United Arab Emirates / Al Ain / Al Hili / Belvedere International School

Belvedere International School Review

Belvedere International School is a UK curriculum school lcoated in the Al Hili district of Al Ain. It is a sister school to Belvedere British School in Mohammed bin Zayed City.
At a glance
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
AED 29,500
Annual fees
AED 26,600–32,500
Price band help
Mid-range
Status
Open
Opening year
2018
School year
Sep to Jul
Principal
Mr Garry Wright
Community
Main teacher nationality
South Africa
Main student nationality
United Arab Emirates
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Belvedere International School
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
AED 29,500
Annual fees
AED 26,600–32,500
Price band help
Mid-range
Status
Open
Opening year
2018
School year
Sep to Jul
Principal
Mr Garry Wright
Community
Main teacher nationality
South Africa
Main student nationality
United Arab Emirates
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Belvedere International School is a UK curriculum school lcoated in the Al Hili district of Al Ain. It is a sister school to Belvedere British School in Mohammed bin Zayed City.

The story so far...

Belvedere International School (BIS) was founded in the Al Hili district of Al Ain in 2018 and is a sister school to the similarly named Belvedere British School (rated Good by ADEK) located in the Mohammed bin Zayed City area of the capital. Both schools are associated with the 140 year old Belvedere School in Liverpool, UK, which was founded in 1880 as Liverpool High School. The name was changed to The Belvedere School in 1911.

Belvedere International School states "We are proud of our strong links with our sister school, Belvedere, a leading independent Preparatory School in England and we share in their tradition of excellence and the core values that they embody".  Quite how the UAE schools and the UK school interact is not explained.

The school is led by Mr. Gary Wright, who is the holder of a range of UK university qualifications including a BA (Hons) from Warwick University, an MA in Education Management from Kings College London, and post-graduate teaching qualifications from Oxford Brookes University and National College of School Leadership. He is also an accredited inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Prior to joining Belvedere International School, Mr. Wright was the Founding Headmaster of Mount Kelly School in Hong Kong.

The school website notes that teachers come from a range of backgrounds and nationalities.  As a mid-priced school, this international mix of teachers is inevitable - recruiting UK teachers is becoming increasingly difficult and more costly for UAE schools.

In contrast with the British educational focus of the school, its students are largely Emirati - making up over 90% of the student body according to ADEK, followed by Jordanian at just under 3% and Syrian students at 2.7%.  The school is currently open to Year 11 and will grown to include Sixth Form in the next two years.

In line with private schools in the UK, Belvedere International School follows a structure of Nursery (for 2+ year olds), pre-Prep for children aged 3-4 years, Prep School for children aged 5 to 11 years, and Senior school for students aged 12 to 18.

What about the curriculum?

BIS offers a British curriculum to children aged 2+ in the Nursery section, including the Early Years Foundation Stage for students in FS1 and FS2, followed by the English National Curriculum for students from Year 1. Students study for the International GCSE examinations in Years 10 and 11, and this will be followed by International AS and A Levels in Years 12 and 13.

In addition to the core curriculum, BIS says that "the life of a student at Belvedere is enriched further by many extra-curricular offerings. Students can experience a variety of leadership opportunities and can participate in a challenging activities programme. Students are also encouraged to join clubs and activities that kindle their passions, improve their skills, and offer service to others".

Activities are run daily from Monday to Thursday from 3.30-4.30pm.

The school is a member of British Schools of the Middle East (BSME), the Independent Schools Association and is an accredited Cambridge Assessment International School ensuring that it is delivering a quality-assured British education. 

What about support for students of Determination and those with Gifts and Talents?

According to BIS, it welcomes "students of any race, nationality or cultural background. We see the diversity of our student and staff population as one of our greatest assets, and we make every attempt to give each and every student full access to our learning programmes."

All students are assessed at their point of entry. If necessary, parents are invited to discuss the results, further tests can be arranged and an appropriate plan of structured learning devised. Flexible programmes can be introduced where necessary. These may take the form of individual or group support lessons, in-class assistance or extra training for staff. Student progress is closely monitored at all times.

The school has a full time SENCO/ Social Worker who promotes the development of personal, emotional and social skills relevant to specific age groups. S/he also conducts individual and group counselling sessions on topics such as friendship, anxiety, parental divorce, anger and behaviour management. Teachers are assisted by specialist staff, such as the Inclusion Leaders and inclusion teachers, in the identification of and provision for an individual student’s specific learning needs. 

Given the nationality mix of students in the school, the English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme is designed to assist students to improve their level of English and to support them across all of the curriculum. BIS aims to support these students in their language acquisition and communicative competence so that they are confident in speaking and writing English. Students for whom English is not their first language will receive support in class or with EAL classes to enable them to improve their language skills and be better able to access the English National Curriculum. 

What about the facilities?

The school occupies a purpose-built building and includes outdoor sports facilities, a swimming pool and gymnasium.  The school embarked on a further expansion of its original facilities in 2020.

What the inspectors say

The school has not yet been inspected by ADEK due to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic.  Its sister school in Mohammed bin Zayed City was rated Good on its last inspection in early 2019.

The Buzz

WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has not yet received any direct feedback from parents, teachers or students to our school survey.

If you are a parent, teacher or student at Belvedere International School and would like to share your experience and opinions with other potential members of your community, please complete our Survey here.

The school organises a Parents' Forum for the Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior schools over the first term. The Forum aims to bring the school’s families together in numerous different ways, whilst looking to work together to enhance the teaching and pastoral facilities of the school. The school has also appointed class representatives who are invited to come along to Forum meetings, which are held twice a term.

What about the fees?

Tuition fees at Belvedere International School range from AED 26,600 to AED 32,500 inclusive of books.

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