Update: New Schools, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, 2014-2015

Update: New Schools, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, 2014-2015
By David Westley
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Credence High School, Al Quoz

Opening: April 2014
Curriculum: CBSE
Age group on launch: KG to Gr 6. Further grades will be added each year up to Gr 12.
Fees: 15,000 AED to 21,000 AED
Other fees: 500 AED registration, AED 750 admission fee. Plus: Books and Resource, Uniform Fee, Tuition and transport Fee
Location: Al Quoz, Dubai
Tel: +971 052 9858300
Website: www.credencehighschool.com

A new CBSE based school in Al Quoz will help greatly with considerable demand for Indian schools in the emirate, an area where there is a distinct lack of focus from education providers.

According to early press releases the school would be a "day-boarding" school for levels Grade 3 to Grade 12, although this does not seem to have come to fruition.

Developers or owners are Indian expat businessmen in the UAE: Nalapad Ahmed Abdulla (MD of Nalapad Group Overseas), Sameer K Mohammed (MD of Jaleel Holdings), and Dr Azad Moopen (chairman of DM Healthcare Group). Source: Dubai FAQs.

Anything different about it?
The school heavily promotes its curriculum and methodology - XSEED, a "syllabus [that] seamlessly integrates with schools following CBSE, ICSE, state boards or even international certifications such as IGCSE."

It has already had its inauguration, and should be open and full of students by the time you read this...


Safa Community School

Opening: September, 2014
Curriculum: English National Curriculum, Non-selective
Age on opening: FS1 to 6 initially. Secondary School from September 2015 (Year 7, 8 & 9 initially, growing to Year 13 over time). Non-selective.
Where is it? Miracle Gardens, Dubai Land
Fee Level: 47,000 - 55,000 (FS to Y6). A discount will apply initially - 38,500 AED to 49,500 AED annually. More expensive than its current school.
Capacity: 2,100

The existing Al Safa school is a well-regarded foundation, primary and middle school now located in Al Quoz (since 2012). The new campus has been seen as a positive step for the school, “with modern facilities promoting good student learning experiences,” according to the KHDA, Dubai’s education regulator. The school has a Good rating. It is well liked by its students and their parents. See the review here.

The school clearly hopes to emulate Safa School. From its web site: "We will embrace the good practice already displayed at our sister school and carry this forward into the new site through a shared vision and mission for both the schools. By sharing the same values and approaches we will recreate [its] warm and friendly atmosphere."

Anything different about it?
From a curriculum and cultural point of view, clearly the school is trying to be "more of the same" - why fix something that isn't broken? What will be different will be the design of the school.

Safa Community School says it has worked with leading educational architects and planners, Fielding Nair International to design a “school as a learning community”. The 3.5 hectare campus is spacious and is "set amongst the beautifully landscaped Miracle Gardens".

Each building has been designed as a “Small Learning Community”, designed to meet "the developmental needs of each age group. Each floor contains different sized learning studios arranged around a multi-purpose learning commons designed to support multiple learning modalities" - or in english, each area of the school has been designed to meet the requirements of what is being taught.

The design does look rather fabulous, although one caveat - don't all 3D rendered designs?!

The school has contingency plans if not ready in time, but is publicly confident that it will be.


Dubai British Foundation School

Opening: September 2014
Curriculum: English National Curriculum, EYFS. Non-selective.
Age on opening: FS1-2 - this is a foundation stage based school
Where is it: Jumeirah Islands (behind JLT, nr the Meadows, Springs), Dubai. Temporary Admissions Office located on the corner of 43 and 36B Street in Al Barsha 2 (side entrance to The Children’s Garden Barsha), Dubai, UAE.
Fee level: 60,000 AED (55,000 AED opening year).
Other fees: Application fee: AED 1,000 (one-time, non-refundable, non-transferable); Registration Fee: AED 7,000 (non-refundable, non-transferable), to be adjusted against Term 1 fees.

Dubai British Foundation is owned by the Taaleem group, which operates Dubai British School, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Greenfield Community School, Uptown School, Al-Mizhar American Academy, The Childrens’ Garden (Green Community, Al Barsha 2, Jumeirah 2) and Raha International School (Abu Dhabi). The group operates 10 schools in total, nine of which are in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. Dubai British Foundation will be a feeder school to a new British Taaleem School, which is planned to open in September 2015 in Jumeirah Park, offering The National Curriculum for England for Year 1 to Year 13.

Anything different about the school?
A British foundation stage only school makes it pretty unusual, and will certainly be an environment that will be enjoyed by the pupils that attend.

The new campus is situated on approximately 5,800 square metres in Jumeirah Islands, an attractive destination. It will include a large, multi-purpose indoor hall; a specialist music room; a specialist language room; an outdoor, fully shaded swimming pool; indoor learning spaces; a health centre and a large creative outdoor play area on split levels including a bicycle track.

The school is putting regular updates on its web site, which you may find here.

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