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Dunecrest American School, Dubailand
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Review

Dunecrest American School, Dubailand

by September 16, 2019
Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

New school in phased launch
First inspection due 2021-2022

2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

NA

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

NA

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

NA

Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

Pre-KG: 46,000
KG1: 54,000
KG2: 62,000
YEAR 1: 77,000
YEAR 2: 77,000
YEAR 3: 77,000
YEAR 4: 77,000
YEAR 5: 83,000
YEAR 6: 83,000
YEAR 7: 83,000
YEAR 8: 83,000
YEAR 9: 89,000
YEAR 10: 89,000
YEAR 11: 89,000
YEAR 12: 89,000

Curriculum

American - International Baccalaureate
Notes:
(1) AERO Common Core Plus incorporating Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). National Core Arts Standards (NCAS), ISTE Technology and SHAPE America for physical Education
(2) Creative Curriculum® (KG)

External Exam Boards

International Baccalaureate
Notes:
(1) Accredited: The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)
(2) Accredited: IBO

IB DipM Pass Rate

First IB cohort Diploma results in 2021-22

IB DipM Average Grade

First IB cohort Diploma results in 2020

Selective

Inclusive

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

Capacity: 1500
Current number of students: 320

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:16 average

Largest nationality teachers

American and Candian

Teacher turnover

0% (one member of staff left following retirement in 2018-19)

Year opened

September 2018

Location

Dubailand, Dubai

Student composition

American (largest nationality)
Notes:
(1) Total nationalities: 38
(2) American: 31%
(3) Canadian: 12%
(4) Emirati: 6%

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Esol Education

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0)4 508 7444

Web Address
Strengths

• Outstanding Founding Head
• ESOL Education
• IB Diploma option
• Advanced Placement coming on streeam
• Holistic, meshed curriculum
• Caring child ethos
• Opportunity for children and families to play a leading role in the development of a new school
• Founding discounts
• Dedicated two-week Stanford pre-collegiate programme for academic children

Weaknesses

• Intense competition is demanding in this sector

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Academic
B
Value
A
B+
ExtraCurricula
A
B+
Languages
A
B+
Sports
A-
B
Arts & Drama
A-
B+
Teaching
A
A+
Communications
A+
A+
Warmth
A+
A+
Differentiation
A-
SEND Provision
A-
Scl Community
A+
A+
Scl Facilities
A
A+
Opportunities

• Outstanding American education with the security of AP provision coming on stream, a developed Stanford Programme, whole school high levels of value-add and an IB Diploma Core. First class school leadership, ESOL backing and happy inspirational children complete the picture. Fabulous.

A
Our Rating
A-
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Dunecrest American School Dubai updated September 2019: Admissions contact and revised fee structure, SchoolsCompared.com 2019 official visit, Advanced Placement provision exclusive update, Stanford University Programme

Background

Photograph showing the buildings and sporting grounds of Dunecrest American School set against the Dubai skyline

“We want parents to know that with us their children will have with us their second home – at Dunecrest American School we are going to take care of them.

This includes their academics – we will help them get into the career and college of their choice, but, as importantly, we will take care of each and every child as a person.

We will of course teach them Mathematics and Science, English and Social Studies, the broadest spectrum of subjects …

But education is, must be, so much more than this.

Are our children going to grow up honest? Kind? Will they empathise? Will they make a difference in the world? Will they fulfil their dreams?

Learning what it means to be a good human being – this is the stuff that is much more complicated but so important to me and is the foundation of what we do for all our children in my school.

This is what we deliver for our children – the truly important, much more difficult education of children beyond just the academics that of course come as a given in a top-flight school.

And we take care of each child because we understand that they are only children.

Too many schools forget this.

We just want to do well and do the very, very best things we can for our children.

We help our children reach their dreams.

That’s my bottom line.

Bill Delbrugge. Founding Head. Dunecrest American School Dubai.

 

“My sister and I have been at Dunecrest for one year now. We were founding pupils.

Everything at Dunecrest is wonderful.

When I grow up I really want to be an Accountant like my Dad. I really enjoy Maths here. I want to follow in my Dad’s footsteps.

My favourite things about Dunecrest is how everyone here is so close to each other; it’s such a friendly school.

We have excellent teachers/ I am always learning something new and exciting.

Sports here are great too. I play soccer, basketball, volleyball and badminton. ”

Eyas Malaysheh. Student. Grade 6. Dunecrest American School. September 2019.

 

“Each day it’s fun to come to school because you know each class has lots of interesting activities.

My favourite class is Band. This is my elective. We meet three times a week. I play the trombone!”

Jad Abu Ghaida. Student. Grade 6. Dunecrest American School. September 2019.

 

Opened in September 2018, Dunecrest American School is Esol Education’s flagship 200 million AED American School in Dubai. Dunecrest American School is based on the Mohammed Bin Zayed Road in Dubailand near the Al Barari and Legends communities.

A map showing the location of Dunecrest American School in Dubai

Positioned on the E311, Dunecrest American School is within relatively easy reach of catchments from Mirdif through to the Academic City and Silicon Oasis communities north of Dunecrest through to Ranches, Motor and Sports Cities and Jumeirah Village Triangle to the South. On its doorstep, the Al Barari and Legends communities are growing and will provide a natural catchment over time.

This is a part of Dubai that showcases some of Dubai’s most outstanding schools and Dunecrest American School faces extremely stiff competition for parents open to exploring schools from the full range of curricular. The bar is set high. 

For parents, however, set on a US curriculum school it’s a very different story and Dubai is limited in its choice of outstanding US curriculum schools. Dunecrest American School is aiming head on to be a go-to choice for the very best American curriculum school in Dubai.

“Parents have been crying out for a truly outstanding, genuine US curriculum school in Dubai for a long time now – and one in particularly that serves this geographical and demographic area of the emirate. Dunecrest American has been designed ground-up to be that school.”

Peter Daly. Chief Education Consultant. ESOL Education

Dunecrest American School will offer its 1500 students a US curriculum with an option to graduate with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in Grades 11 and 12. ESOL Education promises parents a “state-of-the-art facility, providing an advanced learning environment with a focus on connectivity, open spaces, digital resources and healthy living.”

Admission are open for children to attend the school for grades Pre-KG through Grade 11 with phased opening of Grades 12 in 2020-21.

 

Dunecrest American School Leadership

Photograph of Bill Debrugge, Principal of Dunecrest American School in Dubai, taken in the school's grand atrium

“People in the Middle East are a very loving and kind people. Unfortunately, I think we have hurt ourselves [in the US] as far as knowing what the people of the Middle East are because we see some of the craziness on TV – and that’s not what this place is here at all.

It’s a wonderful, wonderful group of people here.

I guess one of the things I really hope to accomplish is share with the world that this is a good place.

Some people in America forget who we are. We are the most diverse country on planet Earth. Many US schools overseas forget this diversity. This is wrong. We have to embrace this – it is one of the most special parts of being an American.

At Dunecrest American School it is important to me that we encourage people’s Mother’s tongue whatever it may be – and at Dunecrest American School we ensure that ECAs and clubs allow children to continue with their own language and heritage. Language and heritage is important. All people need to know where they come from.

We should proud of being part of the UAE and what its people stand for. The 2020 goals, the mission to Mars, every aspect of UAE culture and ambition is built into who we are and what we seek to achieve at Dunecrest.

The ambitions of the people of Dubai are extraordinary.

Part of our curriculum structure focuses on studying and exploring Dubai – as a school we want to use everything in Dubai to expand our learning opportunities. For example, the work in biology and genetics that takes place on a daily basis at the Dubai Aquarium.

Our school is not isolated.

Our children find Dubai and the UAE inspirationally integrated into the curriculum.”

Bill Delbrugge. Founding Head. Dunecrest American School Dubai.

 

Of all the elements that influence the likely performance of a school for children, and, arguably, significantly more important than buildings, facilities and bells and whistles, is school leadership.

SchoolsCompared.com met with Bill Delbrugge for the first time in November 2017 following confirmation that he would be taking on the position of Founding Head for Dunecrest American School. Our latest meeting took place in September 2019.

Mr Delbrugge is clearly passionate about the welfare and academic performance of children – and versed in the academic and leadership theory and practice integral to ensuring outstanding schooling. He also has conviction, determination, knowledge and a strategy already in place for Dunecrest American.

A music graduate from the University of Tennessee, Mr Delbrugge secured his Masters in Educational Leadership from Trevecca University. He brings with him a reputation garnered in the Middle East and US. He transferred from his former headship of ESOL’s flagship American International School in Egypt (AISE), a position he held for some 7 years since 2010.

Like Dunecrest American School, AISE is an American school offering the option of IB Diploma study in K12 so the fit is a good one. Mr Delbrugge saw AISE more than double in size to educate some 3,100 students across two campuses during his tenure.

Prior to this Mr. Delbrugge served as a Superintendent of Schools in Florida, between 2005 and 2010, heading a team responsible for the education of 26,000 students in schools spanning PreK-12, colleges and broader community education.

Mr Delbrugge was widely known as the “Magic Man” for his, often against steep odds, turning around schools that many others had given up as lost. His leaving the US was greeted with genuine consternation by many US families.

This role followed his previous appointment as Director of Research and Reporting for the Georgia Department of Education with responsibility for some 1.5 million students.

At Dunecrest American School Mr Delbrugge is intent on delivering as a “core value …the way we add value to children.”

 

The Dunecrest American School Curriculum – cross-curricular, meshed learning

Photograph of children learning in class at Dunecrst American School in Dubai in September 2019

“The skills our children will need in their lives to come will require us to “mesh” English, Science, Social Studies together – and embed within the whole subject spectrum skills in ingenuity, creativity … Across the whole subject spectrum, questioning and invention skills must be pulled together.

Our children will need to learn how to solve the big issues that impact on all our lives….

This is what Dunecrest American School, under my leadership, is all about.”

Bill Delbrugge. Founding Head. Dunecrest American School Dubai.

For us, the stand-out feature of Dunecrest American comes with the commitment of the school to build on the natural strengths of the International Baccalaureate style of learning.

The International Baccalaureate, at its best, and taught effectively encourages children to explore and solve problems, pulling in knowledge from across disciplines.

The underlying philosophy of the IB encourages children to question everything, rather than simply absorb facts.

In the best International Baccalaureate schools, children, even from younger ages, are always encouraged to explore knowledge through the very personal lens of what inspires and provokes their own love of learning and natural inquisitiveness.

Mr Delbrugge recognises this and brings the expertise he has developed in combining US and IB approaches to Dubai. We have quoted Mr Delbrugge at some length to bring this to life for parents below.

“An example of the type of enquiry-based lesson we develop in our Elementary School is this. We ask our Mathematics, Science, Social Science and English teachers to come together for children so that each child can explore cross curricular ways to solve a genuinely meaningful problem.

We want children, even at a young age, to look at a problem like poverty and the problems the world faces in feeding people – and apply themselves to solving it practically.

To do this they will explore genetics and the basics of farming to see how they can make, for example, more tomatoes grow from seeds than is possible than simply watering them. The bigger picture here surrounding them is the global problem of how do we feed the growing populations of the world – how do we look after the people of the world beyond themselves.

At the elementary level we give them the problem with the basics of a solution.”

Bill Delbrugge. Founding Head. Dunecrest American School Dubai.

Mr Delbrugge describes how this approach adapts as children grow older:

“At the High School level we give our students a real budget and inspire them to run with their ideas and solutions.

They use this budget to explore their own solutions to, for example, solve that same issue of world poverty.

They may buy water pumps, or seeds, or fish – whatever they buy is up to them. The self-sustaining machines and systems they produce are then be given to parts of the community in which it can be of most help and make a difference.”

Bill Delbrugge. Founding Head. Dunecrest American School Dubai.

Summarising what he is trying to achieve Mr Delbrugge continued:

“We teach our children how to THINK not only how to do well in tests. You do have to have both – universities will look at SAT scores – there is no avoiding that – but enquiry based learning offers so much more.

We are an academically and SEND inclusive school and we welcome all children. We aim for a 100% pass rate for all children who sit the IB Diploma. We focus on developing an environment in which it is cool to be smart. It is an expectation in our school that all children will sit at least one IB course, and no child will leave our schools with less than a Grade 4 on any course they study.

By the time second language learners reach the seventh grade with us they will always be above US and world averages. That is my experience. That is what my schools achieve.

While not all children will be ready, or should be, to sit a College level programme like the full IB, our children will all write business plans, white papers, make presentations – all things beyond basic testing which will be valuable in the world facing them beyond school.

The results of tests will always be secondary for us to ensuring we help every child develop as a whole human being – and with the broader skills they will need when they leave us.”

Bill Delbrugge. Founding Head. Dunecrest American School Dubai.

Dunecrest American School follows the proven ESOL model of education used throughout its schools worldwide. Common Core AERO Plus standards are delivered through Elementary and Middle School for students between 4 and 16 years of age. In Grades 11 and 12, students either follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) or continue with the Common Core American curriculum resulting in the securing of an American High School Diploma. The High School Diploma can be taken with individual IB certificates.

Advanced Placement at Dunecrest American School – exclusive SchoolsCompared.com curriculum update 2019

This did, in our view, leave a gap for some children when we first considered the curriculum offer at Dunecrest American School in 2018.

ESOL does not provide the International Baccalaureate Career-related programme in its American curriculum schools (although, interestingly, it does in its UK curriculum schools). As a result, we hoped then that those students who did not study for the International Baccalaureate Diploma would, instead, have access to Advanced Placement courses for Pre-university qualification.

Our American Curriculum Guides explain this in further detail and can be found here and here. The Career-related programme is generally rooted in BTEC, more information here.

Parents, in weighing up the fit and merits of the Dunecrest American School curriculum, will need to consider the likely suitability of the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme for their child(ren) and the limitations of the High School Diploma, without Advanced placement, as a pre-university qualification.

The High School Diploma is the fall-back qualification for children who are not academically able to access the hugely demanding full International Baccalaureate Diploma. To enable those children to access the  broadest range of universities worldwide without their being required to sit for a conversion year, the High School Diploma should be offered, in our view, with Advanced Placement.

We can now confirm that Dunecrest American School plans to launch the first stage of an Advanced Placement Programme for students in 2020. This will begin with introduction of a choice for students between Biology taught as standard in grade 9 or as as an Advanced Placement course. Subject to student numbers and uptake, this approach to dual stream HSD and AP study will be introduced across subjects incrementally in the years ahead.

This is the first stage in a radically empowered curriculum for every child studying at Dunecrest American School.

For academic students, likely to be able to access the International Baccalaureate Diploma – and as importantly, score highly across individual courses, Dunecrest American School today offers an outstanding Tier 1 education, including attendance on the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Programme (more information on this can be found here and below.

For non-academic students aiming to travel to the Indian sub-continent for further study, or in some cases those seeking local university places, the High School Diploma will be sufficient and will open the doors they require of a high achieving premium school.

With the introduction of IB Options, technical or non-academic students set on obtaining a passport to top tier universities globally, Dunecrest, currently, in our view, will be able to access the globally recognised Advanced Placement programme, initially in Biology. This is a hugely creditable investment by the school.

“In the future, Advanced Placement is on the agenda.

As our school grows we are looking at extending our options. Starting this year we have begun our IB certificate programme and we are in the first year of our full International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Now we are discussing, for next year, in the 9th Grade, offering two tracks, either standard 9th Grade Biology or Advanced Placement Biology. This would provide Dunecrest American School with an advanced track for our children.

My goal is to grow our programmes across the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Advanced Placement.

This will be our direction of travel in future years in adding AP course options as our students and numbers demand it.”

Bill Delbrugge. Founding Head. Dunecrest American School Dubai.

 

ESOL Education are at pains to emphasise that they expect at least 70% of students attending Dunecrest to be IB Diploma students and it is certainly the case that ESOL schools have a creditable and proven history of ensuring that “no school will do more for their children in ensuring each child meets his or her potential.”

Information on the 2019 academic programme can be found below:

Dunecrest Program Overview Core Subjects and Electives

 

Dunecrest American School Design

Architectural render for the planned ESOL "flagship" Dunecrest American School in Dubai

Key features of school design include:

  • Parking is well-planned with spaces available near the main entrance. A significant frustration of parents in the UAE is the lack of planning invested in parking and access at design stage for many schools, resulting in some cases to hours being added to journeys to and from school and children having to travel large distances in the heat. A recognition of this issue has been integrated into the planning for the building and parents may note the external shade sails which help with queuing.
  • Significant investment in windows and glass ensures extremely well-lit corridors and classrooms
  • A significant percentage of the sites acreage has been set aside for external playing fields, a key demand of US parents
  • The internal swimming pool within the school’s athletics complex allows comfortable all-year round swimming
  • The limited 1500 school capacity, at under half the size of Dubai’s largest schools, provides for a degree of intimacy that will appeal to many parents whose children will simply not find a home in the very different dynamics of larger 2000 – 3000 capacity schools.

 

A collection of architectural renders of ESOL Education's new Dunecrest American School to launch in Dubai in September 2018

 

The school design is functional and block-driven with less of the flair and rounded design increasingly showcased by Tier 1 schools in this premium end of the school market. However, what matters is substance – and that exists in spades.

Functionally, to take a single example from the above, ESOL has provided solutions for the real parking and access worries that plague many schools in the UAE. For many parents this alone will be a major draw.

 

Dunecrest American School Facilities, Sport and ECAs/CCAs

Photograph of a multi purpose court used for sport outdoors at Dunecrest American School in Dubai

The campus includes elements expected by parents at this Tier 1 fee level:

  • Technology-enabled classrooms
  • STEAM Labs
  • Maker spaces
  • Library and Learning Hub
  • An athletics complex with
    • 25M swimming pool;
    • large multi-purpose indoor gymnasium and auditorium;
    • basketball courts;
    • regulation-sized soccer field; and,
    • 400-meter athletics track.

Photograph highlighting the extensive Sport facilities at Dunecrest American School in Dubai. These are sown in the foreground with the main school buildings in the background to give an idea of scale.

The importance of Sport to many US parents requires American schools to go beyond the facilities of other curricular and expectation are high:

“The investment in sports facilities is crucial in a US school. American parents rightly expect facilities will be of the very highest quality.

The facilities at Dunecrest American School are exceptional and amongst the very best available of any US Dubai school.

As importantly, we have invested in absolutely top class sports coaches to support the sporting aspirations and ambitions of all Dunecreest American children.”

Peter Daly. Chief Education Consultant. ESOL Education

A creditable 87% of Dunecrest American School students take part in one or more activities offered within the school’s Co-Curricular Programme. s

Panoramic photograph og sporting facilities at Dunecrst American School in Dubai as taken from the main school buildings

Sporting provision is divided between three core sets of activities:

  • The Dunecrest Inter-schools Sports Programme. This sees Dunecrest American School teams and students individually competing with teams and students from other schools in Dubai. In 2019, Dunecrest won the Dubai League for Girls’s volleyball.
  • The Dunecrest International League Sports Programme. This enables Dunecrest students and teams to compete internationally.
  • The Dunecrest Intermural Sports Programme. This engages the vast majority of students in sporting activities as diverse as Ping Pong and Basketball to Track and Field. The majority of sports are run through Dunecrest’s House system.

Sports offered at Dunecrest include swimming, volleyball, badminton, basketball and track and field. These core programmes are all run in-house with no further expense for parents. There are external providers for sports including soccer, beginner swimming programmes, dance and gymnastics. All sports and activities at Dunecrest equally welcome boys and girls.

CCA/ECA options include: Chess Club, Choir, Quran Recitation, Ceramics & Pottery, Yoga, School of Rock, Mileage Club, Football, Family Math Games, Art Club, Origami, Gardening Club, Lego STEAM Club, Mad Science, Basketball ECA, Learn to Swim, Gymnastics ECA, Girl Guides, DAS Divas, ORFF’in Up Some Fun, Odd Games, Arabic Club, School of Rock, Python Coding Club, Learn to Swim, Tennis ECA, STEAM Design Lab, Mystery Letter B, Film Club, Board Games, Rock Painting, MS Student Government, HS Student Government and First Lego League.

Internally run CCA/ECA activities take place between 3: 20pm and 4:45pm each day. External providers run their programmes at Dunecrest American school from 5:00pm.

LEGO Robotics and Coding are built into the curriculum. Every child learns coding. Mr Delbrugge told us: “Students should have a love for coding as they should have a love for visiting a museum. It is a fundamental part of a quality education.” Both activities are also available as part of the ECA/CCA programme. The aim is to provide exposure to coding for every grade level including Early Years. Younger students start to understand the problem-solving aspect of coding and the purpose of algorithms. From Year 5, students progress to Computer Science and Programming as integral curriculum subjects. In Computer Science students understand the theoretical aspects of technology including problem solving and practical applications, data representation and networking. In Programming, they learn how to code in Python as well as block coding. This includes Lego Mindstorms robotic challenges, and text based coding. Students also learn web site using CSS, HTML and Javascript.

Further information on the range of broader whole child activities and programmes at Dunecrest American School follow below:

XL Brochure (2019-2020) (3)_compressed

 

Dunecrest American School Fees

Photograph of the central School Atrium at Dunecrest American School in Dubai

The fee structure for Dunecrest American School, like its ESOL Education sibling Fairgreen International School, surprisingly bucks the trend for new ultra-premium schools pitching fees beyond 100,000 DHS. Founding discounts are attractive.

It is worth noting that the  remaining 2-year Founders discount packages on offer for boys and girls joining Dunecrest American School are generous, and particularly so for those joining at Pre-KG to Year 1 phases. We are pleased to see that the discounts have not been restricted for Pre-KG. A number of schools reduce the discounts for this phase given the demand.

A full breakdown of the founding fee structure can be found below:

A table showing the fees at Dunecrest American School in Dubai including discounted fees for founding students.

 

SchoolsCompared.com 2019 Visit Update – The Stanford Programme

Stanford at Dunecrest

 

“I do not want families to come to Dunecrest American School because of some hook or marketing gimmick.

No.

I want parents to come here because this is a rock solid school that takes care of every child and powerfully prepares every child for College.

This is not some glitzy school with gold door handles and showy hotel bells and whistles – that is not at all what we are about. And it’s not what education should be about.

What we are about at Dunecrest American School is substance.  We are about giving to every one of our children a world class education that prepares and empowers them for their career, achievements and lives ahead.

I know a lot of schools talk endlessly about their facilities and all the physical parts of a school. And, make no mistake, we do have amazing facilities. But, for me, it always must go back to the children, our families, our teachers. This is what matters. It is the culture of learning, a way a school inspires child development and the way that a school’s culture pulls each of us together to achieve our very best that matters. Really matters.

The spirit of family at Dunecrest, the spirit of working together, engagement and the pioneering spirit of Dunecrest students is something to behold.

In our first year we all worked together to build the school. The quality of lessons here from day one was off the scale.

In our second year we are building on these foundations.

Children here tell our story better than I ever could. When they go home they search for books where in other schools they may be caught up in thinking about the latest games. They are inspired by reading. They are excited to innovate in technology. They revel in exploring Mathematics. They interrogate poetry.

I am so, so proud of our students.

Dunecrest American School is not one of those many “drill and kill” schools you find that punish children with endless rote learning and memorisation. That is not education. That is not the ESOL way and never will be.

Instead, Dunecrest American School is a school in which children are inspired to learn through problem solving, creativity and thinking – all the tools they will need in their lives ahead.

  • At Dunecrest American School we are a family. We stand in the lobby on the first day of school and ask our parents how they would best describe the school. The single answer that comes back most often is family.
  • Our Stanford Programme gives our most academic students each year access to some of the best minds anywhere in the world, whilst every child has access to leaders from Yale, Harvard and a who’s who of top tier universities through our Summer programmes.
  • Our STEM education programme here is outstanding. On any day of the week you are likely to find drones flying around the building. At Dunecrest American School we live and breathe hands-on, project-based learning that fires the imagination.
  • Our curriculum approach links every subject across the school – so that students, for example, solve a poetry problem using Mathematics, Chemistry, Geography, Sport …… they pull in knowledge from across the curriculum. This is what cross curricular education looks like in practice.
  • The quality of our teachers here is off the scale. Dunecrest American School may be a new school – but we are operating at the sort of outstanding level that you only find in established schools that have been established for decades.

We have one absolutely amazing school here for children.”

Bill Delbrugge. Founding Head. Dunecrest American School Dubai. September 2019.

The Stanford Programme at Dunecrest American School is a stand-out, unique feature of Dunecrest American School.

Up to 2 students per year from the school each year attend the ESOL Stanford programme. The US-based residential Programme is academically intense and competition to gain a place amongst ESOL schools worldwide is significant. Dunecrest American School students who attend are surrounded by some of the most innovative minds in the world. “To get to soak up this knowledge base is an extraordinary, life-changing, transformational experience for our students,” Mr Delbrugge told us.

Critically, the Stanford programme runs in tandem with the Dunecrest Summer Programme based at the school in Dubai. This is accessible to all Dunecrest students. Run by Ivy League Counsellors, in 2019 these included course tutors drawn from Yale, Georgetown and Harvard. Dunecrest Children gain access to individuals who have been through MBA programmes from some of the world’s top universities. “They teach our students how to think outside the box, inspire their appreciation of creativity and forge practical skills and abilities in Dunecrest American School children including the art of presentations, commercial skills and debating.”

 

Dunecrest American School Prospectus

Dunecrest American School Prospectus

 

Bottom line? The SchoolsCompared Verdict 2019

Photograph of two children at Dunecrest American School in Dubai celebrating the school values that are published at the heart of the school

Dunecrest American School promises an outstanding educational offer as it works through its phased launch provision. In September 2019 we were made aware of value added achievements at the school which have seen outstanding student achievement measured in value add for MAP examinations. In some grade levels, children moved beyond a whole grade level above predicted flight paths, this in just 9 months. “Our entire school, in every grade level, showed extraordinary value add in every grade level. Student achievement here is nothing short of miraculous,” Mr Delbrugge told us.

The promise of Dunecrst American School leadership is stand-out and we think many parents meeting with Mr Delbrugge will find in his rare integrity and evangelical ambition for children the confidence to choose the school for the education of their children.

ESOL Education too have, particularly in recent history, forged an outstanding, and in our view well deserved, reputation for the quality of their schools.

The promise of a meshed curriculum is one that lives up to the explicit aims of the International Baccalaureate at its best – and it is impressive that Dunecrest American School will weave this into the American curriculum to build on its own natural strengths in the holistic development of children.

Finally, the master-planning delivers all the basics required at this level of fee provision.

The final pice of the jigsaw, the development of Advanced Placement, whilst in its early days, is hugely creditable.

Dunecrest American School, not least in the impressiveness of its outstanding Founding Head, is a school parents looking for a US-IB education for their children should consider shortlisting. A review can never take the place of meeting with a school, its faculty and leadership.

Photograph of Early Years children at Dunecrest American School in Dubai

This notwithstanding, Dunecrest American School has much in our view to recommend it – and has made beyond expectation,  significant, creditable progress in its first two years since opening. The best, even more creditably, may well be yet to come.

Highly recommended.

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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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