Established as the Glenelg School, Abu Dhabi by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Glenelg is now being rebranded as ADNOC Schools, in this case, the Abu Dhabi Campus. The secondary school currently has over 1,100 students, the vast majority of whom come from Arab backgrounds (96 percent).
ADNOC Schools, Abu Dhabi is a private not-for-profit K-12 school that is very popular with Emiratis, located in Umm Al Nar. The schools have now been separated into Primary and Secondary campuses, but at the time of their last joint inspection were rated Good.
Students at ADNOC schools follow the American Common Core curriculum, with a focus on STEAM based curricula – 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.
The school follows the US curriculum, adapted to the UAE context, and had, until the ADNOC Schools re-branding, administered tests according to the Iowa system of accreditation. Since then it has switched to the increasingly prevalent (in the UAE) Common Core Standards based on the Massachusetts model and accredited by the Middle States Schools Association. At Secondary, the curriculum fully meets US requirements and follows the American curriculum for Advanced Placement (AP), adapted for the local context in terms of provision of Arabic, Islamic Studies and Social Studies.
Almost all students are Muslim and Arab. UAE nationals form the bulk of the population (90%) with very small numbers from other countries such as Yemen, Jordan, USA, Egypt, Oman, Canada, India, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Pakistan. Students come from 27 countries. Teachers come from Lebanon, Jordan and The United States.
The school has two gender based campuses. The ADNOC Secondary Schools educate over 1,100 students from Grade 6 to Grade 12. 151 teachers and 75 teaching assistants enable a staff to student ratio of 1:22 which, although not a low ratio, certainly appears to work at this school. Teacher turnover at 7% is very definitely well below average (around 22% in the UAE) and a sign of a stable team.
The most recent ADEK inspection which covered both the Primary and Secondary School campuses rated the school Good.
ADEK inspectors evaluated students’ achievement as good overall. Attainment and progress are at least good in all subjects and consistently very good in Grades 9 to 12. Recent EMSA and MAP data confirm good or better outcomes in all subjects. Advanced Programme (AP) data over the last 5 years shows steady progress in most subjects and particularly in Science, thereby maintaining standards above curriculum and global benchmarks. The large majority of Grade 11 and Grade 12 students in the Ministry of Education (MoE) tests achieve outstanding success.
Attainment and progress in English strengthen from good to very good as students progress through the school. MAP data shows growth is above curriculum expectations. In Grades 7, 9 and 11, English reading is consistently strong and writing, although not as strong, is still above curriculum standards.
By Grade 9, students use their strong English language skills in Biology to research and present their ideas about diseases. Their writing is particularly impressive by this stage. Mathematics is one of the stronger subjects across the grades levels. Students consistently achieve above curriculum benchmarks showing progress year on year. Science is also strong throughout the school with many examples of students progressing well using Science contexts for their language development.
By the time they reach Grade 12, students can apply their high level information and communication technology (ICT) skills to research and gain a good knowledge of the body’s immune systems. Students’ achievement in other subjects is good, particularly in physical education (PE). Achievement in Music and Art is also good.
Across the school, progress for all groups including gifted and talented students and students who have special educational needs (SEN) is good in most subjects. With more challenge, the minority of gifted and talented students would achieve even more highly. In most subjects, students develop and make effective use of a range of learning skills such as research, collaboration and working independently. By the time they leave the school, the large majority of students are very skilled and ready for their future careers or entry to college. They achieve levels that are above curriculum, national and, on occasion, international standards.
A growing number of teachers are using assessment more accurately to inform their lesson planning so that students, including those with special educational needs (SEN), are able to progress well. Concepts are consolidated and individual teachers ensure there is progression within phases. In most subjects, teachers relate student learning to the world in which they live. Cross-curricular links are good.
The curriculum is rated good. The use of the Common Core Standards for the teaching of English and Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for Science, provide an effective basis for measuring student outcomes. The curriculum is balanced. Subjects swiftly spiral from one topic into the next. This encourages students to think creatively in all subjects. Teachers enrich the curriculum by ample in-class and extra-curricular activities.
Most students display very good behaviour and respectful attitudes in lessons and during recreation on every campus. Almost all students adopt safe and healthy lifestyles because of the example set by the school. The school is well thought of in the community.
Inspectors identified the strengths of the school as the shared vision of school leadership contributing to a cohesive school community; the school’s promotion of students’ learning skills and personal development; students’ educational progress across the schools, particularly in the girls’ campus, and the protection, care, guidance and support leading to career and college readiness.
Areas of Improvement remain teaching strategies and appropriate use of the curriculum to engage and motivate the middle school boys; teachers’ marking to guide students’ next steps, and students’ punctuality to school.Standards in Arabic and Arabic as a second language are a little above average in Ministry of Education (MoE) assessments.
According to the school's web site, a broad range of extra-curricular activities are offered, most of which do not involve additional cost. In the boys campus these include: Ultimate Frisbee, Football, Arabic Language Club, Volleyball, Triathlon, Arabic Calligraphy, Newsletter Journalism, Tennis, Basketball, Environment Club, Book Club, Healthy Lifestyle, Darts/Card Games, anjd Badminton. At the girls campus, the school offers Silent Reading, Aqua Jogging, Basketball, Embroidery, Cooking, Cartooning, Healthy Lifestyle, Book Club, Arabic Language Club and a Public Speaking & Debating Club.
Fees at the school currently fall in a WSA defined "value" range of AED 34,500 in Grade 6 to AED 43,600 in Grade 12 for the Secondary campus.
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