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Swiss International Scientific School, Dubai Healthcare City, Al Jaddaf – The 2021 Review
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Swiss International Scientific School, Dubai Healthcare City, Al Jaddaf – The 2021 Review

by February 11, 2021

Note for parents. This review should be read in conjunction with the full Q&A with Swiss International Scientific School Dubai, here, conducted in March 2021 and our exclusive interview with Ruth Burke, the recently appointed new School Principal and CEO, who will take up her appointment in September 2021, here

Background and core strengths

Launched in 2015-16, the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai [SISD] is a premium plus, Tier 1 International Baccalaureate through-school offering students the full continuum International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, including both the International Baccalaureate Diploma and International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme, from Pre-KG to Grade 12. More than 70 nationalities are enrolled at the school, with students from France, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, the US and Canada significantly represented. The school is ranked a Good School with Very Good and Outstanding Features by the Dubai Schools Regulator, this after only its second inspection.

Located near the Business Bay bridge, the 67,845 square metre, 17 acre, Dubai Creek waterfront campus makes a striking impression from all sides.

This is a school built ground-up to deliver a Tier 1 outstanding education – and it shows.

Taken as a whole across its facilities, curriculum and architecture, Swiss International Scientific School represents one of the most ambitious educational projects undertaken in the UAE to date – and is the the first day and boarding school in Dubai to deliver on two core strengths:  a choice for students between either

  • Language specialism; or,
  • STEAM specialism
  • ASDAN Specialist education

with a depth of investment in all three areas that follow children throughout their education at the school.

The steadfast aim is to graduate every student with an absolutely exceptional depth of knowledge in either languages, STEAM or specific qualifications and experience suited to the individual child (ASDAN)

VHPS_MPU1_DESK

An understanding of the pathways can be understood in the following diagram:

Language learning at Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai 2021

 

Option 1 for students joining the school: Language Pathway

The focus on languages as a key lever to equip students for entry into Tier one universities and meet the global demands of industry in which languages skills have never been in more demand. Today, for families choosing the Languages Pathway, the Swiss International Scientific School, delivers bi-lingual  programmes across French, English, German and Arabic. From entry to the school in KG1, students are immersed in languages with a choice from four streams/pathways:

  • Bilingual English-French;
  • Bilingual English-German; or,
  • Bilingual English / Arabic
  • English taken with an additional language – French or German with Arabic.

In our view, for parents looking for commitment to languages, Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai delivers the benchmark school for effective language learning in the UAE.

For parents, the key here is the school’s commitment to make language learning work for every child – this is resolutely not a school only for linguists. The ethos of the school is that too often languages have been downgraded – and more importantly, students who are not natural linguists have been left behind in lesser schools.

Until Grade 4, students are taught using co-teaching in which two teachers speak both languages in the classroom at the same time. With two teachers per class the investment is significant – but it is the proven way of inspiring rapid language acquisition where schools have the investment, as here, to invest in languages “money no object.”

From Grade 4, the approach to teaching languages moves to a “Week A / Week B approach” in which students swap weekly between the relevant language teacher.

At Secondary school, aside from specialist Performing/ Fine Arts and Physical Education lessons, all subjects are taught as part of the bi-lingual programme students with students learning all their subjects in different languages. The language spoken by teachers varies from lesson to lesson. English is the main language of the school, and for non-native English speakers, there is additional English Language Learner support which forms the second language stream.

All KG children are offered Arabic as an after-school activity, this one of many additional language options offered as part of Swiss Scientific’s Extra/Co Curricular Activity [ECA] programmes.

The school’s trilingual  “English+ additional languages programme” sees students studying core English, combined with 5 lessons per week in French or German, and 6 lessons per week of Arabic.

 

Option 2 for students joining the school: STEAM Pathway

Demonstrative of its commitment to meeting the needs of all children, Swiss International Scientific School also offers an alternative STEAM based journey for those students who wish to focus learning on STEAM, rather than languages. Again, for families choosing this stream for their children, immersion begins as soon as children join the school in KG1 – and the focus follows them throughout their educational journey to either the Diploma or Career-related Programme.

 

Option 3 for students joining the school: ASDAN Pathway

Fully bespoke programme designed to ensure that the Swiss International Scientific School can meet the individual needs, ambitions, potential and talents of every child. The exact shape of the programme and graduating qualifications is fully personalised around each child joining the programme.

 

Student outcomes

The net result of choosing either Language or STEAM pathway, is that students are given an outstanding breadth of graduating options as they enter “Sixth Form”:

  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma (Bi-lingual); or
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma; or
  • International Baccalaureate courses; or
  • (in our view hugely creditable) International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme; or
  • The Swiss Baccalaureate; or
  • British Level 3 BTEC in either Sports Coaching, Hospitality or Business (these founding the IB Career-related Programme)
  • Dedicated ASDAN Pathway qualification and experience modelled on a deep school-wide commitment to inclusion and meeting the needs of every child – more on this here.

Together this formidable breadth of graduating alternatives ensures that every student graduating from the Swiss International Scientific School achieve both expertise in either Languages, STEAM or other specific gifts built around the individual child – and extended graduating alternatives drawn from either academic or technical stream options. The breadth of academic and technical pathways available to students we rate as outstanding.

As it stands today, no other school in the UAE delivers this combination of choice of pathways and graduating qualifications. The ambition here is extraordinary.

 

Day Student Fees – International Baccalaureate Bi-Lingual Diploma

Fees are Tier 1 – but interestingly are not the most expensive in Dubai. The school might well have chosen, given the ambition of its offer, to set the fee benchmark for outstanding schools – but it has pulled back from this. As it stands, if you can afford the fees and are looking for a Tier 1 education in the UAE, fees offer high ROI and sit comfortably in alignment with the UAE’s other top schools.

School Fees at Swiss International Scientific School Dubai for the IB Diploma Bi-Lingual

Day Student Fees – International Baccalaureate Diploma (not bi-lingual)

School fees for the standard International Baccalaureate Diploma at SSID Dubai 2021

Information on Boarding fees (which include the above tuition fees) can be found below.

 

Primary Education

The Primary School delivers the International Baccalaureate PYP (Primary Years Programme). The school argues that the strength of the programme lies in its focus on each child’s active engagement in their own learning. The PYP itself is designed to balance the acquisition of knowledge, conceptual understanding and development of core learning skills with the broader whole child skills for life beyond the classroom.

The MYP (Middle Years Programme), in distinction, is subject-based.

In the bi-lingual sections, Language and Literature, Sciences and/or Humanities are taught in French or German. Mathematics, Arts and Design, and Physical/Health Education are taught in English. In the English+ section, all subjects are taught in English, with additional French or German language acquisition.  Arabic and Islamic Studies are an integral part of the MYP.

As above, each programme is very much designed around the pathways, Languages or STEAM, chosen by students.

 

Swiss Baccalaureate.

SISD_External View

The Swiss International Scientific School also offer students the option to study for the Swiss Baccalaureate (Swiss Maturité (La Matu)) from Grade 9. This programme is particularly of interest to Swiss families and the majority of students opt for the traditional International Baccalaureate Diploma or Career-related Programme.

If the ambition is to attend university in Switzerland, the Swiss Maturité has a major benefit over either the International Baccalaureate Diploma or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme – maturité students are automatically admitted to any Swiss university, regardless of pass grade achieved.  Attempting to enter Swiss Universities with IB qualifications is a struggle – Swiss universities usually place very (very) high grade demands on students not offering the Swiss Baccalaureate. Usually too, for non-Swiss Baccalaureate students, a (demanding) entrance examination comes with the territory.

Whilst the Swiss Baccalaureate is less known that the IB equivalent, it is recognised (and respected) by top tier universities including Ivy League institutions in the UA and Oxbridge in the UK.

 

Boarding

SISD_TV_1_External

Swiss International Scientific School is, with Repton, one of the only two boarding schools in the UAE.

Full boarding opened in 2017.

Key features include:

  • Fully-inclusive pricing. There are only very limited bolt-on options to be added to published boarding fees (see below), which the school argues significantly increases the baseline boarding costs published by other schools. Swiss Scientific set out from Day One to offer parents complete transparency on costs without unfair surprises after their children have joined the school.
  • Boarding fees include school tuition fees; accommodation; all meals; airport transfers; student visa(s); (an excellent) after-school activity programmes; evening activities programme; weekend activities, trips and excursions; 3 sets of uniform; evening tuition, books, laundry service – and English as an Additional/Second Language [EA/SL] support (including all extra EA/SL tuition as and when required).
  • An in our view exceptionally high standard of boarding facilities in absolute, not only relative, terms. The school has a maximum occupancy of two students per room to Grade 10 (designed to ensure children are not alone at younger ages) and each child has their own room in Grades 11 and 12. All rooms have en suite bathrooms. A dedicated lounge/kitchen; and games areas is provided for all boarders. The school does not have dormitories which are a lower cost feature of competitor boarding schools in the UAE.
  • The standard of boarding provision follows the higher order Swiss model and is comparative to a 4* hotel standard of provision. This compares with the more basic “lived in “guest house feel characteristic of, for example, many British boarding schools worldwide. Differentiators include much larger rooms and a very high quality of provision and finish across all common areas.
  • SISD boarding facilities aim to deliver for students “a smart a smart, sustainable, stylish – and inspirational – space for living and learning.”
  • Boarders have full access to Main Campus facilities.

The only extra costs are for Medical (because understandably this varies according to individual student requirements) and an annual AED 10,000 “bank” from which students can draw for additional activities that are not included within the core fees.

It is worth noting that EA/SL Fees in other UAE schools can exceed AED 50,000 so for those students who will benefit from this, the value here is high. Other schools too charge separately for visas, uniform and this breadth of activity programme.

An example of the individual boarding rooms for boys follows:

A boys boarding house bedroom at the SSwiss Scientific International School in Dubai 2018

The boarding facilities extend over four floors with 14 rooms and en-suite bathrooms in each double room for a total capacity of 100 students per house.

Each floor has a fully equipped pantry room and a “Community Room […] full of things to do for when the students have time to relax.”

Girls boarding opened opened in September 2018:

Photographs of the new Girl Boarding Facilities at the Swiss Scientific International School in Dubai opening September 2018

4 dedicated boarding staff look after the students including the Housemaster, Assistant Housemaster, and Matron. Resident Teachers from SISD stay overnight on occasion to assist boarders with their studies and run activities.

Swiss International Scientific School Dubai is only the second school, after Repton Dubai, to offer boarding facilities in the Emirates and the only full IB boarding school in the region.

Fees vary according to the option chosen. Worth noting that Boarding fees are identical for students studying either for the Bi-lingual or standard IB Diploma programmes – there is no uplift on bi-lingual fees as is the case for Day students.

Cost of full boarding in a fee table for Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai 2021

Weekly boarding fees at Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai 2021

The Swiss International Scientific School also offers Day Students at the school opportunities to board too on a more flexible basis. More details can be found below:

Flexible Boarding Options at SSID 2021

The full Boarding Handbook can be found below:

Swiss International Scientif School Boarding Handbook 2021 22

 

Facilities

Facilities at the Swiss International Scientific School are very high and stand-out features include:

  • Tier 1 premium, fully digital campus;
  • Extensive landscaped grounds, buildings and a setting designed to inspire students;
  • Stunning three story oval atrium entrance/lobby reached by a double height curving bridge to the first floor;
  • Independent Primary and Secondary buildings;
  • 50-metre Olympic swimming pool (rare even in the extraordinary breadth of facility provision across UAE schools)
  • Landmark hybrid indoor-outdoor 16M swimming pool;
  • KG Library;
  • Primary Library;
  • Secondary Library;
  • Two basketball courts;
  • Four tennis courts;
  • Dedicated football/rugby pitch;
  • Indoor and outdoor running tracks and runway;
  • 550-seat auditorium;
  • Theatre and concert hall;
  • Media centre;
  • Climbing wall;
  • Gymnasium;
  • Dance studios;
  • Multi-purpose sports hall;
  • Fine arts centre;
  • Media centre;
  • Indoor FS soft play centre;
  • Recording studio;
  • Sensory Room;
  • Green-screen production facility;
  • Prayer rooms;
  • (Multiple) language labs;
  • Dedicated boarding houses for 350 boys and girls
  • Dubai Creek based water sports programme delivered from the adjacent new Dubai Creek extension.
  • Two medical clinics operated by a DHCC registered team which includes 1 full-time doctor and 3 registered nurses.

The planning and investment around its state-of-the-art (a term over-used but accurate here) sports complex demonstrates not only a benchmark for sports delivery, but the commitment of the school to providing academic and enrichment balance.

Extract the facility from the school and you have what is, to all intents and purposes, a sports facility that would not be out of place, and in fact better, the average Olympic village.

The SSID Sports facilities is genuinely impressive.

The large double pitch indoor sports hall includes a galleried viewing area which doubles as an indoor running track (single lane) – and the same area doubles as an indoor spectator area where it overlooks the external facilities including a real grass pitch and 2 tennis courts on the rooftop.

The external multi-lane running track encompasses the pitch area.

The Olympic 50M 10 lane pool includes dive blocks at both ends of each lane.

The Olympics standard 50M Swimming Pool at Swissing International Scientific School in Dubai

There is an indoor mirrored Dance Studio, very well equipped Cardiovascular Room and separate gym with an extensive number of treadmills and full weight training facilities.  The position of the school on the creek would also lend itself to a boat house in future which may well prove an opportunity for development that is hard to resist.

Worth noting that all this investment is sustainable.  Swiss International Scientific School was first school in the GCC to provide a sustainable school environmental architecture founded on energy efficient technology and design accredited to Swiss Minergie standards.

Bottom line facilities at Swiss International Scientific School have a quality, ambition and breadth that at least matches every other Tier 1 school in the UAE.

 

SEND including Gifted and Talented

Swiss International Scientific School offers extensive Special Educational Needs [SEN] provision across both sides of the spectrum including Gifted and Talented [G&T] programmes. The commitment to inclusion is real and heart-felt.

The school is one of the few that is clear what it cannot help with up front because it wants to leave open all that it can through an extraordinary ASDAN programme, not to mention world standard EA/SL provision.

The school does not cater for higher order SEN including Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD); ADHD requiring a shadow teacher; Learning Difficulty 2 or Profound and Multiple (PMLD) Learning Difficulties. As a language school, SISD also cannot accept children diagnosed with semantic pragmatic disorder or language processing disabilities.

Otherwise the school is fully inclusive, welcoming applications from children with mild/medium social / emotional / sensory / physical / communication / interactive / general learning disorders and the spectrum of medical conditions that fall short of requiring dedicated individual staffing.

The school has specific expertise in the dyslexia and dysgraphia, something it argues passionately aligns with its belief that “learners with dyslexia and dysgraphia may well be successful in multilingual programmes.” Our article on the (wrongly) “forgotten determination” – dysgraphia, can be found here.  When we first published our story we were greeted with outpourings of appreciation for speaking about those (many) children who struggle with handwriting in the face of far too many schools completely oblivious to its potential reasons.

This sort of caring approach and investment in child welfare is characteristic of a school that invest in child happiness across the board.

 

Teaching faculty

English speaking teachers are recruited from the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, Ireland and S. Africa; French teachers from France and Switzerland; German teachers from Germany and Switzerland; and Arabic teachers from Iraq, Syria and Egypt. The school sets a fundamental requirement that teachers of languages must be native speaking in their core specialism.

 

Bursaries and Scholarships

Both we and our sister site, WhichSchoolAdvisor, have long campaigned for the provision of bursaries and scholarships within the educational sector, a call mirroring that within the Dubai Awqaf & Endowment vision announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, through the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy.

SISD makes a published, impressive commitment to scholarship provision for students in the areas of “Academic Excellence”; “Excellence in other fields” and “for Equal Opportunity” in order to “give back to the community” and to support its mission to ensure “every child regardless of nationality, culture, gender, language or religion, should have access to high quality education.”

“The school has a higher goal and while we need to have a financially sustainable model to finance the infrastructure I am able to offer scholarships to a large amount of our community members thus having a direct and quantifiable contribution to the community.”

Omar Danial, Founder, Swiss International Scientific School Dubai.

Scholarship decisions are based on completion of a formal application process and the school genuinely welcomes applications from families who would not otherwise be able to afford the fees. Our advice to prospective parents is to ask for details at the time of visiting the school.

Swiss International Scientific School Dubai founder, Omar Danial, is a four-times offshore powerboat world champion, former president and current vice President of the Manotel Hotel Group in Geneva (of which his company, Finial Capital, is a major shareholder), and founder of Swiss Education Partners, a company specialising in education from which SSID evolved. Swiss Education Partners was established to invest in projects that “create tangible, socially responsible impacts with sustainable values.” Both Mr Daniels youngest children are educated at the school.

Direct questions on scholarship provision can be emailed to [email protected]

 

School leadership

Norbert Foerster, current Head of School at the Swiss International Scientific School, and in post since 2018, is an educational psychologist by training, earning his Diplom-Psychologe from the respected Universität Bonn. Mr Foerster brings two decade’s experience at the highest level to SSIS from his role as Directeur Général of the Institut International de Lancy, Genève. He has direct experience of both the British, English National Curriculum, French Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate programmes, as well as the Swiss educational system. A linguist, Mr Foerster speaks German, French and English fluently and is a recognised expert in delivering bi-lingual education.

Mr Foerster begun his career as a psychologist at a Catholic Center for Children and Adolescents, after which he spent 13 years between 1985 and 1998 as the director of a Psycho-Educational Counselling Centre in Germany, in which he worked with children and families.

Between 2006 Mr Foerster was appointed President of the Geneva Association of Private Schools (AGEP) and in 2014 the President of the Swiss Federation of Private Schools (SFPS).

Photograph of Rith Burke, the new Principal and Head of School at Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai

From September 2021, Swiss International Scientific School will be led by Ruth Burke. The world exclusive first interview with Mrs Burke by SchoolsCompared.com can be found here.

An educationalist from ‘Day One’, Mrs Burke graduated from Trinity College Dublin in Education before completing her Master at Bath University in Educational Leadership and Administration. She brings to Swiss International Scientific School more than thirteen years direct experience leading some of Dubai’s top schools, these including JESS Jumeirah(Jumeirah English Speaking School), GEMS Wellington International School and Deira International School.

Under Mrs Burke’s leadership Both JESS and GEMS Wellington secured KHDA Outstanding school status. Both schools, like Swiss International Scientific School, are Tier 1 International Baccalaureate schools.

Mrs Burke has three children, ranging in ages from 8 to 27 years, and has lived in Dubai for two decades.

Welcoming Mrs Burke, SISD Founder, Omar Danial, told us:

“I am delighted to welcome Ruth Burke to SISD as our new Head of School.

As an experienced IB educator, and a long-standing leader in a number of ‘Outstanding’ schools in Dubai, Ruth will be an incredible asset for our school.

Ruth’s vast experience of the UAE, coupled with her commitment and passion for inclusive education, will support our vision to deliver a first-class IB education for all our students.

I feel very fortunate to have secured Ruth as the new Head of School, and am looking forward to working with her on the next stage of school advancement.”

We rate Mrs Burke, on the basis of the many years we have reviewed her leadership across Tier 1 UAE schools, as outstanding.

 

Sport

SISD is registered in the Dubai Affiliated School Sport Association (DASSA) and competitive team sports are offered from grade 2. Many sporting facilities are in-house including:

  •      1 fully equipped gym
  •      1 indoor running track
  •      1 indoor volleyball/basketball court
  •      1 beach volleyball court
  •      1 outdoor basketball
  •      2 paddle tennis courts
  •      1 football/rugby pitch
  •      1 Olympic swimming pool with lifeguard from 6 am to 6 pm.
  •      2 Tennis courts

Sports include:

  • Swimming
  • Track & Field
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Girls Basketball
  • Boys basketball
  • Volleyball;
  • Football
  • Rugby

 

ECAs and Activities

Ballet at Swiss Scientific school in Dubai

Activities at the school are extensive and include:

  • Book Club
  • Ballet
  • Building Blocks / Construction
  • Drama / Once Upon a Time
  • English Club
  • English Language Challenge Club (invitation only)
  • French Cultural Club
  • French lessons
  • Games / Interests Club
  • German Cultural Club
  • German lessons
  • Just Dance
  • Mathemetics
  • Music and Movement
  • Arabic
  • Sewing
  • Arab Reading Challenge
  • Arabic Dance
  • Arabic Drama
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Creative / Poetry Writing
  • English Reading Club
  • French DELF Prim Exam Prep
  • Friends Resilience
  • Games Club
  • Garden Club
  • German Club
  • German lessons
  • Piano Keyboards
  • Quran Club
  • Sewing / Knitting
  • TED Club – Public Speaking
  • Art of Arabic Calligraphy
  • Current Affairs
  • Digital Design Club
  • Diploma Science Support
  • English Creative Writing
  • German Student Radio
  • Mathletes
  • Mathematics Support
  • Model United Nations
  • Debating
  • Pop & Rock Band
  • Science Club
  • Theatre Company
  • Young Entrepreneurs

 

Communication with parents

Prospective parents, with Swiss International Scientific School (and unlike many schools which continue to publish outdated and far too limited information for prospective parents), will find a web site replete with information, including extended bios of key members of staff. The school makes a point of celebrating the achievement of students.

 

Bottom line? The SchoolsCompared.com Verdict 2021.

Swiss International Scientific School Dubai has set an abundance of new benchmarks for the sector.

Only the second school in the Emirates to offer boarding; the first to offer its sheer scale and anatomy of language provision across curriculum, time-tabling and breadth of subjects; one of only two Tier 1’s to offer an Olympic standard 50M pool; the first Minergie certified school; generous scholarship provision (rare in Dubai and rarer still within the sector as a whole); the first Swiss curriculum school and, as it stands, the most expensive boarding school in the Emirates (albeit with the caveat that its fees include options that are charged for elsewhere).

More important, and perhaps easily overlooked, is the sheer scale of ambition Swiss International Scientific School represents for its founder – and, we believe, there can be no more certain an expression of confidence than that the founder educates his children at the school.

This is an academic school – but, one with a big heart. Expect children to study and play hard across all streams. Expect homework – and lots of it. This is one important mechanism to calculate whether the school is likely to be a good fit for you and your children. Different schools have different approaches to homework – but as a rule, IB study is demanding. This said, for students across the ability spectrum who are self disciplined and work hard, this school delivers academic and whole child success – and in spades.

For students who thrive on opportunity and exploration there is nothing wanting here. From the Performing Arts to Calculus, the school wraps itself around the individual needs, ambitions, interests and talents of each child.

The offer as a whole is beyond ambitious – and the investment in change to strengthen the school is ongoing, significant and meaningful. The introduction of the IB Career-related Programme is a fabulous example of how the school has moved to build inclusion swiftly to ensure that no child is left behind. The ASDAN Programme too deserves to be celebrated – and we would like to see much more investment here to expand opportunities for children. The foundations of outstanding schooling abound and just need strengthening as the school links each intricate piece of its roadmap for children.

Probably the best way to understand what is driving the school is to see it as as an extraordinarily good example of International schooling. Many schools claim to be international, but here it’s in the DNA. What does this mean for students? This is a school that offers to open doors for students throughout their lives on graduating – not all schools have such promise.

That it comes with such a deep commitment to the welfare of students – with astonishing levels of investment in breadth of curriculum choices to make that tangible and real, is the icing on the cake.

Little wonder this is a school in which you discover happy, inspired children around every corner,

Highly recommended.

© SchoolsCompared.com 2021. All rights reserved.

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Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

Good with Very Good and Outstanding Features (2019-20)

2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

NA

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

NA

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

NA

Rating FS

Good

Rating Primary / Elementary

Very Good

Rating Secondary / Middle

Very Good

Rating Post 16 / High

Good

Type of school

Private, for profit

WSA Good School

Under review 2022

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

Pre-KG: 53,000
KG1: 59,000
KG2: 59,000
GRADE 1: 68,000
GRADE 2: 68,000
GRADE 3: 68,000
GRADE 4: 68,000
GRADE 5: 70,000
GRADE 6: 88,000
GRADE 7: 88,000
GRADE 8: 88,000
GRADE 9: 95,000
GRADE 10: 95,000
GRADE 11: 95,000
GRADE 12: 99,000

Curriculum

International Baccalaureate:
Primary Years Programme [PYP]
Middle Years Programme [MYP]
International Baccalaureate Diploma [IBD]
International Baccalaureate Diploma [IBD] - Bi-Lingual
Swiss Baccalaureate (Matura / Maturität) [Zug] (Bilingual)
International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme
International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme - Bi-lingual
ASDAN

External Exam Boards

International Baccalaureate Organisation [IBO]
Kanton Zug
Gemeinde Cham

Selective

Interview and assessment test "to ensure that each child is able to access the school’s curriculum within the levels of support that are available."
Nationality/race/gender/language/religion: inclusive.
Special Educational Needs: subject to levels of support available but excluding Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD); ADHD requiring a shadow teacher; Learning Difficulty 2 and Profound and Multiple (PMLD) Learning Difficulties

Waiting list

Yes - in some years for day students

Number of Students

2442 capacity (2018-19)
Current role: 1150

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:7 - 1:11 (maximum - each class has one teacher and one support teacher)

Largest nationality teachers

Teaching staff are international, recruited from the UK, US, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Canada, Australia and Ireland.

Teacher turnover

26%

Year opened

2015-16

Location

Dubai Healthcare City 2, Al Jaddaf, Dubai

Student composition

French, German, Swiss, British, Canadian, US (largest nationalities)
70+ nationality student body

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Swiss Education Partners
Omar Danial, Founder & CEO

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0) 4 375 0600

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

40%

Attainment Pri SEM

46.6%

Attainment Sec SEM

60%

Attainment Post-16 SEM

46.6%

Progress Nur SEM

60%

Progress Pri SEM

66.6%

Progress Sec SEM

66.6%

Progress Post-16 SEM

46.6%

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

40%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

40%

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

50%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

NA

Islamic St. Primary Results

50%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

50%

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

40%

Leadership

60%

Community

100%

Facilities

100%

Quality of teaching

70%

Student personal responsibility

80%

Quality of curriculum

75%

School Governance

80%

SEN Provision

55%

Strengths

• Benchmark school for languages and STEAM
• Hugely impressive quality and breadth of facility provision
• Arguably already the finest multi-language school in the region
• High fees but balanced by significant scholarship provision established within the founding DNA of the school
• Outstanding commitment to inclusion with a dedicated ASDAN stream
• Boys and Girls Boarding delivered with an outstanding quality of provision and integration in school life
• World class sporting provision
• Swiss Matura, International Baccalaureate Diploma, International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme - and bi-lingual variants
• A very different, much more compassionate and sophisticated school to the one that originally opened. Today SSID shines with its new found inclusive pathways, deep commitment to ensuring that no child is left behind and happy school dynamics.
• Exceptional investment in language acquisition when students join the school with two teachers per class co-teaching (until Grade 4).

Weaknesses

• This sort of extraordinary ambition needs time to bed-in.
• Work hard and Play hard ethos will not suit all children. It's not a critique - but a pointer that this is a demanding school.

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

• Hugely committed school ownership committed to "giving back"
• Outstanding school leadership.
• Potential to be one of the best schools in the UAE.
• Highly recommended.

A
Our Rating
A-
User Rating
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Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
55%
In my Top 5
21%
Shortlisted
13%
A possibility
5%
Pass
5%
No way
4%
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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