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Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches Review

JESS Arabian Ranches (Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches) is a not for profit co-educational primary and secondary school located in Arabian Ranches, Dubai.
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Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches

At a glance

School Type
All Through
Also Known As
JESS Arabian Ranches
Year Opened
Annual Fees
AED 37,893 - 89,274
Annual Fee Average
AED 62,500
Inspection Rating
Mr. Mark Steed
Curricula Taught
Main Teacher Nationality
Main Student Nationality

JESS Arabian Ranches is one of two branches (the other being the original Jumeirah English Speaking School, a primary school based in Jumeirah) and was established in September 2005. Since then the school has grown to a size of 1,369 students (over half of whom are from the United Kingdom). The school employs 140, predominantly British teachers. The school lost one in 4 teachers in the last academic year - high even by the UAE average. Maximum class sizes are said to be 22 students per class, and the teacher: student ratio is 1:20.

JESS and JESS Arabian Ranches are incredibly popular schools, and difficult to get your child into. The school has waiting lists, and many year groups are closed.  New schools have opened around the Arabian Ranches area which has alleviated some pressure on places.

As a not for profit school, to fund its expansion, all children are required to pay to the school a personal debenture (an interest free loan you make available to the school) over and above school fees. There are two types of debentures available: Corporate and Personal. Corporate Debentures were sold to companies who chose to support JESS on a long term basis by investing in the initial building of the schools. In return for this commitment their employees, (if eligible), gain priority on the waiting lists and the option to apply to JESS even if the waiting list is closed.

Personal debenture applications can be accepted only if the waiting list for their eligible year group is open or for younger siblings entering Foundation One only. A personal debenture requires parents to pay 20,000 AED, but only after a place is offered. This is fully refundable when the child leaves the school.

In an XPress report, R.D. Stokoe, the former Director of the school admitted "lists are significant (2,000-plus) with high levels of interest across the 3-18 age phases. We have closed a number of these waiting lists due to over-subscription."

As of 2015-2016, the school received the Knowledge and Human Development Authority inspection rating of Outstanding - the fifth year in a row, after two years of a Good rating by the KHDA. The original JESS in Jumeirah is also ranked Outstanding.

The curriculum followed by the school is initially UK based with students up to the end of Key Stage 4 following the National Curriculum of England and Wales, and subsequently the increasingly sought after International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in Years 12 and 13.

There are a number of routes to follow in the IB portfolio including a new IBCC in Sport course, which launched in September 2013, for students interested in a career in the sports industry.

The quality of teaching at JESS is highly praised by the KHDA, who rank it Outstanding. That is more than borne out in its last set of fully published results.



  2011 2012 2013  2014
2015 5 Yr 
UK '14
A*/A % 54.4 40 45.9 51.43 54.4 49.07 21.3
A*-B  % 83.1 73 77.8 79.6 83.04 79.3 43.2
A*-C  % 96.3 93 95.3 95.6 96.6 95.3 68.8
5+ A*-C % 99 96.6  99.9  95.4 99.8 98 -
5+ A*-C Eng, Maths 98.1 90.7 84.7 93.1 98.44 93.1 -
9+ A*-C % 78.6 68.6 71.5 74.6 73.4 73.3 -

In 2016  21.8% of exams passed were A*, 57.9% of exams passed at A* or A grade, 97.0% of exams passed at A* to C and 92.9% of pupils achieved 5 passes (A*-C) including Maths and English. This was a record year for the school, although previous years have been almost as strong.

In 2014/15, at IGCSE, 4.4% of exams passed at A* or A grade, 96.6% passed at A* to C and 99.8% of pupils achieved 5 passes (A*-C) including Maths and English. Almost three quarters of JESS GCSE students passed at least 8 GCSEs.

In 2014, for post 16 schooling, JESS increased its IB Diploma average to 34.3 points - an increase of 1.5 points over 2013, and eleven students achieved 40 or above points.  The school achieved a 97% pass rate. The school recorded a 93% pass rate in 2013 (down 2% on 2012). In both 2011 and 2012 its average point score was 32. The global average point score in 2013 was 29.7.

In 2015, the school did one better with the average point score for the Diploma at 35 points, significantly higher than the world average (30 points).  In 2016 it nudged higher still to an average of 35.5%. It also achieved a100% pass rate for those sitting the IB DP.

Examination results are updated annually on the school's Web website. You may find details here - Examination Results. WSA strongly believes all schools in the region should be as transparent with the results of their students.

The school's academic performance is noted in the school's inspection report by the KHDA. It notes "outstanding achievement" in the core areas of English, mathematics and science across all phases. It also notes students "exemplary behaviour and positive attitudes, together with their deep understanding of Islamic values and strong sense of social responsibility". JESS AR is also noted for its highly effective teaching and assessment in almost all subjects which very successfully developed and extended students. Leadership is praised for its "drive, ambition and determination in sustaining and further improving the school's outstanding overall effectiveness..." This is not a school resting on its laurels.

JESS Arabian Ranches makes good use of its nine acre site and its facilities are every bit as good as any of the best profit making schools with 70 teaching areas, Science & ICT labs, Art, Drama & DT facilities, an independent music facility, a 500-seater Auditorium, 1000sq metre sports hall, two temperature-controlled, shaded swimming pools, equipped playground areas and extensive playing fields.

A 4000sq. m Sixth Form development and extension will have been completed at the end of 2013. It includes a PE/dance studio, seminar rooms, a senior study hall, an examination hall, a cafeteria and a further auditorium.

Parents at JESS, Arabian Ranches are in general very highly satisfied with the quality of education received. They also praise the school's inclusive nature. Parents would universally recommend the school, with students having a strong sense of belonging, and for the most part really enjoying their time at the school. Perhaps one of the biggest accomplishments of JESS Arabian Ranches is that despite its premium fee structure, parents still consider it good value for money. More here.

Note: If you are a parent with children at the school, add your voice here.

It's not only parents that are happy with the school's general direction: Students and, more unusually, teachers also register high levels of satisfaction at the school. Teachers no doubt benefit from the school's not for profit nature which, in general, usually means more training, and better remuneration. Dubai's not for profit schools in general suffer less from high staff turnover.

Fees at JESS Arabian Ranches start at 37983 AED for Foundation Stage 1, increase to 46829 AED from FS2 to Grade 6 - these a mid to premium range. Secondary school fees however jump to top end premium, starting at 78494 AED for years 7-11, before moving to 89274 AED for years 12-13.  

If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any inaccuracies, or would like to update any information, you can now open an account with us.

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