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The International School of Choueifat, Dubai, Al Sufouh
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Review

The International School of Choueifat, Dubai, Al Sufouh

by November 22, 2015
Strengths

• A broad range of extra-curricular activities, including gymnastics, ballet, games, drama, music and art, extend students’ experiences in the High School. Links and visits are organized with the local community to broaden knowledge
• Attainment and progress are good in English, Mathematics and Science at High School level
• Students demonstrate outstanding levels of personal responsibility in the High School and this is reflected across all other phases of students’ education where the standard is good or above
• The school’s provision for health and safety is good at all stages of each child’s education
• Assessment systems are good in the Primary, Middle and High schools

Weaknesses

• Teaching, learning and assessment in the Kindergarten is inconsistent and unsatisfactory. Learning is not age-related or holistic. The Kindergarten curriculum is inappropriate to the age of the children and their needs
• Across every part of the school, significant elements of the curriculum are unsatisfactory because they fail to meet the individual needs of students. The rigid programme of study followed by every student does not allow for the curriculum to be modified to meet the varied pace of learning needed for individual students. Allowances for different learning styles are rare. In particular, the school fails able students and those with Special Educational Needs [SEN]
• School governance is ineffective in holding the school’s leaders to account for required improvement in Islamic Education and Arabic as an additional language. The school is not compliant with the Ministry of Education’s regulations for teaching Islamic Education and Arabic
• Some classrooms are significantly overcrowded, restricting learning and development
• Specialist support is not provided for those children who require behavioural, social or emotional support. Many children fall through the net

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

• The Choueifat model of education applies a rigid, one-size-fits-all ‘hot house’ academic educational approach to a non-academically selective student body. This approach is more usually only applied in schools where children are academically selected.
• In mixed-ability schools, particularly where class sizes are large, streaming children by abilities so that curriculum and learning are properly matched to individual pupil need, is current best practice
• Parents should seriously question the suitability of The International School of Choueifat model for Kindergarten age children
• Parents of able children, of children with Special Educational Needs or of children with behavioural or otherwise differently able should also consider alternative schools
• For self-organised children of average ability, able to respond to discipline and text book learning, without Special Educational Needs, the school is more likely to provides good academic outcomes
• The school is large by any standards, some classrooms are overcrowded and a teacher-student ratio of 1:27 in non-streamed classes carries a risk that some children will "fall through the net"

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The Choueifat ‘hot house’ approach to education, with its prescriptive focus almost exclusively on examination performance, divides parents and children in equal measure. Its proponents argue that its conservative teaching methodology rooted in traditional styles of text book based learning and a restrictively academic focus is the only sure fire way to ensure children get to university. Its detractors, of which there are many including the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau,  highlight the dangers of an approach that ignores and reduces the “whole child” to academic performance and text books.

The general consensus is that Choueifat succeeds on its own terms in brute examination performance but at a cost, measured in the degree to which children at the school view their education as a particularly happy or productive experience, or the more limited breadth of non-academic educational provision the Choueifat child will experience.   Whatever else, however, Choueifat does succeed in offering the type of educational focus usually restricted to academically selective schools and, in so doing, opens up the opportunities of an academic education to many children who would otherwise never be given that chance.

It should be noted, as of 2015-16,Choueifat is yet to publish examination performance in detail.

The school is large by any standards, educating just under 4,000 children from Kindergarten to Grade 13 in 123 classes across the year groups. The majority of students learn Arabic as a first language and Arab students comprise by far the largest group. There are significant numbers of Emirati, Indian, Pakistani, US, Iranian, Canadian and UK students.

There are approximately 160 teachers, and class sizes are large with a teacher-student ratio of one teacher to twenty seven students.  Teacher turnover, at 25%, is also on the high side.

Students can sit IGCSE, GCSE, AS & A-levels, AP and SAT tests.

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

Private

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 18766
FS2: 20060
GRADE-1: 21355
GRADE-2 : 21678
GRADE-3 : 22002
GRADE-4 : 23619
GRADE-5 : 24266
GRADE-6 : 25237
GRADE-7 : 27502
GRADE-8 : 28473
GRADE-9 : 30091
GRADE-10: 32356
GRADE-11: 35268
GRADE-12: 35915

Curriculum

SABIS (heavily modified National Curriculum of England)

External Exam Boards

MSACS, NCPSA

Number of A Levels offered

Not published

A Levels offered

Not published

A Level A* to A

Not published

A Level A* to C

Not published

IGCSE A* to C

Not published

IGCSE A* to A

Not published

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

Not published

I/GCSEs offered

Not published

Selective

No

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

4043

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:27

Largest nationality teachers

Irish

Teacher turnover

25%

Year opened

1993

Location

Al Sufouh, Dubai

Student composition

Arab (largest nationality)

Gender

Mixed

Owner

SABIS

Admissions Telephone

(+971) 4 399 9444

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

41.6%

Attainment Pri SEM

50%

Attainment Sec SEM

58.3%

Attainment Post-16 SEM

75%

Progress Nur SEM

41.6%

Progress Pri SEM

50%

Progress Sec SEM

58.3%

Progress Post-16 SEM

75%

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

25%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

25%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

25%

Islamic St. Primary Results

25%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

25%

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

25%

Leadership

50%

Community

50%

Facilities

50%

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