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St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Oud Metha
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Review

St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Oud Metha

by December 9, 2015
Strengths

• 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

Weaknesses

• 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

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

• St Marys offers a “Good” standard of education in the core disciplines of English, Mathematics and Science but, particularly at post-16, student attainment in Islamic Education and Arabic as a first language is unsatisfactory
• School facilities are adequate and stripped back because of finance. This shows itself particularly in St Mary's weak technology provision, but it is also evident in worrying failures to meet some basic access requirements for disabled students and simple curricculum changes required for the school to better respond to those students with Special Educational Needs
• For an English National Curriculum based education, particularly to O' Level standard, however, the school’s scale, warmth and affordability, together with its unique profile in the history of Dubai’s educational provision, continue to make it a considered choice for a number of parents

C-
Our Rating
B+
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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 was of a school that is “open, busy, performing, but a bit chaotic.”

Go to the FULL REVIEW on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
Details to consider
Type of school

Not-for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: NA
FS2: NA
YEAR 1: 5557
YEAR 2: 5557
YEAR 3: 6817
YEAR 4: 6817
YEAR 5: 6817
YEAR 6: 6817
YEAR-7: 7409
YEAR-8: 7409
YEAR-9: 8335
YEAR-10: 9571
YEAR-11: 9571
YEAR-12: 11937
YEAR-13: NA

Curriculum

National Curriculum of England

External Exam Boards

Pearson Edexcel
London

Number of A Levels offered

6 (Variable)

A Levels offered

Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Accounting, Psychology

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

15 (Variable)

I/GCSEs offered

English Language, English Literature, French, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Accounting, Arabic, Religious Studies, History, Art, ICT, Geography Psychology

Selective

Selective

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

1926

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:14

Largest nationality teachers

Indian

Teacher turnover

12%

Year opened

1968

Location

Oud Metha, Dubai

Student composition

Indian (largest nationality)

Gender

Mixed

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Not-for-profit

Admissions Telephone

+971-4-3370252

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

NA

Attainment Pri SEM

75%

Attainment Sec SEM

75%

Attainment Post-16 SEM

75% (English NA)

Progress Nur SEM

NA

Progress Pri SEM

75%

Progress Sec SEM

75%

Progress Post-16 SEM

75% (English NA)

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

25%

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

50%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

NA

Islamic St. Primary Results

75%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

75%

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

25%

Leadership

75%

Community

75%

Facilities

50%

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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Academic
Value
ExtraCurricula
Languages
Sports
Arts & Drama
Teaching
Communications
Warmth
Differentiation
SEND Provision
Scl Community
Scl Facilities