ADNOC School Madinat Zayed (formerly Glenelg School) is one of a group of schools set up by the oil company to support families employed within their businesses.
Previously known as the Glenelg School Madinat Zayed, the school has been affected by ADNOC's decision to hand over day to day management to the highly regarded Aldar Academies Group. This was a decision clearly driven by the need for a considerable improvement in the standard of education being offered, with the school having been rated Weak by the ADEK inspection teams during its two prior visits to the school.
The ADNOC schools' Vision statement reads:
The ADNOC Schools, in line with the UAE government's pioneering initiatives, aims to become a premier school in the region, graduating highly competent, socially responsible citizens and future national leaders.
Its Mission statement is as follows:
The mission of ADNOC Schools is to prepare Emirati and other students, through an academically rigorous curriculum, to achieve their highest potential in a global, technologically advanced society, where Arabic and Islamic values are honored and cultural differences are respected.
In terms of goals that the school has set for its students to achieve,:
ADNOC Schools Graduates will....
Rated Acceptable by ADEK in their most recent inspection in 2018-19, the school was opened in 2011. The school is co-educational with two campuses, one for each individual gender. The group as a whole, with four schools, currently educates more than 6,000 students across 4 locations.
At the time of the last inspection, the school had just over 1,200 students, of whom 90% were Emirati. However, in the Principal's introduction to the school, she notes that the student cohort, "today comprises a diverse mix of ambitious Emirati’s and expats".
Students are supported by approximately 100 teachers and further 30+ teaching assistants. Staff turnover, at over 40%, was double the average for international curriculum schools in the UAE, though it is likely that this has in part been driven by the change in management and a deliberate action by the school to raise standards quickly by improving the quality of staff. Certainly, the Principal also mentions "We have been rigorous in recruiting new senior leaders to help guide both the school and its students towards the mission and vision statements of ADNOC Schools".
The "proof of the pudding" will be seen when the school is next inspected by ADEK - something that should have taken place in the current academic year, but with the intervention of Covid 19, will inevitably be delayed.
The curriculum consists primarily of high-level national American standards for each subject, using the national Common Core Standards for Math and English, the national Next Generation Science Standards for Science, and the national SHAPE standards for PE. The Social Studies Department uses the Maryland State Standards to drive the content of their courses while borrowing from Common Core English Standards to drive skills. Fine Arts and IT departments have also selected a set of standards through which to build an impressive standards-based curriculum.
Particular focus has been given to improving standards in Math and Science, two of the ‘STEAM’ skills that will be so influential to students’ futures.
The school encourage students to work towards a range of AP level courses in their senior year. However, since not all students will wish to follow this more academic route, the school says that it also offers a "comprehensive course alternatives and electives that allow each student to create the most beneficial and relevant high school schedules for himself or herself as an individual".
According to the school, additional extra-curricular activities have been added to increase the opportunities to learn, while enhancements have been made to facilities to create a more comfortable learning environment.
ADNOC schools use standardized testing to measure both students’ progress and achievement so that individualized student instruction can be provided based on the outcome of the tests. In addition, students are compared against local and international benchmarks, starting in grade 10, when High School students take the PSAT and SAT tests.
Students also take a limited number of AP exams that include Math, Science, Art, and Social Studies. Internal assessments such as trimesterly writing diagnostic tests, subject-based diagnostic tests, and general literacy diagnostic tests are used variably across our Elementary campuses to capture student body needs.
The school has also adopted The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test as a school-wide progress assessment for grades KG2-11. Its usage allows teachers to utilize immediate feedback about the ability level of their students and allows teachers and administrators to analyze the progress of individual students and student cohorts. achievement benchmarks.
Under the influence of Aldar Academies' management, it will most certainly be expected that standards - and thus ratings - will rise. All Aldar's directly owned and managed schools are rated at least Good, with several having achieved the highest 'Outstanding' rating.
Although the overall rating of the school was Acceptable in the 2018-19 inspection round, as is so often the case, this does not provide a full and accurate picture of the standards of this school. In summarising progress since the previous inspection, the inspection report notes:
"The overall performance of the school is acceptable with all performance standards improved. Good leadership and management have established a very clear vision and purpose resulting in rapid change. The generally calm and purposeful environment is due to improved student attitudes and behaviour for most.. Students now make acceptable progress in all subjects and good progress in the Kindergarten (KG). Intensive teaching development ensures almost all lessons are at least acceptable and an increasingly higher proportion are good."
These are very positive comments and a reflection of rapid improvement. In terms of the strengths of the school, the inspection team found these to be:
Clearly there remains much further improvement to be made if the school is to reach the standards of Aldar Academies' own schools.
The inspection team made the following recommendations:
If you would like to read the full inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to understand fully the reasons behind the ratings - you will find it here.
Buildings and premises are new, the quality is very good, well maintained and in first rate condition. The school plot also has scope for expansion and outdoor learning. Admission involves a range of elements including entrance examination, previous record and interviews with both the students and their parents.
Fees at the school range from AED 21,950 for KG1 to AED 41,580 for Grade 12, which places the school at the mid end of the market.
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