KHDA Inspection Reports 2017 – Best Newly Inspected Schools
Sister to Safa British School, Safa Community School offers Foundation Stage, Primary and years 7-9 of Secondary which it will continue to expand. Of the 754 students on the school roll, 253 (34%) are Foundation Stage (FS) children and 422 (56%) are primary phase students. The school currently has 10% of its roll in secondary phase. The school has grown rapidly over the last two year with a resulting increase in the number of new staff (36 of the current 66 teachers joined the school in the 2016-17 academic year.
The Inspection report notes that in its first three years of operation, the school has effectively focussed on implementing and revising its vision, enhancing the learning and achievements of its students, and developing its leadership and teaching capacity. The report comments on the vision and drive of the school’s senior leadership team to ensure the care and well-being of all members of the school community, along with their effective day-to-day management of the school.
Students are entered for international benchmark testing to provide greater information about their levels of knowledge, skills and understanding. The analyses of these test results are beginning to be used to better inform teaching, the curriculum and school improvement planning.
High-quality teaching, assessment and curriculum in the Foundation Stage (FS) underpins the very good progress children make in English, mathematics and science. The learning skills developed by children are good in primary and acceptable in the secondary phase.
Areas for improvement were identified as raising attainment and progress in Arabic, improving the consistency of teaching and assessment in the upper phases and ensuring that the quality of all secondary phase provision equals that in the other phases. The opening of the Secondary School building for September 2017 will allow the school to address these latter issues.
With a staff:student ratio of 1:11 and a teacher turnover of 4% (among the lowest in Dubai), Safa Community School is on track to provide an exceptionally supportive and stable environment.
The inspectors noted the very positive attitudes and behaviour of all students, (especially those in the FS) and the inclusive ethos the school, underpinned by the good care and support for all students, including those with special educational needs and disabilities. Personal development of students is outstanding in FS and very good elsewhere.
The school is successful in effectively engaging parents who are considered to be partners. Regular parental engagement sessions are highly informative and help parents and families understand key aspects of the work of the school. Consequently, parents are well informed and are encouraged to contribute to new initiatives, and shape future developments as the school expands.
Safa Community School has always placed emphasis on the “community” aspect of the school. The inspectors’ comments in this context clearly show that there is commitment in deed as well as word, through the partnership approach to parents and the support of students. Focusing on the improvements identified by the inspectors will enable them to offer a complete, high quality experience throughout the school.