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SchoolsCompared.Com’s UAE Top Schools Award 2017

by Jon WestleySeptember 12, 2017

6th. British International School Abu Dhabi

Photograph of a student at Nord Anglia's British International School Abu Dhabi imagining being a pilot used as part of the school's campaign to nurture ambition in its students - awarded one of the top 20 Best Schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi by in 2017

Type of school: For-profit

Curriculum: British EYFS/IGCSE/GCSE/International Baccalaureate Diploma

Age of children: All through

School size: 1582

Location: Abu Dhabi


The second Nord Anglia school to secure a top-10 place in our Best Schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi 2017, the British International School Abu Dhabi is the older sister of its Nord Anglia International School counterpart. The blueprint is very similar – Nord Anglia schools have a very clear and definite student profile and school feel.

The differences between the schools are certainly less than the sum of their parts. For example, Media Studies finds, for us, a welcome listing in IGCSE options not found in the Dubai school and the buildings lack, relatively, the bells and whistles of its Dubai sister. Conversely the Dubai school is considerably stronger in its technology offer. Both schools share the British IGCSE-International Baccalaureate Diploma footprint – probably the most demanding academic all-through framework catering well, on the whole, for its highly selective intake.

As with Nord Anglia’s sister school, we do think it is missing a trick in not offering the highly creditable International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme – now accredited by ADEC. We understand that the school is now seriously considering its introduction for 2018. But its positives significantly outweigh our niggles for the right child.

Here polymaths will find a school that encourages an exploration of the wonder of education for its own sake – but in the context of delivering a rounded whole child education in which morals, values and building personal character are seen as equally important parts of the educational mix.

Happiness at the school comes naturally because of the quality of its selection process and the significant Nord Anglia investment in staff and maintaining low teacher: student ratios. Whilst the school is conscious that a number of children will return to the UK – and as a result advises on the importance of the EBac subjects – it does not push these restrictive choices unduly. It’s much more about inspiring children to follow their own intellectual and artistic  journeys – wherever that leads. The IB Diploma is a good fit for this, for all its many demands. For many parents, it is the inspiring bringing together of the IB in a British context that provides the pull to the British International School Abu Dhabi – a school that leaves Sixth Form doors and options open by insisting on an EYFS and later IGCSE foundation rather than the IB PYP or MYP alternative.

On the ground, prospective parents are likely to be met by an intoxicating culture of achievement, creativity and ‘buzz’ based on our experience and visits.


British International School Abu Dhabi Examination results

2015 – 2017




International Baccalaureate

Average Diploma Score262832
Average Subject Grade4.04.65.0



Independent feedback: ****

Care of children: *****

Leadership and Vision: *****

Whole and Individual child provision: *****

Facilities (relative to fees): *****

Parental engagement and community:  ****

Happiness: *****

‘Bangs for the buck’: ****

KHDA/ADEC rating: Very Good with Outstanding features full review: Here


NEXT Page: 7th Place.


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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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