United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Al Barsha / Dubai Heights Academy

Dubai Heights Academy Q & A

Dubai Heights Academy opened in September 2017, located in Al Barsha South, following the English National Curriculum.
Parents' Rating
help
3.4 out of 5 based on 30 reviews
At a glance
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Availability 2021/22
Availability 2022/23
Annual fee average
AED 51,500
Annual fees
AED 37,570–63,555
Price band help
Premium
Status
Open
Opening year
2017
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
0%
Principal
Miss Alison Lamb
Owner
Seven Tides International
Community
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
Main student nationality
United Kingdom
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LET'S GO

Welcome to the Dubai Heights Academy official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.

If you have to highlight three strengths of your school, what would they be?

We strive

For Every Child - creating a platform for academic achievement, cognitive development and personal excellence.

For Every Mind - maintain an engaging approach, inclusive environment and progressive learning experiences.

For Everybody - inspire our students to be the best versions of themselves.

What is the single biggest challenge your school is currently addressing?

One word to describe the last two years is ‘unprecedented’ which is defined as never done before, and we are sure this has been heard countless times regarding Covid-19.

But here our intention is to connect this word with all of our school community; as they have been unprecedented, they are a community that has done something never known before such as working in ‘bubbles’; home quarantines, distance learning; masked face to face classes, countless Seesaw tasks and online check-ins to live lessons. It’s hard to believe that despite all the challenges DHA has faced over the years, we have not only maintained our high academic standards with quality learning, but almost all our students
surpassed their attainment and progress expectations making this our best year for achievement since the school opened. So with our stronger community and achievements we are definitely coming out of this greater than we were before this pandemic.

With optimism, we look forward to fantastic years ahead where we will embrace all the challenges with experience, confidence, steadfastness and fortitude. There are going to be amazing times ahead with the
shifting of priorities where children’s well-being, especially friendships and social experiences take more focus; the valued continuation of new technology tools and software, entire lifestyle changes to practice better hygiene, the rise in innovations and collaborative work and the power of community will help create a lot more good.

We are well-planned and wiser and very much looking forward to our future growth.

Does your school have a waiting list? In which years?

As we are a relatively new school we currently don’t have a waiting list. The school will be five form entry and once a year group reached five classes we will start our waiting lists. We will not exceed five classes per year group.

What are qualities and characteristics that define your school and its students?

Dubai Heights Academy is a ‘family school’ enabling teachers and support staff to know their students and facilitate the personalised approach to teaching and learning.

We help every child realise the ‘heights’ of their potential by empowering our students' young inquisitive minds, nurture positive thinking in a holistic learning environment that fosters independent learners with the life skills to innovate and problem solve. Alongside this we instil the value of working hard to achieve goals and accepting challenges enthusiastically and apply knowledge in daily life and in future careers, through open parent dialogue and community partnerships. We excel in helping every child to realise their full potential, making the most of their individual abilities and personalities, embracing students across the full spectrum of educational needs.

How many nationalities are represented in your school? How international would you say your school is?

We have over 40 nationalities here at Dubai Heights Academy.

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

Being an English National Curriculum School we have a strong British population. With our location in Al Barsha South we are a popular choice for local families. Also being centrally located to communities such as Arabian Ranches, Damac Hills, JVC, Dubai Marina and The Greens we welcome nationalities from all over the world.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

For FS1 and FS2, the teacher to student ratio is 1:22. For Year 1 to Year 6, the ratio is 1:24

All classes in FS1 to Year 4 will have a Learning Assistant and in Year 5 to Year 9 the classes will have a shared assisted as the children are much more independent at this age.

Please describe your approach to teacher recruitment in terms of the balance of staff you seek in terms of nationalities and in terms of years of experience/ qualifications you look for. Please also provide details of how you use teaching assistants.

Our outstanding teachers demonstrate a strong sense of collegiality and a high degree of professional conduct. Our teachers are proud to work at Dubai Heights Academy and since opening we have almost 100% teacher retention.

We have a whole school approach to monitoring and evaluating ‘Quality first’ teaching and learning. Our teachers have a secure knowledge of each student's progress which is a core element of teaching and learning, ensuring every child at our school meets his or her individual ambitions. We are proud to be partnered with TES to ensure we have a great quality pool of educators and support staff.

Does your school measure Value Added data? Please provide details of how you measure, and current Value Added benchmark scores.

Our school uses GL CAT/GL Progress tests for comparisons and measurement when it comes to Value Added Data.

If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?

Cat 4/Progress Tests

Please provide details of how well your school did in its previous external exams for students at 16 and at 18 years of age? Please provide sufficient detail to allow parents to have a view on how academic your school is?

NA

What percentage of your sixth form that take exams at 18 go to university, and where, in general, do they go?

NA

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

Teaching and learning at Dubai Heights Academy is based upon a set of key principles established through discussion around the conditions under which children learn best.

Personalised learning is at the heart of effective teaching and learning. At DHA we recognise the need to develop strategies that will allow all students to learn in ways that best suit them so that they can fulfil their true potential. Our school curriculum comprises of units of work which are continually evaluated and updated to ensure a broad and balanced and inspiring curriculum, which ensures continuity and progression. In addition to this, we offer effectively planned intervention programmes and a provision of an extended curriculum to help develop new interests and skills and enhance learning beyond the classroom.

Dubai Heights Academy has been very successful in implementing specialist teachers for the breadth of the curriculum from Year 3 upwards as this develops passion in teaching and familiarity with student needs and continuity of learning. Many learning opportunities are made available to our students that take account of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles. Such opportunities include; investigation and problem solving, research, whole class, group, paired and independent work, asking and answering questions, using technology and participating in recreational and creative activities.

DHA Parent Quote

“Teachers show passion in their job. The teachers always convey enthusiasm and desire for learning.”

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?

We believe in balance. We do encourage home revision and we host monthly teacher led seminars on various tools and topics that aid parents and home revision. We also believe that extra curricular activities after school and family are important and to create a well rounded environment for our studnents.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?

PE and Sports are an integral part of every child's education and development. We provide a wide range of sporting opportunities that cater for children of all abilities to develop new skills and nurture their love for PE. We strive to give all children access to high quality PE provision, with the intention of increasing the amount of young people taking part in regular sporting activity throughout their lives.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

At Dubai Heights Academy we understand that promoting physical and emotional wellbeing is a crucial part of every child's development. We aim to equip all our pupils with the skills and attitudes they need to make informed decisions about their health. These are some of the ways we will encourage our children to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles:

Through our P.E. curriculum the children will experience a range of different sports activities and learn about the effects and benefits of regular exercise. We will also offer an extensive range of sports clubs before and after school.

The importance of balanced nutrition and healthy food choices will be explicitly taught through the Science, D.T. and PSHE curriculum. We develop children's knowledge and understanding of the importance of water in their diet by encouraging all children to bring in a water bottle so they can have access to water throughout the day.

We will provide play equipment and areas which promote physical activity at break times. Our PSHE curriculum allows children to explore and understand the different feelings they experience. Through this we are able to teach our pupils techniques for dealing with their emotions in a responsible manner.

How do you promote healthy eating?

At Dubai Heights Academy, we aim to provide children with healthy eating experiences in order to promote their well-being. With an understanding of the different dietary, cultural, religious and health needs of our children we aim to raise awareness in developing a positive approach to food and nutrition.

All food provided will be nutritious, avoiding large quantities of salt, sugar, saturated fats, additives, preservatives and colorings and there will be no fizzy drinks, crisps, chocolate, biscuits, cakes or sweets available. Hot meals are provided by MasterCook and there is a variety of fresh fruit and salads available. The strict guidelines determining the standards for food will be in accordance with Dubai Municipality.

In our curriculum we will promote healthy food and a healthy body with topics such as cooking, food and farming, the Eatwell Guide, a healthy plate and what should be in a healthy packed lunch.

We also are a nut free school.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students? How does it promote a balanced diet?

The school has a cafeteria for FS/primary, a separate cafeteria for the secondary school and outdoor eating options for students and staff.

What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?

Food prices will be in line with other schools across Dubai.

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?

The school timings are as follows

Gates Open: 8.00
Registration: 8.15

FS Finish time: 14.15
Year 1 to Year 9: 15.30 and there is a whole school finish at 11.30 on a Friday

Is there a school uniform?

The school has a full uniform across all phases. Please see our website for more information.

The uniform will be sold by Stiches in their showroom in Al Quoz and there will be a pop up shop in the school at the beginning of each term.

Please advise on your discipline policy?

Our Disciplinary Policy can be found on our website.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?

We host 2 parent teacher meetings per term, our principal has an Open Door policy, reporting and communication.

Which languages are taught at your school - please detail any as a first as well as second language?

French & Arabic

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?

The school is a fully inclusive and we are able to support a range of needs.

Do you offer a dedicated prayer room/s for students? For which faiths?

The school has prayer rooms for Muslim students.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

The school is fully inclusive and we are able to support a range of needs.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

Yes we have a fully qualified Inclusion Team with a wide range of knowledge and experience. This includes a part time speech and language therapist and occupational therapist.

Not all schools are staffed or resourced to offer learning support to those children with either moderate or significant learning needs. To what level can you offer support for those with learning differences?

The school is a fully inclusive and we are able to support a range of needs.

Does your school have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support those youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?

Dubai Heights Academy works very closely with Sensation Station and the school will be able to provide additional support that children need. The school has dedicated occupational therapy and speech therapy rooms as well as a multisensory gym and a snoozelen room.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

We have a Parent Teacher Organisation - the [email protected]

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?

We actively encourage parents to be involved in the school. Parents will be invited to help within the school day and will be encouraged to help with school trips and events. We will host a range of events to guide parents through our curriculum and how they can help their children at home.

Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?

Yes we have a parent representative on our Board - Mr. Jones

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?

We have school tours every morning and everyday after school and on Sundays. We have termly Open Day events, we attend school shows across Dubai. We host a Spring Fayer and Sports Days. We also have partners like British Mums Dubai and our nursery partners where we support them with their events too.

For parents that prefer not to visit we are happy to host a virtual tour and zoom session.

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

Dubai Heights 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:

If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any inaccuracies, or would like to update data, you can now open an account with us. You will also be able to add admissions availability per year group, and advertise current job vacancies. This is a free service. Please help us keep prospective parents up to date with your latest information.

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