Primary
Now Reading
The Pearl Primary School, Al Dhafrah
WSA Good School
0
Review

The Pearl Primary School, Al Dhafrah

by January 18, 2016
Strengths

• Unique teaching methodology blending the English National Curriculum with a best practice teaching approach drawn from the International Baccalaureate
• Scale
• Specialist, highly targeted primary provision
• Excellent natural feeder streams to either Al Bateen or Yasmina schools for secondary provision
• Outstanding attainment in English, Mathematics and Science
• Value added score of 103.8 – top 5% of English schools
• Outstanding student personal development

Weaknesses

• Lacks the bells and whistles of elite schools and facilities look comparatively “tired” in places
• Some parents will prefer continuity of education to 18 without changing schools
• Attainment in Arabic subjects does not meet the highest standards of education achievement in other core subjects. Non-native Arabic speakers remain hesitant in speaking Arabic spontaneously
• An increase in Arabic teaching assistants, currently limited in number, to support learning would markedly improve attainment

Rating
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Differentiation
A+
A+
Opportunities

• A unique, outstanding school offering a specialized primary school education
• A powerful draw for parents anticipating IB based secondary provision
• A choice of natural, outstanding secondary feeder schools
• Outstanding school leadership has achieved significant success in improving Arabic core subject teaching – a stumbling block across English National Curriculum schools
• Very highly recommended

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Highly regarded, The Pearl Primary School is a recognized option for parents seeking a smaller-scale, stand-alone Primary school specializing in the education of children between KG1 and Grade 6 (Ages 5 – 11) whilst also offering a natural feeder stream into secondary education, in this case to either of the outstanding Al Bateen and Al Yasmina secondary’s, both Aldar Academy sister schools.

A specialist primary, Pearl differentiates itself in its unique (and effective) teaching methodology which, whilst following the English National Curriculum in subject content, adopts an enquiry-based format much more analogous to the IB programme; all topics are subject-integrated and question based.

To this end, staffing is organised around curriculum teams in which different subject specialists work together to create the programmes of study rather than the traditional subject focused approach in which teachers operate very much in a vacuum, this much more typical of English National Curriculum teaching. The result, arguably, is children much better able to explore and understand their subjects and their linkages, a much more inspirational educational experience – and certainly a school that prepares children better for the International Baccalaureate.

The Pearl currently educates just 670 students. British and Emirati students make up around 50% of the student body which comprises an otherwise inspiring draw from more than 47 nationalities.

The school is ranked A2 by Abu Dhabi’s Education Council (ADEC), the second highest rating by the authority and broadly analogous to a mid-tier Outstanding rating in Dubai’s equivalent inspections.

Competing with The British School and Brighton College, the school distinguishes itself in its scale, intimacy and Aldar Academy links.

Fees for the year are top end but comparable with other leading schools in the capital and arguably good value for targeted, specialist primary provision. The latter is evidenced through an outstanding library, also housing host to The Pearl’s accelerated reading programme; a specialist music programme with 5 dedicated Music Rooms providing individual lessons, performance and practice spaces across the spectrum of Piano, Trumpet, Violin and Guitar lessons; a large multi-sports and performance hall playing host to extensive extra-curricular activities both before and after school; an Innovation Lab providing specialist IT provision as well as a base for The Pearl’s Gifted and Talented (G&T) programmes; and separate 25 metre and learner swimming pools.

Pearl Primary is an inclusive school targeted to the “whole child” with resources focused on the individual needs of students. The school is able to support children with a range of additional needs from basic EAL to moderate learning difficulties including Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The Pearl Primary School achieved WhichSchoolAdvisor.com’s Good School status in 2016-17, its fourth consecutive award.

Go to the FULL REVIEW on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
Details to consider
Type of school

Private for-profit

WSA Good School

Yes

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 40,400
FS2: 40,400
YEAR 1: 40,400
YEAR 2: 40,400
YEAR 3: 40,400
YEAR 4: 40,400
YEAR 5: 40,400
YEAR 6: 40,400
YEAR 7: NA
YEAR 8: NA
YEAR 9: NA
YEAR 10: NA
YEAR 11: NA
YEAR 12: NA
YEAR 13: NA

Curriculum

National Curriculum of England

Selective

No

Value Added

103.8 (Top 5% of English schools)

Number of Students

670

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:22.5

Largest nationality teachers

British

Teacher turnover

Not published

Year opened

2007

Location

Al Dhafrah, Abu Dhabi

Student composition

670 students
360 boys
310 girls
47 nationalities
27% Emirati
20% British
7% Canadian
6% Jordanian
5% Egyptian
5% Australian
63% Muslim
43% Arab
63% English as an additional language (EAL)
6% Special Educational Needs (SEN) comprising:
* moderate learning difficulties
* one student on the autistic spectrum
23% Gifted and Talented (G&T)

Gender

Mixed co-educational

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Aldar Academies

Admissions Telephone

00971 2 6418887

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

100%

Attainment Pri SEM

100%

Attainment Sec SEM

NA

Attainment Post-16 SEM

NA

Progress Nur SEM

100%

Progress Pri SEM

100%

Progress Sec SEM

NA

Progress Post-16 SEM

NA

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

75%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

75%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

NA

Islamic St. Primary Results

100%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

NA

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

NA

Leadership

100%

Community

100%

Facilities

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

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