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International School of Creative Science, Nad Al Sheba 3
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International School of Creative Science, Nad Al Sheba 3

by Jon WestleySeptember 11, 2016
Strengths

• Ambitious and impressive school values
• One of a number of new schools seeking to bring together the best of East and West, pioneering new and highly valued ways to guarantee children the opportunities of Western qualifications whilst protecting and nurturing the Muslim faith and broader cultural heritage of the Arabic world
• Scale should allow significant levels of investment in capital build, quality, reduction of class sizes and investment in inclusion
• Serious and committed investment in Dubai

Weaknesses

• Inevitable teething problems of any launching school likely
• Lack of detail across a range of key areas including curriculum, teacher profile, SEN and whole child investment
• No advertised scholarship and bursary programmes

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

The Creative Science schools have the potential to re-define benchmarks for the effective delivery of the best of Arabic and Western education. Ambition is matched by investment. The test will be in the delivery - and that is still to come.

B
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Updated November 2016

The International School of Creative Science [ISCS] is a new Arabic-American dual curriculum faith school launching Phase 1 of its provision in Nad Al Sheba 3. The school is situated in the prime education corridor between Kings School Nad Al Sheba and Repton School on a circa 11-acre site.

The school has been established with the single aim of balancing the best of Western education, and its currency for later university and career development, with the protection, appreciation and nurturing of Muslim and broader Arabic culture, language, faith and morality within its role. It’s an East meets West equation that is far from simple to resolve and one that is firing the imagination of a number of new schools in the UAE– and parents seeking the best for their children within a global economy that too quickly can see some children lose sight of their roots and heritage.

The school is launching initially to Year 6 but will eventually launch to all-through Year 13 provision to IGCSE and A Level. It is clear that very considerable thought has gone into the curriculum which is more transparently developed than its Creative Science American school curriculum counterpart in Al Barsha. We particularly like ISCS’s choice to follow the highly respected Cambridge Primary curriculum. This said, we would have liked to see much greater detail exploring what the school’s eventual mapping of IGCSE and A Level will look like. Prospective parents considering the school will not want to face the choice of leaving later once their children are settled and should have now a clear understanding of the breadth of choice at IGCSE and Al Level their children should expect.

We do have some detail, but not enough. For example, can we expect significant breadth of choice, to include, for example, law and psychology, or is the focus going to be more limited on the English Baccalaureate subjects? Can we expect a choice of BTEC or other alternative vocational course options to cater for students who are less academic or wishing fast-track entry directly into industry? Subject choice is a key measure of any school’s investment in the whole child – and providing the greatest possible choice to students in matching their individual needs and abilities. Without this basic level of information our hands are tied behind our backs in being able to benchmark the school and we hope given the clear commitment of the owners and Principal that this level of detail will be developed at which time we shall update our review.

Significant discounts are available to parents registering their children and we are impressed that these are guaranteed for the first 3 years of schooling. We would however, throw a note of caution that if discounts are not applied equally through a child’s lifetime at the school, later increases could be something of a shock to the system.  This said, the baseline fees offer good value for a British curriculum based education, this notwithstanding additional fees for books discussed below. For a new school, ISCS offers good return on investment.

As with many schools in launch, there is just too much detail missing to make a certain calculation. Currently no information is given on class sizes, teacher recruitment (particularly in terms of nationality and experience (British teachers are significantly more expensive), ECA provision, SEN and EAL, facilities (quantity and breadth) as well as indicators that we think are telling of a schools outreach and maturity including bursary and scholarship provision. What we would say at the outset is that the International School of Creative Science is set to be one of the largest UK curricula schools in the UAE and, given the significant positive impact that has on revenue, we would expect significant breadth and quality in the curriculum.

The school has announced its founding Pincipal. Naveed Iqbal is an interesting choice with a background built in business. Mr Iqbal built on his degree training in Psychology and Management (Bradford) by developing his own businesses and consultancy in fields including mortgages and property development and further executive courses in project management and IT. His direct educational experience was built in his Founding Headship of The Phoenix Private School, Qatar, between 2012 and 2016, this following his taking a Diploma in Education (Hull).

Mr Iqbal was recruited in part because of his proven ability to deliver a circa 20% profit from the Phoenix over his tenure, growing an original student rota of 29 students in 2013 to some 450 students on leaving in 2016.

The Creative Science schools do not currently publish costs, if any, for further SEN or EAL provision, but do compulsorily require of parents fixed “book fees” of between 2300 AED at FS phases and 2900 AED at Year 6 per annum which we have listed within the fee structure below. We would hope that neither SEN, nor EAL would be chargeable, particularly given that English is likely to be an additional language for the majority of the school’s role and that in the rest of the sector SEN provision is only very exceptionally charged for in cases of exceptional heightened need. We will update this as we receive clarification from the school.

In summary, the key point to be taken from the Creative Science schools is that they have been designed to meet a genuine, and important need. They are part of a growing number of faith schools established to balance the opportunities of Western education whilst protecting Muslim and broader Arabic cultural identity. These include Next Generation and Smart Vision schools. In many ways, each is a pioneer in their field and the depth of information so obviously required by prospective parents is going to take inevitably going to take time to develop in line with the expectations rightfully requisite in established curricular.

As it stands parents will have to share in the inevitable risks and teething issues that come with all new schools, as well as something of the pioneering spirit of the schools themselves. Maybe it is something of a leap of faith, but the rewards and demand if the Creative Science schools pull it off will be quite something.  Watch this space.

It is worth quoting in full our summary of its US curriculum counterpart:

“Finding the perfect meeting of East and West, and building the bridges needed between the two, is an ambitious and impressive trajectory for any school. It is not an easy task. We are certain, however, that this is the genuine intention of all the Creative Science schools – and words, in this case, have been backed by very serious, substantive brick and mortar investment in Dubai.

What is needed now, however, is detail to fill in the many gaps. Class sizes, inclusivity, teacher backgrounds and profiles, levels of SEND support, scholarship and bursary programmes, detailed curriculum information and ECA detail. We need all this and more. In short we need a finished school. The intention and potential is all here, and the ambition is very impressive – we wish the school well.”

FULL REVIEW COMING SOON on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com HARD HAT TOUR on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
Details to consider
Type of school

Private, for profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 33,500 (+2,300 books fee)
FS2: 33,500 (+2,300 books fee)
YEAR 1: 37,500 (+2,600 books fee)
YEAR 2: 37,500 (+2,600 books fee)
YEAR 3: 37,500 (+2,600 books fee)
YEAR 4: 44,000 (+2,900 books fee)
YEAR 5: 44,000 (+2,900 books fee)
YEAR 6: 44,000 (+2,900 books fee)
YEAR 7:
YEAR 8:
YEAR 9:
YEAR 10:
YEAR 11:
YEAR 12:
YEAR 13:

Curriculum

National Curriculum for England / Muslim faith based dual curriculum
Notes
(1) Early Years Foundation Stage (Cambridge Primary)
(2) IGCSE
(3) AS Level
(4) A' Level

External Exam Boards

EDEXCEL
Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

Number of A Levels offered

Not published (school in phased launch)

A Levels offered

Not published (school in phased launch)

A Level A* to A

School in phased launch

A Level A* to C

School in phased launch

IGCSE A* to C

School in phased launch

IGCSE A* to A

School in phased launch

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

12+

I/GCSEs offered

Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Mathematics
English Language
English Literature
Geography
Art & Design
Business Studies
Arabic (First Language)
Arabic (Second Language)
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Selective

Yes
Notes
(1) FS1 & FS2 entrance by interview
(2) Year 1 to 6: entrance by computerised examination, interviews, entrance and CAT4 (Cognitive Ability) testing

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published (school in phased launch)

Number of Students

All-through capacity: 4000+
Launch capacity: 1100

Teacher to Student Ratio

Not published

Largest nationality teachers

Not published

Teacher turnover

Not published (school in phased launch)

Year opened

2016-17

Location

Nad Al Sheba 3, Dubai

Student composition

Arabic (largest nationality) (projection)
Notes
(1) Muslim dual curriculum British curriculum school

Gender

Mixed, segregated

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Bukhatir Education Advancement and Management
Educational Investments International

Admissions Telephone

800 BEAM(2326)

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

School in phased launch

Attainment Pri SEM

School in phased launch

Attainment Sec SEM

School in phased launch

Attainment Post-16 SEM

School in phased launch

Progress Nur SEM

School in phased launch

Progress Pri SEM

School in phased launch

Progress Sec SEM

School in phased launch

Progress Post-16 SEM

School in phased launch

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

School in phased launch

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

School in phased launch

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

School in phased launch

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

School in phased launch

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

School in phased launch

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

School in phased launch

Islamic St. Primary Results

School in phased launch

Islamic St. Secondary Results

School in phased launch

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

School in phased launch

Leadership

School in phased launch

Community

School in phased launch

Facilities

School in phased launch

Quality of teaching

School in phased launch

Student personal responsibility

School in phased launch

Quality of curriculum

School in phased launch

School Governance

School in phased launch

SEN Provision

School in phased launch

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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