Durham School Dubai Q & A

Durham School Dubai, which opened in August 2022 in Dubai Investments Park, adjacent to the Green Community, is the third international school to be operated directly by UK-based Durham School.
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2022/23
Availability 2023/24
Annual fee average
AED 49,500
Annual fees
AED 42,600–57,000
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Aug to Jun
Mr Mark Atkins
Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
Main student nationality
United Kingdom
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Welcome to the Durham School Dubai 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?

Outstanding British teachers, traditional values, happy, supportive community.

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

School is only in first year of operation – concentration is on maintaining quality and small school feel whilst dealing with steadily increasing pupil numbers.

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

Yes, Y1 Year 2 and Year 4. However, we are opening more classes in August.

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

Durham is an authentic British independent school experience. The majority of pupils are British but we have many nationalities in the school all seeking traditional education delivered by outstanding teachers. Academic attainment is essential but so too are manners, social competence and kindness.

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

The largest proportion of pupils in the school are British but we have many other nationalities predominantly from Europe.

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?


What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

150 pupils 20 teachers – approximately 1:8 but this figure does not include teaching assistants.

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.

Teachers almost exclusively recruited direct from the UK and all have a minimum of 3 years experience in UK schools. All teachers have British teaching qualifications. Teaching assistants are drawn from a range of nationalities.

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

Too early to give details.

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

Too early to give details – we use a range of assessment tools.

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?

Not applicable

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

Not applicable.

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

Traditional teaching in small classes (never more than 20) by high quality teachers. Durham is a ‘work in books’ kind of school where technology is used judiciously to support learning not dictate it. Durham is an academically ambitious school that prides itself on a kind and happy environment developing pupil confidence with lots of individual attention.

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

Homework is only given where there is real value in supporting or consolidating learning. In the primary school homework is mainly reading, spellings and number bonds/multiplication tables.

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

Pupils have a PE, a games and a swimming lesson every week. There are a range of sports offered in the comprehensive extra-curricular programme.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Sport and activity are important and pupils have plenty of opportunities in school each day to participate. The school serves healthy hot lunches every day with a salad bar available to all. Because of our location, many of our pupils are able to walk or cycle to school.

How do you promote healthy eating?

See above.

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

Yes, a dining room with our own kitchens - See above.

What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?

AED 30 per day

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

Morning Registration 7.40 end of day 2.40. (12w.00 noon Friday) activities Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 3.00 – 4.00pm.

Is there a school uniform?


Please advise on your discipline policy?

Kindness at the heart of the school supported by a clear transparent and comprehensive behaviour management policy. Zero tolerance on bullying.

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?

Daily face-to face contact with all parents. Two formal parents evenings a year two written reports a year.

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

See above.

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

Arabic – starting in September, Spanish and French.

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


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

Yes. Islam

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

Outstanding teachers, small classes, carefully differentiated lessons and extra-curricular activities.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?


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?

Support is limited – currently no specialist team – teachers are able to support pupils because of the small class sizes.

Does your school have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers syndrome and so forth?


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

Yes – access to an external agency.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

Yes – we have an active Parents Association.

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


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

It is planned but not yet implemented.

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

Yes – information sessions on areas of the curriculum to enable parents to support pupils at home. Social events for parents through the Parent Association.

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