Established as the Glenelg School by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in 2010, Glenelg has now been rebranded as ADNOC Schools; in this case, the Ruwais Campus.
ADNOC Private Schools – Ruwais offers a US curriculum based on the Massachusetts Common Core standards. Students follow the American Common Core curriculum, with a focus on a STEAM based curriculum - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The STEAM approach adds a strong focus on Art and Design to the narrower engineering and sciences bent of STEM. External Exams and Standardised tests include Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) and Progress of Academic Achievement (CPAA). High School students take Advanced Placement courses for College entry. The school has accreditation from the Middle States Association (MSA).
The school was deemed to provide a good quality of education in its most recent ADEK inspection which took place in 2016-17. This was a considerable step forward from its Acceptable rating two years earlier and a reflection of the new leadership and direction of the school.
ADNOC School Ruwais currently has 1,100 students of whom 159 are in KG, 543 in Primary, 261 students in the Middle School and 148 in High School. The largest nationality groups are Emirati (35%), Indian (12%), Indonesian (9%) and Jordanian (8%). Students are supported by some 133 teachers and 25 teaching assistants providing a staff to student ratio of 1:8 in KG and 1:21 in other grades. The KG number is a very high ratio ensuring considerable one-to-one attention. Teacher turnover, at 13%, is on the low side and a sign of a positive and stable teaching environment.
What the inspectors said:
Students’ achievement is good in most subjects across all phases of the school. In KG, children’s attainment and progress is good or better in all subjects. They are very good in Arabic and English. Attainment is good in Islamic Education, social studies, English, mathematics, science; it is acceptable in Arabic. In KG2 to Grade 2, Children’s Progress of Academic Achievement (CPAA) tests show that most student’s in KG are on expected level, with improving attainment outcomes across 3 assessments in phonics, phonemic awareness, and reading in most classes. Listening is more varied, with the majority at expected level.
In MAP standardised tests in Mathematics, reading and language, attainment in Grades 3 – 5 is slightly below UAE schools’ averages and below international averages; the middle phase are above UAE and below international averages; and the high phase are above both UAE and International averages. Standards in Advanced Placement external examinations taken by Grade 12 students are very high, with a large majority achieving the highest possible grade.
As part of the STEAM approach, the focus is not purely on the most academic or core subjects. The core subjects are enhanced by Music, PE and ICT in KG – Grade 5; Grades 6 – 8 has the addition of Art; Grade 10 – 12 has the addition of choice including Business studies, Economics, French; some students take 3 science subjects and others take Environmental science; Advanced Placement (AP) courses include Art, Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Micro-economics and Macro-economics.
Numerous examples of this broader approach can be found throughout the school. In KG1 Music, children are able to recognize the melody of a song and sing words well in a repeated melody. In Grade 1 physical education, students in pairs developing very good eye-hand coordination in basketball. Grade 8 French students use technology well and demonstrate good use of the target language in oral and written contexts. In Grade 11, AP Economics students engage in high level discussions in pairs about interest rates being affected by changes in the money supply.
Students demonstrate high order skills in discussions, forming opinions and using their prior knowledge to draw their conclusions. Results over 2 years show an improving trend in attainment levels. Progress for most students is good or better in almost all subjects. Special educational needs (SEN) and gifted and talented (G&T) students make similar progress to other groups of students.
Teaching was found to be of a Good standard overall. It is very good in KG Arabic, though it is not as strong in Primary to High phases Arabic lessons. Teaching is very good in English and Mathematics in all phases. It is very good in KG Arabic and Science; middle phase Social studies; high phase Islamic education, Social studies and Science. Relationships throughout the school are warm and respectful. Teacher and student interactions are purposeful and supportive. Students listen well. Teachers’ questioning skills are generally well developed and, in the most effective lessons, open questions deepen students thinking and understanding.
Almost all students show interest in and enthusiasm for learning. They demonstrate very good self-discipline, have positive attitudes to learning and are highly respectful to fellow students and adults. They work well independently, in pairs and in collaborative groups in most lessons and are hard-working, enthusiastic, and fully engaged as active learners. Their interactions and communication skills are good. Most students are self-motivated and eager to learn and in the majority of lessons, students make good connections with real life situations.
Students' personal, social and innovation skills were found to be Very Good. They exhibit very strong self-discipline and consistently positive attitudes to learning, and work well when collaborating with others and show positive commitment when undertaking independent tasks. Student behaviour is consistently very good in assemblies, in lessons and around the school. Students positively relate to each other, the school staff, and visitors on the campus. Teacher and student interactions are very positive and mutually respectful and reflect a concerted effort by the school of emphasising monthly life skill themes.
Protection, care and guidance of students is rated as Outstanding. Teachers are caring and students are very self-disciplined, friendly and supportive to each other. Very effective and consistent behaviour management procedures are implemented which include rewards systems that are in place to give recognition to students’ good behaviour, academic and sporting achievements.
Leadership and management of the school was found to be very good. School leaders and teachers provide a highly supportive, caring and vibrant environment, where students thrive as happy learners. The principal’s high quality strategic leadership provides the momentum for the school’s improvement agenda to continually enhance and enrich students learning experiences and opportunities.
The school also has very good relationships with the parent community, who give high praise for the effectiveness of leadership and the very good quality of education provided for their children. Regular coffee mornings for parents to meet senior staff enable them to give their views, thoughts and suggestions about the school. The school carries out its own survey of parents’ views. Weekly newsletters for KG to Grade 5 parents; monthly for KG to Grade 12; regular progress reports; and meetings with teachers twice a year ensure that parents are well informed on their child’s progress and events in the school.
Key strengths were identified as the high quality leadership at all levels throughout the school; well-structured curriculum provision to support effective teaching in most subjects; exemplary lesson monitoring and evaluation procedures that are impacting on improving the quality of active based learning; caring and nurturing culture throughout the school to create a safe and supportive environment for students; and positive relationships and effective communications across the school and with the wider community.
Key areas of improvement were noted as the need to raise attainment in Arabic language to the level of other subjects; the identification and provision for gifted and talented students; and greater consistency in implementation of differentiated learning strategies in a minority of classrooms.
Facilities are good with a pool, generously sized classrooms, two libraries, music rooms, tennis and volleyball courts, astro‐turfed area for ball games and ICT Suites singled out for praise by ADEK's inspectors. It has outstanding facilities; including laboratories, swimming pools, and sport halls on each of the three campus areas. KG children are provided with interesting learning environments that include sand, water, free play area and activity corners. Provision of ramps and lifts at various locations across the campus ensure inclusion.The school offers further exciting opportunities for students to gain experiences beyond the taught curriculum in the very large programme of extra-curricular activities on 4 days a week.
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 honoured and cultural differences are respected." Since our first review it is undeniable the school has made significant progress, with the biggest changes only made in the last two years, with a new head, and a combined, 6000 strong new school group.
With the re-branding and re-invigoration of Glenelg Schools, the ADNOC Ruwais school is already on the right path and seems to be on course to deliver against its mission.
Fees at the school are described as premium by ADEC. However in our classification, they are mid-tier and range from AED 20,900 to AED 39,300.
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