Originally opened in 1985, Al Manara School recently transferred for the second time (initially, its first move was from a villa to a former government school in Baniyas) to its new home in the Al Shamka area of Abu Dhabi.
Al Manara Private School has been awarded a Good rating in the 2021-22 ADEK inspection process. The report can be found under the 'Inspection Reports' tab.
The school currently numbers some 2,200 students from KG1 to Grade 12 and follows the Ministry of Education curriculum. The main nationalities of students at the school are Egyptian (29%) Syrian (24%) and Jordanian (18%).
A staff of approximately 145 is responsible for the education of the students, leading to a relatively high ratio of staff to students of 1:22 in the KG section (where the teacher ratio is usually higher to take into account the demands of younger students) and a positive ratio of 1:16 through the remainder of the school. Staff turnover at 14% is relatively low – which may well be a positive sign at the school.
The school operates an inclusive Admissions Policy with approximately 50 students identified with Special Educational Needs. The number of students identified as Gifted and Talented is considerably higher – with over 200 students identified with specific talents or abilities. Unfortunately, the school does not yet manage the identification, planning and support for students with SEND as well as it might – this is an area of improvement noted in the most recent ADEK inspection.
Overall, during the latest ADEK inspection in May 2017, the school was rated as Acceptable, but was deemed to be Good in relation to the students’ personal and social development, and their innovation skills and the protection, care, guidance and support of students.
Positives, as noted by the ADEK inspectors, were students’ achievement in mathematics in Grades 10 to 12, and students’ progress in science in Grades 6 to 9. Students’ personal development and harmonious relationships within the school, and its successful promotion of students’ appreciation of Islamic values and respect for the UAE’s heritage and culture, were also praised. The well-managed re-location of the school to new premises under the Principal’s purposeful leadership, and the cohesive staff teams, have underpinned the school’s improvement.
Areas in need of improvement included students’ attainment and progress in all subjects and the development of critical thinking, innovation and independent learning skills. The quality of teaching and learning, including the effective use of assessment data to plan activities, which offer challenge and support for all students, were also deemed in need of improvement. A more effective focus on the consistency in the rigour of lesson observations with a greater focus on the effectiveness of learning and student outcomes was also required.
Inspectors noted that most children in KG achieve in line with the expectations for their age. Students’ achievement in all other grades is acceptable overall: most of them attain levels in line with curriculum standards and make acceptable and better progress, including those with special educational needs (SEN) and those who are gifted and talented (G&T).
The quality of teaching is mostly acceptable in all subjects. Students’ good personal development is fostered by the consistent implementation of effective procedures for protection, care, guidance and support. Harmonious relationships prevail among students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Most students demonstrate good appreciation of and respect for the values of Islam and the heritage and culture of the UAE.
Parents are supportive of the school and particularly appreciate the caring approach of all school staff towards their children, the attention given to their opinions by senior leaders, as well as the school’s new premises. The Principal was found to lead purposefully and the development of cohesive leadership and staff teams promote commitment to school improvement.
The inspectors also commented on the acceptable progress made by the school in addressing the recommendations from the previous inspection report. Students’ attainment and progress have improved in all subjects and grades. The quality of teaching and learning has improved and is more consistently acceptable and better. Senior leaders and teachers have an improved understanding of what constitutes effective teaching and how this impacts on learning and student outcomes.
Overall there is much that is positive or is improving at Al Manara School. The relocation to new premises and the more positive views from the inspection suggest that there is much that is good at the school. Whichschooladvisor.com looks forward to a continuation of this positive trend.
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