Dubai Primary
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Dovecote Green Primary School, Dubai Investments Park
Academic
2
Review

Dovecote Green Primary School, Dubai Investments Park

by May 18, 2016
Strengths

• Tier 1 facility provision
• Part of the EKI’s Repton-Foremarke-Dovecote cluster of schools
• Outstanding 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
• Slipstream to Repton
• Significantly lower fees than alternative FS-Year 6 Repton Dubai slipstreams
• Opportunity for founding parents to shape a new school in phased launch

Weaknesses

• Not appropriate for many children
• No dedicated EAL or SEN provision
• Fees may be relatively low as a Repton slipstream – but are still premium and out of reach for many parents
• No bursary or scholarship provision
• Inevitable teething issues of any new school

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

A very interesting, in many ways extremely impressive, new slipstream school for Repton Dubai, with, relatively, affordable fees. For more academic children, with strengths in the English language and likely to thrive within a fast paced academic and broadly enriched curriculum, Dovecote has much to offer. The degree to which it will ultimately deliver for children needs more time to review with certainty.

A-
Our Rating
A
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Dovecote Green Primary is a primary, FS to Year 6 British, selective preparatory slipstream school for Repton Dubai offering an English National Curriculum based education for children aged between 3 and 11 years.

Before discussing the school in detail it is worth noting at the outset that Dovecote provides the single most affordable in-house direct route to Repton Dubai from Year 7. The alternative preparatory, Foremarke School, has KHDA approved fees of 90,000, although current “founders fees” are less (65000-85000 AED per annum). Studying with Repton itself in Dubai between FS and Year 6 requires fees between 50,379 AED at FS1 through to 64,011 AED in Year 6.

Dovecote fees, relatively, are much lower with equivalent fees running between 42,000 AED at FS1 to 48,000 AED in Year 6. This represents up to one third fee saving over Repton. On this basis, for prospective parents of Repton Dubai facing a waiting list in given years, or struggling with the fees, Dovecote represents a valuable alternative option within the same family of schools. This is, of course, notwithstanding that many families will view Dovecote on its own very good) terms, and there are many alternative slipstreams available from Grade 7.

In terms of role, intake, curriculum and profile the slipstream schools, Foremarke and Dovecote, are similar. Both are selective, neither provide English as an Additional Language and neither are appropriate for children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) because of the lack of specialist staff. This is not true of Repton Dubai itself, which provides a much broader welcome to children identified with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. All three schools are highly academic and stretching.

The school feels it opened with surprisingly little fanfare in 2015. The result is currently much smaller class sizes than anticipated in a school already committed to a high ratio of teacher:student provision. The current size of role offers a rare opportunity for founding parents and students to make an impact on the development of the school.

What must, however, also be balanced for prospective parents considering Dovecote is that the school will definitively not suit all students, particularly those from three groups:

  • Those for whom English is an Additional Language without age appropriate abilities in written and spoken English
  • Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities who require, or would benefit from, specialist intervention and dedicated learning support
  • Children who are 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.

We have been notified by the school that a Head of Inclusion has now been appointed (September 2016) with the aim of “providing much more in the way of support to students including those identified as Gifted and Talented (G&T).” This may well see a re-structuring of the broader approach over time – but Dovecote remains a school that will appeal to parents seeking a rigorously academic education.

Study at Dovecote is firmly guided to assuring children will pass the entrance test to Repton Dubai for Year 7 entry, or by broad equivalence the 11+ Common Entrance for entry to UK independents.

Facilities are Tier 1 and described by our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.com as “very good”, although as a school in phased launch there are some facilities still in-build/planning.

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 30 purpose built classrooms with shaded outside access; a spacious multipurpose gymnasium; upstairs dance studio; two outdoor swimming pools (one learner/toddler, the other a 20M main pool); garden play spaces including a wooden FS climbing house; nature learning area; library; and music rooms. Phase 2 includes multipurpose outside football, tennis and netball courts. Whichschooladvisor found the school “attractive, with a ‘bright’ environment for learning.”

Interestingly, Dovecote is one of few schools to place “a framework of clear discipline” at the forefront of their statement of aims and values, something confirmed in the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Official Q&A where the school emphasises its “robust” discipline policy. This is not currently publicly published by the school, but is available on request.

Academically, Dovecote Green 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 and Key Stage 2 phases. Impressively, however, this is developed by leveraging and weaving numeracy and literacy across every aspect of the curriculum, including play at younger ages and developed links between lesson, formal prep and co-curricular activities.

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 Dovecote as one of a “thinking school” in which children learn independence of thought and action within a broader context of self-discipline, responsibility and reason.

Whilst it is early days, we particularly like the expressed aspiration of the school to be 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. We would, however, like the school to go further in developing scholarship and bursary provision, a feature called for both by the KHDA and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, with an eye the best global standards of Tier 1 provision and broadening the mix of role within the school to the benefit of all students.

The school has not yet been reviewed by the KHDA; new schools need time to bed-in to be fairly assessed. Our view too, is that it is early days to give an unequivocal recommendation of the school, notwithstanding its many outstanding strengths. Unlike inclusive schools, however, any advice to prospective parents considering Dovecote is that they must really ponder the suitability of a selective, academic school for their individual child(ren). Highly academic, fast-paced schools are not for all children – nor by virtue of their selectivity are they inherently better.

For prospective parents, marrying up the different offers of each school to the needs of their child(ren) is far and away the most important part of the equation. If the fit is not right, bells, whistles and all manner of positive aspects of a school are diversions at best.

This said, for parents of academic children who are likely to thrive under a fast paced curriculum, and who have highly developed English language skills, Dovecote offers a striking proposition.  This is even more the case for those parents set on a Repton Dubai education, but for whom, for whatever reason, Repton, financially, or in terms of waiting lists, is currently out of reach.

Prospective parents should note that, as a school in launch, scoring is predictive based on independent whichschooladvisor data and inspections, independent parent and student feedback, published school information and on completed facility provision to the published standard and design. Our value score in this case is based on its provision of a lower-cost slipstream route to Repton rather than its operation within the broader educational sector. 

Go to the FIRST REVIEW on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Go to OFFICIAL Q&A on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com

 

Details to consider
Type of school

Private, for profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 42,000
FS2: 42,000
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: NA (slipstream to Repton, Dubai [77,049 AED])
YEAR 8: NA
YEAR 9: NA
YEAR 10: NA
YEAR 11: NA
YEAR 12: NA
YEAR 13: NA

Curriculum

National Curriculum for England:
EYFS
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2

IB DipM Pass Rate

See Repton Dubai - International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

IB DipM Average Grade

See Repton Dubai - International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Number of A Levels offered

See Repton Dubai - International Baccalaureate Diploma only

A Levels offered

See Repton Dubai - International Baccalaureate Diploma only

A Level A* to A

See Repton Dubai - International Baccalaureate Diploma only

A Level A* to C

See Repton Dubai - International Baccalaureate Diploma only

IGCSE A* to C

See Repton Dubai

IGCSE A* to A

See Repton Dubai

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

See Repton Dubai

I/GCSEs offered

See Repton Dubai

Selective

Yes
Notes:
(1) All children who are considered for a place are age appropriately assessed (charge of AED 1000)
(2) The intention of the assessment process is to evaluate a child’s potential for future success, behaviour, attitude and character
(3) Dovecote Green does not offer English language support and all pupils must be fluent in English (at a level appropriate to their age) and able to access the entire curriculum in English
(4) The curriculum is academically demanding
(5) Parents must disclose any factor which may affect your child’s ability to cope independently within the normal school situation.
(6) Parents must disclose all learning difficulties and/or IEP. Failure to disclose any learning difficulties or medical conditions at the time of application may result in a place being withdrawn.
(7) Any offer made by the school is subject to being able to meet the individual needs of the child.
(8) The school is not staffed of resourced to cater for children with significant learning needs
(9) The school does not have an educational psychologist
(10) The school does not have expertise in dyslexia, dyspraxia or Aspergers syndrome

There is a charge of AED 1000 for each assessment and this is non refundable.

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

Capacity 560
Current: 40+

Teacher to Student Ratio

Maximum class size: 20 children

Largest nationality teachers

British

Teacher turnover

Not published

Year opened

2015

Location

Dubai Investments Park, Dubai

Student composition

British (largest nationality)

Gender

Mixed co-educatiional

School canteen

No

Owner

Evolvence Knowledge Investments Limited (EKI)
Evolvence Capital Limited

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0)4 883 7474

Web Address
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
2 Comments
  • Mrs Jack
    January 22, 2017 at 2:37 pm
    Strengths

    The academic and administration staff are excellent. Such a lovely community school.

    Weaknesses

    None that I have withnessed

    This is a lovely community school with fantastic staff that are willing to assist whenever required. My children are very happy and love going to school DGPS

  • Nicola
    April 25, 2017 at 9:55 am

    We chose Dovecote over 4 other school we looked at for our daughter.
    The best decision we have made since coming to Dubai. She is so happy and cant wait to go to school each day.

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