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Bright Learners School, Rashidiya, Deira – The Review
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Bright Learners School, Rashidiya, Deira – The Review

by Jon WestleyMarch 14, 2020

Background – Bright Learners School Dubai set to open in August 2020

Bright Learners School (Bright Learners Private School) is an American curriculum school currently set to open in August 2020. The US curriculum school will initially offer a Kindergarten to Grade 4 education as it phases its opening. Bright Learners School will offer its students a US Common Core Standards based curriculum in combination with the UAE’s National Curriculum for Arabic and Islamic Studies. The school will align with Massachusetts state standards.

 

Location – In the Heart of Rashidiya, Deira

Bright Learners School is situated in the heart of Rashidiya with proximity for families based around City Centre Mirdif:

Map showing location of and directions to Bright Learners Private School in Dubai. Bright Learners Private School is a new American Primary School in planning phase due to open by September 2020.

Bright Learners Private School is taking over the long empty Safia Al Quorashiya Basic Girls School and refurbishment and remodelling of the old school will be completed by May 2020 when parents will be welcomed to tour the school.

Close up grid location map of Bright Learners School in Dubai. The American US curriculum school is due to open in September 2020 in primary phases only.

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GEMS_INARTICLE

Major works are beginning on site now and we will update our review as progress is made in bringing the school to a modern standard.

Satellite view of the plot occupied by Bright Learners School in Dubai. Bright Learners Private School will offer an American curriculum on an extremely large site to primary phases initially.

Parents should note the size of the site. Whilst the school will open initially to Year 4, this is a site which we estimate would sustain an 1800 – 2600 capacity all-through role in the medium term. It will be interesting to see how the school manages the scale of available space with the limited KG – Year 4 initial opening.

 

Fees and Value for Money

Bright Learners School fees are firmly in the value segment, ranging from AED 22,000 at KG1 to AED 26,000 at Grade 4. As the school’s redevelopment is completed we will be better able to advise parents on the ROI and value proposition. This will depend on the depth and quality of facility provision, subject breadth, class sizes and teacher-student ratio, amongst other areas. Fees at this level, in the US curriculum school sector, generally require very large roles and teachers drawn from the Indian sub continent (rather than US) whose salary expectations are lower. Salaries on offer are in the range of AED 7,000 to AED 11,500. The school is aiming to ensure that “all teachers come equipped with successful relevant qualifications and teaching experience from schools in North America, Europe and the Arabian Gulf countries.”

Fees follow:

KG1 22,000
KG2 24,000
Grade 1 26,000
Grade 2 26,000
Grade 3 26,000
Grade 4 26,000

It is early days, and we have not yet been made aware of any discounts that may be available for founding families. We would expect Year 12 fees to come in around or below AED 30,000 based on the current structure.  

 

School Leadership

Founding Principal, Bright Learners School, Adrianna Joy Chestnut, is an educationalist by training. She brings to her role an extensive academic background with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from Miami University, this followed immediately with her M.Ed. In curriculum and Instruction from Wright State. In the last three years Ms Chestnut has completed her doctorate in leadership at Trevecca Nazarene, this with a specific focus on the issues of leadership within the UAE. Ms Chestnut brings to the school a Principal Licence from Ohio and a decade’s experience in the US and UAE, latterly working as part of the Abu Dhabi Schools Regulator (ADEK) team, supporting school Principals across Abu Dhabi in developing outstanding schools for their children.  

Ms Chestnut describes herself as “an enthusiastic administrator who advocates for implementing student and faculty continuous improvement programs focused on raising academic levels of students, improving educators’ teaching skills, school rating and encouraging community involvement [and] a student-focused leader who forges strong relationships with all members of the school community.

Speaking of her new role, Ms Chestnut, said:

“We recognise that choosing the right school can be one of the most difficult decisions facing any parent. It is our goal to support you while on that journey. Our school’s aim is to nurture creative, inspired, collaborative and innovative learners who are equipped with the tools, knowledge, and skill to make a positive impact on themselves and their environment in a local, national and global context. Our teachers actively use innovation to encourage children’s natural curiosity and love of learning. We encourage parents to be active participants in life at Bright Learners and we welcome you to be part of our many family events and class activities.”  

 

Bottom line? The SchoolsCompared.com Verdict 2020 on Bright Learners School Dubai 

It’s far too early to deliver a considered view on Bright Learners School. This is, after all, a school only just embarking on a hugely complex redevelopment of a long closed school – and one of considerable scale. This will be an ambitious project. Eventually, this is a school that could offer a US education to around 2,500 children – and the makings of schools of this scale are usually made in their early years. Planning must begin now on the eventual likely shape of later provision, including whether Advanced Placement will be built in from Day One into the graduating offer along side a standard High School Diploma. This is, we have long argued, a key test of the quality of any US school. More on this can be found here.

To be fair, this would now, at this very early stage before even the school’s opening, be running long before the school is even walking.

What we are certain of is that the value fees segment is one that is subject to considerable demand, this fed not least by the far reaching ongoing impacts of the Villa Schools Closure Programme and under-supply of value fee places. This is a rare space in UAE schooling where demand has not been impacted by the competition evident elsewhere in the sector.

The opportunities are here, particularly under the stellar choice of Founding Principal, to make an important contribution to a school segment that needs investment. Parents will be hoping that Bright Learners School can deliver on that considerable promise.

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Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

NA - first inspection due 2022-23

Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review

TBC

Average Cost Per Year

KG1: AED 22,000
KG2: AED 24,000
Grade 1: AED 26,000
Grade 2: AED 26,000
Grade 3: AED 26,000
Grade 4: AED 26,000
Grade 5: Phased launch TBC
Grade 6: Phased launch TBC
Grade 7: Phased launch TBC
Grade 8: Phased launch TBC
Grade 9: Phased launch TBC
Grade 10: Phased launch TBC
Grade 11: Phased launch TBC
Grade 12: Phased launch TBC

Curriculum

American/US/MOE
Notes:
(1) Common Core
(2) Massachusetts state standards
(3) North Eastern Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation to be applied for

External Exam Boards

TBC
Notes
(1) the school has not confirmed whether it aims to offer Advanced Placement with the standard (lesser) High School Diploma

Selective

Fully inclusive

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

Estimated eventual capacity 1800 - 2400

Teacher to Student Ratio

TBC

Largest nationality teachers

TBC

Teacher turnover

NA - school in planning phase

Year opened

September 2020 target

Location

Rashidiya, Deira, Dubai

Student composition

International
Largest nationality TBC

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

TBC

Owner

Bright Education Group

Admissions Telephone

Phone: 0555972500
Email: [email protected]

Web Address
Strengths

• Extensive school site with capacity for the school to grow to all-through American curriculum provision
• Value fees – we estimate that these will fall around the AED, 30,000 mark should the school achieve eventual all-through opening
• Highly respected, award-winning, Founding Head with a proven history of achievement and outstanding academic foundations.
• Location

Weaknesses

• Any new school is a risk is unproven and carries risk
• Significant renovation and remodelling is required in a very short period to bring this school to a high standard for its planned opening
• Lack of detail on facilities, staffing, curriculum breadth and objectives means that we can only at this stage outline the potential in broad brush strokes

Rating
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Value
ExtraCurricula
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Opportunities

• A school that will operate in a segment in which there is extremely strong demand – but also some stand-out benchmarks.
• There remains no reason why a value school should also not be an outstanding one – so there can be no resting on laurels. Every child in Dubai has a right to an outstanding education and all schools, regardless of their fees, have a duty to deliver.
• The potential is all here with a blank slate for the founding Head to make her mark. If the school’s owners support her, he has the proven ability, commitment and conviction to deliver.
• The first test will be the quality of the remodelling. We shall know very quickly within the next three months whether the practice will meet the promise.
• Time will tell.

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About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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