Spahn. Chancellor. The Dwight Schools

 

Background

Dwight School Dubai [DSD] is a non-selective KG to Year 12 IB Curriculum school set to open in Al Barsha South in September 2018 offering all-through US education for children between 3 and 19 years.

The founding school was established in New York in 1872 by Julius Sachs, a member of the Goldman-Sachs [...]

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December 14, 2016

North London Collegiate School Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City

“No child should be labelled or left behind and no limits should be placed upon what children can achieve. This informs everything we do, with the fundamental objective of developing happy and confident individuals.” North London Collegiate School, UK

 

Background

North London Collegiate School Dubai (NLCS Dubai) will open in September 2017. Located on a 38,000 square metre plot in the Sobha Hartland development at Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum City, NLCS Dubai will be an all-through International Baccalaureate World Continuum School, offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the IB Diploma for children between the ages of [...]

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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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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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April 5, 2016

Repton School Abu Dhabi, Shams Abu Dhabi, Al Reem Island

Updated December 2016

Repton School Abu Dhabi [RSAD] is located within Sorouh Real Estate’s residential and business community development, Shams Abu Dhabi, and is the first school to be built on Reem Island.

This review reflects only the Foundation Campus of Repton School Abu Dhabi, a 7000 square metre FS-Primary which will eventually offer only FS to Year 2 slipstream provision to the larger Year 3 – Year 13 Repton Abu Dhabi through school.

Whilst the site for the Upper School of Repton Abu Dhabi is fabulously located adjacent to Sun and Sky Tower, the trade-off is available space. The plot is restricted to around 20,000sqm and as result the architectural brief [...]

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March 31, 2016

Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba, Nad Al Sheba 3

Updated December 2016

Prospective parents should read the following with reviews of Kings School Dubai, here, and Kings’ School Al Barsha, here.

Kings’ Education in the emirates comprises three schools:

Kings’ Nad Al Sheba [KNAS]: an FS1 to Year 6 English National Curriculum preparatory school with planned eventual phased launch to provide the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The school is also referred to as Kings’ College and opened in 2014.

Kings’ Dubai [KD]: the KHDA Outstanding founding FS1 to Year 6 English National Curriculum preparatory school located in Umm Suqeim 3 and established in 2004

King’s Al Barsha [KAB]: the King’s all-through [...]

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March 30, 2016

Kings’ School Al Barsha, Al Barsha 3

Updated December 2016

Kings’ Education in the UAE comprises three schools:

Kings’ Dubai [KD]: the KHDA Outstanding founding FS1 to Year 6 English National Curriculum preparatory school located in Umm Suqeim 3 and established in 2004

Kings’ Nad Al Sheba [KNAS]: an FS1 to Year 6 English National Curriculum preparatory school with planned eventual phased launch to provide the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The school is also referred to as Kings’ College and opened in 2014.

King’s Al Barsha [KAB]: the King’s all-through English National Curriculum school offering RSA Opening Minds structured provision through (I)GCEs and GCE A’ Level. The school is the [...]

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March 25, 2016

Swiss International Scientific School, Dubai Healthcare City 2, Al Jaddaf

Updated January 2017

Launched in 2015-16, the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai [SISD] is a premium plus, Tier 1 through-school undergoing phased opening to Year 12. Located near the Business Bay bridge, the landmark architecturally designed buildings centre its 67,845 square metre Dubai Healthcare City waterfront campus, standing entirely alone and making a striking impression from all sides.

Taken as a whole across its facilities, curriculum and architecture, the school represents one of the most ambitious educational projects undertaken in the UAE to date.

SISD is the first day-boarding school in Dubai to really focus its offering on languages [...]

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March 9, 2016

Hartland International School, Sobha Hartland, Nad Al Sheba

Updated December 2016

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 sets itself up as a premium. Tier 1, full-phase KG to Year 13 school launched in September 2015.

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

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March 6, 2016

American Community School of Abu Dhabi, Al Khalidyah

Updated December 2016

The American Community School of Abu Dhabi [ACS] is a non-profit, US curriculum college mixed, co-educational preparatory offering a parallel stream International Baccalaureate and US High School curriculum for 1094 children between KG phases and Grade 12.

Established in 1971 -72, the school was the first American school in the capital and founded with the support of the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who provided its current site. The school prioritises admission to families of officers within the American Embassy Abu Dhabi and the school in its founding reflects the close links between the US and Abu Dhabi governments.

The [...]

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March 1, 2016

GEMS World Academy, Al Barsha South

Updated December 2016

GEMS World Academy – Dubai (GWAD) is a PreK to Grade 12 international school is an International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) school offering the all-phases IB programmes – the Primary Years Program [PYP], Middle Years Program [MYP] and Diploma Program [DP] to students aged between 3 and 18 years. Whilst post-16, the full IB programme is offered, it is academically selective, and in practice the majority of its students graduate with the GWA-Dubai High School Diploma accredited by the Council of International Schools [CIS], having completed an alternative partial IB Diploma programme.

Whilst the largest percentage of students is [...]

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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 22, 2016

American School of Dubai, Al Barsha

Updated December 2016

The American School of Dubai [ASD], previously known as the Jumeirah American School, is an independent not for profit community school located on a 1 million square foot facility within Al Barsha. The school remains the only US not-for-profit and was the first American curriculum school in the Emirate.

Recognized for its outstanding whole child development and academic programmes the school remains controversial for its refusal to embrace the core Arabic curriculum and the priority it affords in entrance to US and Canadian families, albeit this exclusivity has now been diluted since the move to a much larger campus at Al Barsha in 2010. Today 23% [...]

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February 13, 2016

Kent College Dubai, Meydan City, Nad Al Sheba

Updated December 2016

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 feature of [...]

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February 3, 2016

GEMS Nations Academy, Al Barsha

In the launch of Nations Academy, GEMS Education is seeking to raise the bar of Tier 1 premium American curriculum based educational provision in the Emirates.

“We aim for GEMS Nation to be a beyond “Outstanding” school –  it is not enough anymore to just focus on achieving the top KHDA rating.” Tom Farquhar, Founding Head, GEMS Nations Academy, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com

Its ambition is not only limited to the breadth and quality of facility provision; more powerfully it is seeking to create the lowest staff to student ratio of classroom teacher provision available across any school in the Gulf by replacing all teacher support assistants with fully qualified teachers [...]

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January 30, 2016

Clarion School, Al Quoz Park 1

With a plethora of tier-one schools opening in the Emirates, it takes something very special to stand out from the crowd.

A notable feature of nearly all new UAE schools targeting the top end of the market are very significant investments in capital build and facilities. These however, no matter how grand and extensive, are the shell of a school and prospective parents should not be blinded by empty glass and steel promises. The heart of a school, and what matters, is its teaching staff.

There is every indication that Clarion gets this. The school promises an unqualified commitment to invest in the very best teachers, each qualified to a minimum Masters’ level education [...]

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January 17, 2016

Nord Anglia International School Dubai, Al Barsha

Rigorously selective (although it is not just about the academics), Nord Anglia International School Dubai is swiftly establishing its reputation as a high performing school within the UAE premier league of elite schools.

Currently offering education to Year 10, Nord Anglia is being considered for International Baccalaureate status, a fast-track application given the schools late establishment in 2014. Given Nord Anglia success across the group, the outlook for current and future students is promising. Around one in five Nord Anglia students win places at the world’s top 30 universities; there is a history of students receiving full marks on their IB diploma; and around 15% of [...]

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January 16, 2016

Repton School Dubai, Nad Al Sheba 3

Updated January 2017

Repton School Dubai polarises views. Positively, in its sixth year, it has now justifiably, in our view, secured the KHDA award of Outstanding (2015) after 6 years of consistent and impressive improvement as a “Good” school. However, Repton is also within a whisker of being the most expensive school in Dubai, measured in comparable day fees, this placing significant pressures on the school to also provide an education that is no less than exceptional, and one that should arguably be available to all children that meet its qualifying criteria for acceptance. Only GEMS World Academy (GWA), reviewed here, two of the Kings schools, reviewed here and here and [...]

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