At a glance
Springdales School Dubai follows the CBSE curriculum and has put together a "unique" proposition for parents and students based around both its Indian roots, and international context.
So far the school has attracted over 1,400 students to its purpose-built campus in Al Quoz, from 27 different nationalities. According to the school approximately 20-30% of students come from overseas, and the balance transfers from other schools in Dubai and neighbouring Emirates. The school offers pre-primary through to Grade 9.
The 10-acre wi-fi enabled campus boasts a dedicated Kindergarten wing with its own play area, a cafeteria, swimming pool and parking bay; athletic track, soccer field, tennis court, basket ball court, volley ball court and cricket training pitches.
There are in total, 110 large and spacious classrooms each equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment; in addition a there's a well-stocked library with a comprehensive collection of educational books and multi-media resources; art, dance, and music studios; and state-of-the-art-science laboratories.
The school is currently home to students from 27 nationalities. Teachers have been recruited from India, Pakistan, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia and Uzbekistan.
The fee structure is at the mid-end of CBSE schools in Dubai, starting at 18,000 AED for pre-primary, and rising to 28,000 for Grade 11-12.
In the school's first inspection report, Springdales School was ranked Good; however, the most recent report shows a drop as the 2016/2017 KHDA report ranks the school as Acceptable. The school retained its Outstanding rating in health and safety of its students, something it is particularly proud of.
The school's fall to Acceptable is mainly due to a drop in student attainment and progress in core subjects, most noticeable in the middle school. This is likely linked to the drop in teaching and assessment in the middle grades. As the report notes, "differentiation of learning, although often referred to in planning, is rarely implemented and the needs of groups of students are not met adequately".
There is a limited variety of teaching strategies used and often a 'one size fits all' approach is adopted.
The school has focused its sights on innovation as a key skill for students. Leaders of the school do understand the importance of the national innovation agenda to drive change through teaching and learning.
There are new initiatives that have been put into place with a focus on creativity and Springdales is building its capacity to promote innovation skills. One way is through the professional learning opportunities that are ongoing. These for example promote training in information and communication technology (ICT).
The school talks a lot about family - see our video for more on this - and there is no doubt this is a strong, purposeful school at its core. Parent feedback to WSA is still limited, but what we can see so far is that it's mixed. Students do look forward to going to school and there is a sense of belonging. However, parents clearly feel the school needs to do more, and there is clear reservation in terms of whether they would recommend it to other parents.
To tackle this Springdales School needs to improve the quality of its teaching and learning, particularly in the lower primary phase by ensuring teachers set challenging tasks to meet the needs of all students and to establish more opportunities for students to develop their enterprise, critical thinking and problem solving skills.
The fundamentals at Springdales are in place. If its gets the teaching right, everything else will follow.
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