8 Dubai Schools move from ‘Acceptable’ to ‘Good’

The percentage of students attending good or better schools in Dubai has doubled from 26 per cent in the academic year 2008-2009 to 54 per cent in the latest inspection cycle. Out of 159 schools that were inspected, 8 schools that were previously rated as ‘Acceptable’ have put up significant efforts to improve their rating to ‘Good’.

Apple International SchoolThe Apple International School

In the recent inspection the school has shown significant improvement in many areas of attainment and progress. The students have shown good progress in their performance across all the core subjects including Islamic Education. These significant improvements in students outcome can be attributed to the leaders focus on quality of teacher development and the effective use of assessments.

The students have been rated ‘very good’ in their personal development while their social development, understanding of Islamic values and Emirati culture, and their innovative skills development has been ‘good’ in all phases of the school. These positive features of the school reflect the ethos and vision shared by its leaders.

Health and safety of students including child protection has been given utmost importance by the leadership team. The school has been well equipped to protect students from all sorts of on and off campus (buses) dangers.

Parents of the students that were surveyed have largely been very positive about the work of the school. The school maintains a very good partnership with parents and community, conducts surveys regularly to ascertain their opinions making them feel involved and empowered.

Additionally, DSIB has made recommendations to the school based on the inspection results. The team feels that the teachers need to work on developing students’ critical thinking skills particularly in Arabic and English subjects. It has also asked teachers to improve on modifying the curriculum in their lessons to meet the needs of all the groups and individuals, specifically the students who have special education needs and disabilities (SEND).

Queen International SchoolQueen International School This year’s inspection report shows that the school has consistently displayed strength in its teaching and learning. The leaders at all levels have shown commitment and engagement to improve students outcome. Majority of the teachers apply their subject knowledge effectively to enable students to make substantial progress. This is evident with students having attained outstanding results in IGCSE curriculum in all the core subjects.

The relationships across the school are professional and the staff are mutually supportive. Initiatives have been taken to support students personal development along with academics which is seen with students displaying strong personal and social development skills, particularly in their sense of personal responsibility and understanding of Islamic values. All the students including students with SEND receive good care and support and maintain very good relationship with the school staff. This reflects the efforts of the leaders to enrich the students overall experience of school and support for students with SEND.

According to the DSIB inspection report, the school’s leadership and management needs attention, the leaders need to have a clear understanding of the school’s goal and direction that should be communicated effectively across the school. The responsibilities need to be clearly assigned within the senior leadership team for overall leadership of the school, teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum. The school needs to improve its process and accuracy of self-evaluation in order to identify its strengths and weaknesses.

The Sheffield Private SchoolThe Sheffield Private School – The school leaders focus on improving teaching and development of effective learning skills along with well-developed curriculum and strong assessment systems have resulted in students making good progress in all the core subjects and in all phases. Nurturing atmosphere and support from teachers including the service learning programme have helped students build strong personal and social development skills. These also include students having very strong links with Emirati culture and UAE society at all phases in the school.

Leadership and management have been strong at various levels, leaders have set a clear direction based on the mission and vision of the school. Leaders show full commitment in achieving their National Agenda targets. Roles and responsibilities have been very well defined for individuals at every level holding them accountable for tasks assigned to them. The school community draws its self-evaluation data from a range of sources such as internal and external data analysis, parental and student surveys, past inspections, etc and is very clear about its strengths and areas of improvement.

Some of the key recommendations to the school by the inspection team are to improve progress and attainment in Arabic as both first language and as additional language and Islamic education. The school needs to take appropriate measures to improve the performance of boys in all the subjects.

Bradenton Preparatory AcademyBradenton Preparatory Academy – The new heads of the school, with clear direction are leading school improvement in all areas effectively. The school’s strength lies in its strong ethos of a positive learning environment with distinctive features of an American curriculum in an international setting. The measures and appropriate strategic steps taken by the leadership team reflect the school’s priority to improve students outcome. And this is evident with the students attainment and progress in core subjects being good in all phases of the school.

Furthermore, students have shown good personal development and social responsibility in all phases of the school. The leadership team has built an effective program of support for students with SEND. The school staff are highly qualified and work efficiently to address and meet the academic and emotional needs of these students. Parents have also expressed their appreciation of the school’s efforts in this regard. Additionally, the school has further enhanced its outstanding child protection and student safety measures. Their effective policies and procedures ensure students safety both in campus and on the buses.

As a part of DSIB’s recommendation the school has been asked to regularly monitor and improve the attainment and progress in Arabic. It has also been asked to systematically include aspects of Emirati history and culture in all phases along with further enhancing its teaching strategies to match the needs of all students at all grade levels.

Dubai International Private School – BRDubai International Private School – BR – The student’s attainment and progress has mostly been good throughout the school in the core subjects except for mathematics and Arabic. The students’ achievement in Islamic education has been good in all phases of the school. Creating a positive and encouraging learning environment has been a priority to the school leadership team. This is evident from students’ positive attitude and active involvement in the life of school. The school has undertaken a strong social and emotional learning program that acts as the foundation in promoting students’ personal and social development.

The school makes use of a range of assessment methods to identify the specific needs of students with SEND. It has a good understanding of the range of disabilities and difficulties faced by its students and ensures individual student needs are met with different and effective approaches. Majority of the teachers have good subject knowledge and a good understanding of how their students learn. They effectively modify their lessons and appropriately match their subject expectation from their students. Most lessons include a range of innovative teaching strategies to encourage student engagement and support effective learning. This is evident from students’ display of enthusiasm and enjoyment in learning.

The school has been asked to improve students’ attainment and progress to good or better in all subjects and phases. Attention needs to be given to further develop provision and increase attainment and progress in KG children. The quality of writing across curriculum needs to improve especially in the elementary level.

International School of Arts & SciencesInternational School of Arts & Sciences – The DSIB report highlights students attainment in Islamic Education as good except for high school, while the progress has been good in all phases of the school. Students have displayed very good understanding of Islamic values and awareness of Emirati culture.

The school community is focused on creating a positive learning environment for the students along with the commitment to support new initiatives to improve teaching and learning. Most of the teachers have good subject knowledge and good understanding of their students. The support for all groups of learners in KG has been very good with two qualified teachers, one English speaker and one Arabic speaker, in each classroom.

The school’s health and safety, including child protection measures have been outstanding. It has proactive child protection policy that is well communicated to its staff, students and families. The school encourages parents engagement in supporting the curriculum and special celebrations and events, it also effectively involves them in the support for students with SEND. Parents feel valued and empowered and have expressed strong support for the leadership and teaching staff.

The recommendations from DSIB are to improve use of assessments and ensure that the implementation of the curriculum relates closely to the adopted California State Standards. The school has also been asked to develop a more realistic appraisal of its performance in the self-evaluation process and ensure that the teachers encourage students to develop critical thinking skills at all grades.

INTERNATIONAL CONCEPT EDUCATIONINTERNATIONAL CONCEPT EDUCATION – The students achievement in core subjects and French has been good and better. Students are aware of their learning strengths and areas of work that need improvement, they are highly motivated and enjoy taking responsibility for their own learning. Students demonstrate very good personal and social development skills at maternelle and primaire levels. They are extremely well behaved and self-disciplined even during outdoor activities with minimum adult supervision. Students and staff maintain a very positive relationship and show consideration towards students with SEND and those that need support.

Teachers display good subject knowledge including Arabic as first language and most of them have a strong understanding of how their students learn. This allows them in comprehensive lesson planning and including a range of resources to conduct researches and practical activities. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are developed by asking thought provoking questions in most of the classes.

The school regularly reviews its curriculum design and most of the departments are very clear in their rationale and balance required between the French curriculum standards and IB approaches. The school caters very well for the language needs of its diverse learners along with securely meeting the special educational needs of its students. Ensuring students safety at all times has been high priority to the school. All the school staff members are trained in comprehensive child protection procedures. The on-campus facilities are safe and accessible to all students including the special and physically disabled.

As a part of DSIB’s recommendation the school has been asked to raise the standards of students key skills in Islamic Education and Arabic languages. It has to further improve its teaching to match the best standards of French and IB educational principles.

GEMS International School- Al KhailGEMS International School- Al Khail – Students have shown good attainment and progress in English, Mathematics and Science subjects across all phases of the school. Personal development among students has been very good, they display positive attitude towards their school work. Students maintain a very good relationship with staff and peers, they work and cooperate well with each other.

Most of the teachers have a thorough knowledge of their subject, the school effectively uses teaching coaches to improve learning opportunities across the school. Teachers apply a range of teaching strategies to identify and support the diverse groups of learners. The school makes effective use of different assessment data and actively involves all of its staff in the analysis of data to inform adjustments to teaching and adaptations to the curriculum.

The school has very good health and safety measure in place along with effective child protection policies. They have programmes conducted throughout the year on educating the students and parents about various kinds of abuses both in school and at home. The school has further strengthened its SEND leadership with knowledgeable staff that focuses on improving the progress for all students.

The school governors have been asked to implement a strategic plan to improve attainment and progress in Arabic language and in Islamic Education. The report also recommends that the leaders adapt curriculum to ensure subject specific skills and expectations in the PYP and MYP that are fully integrated into every discipline.

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