JSS International School Dubai
JSS International School is a private co-educational primary school located in Al Barsha, Dubai.
The school was first established on March 2009 by the JSS Education Foundation and provides education for students between KG to Grade 9, or ages four to 14 years. Currently the school caters to 1,579 students (up around 200 places year on year, and 400 over two years) from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, but predominantly Indian, with 107 teachers (up quite sharply from 85) on staff. Students are said to be highly motivated to learn.
Students are taught in 55 classes, giving an average, and quite respectable classroom size of approximately 25. The school follows an Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) curriculum. English is taught as the primary language with from an early year level with secondary languages being taught in Arabic, Hindi and French with Sanskrit also being offered from Grade 6.
As of 2013-2014 the school received the Knowledge and Human Development Authority inspection rating of Good, after falling to Acceptable in 2011-2012. During this period the school had experienced a period of rapid growth and almost doubled in size (it continues to grow year on year, but less sharply). Quality and consistency of teaching was highlighted at the time as an area that needed focus – something also included in the 2012/13 report.
About three-quarters of the student population are currently in the Kindergarten and the primary stage which means the school will continue to grow in numbers as children move up the year groups.
As you would expect significant improvements underpin the move to a Good rating. New teachers and heads of Arabic have been appointed and there is now a stronger focus given to teaching the language (not yet filtered through to actual attainment and progress); Teachers have improved their planning and assessment; a revised curriculum and methods of teaching at KG level which has allowed students to enjoy their learning though “purposeful play”, increasing children’s confidence; resources for ICT have also improved. Additionally, staff, parents and students are now said to be “more involved”.
Key recommendations include improving attainment and progress in Arabic and more generally the quality of learning in Primary; to improve the support for students with specific educational needs and to develop and extend curriculum opportunities to support and challenge the abilities and interests of all students, including the more able.
Since our last report the school has begun publishing results in some areas. You can find the page here. We were particularly interested in the quite detailed information it gives in the successes of its students in maths, science and English Olympiads. Go JSS International!
Additionally the school offers a range of extra-curricular clubs aimed at aiding student learning. Some of these clubs include literary club, science club, civic club, mathematics club, fine arts club, library club, nature club, adventure club and a sports club.
The school itself is spread out over a total area of 23,338 square meters with a range of state of the art facilities available to students, including well equipped science and computer laboratories, libraries, a project room, lecture halls, sporting complex, counseling centre, music rooms, an audio-visual room and an auditorium with an 800 seating capacity. Each classroom is also fully air-conditioned with an internet connection and a range of specially designed furniture.
However, it’s not always what you have, but how you use it: According to the school’s KHDA report (2011/12) the facilities are of very high quality “but needed to better utilised”. This is not an observation noted in the school’s latest report.
The school is relatively new but feedback from parents, students and teachers all appears broadly positive. In the ongoing WSA School Survey parents said they were only partially satisfied with the academic performance of the school. Parents were split between being willing to recommend the school and not being sure whether they would do so.
School fees are top to mid range for Indian curriculum based schools, starting at 13,133 AED for KG students and rising to 24,720 AED per year for Grade 11 students (not including additional registration fees or bus fees). Bus fees are on average an additional 5,000 AED per year.
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