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

by Jon WestleyJuly 3, 2020

Background – Bright Learners School Dubai set to open in August 2020 from Pre-KG to Grade 4

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 Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-KG) to Grade 4 Primary education as it phases its opening to Grade 12. 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 premium Massachusetts state standards.

 

Location – In the Heart of Rashidiya

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 July 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.

GEMS_INARTICLE  

Major works are continuing 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 initial Pre-KG – Year 4 initial opening. We have found one key benefit of new schools historically is the exceptionally high levels of individual child attention founding students, and their families, enjoy as new schools bed-in provision and evolve their teaching frameworks.  

 

Fees and Value for Money

Young girl at Bright Learners School in Dubai - an American Curriculum School opening in September 2020

Bright Learners School fees are firmly in the value segment, ranging from AED 221,000 at Pre-K to AED 26,000 at Grade 4. As the school’s redevelopment is completed we will be better able to advise parents on the overall ROI and value proposition. This will ultimately depend on the depth and quality of facility provision, subject breadth, class sizes and teacher-student ratio, amongst other areas. However, at this stage, fees at this level, in the US curriculum school sector, we think offer exceptional value for money, given the schools’ majority teacher recruitment direct from the United States. We rate ROI on this basis outstanding. 

All teachers being recruited by the school are US qualified with teaching experience from schools in North America, Europe or the Gulf.

Fees follow:

Bright Learners School in Dubai Fee Structure 2020

 

Whilst fees are firmly rooted in the value segment with significant promised ROI, new schools do tend to offer founding discounts to recognise the important contribution of founding families to any new school.  It is early days, and, whilst we have not yet been made aware of any discounts that may be available for founding families, we will update our review should these be confirmed in the coming weeks. In the long term, we would expect Year 12 fees to come in around or below AED 30,000 based on the current fee structure.  

 

School Leadership

Photograph of Adrianna Joy Chestnut, Principal of Bright Learners School in Dubai

 

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.” Ms Chestnut, speaking exclusively to SchoolsCompared.com about her plans for Bright Learners School, confirmed:

“We are very excited to open up our enrolment. We want the community to know that we are here – and that a very special school is coming for all the families in our area. I am so proud of the education we will offer at Bright Learners School for every single child.

Bright Learners School is the only private school in Al Rashidiya. We are also the only American school in the wider area. More than half of our teachers are recruited from the United States – we are a genuine American school to our foundations – and we will be deeply embedded in our community.

We have open doors to our neighbours to share our facilities and place Bright Learners School at the very heart of their community.

Bright Learners School is a premium school – but we are deliberately making our fees affordable. We understand the economic challenges that parents are facing – and our amazing and committed owners have responded to those challenges by ensuring that our fees have been set so that we can offer the broadest welcome possible to every family and their children.

Professionally, my first love is Primary education, and what we are set to deliver here is world class. I am very honoured and privileged to be here – and I am deeply committed to making sure that Bright Learners is the hub of the wonderful community surrounding our school. 

Under my leadership we will deliver a world class, inspirational, whole child centred and academic American education for every child. ”

Adrianna Joy Chestnut, Founding Principal, Bright Learners School Dubai. 

 

Core values of Bright Learners School Dubai – and School Uniqueness

Photograph of a child at Bright Learners School in Dubai developing their reading and writing skills in elementary phase.  Bright Learners is a new American Curriculum School opening in Dubai in September 2020.

Bright Learners School has been established to deliver the following key elements of a child’s education: 

  • Academic excellence – inclusive at its heart, the school will deliver a rich, stimulating and academic American education for children with a strong focus on inspiring in children a lifelong love of learning
  • International community – the school welcomes children of all nationalities with a curriculum built around whole child development and inspiring a sense in children of their being global citizens
  •  Subject breadth – the US curriculum will provide a rounded, comprehensive education for every child
  • Value for money – fees have been set to recognise the many challenges parents face in today’s economic environment. The aim is to provide very strong ROI for parents with an exceptionally high standard of education delivered by highly qualified US teachers at lower, highly affordable fees relative to other schools offering this quality of curriculum and provision
  • High integrity and richly experienced school leadership driven to ensure that every child meets his or her fullest potential 
  • Compassionate school ethics built on recognition of the value of every child as part of the Bright Learners united school community – and with genuine and extended links with families and the broader community surrounding the school.
  • Strong focus on whole child development including building in every child a sense of self, compassion for others, accomplishment, confidence and resilience.  
  • Wrap-around care for every child and family. “We will always work around the needs of our parents and families.”

 

ECAs – Strong sporting focus

The school has confirmed to us that its initial focus will be on delivering very high quality sporting provision as the hub of its ECA offer for students. Key sports will be football, swimming and basketball.  Others ECAs include Dodgeball, Newspaper Club (Young Reporters), Science Cub, ‘Funky Fitness’, LEGO Club, Origami, Drama Club and Orchestra. 

 

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

Class student at the American Curriculum Bright Learners School in Dubai. The school is opening in September 2020.

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. After our meetings with the school’s owners and founding Principal, the future looks promising … Watch this space. 

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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

Pre-K: AED 21,000
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
Notes:
(1) 56A Street, Al Rashidiya, Dubai. In front of Majilis Al Rashidiya. Makani No. (GPS) 3846990525.

Student composition

International
Largest nationality TBC

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

TBC

Owner

Bright Education Group

Admissions Telephone

Mobile: (055) 597-2500
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
User Rating
Rate Here
Academic
A
Value
A+
ExtraCurricula
B
Languages
Sports
B-
Arts & Drama
A
Teaching
B
Communications
A+
Warmth
A+
Differentiation
SEND Provision
Scl Community
B+
Scl Facilities
B+
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.

A-
User Rating
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Top of shortlist
45%
In my Top 5
9%
Shortlisted
27%
A possibility
18%
Pass
0%
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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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