Bright Riders School Dubai is a CBSE curriculum school which opened its Dubai branch in Dubai Investments Park in April 2018. It is a sister school to Bright Riders Abu Dhabi which was rated Good by ADEK in its last inspection in 2016-17.
The story so far...
This is a sister school to Bright Riders Abu Dhabi. which opened on its current site in 2013, having incorporated 500 students from the Indian Community Kindergarten. Bright Riders Abu Dhabi plans to educate some 4,000 students from KG to Grade 12. The capacity of the Dubai school is somewhat smaller at just under 3,000 - it is open from KG1 to Grade 5 for the 2018-19 academic year.
In common with Bright Riders Abu Dhabi, Bright Riders Dubai offers the CBSE curriculum. The Abu Dhabi school has improved its ADEK inspection rating from Weak in 2014-15, to Acceptable in 2015-16 and latterly to Good in 2016-17. The Dubai-based school is under the same ownership - that of well-known Indian businessman, Dr. B.R. Shetty - and it is perhaps no coincidence that the Principal is Ms. Deepa Shetty, although we can only assume that there is a family relationship. It can also be assumed that the Abu Dhabi experience will support the Dubai-based team in terms of set up and operations.
The Principal is certainly well-qualified for her position as a holder of a Masters Degree in Education and Cambridge Teaching Diploma. Interestingly, the school has published a comprehensive list of staff for the current academic year. All are qualified with a minimum Bachelors Degree and Teaching Qualification; many are Masters' degree holders. KG children will not only have a qualified teacher, but also a qualified Assistant Teacher in each classroom - the school will offer two form entry initially. 12 Primary teachers, together with four qualified Assistant teachers, together with one Islamic Education and two Arabic teachers will make up the balance of the teaching staff to Grade 5.
According to the school, what sets it apart is that it "offers an Indian Curriculum integrated with the best practices from International curricula. There is an Open door policy for all nationalities, whether English native speakers or not. The school is inclusive in true sense of the word, where students with determination having physical challenges, high functioning autism and learning difficulties are an integral part of the fabric of the school culture."
Currently, student numbers are small, at just over 50 students across the KG-Grade 5 classes, but eventually, the school plans between four and eight sections, depending on demand.
What about facilities?
The school is located on a large purpose-built campus (over 27,300 sq meters in size) located on the perimeter road of Dubai Investments Park. The school has a capacity for some 2,900 students when open to Grade 12. Classes will have a maximum of 30 students in Grades 1 to 12, and 25 in KG. In addition to classrooms that integrate a digital approach to teaching by offering Smart Boards and technology, the school also includes a STEM learning lab and an innovation lab. Bright Riders also incorporates specialist Biology and Physics labs, a computer lab with 30 computers, Arts and Crafts rooms and a library with over 15,000 books.
Sports facilities include an indoor swimming pool, a sports field that can be used for training or playing football, volleyball, and track field events during sports and games periods, and for sports club activities in the evening, with a 200 meter synthetics track, high jump and long jump pits, and a Cricket cage for net practice. Indoor sports facilities include a Multipurpose hall for aerobics/gymnasium, an indoor basketball court, four indoor badminton courts, indoor table tennis, Chess/carom and an adventure play area for Kindergarten students. Further facilities include an auditorium with surround sound system, theatre lighting, a WIFI connected projector and projection screens.
The story so far...
The Vision of Bright Riders Dubai is "To nurture the youth to grow into fully-fledged personalities and global citizens of the future world, by drawing out the best in them through support in all forms of learning."
In addition, the school also promotes the values of "knowledge, Respect, Social Responsibility, Creativity and Celebration", defining their definition as follows:
To support further the values which the school expects children to demonstrate, Bright Riders offers a house system. This is designed to encourage children to develop appropriate attitudes, behaviours, communication skills and individual interaction. The four houses are Coral, Amber, Jasper and Beryl and each student will be placed in one of the houses on admission. Inter-house competitions will be conducted on a regular basis to keep children exposed to current topics, including global and environmental issues.
Although a CBSE curriculum school, in common with many other Indian schools, the KG curriculum is inspired by probably the best known curriculum for this age-group, the UK-curriculum based Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). All seven areas of EYFS learning are interrelated and are taught through cross-curricular links. The approach promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress.
Students at Bright Riders Dubai will be assessed on a regular basis, using ongoing classroom-based assessment and measurement in the Kindergarten and Primary school to ensure that learning is secure, and a combination of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) classroom-based assessment and more formal examinations through middle and high school. Students will also be expected to participate in the global bench-marking assessment tests such as PISA and TIMMS. The emphasis placed by the KHDA on student assessment and curriculum modification to meet individual needs will be a key focus of the first school inspection that will take place in three years' time.
The school's pedagogical approach is aimed at the holistic development of each child, and not solely an academic one. The curriculum complies with the CBSE syllabus with the aim of ensuring that skills are developed that can be applied in an international context. Teaching is based on objective-based learning activities, "that make students ‘do’ in the process of learning". Teaching methods and resources that will be used by students include lessons from text books, digital resources, and the participation in Research projects.
In support of science and innovation, the school offers a STEM programme in a specialist STEM Learning Lab where students are engaged in high quality, hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), STEAM (STEM + Art) learning experiences. The STEM Learning Lab offers learning experiences both in-school and out of school through Before and After School Programmes, Community Workshops and planned STEM Summer Camps. Students will be offered guidance in the areas of Coding, Robotics, Maths, Maker and Design Thinking. An Innovation lab will also enable students to make use of Virtual Reality technology, enabling teachers and students to collaborate with a combined touch-screen and touch-mat experience that is designed to make learning more engaging.
In addition to the academic studies, Bright Riders also offers further more creative and sporting subjects including Visual Arts, Performing Arts (including various dance genres such as Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Bollywood and Folk Dance), and Music. Sports activities include Basketball, Volleyball, and Swimming (both as a co-scholastic curriculum and as an extra-curricular programme). The school says that it has sports facilities to International Standards and high calibre trainers and coaches who aim to train athletes from grassroots level and develop them to compete locally and on the international stage.
Beyond the main school curriculum and activities, the school also offers a Co-curricular programme, which takes place twice weekly after-school and for which attendance is mandatory. Activities include Nature Club, Heritage Club, Robotics & Techno Geeks Club, and Literary Club. The school also plans to offer a range of optional Extra-curricular activities which will include a mix of visual to performing arts to sports training and yoga.
Bright Riders offers an "Extended Learning Programme" (ELP) for students in need, which aims to provide support to students and increase proficiency in language and numeracy skills in subjects such as English, Hindi, Arabic and Maths. It is an extended day programme which takes place on Sundays from 2:10 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. ELP is a compulsory component where a variety of activities inculcating Listening, Speaking, Reading and Mental Math skills are included. These activities are over and above the classroom teaching-learning and the focus areas are designed to build on vocabulary, expression and conceptual understanding.
A specialist SEN (Special Educational Needs) department offers learning and counselling services that will provide holistic training to encourage students to reach their maximum potential. The Special Education programme aims to provide individual or small group skill-based training to students with special educational needs and disabilities to improve the areas of perception, literacy, numeracy, motor, social, language and communication within and outside the classrooms through multi-sensory approach.
For Emirati students and foreign nationality students with limited English proficiency, the school offers the Elementary English Language Learners programme and Elementary Support Centre. This is an intensive programme for students who require language support, in addition to the regular classroom curriculum where they attend separate classes for remediation in small group or individual settings. A Secondary English Language Learner and Secondary Learning Support Centre will provide support and guidance to students from Grade 6 onwards for additional language and learning support.
The school's management believes that "competency is a cluster of knowledge, skills and attitudes that reflect in one’s performance in a task. Classroom is the training ground, and opportunities are provided to practice problem solving and critical thinking skills that help in improving the competencies." In addition to the academic focus, the school will also aim to enhance students' development through "Value based LIFE Skills, Positive Attitude and Creative Thinking along with Social and Emotional well-being."
Programmes from KG1 to Grade 5 follow the standard based Indian curriculum CBSE set by the Board of Education for Public and Private Schools, under the Union Government of India. All schools affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education are expected to follow the NCERT curriculum. The Secondary School will grow progressively over the coming years.
Based on the history of Bright Riders School Abu Dhabi, it is fair to assume that the Dubai school will have learned from experience and will be in a position to "hit the ground running" in terms of teaching and curriculum. The facilities of the school are expansive and it appears that a qualified team of staff have been appointed. Inevitably, as with any new school, there are likely to be occasional teething problems, but we expect that overall, as the first CBSE curriculum school to open in Dubai Investments Park, Bright Riders Dubai should be off to ...pardon the pun...a bright start.
Approved KHDA fees range from AED 19,000 for KG 1 and 2, to AED 21,000 in grades 1 and 2, to AED 24,000 in grades 3, 4 and 5. The good news is that the school is offering a discount of AED 4,000 in the current year and this can be paid over 10 months.
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