Dubai Primary
Now Reading
Horizon English School, Al Safa, Jumeirah
WSA Good School
0
Review

Horizon English School, Al Safa, Jumeirah

by June 20, 2018
Details to consider
2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Very Good (2018)

2016/17 Rating Primary / Elementary

Very Good

2016/17 Rating Secondary / Middle

NA

2016/17 Post 16 / High

NA

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

Very Good (2016)
Very Good (2017)

Type of school

Private

WSA Good School

Yes

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS-1 28,249
FS-2 28,249
YEAR-1 39,564
YEAR-2 39,564
YEAR-3 39,564
YEAR-4 39,564
YEAR-5 39,564
YEAR-6 39,564
YEAR-7: NA
YEAR-8: NA
YEAR-9: NA
YEAR-10: NA
YEAR-11: NA
YEAR-12: NA
YEAR-13: 84602

Curriculum

National Curriculum of England
Notes:
(1) EYFS

Selective

Not selective

Waiting list

Yes

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

926

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:14

Largest nationality teachers

British

Teacher turnover

24%

Year opened

1989

Location

Al Safa, Jumeirah, Dubai

Student composition

British (largest nationality)

Gender

Mixed

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Al Najah Education Limited (Al Masah Capital Limited (alternative investment/private equity fund))
Notes:
(1) Shailesh Dash, Chairman
(2) (Mr) Raza Khan, CEO

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0) 4 3422891

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

80%

Attainment Pri SEM

86.6%

Attainment Sec SEM

NA

Attainment Post-16 SEM

NA

Progress Nur SEM

80%

Progress Pri SEM

86.6%

Progress Sec SEM

NA

Progress Post-16 SEM

NA

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

40%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

60%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

NA

Islamic St. Primary Results

50%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

NA

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

NA

Leadership

100%

Community

100%

Facilities

100%

Quality of teaching

80%

Student personal responsibility

100%

Quality of curriculum

100%

School Governance

100%

SEN Provision

90%

Strengths

• Children’s attainment and progress is outstanding in English, Mathematics and Science at Foundation Stage and in Mathematics at Primary level
• Students achieve outstanding learning skills, and excel in personal and social development
• The quality of the curriculum, support for students and Special Educational Need [SEN] provision is outstanding
• School governance and leadership is outstanding with best-in-class parental partnership and communications
• The School is committed to a significant and recognised role for Governors in improving staffing, facilities and resources
• Horizon offers an extremely warm, inviting and inspiring atmosphere for its children's education

Weaknesses

• Students’ progress in Islamic Education and Arabic language is not as impressive as in other core subjects
• The school is facing stresses from rapid growth of population including 22 new teachers and an increase from four to teen classes at Foundation Stage - at 21% teacher turnover is high
• In Arabic as an additional language, students show slower progress in writing and reading skills
• The quality of the teaching of Arabic as a first language is only acceptable and some students are not sufficiently challenged or inspired
• The school balances the needs of the majority ahead of provision for the gifted child

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

Horizon School's inspection reports make impressive reading, but these come alive and gain context and strength when visiting the school and experiencing its very special learning environment. That Horizon's warmth and inspirational atmosphere has been maintained in the face of very significant expansion says much for the leadership of the school. Concerns that the school has a mismatch in student achievement in Arabic language and Islamic Education when compared with their success in Science, Mathematic and English may well be partly explained by the pressures of school expansion and the particular demands of these subjects for Western children. This said, staff turnover, in the context of new ownership and school growth, may raise a note of (limited) caution in prospective and current parents for what lies ahead in 2015-16.

A-
Our Rating
A
User Rating
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Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
46%
In my Top 5
13%
Shortlisted
17%
A possibility
13%
Pass
0%
No way
13%

Updated June 2018 – Horizon English School KHDA 2018, new facilities, outgoing Headmaster

Horizon English School continues to drive its credentials as one of Dubai’s top-tier (mixed) primary schools, although it has lost its ‘Outstanding’ rating (held for three years in a row), picking up a Very Good rating (with significant Outstanding features) in all three of the KHDA’s round of inspections in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The Horizon English School KHDA Inspection took the school to “within a whisker” of resecuring Outstanding School status.

Horizon is rated ‘outstanding’ by the British Schools Overseas (BSO) inspectorate and is a member of the British Schools Middle East (BSME) network.

Established in 1992 Horizon School caters to 926 students from a variety of backgrounds and 43 nationalities. 43% of students are from the United Kingdom and 12% from Australia.

The school employs 65 full and part-time teachers with between 19 and 26 students per class and a staff: student ratio of 1:14. Significant growth in student and staff numbers were noted in the 2015-16 KHDA report and teacher turnover (at 37%) on the high side. Turnover has now leveled off at 24% – average for the sector. The school role is still growing, around 8% last year.

The changes may be attributable to the purchase of the school by Al Najah Education and the subsequent departure of the school’s Founding Principal, Marion Sinclair.  We have now confirmed that her (very impressive) replacement, David Baldwin, is also set to leave the school this year (2018) to return to the UK.

Horizon English School now delivers an across-the-board Very Good accredited level of education across all phases in Science, English and mathematics. As staff turnover and school expansion settles down this is a school that clearly has Outstanding school status realistically in its short-term trajectory.

Both new and improved facilities are being introduced at the school (2018 – 19) including: 

  • New specialist teaching spaces including a creative zone to stimulate new ideas, innovation and invention, especially among older primary children.
  • Upgraded sporting facilities including (1) a raised playing area with a view of the iconic Dubai skyline; (2) upgrades to the pool’; and, (3)  new fitness facilities.
  • New dining and auditorium facilities
  • Improved parking with additional parking spaces designed to minimise congestion during morning drop off and afternoon pick up timings
  • New classrooms to allow the school to meet demand from its Waiting List

Sport is one of many of the outstanding features of life at the school.

Fees for Horizon English School range from between AED 28,249 to AED to 39,564 per year, although parents considering the school should note that the school comes with relatively steep ‘optional’ costs that parents claim are in practice required. Option costs can add more that AED 10,000 to the basic fees.

Historically, slipstream schools include Dubai College, reviewed here, English College, Dubai, reviewed here, Dubai English Speaking College, reviewed here, and more recently Al Najah Education’s sister school, Horizon International School, reviewed here.

Note: The Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau refer to the school as the “Horizons English School” whilst it is also known as the “Horizon English School.”

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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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