Primary
Now Reading
Kings’ Dubai, Umm Suqeim
Good for Sport
1
Review

Kings’ Dubai, Umm Suqeim

by November 10, 2015
Strengths

• Students’ attainment and progress in English, Mathematics and Science is 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
• The school recognises its core strengths and focusses its attention on FS and Primary provision only
• KHDA “Outstanding School” 2008 – 2017
• WSA Good School recommended 2013 – 2017
• Scholarship programme

Weaknesses

• Hugely over-subscribed
• Arabic as a first language provision reaches only an acceptable standard - this falling below to good standard expected of all Dubai schools
• Arabic as a second language provision secures only an acceptable level of attainment, again this falling below the minimum standard expected of all Dubai schools
• SEND provision, whilst overall outstanding, has some weaknesses in the areas of mathematics and overall in both aligning IEPs with the individual child and providing support for parental engagement with children at home

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

At its best, Kings’ sets the benchmark for primary and FS English National Curriculum based education in Dubai. We think reverting to a clear focus on preparatory stage education has allowed the school to re-focus on its core strengths and we expect on-going investment in Arabic education, in particular, to reap rewards in 2016-17. Whilst some question the costs of education, the results, and clear investment priority in small classes, speak for themselves. The full picture will emerge in 2019 as its secondary slipstream, Kings' Al Barsha, completes its first year of A Levels. Its dedicated Sixth Form offer is an expected stand-out feature of the new school. Watch this space.

A
Our Rating
A-
User Rating
You have rated this
Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
28%
In my Top 5
36%
Shortlisted
16%
A possibility
20%
Pass
0%
No way
4%

Updated June 2017 – 2017 KHDA Inspection and schoolscompared team visit

“Our children, teachers and parents are what makes our school special.

I feel very privileged to lead such a wonderful school, along with our dedicated team of learning and teaching professionals, so that we can continue to develop and inspire our young learners who will of course be our leaders of tomorrow.

We often say that Kings’ does things differently and to me that has much to do with the emotionally intelligent way in which we choose to operate.

Emotional Intelligence sits very much at the heart of what we do.

Bede Higgins, Principal, Kings’ Dubai 

Prospective parents should read the following with reviews of Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba, here, and Kings’ School Al Barsha, here.

Kings’ School Dubai (known as Kings’ Dubai) is the only school in Dubai to have achieved an “Outstanding” ranking from the KHDA for the nine consecutive years since Dubai’s regulator inspections were introduced. Kings’ also achieved “Outstanding” in every single category of the BSO (British Schools Overseas) inspection in October 2014.

Kings’ follows the English National Curriculum and aims to “replicate the high standards of achievement at the best Preparatory and State (Primary) Schools in England.”

The primary school, which follows the English National Curriculum, was founded in 2004 by its current owner, Tayeb Al Baker, Chairman, ANC Holdings LLC to offer “the very best of British education, whilst offering a curriculum that is relevant to young men and women living and growing in Dubai.”

Starting with just 64 pupils, today Kings’ Dubai has grown to educate 914 students, with 55% of the student body drawn from the United Kingdom. There are currently six FS1 classes, each with 20 students, and five FS2 classes each with 24 students (May 2017).

Facilities are pretty much perfect for this age group. We really like the current building of external changing rooms being added to the pool area, as well as astroturf pitches within the existing field area. Both are indicative of the continued investment at the school – and as importantly an indication that Kings’ Dubia, despite its (well deserved) reputation, is not resting on its laurels. Another feature we like, which really needs a visit to the school to appreciate, is the thoughtful and inspirational connection areas between the school’s two buildings which house a Parent Cafe, itself spilling outside during the cooler months into a shaded area next to the animal enclosures. These are unique in Dubai and just lovely – housing small animals loaned to the school by a supportive former parent whose child attended the school between 2006 and 2014. Again this is so telling of the relationships developed by the school with families and the affection in which it is held by former as well as current pupils. Iguanas and Tortoises have a permanent home outside the school while the weather allows.

The broader curriculum is fabulous, and we like to avoid hyperbole. Yes, it’s that good:

Kings’ School Dubai is ten times over-subscribed, with all 940 places taken. The school has no capacity for expansion. With just 120 places available each year at FS1, prospective parents are in for a struggle. One option for prospective parents is to look to th.e alternative Kings’ schools in Al Barsha and Nad Al Sheba, each modeled with great care on the founding school and in no small part established by the owners to respond to the disappointment of parents faced with the poor odds of securing a place at one of Dubai’s most outstanding schools.

The average staff to student ratio of between 1:10 (FS) and 1:12 (PR) is best in class and strengthened by a staff turnover rate of 15%

This, together with its unique model of education that balances the academic demands on children with a fundamental emphasis on ensuring each child’s happiness, is arguably the foundation of the Kings’s “magic” that places the school in such high regard by parents, teachers – and students, in whichschooladvisor independent feedback.

 

In 2014-15 Kings’ Dubai reverted to offering Foundation and Primary phases of education only, with secondary education provision now relocated to the new Kings’ School in Al Barsha.

We, and our sister site whichschooladvisor.com have long campaigned for the provision of bursaries and scholarships.

In this context, Kings’ schools is to be applauded. The Kings’ schools offers dedicated scholarship programmes offering selected children a 50 percent discount on school fees. 

The aim is squarely to be able to give outstanding children whose parents would not be able to afford the tuition fees the opportunity to join one of the Kings’ schools. For more information see: here.

New school Principal, Bede Higgins, is a joint honours mathematician and psychology graduate – with a passion for sport. The importance he places on sport was cemented in his formal teaching qualification and underscored by his teaching at the UK’s respected Thomas’s London Day School. After relocating to Dubai, Bede was appointed Head of Physical Education at Jumeirah Primary School. This was followed by Deputy leadership positions at Dubai English Speaking School and Kings’ School Dubai. His stand-out leadership on Curriculum and Assessment since 2014 across Kings’ schools made him the natural appointment for Principal. Mr Higgins has a Master’s degree in Leadership and Management. Feedback to our team has been very strong and the common theme has been his appreciable commitment to children and getting the detail right. He is known for being hands-on, kind, approachable and visible in school life.

Stand-out features of the school in 2017 include:

  • Outstanding core Science, English and Mathematics Provision which meets the potential of every child and over-achieves against predicted flight paths
  • Outstanding personal whole-child development
  • Outstanding, inspirational leadership and management
  • Exemplary teaching faculty and investment
  • Outstanding student sensitivity and empathy to others
  • Outstanding knowledge by teachers of each and every one of their students individually from their academic and extra-curricular strengths and weaknesses to their personalities, passions and inspirations.

Whilst, as an Outstanding School, Kings was not inspected this year, parents should be aware of weaknesses identified by the KHDA at the last inspection. These fall into the areas of Arabic and Special Educational Needs provision. The school has asked us to quote them exactly:

  • “In Arabic as a first language, most student performed at the expected level as measured against curriculum standards.However, their ability to write creatively and at length for different purposes was limited.”
  • “Teachers of Arabic as a first language did not always have a strong enough focus on language skill development.”
  • “In Arabic as an additional language, most students’ attained standards in line with curriculum expectations.Internal data indicated that better results were achieved by students in lower year groups. There was an absence of external benchmarks. Students could read adequately. However, their comprehension and writing skills were underdeveloped. Students made good progress in their vocabulary acquisition but many struggled when speaking. They could respond well to instructions and demonstrated adequate listening skills. Students made better than expected progress in relation to their starting points. However, the most able students were not routinely challenged in lessons and their progress was lower than expected.”
  • “In Arabic as an additional language, Teachers’ planning was of an acceptable standard. Lesson objectives did not always provide a balanced approach to developing students’ linguistic skills. Students and teacher interactions were good. A range of activities and challenges were provided in lessons but these did not always meet the needs of all students, particularly the most able.”
  • “Leaders and staff have brought about significant improvements to the provision for SEND, but this had not yet fully impacted on students’ progress.”
  • “The school had very helpfully invited parents into school to find out more about the support their child was given. More specific advice had not yet been developed to help parents further in supporting their child at home.”
  • “In mathematics, the small cohort of students with SEND made less progress than other groups of students.”
  • “The school needs to improve the progress of students with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) by matching the targets in individual education programmes (IEPs) precisely to the specific needs of each student;  mapping students’ IEP targets more closely in lesson planning; and, monitoring more effectively the implementation of IEPs and their impact.”
  • “Leaders and staff have brought about significant improvements to the provision for SEND, but this had not yet fully impacted on students’ progress.”

Kings’ School Dubai achieved the whichschooladvisor.com good school award in 2013-14, 2014-5, 2015-16, 2016-17 – and this year for 2017-18.

Highly recommended.

Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers from our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.

Request School Information

 

Details to consider
2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Outstanding

2016/17 Rating Primary / Elementary

Outstanding

2016/17 Rating Secondary / Middle

Slipstream to Kings' Al Barsha

2016/17 Post 16 / High

Slipstream to Kings' Al Barsha

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

Outstanding

Type of school

Private, for-profit

WSA Good School

Yes

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 40,777 (42,734)
FS2: 40,777 (42,734)
YEAR-1: 51,419 (53,887)
YEAR-2: 51,419 (53,887)
YEAR-3: 51,419 (53,887)
YEAR-4: 51,419 (53,887)
YEAR-5: 62,058 (65,037)
YEAR-6: 62,058 (65,037)
( ) = 2017-18 fee structure
YEAR-7: 61525
YEAR-8: 61525

Curriculum

UK, UK NC, EYFS

Number of A Levels offered

See Kings' Al Barsha slipstream

A Levels offered

See Kings' Al Barsha slipstream

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

See Kings' Al Barsha slipstream

I/GCSEs offered

See Kings' Al Barsha slipstream

Selective

No

Waiting list

Yes

Value Added

Not Published

Number of Students

914

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:13 capped
FS: 1:10
PR: 1:12

Largest nationality teachers

British

Teacher turnover

15%

Year opened

2004

Location

Al Sufouh, Dubai

Student composition

UK (largest nationality)
Notes:
(1) Pre-KG: 101
(2) Emirati: 29
(3) Special Educational Needs (SEN): 21

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Kings' Holdings
(A partnership between ANC Holdings LLC and Flag Holding LLC)
Tayeb Al Baker, Chairman, ANC Holdings LLC; Faris Al Baker, Vice Chairman, ANC Holdings LLC; Ahmed Ali Al Sarkal , Managing Partner, Flag Holding

Admissions Telephone

+971 4 348 3939

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

100%

Attainment Pri SEM

100%

Attainment Sec SEM

NA - See Kings' Al Barsha slipstream

Attainment Post-16 SEM

NA - See Kings' Al Barsha slipstream

Progress Nur SEM

100%

Progress Pri SEM

100%

Progress Sec SEM

NA - See Kings' Al Barsha slipstream

Progress Post-16 SEM

NA - See Kings' Al Barsha slipstream

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

40%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

NA

Islamic St. Primary Results

60%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

NA

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

NA

Leadership

100%

Community

100%

Facilities

100%

Quality of teaching

100%

Student personal responsibility

100%

Quality of curriculum

100%

School Governance

100%

SEN Provision

100%

About The Author
Sim Hermsone
Sim is a researcher and writer for SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com.

Leave a Response

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