The Pearl Primary School, Al Dhafrah
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
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YEAR 5: 40,400
YEAR 6: 40,400
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National Curriculum of England
103.8 (Top 5% of English schools)
Al Dhafrah, Abu Dhabi
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)
00971 2 6418887
• Unique teaching methodology blending the English National Curriculum with a best practice teaching approach drawn from the International Baccalaureate
• 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
• 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