Sister to the original Abu Dhabi Indian School on Abu Dhabi Island, founded in 1975, the Abu Dhabi Indian School (ADIS) branch at Wathba was opened in 2014. The school offers the CBSE curriculum. The core curriculum is supplemented by a range of other subjects including Hindi, Physical Education, Creative Arts, ICT, and French from Grade 8.
Abu Dhabi Indian School Al Wathba (ADIS Wathba) has grown rapidly. Between 2014 and 2016, the school grew by 50% in terms of both students and teachers – extraordinary growth which appears have been exceptionally well-managed. From over 2,600 students in 2017 to close to 3,200 students at time of its last ADEK inspection in January 2019, and a sister school to the original Abu Dhabi Indian School ,this growth speaks to the strong demand for good quality, affordable Indian curriculum schools in the city.
Students are supported by close to 200 teaching staff and a further 8 teaching assistants with class sizes around 25 in KG and 20 in the rest of the school and a teacher:student ratio of 1:16. Staff turnover was a relatively low 10% - suggesting that teachers are satisfied with their working environment.
The school has an open admissions policy until Grade 4. It has selection tests for new entrants from Grade 5 onwards and accepts the top performers for the few vacancies it has in these grades. Siblings are given priority.
The School’s vision is: ‘We learn and share, we discover and inspire.’
‘We strive to provide a safe, secure and a well thought out milieu for all students, staff and parents to work together as lifelong learners. We recognise that each student is distinctively talented with a very supportive environment and staff. We are committed to enlighten young minds and kindle in them the power of knowledge and wisdom to meet the challenges of the 21st century. We guide the learners to use the knowledge and tools to make decisions, develop positive relationship to foster an understanding and respect for diverse cultures. In this century of rapid technological advancement, we hope to give our young learners a broad and balanced curriculum that will prepare them to be global citizens of tomorrow.’
The school follows the CBSE curriculum together with UAE Ministry of Education curriculum for Arabic, Islamic Studies and Moral Education.
In common with objectives expressed in Vision 2020 as set out by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, there is a clear focus on innovation within the school, including the development of cross-curricular links - Grade 8 students make guitars with recycled materials connecting their scientific study on sound with Music. Grade 9 students design and present a fashion show about the story of clothes, linking English and Art. Teachers encourage an innovative approach to teaching and students are challenged to think more critically and provide solutions to problems. In an innovative Grade 10 English lesson, students designed an artificial intelligence machine to help other student groups in their learning.
According to ADEK's inspectors, resources are used well to enhance learning, particularly in Mathematics and Science, where teachers include an interesting range of resources including various learning technologies. These are supplemented by other useful resources made or gathered by teachers and students. In all subjects, teachers have created homemade resources to supplement and support the curriculum. This shows considerable dedication on the part of staff, who might otherwise expect such materials to be provided by the school.
The school effectively promotes an understanding of healthy foods and lifestyles. The PE programme includes promotion of healthy life styles and students’ food choices are monitored during breaks and at lunch. The healthy eating campaign provides caring support to help obese students; parents are involved and support the campaign’s purpose. There are a range of After-school activities, many of which include revolve around inter-house activities.
Parents are said to be highly appreciative of the communication they have with school staff and the range of information about their children’s academic and personal development. The school has established partnerships with a variety of external organisations, and these enhance student learning opportunities; for example, in their engagement in local community service through the Red Crescent charity, student interactions with a special needs school, and curriculum-related visits.
The school has a supportive policy towards children with SEND or Gifted and Talented support. The most recent inspection report noted that "The school has good procedures for the identification of students with special educational needs (SEN). The provision to meet the learning needs of SEN students,and those who are underperforming in subjects, is good."
As a new-build, the premises are of high quality set on a spacious plot of land within modern double-storey and three-storey buildings. They are spacious, provide a wide range of specialist facilities and, according to ADEK’s inspectors, support the curriculum well. Most classroom environments include colourful and relevant displays to support and celebrate learning.
The school website shows a range of facilities available to students, including Science and Computer Science laboratories, Arts and Crafts, Dance and Music studios and a Library, together with Sports recreation (including a swimming pool and a yoga room and outdoor sports fields). There is separate outdoor play space and activity area for KG students.
What the inspectors say:
Having been rated Acceptable in its second ADEK inspection in February 2017, ADIS Wathba made the step up to Good in its third inspection in January 2019 joining the original ADIS in achieving the rating that ADEK wishes all Abu Dhabi schools to achieve as a minimum.
Commenting on the overall performance of the school, the inspection team noted that "The overall performance of the school is good. Students’ achievements have improved since the previous inspection and are good overall. Leadership has been successful in raising the quality of teaching in all phases. Relationships are very good throughout the school; students benefit from a caring and supportive learning environment. Further improvement is required in Arabic (second language - SL) and in providing students with opportunities to develop the skills of innovation and research and to use information and communication technology (ICT) in lessons."
In fact the improvements made across the six key performance standards suggested that the school had solidified its performance with students’ personal and social development, and their innovation skills, and the protection, care, guidance and support of students rated Very Good, whilst the remaining four KPS improved to Good.
The inspection team identified the school's strengths as:
In terms of areas of improvement, the inspection team identified the following requirements:
If you would like to read the full inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings - you will find it here.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has received a limited amount of feedback to our Survey from parents at ADIS Wathba. However, those parents who have provided their views have been largely positive, giving the school an overall rating of 3.7/5 - or a positivity rating of 74%.
Parents rate feedback from the school and its disciplinary policy and implementation in line with UAE averages but expressed mixed views in terms of their satisfaction with the academic performance of the school - although none felt dissatisfied. However, a third of respondents felt that additional outside tuition was necessary, and the same percentage had considered moving their child to a different school.
Overall though, despite their reservations, almost 90 percent of respondents would recommend the school to other parents and although only 44% were fully satisfied with the value for money of the fees they pay, the remaining 56% were partially satisfied.
If you are a parent, teacher or student at Abu Dhabi Indian School Al Wathba, please share your experience and opinions with other potential members of your community by completing our Survey.
Given the history and reputation of the not-for-profit Abu Dhabi Indian School, the opening of the Al Wathba branch was already almost guaranteed to be in high demand and successful. However, there was no guarantee of the quality of education that parents could expect to receive for their children irrespective of the reputation of the organisation behind it.
Abu Dhabi has a relatively small number of Indian curriculum schools - a total of just 30 - and less than half of these schools have achieved a Good rating. In fact there is only one Very Good rated Indian curriculum school in the emirate. ADIS Wathba can be proud of its achievement in terms of the standard of education it offers and no doubt will remain in as high demand as the original school.
Abu Dhabi Indian School Wathba is a moderately-priced school with tuition fees from April 2021, ranging from AED 9,630 in KG, to AED 13,705 in Grades 11 and 12. Note these fees do not include a range of mandatory additional fees which add between AED 500 and AED 1,250 to the overall fee amount.
Abu Dhabi Indian School (branch 1) Al Wathba is a Best of school, a ranking determined by parent surveys on the site. It can be found in the following Best of rankings:
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