United Arab Emirates / Abu Dhabi / Ruwais / Asian International School Ruwais

Asian International School Ruwais Review

Asian International School Ruwais is part of a group of three schools offering the CBSE curriculum. The Ruwais branch is aimed at mainly Indian families working with the ADNOC group. A second school is located in Madinat Zayed.
At a glance
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Curricula taught
Availability 2019/20
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Availability 2020/21
radio_button_unchecked No data
Annual fee average
AED 7,000
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
1988
School year
Apr to Mar
Principal
Ms. Jasmin Beegom (Acting)
Community
Main teacher nationality
Indian
Main student nationality
Indian
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Asian International School Ruwais
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Curricula taught
Availability 2019/20
radio_button_unchecked No data
Availability 2020/21
radio_button_unchecked No data
Annual fee average
AED 7,000
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
1988
School year
Apr to Mar
Principal
Ms. Jasmin Beegom (Acting)
Community
Main teacher nationality
Indian
Main student nationality
Indian
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First Published:
Saturday 30 June, 2012

Updated:
Thursday 9 May, 2019

Asian International School Ruwais is part of a group of three schools offering the CBSE curriculum. The Ruwais branch is aimed at mainly Indian families working with the ADNOC group. A second school is located in Madinat Zayed.

The story so far...

Asian International Private School (AIS) Ruwais - not to be confused with the separate branch at Madinat Zayed  - opened as a villa school in 1988 to educate the children of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) employees.  By 1993, it had grown to become a Kindergarten (KG) to Grade 10 school and, in 1999, extended to Grade 12.  Close to 93% of students are children of ADNOC employees, and its subsidiary oil company, who require their children to follow a Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum. The school occupies three sites around the city: one for KG classes, a second for Grades 1 to 3 students, and the main administrative block accommodates students in Grades 4 to Grade 12. 

The school's somewhat lengthy vision is "to be recognized as a Centre of Excellence in the field of education by meeting the challenges of the present and the future that leads to a pertinent motto “EDUCATION BRINGS PROSPERITY".  We take pride to build up an outstanding learning community, recognized internationally, [an] enjoyable and advanced learning experience to students, which values each individual to explore the vast horizon of learning and encourage our students to find their place in the world around them".

The school is led by Director General Rashed Mubarak Mohammed Al Mansoori, and the Founder Chairman Salim, who notes that he is "glad to emphasize that our first step into the arena of education in 1988 is presently leaping towards the zenith of best practices in academics and moral values".

Perhaps a stronger grasp of the school's ambitions can be found in the Principal's introduction where she notes that "School life must be a quest for meaning that goes far beyond the limitations of conventional curricula, text books and standardized examinations, so that when our students leave us they are secure in their abilities, strong in their principles and confident to face challenges. Our school endeavours to provide an environment that encourages growth, fosters creativity, exploration and discovery; where children can find magic in the mundane, enjoy the gift of robust laughter, broaden their intellectual, physical and emotional horizons and build a strong sense of integrity, compassion and generosity of spirit".

Evidently, AIS Ruwais has had some success in recruiting students whose families share the school's goals.  At the time of the last ADEK inspection in 2017-18, there were 1,565 students on the roll.  Of these,  some 15% (235) children were in the Kindergarten, a further 595 students were in the primary section, 500 were in the middle Section, and 235 in the Senior section.  Boys and girls were roughly equal in number.

The majority of students, 84%, are of Indian heritage, 5% are Pakistani, and 2% are Egyptian. 1% of the students are Emiratis. There are further small proportions from other countries including Jordan, Yemen and the Philippines.  A similar 1% of students have been identified with SEN requirements.

Students are supported by some 105 teachers and approximately 10 learning assistants.  This provides a teacher:student ratio of 1:25 in KG and 1:20 through the rest of the school.  This are relatively high numbers which will make not inconsiderable demands on teachers if they are to provide the attention and curriculum adaptation required to meet individual student needs.  Staff turnover at 15% is on the high side for an Indian school, though lower than the UAE average in international schools of 20-22%.

What about the curriculum?

AIS follows an Indian curriculum and is affiliated to the CBSE curriculum Board. It also follows the Ministry of Education (MoE) curriculum for Arabic, Islamic education and UAE Social Studies. 

AIS introduced the CBSE-i curriculum in 2010, an enquiry and skill based curriculum taught entirely through e-books - and a pioneering approach by the CBSE to deliver education with a global outlook to Indian students overseas. This curriculum was withdrawn in 2017 and schools required to revert to the standard CBSE curriculum as taught in India. The medium of instruction is English, with Hindi, French ad Urdu taught as Second Languages.  Students start Hindi in Grade 1 and are offered a choice between Hindi, French and Urdu from Grade V. 

The course of study taught in Standard X includes English, together with a combination of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology; Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Computer Science; or Accountancy, Business Studies, Economics and Computer Science. 

In common with many CBSE curriculum schools, the focus is very narrow - in terms of either a Science or Commerce stream. 

AIS states that the curriculum has been designed to nurture multiple intelligences, such as linguistic or verbal intelligence, logical mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, sports intelligence, musical intelligence, inter-personal intelligence and intra-personal intelligence. It also includes core components such as the "development of Perspectives, Research, Life Skills, and SEWA (Social Empowerment thorough Work and Action)".

The most recent ADEK report notes that "A good range of opportunities for enterprise, innovation and social contribution is provided through extra-curricular activities, and in lessons. In the High [school] phase students have frequent opportunity to use technology to research and share ideas".

In addition to the academic subjects, students are also required to participate in PE and games. These include Football, Basket Ball, Volley Ball, Cricket, Badminton,Yoga, Karate, and Dance.  The school also offers free Martial Arts Classes for students from Gr IV-IX.

What about Academic achievement?

AIS Ruwais does not provide details of student achievement on its website on a permanent basis, but have announced the results for the current academic year.  We at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com  are always happy to see schools share their students' achievements, although often the information that would provide an overview of all students' performance - rather than simply "toppers" - is lacking. 

This is sadly the case with AIS Ruwais who advised that all 58 students from the Science Stream and 13 students from the Commerce stream appeared for the Standard XII AISSCE in 2019.  In the Science Stream, the school said that it had achieved outstanding results with the highest score being 97.8 % which was also the second highest score in the UAE.  In the Commerce Stream, the topper scored 92.4%.  Unfortunately, the school does not provide any information about the overall average score for the school - something that would allow comparison with other schools across the board, rather than just the highest scores.

In the Standard X exams, more than 60 students scored 90% and above, and 15 students scoring 95% and above in the AISSE.  All the students who appeared for the exams passed them - though the school does not mention how many there were, nor the average score - with the highest being 98.4 %.

The most recent ADEK report notes that "Student performance in recent Grade 12 MOE examinations was very good in Arabic as a first and second language. In the recent Grade 12 CBSE examinations, students’ performance was outstanding in English and very good in mathematics and science. In the recent Grade 10 CBSE examinations, students’ performance was outstanding in English and good in mathematics and science"

We would encourage AIS to provide more detailed and broader data so that they can genuinely share the achievements of all their students, and not just the top few.

What about the facilities?

Little information is provided about the school's facilities other than that if offers "full-fledged facilities" for science and information technology (including separate Physics, Chemistry and Biology labs), a library, multi-purpose hall/auditorium, a Cafeteria, a Clinic, and School Counsellor.  However, the latest ADEK report notes that the school has plans to relocate to new buildings which will improve both physical facilities and resources.

What the inspectors say

Whilst the information related to exam performance may not be as detailed as we would like to see, there is no questioning the improvement that has occurred at AIS Ruwais since their previous ADEK inspection in 2015-16, when the school was rated Weak.  In the period since then, the school has clearly made significant efforts and progress - as well as growing substantially in size - and was awarded a Good rating in the 2017-18 inspection roundThis is a real achievement and one that should be recognised.

AIS was rated Good across all six key performance standards. The inspection report is extremely positive in its analysis of the improvements that have been made since the previous inspection two years prior.

Inspectors noted that students’ achievement has improved strongly since the last inspection.  Whilst standards in Islamic education, Arabic as a first language, and Arabic as additional language were acceptable, in Social Studies, their achievement was Good across phases.

In Mathematics, English and Science, students were making at least Good progress and, in some instances, Very Good progress and attainment.  Students could apply their Good learning skills in all subjects, and as a result their progress had accelerated. School leaders regularly enter students in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, with results which are consistently above bench-marked expectations. Staff-student relationships are exemplified by warmth, trust and mutual respect. 

Inspectors found that the school has ensured teachers of all subjects are suitably qualified and experienced and has appointed a new Arabic coordinator who leads improvements in Arabic subjects effectively.  Teaching and assessment are Good overall, and have rapidly improved in most subjects since the last inspection. Teaching now better meets the needs and interests of students, for example by providing appropriate opportunities for them to develop collaborative and interactive skills, and providing more opportunities for them to write and speak in Arabic.

Teachers’ use of assessment and feedback was found to be more robust and rigorous. Their effective use of the new, robust, regular system of continuous assessment has rapidly raised students’ achievement. The school compares students’ performances effectively against curriculum levels and, in the High school section, national and international standards. Gap analysis is used effectively, in close discussion with leadership, to ensure effective personalised targets and tracking of students. Students now know their next steps in learning and the curriculum is modified effectively to meet the needs of different abilities.

Systems to identify and support SEN students are thorough, and an identified SEN coordinator is in post. Robust monitoring of the provision is carried out by senior leaders to ensure adaptation of lessons to meet SEN students’ needs and their good progress.

Senior and middle leaders’ monitoring of teaching has been rigorous, and the resulting provision of consistently high quality and regular training, mentoring and sharing of best practice to support teachers, has led to rapid improvements in teaching and assessment in most subjects except Arabic and Islamic education.

The ADEK inspection team identified the strengths of AIS Ruwais as:

  • Students’ improved achievement in most subjects since the last inspection.
  • Well-behaved and respectful students who have strong relationships with teachers and each other.
  • The celebration of the culture and values of the UAE and India across the school.
  • Teaching strategies and analysis of assessment information which drive students’ achievement.
  • Leaders’ commitment to, and success in, promoting an effective culture of continuous improvement.

Areas of improvement identified by the inspectors were to:

  • Continue to raise achievement overall, and especially in Islamic education and Arabic by: improving students’ skills in writing and reading in Arabic, and recitation of the Holy Qur’an; further extending students’ innovation, and critical thinking skills in Arabic and Islamic education, and their appreciation of the links between Arabic subjects; [and] further developing systems to identify and support all G&T students.
  • Improve the learning environment and resources of the school to further raise students’ achievement by: completing the planned move to new buildings successfully; [and] improving the range and quality of resources to provide additional opportunities for practical and investigative learning in science and mathematics.

Asian International School Ruwais has clearly embraced its journey on the path to improvement.  It evidently has committed students, staff, leadership, governance and parents, and the skills needed to continue to make further progress.  We hope that the impetus will be maintained.  The school also deserves credit for the fact that it has made these improvements based on school fees that are at the low end of the scale - proof that a relatively affordable education can, in fact, be a Good one.

As yet we have had too few parents complete our School Opinion Survey to be able to publish parental feedback.  If you are a parent at Asian International School Ruwais, please share your thoughts on the school for the benefit of prospective students and their parents, by completing our survey here

Fees at Asian International Private School start at AED 3,200 in KG (with book fees of AED 400) rising to AED 11,248 in Grade 12, and book fees of AED 800.  Bus fees range from AED 345-1,150 depending on location. 

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