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The Arcadia Preparatory School, Jumeirah Village Triangle
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Review

The Arcadia Preparatory School, Jumeirah Village Triangle

by January 31, 2016
Strengths

• Small class sizes with an exceptionally low student to teacher ratio of provision across the school
• Small school intimacy and ethos with clear separation from its secondary Arcadia school slipstream
• Founded by a pioneer in UAE education and Chairman of the Indian High School, one of the finest schools in the UAE
• Beautiful school design by GAJ with fabulous roof play areas and gardens and exceptional light flows across the school
• Dubai first, world class bursary provision for exceptional children who would not otherwise be able to afford a place
• Outstanding Special Educational Needs [SEN[, English as an Additional Language, Arabic as an Additional Language [AAL] and Gifted and Talented [G&T] child provision fully inclusive within fees
• Staggered school opening designed to concentrate on giving all children joining the school a world class educational experience from Day 1
• Opportunity for parents and children to play a founding role within a new school with a defining influence in its development as it evolves
• The commitment of a highly respected UAE company at the highest level of leadership to support the school and ensure its success for its students, parents, teachers and the Emirate
• Extremely warm and nurturing school with exceptional focus on whole child development
• Exceptional levels of on-going investment in teachers, their welfare and on-going professional development with a model based on teachers being partners rather than employees in the delivery of a world class, happy education for children

Weaknesses

• All new schools carry risk
• Inevitable teething pains

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

• Very high potential

A
Our Rating
B+
User Rating
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Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
48%
In my Top 5
16%
Shortlisted
20%
A possibility
8%
Pass
0%
No way
8%

Updated December 2016

Today, at 75, Valrani says he wants to focus on his passion. And that passion is education. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com

More: Interview with Mohan Valrani, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, January 2016

The Arcadia Preparatory School could be one of the finest preparatory schools in Dubai, should it deliver on its very ambitious goals, each personally underwritten by the school’s widely respected founder, Mohan Valrani. It aims to be:

  • The best in class provider of primary and secondary school education in Dubai;
  • To meet the needs of teaching staff employed by the group to ensure it can recruit and retain the best teaching staff in the sector;
  • To employ the latest technology available anywhere in the world in any schools to ensure that the quality of education children receive aligns with the best available;
  • To ensure that all its schools have facilities that are of “outstanding merit”;
  • To ensure that relationships with parents are both “personal and compassionate.”

Many schools will have ambitions similar to these of course, it is the delivery that is difficult. In the case of Arcadia the personal underwriting of these ambitions by its owner should carry significant weight for prospective parents however.

Mohan Valrani is the founding partner, with Abdulla Al Shirawi, of the Al Shirawi Group/Oasis Investment, one of the largest privately owned Industrial Conglomerates in Dubai. The Al Shirawi Group currently employs more than 8,500 employees working across 42 group companies. Tellingly the Group’s launch into Dubai’s education sector takes pride of place on Al Shirawi’s corporate web site.

Mr Valrani’s educational expertise comes from his work as a Founder Governor of the not-for-profit Indian High School in Dubai, an Outstanding school which for whichschooladvisor sets the benchmark for Indian secondary school provision across the UAE.

His extensive philanthropy includes significant investment in helping differently-abled children, particularly over more than 20 years’ personal investment in the Rashid Paediatric Centre in the Emirate.

The extensive focus on Special Educational Needs provision on Arcadia’s web site is indicative of the level of investment the Group is placing in the school. Arcadia is emphatic that the school is committed to “the principle of inclusion and providing effective learning opportunities for all pupils” including Special Educational Needs [SEN], those children with English as an Additional Language [EAL], children identified as Gifted and Talented [G&T] and children developing Arabic as an Additional Language.

The Arcadia curriculum closely follows the English National Curriculum from Foundation Stage 1 (Nursery) to Year 6.

Arcadia’s Founding Principal, Graham Beale, is the former Head of the highly respected Al Khor International School in Qatar, a position Mr Beale held for 8 years immediately prior to his joining Arcadia. Al Khor offers a dual-stream CBSE/English National Curriculum syllabus to more than 4000 students between Nursery and Grade 13. Mr Beale has strong academics, securing a Master of Science from Leicester University in Human Resource Management following his B.Ed. training at Massey.

Mr Beale is supported by a strong leadership team including a spectrum of senior educationalists, management consultants, human resource and business development experts, some senior roles transferring from leadership at Al Shirawi to ensure and drive the success of Arcadia.

The school offer classes from FS1 through Year 4 on opening, with provision for older students Years 5 and 6 from 2017/18. Each year group has four classes, with a maximum of 25 pupils per class. English Additional Language (EAL) support is included within the fees and will not be charged separately. Specific EAL support classes extends to one EAL class in each year group throughout the school. Classes will be small with a maximum of 10 pupils per class. A maximum of 25 students per standard class is guaranteed with an average ratio of 1:10 staff to pupils throughout the school.

School facilities include an advanced ICT Suite; Art Rooms; Music facilities; Science Laboratories; multi-purpose hall with facilities to showcase theatre productions to a London West End standard; (beautiful) 20M 365-day heated and cooled swimming/learners pool; Art House; Language Rooms; FS Play Centre; Break-out areas; Media rooms; extensive inter-class IT provision include IPADS and a fabulous Rooftop play area and gardens.

Extra and co-curricular activities are extensive, but whichschooladvisor notes particularly impressive languages provision including Russian, German, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish schools in addition to core English, Arabic and French programmes within the core curriculum.

The school will be the first in the UAE to offer bursaries. “We will reward merit…rewarding excellence means if there is a child who cannot come in because of financial reasons, he will definitely be given a scholarship, if there is a student who is excellent he will be given the red carpet in our school.” Interview, Valrani, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com.

The Arcadia Preparatory School opens on the 26th August and the school is accepting applications for entry to the school between FS1 and Year 4.

Prospective parents should note that the school is offering founding parents and students an extremely generous 30% fee remission for the duration that their child is at the school, ensuring that parents do not have to worry about steep rises in fees in future years. We have calculated the founding fees in the table below. Fees are also fully inclusive of 4 sets of uniforms and text books, with no additional charges for English as an Additional Language (EAL) provision or Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs).

As a school in launch, scoring is predictive, based on independent whichschooladvisor data, schoolscompared and whichschooladvisor inspections, published school information, sector benchmarking against facility, curriculum and teaching provision and feedback from stakeholders. 

Go to the NEWS STORY on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Go to the SITE VISIT on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Go to the OFFICIAL Q&A on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Go to SCHOLARSHIPS on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
Details to consider
Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 60,000* [Founders 30% off discount, available for entire tenure, reduces fees to 42,000]
FS2: 69,000* [Founders 30% off discount, available for entire tenure, reduces fees to 42,000]
YEAR 1: 69,000* [Founders 30% off discount, available for entire tenure, reduces fees to 48,300]
YEAR 2: 69,000* [Founders 30% off discount, available for entire tenure, reduces fees to 48,300]
YEAR 3: 69,000* [Founders 30% off discount, available for entire tenure, reduces fees to 48,300]
YEAR 4: 69,000* [Founders 30% off discount, available for entire tenure, reduces fees to 48,300]
YEAR 5: 69,000* (from 2017-18)
YEAR 6: 69,000* (from 2018-19)
YEAR 7: Slipstream to The Arcadia Senior School from 2019 -20
YEAR 8: Slipstream to The Arcadia Senior School
YEAR 9: Slipstream to The Arcadia Senior School
YEAR 10: Slipstream to The Arcadia Senior School
YEAR 11: Slipstream to The Arcadia Senior School
YEAR 12: Slipstream to The Arcadia Senior School
YEAR 13: Slipstream to The Arcadia Senior School
*Fees include uniform (two sets each for Summer and Winter), all text books, stationery and EAL provsion

Curriculum

(New) National Curriculum for England
(EYFS)

External Exam Boards

Cambridge
EDEXCEL

Selective

No

Waiting list

Yes

Value Added

Not published (whichschooladvisor rated High)

Number of Students

800
(Maximum 100 students per year group)

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:10
Maximum of 24 pupils in our classes

Largest nationality teachers

British

Teacher turnover

Not published (whichschooladvisor rated <5%)

Year opened

New school 2016

Location

Jumeirah Village Triangle, Dubai

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Oasis Investment
Al Shirawi Group
Arcadia Eduplan

Admissions Telephone

+971 4 551 4264

Web Address
Attainment Sec SEM

NA

Attainment Post-16 SEM

NA

Progress Sec SEM

NA

Progress Post-16 SEM

NA

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

NA

Islamic St. Secondary Results

NA

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

NA

Leadership

100%

Quality of curriculum

100%

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Acting Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and the International Editor of WhichSchoolAdvisor.com. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com
2 Comments
  • RB
    November 15, 2016 at 11:55 am
    Strengths

    *Fantastic community school
    *Teachers are amazing & school is heavily focused on ongoing staff development
    *School is working hard to be a leader in education in the UAE, with it's adoption of innovative teaching methods (such as Talk for Writing)
    *Outstanding facilities
    *Very good at communicating with parents and welcoming parent involvement in the school
    *Excellent discount: just register your child in the founding year (2016-17), doesn't matter what year they will start school.
    *Arabic integrated into curriculum from FS.
    *Extra curricular activities are included in school fees.
    *Uniforms are included in school fees

    Weaknesses

    New school so bound to be some issues, but so far we have been delighted with the school. Anytime issues arise the Principal and Head of Infants have been very approachable.

    Can’t recommend the school highly enough. Outstanding quality of education with community feel to the school.

  • Talha
    February 1, 2017 at 8:07 pm
    Strengths

    The teachers!
    The Founding partner's vision.
    The entrepreneurial spirit of the school.
    Our son in Year 1 is already learning coding! At this age! Brilliant support from teachers for gifted children as well as children with learning challenges!
    I cannot tell you how much our child has changed since he joined this school! Brilliant! Wouldn't change it for the world!

    Weaknesses

    New school so still a few communication based concerns but that's it.

    Rating
    ValueA+
    ExtraCurriculaA+
    LanguagesA+
    SportsA+
    Arts & DramaA+
    TeachingA+
    CommunicationsA+
    WarmthA+
    DifferentiationA+
    SEND ProvisionA+
    Scl CommunityA+
    Scl FacilitiesA+

    Great school!

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