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Best Schools Dubai – And Why

StudentsGradesIn the latest (2016) report from Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) the number of ‘Outstanding’ schools in Dubai has increased by two to 16 schools. In addition, a further 13 schools are now rated Very Good. This is an entirely new category for the 2015/16 reports.

The good news is that for all but one of these schools this is a move upwards. Only one school has slipped down from Outstanding to Very Good.

According to the emirate’s education regulator 61% of students (representing 154,000 from a total of 253,000 students) are now in schools that offer a good or better quality of education, as compared to 30% in 2008-2009.

The volume of good schools in the emirate should be of great comfort to existing residents, as well as those moving in. There is choice, and an increasing amount of it.

Read: Dubai School Fees 2016/17 – the complete list, by Year Group

And: Complete Dubai School Rankings – KHDA

And: Dubai school movers and shakers, 2015/16

And: Is there a relationship between school fees and rating?

In 2015/16 149 schools were inspected (six added over 2014/15). Of these, 16 were rated Outstanding, 13 were rated as Very Good, 57 Good, 56 schools are Acceptable, 7 schools are Weak, and currently no schools are considered Very Weak.

GEMSNATIONS

In previous years the KHDA has been at pains to outline the correlation between good leadership and quality education. In 2015/16, DSIB found that good or better leadership was exercised at 64% of all schools, an increase of 18 percentage points compared to 2008.

Performance levels for Dubai schools are now defined as follows:

Outstanding Quality of performance substantially exceeds the expectation of the UAE
Very Good Quality of performance exceeds the expectation of the UAE
Good Quality of performance meets the expectation of the UAE (This is the expected level for every school in the UAE)
Acceptable Quality of performance meets the minimum level of quality required in the UAE (This is the minimum level for every school in the UAE)
Weak Quality of performance is below the expectation of the UAE
Very Weak Quality of performance is significantly below the expectation of the UAE

 

Outstanding Schools Revealed

CurriculumSchools

Caption: Dubai school ratings, by curriculum type.

Schools that score an overall outstanding rating will undoubtedly become the most sought-after school places in Dubai. Here are the 16 outstanding performing private schools in Dubai, as of May 2016.

 

School Name Curriculum Overall 2015/2016 Rating Overall 2014/2015 Rating Current School Fees Minmum (AED) Current School Fees Maximum (AED)
Dubai College UK Outstanding Outstanding 77,702 87,986
Dubai English Speaking private college – branch UK Outstanding Outstanding 74,219 79,772
Dubai International Academy IB Outstanding Good 38,318 67,893
Gems Dubai American Academy US/IB Outstanding Outstanding 21,781 80,640
Gems Jumeirah Primary School UK Outstanding Outstanding 38,202 48,155
Gems Modern Academy Indian Outstanding Outstanding 33,056 49,011
Gems Royal Dubai School UK Outstanding Good 35,834 45,182
Gems Wellington International School UK/IB Outstanding Outstanding 41,078 89,368
Jumeirah College UK Outstanding Outstanding 68,233 85,291
Jumeirah English Speaking School UK Outstanding Outstanding 36,506 45,115
Jumeirah English Speaking School (Br) UK/IB Outstanding Outstanding 36,506 86,006
Kings School Dubai UK Outstanding Outstanding 40,777 61,525
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou Primary Oud Metha French Outstanding Outstanding 26,062 26,062
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou School (Dubai Branch) French Outstanding Good 31,401 43,122
Repton School FZ-LLC UK/IB Outstanding Outstanding 50,379 100,759
The Indian High School Indian Outstanding Outstanding 4,921 9,321

 

In addition, there are the schools now rated Very Good. This is a new category for 2016, and schools here are performing above the expectations of the KHDA’s inspection team.

 

School Name Curriculum Overall 2015/2016 Rating Overall 2014/2015 Rating Current School Fees Minmum (AED) Current School Fees Maximum (AED)
Deira International School UK/IB Very Good Good 38,328 77,222
Delhi Private School Indian Very Good Good 9,682 13,555
Dubai British School UK Very Good Good 43,644 65,467
Dubai English Speaking School UK Very Good Good 34,000 42,078
Gems Our Own English High School Indian Very Good Good 6,804 14,397
Gems Wellington Academy (Branch) UK Very Good Good 35,067 79,185
Gems Wellington Primary School UK Very Good Good 40,795 51,422
Horizons English School UK Very Good Outstanding 24,872 34,834
Jebel Ali Primary School UK Very Good Good 41,093 41,093
Lycee Libanais Francophone Prive-Dubai French Very Good Good 23,151 49,610
The Millennium School Indian Very Good Good 15,888 23,364
The School of Research Science UK Very Good Good 32,069 68,853
The Winchester School UK Very Good Good 12,996 28,992

 

Note, only one Outstanding school lost its rating in 2015/16 – Horizon School, which fell to Very Good.

 

Schools rated Good by the KHDA

If you are currently research a school for your child, note – Outstanding schools tend to be at or near capacity. Good schools will also be targeted by parents but you should broaden your search to schools on this list. Note, targeting new (opened in the last 3-4 years) and new schools will yield the biggest opportunities for a space within a high performing school.

 

School Name Curriculum Overall 2015/2016 Rating Overall 2014/2015 Rating Current School Fees Minmum (AED) Current School Fees Maximum (AED)
Al Ameen Private School UK Good Good 9,084 10,296
Al Basateen Private Nursery Hatta Branch MOE Good Acceptable 5,400 5,400
Al Diyafah High School UK Good Good 8,312 17,902
Al Ittihad Private School (BR) US Good Good 19,427 37,834
Al Mawakeb School – Al Garhoud US Good Good 13,373 21,678
Al Mawakeb School (Br) US Good Acceptable 13,373 21,678
Al Mizhar American Academy School US Good Good 39,886 62,176
Al Rashid Al Saleh Private School MOE Good Good 8,354 17,927
Al Safa Private School UK Good Good 25,902 39,879
Al Salam Private School UK Good Good 12,482 27,899
Ambassador Kindergarten LLC Indian Good Acceptable 25,351 25,351
Ambassador School Indian Good Acceptable 19,976 39,306
American School of Dubai US Good Good 57,307 78,685
Cambridge International School UK Good Good 17,206 23,361
Collegiate American School US Good Good 40,071 72,352
Dar Al Marefa School IB Good Good 30,676 69,660
Dubai Gem Private School UK Good Good 11,820 24,268
Dubai National School US Good Good 20,164 33,087
Dubai National School (Branch) US Good Acceptable 19,761 32,395
Dubai Police Kindergarten – Deira Branch MOE Good Good 1 1
Dubai Scholars Private School UK Good Good 13,739 26,060
Emirates International Private School L.L.C UK/IB Good Good 33,836 71,702
Emirates International School Meadows IB Good Good 25,871 76,726
Foremarke School UK Good n/a 90,000 98,000
Gems New Millennium School Indian Good n/a 20,963 28,000
Gems Our Own Indian School Indian Good Acceptable 5,737 11,696
Gems Wellington Academy – Al Khail UK Good n/a 52,000 85,000
Gems World Academy IB Good Good 62,176 107,928
German International School Dubai German Good Good 35,146 66,398
Green Field Community School IB Good Good 41,441 76,315
Greenwood International School US Good Good 17,596 26,981
Horizon International School L.L.C UK Good Good 33,318 77,453
Iranian Towheed Boys School Iranian Good Good 8,500 10,000
Japanese School Japanese Good Good 16,816 16,816
JSS International School Indian Good Good 13,626 35,557
JSS Private School Indian Good Good 10,620 23,059
Jumeira Baccalaureate UK/IB Good Good 56,131 84,197
Lycee Francais International French Good Good 25,459 53,843
Our Own High School Indian Good Good 8,260 13,778
Pristine Private School UK Good Good 9,071 16,994
Raffles International School – Umm Suqueim South BR UK Good Good 29,328 65,812
Raffles World Academy UK/IB Good Good 29,328 82,119
Rajagiri International School Dubai Indian Good Good 10,945 21,941
Regent International Private School UK Good Good 42,265 92,482
Russian International School Russian Good Acceptable 13,747 21,138
Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Islamic Institute MOE Good Good 1 1
Springdales School Dubai Indian Good n/a 18,000 28,000
St Mary Catholic High School-Dubai UK Good Good 5,825 12,512
Star International School UK Good Good 19,657 38,897
The English College Dubai UK Good Good 49,764 59,619
The Indian High School – Branch Indian Good Good 4,699 4,921
The Kindergarten Starters Indian Good Acceptable 6,666 8,897
The Westminster School UK Good Good 7,295 14,182
United International Private School Philippine Good Acceptable 4,659 8,482
Universal American School – Branch US/IB Good Good 38,465 73,030
Uptown School IB Good Good 54,703 83,852
Victory Heights Primary School UK Good Acceptable 34,589 47,167

 

Comparing Dubai schools internationally

UAE Schools Versus TIMS Pisa

The best Dubai schools are very good, with the likes of Dubai College comparing favourably with some of the best private schools in the UK – at least in terms of academic results. As a whole however, the UAE has some way to go on international benchmarks like the PISA test.

See: Problem: UAE schools at the bottom of the class

Results vary widely across curricula in the UAE, with IB and UK curriculum schools scoring significantly higher than their peers and already closing in on the benchmarks set in the UAE for 2021. Higher performance in these tests is reflected in the ratings of schools in the UAE by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau. Two thirds of Outstanding schools in the emirate are either UK or IB schools.

STEM scores by curriculum

Note however, that this is not necessarily to do with the curriculum. UK and IB schools tend to be the most expensive, charge the highest fees, and therefore are the most well funded schools in Dubai.

 

Getting into one of these schools

If you are currently researching schools, you want to read our guide to getting into a good school in the UAE.

 

How school inspections are done

Internationally qualified school inspectors pay on site visits to every private school in Dubai to rate the school on key questions such as:

  1. How good are the students’ attainment and progress in key subjects? (Key subjects focus on Maths, Science, Arabic, Islamic Studies and English)
  2. How good is the students’ personal and social development? 
  3. How good is the teaching, learning and assessment methods?

  4. How well does the curriculum meet the educational needs of all students? 
  5. How well does the school protect and support its students?
  6. How good are the leadership and management of the school?

  7. How well does the school perform overall?

Following each inspection, the school gets a full written report with details of the school’s performance and shortfalls. Parents considering specific schools should be able to access the latest school inspection report through the KHDA website.

The school is expected to prepare an action plan addressing any recommendations for further development, which is then used as a benchmark for the next year’s inspections.

 

Why you should filter reports

The KHDA rates schools based on its own weighting system. In its latest guide it notes its next round of reports will focus on Special Educational Needs provision, and core subjects Maths and English.

The inspection team will of course continue to look at MoE requirements for Islamic and social studies, Arabic as a first and second language – and so on.

As a parent not everything the KHDA uses in its overview rating, you will consider important – for non-Muslims the weighting given to Islamic Studies for example, may not be considered so vital.

If you do only look at the top line rating, you could be excluding schools delivering outstanding education in those areas you consider important…

What do you think? Have your say on Dubai schools – complete the 2015/16 School survey here.

Further reading: www.khda.gov.ae/en

And: School Availability – Latest Admissions Information. This list is updated regularly.

 

 

62 Comments

Leave A Reply
  1. Fabrizio says
    August 27, 2016, 2:46 am

    I am relocating to Dubai in October 2016. My 14 y.o. daughter attended year 9 in Italy (Liceo scientifico: Italian, English, maths, physics, science, art history, history, geography, IT, sport). Speaks fluent English, excellent English comprehension and reading, fair writing. Which school with IB curricula will better support her @ year ten making her a happy, not stressed student? She does not know what will be her future profession ( archaeology, psychology, medicine, business?)

    Reply
  2. Krishnan says
    August 23, 2016, 7:39 pm

    Hi,

    I’m looking for a good school with IB curriculum for my 5 year old son. Please suggest any good school which gives equal importance to sports and arts.

    Reply
    • August 25, 2016, 8:03 am

      Hi Krishnan,

      The number of IB curriculum schools in Dubai is still quite limited. They include Raffles World Academy, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Greenfield Community School, Uptown School, Dubai International Academy, GEMS International School, The Swiss International School and Dar Al Marefa. The IB curriculum is a very well rounded and broad curriculum. I would suggest you contact the schools to find out more about their arts and sports focus and facilities.

      Reply
  3. malika lala says
    August 22, 2016, 2:06 pm

    I need help to decide, which is a better option for my 14year old daughter for grade 9, AL DIYAFAH or DUBAI GEM PRIVATE. as she is brilliant student and needs guidance to be able to pursue her further studies in UK or US. Can someone please help. Thanks.

    Reply
    • August 23, 2016, 11:54 am

      HI Malika,

      Can I suggest that you check the KHDA inspection reports for each school – http://www.khda.gov.ae/DISB/AttachmentDownload.aspx?DOC_ID=ip%2f75uO7wH0%3d (Dubai Gem) and http://www.khda.gov.ae/DISB/AttachmentDownload.aspx?DOC_ID=xSFlIJk7iNk%3d (Al Diyafah). Both schools are rated Good and have been so consistently for a number of years. The schools are really very similar in terms of their support for students at all levels. My advice would be that you try to visit both schools and specifically ask about their recent exam results (IGCSE and A level) as well as find out more about where students go to study and what experience the school has in assisting students to apply to the UK or US universities. Often the personal impression you receive when you visit a school is the deciding factor. Good Luck.

      Reply
  4. otila osborne says
    July 23, 2016, 10:03 pm

    Hello there, we are looking at enrolling our daughter into a high school in Dubai in 2018 – she will be NZ year 10-11. When is the beginning of the school year? In NZ it starts in Feb and ends in December. Also there is a huge discrepancy in lowest to highest fees per school is that a reflection of the school year ie highschool year 12 is higher etc or what constitutes the range? Also is there any schools that are better known for their Maths and Science programmes? She wants to be a Marine Biologist.Thanks Otila

    Reply
    • July 24, 2016, 10:51 am

      Hi Otila,

      The school year commences in September and ends in late June/early July. Most NZ students choose the UK curriculum although the IB (International Baccalaureate) may also be an option. The fee ranges are from KG level to year 13 (UK system) or grade 12 (International curricula). Since your daughter has such a clear focus, enrolling her in a UK curriculum school where she would be able to narrow her focus for A Levels in the final two school years may well make sense. If you use the search function for Secondary or Through UK curriculum schools and also check our reports on the latest round of inspections by the regulator (the KHDA) on WhichSchoolAdvisor you will be able to find details of schools offering A levels. Please be aware that if your daughter is entering year 10 in a 13 year school, it is very important that she is in Dubai for the start of the academic year in September. Students follow a two year programme (GCSE) for UK public examinations (a precursor to the A Level programme) and it is not possible to enter part way through the academic year. Your daughter would need to be 14 years old by 31st August to be able to join this year group.

      Reply
  5. Ashish says
    May 23, 2016, 9:42 pm

    Hi,

    I am moving to Dubai in a month’s time. My son is 5.5 years old and currently studying in class I .Can you help me with information regarding good Indian schools (CBSE board) to shortlist and start communication?

    Reply
    • Sana says
      July 23, 2016, 1:22 am

      Hi,I would definitely recommend Delhi Private School Dubai(DPS).

      Reply
    • July 24, 2016, 10:40 am

      Dear Ashish,

      Please search the articles on the latest KHDA reports on our site. The articles provide you with information about the CBSE schools and their performance based on the inspections carried by the Schools regulator in Dubai. There are many good schools, but demand for CBSE is high and you may find that you will need to approach the newer schools such as Springdales, Credence, AMLED and GEMS New Millennium. Each school website will provide you with further information.

      Reply
  6. Raj says
    May 16, 2016, 4:19 am

    Hi
    I am looking for school preferably IB stream for my daughter who now studies in grade 9 (year 13) and we come from land of mountain Nepal.
    We are planning to shift to Dubai and looking for best school for our daughter offering IB stream to continue her further studies.
    Can you guide us which schools are to be shortlisted for visit?
    Will she be subject to examination, or her previous academic records will substantiate for her admission?
    Pls guide us.

    Reply
    • May 18, 2016, 2:39 pm

      Hello Raj,

      There are a number of IB curriculum schools in Dubai who would probably be able to assist your daughter. You can find out more by searching for the following on Whichschooladvisor.com –

      Dubai International Academy,
      GEMS International School
      Uptown School
      Greenfield Community School
      Jumeira Baccalaureate School
      GEMS World Academy
      Dar Al Marefa
      Swiss International Scientific School

      The Admissions policies vary between schools, but I would expect that your daughter will need to sit an entrance test. In some cases this may be possible at her current school in Nepal. The Admissions staff at each school will be able to inform you about the process.

      Good Luck with your daughter’s admission and move to Dubai.

      Reply
  7. zahwa says
    April 25, 2016, 2:07 am

    i want to know more abaout MOE curriculum, cant you give me more explanation about it or link. if can please show me the syllabus

    Reply
    • April 28, 2016, 11:39 am

      Hi Zahwa, the Ministry of Education curriculum is followed by all government funded (public) schools in the UAE. It is taught in Arabic with English taught as a second language – http://www.uaecd.org/k-12-education – this article tells you a little more. The Ministry of Education website contains details of the curriculum and development plans but in Arabic only – https://www.moe.gov.ae/. Public schools do not usually accept non-Emirati students. Many private schools follow the Ministry of Education curriculum for Arabic. 40% of Emirati students study in private schools.

      Reply
  8. Bibi R says
    April 21, 2016, 7:08 pm

    Excellent informative web site …. any help with a challenging issue? Two girls – aged 10 and 11 years – British nationality, native English speakers but educated in international schools in Asia and completely fluent in Mandarin. Ideal educational environment would cater for a continuation in Mandarin studies and also offer IB curriculum. Would such exist in Dubai?

    Reply
    • April 22, 2016, 8:47 am

      Hi Bibi

      There are a number of schools that offer Mandarin including Nord Anglia (which is a testing centre for HSK tests), Safa Community School, Raffles International School and Repton. Generally, this is only offered to Secondary students – so 11 plus – and is aimed at beginners. However, the schools may be able to assist you with appropriate learning for your daughters and I would suggest that you contact each directly. These schools are all UK curriculum but Nord Anglia and Repton offer the IB Diploma programme in years 12 and 13. You can also contact http://www.dubaiclc.com to find out about the programmes they offer.

      Reply
      • Tham says
        May 17, 2016, 10:30 am

        Nord Anglia provides mandarin for beginner, intermediate & advanced starting from pre-school.

    • April 22, 2016, 8:49 am

      In addition, Dubai International Academy (an IB World School) will offer Chinese for both native and non-native speakers from September 2016.

      Reply
  9. panayota alexopoulos says
    April 1, 2016, 2:13 am

    I am moving my 6 year old daughter to dubai, she speaks no english( we are Greek) .should that be a problem? do schools have support classes for non english speaking children?

    Reply
    • April 5, 2016, 9:20 am

      Dear Panayota,

      Many schools in Dubai provide assistance for children who are not native English speakers. Usually they will assess the child and determine how much support is required. Initially she may be taught on a one-to-one basis and then in a smaller group. Children at this age learn very quickly. The main issue is to ensure that you start researching and applying to schools that offer ESL or EAL support as soon as possible, as places are limited. There are some UK curriculum schools that require children to be able to speak English on entry, but many of the newer schools in particular do offer support and are actively seeking students to join them.

      Reply
  10. Shweta says
    March 26, 2016, 1:38 pm

    I will be coming to Dubai in August. Can you suggest a good schools for cbsc?

    Reply
  11. Sonia says
    March 23, 2016, 7:27 pm

    My daughter is going into grade 9 in Sept 2016. We are Canadian. Are there any Canadian schools in Dubai?

    Reply
    • March 23, 2016, 9:00 pm

      Dear Sonia,

      Unfortunately, there is no Canadian curriculum school in Dubai offering Secondary school. Most Canadian families favour the US curriculum as an alternative, although some feel that the UK curriculum is more rigourous. Your other option is the IB curriculum which is now recognised globally and the only truly transferable curriculum. More information is available at http://www.ibo.org.

      Reply
    • Yasmine says
      April 10, 2016, 3:14 pm

      Actually there is a Canadian school in Mirdif. Ontario International School

      Reply
      • April 11, 2016, 12:34 pm

        HI Yasmine,

        You are correct, but the school is only Elementary at this point and the children involved are in High School.

  12. Suzanne says
    February 12, 2016, 8:18 pm

    Hi
    This is Suzanne
    I transferred with my son from Canada to Dubai, I am looking for a good equivalent curriculum to Canada’s one
    My son is going to grade 7 and I need your advise to the best school that has outstanding certificate specially in math , English and science
    Is it good to join a UK curriculum then transfer him into US one when he is in grade 10, since I am looking to teach him in Canada after grade 12
    Please adivice me

    Reply
    • February 25, 2016, 11:47 am

      Hi Suzanne, you can find details of all the schools and their ratings on the KHDA website http://www.khda.gov.ae/en/DSIB/Reports?isSearched=1. However, we think it is important to look beyond just the KHDA rating and look at all the keys areas of performance of the school. You will find that there are many more UK curriculum schools in Dubai than US (and it would be very important to check on the accreditation of the US curriculum schools that you investigate). Your son would gain admission to university in Canada with qualifications from a UK curriculum school, but as you probably know, the number of subjects taught in the final two years of the British curriculum are much narrower than in the US or Canadian (usually 3 or 4 subjects only). It would make sense to switch from the UK curriculum to the US for grade 9 (year 10 in the UK system) so that your son completes the full 4 years in High School. The other option would be to keep your son in the UK system through to year 11 and then ensure that he follows the IB Diploma programme for years 12 and 13. This qualification is extremely well regarded globally and provides the broader range of subjects. An increasing number of UK curriculum schools now offer the IB Diploma instead of the traditional A Level programme.

      Reply
  13. Javier says
    January 31, 2016, 11:03 am

    If you have the choice to choose between two schools which one you will go with: Kings or Nord Anglia.

    Any recommendation? Thanks for your help

    Reply
    • February 2, 2016, 11:31 am

      HI Javier,

      We would not recommend any particular school to you as this is such a personal decision. It is not just about the academic performance of the school, but so much more also about the atmosphere, ethos, facilities, teaching style, policies related to homework, Extra curricular activities, focus of the school on academic and non-academic activities etc. Our only recommendation would be that you visit both schools and see for yourself, ask as many questions as possible and then take a view on which school is right for you and your child. Often you will know within minutes of visiting a school whether it is right for you. Both the schools you have mentioned appear to have excellent reputations, so it is likely to be your personal impression that will be the deciding factor.

      Reply
  14. Ine says
    January 29, 2016, 12:44 am

    Since arriving in Dubai with my search on schools for my kids, I have had horrific experiences. Don’t get me wrong, school standards are high and it was an eye opener to see what is being offered.

    I was looking for a good international school, and the only standard I knew was British. However, at a certain school offering that curriculum, my perfectly fine child was told he was special needs because English was his second language.

    DIA however had the open mind to test my child for who he is and his abilities. He is currently a happy normal Year 5, speaking English as first language and excelling every term in his marks (which was good from the start given the circumstances).

    My 4 yr old daughter was accepted in KG2 there without formal schooling before and is currently above the average in her class (Yr 1).

    Again, DIA pulled through and helped my child as an individual. It might get only a GOOD from the KHDA, but so did the school which did not know a normal boy from a special needs one…

    I would rather have my kids at DIA any day. Every school has its hiccups, but I find that some outstanding schools do not teach the empathy in life that opens doors. I am grateful that my kids are being taught the same values at school that I teach at home.

    Reply
    • February 2, 2016, 11:33 am

      Hi Ine,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It is great to know that your children are now settled and happy at your chosen school.

      Reply
    • Karim Bhanji says
      April 19, 2016, 3:24 pm

      Is DIA, DUBAI INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY?

      Reply
  15. miriam says
    January 14, 2016, 7:22 pm

    I have 2 daughters that attend American schools, one in in Grade 10 but I am not fully convinced regarding the quality of education she receives. I am looking for a school that has good teaching, and has diverse nationalities within the school. Any recommendations?

    Reply
  16. AN says
    December 30, 2015, 12:41 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone knew which is a good IB school in Dubai for my child who is going to go to year 11.

    Reply
    • January 6, 2016, 9:46 pm

      Hi AN,

      The number of IB curriculum schools is still quite limited, but the following offer year 11 (grade 10) – Uptown Mirdif, Dar Al Marefa, Dubai International Academy, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Greenfield Community School, GEMS World Academy and Emirates International Schools are the best known.

      Reply
  17. Teena sikka says
    December 25, 2015, 9:01 pm

    Hello. Can anyone tell .How’s the english college dubai school.my more concern is with it’s academics (secondary level).

    Reply
    • December 30, 2015, 12:36 pm

      Hi Teena,

      The English College is one of the oldest Secondary schools in Dubai and has consistently been rated by “Good” by the KHDA. Secondary standards for Maths and English are rated as Outstanding whilst Science is rated Good; post 16 standards are rated as Good across all 3 subjects. The main area of improvement focuses around Arabic and Islamic Studies. You can read the full report here – http://www.khda.gov.ae/DISB/AttachmentDownload.aspx?DOC_ID=OCfD99zWXvw%3d.

      Reply
  18. Annonymous says
    December 7, 2015, 7:39 pm

    Ok.. so i am 9 grader student .. i go to a US curriculum…its not that good and i am hearing that my school is not accredited… i want to shift to CIS (cambridge international school) so is it right to shift school in grade 10 to another curriculum and to take in consideration that grade 10 marks are needed for university .. so will shifting curriculum actually affect my studies ? Bcz this is what i heard

    Reply
    • December 9, 2015, 11:26 am

      Dear Annonymous,

      I am sorry to learn about your concerns. Moving to a different curriculum school in grade 10 is not going to be easy. CIS is a UK curriculum school and grade 10 (year 11) is part way through the two year IGCSE programme. I think it is very unlikely that they would accept you and the same is true all UK and Indian curriculum schools. In all likelihood you would need to repeat a year in order to complete the two year programme.

      Your best option is probably to stay within the US curriculum but to seek a school that is either already accredited or at least part way through the accreditation process (which usually takes 2-3 years). This would mean that they would be accredited by the time you complete grade 12. Good Luck in your search.

      Reply
  19. Maryam says
    November 28, 2015, 10:41 am

    Hello everyone ..
    My two kids 5,8 studying in grade 1 and 4 are currently studying in viss Sharjah .. But as il be shifting to dubai .. Could anyone suggest schools in dubai .equivalent to viss curriculum (Australian curriculum ) . Thanks

    Reply
    • December 9, 2015, 11:28 am

      Hi Maryam,

      There is currently no Australian curriculum school in Dubai. Many Australian families choose either the UK curriculum (as it is similar to the Australian) or the IB (which is becoming increasingly popular in Australia). Your children are relatively young, and for this reason, a change of curriculum is not likely to affect their studies.

      Reply
  20. Lee says
    May 9, 2015, 4:45 pm

    Could you comment on the US curriculum and UK curriculum in primary stage? kindly note we are Asian and no prefer to any one.

    Second question: both of Jebel Ali Primary School(FS2, 2016) and GEMS Wellington(FS1, 2015) offer a place to my daughter? What is the key difference between them and which one we should accept? For my daughter’s education, we try to let her to be a happy girl and has hobbies and interests, not successful person! Which school use less award and punishment methods between GWI and JAPS in primary stage?
    The award and punishment methods are very good to control people, but will destroy focus and interest.

    Reply
    • May 11, 2015, 5:33 pm

      Hi Lee, the main difference is that the UK curriculum starts when children reach the age of 3 turning 4 (although there are a few UK schools that do not offer this grade). All other international curricula (including the US curriculum) take children into a formal school environment when they are 4 turning 5. Although the FS1 classes tend to be very much nursery classes, children will be in larger groups than they would usually find at nursery, wear a school uniform and be subject to a certain amount of school discipline, which may not suit all 3 year olds.

      In terms of the schools that have offered you places, I would strongly advise you to visit the schools. You don’t mention which GEMS Wellington, but all the GEMS schools are newer, generally larger and “through-schools” (to age 18), unless you are referring to Wellington Primary (behind the Shangri-la Hotel). The GEMS schools are very different in nature to JAPS which is an older, smaller and more traditional school. However, JAPS is due to relocate to a new site on the Emirates Road next September, so you may want to bear this in mind in terms of the logistics. If you feel that your child is ready for school and you are happy with GEMS Wellington when you have visited it, then it would probably make sense to take that place. If you feel that you prefer the JAPS environment and would prefer to wait a further year, then this is the option open to you.

      Reply
      • Lee says
        May 12, 2015, 12:11 am

        Thanks for your comments. GEMS Wellington International School and Jebel Ali Primary School offer a place separately, WIS is FS1 2015 and JAPS is FS2 2016. Many friends recommend JAPS because it is smaller, closer and has a very good reputation. However JAPS will relocate to Emirates road and will open middle school and or high school. That means JAPS will be bigger to as large as 1600 students. So I do not how they can manage these changes. GEMS WIS is big and popular, which is outstanding for many years. Both of them have advantages and disadvantages. I had visited both of them. In 2012(when my daughter was four months old) I visited JAPS and 2014, 2015 also. I do like it. However GEMS WIS is good also when I visited in 2014 and few days ago. So I need professional comments and suggestions. Which one should I choose? Thanks

        HI Lee, only you can make this decision as you know your daughter and your own personal situation best. Which school atmosphere did you prefer? What were the class sizes and mix of children? What impression did you have of the teachers (age, experience)? Which school do you think would suit your daughter in 2 years time or 5 years based on your impressions? Wellington is rated “Outstanding” by the KHDA, JAPS is rated “Good” – check the KHDA inspection reports on their website – http://www.khda.gov.ae – and see what they perceive the differences to be. Consider the location – is JAPS’ new location going to be an inconvenience for you? Would you prefer to place your daughter in an established school environment or are you happy to be involved in the building up of a new school, which JAPS will be? All schools in Dubai need to succeed academically in order to attract new families to the school, so there will inevitably be an academic focus, but certainly for the Foundation years, the UK curriculum is all about learning through play, so neither school should be placing any academic pressure or strict code of conduct on your daughter. Good luck with your decision.

  21. Karim says
    March 7, 2015, 10:42 am

    The fact that the American School of Dubai isn’t one of the top 10 schools in Dubai shows how ridiculous this list is. The only thing holding them back is that they are not strong in Arabic and Islamic studies. Too bad. They’re one of the top schools not just in Dubai but in the UAE.

    Reply
    • Professor says
      March 7, 2015, 11:46 am

      A key to both the ADEC and KHDA reports is to read them properly and understand why a school is rated as it is. A school may be high performing in those areas that you personally feel are valuable. The devil is always in the details – but both ADEC and the KHDA allow you very easily to see what they have rated and how they have rated it on purpose to allow you to do this…

      Reply
      • Jane says
        March 8, 2015, 4:19 pm

        Yes, but…

        “What stops the American School of Dubai attaining an Outstanding ranking is perhaps because it does not require students to take Arabic beyond grade 5, nor does it currently provide Islamic Studies as part of its curriculum thereby not complying fully with MoE curriculum.”

        Considering the target audience of the school, I don’t think these are major issues which concern the parents. Which makes one wonder, should that issue really carry such weight when ranking a non-Arabic language private school that caters to a mostly non-Arab student body? One has to wonder if there would be slight shifts in the rankings if the issues Arabic and Islamic studies did not carry so much weight.

      • Professor says
        March 8, 2015, 4:59 pm

        Well it really depends upon the parent Jane – some parents at ASD will consider it important despite it being an American curriculum.

        We also do need to factor in the school is in the UAE, an Arabic speaking, Islamic country, and therefore it is understandable if the national regulator makes these key considerations in its overall rating. As a parent however, it is up to you what you factor into your personal conclusions on inspection findings

  22. AZ says
    February 4, 2015, 5:43 pm

    I have twin boys (7years) with different academic abilities and interests. They were accepted in both Kings and DAA. Both are outstanding schools, but seeing your comments above, shall i deduct that UK curriculum is better than the American one? Any advice or recommendation is welcomed. Thank you

    Reply
    • Professor says
      March 8, 2015, 9:04 pm

      The UK curriculum is not better than the US – just different. There are however a lot more UK schools than US schools, and the list above reflects that fact. As the comments above show, there are some very good US curriculum schools passionately supported by parents. I would look at those rated Good, and then read the reports to make your own conclusions.

      For the choice between curricula I would also consider where your child will continue schooling when you leave the UAE. If you are a US citizen, and plan to return to the US one day, then clearly that would suggest a US school…

      Most people considering a US curriculum would normally evaluate it against IB. For that we did have a question in our Q and A site here – http://whichschooladvisor.com/qanda/curriculum-best-ib-us/

      Reply
  23. onutza kindrish says
    June 26, 2014, 1:14 pm

    Middle East countries have been duped into employing only native speaking UK , USA, CANADA, Australian etc specialists disregarding the tremendously poor quality of the respective countries’ education and universities.In many European countries these ” native speakers”-poor specialists are sent home.

    Reply
    • Amal says
      July 14, 2014, 3:57 pm

      As a matter of fact, there was not much of transparency in terms of data, school displays, teachers’ performance or parents’ council in some schools . Preparations were made in advance, for the accreditation purpose, and such schools got highly effective although it has never been one of their systems or school procedures to keep records or have parents’ council or even have displays in the school! MOE accreditation should consider all these.
      Thank you for your good realistic point Onutza.

      Reply
  24. Ibo says
    May 28, 2014, 7:38 am

    If Star international School in Mirdiff offers a superb educational environment with specialist facilities that include an art room, music room, science laboratory, cookery room and specialized teaching rooms for French, Arabic, Islamic Studies and support programmes for Literacy, Numeracy and EAL….as they claim….then it makes you wonder why they keep getting Acceptable Rating for the past few years…Rating for the School for 2014 was again Acceptable.

    Reply
  25. Nadira Jaffar says
    April 18, 2014, 7:04 pm

    My son is facing mild dyslexia, but he is good in studies and would like to do commerce in Plus one. Kindly assist please.

    Reply
  26. samih says
    February 7, 2014, 4:00 pm

    How come all of the 10 best schools are UK or similar based curriculum! Does this has anything to do with visiting teams background! Or it is marketing concept back ground? Visiting teams ignore or devaluate certain aspects or give it less weight than other standards so that results will reflect better level of performance in Uk based curriculum schools. Some schools are accreditted by CIS and NEASC yet they hardly recognized good!?

    Reply
    • Professor says
      February 9, 2014, 3:50 pm

      It is an interesting point Samih as to why UK curriculum schools do well, however note it is the most widely adopted curriculum so therefore just in terms of brute numbers, you would expect to see proportionally more at the top of the list.

      It is also worth noting that while the KHDA is at pains to point out higher fees do not equal better quality (and that’s true – if you do the research you will see there is no direct correlation) there is no doubt schools with more funding, should they spend their money well, can have better/more support structures in place. The majority of schools here are mid to premium range schools in terms of pricing.

      The KHDA is very transparent in terms of what it looks for in its reports. If you’re interested, its handbook may be found here: http://bit.ly/1bBan0X

      Reply
    • Point of view says
      March 29, 2014, 2:05 pm

      Beware of schools run like a supermarket! Oversized schools are good for economy but not for children. Beware of labels. CIS etc. accreditation has its place but has become a meaningless, money spinner, sounds good, adds prestige, but look into how the status is achieved and what it really means.

      At Primary level, small classes are conductive to good learning, the teacher can know your child as an individual, not as a number or statistic. Problems in the later school years spring from what has been overlooked and not dealt with at the early stages.

      Big is not best, as far as schools are concerned although it is a trend in business.

      Reply
    • Professor says
      June 3, 2014, 3:10 pm

      Hi Samih, look also at the PISA report – this is an international benchmark that tests maths, science… and critical reasoning skills… This has nothing to do with the KHDA. We can see IB and UK curriculum schools performing relatively better than other curricula in the UAE…

      Reply
  27. Khan Bibi says
    November 25, 2013, 12:52 pm

    Please add the below criterion too:
    1. What is the staff turn over and the reasons for it
    2. How much is being invested into staff development and benefits to reduce the staff turn over
    3. The quality of IT labs/staff
    4. Library
    5. Sports and extra curricular activities

    Reply

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