St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Oud Metha
St. Mary’s Catholic High School, updated August 2019, KHDA 2019
Based in Oud Metha in Dubai, St. Mary’s Catholic High School is home to almost 1926 students, girls and boys, aged from 5 to 19. One of the oldest educational institutions in the Emirates, it was founded in 1968, and, uniquely in the UAE, follows a broadly Catholic curriculum for religious studies.
The largest group of students at the school come from India, followed by those from the Philippines, other Asian countries and Pakistan.
Rarely at this fee level, the school follows the English National Curriculum and prepares students for I/GCSEs and A’ Levels. Extracurricular activities and sports provision are, however, both limited and facilities at the school are “sufficient” and a long way from those offered by Dubai’s elite schools (which mostly have fees to match).
The quality of education offered in Mathematics, English and Science is KHDA ranked “Good” and this, in combination with modest fees, relatively manageable scale and reputation, ensures that St. Mary’s Catholic High School has much to recommend it for parents seeking a British education on a budget.
St. Mary’s is oversubscribed and this is being exacerbated by the school’s ongoing attempt to limit, if not reduce numbers, in order to move closer to KHDA guidelines.
Overall impressions by WSA inspectors is of a school that is “open, busy, performing, but a bit chaotic.”
YEAR 1: 8,456
YEAR 2: 8,510
YEAR 3: 9,271
YEAR 4: 9,325
YEAR 5: 9,515
YEAR 6: 9,515
National Curriculum of England
Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Accounting, Psychology
English Language, English Literature, French, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Accounting, Arabic, Religious Studies, History, Art, ICT, Geography Psychology
Oud Metha, Dubai
Indian (largest nationality)
75% (English NA)
75% (English NA)
• St. Mary’s drives its students’ attainment and progress at a KHDA certified “good” standard in most core subjects across all phases
• Stand-out features include students’ outstanding levels of personal responsibility in the secondary phase and impressive depth of understanding of Islamic values and Emirati culture
• Students’ understanding of their community and their environmental responsibilities is outstanding in latter phases
• Relationships between students and staff are positive and purposeful. There is a genuinely caring culture in which students support each other and older students aim to be role models for the younger students
• Teaching is ranked “good” by the KHDA in all phases of the school
• The teaching of the Arabic curriculum is less successful than teaching in Mathematics, Science and English
• The school fails to meet the Ministry of Education curriculum requirements for the teaching of Islamic Education and Arabic as a first language
• Science laboratories are underused and student’s access and use of a learning technologies is limited. Around a third of students do not continue to study Science after Grade 8 at all, wasting resources and opportunity
• Attendance in school is variable, particularly for Islamic Education and Arabic classes
• Support for students with special educational needs is poor in some classes. Only a minority of teachers at St. Mary’s are trained or skilled in planning lessons that can meet the full range of needs of these students
• School premises are adequate and no more. Although there are some specialist rooms, including those for Art and Music, these are an exception
• There is no access to upper floors for those students who have a physical disability
• Access to technology is inadequate across the school and the two libraries have insufficient range and quality of Arabic language books
• There is no post-16 advanced English provision and A Level choice is limited