If the 2016/17 academic year is to be recorded for anything, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com thinks it could well be for the meteoric rise of the dual curriculum school.
If all goes to plan, there will be six such schools opening in Dubai this August, each one opting for either the US or UK curriculum combined with the local UAE Ministry of Education Arabic and Islamic components.
While some of these schools are entering the sector for the first time (GEMS with its National Boys and Girls schools), and others are taking their first foray into the local market, (Smart Vision, Next Generation School), there is one home-grown UAE brand taking on the Dubai market, which has already proved itself rather well.
The Creative Science Schools, operated and managed by Beam Education have until now consisted of two large and highly popular dual curriculum schools in the Emirate of Sharjah.
Interestingly, these two established schools differ considerably in both curriculum and architectural design, with the original International School of Creative Science utilising the UK curriculum and a building inspired by traditional Arabic architecture, while the US curriculum American School of Creative Science on Meleiha Road is surely one of the most striking and modern school designs- possibly in the whole of the UAE.
The new Dubai schools set to launch this August; fall somewhere between the two Sharjah schools.
Both ‘new builds’ utilise exactly the same architectural design, which while modern, is certainly not to the level of the Meleiha Road branch. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com gets the feeling Beam Education knows exactly what will translate to the Dubai market however and is going in to the city with a design and scale designed to transmit a quiet and easy confidence.
The locations too, are of note with the UK curriculum school located on the plot immediately adjacent to Repton School in Nad Al Sheba and the American curriculum school adjoining GEMS World Academy in Al Barsha.
Given that the average new school plot size is around 30,000 square metres, Beam has done well to acquire plots that are well above this, with the International School of Creative Science (ISCS) in Al Barsha at 44,000 square metres, and the American School of Creative Science (ASCS) in Nad Al Sheba at 42,000 square metres.
Given the segregation of the genders and today’s average launch numbers, dual curriculum schools are essentially a game of numbers. In Sharjah, Creative Science has navigated the issue by continually expanding their schools as student numbers swell. To an extent, the same will apply in Dubai, with both sites planning a further phase as the student population expands.
Both are launching initially with a 10,000 square metre ‘phase one’ construction this August, which will accommodate FS1 to Year 6 at ISCS and KG to Grade 5 at ASCS. Phase two will follow later with an additional 35,000 square metre construction, bringing both schools up to an impressive 45,000 square metres each when complete.
While Beam has yet to confirm how many classes each school will launch with this August, the company is planning for both schools to eventually have a capacity of 12 forms per KG year and 10 class forms for all other school year groups.
Both Dubai schools will however launch with all facilities already in place, these include: an indoor swimming pool, large KG indoor playground, outdoor all weather field, libraries, learning kitchens, ICT labs, indoor basketball courts, outdoor grounds, Wi-Fi enabled campus, interactive smart-boards, digital projectors and visualiseres plus the latest interactive technologies, clinic, guidance counselling rooms and various science labs.
Fees are squarely average for Dubai, with UK curriculum ISCS in Nad Al Sheba asking AED 33,500 for the Foundation years and AED 44,000 for years 4 to 6, with a 10 percent founders discount which will apply for the first three years.
Interestingly, Beam has chosen to buck the current pricing trend in Dubai, by asking slightly higher fees at their American curriculum school than its UK curriculum counterpart. These will start at AED 35,000 for the KG years and increase up to AED 48,500 for grades 4 and 5. (ASCS is also offering a 10 percent Founders fee for the initial three years.)
August 2016 will see over 15 new schools launch in Dubai, yet even the casual observer can’t fail to notice the expansion in the dual curriculum market. With numerous new contenders vying for a ‘slice of the Dubai-pie,’ it’s only Creative Science which has already proven itself in the UAE... twice!
And, while it can be argued that Sharjah remains a different ‘beast,’ Beam Education’s Creative Science brand has already proven it understands the logistics, the market and the parents themselves by creating two schools with quality in evidence in everything from the architecture to the facilities. This alone makes Beam a national contender in the battle of the dual curriculum schools set to commence this coming academic year...