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Top 23 Primary Schools in Dubai, Abu Dhabi by Rating and Fees
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Top 23 Primary Schools in Dubai, Abu Dhabi by Rating and Fees

by Lis ONealMarch 7, 2018
With the trend for most schools in the UAE to open “all through” (from Early Years to post-16), parents may feel that their options are limited in terms of finding a smaller environment for their children to start or join a school. Not all parents necessarily want their children to be placed in a larger environment with a wide range of student ages but, rather, would prefer a more intimate option with, potentially, a stronger community feel and greater individual attention.

SchoolsCompared.com has researched the alternatives and we have found the Top 23 Primary schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai that are either purely Primary Schools (Early Years to Year 6/Grade 5) or newer schools that will eventually develop into “all-through”, but currently offer Primary only provision. The latter provide an opportunity for families to be part of the school’s growth and to influence the community that grows with it.

We have rated our Top 23 Primary schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by ratings (from ADEK and the KHDA) and by school fees. We have only included schools that are rated Good or above, since this is the minimum expected level that the regulators in both emirates are seeking.  The newer schools will not yet have been inspected by the regulators, but we know from our direct experience that we can usefully guide parents in considering them.

We have also ordered the schools in each category by starting fees (least costly to highest fees) and included the lowest and highest fee amounts per school, so that parents know what to expect throughout their child’s time at the school.

The vast majority of schools (in line with tradition) are UK curriculum schools.

 

Outstanding Schools
School Location Minimum fee Highest fee Our View
GEMS Royal Dubai School Mirdif AED 37,554 AED 47,351 Outstanding school with dedicated preparatory schooling dedicated to EYFS, Key Stages 1 and 2 education.Choice of four, Tier 1 GEMS slipstreams, including IGCSE, IB and International A Level options – each with guaranteed places for GEMS Royal students. Outstanding performance across the whole spectrum of educational provision.
Jumeirah English Speaking School Al Safa AED 39,030 AED  48,231 Enviable (deserved) reputation with Outstanding SEN provision, Outstanding academic, cultural and extra-curricular attainment at every level, a Holistic, whole child centred learning and ethos and a Warm, happy, inspirational school environment. Outstanding Arabian Ranches slipstream with hybrid UK IGCSE/IB provision balanced with extensive BTEC choices at Sixth Form.
GEMS Jumeirah Primary School Al Safa AED 40,036 AED 50,466 Outstanding achievements in English and mathematics and Science in all phases, the quality of teaching, (rich, challenging and imaginative) curriculum and care for and of children are exceptional, the quality of the students’ personal and social development is exemplary, Visionary leadership with a relentless pursuit for excellence, excellent Head of Inclusion and management of Special Educational Needs and slipstream to Jumeirah College.
Al Muna Academy Madinat Zayed AED 41,580 AED 41,580 Charismatic, inspirational, caring leadership with highest levels of academic attainment and extremely high value-added with excellent SEN and G&T provision. An exceptionally happy school environment with outstanding facilities and high numbers off staff to every child. Guaranteed places at one of the three Aldar Academies for secondary education.
Kings School Dubai Umm Suqeim AED 42,734 AED 65,037 The school recognises its core strengths and focuses its attention on FS and Primary provision only with students’ attainment and progress in English, Mathematics and Science outstanding. Parents are highly supportive, committed, involved in their children’s education and fully integrated within the school. Induction, ongoing teacher training and management are best-in-class.

 

Very Good Schools
Dubai English Speaking School Oud Metha AED 36,210 AED 44,813 Outstanding early years/primary curriculum with exemplary core subject attainment in Mathematics, English and Science and inspirational world class teaching. Significant whole child development based on altruism and global understanding and an extraordinarily inspiring extracurricular programme. A fabulous school atmosphere – happy, creative, welcoming and inspiration-filled at every corner and Secondary slipstream to top Dubai English Speaking College.
Horizon English School Al Safa AED 39,672 AED 53,550* Children’s attainment and progress is outstanding in English, Mathematics and Science at Foundation Stage and in Mathematics at Primary level and students achieve outstanding learning skills, and excel in personal and social development. The quality of the curriculum, support for students and Special Educational Needs [SEN] provision is outstanding.  The School is committed to a significant and recognised role for Governors in improving staffing, facilities and resources and offers an extremely warm, inviting and inspiring atmosphere for its children’s education.  Guaranteed Secondary places are offered at its sister school, Horizon International.
The Pearl Academy Al Dhafrah AED 40,400 AED 40,400 Unique teaching methodology blending the English National Curriculum with a best practice teaching approach drawn from the International Baccalaureate with specialist, highly targeted primary provision. Outstanding attainment in English, Mathematics and Science together with Outstanding student personal development. Excellent natural feeder streams to either Al Bateen or Yasmina schools for secondary provision.
GEMS Wellington Primary School Al Wasl AED 42,508 AED 53,582 Genuinely inclusive schooling with commitment to the individual child providing outstanding child progress.  A mix of facilities and very international mix of students.  Outstanding British Schools Overseas report led by an inspirational Principal whose own children attend the school. Priority is given to children at GEMS Secondary schools.

 

Good Schools
Safa British School Al Quoz AED 27,507 AED 40,788* Students genuinely enjoy school and have very positive attitudes to learning with students’ personal development a particular strength of Safa’s provision.  Genuinely inclusive school offering an Outstanding whole child focus, with children achieving/progressing above expected baseline flight paths. Students with Special Educational Needs are identified quickly. Empowering and inclusive school vision of ‘Every Child an Achiever’ which is now showing significant improvement in school provision. Effective, successful teaching methods enable students to reach above average levels in English, Mathematics and Science by the end of Year 6 whilst a wide range of additional activities contribute to both academic and personal development.  Priority access to Safa Community School for Secondary education.
Victory Heights Primary School Dubai Sports City AED 35,834 AED 48,865 A KHDA Outstanding school in the making with very rapid progress in bedding in FS and Key Stage 1-2 provision to a very high standard. Outstanding child care and focus with an impressive school architecture designed to inspire children’s love of learning and consistent and genuine investment in the Arabic cultural context. Inspirational leadership with outstanding school transparency and information for parents – both for those with children at the school and those considering it for their children. Children will have priority for Secondary school at South Wood School (under the same ownership).
Regent International School The Greens AED 43,787 AED 51,083 With the opening of its sister Sunmarke School, there is now Leadership capacity to start delivering on the potential to be an “Outstanding” KHDA school with the capacity, commitment and potential in abundance to gain that elusive rating. Outstanding Special Educational Needs [SEN] provision cross spectrum including Gifted and Talented children [G&T] and Outstanding English as an Additional Language provision [EAL]. Highly committed, passionate and effective teachers whilst Positive Education drives a whole child focus on the education of individual children and the formative development of soft skills. Priority access for Secondary school at Sunmarke.
Kings School Nad Al Sheba Nad al Sheba AED 50,200 AED 63,700 Excellent breadth and quality of facilities when the school completes its launch with a School leadership deeply committed to the school. Focused preparatory-only schooling for academically gifted children with a dedicated, specialised dyslexia support. Technology focus. The curriculum is significantly different to the standard EYFS/primary UK education approach dominant in the sector elsewhere in the emirates. Kings’ NAS adopts a much more holistic, concept-based learning approach modeled on the RSA Opening Minds structure that is further developed and strengthened in its all-through sister school in Al Barsha, which currently acts as the slipstream for Kings’ NAS pupils from Year 7.
Foremarke School Al Barsha South AED 65,000 AED 85,000* Academically selective with transparent guidance to prospective parents on the best fit between prospective children and the school approach. Dedicated preparatory provision offering targeted highly specialist educational provision until Year 6 with small class sizes offering high levels of differentiation to meet the individual needs of academic children. Stunning campus and architectural design and Outstanding facility provision. Part of the same group as Outstanding rated Repton Dubai offering a potential slipstream for Secondary school.

 

Not yet rated or New Schools
Newlands School Al Warqa’a AED 19,200 AED 26,400 Opened in the Al Warqa area in September 2017 by an established and experienced operator. Conveniently located for families living in both the northern residential areas of Dubai as well as those in Sharjah and beyond, the school promises a “high quality, international education as an affordable option for parents”. Recognised UK curriculum with smaller class sizes compared with more costly schools, a good range of facilities and strong focus on SEND provision. Strong focus on incorporating the culture and background of Dubai aimed at establishing a setting where students will celebrate the Arabic language, Islamic values and Emirati innovation and achievement.
The Alpha School Qusais AED 22,750 AED 31,700 Opened in September 2017 with small school intimacy and warmth and inspirational founding leadership with significant commitment to, and specialism in, technology integration at EYFS level including STEAM curriculum with coding and robotics integrated within the curriculum. The school 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 Alpha School promises 1:1 iPad integration across all phases of the school from launch and a plethora of technology innovations within classrooms.
Oaktree Primary School Al Quoz AED 30,000 AED 42,000 Opened in 2016, with very high quality leadership (with significant GEMS experience), in leading a top 5 emirates’ primary school, with the Founding Principal now taking over a Senior position at Group level. Commitment to inclusive entrance including full-spectrum Special Educational Needs [SEN] provision. Sophisticated curriculum balance between technology and communication extended into the enrichment programme with extended (optional) day to integrate enrichment. Increasing range of native language programmes integrated into the daily curriculum. Secondary school priority as a result of special agreements with independent schools including Safa Community.
Rising School Nad Al Sheba AED 33,575 AED 48,025 New in 2017, planned to be a K-12 school over time, a purely US curriculum school with strong leadership by an extremely experienced US Principal.  The school is starting slowly, open to Grade 5 in its first year with one class per grade to ensure that students have time to settle in. Teachers have been recruited from the US, UK and Jordan with a broad mix of experience – most have between 6 and more than 10 years’ experience. All have teaching degrees and experience of the US curriculum.
Aspen Heights British School Al Bahya AED 35,000 AED 45,000 New in 2017 and operated by an experienced and respected group – the International Schools Partnership – and under the leadership of an exceptional ex-Aldar Academies Principal. Following the UK curriculum, there will be a focus on STEM education as well as Earth sciences and conservation. Future plans include a Turtle Sanctuary/rescue centre and a hydroponics farm where students will be able to cultivate fruit and vegetables.
Dubai Heights Academy Al Barsha South AED 37,570 AED 49,640 Expanding eventually to Year 13, initially opening to year 4 in 2017-18. Outstanding founding Principal with a reputation for putting children first with powerful commitment to inclusion and SEND from day 1. Technology focus and dedicated Foundation, Primary and Secondary school buildings and facilities to nurture childhood and the specific needs of children at different phases.
Dovecote Green Primary School Dubai Investments Park AED 42,000 AED 48,000 Opened in 2014, with first inspection results due this year. Excellent facilities with Outstanding British teacher provision, small class sizes and low teacher:student ratio.  A whole child focus founded on traditional development of advanced numeracy and literacy following the EYFS and UK National curriculum. Strong commitment to the local and school community.  Part of the EKI’s Repton-Foremarke-Dovecote cluster of schools at significantly lower fees than alternative FS-Year 6 Repton Dubai slipstreams, with priority access to Repton for Secondary education.
Ranches Primary School Arabian Ranches AED 45,000 AED 55,000 Opened in 2015. Backed by Emaar (the largest property developer and original owners of the Raffles Schools in Dubai) and another major school group, RPS offers excellent facilities in a small school led by a highly experienced and visionary Principal from one of the leading UK private school groups (Berkhamstead). An obvious investment in school staff and a genuinely inclusive school with commitment to always ensure that whatever Special Educational Need (SEN) is identified in any child is met with whatever resources are required to meet that need.  No guaranteed Secondary route, but the school is seeking to establish close links with other schools in the area including JESS Arabian Ranches and Jebel Ali School.
Manor Primary School Al Safa AED 47,150 AED 51,750 Opened in 2016. A school that to many is simply the re-opening of the English College Primary School under another name, it has attracted an Outstanding new Head with a “new” school bursting with atmosphere on launch. Parents will find small school intimacy, a rarity in the Emirates. This is a genuinely small school – and it will, even after growing again to full capacity, never exceed its maximum role of 440 children. FS streams are capped at 40 children in each year, and in Years 1 – 6 the total year streams are capped at 60 children. The other significant benefit is a much loved, if under-invested in, slipstream to the English College, one of the longest established Secondary Schools in Dubai.  Under new management (UK based LVS Ascot), investment is being made in both schools.

 

* (1) Horizon English School includes Additional fee, but not medical fee of AED 1,200. (2) Safa British School includes Book fee but not medical fee. (3) Foremarke fees reduced to AED 58,500 – AED 76,500 for 2018-19.

About The Author
Lis ONeal

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