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Nord Anglia International School Dubai, Al Barsha – THE REVIEW 2020
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Nord Anglia International School Dubai, Al Barsha – THE REVIEW 2020

by October 22, 2020

Updated October 2020 – Nord Anglia International School Dubai 2020 KHDA Inspection, 2020 IB and GCSE Results and verdict 2020

“Nord Anglia International aspires to be the best school in Dubai.

We are different.

We challenge and empower our students to develop new ways of thinking and raise their expectations of what they can achieve.

We connect every child globally through our worldwide Nord Anglia network.

Every child learns the social graces, confidence and skills that are critically important outside purely academic pursuits so they will thrive on graduation.

Our ambition is simple.

To be the school in Dubai which is known to be the best because it is the place where the learning is great, where the results are outstanding and where the community is distinguished.


Joining together each of these is a fundamental commitment to each child’s happiness and well-being – and a spectrum of whole child initiatives and specialist programmes, including our Juillard Performing arts programme, that are unequaled in the Emirates.”

Matthew Farthing, Principal, Nord Anglia International School Dubai


Rigorously selective (although it is not just about the academics), Nord Anglia International School Dubai has swiftly established its reputation as a high performing school within the UAE premier league of elite schools. The schools is rapidly expanding with a student role jumping some 743 students to 1198 students in 2015, to some 1380 students, aged three to sixteen years of age in July 2017, to 1524 students in 2018-19. Around 60% of students are British and the broader student body is drawn from 80+ other nationalities; Italian, French, German and Australian children also have strong representation.

Nord Anglia International School Dubai is based in Al Barsha 2, close to the Hessa Street and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road junction, with a catchment stretching from Arabian Ranches to Dubai Investment Park, Emirates Hills and Umm Suqeim:

Map showing location of and directions to Nord Anglia School Dubai

Offering full all-through education to Year 13, Nord Anglia International School Dubai has secured International Baccalaureate World School status and the KHDA “Very Good School with Outstanding features” rating, this after only its second inspection since opening in 2014. As of 2020, Nord Anglia International School Dubai has now retained its Very Good School with Outstanding Features now for three years in succession.  Nord Anglia received its first KHDA rating in 2017 achieving Good School status – with both Outstanding and Very Good features.  The opening to full all-through provision has been one of the fastest in the UAE to date, a testament to both the investment made in the school from ‘Day One’ and the considerably expertise of Nord Anglia. Within the sector, many see Nord Anglia International School as the benchmark for how to open a new outstanding school in the UAE.


Nord Anglia International School Exam Performance

Nord Anglia International School Dubai offers 22+ options at IGCSE. Particularly impressive is the breadth of subject options offered across Design; Technology; Fine Art; Drama; and, Music.

Nord Anglia International School Dubai IGCSE Options 2017

Results in 2018 were stellar with a 99% AC/9-7 pass rate and 36% of children securing A/9-8 grades:

Nord Anglia International School GCSE Results 2018

In 2020, with a cohort of 89 students and a total of 786 exam entries, 46% of exam entries were graded 9-8 (A), 71% of exam entries were awarded grades 9-7 (A-A), 89% of exam entries were graded  9-6 (A-B), and 100% of exam entries were graded  9-4 (A-C). 100% of students achieved 5 A*-C/ 9-4 including English and Mathematics.

In 2020 IB results were outstanding. Based on Internal Assessment, the average International Baccalaureate Diploma Grade point score achieved by students was 39 (up from 37.1 on Algorithm based grades against an average in UAE schools of 32.8) with a 100% pass rate. 29 students in total say for the International Baccalaureate Diploma with 100% of students scoring above 30, 80% of students scoring above 35 and 40% of students scoring above 40 (up from 37.1 on Algorithm based grades).  We rank the school second in terms of overall academic performance in the UAE for the IB Diploma, although exact comparisons are fraught with difficulty as many schools have much larger cohorts of students sitting for the Diploma and manage their IB Diploma and IB Career-related Programme pathways differently.

Around one in five Nord Anglia students win places at the world’s top 30 universities; there is a history of students receiving full marks on their IB diploma; and around 15% of all Nord Anglia Education students who sat the IB Diploma have historically achieved a score of around 40 or above, more than double the global average.


Juilliard Performing Arts at Nord Anglia International School Dubai

In September 2016 the school launched its ground-breaking Performing Arts education programme, a first in the UAE, developed in conjunction with internationally renowned Juilliard. The aim is to provide all Nord Anglia International School Dubai students, aged 3 to 18 years, access to a world class arts education, balancing and matching the rigour and excellence of its academic programmes and meeting the needs of gifted child in music, dance and drama.

The Arts more broadly is extraordinarily well resourced and children deserve to feel proud of their achievements. Examples from Art and Photography below:



Image showing children playing on sports playing fields at Nord Anglia International School Dubai

Facilities are targeted to meet or exceed those of Dubai’s elite schools, designed ground up to offer a “nurturing environment for students, as well as the next generation of athletes, statesmen, thespians and musicians.” To this end there are impressive open plan art studios, craft centres, a cleverly designed theatre space, urban classroom areas, a state-of-the-art auditorium, three refectories and extensive outdoor sports facilities including a swimming pool.

Facilities include:


With original fees stretching from an eye watering AED 63,447 (the end point of a number of  mid-tier schools in Dubai) and rising to AED 95,946, the costs of a Nord Anglia education will stretch the majority of parents, if they are remotely affordable at all. Fees align with the most expensive in the UAE – but they do buy you a Tier 1 education without compromise. Feedback from parents has been outstanding, with a particular focus on the exceptionally individualised whole child and academic education each child receives.

In 2020 Nord Anglia has, unlike many schools in the UAE, chosen not to make adjustments to its fees to reflect the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic to ensure that it can continue to provide a consistently high quality of education to its students.

Year 2020-21 KHDA

Approved Fees

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
FS1 63,447 25,379 19,034 19,034
FS2 63,447 25,379 19,034 19,034
Year 1 74,021 29,608 22,206 22,206
Year 2 74,021 29,608 22,206 22,206
Year 3 79,308 31,723 23,793 23,793
Year 4 79,308 31,723 23,793 23,793
Year 5 79,308 31,723 23,793 23,793
Year 6 79,308 31,723 23,793 23,793
Year 7 84,596 33,838 25,379 25,379
Year 8 84,596 33,838 25,379 25,379
Year 9 84,596 33,838 25,379 25,379
Year 10 90,940 36,376 27,282 27,282
Year 11 90,940 36,376 27,282 27,282
Year 12 95,946 38,378 28,784 28,784
Year 13 95,946 38,378 28,784 28,784


Nord Anglia International School Dubai bottom line? The verdict 2020

Fabulous, genuinely ground breaking school for academically gifted children, and particularly polymaths with abilities in languages, Nord Anglia School is in our view an outstanding one.

But this is definitively not a school for less academically gifted or high performing technical able children.

Prospective parents here do need to match school and child so that the school and child “fit.”

Do not expect any deviation from Nord Anglia International School Dubai from the IB Diploma – a hugely ambitious qualification even for bright children. It’s one that arguably is ill-suited for non-linguists too. Whilst Nord Anglia International School Dubai does invest heavily in language provision (across French, Spanish, Mandarin and German), not all academically bright children are natural linguists and the Diploma, unlike the Career-related Programme, penalises them.

Nord Anglia provide a strong justification for concentrating on languages here:

We steadfastly believe, however, that even selective IB schools should offer the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme. Nord Anglia believe it’s not necessary. We disagree. There are strong arguments that in a Tier 1 like this, provision of subject choice should come with the territory and just because a child is academic, does not mean that many will not be vocationally and technically  minded too.

Many Nord Anglia schools globally do offer the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme, so there is clearly no philosophical reason for refusing to do so in Dubai. The IB created the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme for good reason. It would also fit will with the creditable MIT STEAM programmes at NAS Dubai.

Nord Anglia International School is confident in its selective admissions procedure that it will carry its children through to excel at both IGCSE and the Diploma – and certainly the statistics of its achievements across both support this.

So where does this leave us?

Our final recommendation us nuanced.

For the right children, Nord Anglia International School Dubai will be top of many parents’ shortlist of the perfect school – and rightly so. But less academic, technically-minded children will not find a good fit – and many parents of younger children will simply not know how their children will develop.

For those parents Nord Anglia will be a gamble.

The rate of progress made by Nord Anglia International School Dubai since launch is absolutely remarkable and questions just what the school is capable of in the medium term. The sky would seem to be the limit.

Nord Anglia International School was officially shortlisted for the Best Blended Curriculum International Baccalaureate School in the UAE in the annual Education Awards 2019-20. If it had offered the Career-related Programme for its students it very may well have won. That is the frustration. It’s also why we think that a school that comes so, so close to KHDA Outstanding school status falls short by just a whisker. It’s operating with its hands tied behind its back because of its limited pathways.

Our uncomfortable summary? For the right child, very (very) highly recommended.

Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers from in association with our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.

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Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

Very Good with Outstanding features 2020
Very Good with Outstanding features (2019)

2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Very Good with Outstanding features

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Good with Very Good and Outstanding features

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating


Rating FS


Rating Primary / Elementary

Very Good

Rating Secondary / Middle

Very Good - Outstanding

Rating Post 16 / High

Very Good

Type of school

Private for-profit

WSA Good School

Under review 2020-21

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 63,447
FS2: 63,447
YEAR 1: 74,021
YEAR 2: 74,021
YEAR 3: 79,308
YEAR 4: 79,308
YEAR 5: 79,308
YEAR 6: 79,308
YEAR 7: 84,596
YEAR 8: 84,596
YEAR 9: 84,596
YEAR 10: 90,940
YEAR 11: 90,940
YEAR 12: 95,946
YEAR 13: 95,946


National Curriculum of England:
International Baccalaureate World School accredited:
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Note: No International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme

External Exam Boards

Cambridge International
International Baccalaureate

IB DipM Pass Rate


IB DipM Average Grade

37.1% (Algorithm) to 40% (Internally Assessed) (2020)

Number of A Levels offered


A Levels offered



99% (2018)


65% (2018)

Number of I/GCSEs Offered


I/GCSEs offered

English language
English literature
Additional Mathematics
Double Science
Triple Science
Computer Science
World Languages
Islamic Education
Business Studies
Physical Education
GCSE Art & Design - Fine Art
GCSE Art & Design - Photography
IGCSE Design & Technology - Graphic Products
IGCSE Design & Technology - Resistant Materials
IGCSE Food Technology



Waiting list


Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

1900 Capacity

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:11 (KHDA verified)
Nord Anglia claim 1:10

Largest nationality teachers


Teacher turnover

7% (extremely low)

Year opened



Al Barsha, Dubai

Student composition

British (largest nationality)


Mixed, co-educational

School canteen



Nord Anglia Education

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0)4 2199 913

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM


Attainment Pri SEM


Attainment Sec SEM


Attainment Post-16 SEM


Progress Nur SEM


Progress Pri SEM


Progress Sec SEM


Progress Post-16 SEM


Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)


Arabic Secondary Results (Native)


Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)


Arabic Primary Results (Add.)


Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)


Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)


Islamic St. Primary Results


Islamic St. Secondary Results


Islamic St. Post-16 Results








Quality of teaching


Student personal responsibility


Quality of curriculum


School Governance


SEN Provision



• Targeted provision for the academically gifted child
• Selective, highly academic educational environment
• Elite school standard infrastructure, academic, extra-curricular and sporting
• Nord Anglia reputation for academic excellence and proven programmes and leadership
• International Baccalaureate World School accreditation
• Juilliard developed performing arts programme integrated within the education of all children with targeted development of the gifted child in music, drama and dance
• Nord Anglia is widely considered a bench mark for new schools in the UAE in terms of how it opened - on time, and running at high performance
• Targeted selective education for academic children
• Very strong focus on soft skills critical for young adults graduating to university and industry
• IB Diploma scholarship programme
• Small class sizes between 1:10 and 1:11


• No International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme/technical stream pathway.
• Expensive.

Our Rating
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SEND Provision
Scl Community
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A school that justifies its place within the elite Tier 1 premium schools in the UAE, Nord Anglia has a recognized history in supporting academically gifted children. That it has achieved so much, so quickly is absolutely remarkable.

The Juilliard Performing Arts programme has the potential to lead performing arts provision within the UAE and provides a natural home for gifted child in music, drama and dance.

For academically gifted children the promise is outstanding but with no technical pathway/IB Career-related Programme parents of younger children are taking a gamble.

For the right child, highly recommended.

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

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