At a glance
The primary section of Sharjah English School was opened by a group of British companies trying to get a home style education for their children. However while the primary school can claim to be almost 40 years of age, it took until September 2005 for a secondary section, catering for grades 7 - 10 to open, and another three years before the school's Sixth-Form (it's A' Level group) opened. The school's first A' Level cohort to graduate did so as recently as 2010.
A' Level students number between 40 and 50. Provision at this stage (Key Stage 5) is said to be responsive to the needs of individual students.
Students can choose from 16 subjects at A' Level and there are four possible routes they can take, culminating in 3, 4 or 5 A-levels, with the possibility of completing A2 Mathematics in Year 12.
Sharjah English School is still - relatively - small in terms of student size. According to the school's Web site the student population currently stands at approximately 600 students with 339 pupils in primary and 225 in Secondary (source: BSME). At present 45 nationalities are represented with British students the single largest population demographic. Approximately 10 percent of the student body are Emirati.
The school has a respectable teacher to student ratio of 1:23. The maximum classroom size at secondary level is said to be 22 students.
As a smaller school, SES claims "an intimate knowledge" of its students, with policies and strategies in place for "intervention and support when students are falling behind.
"There are also policies for pushing gifted and talented children, and opportunities for accelerated learning."
The school follows an England and Wales based curriculum starting with an Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for KG levels, up to A' Levels for its post 16 students with GCSEs and AS Levels inbetween.
The school has a 90% GCSE pass rate (grades A* to C) compared to the UK figure of 69.8%, and an 86% pass rate for A' Level (Grades A* to C) compared to a UK average of 76%. It says it has a 100% graduation rate of its A' Level students to tertiary study.
The UK is said to be the primary location for higher education, but the U.S., Australia, South Africa, Canada, as well as local universities also take a share of Sharjah English School's students.
Qualifications and exam types include: A' Level, AS Level, GCSE, SATS, K1 NCT, K2 NCT.
According to the BSO report quality of teaching and learning across the board is excellent. "Students enjoy their lessons. Across all phases, nearly all students are engaged and focussed. Students were overwhelmingly positive about their learning." The BSME meanwhile says teaching is above its acceptable standards.
Unsurprisingly the school is one of the most popular for its demographic in Sharjah, and its new location, in University City, strategically places it within distance of Sharjah, Ajman, Mirdiff and certainly parts of 'older' Dubai.
The school enjoys an excellent reputation, which makes entry a challenge. The school operates a waiting list, with Mrs. Mesaa Ajina at [email protected] as your first port of call.
The school's Web site notes priority may be given in the application procedures to UK passport holders, families of sponsoring companies, or children with siblings already in the school.
The "Britishness" of the school is picked up in the BSO report which states: "The appearance, nature and ethos of the school are recognisably British. An original founding imperative was to provide an education based on UK principles, procedures and a curriculum that would permit children to join or re-join the UK education system without disadvantage at any stage."
The school celebrates special events in the UK, for example the Royal Wedding, Remembrance Day and the London Olympics. This is an important consideration for UK parents wanting their child to maintain a cultural link with their home country. It would be as important information for non-UK students to be aware that British traditions are important to the school.
School Facilities are in general very good and include outdoor pitches, a theatre, swimming pool and indoor gym and wi-fi.
Parents are said to receive regular informative written reports and consultation meetings with teachers. Two full reports and five interim reports are sent home each year. Parents value the regular and informative parent-teacher meetings to discuss individual student achievements. These are well attended in both primary (99%) and secondary (80%). Parents feel they have good access to prompt and professional dialogue with teachers regarding their child’s development.
The school's leadership in both the BSO and the BSME reports is widely praised.
Fees for the school mirror other top end England and Wales based curriculum schools, with a range of between 20,000 plus for KG to approximately 60,000 AED (plus) for sixth form (A' Levels). Which School Advisor has requested the latest fee structure - not yet provided.
All applicants are tested, and there is a non-refundable fee of AED 400 for the testing and Ministry of Education registration process.
This fee is payable whether the child is eventually offered a place or not.
On offer of a place a non-refundable fee of AED 5,000 is paid to confirm acceptance. This fee can be refunded / utilized in part payment of the final term’s fees, provided that all financial obligations to the school have been met, and parents have given a term’s written notification of the intention to withdraw.
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