Apple International Community School, the third school in Dubai to carry the Apple brand, will open in September 2021 in the populous area of Karama.
Apple International Community School is the newest addition to LEAMS Education's schools in the UAE. Owners of Apple International (Primary and Secondary campuses), The Oxford School Dubai, The Indian Academy (Dubai and Sharjah), LEAMS has focused on providing, with this latest opening, three affordable UK and two Indian curriculum schools.
The latest school to join the LEAMS group will open as a Primary School and will expand to include Secondary at a later date.
Announcing the launch of the school, Nabil Lahir, CEO, LEAMS Education said; “The new school goes beyond a classroom and is designed to support a wide range of teaching and learning methodologies, that prepares students for future success and create global citizens. Every child deserves quality education, and we are committed to providing an exceptional educational experience that is affordable. We will invest in opening more schools in the coming years with a clear focus on outstanding academic provision.”
It would seem that high levels of demand at the original school - and perhaps rather too enthusiastic a response to demand for admissions - may have led to the decision to open the new Community School as a means of diverting some of the excess demand.
According to the school website, "AICS is an inspirational space, with an encouraging learning environment. We inspire our students to explore their talents through a wide range of activities like sports, after-school and creative activities, community development programs" (sic).
We at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com do rather wish that if a school plans to market itself as following a British curriculum, it could ensure that its website uses British (rather than American!) spelling.
Also according to LEAMS, the new school will be managed by an organisation that brings with it a legacy of over 40 years of academic expertise in the UAE supporting 5,786 students.
The Vision for AICS "is a multi-cultural and diverse learning organization (sic) which empowers students, staff and the community to maximise their personal, academic, creative and athletic potential. We celebrate the pursuit of lifelong learning and are committed to nurturing high self-esteem and respect for others". Furthermore, driven by the motto ‘Justice, Equality and Unity’, "we are committed to molding (sic) a new generation of leaders, by creating self-confident, responsible and informed individuals with a lifelong passion for learning and development".
The school says that it invites parents to partner with it "to create a school where every child succeeds academically, thrives physically and creates friendships that will last them a lifetime, moulding a community of lifelong learners and enabling them to become global citizens of the future".
The school will be led by Principal, Satya Klever, who, according to her statement on the school website, wants to ensure that “Everyone Included. Everyone Supported. Everyone Challenged. Everyone Successful” is the focus of the school.
Dr. Klever has a Ph.D in Education from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, and a Masters in Education from Deakin University. She has a varied background in the UAE, having lectured in Education at the Higher Colleges of Technology, and worked for the Ministry of Education as a Teacher Trainer. She subsequently spent five years at GEMS Education including in her final position, as Vice Principal and Head of Primary.
Comments on the school website related to "young and dynamic" teachers suggests that there will not be large numbers of experienced, older staff - inevitable in a school which is offering decidedly affordable fees. It is likely that class sizes will be towards the larger size and that a sizeable contingent of teachers will be Indian - in line with the other schools within the group. Dr. Klever's background in teacher training is likely to prove to be a valuable asset to the school.
According to the school, it is "committed to providing an exceptional educational experience for your child, for every child. With a clear focus on outstanding academic provision, a varied and enriched outdoor environment and an emphasis on social and emotional wellbeing, your child will enjoy a rewarding, challenging and happy educational journey".
AICS will offer the UK-curriculum based Early Years Foundation Stage for children in FS1 and FS2 and the Cambridge Primary Curriculum for students in Years 1 to 6.
AICS aims to provide a stimulating environment where all members of the school community are valued and encouraged to reach their full potential and experience success.
The Foundation Stage curriculum ensures that a stimulating, caring and vibrant environment is established where children learn essential social skills and thrive on the planned learning opportunities, particularly in early reading, writing, mathematics, inquiry and exploration.
The school’s primary curriculum will comply with Cambridge Primary Programme and is also based on the standards prescribed by the Ministry of Education for Arabic, Islamic Studies, Moral Education and UAE Social Studies, to provide a broad and balanced education for students. The curriculum is enriched with extended learning opportunities which enhance critical thinking, innovation, parental participation, field visits and cross curricular links with other subjects.
The curriculum is designed to provide ample opportunities to develop creativity, expression and well-being in a variety of ways. AICS believes that education is not just restricted to classrooms. This is shown through the sports curriculum which is planned and exclusively designed to ensure the holistic development of students. Students develop and enhance skills such as agility, speed, strength, endurance, flexibility, control, risk management, and balance. The school seeks to encourage and develop a range of gifts and talents amongst its students. Along with high academic standards and aspirations, it also encourages artistic, creative and sporting excellence.
Teachers and trainers are young, dynamic and energetic, possessing great expertise in providing coaching and development - learning outside the classroom is an integral element of education. The overall effect of students receiving such a broad curriculum is that they discover their skills and interest and gain the self-belief and willingness to live their lives to the full.
The school supports the principles of inclusiveness, innovation, equality of access and full participation in the school.
AICS says that it holds "the ethos of inclusion and equal access opportunity to education for all dearly. We continuously review the provisions for the students of determination to ensure that they are comprehensive, effective and responsive to changing needs of the students. We ensure that identification of students’ individual and special needs are prompt and accurate to put effective interventions in place swiftly to maximize students’ learning in the school. Programmes of work are discussed for each child and learning is tailored to provide opportunities for their targets to be met."
With Apple International School only recently having expanded its Secondary school to include students in Year 11 (for IGCSE) and with Years 12 and 13 due to open in September 2021. The school has been rated Good by the KHDA for the past four years, but there have been some ups and downs among the individual Key Performance Standard ratings. We would advise parents to read our full review of Apple International School.
Unfortunately the school website shows very little in the way of actual examples of its campus with most images being stock shots. However, they do state that facilities include a "smart and collaborative classroom experience with latest technology" which includes 'Interactive Panels', a Science Laboratory, a well equipped ICT and Innovation Lab, and a specialized Art and Music room and provision for Performing Arts. Outdoor facilities include a Turfed Football Field, Swimming Pool, Cricket Pitches, Badminton, Dedicated Tennis Court, Basketball Synthetic Court, and separate covered outdoor play areas for FS students.
In addition, to help create safer, healthier spaces post COVID-19, LEAMS Education has pursued the International WELL Building Institute’s #WELLHealthSafety Rating, which verifyies that Apple International Community School has implemented evidence-based strategies to help protect the health and safety of students, parents and community.
We think that Apple International Community School is likely to be a popular option for parents who were already considering the Apple International School or other affordable options in and around the older areas of the city. The overall reputation of the school and its Good rating from the KHDA would seem to make it a safe bet for families seeking a solid curriculum delivery, though the experience of teachers (who will likely have had only two years' experience for the most part), may be a challenge at times.
KHDA approved fees for 2021-22 range from AED 18,500 to AED 21,000; however, a reduction of between 18 and 22% has been offered for the first three years of attendance to bring fees to AED 14,500 for FS1 and FS2, AED 15,900 for Years 1 and 2, AED 16,500 for Years 3 and 4, and AED 17,000 for Years 5 and 6. These are highly affordable fees.
The fees include Books – workbooks and textbooks, Uniform – 1 set of uniform, cardigan, and PE uniform, E-learning resources and Online Apps, and Computer and other lab resources. Tuition fees do not include fees for the Optional Books and Ministry Books.
Exam fees for Year 6 CIE Cambridge examinations are not included in the annual tuition fee and are mandatory for separate payment, details of which will be communicated to parents during the Academic Year.
There is an Application Fee (non-adjustable, inclusive of VAT) of AED 525 which is payable at the time of the online registration and is charged to process the application of new students. Once the child receives a formal offer from the school, the registration fee deposit of 10% of the annual Tuition fees is charged to enroll the child and secure the seat. This is non-transferable and non-refundable and will adjusted with the first term Tuition Fee. .
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