Located in Al Manaseer, Bateen World Academy offers a British and International Baccalaureate based curriculum. The school currently has just over 620 students, girls and boys, from Nursery (FS1) to Year 13.
There have clearly been some quite significant changes at Bateen World Academy, part of the Aldar Education group of schools, in recent years.
The first major change, after several years of sharing their premises with Al Mushrif Primary School, was the latter's relocation to form the opening cohort of primary students at Mamoura British Academy, when it opened in September 2016. At the time, it seemed that the then named Al Bateen Academy would enjoy - and be able to expand student numbers - through access to the entire building once the significant space used by the Primary school had been returned.
The second, and probably more significant, development was the result of the 2017-18 ADEK inspection, where the school lost its coveted Outstanding rating (held since the inspection in 2015-16), with a reduction by two ratings to Good. In early 2020, whilst Bateen World Academy was not yet quite able to re-establish its Outstanding rating, it did move up to Very Good in the 2019-20 inspection round and has retained the second highest rating in the 2021-22 inspection process.
The third change has been the expansion of the school to include Early and Primary years again (but under its own name this time) and concurrently to make significant changes to the curricula on offer.
It is this change that has resulted in the renaming of the school to Bateen World Academy, reflecting the introduction of the IB Primary Years Programme and the focus on the IB Diploma Programme in Sixth Form. The school has retained the National Curriculum for England in the Secondary school, offering the I/GCSE studies for Years 10 and 11.
The new Primary section opened with FS2 and Year 1 initially, and with the introduction of years 4, 5 and 6 in August 2021, is now fully open from FS to Year 13. With Bateen's sister school, Al Mamoura, offering a Girls-only Secondary section, boys who join the school can now transfer seamlessly to Al Bateen in Year 7. In addition, female students who would prefer to continue a co-educational setting, are able to do the same. Al Bateen is fully mixed gender throughout.
In July 2020, Neal Dilk joined the school as Principal. Mr Dilk joined Bateen World Academy from Nord Anglia International School in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where he was based for eight years, having latterly been the Director of the school.
With the impact of Covid 19 in 2020, it is not surprising that Mr. Dilk feels that 2021 was his first full year in charge, given the implementation of Distance Learning and all the attendant changes caused by the pandemic.
Bateen World Academy says that its aims are:
'To offer a transformational education focused on the skills and attributes that will empower all learners to succeed and shape our future as global citizens; To develop future leaders who understand that their positive actions can contribute to the improvement of local, national and international communities'; and 'To provide an inclusive learning environment where all learners feel supported, motivated and encouraged to pursue their personal best.'
At the time of the 2021-22 ADEK inspection, the Academy was home to approximately just over 600 students (a considerable drop from the figure of 810 students in 2019) from a wide range of 65+ different nationalities. Emiratis account for the largest single demographic, representing almost 27% of students, with children from Egypt, Jordan and India each representing further larger nationality groups.
The school is well catered for in terms of staff with 83 teachers, and just 2 teaching assistants and wit a very low teacher to student ratio of approximately 1:7 - driven, we suspect by the fall in student numbers.
Class sizes average 17 students with a maximum of 24. Historically, teacher turnover at 16% in 2020 was low by UAE standards. The majority of teaching staff recruited are of British nationality, but the school also has staff members from Australia and Ireland. Teachers of Arabic are hired from Egypt and Syria.
All teachers hold a teaching degree, teaching qualification and have a minimum of two years’ teaching experience according to the school in information released to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com.
Bateen World Academy is one of a small number of Abu Dhabi schools to have been accredited with the International Baccalaureate (IB) World School Status, and the IB Diploma Programme has been taught since September 2014... meaning the school's first exam results were issued in July 2016 (details of recent results can be found here).
With the re-introduction of the Primary section, Bateen World Academy has broken with tradition among the Aldar Academies, by offering the IB Primary Years programme in place of the English National Curriculum, which had previously been offered to primary students when Al Mushrif Academy (the predecessor to Mamoura British Academy) was co-located at Bateen.
This is a first for Aldar Academies. The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged 3 to 12. The PYP curriculum complements the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) already available to Bateen World Academy’s Senior School students (Years 12 and 13).
All students study Arabic, English, Mathematics and Physical Education as the core requirements of the curriculum throughout the school. Depending on year group, the other core elements include Social Studies and Islamic studies. Students in the PYP programme follow the various units of inquiry alongside literacy and numeracy.
Students in the Secondary school follow an internationally adapted National Curriculum for England from Year 7 to Year 11. Year 7 – 9 students study 12 subjects in total and have a choice of modern foreign language, either French or Spanish. Years 10 and 11 sit IGCSE and GCSE examinations from the Cambridge and Edexcel Examination Boards at the end of two years of study. I/GCSE students select five option choices which vary according to the cohort preferences. They also study core subjects of IGCSE English language, Literature or English as a Second Language and Mathematics, with some completing Statistics or Further Mathematics. A total of 22 subjects is currently available. Planned learning takes place both within and outside the classroom.
Students in years 12 and 13 (Sixth Form) have now been studying for the the highly academic IB Diploma Programme for the past seven years. Students may also opt to take the Diploma Courses programme which is a less demanding version of the full Diploma. We understand that consideration has been given to the inclusion of the IB Career-related Programme or BTEC (Business and Technical Education Council) courses which generally offer a more vocational route to tertiary education or employment. However, these latter options are subject to approval from ADEK.
The IB curriculum focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is a framework guided by six trans-disciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas, as well as trans-disciplinary skills, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry. The IB Diploma students select six subjects from a list of 24 subjects available. In addition to the requirement to include English, Maths, a Science subject, a Humanities subject, and a language, students can also choose subjects such as Global Politics, Design Technology, Computer Science and Psychology.
We at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com wonder whether the decision to offer both the PYP and IBDP/CP could lead to the possibility of Bateen World Academy eventually changing its curriculum entirely to the IB programme, with the introduction of the Middle Years Programme for years 7 to 11 in future years. This would make it one of a very small number of Abu Dhabi schools to offer the full IB continuum, which has been such a success for Taaleem's Raha International School which announced the opening of a second IB curriculum school in September 2020.
The extra-curricular CAS (Creativity/Action/Service) programme (a requirement for IB DP students) is described as "broad and engaging", and includes opportunities such as Model United Nations, World Scholars Cup, Sport, Music, and the Arts.
Just under 3% of students (under 20 students) at Bateen World Academy have been identified with additional learning needs. Aldar Academies have always been non-selective in their admissions policy and have ensured support for students of all abilities. In fact, this is one of the key performance areas under The Protection, Care, Guidance and Support of students that is rated Outstanding across the school in the 2021-22 inspection.
One of the USPs of the Aldar Academies is their Academy of Excellence programme which is aimed at children with Gifts and Talents; a personalised programme that aims to enrich and challenge students beyond that of the formal curriculum. The Academy of Excellence provides the following benefits to any participating student:
As a (relatively) new school, built by Aldar, the facilities are - as you would expect - top notch. They include a research laboratory, 850-seat auditorium, art and ceramics rooms, music, dance and drama rooms, a graphic design area, music recording studio, recital hall, multi-purpose hall, 25m indoor swimming pool, full size Astroturf football pitch and basketball courts.
Support for learning comes from a well-equipped library, seminar rooms for small group teaching and video conference suites to facilitate links with other schools or education institutes around the world. During break times, students can use the cafeteria facilities, indoor social spaces, outdoor areas or enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in the ‘Oasis’, a key feature in the centre of the building.
Bateen World Academy had been one of the few schools in Abu Dhabi to be open to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com about the academic achievements of its students - something we prize greatly, as we believe that parents should have access to this information as a key (but not sole) element of their decision-making process, in terms of the choice of school for their child(ren).
For 2023, Bateen World Academy informed WhichSchoolAdvisor.com that the average point score for the IB Diploma was 33 and the overall pass rate was 95%. This was far less information than we would like to have seen - at a minimum, we would hope to know the number of students involved and the range of points achieved from 30+, 35+ and 40+ - the information that the International Baccalaureate organisation itself provides.
You can see details of the UAE schools' 2023 IB results - when grade boundaries and pass rates returned to pre-Covid levels - here.
For the 2022 examinations (for the IB Diploma and I/GCSEs) Bateen World Academy shared limited information. 96% of students were awarded the full IB Diploma (information about the number of students was not provided; nor were details of those students who took the IB Courses certificate). For GCSE, 94% of results were at Grades 9-5 (the pass grades). Again, no details of the number of students, nor the breakdown of the GCSE grades were provided.
In July 2021, the Academy's IB Diploma results were announced by Aldar Academies centrally. In common with all UAE schools, examinations were cancelled as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic,
There is not as much information as has been provided in the past (nor as much as we would like to see), but overall, the group revealed its students had achieved an average of 35 points and a 100% pass rate. One fifth of students achieved 40+ points and one student achieved the highest score of 45 points. Unfortunately, the break down of point scored across the scale of 30+,and 35+ was not provided; nor was the number of students entered for the qualification.
More information was released about I/GCSE results in August 2021, though no details of student numbers or entries were provided. Overall, however, 17.1% of entries achieved a Grade 9, whilst 32.8% of awards were at A* (9-8), 49.9% at A*- A (9-7) and 71.2% at A*- B (9-6). 91.2% of entries achieved an Grade 9/A* to C (9-4) pass.
In 2020, the Academy announced that its overall IB Diploma point score was 32 compared with a world average of 29.9. 96% of students achieved the diploma compared with the world average of 77.8%. No details of student numbers were provided.
Bateen's I/GCSE results in 2020 were based on Centre Assessed Grades with 19.6% achieving Grade 9, 37.5% at A*, 56.9% at A*-A, 73.7% at A*-B and 84.9% at A*-C and 93% of all entries being awarded a Grade 9 to 4 pass. These were significantly ahead of the national averages for the UK for 2020 of 6.3% at Grade 9, 14.4% at A*, 25.9% at A*-A, 40.8% at A*-B and 58.2% at A*-C with 76.0% of entries being awarded at Grade 9 to 4 pass.
Bateen World Academy informed us that for the May 2019 exams, 44 students graduated from the IB Diploma Programme (21 boys; 23 girls; 8 UAE nationals). The average point score was 32.4 points, compared with world average of 29.63 and their own average of 32.2 a year ago. 92% of students' in the 2019 cohort, who entered for the Diploma, passed the IBDP programme compared with a world average of 79% and their own figure of 90% in 2018. Two students achieved 40 points or more, placing them in the top 5% of IBDP students worldwide, whilst two-thirds of all students achieved over 30 points.
In 2019, for I/GCSE, 93% of 71 students attained passes in 5 or more subjects at 9-4 points (A*-C). 88% attainment in 5 or more iGCSE subjects at 9 – 5, including English and Mathematics (A*-C), and 59% of all iGCSE grades achieved were 9 to 7. This is a significant improvement over the achievement for 2018.
The 2018 IB results were published shortly after the school closed for the summer. We do know that 90% of the 49 students who sat for the IB Diploma exams in May 2018 achieved the qualification - some 44 students - compared with the global average of 79%. The average point score was 32.2 of 45, again above the global average of 29.78 considerably, and also ahead of the UAE average score of 31.41.
Again, I/GCSE results were impressive, with 84% of the cohort of 90 students achieving 5 or more passes at Grades 9-4 (A*-C), with 81% achieving 5 passes including English and Maths at Grades 9-4. 41% of passes were at Grades 9-7 (A*-A).
As a non-selective school, Bateen certainly appears to be achieving very good results for its students. The demands of the IB Diploma programme, in particular, should not be underestimated. In previous years, the school also offered the option of AS Level for students in Year 12, since this was sufficient for local students to achieve equivalency within the UAE public school system and to move on to university a year earlier.
As noted in our comments earlier in this review, Bateen World Academy has confirmed that it is considering offering the IB Career-related programme, together with the BTEC qualification as alternative pathways for students who are perhaps not so academically focused, or who plan to move directly into careers on completing their studies. However, this is subject to accreditation of the qualifications by ADEK.
Bateen World Academy ensures that students receive guidance for university or college entry. As well as more general guidance, the school sets up events such as open days, trips to different campuses, guest speakers from universities around the world and Skype meetings with university representatives. The process is designed to give students the clarity they need before making the life-changing decisions of which university, which course and in what country...
Students are also guided in how to approach their personal statements to reflect the true nature of their abilities. A good personal statement is now key to university entrance.
Having achieved its Outstanding rating in 2016, Bateen World Academy had moved up the ratings in every inspection that had taken place - up from A3 (Good) in 2012, and A2 (Very Good) in 2014. However, in the 2017-18 inspection report, the Inspection team noted that the composition of the school had changed [with no Primary school to influence the overall rating of the school - inspections were previously held jointly] and this appears to have brought sharply into focus areas of performance which were found to be no longer as effective as deemed in the previous inspection.
It will therefore have been a very welcome judgement in the first term of the 2019-20 academic year, that Bateen World Academy was awarded a Very Good rating by the ADEK inspection team. At this time, the Primary section had only been open a few weeks. In the 2021-22 inspection, with the Primary section fully open, the school again achieved the Very Good rating (although with some evidently lower ratings compared with the previous inspection).
Bateen World Academy was one of a small number of schools to go through the inspection process in 2019-20 as the Covid 19 pandemic called a halt to all inspections. In Bateen's case, the 2021-22 was therefore scheduled, taking place two years after the previous one. However, for reasons that have not been explained (we assume to enable inspections to take place of the many schools that had not been inspected in 2019 and 2020), the inspection team reviewed only four of the six key performance standards and issued abbreviated reports without commentary.
It would seem that Student Achievement in the FS and Primary sections have brought the overall rating for this key performance standard down. Whilst in the Secondary section, the majority of ratings for English, Maths and Science were at least Very Good (Arabic and Islamic Studies were at least Good), in the Primary school, the comparable ratings were largely Good. In the Sixth Form (post-16 section) progress and attainment in English and Maths were Outstanding.
Similarly, whilst Teaching and Assessment were found to be Very Good in the Secondary and post-16 section, they were rated Good in the Primary section. The Protection, care, guidance and support of students was found to be Outstanding across the school, as was the Effectiveness of leadership and Management.
It seems that there is still some progress to be made to bring the outcomes of the Primary section up to the same level as the Secondary and post-16 sections, whilst at the same time, the latter will also seek to continue their improvement to Outstanding. However, the fact that the inspection team found the Leadership and the Management of the school already to be at an Outstanding level should give parents confidence that a team is in place to drive this improvement.
If you would like to read the full ADEK inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so to see the details of the inspection outcomes - you may find it here.
The WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Parent Opinion Survey for Al Bateen Academy has generally good reviews from a relatively small number (20) of parents who have participated with an overall score of 4.1/5 or a positivity rating of 82%. This is a considerable improvement compared with that of 3.3/5 three years ago.
Respondents for the most part that their children enjoy going to school quite a bit or even tremendously, and over 85% of parents are very satisfied with the quality of education provided at Bateen World Academy. However, despite this, 20% of respondents believe that additional tuition outside school is necessary (although this is far lower than the 66% of three years ago, and below the UAE average of 29%).
Parents are also very happy with the feedback and disciplinary policy of the school. Those parents who responded had for the most part not considered moving their child to another school, and 86% would definitely recommend the Academy to other parents.
If there is a bugbear, it is the always tricky issue of school fees. Whilst 46% (compared with 10% three years ago) believe that they do represent value for money, 36% take the middle ground of being partially satisfied. However, a substantial 18% (though half that of three years ago) disagreed that the fees represented value for money - significantly higher than the UAE average of 11%. We believe that much of the previous response is a reflection of the Distance Learning programme implemented as a result of Covid 19.
We at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com would very much like prospective parents, staff and students to learn of your opinions and experiences at Bateen World Academy. If you are a parent, teacher or student at the school, please share your thoughts by completing our survey here.
There is no question that in common with all of the Aldar Academies, Bateen World Academy can be expected to deliver a high quality education providing strong academic results. Parents locally will no doubt also have welcomed the decision to open a Primary school on the original Bateen site.
We think the decision to offer the IB programmes at Primary and Sixth Form level are brave, particularly considering the somewhat luke-warm response of ADEK historically to the IB, although this does seem to be changing.
However, there seems little doubt that the popularity of the Diploma programme in particular is growing with international parents, due to its transferability and the very high regard in which it is held by universities internationally. The popularity of Raha International School (the only full IB curriculum school rated Outstanding in Abu Dhabi, and one of only a small number of Abu Dhabi schools to offer the curriculum) may perhaps also have influenced Aldar's decision to go in this direction.
Annual fees range from AED 56,330 in FS2, AED 59,150 for Years 1 -6, AED 60,630 for Years 7 ‐ 8, rising to AED 71.160 for Years 12 and 13, exclusive of uniforms. There is also a registration/re-registration fee each year of AED 2,000 which is adjusted at the time of payment of term one fees.
These fees are premium, but realistically, no surprise. British-curriculum based schools are second only to IB schools in terms of fees, due to the costs of staffing, and Bateen World Academy is both. Introducing the IBDP, and now the PYP, is also a significant process and challenge for any school.
Note: Priority for places in the school is given in the following order: Siblings of current Bateen World Academy students, and Year 6 students from Muna British Academy, Mamoura British Academy (which is Girls only from Year 7) and Pearl British Academy (and other Aldar Academies schools) entering Year 7; children of employees of Aldar or Mubadala.
Bateen World Academy 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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