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The Alpha School, Al Qusais 3
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The Alpha School, Al Qusais 3

by Jon WestleyApril 18, 2017
Strengths

• Small school intimacy and warmth
• Specialist technology provision and streaming
• Scholarship scheme in planning
• STEAM curriculum with coding and robotics integrated within the curriculum
• High value fees, even before founding discounts
• Insopirational founding leadership with significant commitment to, and specalism in, technoloy integration at EYFS

Weaknesses

• Inherent teething isssues likley as with all new schools
• Inevitable risks and opportunities off any school in pre-launch phase - parents will need to visit the school and speak with the Principal to understand the dynamics at play

Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
30%
In my Top 5
40%
Shortlisted
20%
A possibility
10%
Pass
0%
No way
7%

Updated May 2017

“The Alpha School is not just another new school – Alpha seeks something different, and special, for all its children.

Our mission, vision and values are embedded within our three pillars of Identity, Family and Innovation.

Our Alpha identity is shaped by our multicultural environment and our appreciation of UAE culture and heritage within our core British curriculum. International-mindedness and respect are key.  Our students celebrate a strong sense of identity in faith, language and heritage.  An Alpha education draws the best elements of all these frameworks to provide an exceptionally personal learning experience for every child.

The Alpha family encompasses the whole community in our safe and nurturing environment with a focus on the whole child, so all children feel truly valued. On-going reflection drives our students to be the best they can be academically and personally. Parents are partners at Alpha. A strong bond between school and home is at the core of our approach.

Alpha innovation sees teachers facilitate true and relevant learning in blended contexts where collaboration, critical-thinking, creativity and communication skills are as important as the acquisition of knowledge. All our students have access to the most current technologies including 1:1 devices from joining the school to make learning personalized and meaningful.

Finally, Alpha has been developed as a small school with the uniqueness and warmth that comes with an intimate and caring community feel and orientation. Every student is known and cared for by each staff member – and every student is a valued and integral member of the Alpha Family.”

Rachel Cashin. Principal. The Alpha School

The Alpha School Dubai is a new British curriculum 550 capacity Primary school in phased pre-launch to open in September 2017 on a circa 38,000 sq.ft. site in Al Qusais.

The Founding Principal, Rachel Cashin, brings with her more than two decade’s experience worldwide, latterly as the Primary School Principal of Ajman Academy where she also developed and managed the Primary Years Programme (PYP). A graduate of ACU, she studied her Masters at Griffith University in Applied Linguistics before taking up roles across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including work for GEMS Education.

A certified Apple Teacher & Apple Education Trainer, she brings expertise to a school that seeks to engage with and embed a core technology curriculum at the heart of Early Years learning – one of the key differentiators of the school’s focus to deliver a Tier 1 UK education for its students. The school promises 1:1 iPad integration across all phases of the school from launch and a plethora of technology innovations within classrooms. The development of IT skills at an early age is seen by the school as critical,  giving children the developmental advantage increasingly required by the evolution of the broader digital economy.

The school advised us:

“Alpha opens as a full Apple School from launch, with 1:1 iPad program from FS1-Year 6. Alpha puts state-of-the-art technologies into all its classrooms and into the hands of all teachers and students. The deliberate and purposeful integration of technology facilitates collaboration to solve problems,  authenticates learning by connecting students with people and places otherwise inaccessible – and ensures that Alpha children develop as innovators; finding new and creative ways to solve problems. Blended learning at Alpha balances the very best traditional pedagogical practices with technology integration to transform the learning experience of children at a critical age in their development.”

The Alpha School faculty comprises UK educated teachers and class sizes are capped at 24 children. The school is fully inclusive across the spectrum of abilities including a dedicated stream for Gifted and talented children (G&T).

The school is now open for registration for all phases to Year 6 and is offering a 25% “Founding Families Discount”. Given the experience of the last twelve months in terms of which schools have done well in terms of student recruitment, fees have been intelligently priced and run between 19,750AED for FS1 through to 28,500AED in Year 6. This aligns within Mid Tier fees and has beeen set at a level that meets the school’s broader purpose of offering an inclusive, high value Tier 1 British primary education for families. It is worth noting that the fees, inclusive of all registration, book, admission and tuition fees, after the family discount is applied, fall within the range of 14,813 AED at FS1 and 21,375 in Year 6. The discount is worth up to 7,125AED and, once applied, pushes the fees firmly within the value segment. The value proposition, when measured in conjunction with promised technology provision, is very high.

Facilities include a new purpose-built facility; covered indoor and outdoor play spaces; fully-equipped iMac laboratory; central library and specialist rooms for the spectrum of Arts and Science subjects including robotics, coding and STEAM subject provision. The school integrates facility provision for Islamic Studies and languages including EAL. The school has confirmed  that the latest Clever Touch displays will be used in all classrooms, the system chosen because of its seamless linking with iPads – the core technology medium the school has chosen to provide each child with the technology edge it sees as critical to child development and learning. The school has a 1:1 iPad programme from launch.

“Our ambition is simple – to deliver an outstanding British education at a price that will be affordable to Dubai parents. Class sizes, limited to 24 children, are intimate and designed to ensure that every child is understood and valued as part of the Alpha family we place at the core of our schooling approach. Education is highly personalised to bring out the best from all the children under our care. Our skilled and qualified teachers are all native English speakers and we place their understanding of the value of integrating technology in teaching at the heart of our recruitment process. We are a full Apple School – and Alpha has been established to be a model of what balanced, purposeful and the transformational integration of technology looks like in the best modern classroom – an approach that extends from individualised learning to the systems we use to fully inform and engage with parents in each child’s learning at home.”

Rachel Cashin. Principal. The Alpha School

As a school in pre-launch phase, the devil will be in the detail, but our on-going dialogue with the school as it beds in the development of the new purpose built school is positive. The drive and ambition of the Founding Head, the commitment of the owners in developing its new flagship brand of British schools – and the technology integration focus of the school in particular, are stand-out features of the school in this early phase of development.

The school aims to ultimately consider a scholarship scheme for children as it beds in its plans and development.

The Alpha School will be seeking BSO (British Schools Oversees) and BSME (British Schools Middle East) accreditation.

We will update the review as we and our sister site, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, undertake hard hat tours of the new school. Watch this space.

Request WSA School Information
Details to consider
Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review

COMING SOON Go

Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 19,750
FS2: 19,950
YEAR 1: 22,280
YEAR 2: 24,220
YEAR 3: 25,170
YEAR 4: 25,170
YEAR 5: 28,000
YEAR 6: 28,500
YEAR 7:
YEAR 8:
YEAR 9:
YEAR 10:
YEAR 11:
YEAR 12:
YEAR 13:

Curriculum

National Curriculum for England
Notes:
(1) EYFS
(2) Technology specialisation

Selective

Fully inclusive
Notes:
(1) Admission assessment establish each applicant’s academic level, to ensure that every child is able to access the school curriculum
(2) The school encourages applications from students whose first language is not the language of instruction (English).
(3) FS students: informal assessment
(4) Year 1 to Year 6 students: written assessment in English, Mathematics and Science

Waiting list

No

Number of Students

Capacity: 550

Teacher to Student Ratio

Notes:
(1) class sizes capped at 1:25

Largest nationality teachers

British

Year opened

New school in launch phase - projected opening September 2017

Location

Al Qusais 3, Dubai

Student composition

Projected: British (largest nationality)

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

Owner

Ziad Omar Alaskari

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0)4 22 555 86

Web Address
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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