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Brighton College Abu Dhabi, Bloom Gardens, Khalifa Park – The Review
WSA Good School
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Review

Brighton College Abu Dhabi, Bloom Gardens, Khalifa Park – The Review

by January 16, 2019
Details to consider
2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Outstanding

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Very Good with Outstanding features

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

Very Good with Outstanding features

Rating FS

Outstanding

Rating Primary / Elementary

Outstanding

Rating Secondary / Middle

Outstanding

Rating Post 16 / High

Outstanding

Type of school

Private, for-profit

WSA Good School

Yes

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 48,900
FS2: 48,900
Year 1: 57,900
Year 2: 57,900
Year 3: 57,900
Year 4: 57,900
Year 5: 57,900
Year 6: 63,400
Year 7: 63,400
Year 8: 63,400
Year 9: 63,400
Year 10: 63,400
Year 11: 77,400
Year 12: 77,400
Year 13: 77,400

Curriculum

National Curriculum of England

External Exam Boards

Cambridge

Number of A Levels offered

24

A Levels offered

Art
Drama and Theatre Studies
Music
French
German
Italian
Latin
Mandarin
Spanish
Business Studies
Economics
Geography
Government & Politics
History
Psychology
Biology
Chemistry
Computing
Design & Technology
Mathematics
Further Mathematics
Physics

A Level A* to A

72% A*B

A Level A* to C

Not published
Notes
(2) 100% A*E

IGCSE A* to C

97%
Notes:
(1) 88% A*B

IGCSE A* to A

64%
Notes
(1) 37% A*

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

18

I/GCSEs offered

English Lit
English Language
Arabic
Maths
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
History
Geography
Computing
Design & Technology
Art
Drama
Music
French
Spanish
Mandarin
German

Selective

Yes

Waiting list

Yes in Primary, FS1, FS2, Years 2,3 and 5 (2019)

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

1801 (2019)

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:12
Notes:
Maximum class size throughout the school is capped at 25 students

Largest nationality teachers

British
Notes:
(1) Around 104 FTE teaching staff from the UK
(2) Around 17 FTE teaching staff from other European countries
(3) Around 2 FTE teaching staff from North America
(4) Around 2 FTE teaching staff from Australia
(5) Around 27 FTE teaching staff of other nationalities

Teacher turnover

19%

Year opened

2011

Location

Bloom Gardens, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi

Student composition

Total nationalities: 73
27% United Kingdom (UK) (around 495 children)
18% Emirati (around 306 students)
6% Indian (around 111 students)
6% Australian (around 111 students)
17% other nationalities
34% Muslim
7% Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Gender

Mixed

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Bloom Properties

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0)2 815 6504.

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

100%

Attainment Pri SEM

100%

Attainment Sec SEM

100%

Attainment Post-16 SEM

100%

Progress Nur SEM

100%

Progress Pri SEM

100%

Progress Sec SEM

100%

Progress Post-16 SEM

100%

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

60%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

70%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

60

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

60%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

60%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

60%

Islamic St. Primary Results

80%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

80%

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

80%

Leadership

100%

Community

100%

Facilities

100%

Quality of teaching

100%

Student personal responsibility

100%

Quality of curriculum

100%

School Governance

100%

SEN Provision

100%

Strengths

• High quality, inspiring, caring, highly strategic leadership and direction that “very effectively” drives the improvement agenda and direction of the school
• New Director of Arabic (2018) achieving extraordinarily well within the school in Arabic subjects
• Committed, effective and dedicated teachers driving students’ personal and academic development
• Unique UK “Common Entrance” focus expanding parental options for transition to UK private schooling
• Impressive programmes for supporting the academic progress of both students with Special Educational Needs [SEN] and those children who speak English as an additional language
• Very high quality facilities supported by a genuinely inspirational, exciting, caring and happy school environment
• By Year 11, attainment is outstanding in most subjects and well above GCSE curriculum benchmarks
• Personal development in all sections of the school is “outstanding”
• Outstanding investment in the whole child.
• Extraordinary, hugely inspirational Art department. Student work reflects school investment in, and commitment to, intellectual freedom, innovation, whole child development and individual self-confidence that come high in the list of priorities of the school.
• An outstanding range of well‐planned extra‐curricular activities enriches the curriculum with more than 150 clubs and activities for students to choose from

Weaknesses

• Brighton is expensive and many parents will simply not be able to afford the fees. This notwithstanding, ROI is high.

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

• Fabulous location, prestige and a real sense when you enter the school that you are entering some twilight archetype English public school, Brighton College deserves its place in the Capital’s already outstanding premier league of schools.
• GCE A' Level provision and attainment is driven by outstanding leadership and teaching across every phase of the school
• For a school to achieve an A2 rating by ADEC almost on opening is unheard of. Its 2018 Outstanding rating across the board is richly deserved.
• WhichSchoolAdvisor.com “Good School” status (awarded in 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18). Top-3 of English National Curriculum schools in the capital.
• Very highly recommended option for parents who can secure a place and afford the fees – and exceptionally good, given its Common Entrance focus, for those parents potentially seeking to re-locate their children to the UK private educational sector for GCE O’Level, English Baccalaureate and Post 16 study

A+
Our Rating
C
User Rating
You have rated this
Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
32%
In my Top 5
22%
Shortlisted
5%
A possibility
2%
Pass
2%
No way
39%

Young men and women at Brighton College Abu Dhabi with a backdrop highlighting the focus on the broadest range of subjects including Art and Music“We believe strongly that all pupils can fulfill their potential when their efforts are valued, shared and celebrated.

One of our key aims is to foster intellectual curiosity, promote confident debate and involve pupils in a wide variety of co-curricular activities so that they become rounded human beings who can make a real contribution to society once they leave.

We strongly endorse the best traditions of British independent school education and links with Brighton College UK and the other schools in the Brighton family are strong.

Our community is underpinned by a profound belief in our values – a love of learning for its own sake; an awareness of, and appreciation of, the spiritual dimension in our lives; an enthusiasm for the world beyond the classroom, in particular in sport, music and the performing arts; respect for difference in others – and a recognition that the efforts and achievements of every individual in our community should be valued equally.”

Simon Corns, Headmaster, Brighton College Abu Dhabi

Updated February 2019 – Brighton College Abu Dhabi fees, 2018 ADEC Report, context and SchoolsCompared.com rating

Opened in September 2011, Brighton College Abu Dhabi (BCAD) has rapidly establishing itself in the premier league of the capital’s schools offering a traditional British education to children between 3 and 18 years from FS1 to Year 13. Brighton College secured an Outstanding rating from the Abu Dhabi Inspectorate of Schools, ADEC, in 2018 with some of the most positive and complimentary commentary we have seen to date from Inspectors.

Set in Bloom Gardens, near Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi, Brighton College Abu Dhabi delivers the English National Curriculum to 1801 students. Primary School enrollment stands at around 580 children. The curriculum is resolutely British, focused on GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations in Year 11 and GCE A’ Levels in Year 12 and 13.

According to the school it had “the best GCSE results in the emirate. In 2013-14 87% of students achieved 5 or more A* to C grades.  In 2016. 64% of students achieved grades A-A, and 97% of students achieved grades A-C.  In 2017, students achieved 63% A* to A. We have no data for 2018 – however progress and attainment at the school is exceptional.

GCE A’ Level provision started in 2014. In 2016 95% of students achieved an A* to C grade while 72% scored between A* and B. In 2017,  43 percent of students achieved A* to A grades and 70.5 percent of students A* to B grades. Again, we have no data for 2018, but informally we understand that Brighton College secured the best results in the capital. The feeling we think is that Brighton does not feel the need to publicise its results – partly at least because that would be to detract from the bigger, more important picture of its development of the whole, very individual, child. That simply cannot be measured in league tables.

According to the school an “impressive 70% of UK bound Year 13 pupils hold at least one offer from a top tier Russell Group university and over 25% hold offers from UCL, Imperial or Cambridge University. Students have also have received unconditional offers to study at Utrecht, Purdue, Colorado Boulder and Florida Institute of Technology.”

Brighton College Abu Dhabi achieved A2 Very Good rankings by ADEC in 2015 and 2017.Only one school in the emirate had at that time been rated A1 (Al Muna) – so this was a considerable achievement given the youth of the school. It is also worth noting that its A2 rating came with the qualification that the school provides a considerable number of Outstanding features rated, the highest standard awarded by the Abu Dhabi Inspectorate of schools. In 2018, as above, Brighton College achieved a near cross-the-board Outstanding rating with lesser scoring only in Arabic subjects where the scoring is the highest we have seen for an international school in the UAE.

Children at Brighton College Abu Dhabi engaged in conversation

Uniquely, Brighton’s Prep School, for children aged between 7 and 13, focuses on 11+ and 13+ Common Entrance syllabuses devised and monitored by the Independent School Examinations Board (ISEB). As 11+ and 13+ exams are the gateways to the best independent schools in the United Kingdom Brighton offers a distinct advantage for parents seeking to continue their child’s post-primary education in the UK private sector. Around 15 students each year currently continue their schooling in England.

There is a specialised SEN and Dyslexia Centre and the school is aiming to receive the Dyslexia Award for its work in this field.

Impressively Brighton College offers senior school academic scholarships, these targeted to the brightest Year 9 and Sixth Form pupils in the region.

Scholarships, whilst not the most generous in the UAE, are credible and meaningful, entitling eligible pupils to receive up to 50% off of their tuition fees for the academic year.

Brighton College Abu Dhabi bottom line? The SchoolsCompared.com verdict 2019

Photograph of a classroom at Brighton College Abu Dhabi

Across every aspect of the school, Brighton College shines. It is selective and certainly a school established for the more academic child.  Worth noting that on 12th February 2019 it was confirmed that Amy Willetts, who graduated from Brighton College Abu Dhabi in June 2018,  achieved the highest A Level grade in the world for Geography.

But Performing Arts provision, including in Drama and Music, is formidable and breadth of subject offer at both IGCSE and A level is outstanding. Telling of an academic school is the investment in the broadest range of subjects and the beyond outstanding achievement of children in Art shines a powerful light on the bigger picture, whole child achievement that fires the holistic engine of Brighton College Abu Dhabi.

This is a British school that really delivers. Yes, we would like to see BTEC. But this is a small critique of an otherwise extraordinary school.

Our visit to the school was never less than inspirational. Some of the initiatives at the school across philanthropy were stand-out for us, linking academic subject disciplines with a genuine care and outward looking focus on the less fortunate. The school, tellingly, was open to dicussions to how this could be improved further.

We also engaged in a lively debate with a number of older students on the role of women and were pleased to see female students fighting their corner and empowered. Investment in extremely accomplished female teaching faculty reflects the values at the heart of school life and the importance Brighton places on role models for both boys and girls.

School leadership is outstanding. Caring, impassioned, utterly transparent, fascinated and engaged in all that is happening in the school and an ambassador for children.

Facilities were outstanding – although parking is quite the headache.

We also noted the welcome we received by all faculty and students – this is a very happy, engaged school. Children were wonderfully gracious, enthused, well-mannered, vocally positive about the school and teaching faculty and inspiring to speak with.

A school like Brighton College deserves to be celebrated – not for its results only, as outstanding as they are, but the way it wraps these up in an education rich in the bigger picture so important for children to later make their mark in the world.

We left the school, from one of our most inspiring visits of any UAE school in 2018-19, certain that this is a school we would send our own children to – this probably the highest compliment we can give.

There is an extraordinary sense of peace, adventure, freedom, integrity, possibility – and home – at Brighton College that is quite unique and utterly beautiful.

Long overdue, a big thank you to children, faculty and the leadership of Brighton College Abu Dhabi for such a very special visit and welcome from all at SchoolsCompared.com.

Brighton College Abu Dhabi, particularly for the academic inquisitive child, comes beyond highly recommended.

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About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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