Updated December 2020 – SchoolsCompared.com exclusive – Dove Green Private School KHDA 2020, change to fully inclusive school, change of name to Dove Green Private School from Dovecote Green Primary School, planned opening of secondary School.
“Dove Green School is a wonderful, safe community school based in Dubai Investment Park.
Our school prides itself on developing the whole child.
All of our pupils are taught strong values and ways in which to think for themselves.
At Dove Green School we use a large number of thinking tools that children can use in their learning, so that they can become resourceful independent learners.
Our staff are very friendly and approachable and we adopt an ‘Open door policy’ where parents can meet staff members regularly – and this approach leads to transparency, trust and a strong parent partnership.”
Historically Dove Green Private School has enjoyed a strong historic relationship with a number of slipstream schools, including Repton and Foremarke schools, through the British Schools in Dubai ( BSID ) network.
Already open to Year 8, we are, today, now moving forward in our plans to gain approval from the KHDA to open full all-through British curriculum provision to IGCSE, A Level and BTEC. Our parents have asked for their students to be able to stay with us through to Sixth Form and we aim to now achieve this, whilst maintaining the warm, British community village school dynamics for which we are celebrated.
Patrick Affley, Headmaster. Dove Green Primary School
Dove Green School is currently a primary, FS to Year 8 British curriculum preparatory school. Historically a slipstream school for Repton Dubai and other big names amongst Dubai’s Tier 1 British schools, Dove Green School offers an English National Curriculum based education to Key Stage 3 for around 411 children aged between 3 and 13 years of age. In June 2019 the school changed its name from Dovecote Green Primary School to Dove Green Private School in preparation for its planned move to all-through schooling. The school has to date (November 2020) phased launch to Year 8.
Dove Green Private School is situated within the Green Community, Dubai Investments Park One, and is physically linked to the Green Community West residential area. This gives the school direct access for the community’s families to walk or cycle to school:
Dove Green Private School remains the first, and only, British school in Dubai Investments Park and attracts children families from:
- The Green Community
- Dubai Investment Park 1
- Dubai Investment Park 2
- Jumeirah Village Circle
- Jumeriah Village Triangle
- Jumeriah Golf Estate
- Rem Raam
- Sports City
- Town Square
- Jumeirah Beach Residence
- Jumeirah Lakes Tower
- Jumeriah Park
- Discovery Gardens
- The Gardens
- Al Badra
- Al Furjan
- Dubai Marina
- Veneto Residence
- Al Ghadeer
- Dubai South
- Emaar South
- Arabian Ranches
- Sports City
- Motor City
- DAMAC Hills
- Barsha Heights
- Dubai Hills
- Jabel Ali
- Dubai Land
- Emirates Hills
- Jumeriah Islands
A key draw for parents is the combination of a British education with very small school dynamics. Parents describe the school as an oasis of British village community schooling.
Following its original management by EKI (best known for Repton and Foremarke), Dove Green Private School is today part of the Study World Education group which historically included the UK’s Heriot-Watt sister university in Dubai.
Dove Green School opened with surprisingly little fanfare in 2015. The result has been much smaller class sizes than anticipated in a school already committed to a high ratio of teacher:student provision. The current size of role, set against its capacity of around 550 children, offers a rare opportunity for parents and students to make a genuine impact on the development of the school. For many parents, the intimate, community driven feel of the school remains a significant plus. and this is a rare school in which every child is known to every teacher. There is absolutely none of the “children being lost in the crowd” found inevitably in so many of Dubai’s larger schools.
Patrick Affley is an educationalist by training, graduating from the University of Wales as a specialist in Primary Education and Physical Education. Mr Affley secured his Headship qualification from Cardif University (NPQH) and is studying for a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He brings to Dovecote Green Private School more than two decade’s experience in education, fourteen of which were in the UK where Mr Affley, prior to relocating to Dubai, worked for the Welsh Inspectorate of Schools (Estyn). In Dubai, Mr Affley was the Founding Head of Dovecote Green School, the forerunner to Dove Green School, where he worked for EKI, the owners of Repton and Foremarke. Mr Affley has a keen interest in Rugby and has coached with both the Dubai Exiles and Dubai Warriors.
Feedback to SchoolsCompared.com is of a compassionate, kind and ambitious Principal, deeply loyal to his school, parents and children and motivated by ensuring the academic and holistic development of children. His commitment to Dove Green School is evident in his tenure, having invested close to seven years in developing the school as it evolves towards providing an all-through British, English National Curriculum founded, education for its children.
Fees are mid-tier and offer strong ROI.
|AUTUMN TERM FEES
|SPRING TERM FEES
|SUMMER TERM FEES
|TOTAL TUITION FEES
|FS 1||AED 16,800||AED 12,600||AED 12,600||AED 42,000|
|FS 2||AED 16,800||AED 12,600||AED 12,600||AED 42,000|
|Year 1||AED 17,600||AED 13,200||AED 13,200||AED 44,000|
|Year 2||AED 17,600||AED 13,200||AED 13,200||AED 44,000|
|Year 3||AED 18,400||AED 13,800||AED 13,800||AED 46,000|
|Year 4||AED 18,400||AED 13,800||AED 13,800||AED 46,000|
|Year 5||AED 19,200||AED 14,400||AED 14,400||AED 48,000|
|Year 6||AED 19,200||AED 14,400||AED 14,400||AED 48,000|
|Year 7||AED 22,000||AED 16,500||AED 16,500||AED 55,000|
|Year 8||AED 22,000||AED 16,500||AED 16,500||AED 55,000|
|Year 9||AED 22,000||AED 16,500||AED 16,500||AED 55,000|
A very different school ….
When Dove Green Private School first launched it was established as an academically and SEND selective school. The school was designed for parents seeking a rigorously academic education for their children. As a result it certainly did not suit all students, particularly those from three groups:
- Those for whom English was an Additional Language without age appropriate abilities in written and spoken English
- Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities who required, or would have benefited from, specialist intervention and dedicated learning support
- Children who were likely to struggle with the pace and pressures of a curriculum designed ground-up to stretch children academically, both for entrance to Repton, but also with a view to their later IGCSE and stretching International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme [IB DP] study.
This approach has now been completely re-modelled and Dove Green Primary School is now fully inclusive:
“In line with the Inclusion Framework document launched in November 2017. Dove Green Private School has now changed its admissions policy.
All our assessments at Dove Green School are now based on an ‘Assessment of Educational need’.
Every effort to accept all pupils, including ‘students with determination’ is made.
The decision is made in conjunction with the parents, with the pupil’s needs and provision central to that decision.”
Patrick Affley, Headmaster. Dove Green Primary School
Facilities and ECAs
Facilities are Tier 1 and we rate them as of a very good standard. Do not expect a formal, corporate school. Rather, this is a deeply rooted community school brimming with warmth and a sense of “soul.”
The school itself is designed as an inverted “T”, with the main reception area located at the front of the building, the three teaching blocks located behind – and all areas of the school flooded with natural light. Provision itself includes:
- Dedicated car parking
- Main reception
- Main Assembly Hall and Theatre located at the heart of the school
- 30 purpose built classrooms with shaded outside access
- Four astro-turfed areas including one dedicated only for FS children
- A very spacious multipurpose gymnasium
- Dedicated and independent Secondary School facility overlooking the Sports Hall.
- Parents meeting area
- Two outdoor swimming pools (one learner/toddler, the other a 20M main pool)
- Science Suite
- IT Centre
- Specialist SEND Centre with Sensory Tent
- Garden play spaces including two wooden climbing houses
- Nature learning area
- Music rooms
- Multipurpose outside football, rugby and athletics pitch
The school has a traditional British House System: Shakespeare, Rowling and Dahl.
ECAs are extensive including the spectrum of sports, LEGO Robotics; etiquette, extra reading and mathematics, music classes (including drums, guitar, xylophone, violin, piano and recorders) and gymnastics. External providers include Apollo Perellini Rugby Skills Academy and Elite Sports.
The school, rarely, owns its own buses – an initiative to ensure that it can meet the needs of the broadest range of families. Given Dove Green School’s location in proximity with the Abu Dhabi border, the school attracts families from Al Ghadeer.
Sporting provision is a highlight of the school and Dove Green children regularly engage in the development and inter-school leagues across football, netball, swimming, athletics and rugby.
Academically, Dove Green School points to an overarching concern to develop each child’s core expertise in English/literacy and Mathematics/numeracy, this a core of the curriculum across Foundation, Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 3 phases. Impressively, however, this is developed by leveraging and weaving numeracy and literacy across every aspect of the creative curriculum, including play at younger ages and developed links between lesson, formal prep and co-curricular activities as students grow through the school.
Nor is the traditional concentration on the “three Rs” (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) a fall back on traditional learning – the school provides all children with access to an iPad to give core skills context – and broader enrichment is designed to bring the curriculum to life.
The emphasis is very much on the whole child, but one rooted in getting children to levels in the curriculum core in advance of expected levels for their peer groups. The approach is described by Dove Green School as one of a “thinking school” in which children learn independence of thought and action within a broader context of self-discipline, responsibility, innovation and reason.
The whole approach is one of compassion and balance. This is not a hothouse school. The commitment is, rather, primarily to child happiness and community rather than the original ideals of severe academic discipline. The guiding ethic is to prepare children for academic success, but at their own pace.
We particularly like the school’s genuine place as a community hub, this focused on sharing its sporting facilities with the broader community (there is a footpath linking the school to Green Community West on its doorstep) after school as well as providing a broad range of community events and festivals.
The school also deserves significant praise for its extensive, hugely compassionate bursary provision, something called for both by the KHDA and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and offered by far too few schools.
KHDA 2018 -20
As of October 2020, Dove Green Primary School has secured the Good School rating it aspired to for some two consistent years. It comes with a number of Very Good School features identified by the KHDA, particularly in the areas of whole child development, the school’s links with parents and the broader community and care of children.
On a positive note, we think that is worth quoting Patrick Affley, Headmaster. Dove Green Primary School, in full when he spoke with SchoolsCompared.com:
“Our systems are now facilitating the accelerated progress of all pupils.
We have worked extremely hard to identify each pupils starting point to give a clearer indication of progress over time.
Being an Inclusive school can mean that the attainment levels of groups of pupils can be low.
Our focus is to challenge all pupils to make good progress that will ensure that most pupils are at or above curriculum standards for their age group by the end of each Academic year.
Our governing body has been developed and is a much more strategic group embedded powerfully in the strategic vision of the school.
The very positive and constructive feedback from the KHDA over time has given us clear guidance as we develop towards outstanding school status. In order to achieve this we are aiming for all performance indicators to rise at least one level each year.
Our aim is to be classed as Outstanding within the next 5 years.”
Patrick Affley, Headmaster. Dove Green Primary School
In 2020 the KHDA identified the following core strengths of the school:
- Exceptionally strong and close relationships with parents and the broader community
- Genuinely inclusive school dynamics with a genuine welcome to all children
- Good progress scoring across English, Mathematics and Science
- Very Good personal development of children and their whole child education
- Good school leadership
- A Good standard of school facilities and investment
- Committed passionate teachers with high morale and investment in the care of children
Core weaknesses are identified in Arabic subjects provision (an area in which all British schools struggle, a need to more accurately record and monitor student flightpaths and to be more realistic about the achievements made by the school so that change can be better managed and needs understood.
Bottom line? The SchoolsCompared.com verdict 2020
We like Dove Green Private School. The ambition for outstanding school status is here and creditable. Much still needs to be done if the school is to attain it, but planing and investment are both in place. Many of the changes required fall into the area of managing data better, and these should be relatively easy wins. Securing improvement in Arabic subjects may well prove more difficult as it does for so many international schools.
The key metrics by which we judge the school here, however, is in child progress and happy school dynamics. The former measures how well a school is securing each child’s knowledge against their predicted flight paths on joining a school. Dove Green Private School holds a secure rating across child progress in all core subjects.
On our last visit we attended with parents on a school open day. Parents were exceptionally positive about the school with comments including “there is not a school like this anywhere else in Dubai,” “it’s like being back back in the UK”, “It is like a school at home.” Happy school dynamics are entrenched and substantively evident.
Good school status is not an easy win. The Dubai Inspectorate of Schools is serious and demanding – it requires schools to be high achieving to meet its minimum standards. Dove Green Headmaster, Patrick Affley, in our discussions with him, is clearly on a mission to deliver a top tier education for Dove Green children – and quickly. Ambition and the practicalities of delivering on it are being married up.
Fees too have remained low for a school of this scale and quality. Worth noting that Dove Green has strong ties with families of Emirates and Etihad staff for whom corporate discounts are offered on an individual basis.
Future planning is for the school to evolve a new and physically independent Secondary school for its students, this set to open as the school continues to gradually phase its launch to Sixth Form. We understand that the school is exploring two options – either to build a new Secondary school within the existing grounds, or to purchase a nearby school. These plans are advanced.
Measured on its own terms as a traditional British village school it’s hard to think of a school that it competes with. Intimate, kind, compassionate and happy, for many parents this is the picture of a perfect education they never dreamed they would find in Dubai.
Good with Very Good features 2020
Good with Very Good features 2019
Acceptable, with weak, good and very good features (2017-18)
(1) First inspection
Private, for profit
YEAR 1: 44,000
YEAR 2: 44,000
YEAR 3: 46,000
YEAR 4: 46,000
YEAR 5: 48,000
YEAR 6: 48,000
YEAR 7: 55,000
YEAR 8: 55,000
YEAR 9: 55,000
YEAR 10: NA
YEAR 11: NA
YEAR 12: NA
YEAR 13: NA
National Curriculum for England:
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3
Current role: 411 (2020)
(1) Maximum class size: 20 children
(2) 17 teachers with 7 Teaching Assistants
(3) 0 Guidance Counsellors
20% (2020) - below average
Green Community, Dubai Investments Park, Dubai
British (largest nationality)
(1) External provider delivers hot meals as required
Marketed by Study World Education Holding Group
(1) Dr. Vidhya Vinod, President & Group CEO
(2) Raymi Van der Spek, Chief Operating Officer
(3) Formerly owned by Evolvence Knowledge Investments Limited (EKI) / Evolvence Capital Limited
+971 (0)4 883 7474
• Tier 1 facility provision
• British teacher provision
• Small class sizes and low teacher:student ratio
• Commitment to community
• Whole child focus founded on traditional development of advanced numeracy and literacy
• Opportunity for founding parents to shape a small school in phased launch
• Capacity to deliver a very high standard of education and whole child development for children in future years
• Small school intimacy and strong community ideals
• Highly creditable progress secured by children at FS phases
• Advanced planning for through school opening to Sixth Form with commitment to extensive subject choice across IGCSE, A' Level and BTEC.
• Arabic subjects