Springdales School Dubai, Al Quoz 4
• Outstanding breadth and quality of provision for the sector
• Phased opening has provided sufficient time for the school to bed-in educational provision securely
• Positive independent whichschooladvisor parental and teacher feedback
• Strong, experienced leadership
• Serious, valuable contribution to the Indian education sector in the Emirates meeting hitherto unmet demand to a very high standard
• Excellent facility provision notable for its meeting the needs of children with Special Educational Needs [SEN] including Giffted and Talented children [G&T]
• Visionary, courageous school ownership with commitment to the Springdale’s success
• A good school rating for a school in launch phases is a significant achievement
• School is operating to 20%+ capacity and meeting its 5000 capacity target will add significant stresses
• KHDA report is mixed, although this should be expected given its infancy and he scale of logistical challenge
Updated February 2017
Whilst Springdales has dropped a rating in the Dubai Schools Inspectorate’s 2016-17 Inpsection, we think this school has promise. Springdales School Dubai [SSD], established in 2012-13, is a full phase FS1 to Year 13 for-profit Indian school offering the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum to a mixed, co-education student body.
SSD represents the first school launched by the Goldline Group, a 23-year old Dubai-headquartered multi-national operating in the re-cycling, construction and logistics sectors. Whilst the school is for-profit, its launch for Dr Navjit Singh Anand, Chairman and Founder of Goldline Group, was motivated in part “to give something back” with a corporately socially responsible move to provide better educational opportunities to the Indian community in Dubai. The school takes its franchised brand from the respected Springdales School in India where Dr. Anand was educated and his aim is a world class facility.
“If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Dr Navjit Singh Anand, Chairman and Founder of Goldline Group
Dr. Anand’s ambition is to follow Springdales with an opening of Ellesmere Junior and K12 Senior Colleges in partnership with the Shropshire based UK school founded in 1884 to be located in the Jumeirah Village Circle.
Springdales itself will eventually be, by any standards, gigantic, educating, at capacity, 5000 children from KG1 to Year 12 on a 10+ acre, 480,000 square foot site in Al Qouz 4. The two 1000 square metre dining halls alone can seat 3,000 students at one time. Its development aligned with a crisis in supply of school places within the sector, in part resulting from the historical closure of villa schools, as well as significant predicted required growth in the sector.
Whilst school fees are around a third higher than the lowest in the value sector, running between 18,000 AED and 30,000 AED, facilities offered are of significantly greater breadth and quality, and fees have been pitched within the very low-end of mid-tier provision. The school does not currently advertise scholarships or bursaries.
The first phase, completed for the school’s opening in 2012, saw completion of the Primary School and Kindergarten blocks, these including dedicated rooms for Gifted and Talented [G&T] and Special Educational Needs [SEN] child provision; science laboratory; multi-purpose FS-Primary hall; multiple outdoor areas; indoor activity centre; gym; and splash pool.
The school phased its opening and development with the completion of the second of its three-stage building programme in 2014-15. The completion of the second stage of building saw completion of a 170M long secondary facility, also including sports facilities, dining halls, 45 further classrooms and laboratories for science, mathematics, robotics and photography.
The school will operate to full phases Year 12 provision by the fifth year of its operation in 2017-18. This will be aligned with the completion of its final smaller stage 3 building programme, providing further classrooms, laboratories and large auditorium. This capacity will enable Springdales to push capacity from 3,500 to 5,000 students.
Whilst teaching will be in English, the owners have set up the school to enable children to “reconnect with the culture and values that forms the backbone of every Indian’s existence.”
The founding Head, Darren Gale, is British. Qualifying in 1999, he started his career as a Modern Languages Teacher in a Co-ed school in Wiltshire, England. In 2006, Gale was nominated for the National Teachers’ awards. He joined GEMS Jumeirah College as the Director of Learning and Teaching in 2006. In 2009, following his certification of the NPQH, from the National College of School Leaders, Gale joined Aldar Academies, as the Head of Secondary, later promoted to Principal, at Al Yasmina where the school was rated Band A and further accredited by the BSME as ‘well above the standard’ in all performance standards of its inspection. .
Springdales’ first inspection by the KHDA Dubai Inspectorate of Schools in December 2015 saw the school running at around 20% of its eventual capacity with provision to Year 8 and a body of 1,195 students.
The school was one of the first schools inspected under new KHDA methodology which replaced existing 4-point scoring (Outstanding, Good, Acceptable and Unsatisfactory) with a more sophisticated 6 level structure in which schools are graded Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Acceptable, Weak or Very Weak.
Springdales School Dubai achieved a “Good” rating in its first year which, in this case, means the school was performing at the level the KHDA believes all successful schools should be meeting in Dubai This was a genuine achievement for a relatively new school not yet open to all phases. Although this year (February 2017) Springdales has dropped a grade, we do not believe that this is a school that will not swiftly recover. It is growing at a very fast rate – and, all things being equal, managing the transition well. In fact, across every area, we feel that this is a school that has the potential to offer a very good education for its children. The owners must simply ‘stay the course’ and continue to invest.
Inspectors praised school premises, particularly in their meeting the needs of children with Special Educational Needs [SEN]; the consistently “strong leadership” of the school Principal (“a driving force in meeting the changing needs of the new school”); and extremely supportive school governance.
Managing a large school is logistically complex and the school has introduced a British independent’s style house system, each with its own motto, to build cohesion, school identity as well as encourage competition: Peace House (“Victory lies in peace); Unity House (“Union is strength”); Forward House (“Excelsior”); Freedom House (“Freedom is our birth right”). Houses are assigned on each child entering the school.
Further facilities include a semi-Olympic sized swimming pool; fully wi-fi enabled campus; landmark library; purpose built art, dance and music studios for the performing arts; 1500 capacity grand theatre, clinic, prayer room and multi-level canteeens, these spread across the site and its total 4-floor buildings. The pool and multi-purpose halls in the Western wing have been built to double height operating over two floors.
Extra-curricular provision includes classical Indian dance; western dance including ballet; vocal music and choir; instrumental music; painting; dramatics and theatre; debating; public speaking as well as a broad range of sporting clubs including those for cricket; aerobics; yoga; football; basketball; volleyball; lawn tennis; badminton and swimming. Language clubs are provided in French, German, Spanish and Arabic.
Significant investment has been placed in facilities beyond simple bricks and mortar. Every classroom, for example, is fully equipped with wi-fi access, a sound system, visualiser and LCD projector. Lessons are backed by a comprehensive on-line e-learning system accessible by students in-school and from home. All books are all available in their digital counterparts. Parents have full access to online tracking of the children’s performance. Every child is assigned their own dedicated IT device and locker room on entrance to the school.
Independent feedback to schoolscompared, and our sister site whichschooladvisor.com, remains positive with teachers described as “fantastic” and facilities, “outstanding.” Whilst it is too early to determine the ultimate success of the school, that parental feedback, the success thus far in developing a school of such logistical complexity, together with the school’s commitment to a phased opening over five years to properly bed-in school culture and education provision, suggest a promising future. This is a school definitely worth visiting.
Springdales School Dubai, for a first investment in education by the Goldline Group, represents an outstanding achievement by any standards.Go to the FULL REVIEW on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
Private, for profit
Under review 2017-18
YEAR 1: 20,000
YEAR 2: 20,000
YEAR 3: 23,000
YEAR 4: 23,000
YEAR 5: 23,000
YEAR 6: 25,000
YEAR 7: 25,000
YEAR 8: 25,000
YEAR 9: 28,000
YEAR 10: 28,000
YEAR 11: 28,000
YEAR 12: 30,000
YEAR 13: 30,000
English National Curriculum EYFS
All India Secondary Examination (AISE)
Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi
Not published (WSA projection MEDIUM)
Total Capacity: 5000 (Phase 3)
1,445 KG1 - Year 9 (2016-17)
(27 Teaching assistants)
Al Quoz 4, Dubai
Indian (largest nationality)
Special Educational Needs [SEN]: 30
Yes (Capacity 3000)
+971 (0) 4 338 2123