Al Basma British School, Old Al Bahya
Whilst Al Basma British School can theoretically trace its roots to 1980 (the school had also been known as Giggles English School as well as variants of its current name), to all intents and purposes parents should view Al Basma as a new school. Comprehensive changes to leadership in September 2014, aligned with new buildings and location, a new academic ethic and the move to provision of education to GCE O’ (2016) and A’ Level (2018) has resulted in a school which faces all the challenges of a school in its developmental phase. The complete Senior Leadership Team of the school has been in place since 2015.
The school is located in Old Al Bahya (sometimes spelled Al Bahia) in Abu Dhabi:
On this basis ADEC, in its April 2015 inspection, treated the school as a new school on a first inspection basis.
Leadership and Student Role
The school starts with a tangible core strength in management that has produced significant successes quickly. Academic progress has been swift and visible with students starting from a low baseline; new buildings were designed ground up to foster an efficient and supportive academic and extra-curricular environment to produce the best from children; and provision for professional development is strong.
At the time of our first review, Al Basma British School educated 1059 mixed gender, mixed-ability students to Grade 8 from KG1 with continuity of education being established to Year 13 as children joined the school in a phased launch to Sixth Form. Gender balance then was 55% boys, 45% girls, a benchmark and effective UK public school standard to balance the tendency for girls to dominate the classroom. The largest percentage of students were drawn from Emirati families and 59% were of Arabic heritage.
Today, as of February 2020, Al Basma British School educated some 1450 students from FS1 to Year 13. The school has been at capacity for three years should note that, whsilt it is possible to register for a place at the school when it becomes available, currently there are long waiting lists. The nationality break down of the school role is:
- 49% Emirati
- 79% Arab
- 92% Muslim
The student role extends over 50 nationalities and students speak 27 languages.
FS1 students have their own purpose built nursery. The school delivers a pure British curriculum to its students through to GCSE, AS and A’ Level. Beadth of subject offer we rate very good with outlier options in Psychology, Economics, Music, French, Drama, Resistant Materials and Graphic Design providing reach beyond traditional core subject focus in English Language and Literature, Computer Science, ICT, Business, Geography, History, ESL, Mathematics and, rarely in this school, Statistics.
Fees range from AED 20,000 at FS1 to AED 41,560 for Y13. Additional costs include AED 5000 for transport. Second and subsequent siblings are entitled to a 15% discount on tuition fees.
Planned Expansion 2020
In September 2020, the school announced that it will be opening a new Primary Block to house Year 3 to Year 6 children. This will improve space and facilities in turn for the school’s growing Secondary School provision within the existing building.
The extension will house a further pool, sports hall, dining room, AI Lab, STEM Lab, Art studio, Performance Arts Room, inclusion and intervention suites and 33 classrooms.
This will give capacity for another 1000 students and a new total school capacity of 2450 children.
A small school is set to becomes one of the larger schools in the capital.
Al Basma British School received an ADEK rating of B4 (“Satisfactory and Improving”) at the time of its first inspection. This rose swiftly to a Good rating in 2017 and Very Good rating in 2019. The school is rated by BSO as a Good School with Outstanding features.
FS1: 22,040 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 500 Uniform)
FS2: 24,320 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 500 Uniform)
YEAR 1: 25,450 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 500 Uniform)
YEAR 2: 28,350 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 500 Uniform)
YEAR 3: 30,110 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 500 Uniform)
YEAR 4: 30,110 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 500 Uniform)
YEAR 5: 31,250 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 600 Uniform)
YEAR 6: 32,490 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 600 Uniform)
YEAR 7: 33,630 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 600 Uniform)
YEAR 8: 34,770 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 600 Uniform)
YEAR 9: 35,900 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 700 Uniform)
YEAR 10: 38,280 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 700 Uniform)
YEAR 11: 39,420 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 700 Uniform)
YEAR 12: 40,560 (+AED 500 Buses, AED 700 Uniform)
National curriculum of England
2014 (original school 1980)
Al Dhafrah, Old Al Bahya, Abu Dhabi
Student population: 1059
55% boys, 45% girls
59% Arabic heritage
FS1: 86 children
KG1-2: 364 children
Grades 1‐5: 534 students
Grades 6 and 7: 75 students
02 562 3454
• Rapid and successful development of a new school from ground zero
• Strong academic and personal development of students from a low baseline
• New buildings and facilities designed to foster student achievement and a happy, safe, inspirational and nurturing learning environment
• Excellent management, effective teacher self-evaluation, a strong emphasis on professional development and an ambitious school mission statement (to be the best school in Abu Dhabi for a British education)
• The planned near doubling of the school's size will not suit all children.