Crescent International Private School is a Khalifa City A based Primary school, and currently home to 250 boys and girls aged from 3 to 12 years of age. The school is currently deemed to be Acceptable by Abu Dhabi's Department of Knowledge, an improvement after two prior inspections in which it was rated Weak.
The story so far...
Crescent International School was established as a villa school in Khalidiya in 1991, before relocating, in line with Abu Dhabi Municipality instructions, to a new purpose-built school building in 2010. The relocation to the outskirts of Abu Dhabi in Khalifa City (not far from the international airport), meant that the school lost a significant number of students - approximately half of its 150 cohort at that time - but has since grown to approximately 250 students.
The school's mission is "To develop successful, well balanced and global citizens through our values". These, in turn, are based on the initials of the school's name -Commitment, Respect for others, Exercise best effort, Show a positive attitude, Cooperative member of society, Equality, Nurture passion for learning, Team work.
If only the school's website designer had included Completion along the way, rather more informative use might be made of it! There is very little of value on the website, unfortunately, and what there is appears to be a copy of a long list of school policies - even the Principal's introduction is effectively a list of rules...
Almost all students at Crescent International are Muslim and of Arabic heritage, and 71% are Emirati. Other students originate from a variety of Arabic countries including Egypt (11%), Jordan (4%), and Syria (3%). The school is completely inclusive at KG - all students who apply for entry to the KG are admitted. However students who apply for entry during the school year for Grades 1 to 6 have to sit for a test in the core subjects.
The school employs some 22 teachers and 4 teaching assistants in addition to the principal and vice principal. The teacher:student ratio of 1:12 should ensure plentiful individual support for students. However, staff turnover in such a small school is worryingly high - some 40% in 2017-18. This may suggest a level of dissatisfaction and instability that is seldom positive and helpful in the school environment. However, in the case of Crescent International School, it seems that this turnover has resulted from a deliberate policy by the school's governors to increase the number of British teachers to deliver the curriculum.
What about the curriculum?
The school follows the English National Curriculum from KG/FS to Grade 6. At the end of the academic year, Grade 6 students sit the Cambridge Checkpoint tests in English, mathematics and science.
The FS programme is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage, which is very much focused on Learning through Play. The curricula for Key Stage 1 children (those in Grades 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (Grades 3-6) focus on the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, together with the additional subjects of Geography, Art, ICT and Physical Education. French is added as a Modern Foreign Language from Grade 3. In addition, students also have daily Arabic lessons and classes in Islamic and Social Studies "several times" weekly.
Unfortunately, the school's website is a work in progress - it does not appear to have been updated since 2016-17) and contains very little information about most aspects of the school. There is no information about Extra-curricular activities, nor about the availability of creative and musical or sports activities to broaden student interests.
What about the facilities?
School buildings are described as fit for purpose and the environment is light and airy and premises well maintained. There is sufficient outdoor space; large canopies provide shade to the assembly area and KG playground. The school has a science laboratory, a library, an ICT suite and an indoor P.E. room. The laboratory and library are underused and the P.E. room is too small for a whole class and is poorly equipped.
What the inspectors say
Having been rated Weak in its two previous inspections, Crescent International has finally made significant progress with an Acceptable rating overall, and with each of the six Key Performance Standards having achieved this rating also. It is often far harder for a school to make the initial step up in the ratings, such is the demand for action across the board, but this improvement should now allow the leadership and key staff to focus on the core issues that will continue to be addressed.
Inspectors singled out particularly the improvement in the standards of English throughout the school as a result of the employment of native English speakers and identified the following strengths:
In terms of the keys areas still for improvement, these were:
Whilst the "to-do" list may seem lengthy and significant, it is evident from the ADEK report that the inspection team feels Crescent International School has the capacity to improve further and to raise the standards of student achievement across most subjects and for all students, no matter what their abilities. The investment in resources, both in terms of materials and staff, has been significant.
The important factor in ADEK's list of improvements is not only that the actions are listed, but the way those actions should be addressed are also clearly spelt out. It is now for the team at Crescent International School to act on and implement them.
School fees range from AED 11,700 to AED 16,100, which is in the ‘value’ category for a school offering a UK based curriculum, although not at this level of performance. The fees do not include transport, books (approx AED 1,000-1,500) and uniform.
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