Why Choose A New School: Jebel Ali School

Why Choose A New School: Jebel Ali School
By C Hoppe
Do your children attend a UAE school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.

With almost 20 new schools set to open in Dubai over the next few months, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has been inundated with questions about each one.

We’ve had questions on: building completion, recruitment, the lack of KHDA inspections, new facilities, curriculum delivery and more.

But what if we told you every school opening this summer has its own ‘unique selling point,’ and whether that’s the backing of an international brand, a ‘celebrity-principal,’ or that its part of a proven and well established local group, they’ really can’t be considered ‘unknown’ at all...

To answer the questions Dubai’s parents want answered, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com spoke to each new school’s principal to find out just what makes their school unique, and why it should be top of any parent’s potential school list.

Here we speak to Jebel Ali School's principal Jacqui Parr as well as its head of secondary, Colette Doughty, about what makes the new Jebel Ali school unique.


In one paragraph, explain why Jebel Ali School should be on every parent's’ shortlist?

You could look at Jebel Ali in two ways:

Firstly has the benefit of actually not being a ‘new school’ per se as it has a rich history in Dubai. It has a proven track record of having happy and fulfilled students who in the past have been well-rounded individuals that have been strong enough academically to enter quality secondary schools in Dubai.  This comes from well-planned, stable and successful structures, already in place to provide an excellent holistic education with experienced and high quality staff.

Secondly it has the benefits of being a new school with new facilities that will allow our students to learn in a modern environment, purposefully designed to encourage independence and confidence. The break out spaces in the Foundation and Primary Blocks deliberately placed to encourage this independence. The technology laboratories in both primary and secondary offer students the early experience that will allow them to work towards GCSE and A ‘Level Food technology in the future.

Couple these two vital ingredients with a staff that puts children at the heart of everything they do and we have a winning combination for a happy and successful primary school to evolve into a secondary school with the same ethos embedded throughout our curriculum.


Why do you think prospective parents are less receptive in sending their child to a new school?

The worry  that the school will not be completed on time, coupled with the unknown in terms of new staff, no exam results and a lack of a proven track record all combine to make new parents cautious. Lucky for us, we have a track record, our staff are experienced and known in the Dubai community and our new building will be delivered on time.


What do you see as the ‘pros’ of sending children to a new school?

State of the art facilities with modern learning environments that are so different now from most of our own educational experiences. Children are learning in a different way, teachers are teaching in a different way and a much more interactive and independent learning environment is needed.


What do you think are the ‘cons?’

Talking to parents their biggest concerns are two fold:

A)     the delivery of the building

B)      recruitment

If you can reassure on building progress and recruit early so that you an publicise your staff, their experience and their reputation then you help to alleviate some of the concerns.


What are the questions you think parents should ask of a new school and what should they look for on their tour?

Which company is building the school?

What have they built before and what is their reputation locally?

Who owns the school (if for profit) and what are their long term aims for their school.

What kind of age range of staff are being recruited (in other words how experienced and what curriculum have the majority come from).

On the school tour try to get a feel for the ethos and culture of the school and how values driven they are.


How would you suggest parents go about assessing the suitability of a new school in the absence of KHDA inspection results, parent testimonials etc.?

Meet with the Headteacher and see if the aims and beliefs of the staff match the aims and beliefs that are important to you as a parent.

Be prepared to ask any question that is nagging at you as every small detail deserves an answer.

If it’s a group of schools then ask to see a sister school that will be most like the one under construction (not in terms of build but it terms of ethos).


Latest UAE articles
Special Needs

New ADEK Inclusion Directives "Hold Schools to Account"

Abu Dhabi's Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has published a new inclusion pol…


Degree Apprenticeships: Get a UK Degree, Free

Is university the only pathway to success? How about earning while you learn as an alterna…


Expert Tips For Reading With Your Child

Ms Sarah McLean, Assistant Head of Primary at GEMS International School , is no stranger t…


Opinion: The Importance of Outdoor Play

For families living in the UAE, and particularly in built-up urban areas, the environments…

University Preparation

How to Write the Best UCAS Personal Statement

The personal statement is one of the key elements of a UK university application and provi…


Glendale: Building a Strong Community from Day 1

Planning and launching a new international school is an exciting yet challenging task &nda…

Choosing A School

A Look Inside the New Redwood Montessori Al Furjan

With the huge influx of families moving into the Al Furjan residential community in recent…


Record Numbers Get Uni Place Via Clearing

A record number of UK 18-year-olds have secured a place at a UK university using Clearing.…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All