Al Rashid Al Saleh School is a private K-12 school (ages 4 - 19 years of age) licensed by the Ministry of Education and located in Oud Metha, Dubai. The school follows the Ministry of Education curriculum, taught in Arabic.
Al Rashid Al Saleh School has been rated Good for the seventh year running in the 2018-19 KHDA inspection process. An abbreviated version of the inspection report can be found under the Inspection report tab. An update of this review will be completed once the full reports have been published.
The story so far...
Located in the heart of Bur Dubai, Al Rashid Al Saleh School is one of the oldest in Dubai, established in September 1971 and currently caters to 2562 students, just over one in 14 of whom come from local, Emirati families, with the balance almost all from Arab national families. There are a small minority of Iranians at the school. The school has 156 teachers, supported by 15 teaching assistants. This provides a staff:student ratio of 1:16 - around the average for schools in its price-point. The school is currently rated Good by the KHDA, Dubai's education regulator. This is the fifth year in a row that Al Rashid Al Saleh School has obtained the KHDA's second highest rating. The school segregates boys’ and girls’ classes starting in Grade 4.
The principal, Sister Samira Ayoub Botrus, has been in the role for 34 years, which makes her, we believe, the longest serving head of a school in the UAE. The school employs two education and development advisors, and other specialist staff, most of whom have appropriate qualifications.
Al Rashid Al Saleh School follows an Arabic, U.A.E. Ministry of Education curriculum. The language of instruction is Arabic. English is taught as an additional language for all students across all phases.
What the inspectors say
Despite its longevity, it is evident that Al Rashid Al Saleh school is a forward-looking school. Inspectors in the 2018-18 report, highlighted the leadership and management of the school noting that "The leadership and management of the school remain good. The partnership with parents is a strength. Governors support the school with resources and staffing to drive improvements particularly in Cycle 3 [High School]. In addition, the school is investing in a new building for athletics and arts that is still under construction." That the school should be investing in facilities that might not be considered an absolute necessity, is clearly a good sign.
In fact, the school has many Good - and much better than Good - features according to the KHDA. Academically, the vast majority of ratings for the core subjects of Islamic Studies, Arabic as a first language, English, Maths and Science are rated Good, with all measures in the High School being rated Very Good. The sole exceptions are for Islamic Studies (rated Good) and for progress in English which is rated Outstanding.
Students' personal and social development and their innovation skills are also rated Outstanding across the board. The report notes that "The development of students’ personal and social responsibility is outstanding. In addition, students across the school demonstrate an excellent awareness and understanding of Islamic values. Students’ innovation skills, including the use of technology in the classroom, are developing and have resulted in improved outcomes for students in some areas."
Teaching for effective learning and assessment continue to be good across the phases - there have not been sufficient improvements to warrant an upgrade in the ratings for these measures, but inspectors found that "Of note are the improvements to teaching strategies in science and Arabic. The assessment systems in place enable good monitoring of the progress of individual students, especially in the KG." Clearly this is an area of work in progress.
In the area of curriculum design and its implementation, whilst there has been improvement from Good to Very Good in the KG section, and an overall rating of Good in the other sections of the school, the adaptation of the curriculum to meet individual student needs and abilities appears to be more of a challenge. Whilst this is Good in the KG section, it remains only Acceptable in the other sections of the school. The inspection team commented that "In the KG, teachers are effective in modifying activities to support children who find the tasks difficult and to challenge the high achievers. In the other phases, teachers do not focus sufficiently on identifying students' different starting points and their next steps in learning."
The school does actively support students with Additional Learning Needs (SEN), and is rated Good in this context, however, inspectors found that although the school has appointed a member of the governing board to be an inclusion champion, and is developing an inclusive education improvement plan, the lack of CAT4 data hampers the screening process. This means that support given to students with SEN is not always consistent across classes. The use of external assessment tools is an increasing focus for the inspection team and one that the school will need to address.
The protection, care, guidance and support of students is another area in which the school performs exceptionally well. In terms of health and safety, including Child Protection and Guarding, Al Rashid Al Saleh is rated Outstanding. Care and support is rated Very Good in KG and Good across the remainder of the school. Inspectors noted that " The counsellors show care and concern for students. They provide them with valuable guidance to support their wellbeing and emotional development. The school offers very effective careers advice to older students but academic guidance is not as strong."
In terms of Leadership and Management, the majority of measures (for the effectiveness of leadership, School self-evaluation and improvement planning, Governance, and Management, staffing, facilities and resources) are rated Good. All have areas of improvement identified by the inspection team that are clearly identified.
Where there is a clear strength is in relation to the relationship between the school, its parents and community - rated Very Good. "The school empowers parents and engages them as partners in the learning of their children. Reporting to parents is regular and informs them about their children's behaviour and academic achievement. Partnerships are strengthened by students’ participation in competitions, which has a positive impact on the development of learning skills." However, inspectors would like to see greater involvement for parents in decision-making and school improvement planning.
Parents are largely positive about the school, believing their children receive a good education and that they enjoy school. A small number of parents (81) responded to the KHDA's pre-inspection survey, but most parents who responded to the survey are satisfied with the education their children get in this school. A few of them have concerns about the excessive amount of homework their children get and the lack of extra-curricular activities the school offers.
The school's Web site is in Arabic and contains some useful information and news on the school. It does not however detail the full range of facilities at the school.
Fees at Al Rashid Al Saleh range from AED 8,529 in KG1 to AED 17,927 in Grade 12.
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