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UAE Premium Schools

Premium schools in this context are those with school fees of between 55,000 AED and 90,000 AED.

A premium school is not necessarily premium in any other way - facilities, teaching, or attainment - although there should be a strong correlation.

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December 24, 2016

British Columbia Canadian School, Dubai Investments Park

“BCCS Dubai in DIP Dubai Investments Park will be our company’s flagship school. Our company has been in the education business for over a decade, currently operating 2 schools in Egypt, and launching 2 more schools in 2018 in New Cairo.” Karim Mostafa, Vice Chairman of British Columbia Canadian School Dubai

An ideal candidate for the British Columbia Canadian School is a student who values education for its true essence and not a desire to memorise facts and figures for an exit exam. BCCS students will include the full spectrum of abilities and will be students who will develop into life-long learners that value the process of learning as well as the mark that comes at [...]

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September 21, 2016

Oaktree Primary School, Al Quoz

Updated November 2016

““Oaktree Primary is determined to provide an excellent education which is based on positivity and happiness. We are looking to combine the familiarity and family-focussed nature of an English primary school with the internationalism of the community here in Dubai. We believe that the happy child is the child that will learn best, and so we are focussed on being positive and welcoming at all times, both to our children and to their parents.” Christopher McDermott, Founding Head, Oaktree Primary School.

Al Quoz based Oaktree Primary School, a new British FS to Year 6 Primary, opened in September 2016 and aims to swiftly establish itself as [...]

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September 18, 2016

The Children’s Garden, Dubai Investments Park, Jumeirah 2, Al Barsha 2

‘Childhood should be a journey, not a race’ Mission Statement. Taaleem's The Children's Garden. Dubai.

Taaleem’s The Children’s Garden [TCG] offers for its children both a childhood and education.  There are three pre-schools. The first opened in the Green Community in 2005, this followed by the Jumeirah 2 pre-school in 2009. The latest, The Children’s Garden, opened in Al Barsha 2 in 2012.

Updated February 2017

First thing to get out of the way, is that we really like this school. There are many significant developments taking place at The Children’s Garden [TCG] that, for us, really showcase how special these schools are – and in particular the extraordinary [...]

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September 14, 2016

Gulf Montessori Nursery, Garhoud Village, Al Garhoud

Updated November 2016

Prospective parents should note that this review should ideally be read in conjunction with our Pre-school Montessori Curriculum Guide which also covers the standards parents must expect from all pre-school provision in the Emirates. Our guide can be found here.

As a rule, reviewing Montessori schools is difficult because any school can use the Montessori brand at will – and claim a Montessori curriculum. The reality in practice is the claims do not match the reality. More often, Montessori is watered down or joined with other curricular approaches in something of a “pick and mix” leaving parents very little means to benchmark provision – and [...]

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September 11, 2016

International School of Creative Science, Nad Al Sheba 3

Updated November 2016

The International School of Creative Science [ISCS] is a new Arabic-American dual curriculum faith school launching Phase 1 of its provision in Nad Al Sheba 3. The school is situated in the prime education corridor between Kings School Nad Al Sheba and Repton School on a circa 11-acre site.

The school has been established with the single aim of balancing the best of Western education, and its currency for later university and career development, with the protection, appreciation and nurturing of Muslim and broader Arabic culture, language, faith and morality within its role. It’s an East meets West equation that is far from simple to resolve and [...]

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September 7, 2016

American School of Creative Science Al Barsha, Al Barsha South

Updated November 2016

The American School of Creative Science [ASCS] is a new Arabic-American dual curriculum school launching Phase 1 of its provision in Al Barsha South. Location information can be found here. Its position is almost immediately adjacent to GEMS World Academy on a very large 11 acre campus.

The first phase is planned to reach completion with 39 classrooms educating around 1100 students in Grades FS1 to Year 5 between the ages of 4 and 12 years. Eventually the school will offer a full FS all-through education to Year 12. ASCS is one of three new schools at various phases of launch in the Emirate, these building on the model first established by its [...]

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September 6, 2016

Victory Heights Primary School, Dubai Sports City

Updated January 2017

“We absolutely adore this school. Have been happily part of it for 4 years. No other school can compare, Miss Sasha knows EVERY child’s name and passionate about their performance. We are very blessed to be a part of such a great and caring school.” User Comment, SchoolsCompared.com – see below.

Founded in 2013, Victory Heights Primary School is a new school bedding in Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 2 provision with remarkable pace. After only its second formal inspection by the KHDA in 2016 it has secured Good School status, its ratings jumping up by between 20% and 40% in key categories of inspection in a single year. [...]

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September 5, 2016

iCADEMY Middle East, Dubai Knowledge Village

Updated November 2016

iCademy Middle East is the new name/brand for the K12 International Academy, a ‘school’ first established in Dubai in 2008.  Our focus here is on the blended programmes offered by iCademy which combine the on-line teaching of a traditional K-Year 12 US curriculum with a physical location in which students can learn “together”, based in Dubai Knowledge Village.

The blended programme has local teachers (“On-line Learning Coaches”), each holding a minimum Bachelor’s degree and full teacher training qualification, however their role is better described as coaching/motivational/organisational. Core instruction is carried on [...]

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September 4, 2016

Dubai British School, Springs 3, Emirates Hills

Updated November 2016

There are a number of schools in Dubai that, notwithstanding inspection data, offer a very high level of education for children across all phases and which present very little difficulty in securing our recommendation. Dubai British School in Emirates Hills (DBS) falls into this category.

That DBS is now classified by the Dubai inspectorate as “Very Good” school category (and is a British Schools Overseas “Outstanding School”) merely confirms what parents have known for a long time: Despite the many excellent schools in the UAE, this is a school that any parent interested in a UK based education should shortlist.

The latest BSO report can be [...]

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July 23, 2016

Kidville Nursery, Al Safa, Jumeirah

For most prospective parents exploring nursery options for their child(ren), one of the most important considerations will be price. There is simply no point for many parents in exploring options outside what is affordable.

But if price guides consideration in building a shortlist – we believe that the two most substantive considerations in choosing nurseries within that shortlist must be a view on the quality of teaching faculty and supporting staff – and the choice of curriculum.

Teaching staff are critical in any nursery – but absolutely critical in a nursery like Kidville, where there is such a strong focus on the use of music and the broader arts in education to [...]

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June 26, 2016

Manor Primary School, Al Safa 1

Manor Park Primary is a new, FS to Year 6 British English National Curriculum Primary school for girls and boys between the ages of 4 and 11. This is, however, absolutely not your standard new school launch – and there is a bigger picture.

Manor Primary School is a new school, but in some ways also the re-opening of the English College Primary School (ECPS), a deeply loved and cherished school that closed in 2014 for business reasons. ECPS was the primary slipstream for The English College, our latest review of which can be found here, and Manor Primary School will replace this.

The opening of Manor Primary, in conjunction with the extremely well thought of new [...]

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June 25, 2016

Smart Vision School, Al Barsha 2

Smart Vision School is located in the heart of Al Barsha 2 – and, as a new school, Vision stands out for being a school that actually exists in nearly complete form. Prospective parents can actually visit the school – and not have to depend on off- plan drawings in making decisions for the future of their child(ren)’s education.

The English National Curriculum school is now open to applications for places between FS1 to Year 4 starting in September 2016. Phased launch of future grades to Year 13 will follow. Eventually all-through provision will take students through complete all-through British education from the Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS) to IGCSE and A [...]

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June 16, 2016

GEMS FirstPoint School, The Villa, Dubailand

Updated November 2016

GEMS FirstPoint is a very interesting school in a multitude of areas – and it is also, importantly, a very good one. So what sets it apart. There are two defining features that standout and which we believe will be of particular interest to prospective parents.

First, with FirstPoint, GEMS has set up a Tier 1 premium British School, but set the fees, deliberately, at the very lowest level of the fee structures we typically associate with this class of schools.  The following graphic is taken from its own marketing literature:

When you average the fees over thirteen years, the school offers a considerable value proposition for [...]

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June 8, 2016

Al Ain International School, Al Nayadat, Al Ain

Al Ain International School is quite extraordinary: It is an exceptionally good school by any standards, but it achieves this in ways that you have to experience to really appreciate just what has been achieved for children – and what they achieve for each other, their community and the school.

This is one of those schools that is resolutely not about numbers.

Our sister site, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, has long campaigned for schools to calculate “value-added”, in simple terms, what a school achieves with its children from where they start on entering a school. Many schools will advertise themselves on the basis of stellar examination results – but this is less of an [...]

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June 1, 2016

The Universal American School, Dubai Festival City

The Universal American School (UAS) provides a hybrid, parallel stream, mixed, co-educational FS – Year 12 US-International Baccalaureate education for 1473 pupils between the ages of 4 and 18 years.

The Early Years (Elementary) curriculum follows the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme [IB PYP].

The Middle Years curriculum follows a “This We Believe” (TWB) curriculum created by the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE).

The High School curriculum is split between (1) an in-house, New York standards based US education built on Common Core and Next Generation standards in Grades 9-10; and (2) an International Baccalaureate programme [...]

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May 29, 2016

Greenfield Community School, Green Community, Dubai Investments Park

Updated January 2017 (SchoolsCompared visit update)

It is worth stating upfront that we think that there are many things that make Greenfield Community School special in the UAE. We also believe that parents should not be diverted from the many exceptional features of the school by the headline grading of the latest KHDA inspection, although there are issues raised which we will address. For a genuinely inclusive, all-through International Baccalaureate education, that can deliver for children of all abilities, we believe that Greenfield Community School sets a key benchmark for the sector.

What makes Greenfield so impressive can be summarised in the following key [...]

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May 26, 2016

Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Jumeirah 1

Spread over 8 acres of landscaped grounds, and in one of the best locations in Dubai, Taaleem’s Jumeira Baccalaureate School [JBS] is one of the flagship International Baccalaureate [IB] schools in the Emirates, with facilities and IB programmes competing with the best in Dubai.

The IB World school provides an inclusive, co-educational education to 975 children between the ages of 3 and 16, through Pre-K to Year 12 grades, with complete IB provision across the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP), Diploma Programme (IB DP), and the IB Career-related Programme (IB CP).

The school provides a slipstream for all of the three Taaleem “The [...]

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May 26, 2016

Al-Mizhar American Academy, Al-Mizhar 1, Mirdif

Al-Mizhar American Academy (AAM), previously Al-Mizhar American Academy Private School for Girls, is best understood as a single-sex all-girl through school offering an FS to Grade 12 education based on the US, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, curriculum to children between the ages of 3 years and 18 years. AAM is a co-educational school for Pre-KG to KG 2, this provided very much following the request of, and as a service to parents. The school is owned and managed by the highly respected Taaleem.

Stand-out features for prospective parents are:

An all-girls school from Grade 1, rare in meeting a defined requirement for single-sex education by many [...]
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May 24, 2016

Ajman Academy, Mowaihatal, Tallah 2

Ajman Academy, also known as Ajman International Academy, is in phased launch to provide an all-through hybrid International Baccalaureate/ English National Curriculum FS – Year 13 education for students between the ages of 3 and 18 years. The school, established in 2012, provides a mixed, co-educational education for its students.

Ajman launches through provision to IGCSE from 2016-17 with full FS – Year 6 schooling having been securely bedded in over the first four years of its phased launch programme. International A Level provision will follow from 2018. The school has grown steadily from its founding intake in 2012 of 130 students to its current 750-strong [...]

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May 19, 2016

GEMS Sports Academy, Bradenton Preparatory Academy Campus, Dubai Sports City

Updated October 2016

GEMS Sports Academy describes a very special and unique programme developed by GEMS Education in Dubai to nurture elite student athletes in the emirate. Established in 2014, it is the first programme of its type in the UAE and has much in common with best-in-class US programmes designed from their core to nurture the gifts of elite sports men and women with outstanding talent in their sporting field.

To understand the Sports Academy offer, it is best understood by prospective parents and students as a vehicle for GEMS to deliver an individually mapped elite sports based secondary education, rather than seeing it as a “bricks and mortar” school. The [...]

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