The third Dubai school to be opened by the AMSI Group, Al Mawakeb School Al Khawaneej, will actually be based in the Al Mizhar area, convenient for families from Dubai (driving against the traffic) and those living in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates. The owners' aim is to introduce a new school that "focuses on shaping a generation of innovative thinkers and achievers". Having opened in September 2018, enrolling students from Pre-K to Grade 8, the school has grown organically to Grade 12.
Set in an area of 65,000 sq. ft., the newest school to join the Al Mawakeb schools in Al Barsha and Al Garhoud offers a blend of academic programmes, state-of-the-art facilities and a vision for creating a new generation of confident achievers.
The school aims to work diligently to provide the students with ample opportunities for self-realisation and self-fulfillment. This approach is designed to encourage students to be self-reliant.
At the time of the school's first KHDA inspection in March 2022 - delayed from its original scheduled date of the 2020-21 academic year due to the Covid 19 pandemic - the school had a cohort of some 1,100 students from pre-KG to Grade 12, of whom 811 were Emirati citizens. The school has clearly been highly successful in recruiting students from local families - particularly in comparison with the Al Garhoud branch where only 13.5% of students are from the local community, and the Al Barsha branch, where the figure is 21%.
Students are supported by some 64, predominantly Lebanese, teachers. This provides a teacher:student ratio of 1:16. There are also two guidance counsellors. 37 students have been identified as students of Determination.
In common with both the Al Barsha and Al Garhoud schools, Al Mawakeb Al Khaleej was also rated Good by the KHDA's DSIB inspection team - the highest rating awarded to schools on their first inspection. However, where Al Barsha has been rated Good for five years in a row, and the Al Garhoud branch for six years, it will be interesting to see whether the Al Khawaneej branch has the resources and ambition to achieve a higher rating, or whether the owners of the school decide to ensure that the school simply continues to meet the KHDA's expressed minimum targeted expectation.
Full details of the inspection results can be found here.
Al Mawakeb Al Khawaneej's syllabus is based on the American Curriculum that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English and Maths, New Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for Science, and California State Standards for Physical Education, Arts and Modern Languages. The school will provide the UAE Ministry of Education curriculum for Arabic, Islamic Studies, Moral Education and Social Studies. The school is a NEASC-candidate school - a KHDA requirement to ensure that its High School Diploma is recognised by colleges and universities in the USA and elsewhere.
The school's academic programme incorporates technologically advanced learning aids, together with a variety of extracurricular and intramural sports and activities. Innovation is an integral part of the curriculum with the 5E instructional model, consisting of 5 phases of learning: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration and evaluation.
Students engage in project-based and collaborative group work. They also participate in hands-on activities such as designing 2D and 3D models using concrete objects and technology tools. The technologies that are deployed at the school aim to transform the traditional classrooms and laboratories into interactive, high-tech, multimedia learning environments. All classrooms in all grade levels are equipped with interactive whiteboards.
Al Mawakeb’s multi-lingual programme (with three languages taught from KG to Grade 12) enables students to develop their language skills and reading literacy from an early age. French is emphasised and a strong foundation laid in KG; English is the language of instruction from Grade 1– 12, whilst differentiated Arabic and French lessons are provided across the school, and Social Studies and Islamic Education are taught in English and Arabic. Students routinely engage in various activities that promote reading habits.
The school strives to provide extensive learning opportunities to students, through a wide range of Elective Courses to inspire and cultivate the skills, interests, and personal goals of High School students. The school also offers AP programmes for students seeking College entry, in addition to conferring its own NEASC-accredited High School Diploma.
Co- and extracurricular activities are implemented across all grade levels to enhance the learning process, foster holistic learning, emphasise 21st-century skills, promote enterprise and entrepreneurship, develop innovation and creativity skills, uphold social responsibility, and reinforce students’ ability to make real-life connections and applications.
Technology-rich instruction enables the needs of different groups of students to be met, including those with SEND, and those who are gifted and talented. The school also provide tablets and iPads to assist students with learning difficulties to use text-to-speech programmes, video tutorials, and educational virtual games.
A variety of academic support programmes, curriculum modifications and intervention strategies enable teachers and other learning support staff to fulfill the school’s mission of addressing, supporting, and identifying the special educational needs, including the gifts and talents of students, through a flexible admissions policy and commitment to inclusion.
The KHDA inspection report notes that "Inclusion is a strength of the school, as all students receive high quality care and support. Students of determination are well-supported."
The school's facilities include fully equipped general and specialty Science Laboratories, a Music Room and Studio, an Art Room with high-end surround sound systems, Computer Labs with individual workstations, a dedicated STEM Lab, Libraries, Multi-Purpose Halls/Activity Rooms, a multi-tiered Auditorium, Indoor Gym featuring Basketball, Volleyball and Handball courts, a fully equipped Fitness Gym, Indoor Swimming Pool, an outdoor Football field, Running track, and Multi-Sport court.
With an overall rating of Good. Inspectors were impressed by the good progress of students in all subjects, across all phases. Although the starting points in Arabic as a first language were lower in the Elementary and Middle school, the improvements were consistent. Students are developing independent learning skills well, supporting their progress in all subjects.
In fact, the inspectors were impressed by Student Achievement across all core subjects, with progress and achievement across the school being rated Good with exception to Arabic as both a first and additional language in regard to attainment (rated Acceptable). For a school with predominantly native Arabic speakers, such an achievement across English, Mathematics and Science is a considerable one.
Teaching and Assessment, and the Curriculum were also rated Good for progress and attainment across the school - showing the impact of these key performance standards reflected in Student Achievement. Care and Support was also rated Good.
The two key performance standards that achieved the highest ratings - and reflect a level above and beyond the norm in both cases were for the Personal and Social Development of students and their Innovation skills - rated Very Good across the school - and the Outstanding rating for Health and Safety (including Child Protection). The achievement of these ratings on first inspection are impressive!
Overall, the inspection team identified the strengths of Al Mawakeb Al Khawaneej to be:
In terms of areas for improvement, the inspection team identified that the school should:
If you would like to read the full inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings - you will find it here.
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Both Al Mawakeb School Al Garhoud, and its sister branch in Al Barsha were rated Good in the 2019-20 KHDA Inspection round; parents can therefore be assured that their children will be enrolled in a school with considerable experience and a solid reputation. Based on Al Mawakeb Al Khawaneej's first inspection report, it appears that the newest branch of the group may be on the way to surpassing the achievement of the other two schools - hopefully driving them also to a higher level of provision and student achievement.
Fees start at AED 33,450 for pre-KG and rise to AED 64,350 in Grade 12.
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