United Arab Emirates / Abu Dhabi / Al Bahya / Aspen Heights British School

Aspen Heights British School Q & A

Aspen Heights British School is a relatively new English National Curriculum school which opened in Abu Dhabi in September 2017. The school is located in the Old Al Bahya district and is part of the International Schools Partnership group of schools.
Parents' Rating
3.2 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Availability 2021/22
Availability 2022/23
Annual fee average
AED 44,000
Annual fees
AED 35,000–50,000
Price band help
Ms Emma Shanahan
International Schools Partnership (ISP)
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
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Welcome to the Aspen Heights British School official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.

Does your school have a waiting list? In which years?

Please call 056 538 4416 for current availability

What are qualities and characteristics that define your school and its students?

Aspen Heights British School in Abu Dhabi provides a supportive and engaging international environment, enabling children to flourish and mature into highly skilled, resilient and caring global citizens. Your child will be inspired by our exciting and personalised curriculum, interwoven with opportunities to explore our incredible locality through environmental themes. You will be supported by our approachable and caring teaching staff who work with you to ensure your children make remarkable progress.

Aspen Heights British School was founded in September 2017 to serve the growing educational needs of the surrounding Al Bahya and Al Raha communities in Abu Dhabi. We offer the National Curriculum of England to students in a personalised way, integrating the local community and environment, for children from ages 3 to 15 years old (Foundation Stage to Year 10 and Year 11 opening in September 2022).

Being a fairly new school, Aspen Heights British School is privileged to have a wealth of world-class, brand new facilities, and our spacious campus has been built keeping nature in mind. Our environmental focus provides children with unique hands-on opportunities to appreciate and interact with their local environment.

Aspen Heights is part of the International Schools Partnership (ISP), a global network of over 50 schools across countries, which provides the school with outstanding international learning connections, quality assurance and excellent governance.

Truly international, the Aspen Heights British School is a family of highly diverse individuals whose collective aim is to build a better world through amazing learning. The power of the Aspen Heights learning community is achieved by recognising, valuing and connecting the different contributions and talents of all its members. Through an uncompromising balance of individualism and unity we inspire our students to find their own unique paths to making a difference.

How many nationalities are represented in your school? How international would you say your school is?

We have a wonderful mix of more than 50 different nationalities across our school.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

Our class sizes are 20-25 students, each class has a fully qualified teacher; almost all are UK trained and experienced. We have teaching assistants in each FS and Year 1 and 2 class, and teaching assistants and learning support assistant work across classes in upper primary ( years 3-6). We have specialist teachers for all Arabic subjects, and PE and Music.

Does your school measure Value Added data? Please provide details of how you measure, and current Value Added benchmark scores.

Yes. Last academic year 100% of children made better than expected progress in all areas of learning. This is something we are very proud of and is due to the skill and dedication of our teaching staff who personalise learning to meet the needs of the children, together with our access to appropriate and effective teaching resources.

If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?

Not applicable

Please provide details of how well your school did in its previous external exams for students at 16 and at 18 years of age? Please provide sufficient detail to allow parents to have a view on how academic your school is?

Not applicable

What percentage of your sixth form that take exams at 18 go to university, and where, in general, do they go?

Not applicable

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

At Aspen we follow an inquired learning approach. Amazing Learning for all – children, staff and families – is central to everything we do. Our personalised education ensures that children make remarkable progress and achieve standards that will impress you.
Aspen Heights British School embraces the individuality of every learner. We support student learning through a robust, student-focused curriculum, and enriching after-school programmes. Aspen Heights focuses relentlessly on each child’s ability to thrive in all areas; academically, socially, culturally and physically. Whether through mentoring, enrichment or personalised study, we recognise and nurture each student’s gifts and talents so that they amaze themselves and inspire others.

The astounding progress our children have made – for example, children being able to write only a few letters at the beginning of the year, to writing full pages of cursive script by the end of the year – is something we are truly proud of.

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?

We know that children work very hard in school and many of our children have rich sporting and cultural lives out of school. We therefore are not excessive in our approach to homework.

We expect all children to:

• Read at home to an adult – ideally for a few minutes each night – but at least three times a week, and to record this in their home-school reading record (following on from a guided reading session – we guarantee that every child will take part in at least one guided reading session with a teacher each week often it will be more)
• Complete the local curriculum homework (Arabic, Social Studies)
Additional homework for Key stage one and two is communicated to families on our parent portal on a Thursday, and includes:
a. mental maths/ times tables,
b. spellings/ phonics/ handwriting,
c. an activity- writing/ maths/ science- related to current theme or topic.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?

PE is a very important part of our curriculum at Aspen Heights, we have invested in our facilities to provide our students with the best opportunity for exercise, from our state of the art astro pitch, to our 25m swimming pool and fully equipped sports hall and hard sports court

We offer extra-curricular activities after school from Year 1 upwards, which encompass a range of sports, this term for example, we are offering football, athletics, touch rugby and circuits. These activities are included in the school fees, to make them accessible to all, and uptake is high.

We also use an external provider for swimming, gymnastics and karate, who run classes later in the afternoon and at weekends. One advantage of this is that we can also offer swimming for parents and others within the area, opening up our campus to the wider community.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Aspen Heights actively promotes a healthy lifestyle for all our families, through promotion of healthy snacks, and physical activity. We recently held a 'Fun with Fitness' event promoting all aspects of a healthy lifestyle which was very well supported by our engaged Aspen family community.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Healthy lunch box choices are shared with parents through our weekly newsletter, encouraging a healthy diet for all of our students. Our school cafeteria is fully compliant with Abu Dhabi Food Authority regulations, and school staff are actively engaged in supporting children to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students? How does it promote a balanced diet?


What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?

up to 20aed

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?

Our school hours are 7.30am - 2:15pm (FS1 and FS2), 7.30am - 2.35pm (Y1 up)

Is there a school uniform?


Please advise on your discipline policy?

At Aspen Heights it is our duty of care to ensure that children are always safe, well cared for and properly supervised at all times. We provide a safe and nurturing learning community where students are taught values, including respect, fairness and social inclusion, alongside knowledge and skills. Our behaviour policy reinforces the 4 Cs (courtesy, consideration, co-operation and common sense) and builds relationships between children and all adults within the school. This is achieved by establishing clear behaviour expectations, recognising positive behaviours and enforcing consistent and meaningful consequences across the school, with the support of our families and community.

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?

Teachers communicate with students and parents on a regular basis, and we have an open door policy. Staff are available before and after school for a quick chat, or are able to make an appointment for a longer conversation at a convenient time. There are 2 formal written reports annually, and family consultations 3x a year where families meet with teachers to share children's progress, and learning targets.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?


Which languages are taught at your school - please detail any as a first as well as second language?

French (Year 5 up)

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?


Do you offer a dedicated prayer room/s for students? For which faiths?


How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

In class differentiation, ECAs, student leadership programmes such as school council and playleaders.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?


Not all schools are staffed or resourced to offer learning support to those children with either moderate or significant learning needs. To what level can you offer support for those with learning differences?

We are a fully inclusive school, all applicants are considered and are offered if we can accommodate their needs with our available staffing and resources.

Does your school have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support those youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?

No - but we have worked with teams in Abu Dhabi who we can recommend.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

Yes - we have an active parents group who work with us to develop school activities and fund raise for chosen charities.

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?

Yes - families are always welcome in school. Our weekly Thursday assembly is very well attended by families and we run family workshops to support families in helping their children's learning.

Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?

Yes - our governing body has 4 family representatives.

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?

Yes. Our class representatives can help new families settle in and arrange play dates outside of school.

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

Aspen Heights British School is a Best of school, a ranking determined by parent surveys on the site. It can be found in the following Best of rankings:

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