United Arab Emirates / Abu Dhabi / Mussafah / Al Bashair Private School

Al Bashair Private School Review

Al Bashair Private School is an Abu Dhabi based Ministry of Education curriculum schools attended by an all Arab and Muslim community of students located in Mohammed bin Zayed City. The school has been rated Good by the Abu Dhabi Department of Knowledge in its most recent, 2017-18, inspection.
At a glance
School type
Private
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Curricula taught
Availability 2018/19
radio_button_unchecked No data
Availability 2019/20
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Annual fee average
AED 19,500
Annual fees
AED 12,900 - 27,200
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
1993
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
10%
Principal
Ms. Sawsan Tarabishy
Community
Main teacher nationality
A mix of nationalities
Main student nationality
Emirati
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Al Bashair Private School
School type
Private
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Curricula taught
Availability 2018/19
radio_button_unchecked No data
Availability 2019/20
radio_button_unchecked No data
Annual fee average
AED 19,500
Annual fees
AED 12,900 - 27,200
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
1993
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
10%
Principal
Ms. Sawsan Tarabishy
Community
Main teacher nationality
A mix of nationalities
Main student nationality
Emirati
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First Published:
Saturday 30 June, 2012

Updated:
Saturday 19 January, 2019

Al Bashair Private School is an Abu Dhabi based Ministry of Education curriculum schools attended by an all Arab and Muslim community of students located in Mohammed bin Zayed City. The school has been rated Good by the Abu Dhabi Department of Knowledge in its most recent, 2017-18, inspection.

The story so far...

Founded in 1993, Al Bashair Private School in Abu Dhabi is located in the off-island area of Mohammed bin Zayed City. The school follows a UAE MoE based curriculum. The school educates both boys  and girls to Grade 5. Mixed gender classes operate from kindergarten (KG) to grade 4, separate boys’ and girls’ classes in grade 5 and girls only from grades 6 ‐ 12. Kindergarten (KG) classes account for some 20% of students, with a further 50% in the Primary section.  The Middle and High School sections account for 21% and 13% respectively.

The school is home to approximately 1,200 students, all Muslim and Arab, with just under 40% coming from the Emirati community, 21% from Syrian nationals, 19% Jordanian nationals and 5% from Yemen; in total there are well over 20 nationalities represented by students.  Approximately 10% of students have SEND requirements.

Students are supported by some 109 teachers and 20 teaching assistants.  This means a staff:student ratio of 1:11 - a very low number enabling the school to provide individual support to its students as required.  Teacher turnover, at 10%, is on the low side - the UAE average is between 20-22% - suggesting that teaching staff are happy with their employment, and a considerable contrast to the situation in 2014, when over 80 of the then 97 staff were new to the school.  The latest ADEK report notes that teachers are provided with regular and high quality professional development - a known factor in staff retention.

What about the curriculum?

Al Bashair Private School follows the Ministry of Education proscribed curriculum, which includes the core subjects of Arabic, Islamic Studies, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science and English.  Other subjects include Art, Music, ICT and PE. The school has designed its own programmes for English, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT), following American high school models. 

The school has adopted the Montessori approach to teaching in the KG, whilst in the Primary school section there is a strong focus on STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics - effectively promoting students’ critical thinking, problem-solving and innovation skills. Innovative curriculum developments, for example, include a regular feature of English homework, where Middle and High school students listen and respond to first language speakers of English, particularly through age appropriate Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) talks. 

According to the ADEK inspectors, opportunities for students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, innovation and independent learning skills, and the use of ICT to support learning, are systematically developed across subjects and cross-curricular links are therefore very good. The curriculum is broad, balanced and relevant and enables students’ learning to build well on their previous knowledge, understanding and skills. Older students are provided with a good range of choices to develop their interests and aspirations. 

This is a school that does not attempt to hide the achievements of its students. Al Bashair Private School strongly promotes international bench-marking tests to measure progress, including Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This has contributed to the school’s high levels of performance amongst MoE schools and its 85% participation rates. 

Students’ overall attainment in MoE examinations in all subjects is described by ADEK's inspection team as outstanding. External Measure of Student Achievement (EMSA) data indicate that students’ attainment overall in Grades 5 and 11 is outstanding in Arabic reading and very good in Arabic writing. In recent Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) 2017 assessments, students’ overall performance in Grade 9 was outstanding in science, very good in language usage and Mathematics, but weak in reading.

What the inspectors say

Al Bashair moved up from a satisfactory rating to Good four years ago, and has retained this rating in the 2017-18 inspection round.  In fact, the school appears to be performing beyond the Good level in several of the six key performance standards.  Whilst Students' Achievement, Teaching and Assessment, and the Curriculum are all rated Good, Students' Personal and Social Development and their Innovation skills, the Care, Protection, Guidance and support of students, and Leadership and Management are all rated Very Good.

Much of the improvement has come from strong leadership and the better tracking of the progress and attainment of students, which has allowed classes and the curriculum to better match student needs. Attainment at the school is said to be good, with results considerably higher than UAE averages.  In fact, achievement is rated Good across the board, with the exception of KG, where it is Very Good. Teaching has "improved greatly" since the school's first inspection report with classes well differentiated to allow different levels of support, and the curriculum strong across the school.  Students with SEND requirements or who are Gifted and Talented are well supported.  Personal development of students of the school is said to be Very Good. The school is well equipped with good facilities. Importantly, the ambition of the leadership of the school has ensured the improvement to date, and inspectors believe that they have a Very Good capacity to improve the school further.

Strengths of the school were identified by the inspection team as:

  • Students’ improved achievement in the KG.
  • Students’ understanding and appreciation of Islamic values and UAE culture and society.
  • Effective cross curricular links in learning.
  • The identification of SEN and G&T students.
  • The principal’s ambitious vision for the school which is fully supported by all stakeholders and driving much improvement in key areas.
  • Partnerships with parents and the community.

Areas of improvement identified by the inspection team include the requirement to:

  • Raise students’ achievement in English and Arabic writing by: ensuring that sufficient time is given to teaching writing in lessons; modelling how to write so that students understand what is expected of them [and] monitoring students’ writing in lessons and helping them to correct spelling and grammar.
  • Further raise levels of achievement in all subjects through ensuring teaching better meets the needs of all learners by: ensuring students with SEN are consistently well supported and G&T students challenged within lessons; further precise matching of activities to all students’ learning needs, especially for more able students; providing students with more opportunities to respond to self-assessment and peer-assessment in lessons [and] ensuring marking consistently provides clear advice to students on how to improve their work.
  • Improve the monitoring of teaching by: ensuring consistent focus upon the impact of teaching on the achievement of groups of students by middle and senior leaders [and] further linking evaluation of teaching to rigorous provision of professional development and analysis of its impact in improving teachers’ practice.

It is clear from the recommendations - and reflected in the ratings for the Key Performance Standards - that improvements are still required in Student Achievement and Teaching and Assessment, in particular.  If Al Bashair Private School can raise Student Achievement further, and start to receive some Very Good ratings in this specific performance standard, this must be a school that is well on the way to an overall Very Good rating.  The recognition by the inspection team that the capacity to improve is Very Good, suggests that this rating may not be too far away.

Fees for the school are in the median range for Abu Dhabi, starting at AED 12,900 and rising to AED 28,850 per annum.  Additional fees include Books (ranging from AED 220 in KG1, to AED 1,155 in Grade 12), bus fees of AED 4,600, and school uniform at AED 264. The school is considered "good value" for the education and support it offers its students.   

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