Delta English School (DES) is an Indian curriculum school affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in New Delhi, India. Focusing predominantly on STEAM subjects, Delta English School takes children from Kindergarten through to Grade 12.
Delta English School (DES) was originally founded in 1992, as an Indian curriculum school owned and operated by Delta Education System (based in Texas, USA). Catering to a diverse range of students, including those from North Africa, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India, and the GCC, DES offered families in Sharjah a STEAM-based education directly from the Central Board of Secondary Education in New Delhi (CBSE).
The school’s roots can actually be traced back to the opening of Delta Nursery in 1989. In response to growing demand in the emirate of Sharjah, Delta Nursery expanded to include a Kindergarten within the same year, and by the time DES officially opened, it catered for children in Kindergarten through to Grade 4. At this stage the school was located in the Ghafiya area, before moving to a bigger facility in the Maysaloon area in 1996, where Grades 5 and 6 were opened. Finally, in 2009, DES completed a move to its current, custom-designed site in the Muweilah area of Sharjah, where it now offers all-through schooling from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Throughout all of this movement and expansion, DES has held one vision that has guided its path:
“Our vision is to become the leader and provider of the highest quality education at a very affordable cost. We are committed to pursuing excellence in all aspects of K-12 education through consistent research bringing forth innovation and differentiation.”
DES seeks to “explore and extract the potential in every student” by centring its education around three core pillars that shape everything at the school from instructional philosophy to campus culture; this, DES believes, is what makes them stand out as a premium CBSE provider. The first of these pillars, Academic Excellence, centres on the school’s goal to provide “an excellent, globally-benchmarked K-12 CBSE program to qualified students of diverse backgrounds with an emphasis on 21st century college and career readiness skills, including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication”. The second, Social Accountability, ensures that service learning and volunteerism instil in DES students “a lifelong commitment to community engagement, social responsibility, and global citizenship”. And the third, Student Engagement, encourages students to pursue activities beyond coursework that align with their personal interests, whatever they may be.
These pillars are designed to influence and mould DES students so that they can achieve their best both in school and beyond. However, it is not just students who are held to this high standard – instead, every aspect of the school, from its students to its staff, from its ideology to its practices, are challenged to succeed by a number of core values:
“Our Students: DES is a strong proponent for constructive competitiveness and promoter of equal opportunities to success. The school has an innate belief that non-discrimination and universal tolerance will help create community-responsible citizens who embrace competition, collaboration, and leadership.
Accountability and Transparency: In contrast to the prevailing philosophy, Delta English School will always make clear to the parents its scholastic and non-scholastic performance through extensive disclosure mediums like monthly conferences, reports and web site.
Our Team: The leadership and teaching team’s academic excellence, creativity, dedication, teamwork, and integrity are their key assets while their extensive experience and accomplishments give this institution a base of intellectual capital that is second to none.
Integrity: In a world rife with conflicts of interest, there was a need for an institution like Delta English School to provide the highest standards of work ethics and conduct.
Alignment of Interests: An element vital for success, but often not fully understood by institutions, is the parents’ vision about their children. Delta English School consistently strives to align the interests of its personnel with those of its students.
Research and Innovation: DES prioritises the research and development of cutting-edge, highly result-oriented tools and techniques, to help retain its long tradition of finding cost-effective solutions that enable students and parents to meet their educational goals.
Differentiation and Leadership: DES benefits from expertise developed over decades, access to exclusive resources around the world for educational research and development, and immense capital investment.
Performance and Consistency: DES’ management team maintains a consistent focus on long term results and its alumni stands testimony to the school’s credibility.
Growth: DES’ expanded campus and infrastructure, along with enhanced research, technology, and resources, will help transform both parents’ and children’s aspirations into reality.”
Led by Principal Anita D’Cruz (who co-founded the original Delta Nursery and has been with the school since its inception), DES spares no efforts in ensuring that its students hold themselves and the school at large to high standards. A sense of responsibility and unity lies at the heart of this school, and all students are expected to values ideals such as respect, citizenship, perseverance, compassion, courage, and honesty.
Perhaps most gratifying is the school’s sincere belief that diversity ultimately enriches society, and should therefore be understood and celebrated. DES “seeks to create a rich campus learning environment by providing all the students with opportunities to meet and interact with professionals who possess diversified life experiences and worldwide views”. Allowing students to be informed and inspired by individuals like their teachers means that they come to recognise and appreciate the benefits that diversity offers, and cements their belief in the value that can be achieved by interacting and learning from people with distinct backgrounds and varied social, cultural, and ethical values.
DES school days run from 7.15am to 11.00am for Kindergarten 1 and from 7.15am to 1.15pm for Kindergarten 2 and above. During the exam period, the whole school operates from 7.15am to 11.30am only. Parent-Teacher conferences are held once a month, but parents can also arrange an appointment to meet with the Principal on any working day between 10.00am and 1.00pm.
DES follows an Indian curriculum from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in New Delhi, India, and describes itself as “an independent institution focused on STEAM-based differentiated learning”. The school is divided into Kindergarten, Primary School, Middle School, and High School, and offers both the Grade 10 All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) and the Grade 12 All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE).
As with all UAE-based schools, DES also follows the Ministry of Education (MOE) curriculum, which covers subjects such as Arabic Language, Islamic Studies (for Muslim students), and Social Studies.
Children can start their DES education at Kindergarten, where the school employs a play-based model to encourage holistic personal development. The Kindergarten focuses on the same 12 core domains for cognitive development and emotional expression as DES’ Primary School: Language & Literacy; Physical Development; Social & Emotional Development; Approaches to Learning; Mathematics; Science; Social Science; Engineering & Technology; Visual Arts; Music; Drama; and Creative Movement.
The Kindergarten is divided into different Learning Centres, which act as subject/focus-specific stations for children to explore and engage with. Children have access to a Mathematics Centre, a Discovery Centre, a Literacy Centre, a Fitness Centre, an Art Centre, a Music Centre, a Construction Centre, and a Dramatic Play Centre.
Once students move into the Primary School and begin more formal instruction, DES adopts a 5-E model of learning which employs Micro Lectures, differentiated Small Group Learning, and Accommodations & Extensions. This 5-E model, which is used across the Primary School, Middle School, and High School, can be applied to any subject by focusing on five key areas:
Using this model to frame every lesson, Grades 1 through 12 follow a structure of blended learning which comprises of 10% Micro Lecturing and 90% Small Group Activities:
“Teachers commence each lesson with [a] Micro Lecture session by using various pedagogies to instruct visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic learners. Following the Micro Lecture, students collaborate within their learning groups and tutor peers who are unable to understand the content.”
Students are assigned to one of three available differentiated learning programs within classes, based on their knowledge and skillset – this allows students to experience teaching each other, rather than just absorbing information. It also allows each teacher to adjust tasks to the level of the three learning groups, providing extra support or extension where needed.
During the earlier years of their education, DES students take a range of subjects including English Language Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Foreign Languages, ICT, Art Education, Music Education, Physical Education, Health Education, Work Education, and UAE Studies.
As they progress into the High School, however, the subject focus moves more towards STEAM-based areas, as is normal with most Indian curriculum schools. It is something for parents to bear in mind, that schools like DES will give a heavy focus to areas like Mathematics and Business, and offer limited options for more creative-minded students.
The two major milestones for Secondary School students at DES are the Grade 10 All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) and the Grade 12 All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE). English acts a compulsory core subject at this stage, while students get to choose from and combine a variety of electives to suit their interests and future goals. Beyond English, students have the option to take Hindi, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Informatics Practices, Multi-Media, Web Application, Accountancy, Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Business Studies.
Students focus on two main streams: Science and Business/Commerce. DES offers examples on its website of these streams, and what kind of subject combinations students can select:
Stream 1: Physics; Chemistry; Biology; Mathematics
Stream 2: Physics; Chemistry; Mathematics; Computer Science
Stream 3: Physics; Chemistry; Biology; Computer Science
Stream 4: Physics; Chemistry; Biology; Informatics Practices
Stream 5: Physics; Chemistry; Mathematics; Informatics Practices
Stream 1: Accountancy; Business Studies; Economics; Entrepreneurship
Stream 2: Economics; Business Studies; Entrepreneurship; Web Application
Stream 3: Economics; Business Studies; Entrepreneurship; Informatics Practices
Stream 4: Economics; Business Studies; Entrepreneurship; Computer Science
Stream 5: Entrepreneurship; Business Studies; Media, Informatics Practices
Scholastic performance at DES uses the American Grade Point Average (GPA) system, while non-scholastic performance is assessed using separate letter grades. As per the CBSE guidelines, “the scholastic performance of each student will be evaluated on the basis of two formative assessments and one summative assessment for each semester”. All tasks completed are also given a Minimum Passing Score (MPS), which students must achieve in order to move onto the next grade level.
As with many schools in Sharjah, DES also takes part in external exams such as PISA, IEA, TIMSS, and PIRLS assessments. DES-specific methods for examining achievement include Assessment Performance Reports and Titan MAP (Multi-Lateral Assessment Profile).
Although not part of the actual curriculum, another predominant focus at DES is its Digital Citizenship Program. DES states that “it’s our responsibility to sustain a technological society where all users can learn, work, interact, and use technology without the obstructive or destructive actions of inappropriate users”. Believing themselves to be ‘Digital Citizens’, the community at DES collaborates to ensure technology is used appropriately, to identify the needs of users, and to provide opportunities to make technology, and therefore society, better.
The Digital Citizenship Program focuses on a number of key areas: Digital Access, Digital Commerce, Digital Communication, Digital Literacy, Digital Etiquette, Digital Law, Digital Rights & Responsibilities, Digital Health & Wellness, and Digital Security. Furthermore, each Digital Age Titan (as they call themselves at DES) aims to be an Empowered Learner, a Digital Citizen, a Knowledge Constructor, an Innovative Designer, a Computational Thinker, a Creative Communicator, and a Global Collaborator.
Outside of day-to-day classes, DES sponsors a number of extracurricular activities which are meant to serve as avenues for leadership development, as well as aid practice in utilising skills, aptitudes, and knowledge. While the school does not provide a list of available activities, it does mention that the Student Organisation League hosts an annual fair which offers students the chance to visit each club/society, interact with its members, and learn about its organisation and activities. DES currently has five approved groups: the Delta Honour Society; Lambda Psi Rho (a club which combines Mathematics with Visual Arts); a Speech and Debate Club; the Delta Science Squad; and the Titans Scouts & Guides.
DES also runs the Student Success Program, which has successfully launched over 50 Advanced Curricular Enhancement (ACE) initiatives, which are all “designed to offer development opportunities in college and career readiness skills”. Previous ACE initiatives have included student governance; clubs and honour societies; athletics; speech and debate; creative writing; horticulture; scouting and guiding; STEM explorations; visual and performing arts; campus internships; and community service assignments.
As with many schools in Sharjah, DES also provides a number of annual celebrations and excursions for its students. Each year the school celebrates holidays like National Day and Flag Day, and has previously held school trips to locations like the Sharjah Heritage Museum.
The school does not provide extensive information on its website about Special Educational Needs (SEN) provisions. However, it does mention that learning support is offered for English as a Second Language (ESL) learners, and that custom learning activities are provided for SEN students. Students also have access to licensed School Counsellors.
As with many schools in Sharjah, the DES website does not provide detailed information on academic achievement and how it compares to other schools in the UAE. However, it is possible to see the top scorers for the CBSE AISSCEs (the Grade 10 end-of-year exams). In 2020, top scorers at DES achieved the following:
Computer Science: 1 student achieved 100% – 2 students achieved 99% – 2 students achieved 97% – 1 student achieved 93% – 1 student achieved 92%
English: 1 student achieved 98% – 1 student achieved 97% – 1 student achieved 95% – 2 students achieved 94% – 2 students achieved 93% – 2 students achieved 91%
Social Science: 3 students achieved 95% – 1 student achieved 90%
Science: 1 student achieved 90% – 1 student achieved 83%
Mathematics: 1 student achieved 92% – 1 student achieved 90% – 1 student achieved 86%
Urdu: 1 student achieved 92%
Hindi: 1 student achieved 90% – 1 student achieved 88%
The Delta English School Titans also won second place in the prestigious Chevron Readers’ Cup 2021, held by Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
Unlike schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Sharjah schools have not participated in regulatory inspections on a regular basis; while there were a few instances of inspections being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, schools did not generally publish the outcomes. With the initiation of SPEA (Sharjah Private Education Authority), the intention is that schools will be inspected using the common framework already in place in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
However, SPEA has decided to seek a collaborative approach with the schools for this process, and although we understand that initial inspections did take place prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, results of these inspections have not been published.
As a result of the pandemic, Sharjah schools have participated in Distance Learning Evaluations (DLE), implemented by the Ministry of Education throughout the UAE (these results have been published). In its most recent Distance Learning Review Report (2020), DES’ implementation of distance learning was rated as Developed.
Inspectors reported that students “attend and participate actively in learning sessions and are respectful and keen to contribute”, as well as being happy that “continuity and momentum of learning is maintained through an appropriate balance of learning methodologies and experiences”. They further noted that students were being provided with opportunities to interact and connect with each other through group sessions; inspectors especially commended the sharing of responsibilities during these group sessions, and were pleased to report that students felt safe while working online.
In terms of the staff, the report observed that teachers were collaborating “to facilitate students’ management of their work by encouraging them to use resources that are easily accessible and allowing flexibility of deadlines which take account of students’ individual needs”. The school leadership was also praised, both for regularly reviewing and adjusting both short and long-term planning, and for being flexible in their preparations for any future scenarios, to ensure appropriate education provision for all students. Inspectors commended the school for supporting teachers “through appropriate ongoing training” and by continuing to ensure they have “the necessary knowledge and technology to deliver distance learning effectively”.
The report also mentioned some potential areas for development that DES could look into. Firstly, it suggested that the school focus on ensuring that all students, particularly younger students, have independent access to resources and technology, as well as the skills required to make best use of all the school’s distance learning materials. Secondly, the evaluation suggested that DES develop its assessment approaches “with a stronger focus on purposeful feedback on students’ work to enable them to better understand and improve their learning”. Finally, the report suggested a focus on bettering the communication with parents about their children’s learning – one method, for example, would be the facilitation of parent support networks.
If you would like to read the full inspection report – which we strongly advise you to do in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings – you will find it here.
The DES campus is, in a word, functional – while it will not wow anyone, it ensures that students have access to all of the facilities and resources they need. Shaped as an inverted ‘E’, the building’s North and South Wings are almost identical in design and provide an exact mirror for the Boys’ and Girls’ divisions. The school offers a blend of shared and gender-segregated areas and facilities, such as the media hub, the auditorium, the well-stocked school library, and Maths and Science laboratories.
The school also has a purpose-built KG section which features bright classrooms and both indoor and outdoor play spaces; the outdoor playground features a variety of child-friendly equipment such as sand and water play areas, swing sets, slides, and walking trails.
Parent involvement appears to be a strong focus at DES, where it is stated that both experience and research show that a child’s education “succeeds best when there is a strong partnership between home and school, a partnership that thrives on communication”. The school encourages parents to get involved by conducting various parent-orientated events that include meetings, seminars, workshops, and conferences, which are “designed to promote educational awareness, and provide the parent/guardian with updated educational information, and an insight into their ward’s development”.
DES also makes use of the Nebula operating system, which powers everything at the school from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Nebula is made up of “hand-selected, industry leading tools” which students have access to through 10 different apps (although this number is growing). These apps are built for all users and designed to help students and parents study, explore, and connect efficiently.
While it’s clear that the school encourages and prizes communication, perhaps the best way to get an idea of how the community feels about their success is through reviews. Our WhichSchoolAdvisor.com survey shows that, out of 21 reviews, DES has an impressive rating of 4.4 out of 5.
Reviews give the impression that children at DES are happy, confident, and feel included in their school community. For example, 81% of responders believe that their child feels ‘a tremendous amount’ of belonging at DES, and the remainder believe their child feels either ‘quite a bit’ (9%) or at least ‘some’ (10%); the exact same results were found when parents were asked if their child enjoyed going to school. In another example, 71% of responders feel the school has improved their child’s confidence ‘a great deal’ (10% answered ‘a lot’, 5% answered ‘a moderate amount’, 9% answered ‘a little’, and 5% answered ‘none at all’).
Beyond just the well-being of their children, local parents seem pleased with their academic achievements as well. 86% of responders reported being satisfied with the level of academic performance at DES (compared to only 9% being unsatisfied, and 5% partially satisfied). And 85% are ‘extremely confident’ in the school’s ability to meet their child’s specific learning needs. It should be noted that 100% of reviewers feel that they need to give their child additional tutoring to supplement their learning, but readers should consider that this may be actively encouraged by the school, to ensure parents are involved in their students’ learning and that new topics are being reviewed outside of school hours.
Parent satisfaction also looks to carry over to the administration and leadership of the school, with high satisfaction in terms of cost, feedback, and discipline. For example, 86% believe the fees represent good value for money given the quality of schooling being offered (compared to only 9% that totally disagree and 5% that partially agree). In addition, 86% reported being satisfied with the level of feedback they receive from DES, with only 14% of responses coming in as ‘unsatisfied’. An impressive 90% reported being satisfied with the disciplinary policy and its implementation at DES.
Perhaps the simplest way to ascertain parent opinion, however, is through two simple questions: have you considered moving your child from DES, and would you recommend the school to another parent? Only 14% of reviewers said they had considered moving their child, compared to a reassuring 86% who have not. And only 15% would not recommend the school to another parent, which means that 85% would place their support firmly behind DES.
If you are a parent, teacher, or senior student at DES please share your experience with other potential members of your school community by taking part in our survey.
Unfortunately, DES does not display its fees publicly on the school website.
It is mentioned that textbooks, supplemental workbooks, and stationery can all be purchased from The Delta Store, located on the school campus, and that transportation is available to all students residing in Sharjah, Ajman, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain. However, no associated fees are quoted.
DES has a number of discounts which are available for tuition fees:
All admissions for DES go through the Admission and Review Committee (ARC), who assess not only new students but approve the promotion of current students to the next grade level:
“ARC comprises of a select number of eminent faculty members from various departments and top administration representatives. These individuals read each applicant’s portfolio and make independent assessments that take into consideration a wide range of criteria so that no applicant’s strengths will go unrecognized or unappreciated.”
In order to assess potential new students, the ARC takes into consideration the applicant’s previous school transcript; demonstrated commitment to their school community; extracurricular or community activities; honours and awards; exceptional personal talents; and any other pertinent information. Prospective students must submit a Candidate Profile, along with supporting documentation, and complete a KSA/Pace assessment and personal interview.
For students coming up from Delta Nursery, the ARC has launched a Delta Automatic Admissions program, which ensures that all children enrolled at Delta Nursery are guaranteed automatic admission to the DES Kindergarten at the end of their time there. In order to take advantage of this automatic promotion from Delta Nursery to DES, students must meet the MOE’s relevant age requirements.
Delta English 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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