Best Secondary Schools in Dubai 2017

With Dubai having a demographic that is very Early Years/ Primary heavy, secondary schools can sometimes feel like an afterthought with many families assuming they’ll have returned home by the time secondary school age rolls around. However, schools are looking now to strengthen and develop their secondary programs as many families are now looking for all-through schools in order to stave off any future troubles with a school search later on down the line.
Best Secondary Schools in Dubai 2017
By Emily
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Name: Deira International School
Very Good
Curriculum: UK
Teacher turnover: 20%
Teacher/student ratio: 1:10
Full Review: Go

What the KHDA says in 2017
: Overall, Deira International School is making improvements in the Primary with most of students’ attainment in core subjects either Very Good or Outstanding.

The 2016/2017 report notes, “notable strengths over the last three years of inspection have included, the outstanding attitudes and behaviour of students and the high quality provision for health and safety.

Significant improvements over this time have been observed in how well the school carries out assessment of students’ attainment and their rate of progress.”

What say: Deira International School is making improvement in its Secondary and Post-16 section with English, mathematics, and Science being ranked either Very Good or Outstanding.

With fees that range from AED 39,938 to AED 80,465, although this is a Premium Tier School, the focus on inclusion and innovation indicates that graduates are well prepared for Post secondary life.


Name: Queen International School
Curriculum: UK
Teacher turnover: 14%
Teacher/student ratio: 1:16
Full Review: Go

What the KHDA says in 2017: Overall, Queen International School is making gains across the board but especially as English, science and mathematics in the secondary school are either ranked as Outstanding or Very Good.

The latest report notes for English, “students progress very well as they move through the phase, particularly in their creative and persuasive writing and their speaking skills.” Additionally, in mathematics, “attainment and progress against curriculum standards are outstanding.”

What says: With fees that cap out at AED 26,969, the value for this school is outstanding. Students at Queen International School are safe, happy, and achieving excellent academic results.

Although there is still room for improvement, especially within innovation and teaching, what this school offers at its price point makes this one of 2017’s best secondary schools.


Name: Al Ameen Private School  
Rating: Good
Curriculum: UK
Teacher turnover: 20%
Teacher/student ratio: 1:10
Full Review: Go

What the KHDA says in 2017: Al Ameen Private School is ranked Very Good throughout core subjects in the secondary division, with only Arabic and Islamic Education marked as Good.

The latest report notes that “all groups of students make very good progress and their IGCSE results in English as an additional language are outstanding.” Furthermore, students in the secondary are introspective learners and they “have an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses as learners. They know what they have learned and they have some understanding of how to improve.”

What say: Al Ameed Private School has made enormous gains since the very first inspection cycle where the school received a Weak rating. Since then, the school has worked hard to improve student attainment and progress and has done so with extraordinarily low fees of AED 10,667 for Year 7 to Year 11.


Name: St. Mary’s Catholic High School - Dubai
Curriculum: UK
Teacher turnover: 1%
Teacher/student ratio: 1:14
Full review: Go

What the KHDA says in 2017: St Mary’s Catholic High School has one of the lowest teacher turnover rates in Dubai and this continuity in teaching has allowed the school to offer a consistent approach that had maintained the school’s Good rating over the last five years.

Its latest report notes in regards to English, “by Year 11, [students] have developed a deep understanding of the strategies writers use to convey meaning and are able to provide evidence in the text to support their opinions.

Most students can express their ideas, viewpoints and arguments clearly and cogently. Math and science also shows similar progression in student achievement."

What says: St. Mary’s Catholic High School is a Dubai staple, having been established in 1968. The school offers high quality education at extremely affordable fees, with Year 13 costing AED 13,138.

Although the school could improve in regards to teaching and assessment, students who graduate from St Mary’s are innovative, community oriented, and globally minded. Students make good progress which is one of the main reasons that WSA has put this school on this list.


Name: Raffles World Academy
Curriculum: IB
Teacher turnover: 18%
Teacher/student ratio: 1:10
Full Review: Go

What the KHDA says in 2017: Raffles World Academy is a school that offers consistent core education with all subject being rated as Good or higher.

The latest inspection cycle sees continued attainment and progress improving with science moving up to Very Good in the secondary phase. Students’ achievement and progress is measured using international exams such as the IGCSE results.

SEND students also make Good progress overall. As the report notes, “ in lessons, the majority of students demonstrate levels of knowledge, skills and understanding that are above curriculum standards.”

What says: We like to celebrate schools where students are achieving in an environment that’s innovative and open. The KHDA report notes, that “across the school, students want to learn and actively participate in lessons. They sustain their interest and take responsibilities when opportunities arise,” and in conjunction with the students’ achievement, this is a school where students do well.


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