Grammar School, Dubai
Grammar School Dubai has the rather dubious honour of being one of the most inspected schools by the KHDA. Unfortunately, that is not because it is doing things so well, but because it is subject to re-inspection reports following Unsatisfactory ratings.
Fortunately the school has, at last, managed to extricate itself from the lowest tier of the Dubai education regulator’s ratings and off the watch list for the first time since inspections began. This is a considerable achievement for the school.
The Grammar School is a private K-12 school located in Al Garhoud, Dubai. The school was established in 1970, making it one of Dubai’s oldest schools, and currently caters to more than 1172 students with 60 full time teachers. The school is comprised of a wide range of nationalities with the majority coming from Pakistani and Indian families. The teachers in the school are said to have “a range of academic and teaching qualifications”. Approximately a third of the teachers had specific teaching qualifications suitable to their deployment. Almost half of the teachers were newly appointed for the 2013-14 academic year; and “teacher turnover remained a significant challenge at the school. ”
Its last full inspection report prior to the latest 2013/14 report the KHDA had noted the overall performance of Grammar School to be unsatisfactory. “Students’ attainment across most subjects and grades was below curriculum standards. Their progress, marginally better in a few areas, did not match expectations in lessons or over time… ”
Since that time, and a number of follow on reports, the school has improved. According to the KHDA, with the exception of Arabic as an additional language, attainment and progress in other key subjects is now acceptable; the quality of teaching, learning skills and assessment has improved in most year groups; the quality of the curriculum has been improved and leadership has been re-structured, was more distributive and is beginning to have a more direct impact on the standards of learning.
A Good rating is however the “minimum” standard the KHDA wants for Dubai schools and the Grammar School still has some way to go to get there. Among its recommendations, the KHDA notes the need for the school to further develop the consistency and accuracy in the monitoring of classroom practice to link it more closely to the quality of students’ learning outcomes; to raise progress levels in all key subjects; to develop assessment processes in lessons and the use of assessment data to inform lesson planning, teaching and modification of the curriculum to meet the needs of all students; to strengthen planning across all subject and curriculum areas; to improve the consistency and quality of non-specialist support for students with SEN in lessons throughout the school and to improve the levels of support for those students at an early stage of learning English, especially in Foundation Stage and Primary, including the development of literacy skills across the curriculum.
Students at the Grammar school follow a UK styled curriculum and are entered for International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and/or GCSE at the end of the secondary phase and GCE Advanced Studies Level (AS) examinations at the end of the post-16 phase.
Most parents and students feel that they make good progress in English, mathematics and science, according to feedback to the KHDA. In general, parents feel their
children enjoyed life at school.
Fees at the Grammar School are relatively very affordable, ranging from 4,234 AED at KG and rising to 5,823 AED by Year 12.
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