Emirates International School, Jumeirah is a well-established, mixed K12 school established in 1991 by the Al Habtoor Group as a service to the community and is located in one of the more traditional residential areas of Dubai. Its younger, sister school Emirates International School Meadows, is by contrast, located in one of the newer and most diverse residential areas of the city.
Emirates International School Jumeirah (EISJ), although it is actually located in Umm Suqeim 3, is one of the oldest international schools in Dubai, having celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2021, and was the first to offer the IB Diploma programme.
There has been relatively little recent feedback to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com from members of the EISJ community, and what there has been is not especially positive - something of a surprise given the improvements that appear to be taking place at the school. In the current academic year, our survey respondents commented:
"I believe each teacher should teach in their own ways not just from the book."
"Extremely disorganized. Very poor leadership - after a year in a school most parents don’t even know who the principal is. Key leadership team come across as rude and arrogant. Staff seem unhappy - teachers and teacher assistants. Very poor communication with parents. They don’t care about the parents or students. We are just a number for them. All they care about is our money. Since Covid and throughout the summer no one ever contacted us asking if we are fine. We are just receiving messages reminding us to pay for new year school fees. Distance learning was horrible. They took nearly 2 months to start live classes so the entire time we had to fully home school the kids. Arabic for natives is shocking, my child’s Arabic skills were better at the nursery."
For more detailed feedback about our Survey and KHDA responses, check out the Buzz.
EISJ caters to more than 2,100 students and is split into two sections, one for EY and primary school students and another for Middle and High school students. Currently there are students from over 70 different nationalities. Class sizes are no greater than 25 students and there are 174 appropriately qualified teachers at the school. The majority of teachers are from the UK. A teacher:student ratio of 1:12 should enable the school to provide sufficient personal support and attention to individual students. Staff turnover at 19% is on the lower side for an international school in Dubai, although there has been something of turnover of Senior staff at the school in recent years.
The appointment of Mrs. Pratibha Rao, formerly of Dubai International Academy, was clearly intended to steady the leadership and, indeed, enable the school to make significant improvements. Dubai International Academy was the only IB curriculum school to be rated Outstanding by the KHDA until 2017-18, when its rating was reduced to Very Good.
Some parents have noted that the facilities, while considerable, have failed to keep up with the best of the more modern schools. Recent investment in the construction of a new EY Section has evidently been undertaken in order to raise the quality of provision and to encourage more entrants to the school.
Emirates International School Jumeirah was ranked 'Good' for the eleventh year for its most recent KHDA inspection in 2019-20, but as is so often the case, this is a school that has many Very Good and Outstanding elements. It is clear that improvements are being made, and that the school is now focused on achieving the Very Good rating that its, younger, sister school in the Meadows, achieved in the same inspection round.
EISJ is attended by a wide variety of nationalities, with approximately 20% from the subcontinent and another 18.5% Emirati. There are also many students from other Middle Eastern countries, as well as from Europe and the United States. The school supports some 144 students of Determination - just under 7% of its cohort.
Originally, the school offered a mix of UK and IB programmes, with IGCSE at years 10 and 11. The introduction of the MYP Diploma certificate apparently convinced the school and its families that there was no longer a need for the UK-curriculum based exams, and the school has accordingly adopted the full IB continuum, offering the PYP (Primary Years Programme), MYP (Middle Years Programme), DP (Diploma Programme) and latterly the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP). Reflective of its original UK curriculum base, the school uses an EY1 to Year 13 structure.
EIS Jumeirah historically regularly reported its IB results - something we at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com applaud, since it is so important for parents and students to be able to obtain this information. However, the level of detail which the school provides is considerably below that which we would like to see. Given the positive feedback from KHDA inspectors with regard to DP outcomes, we are surprised that EISJ does not make more of this.
In 2021, the school did share some results, noting that 104 students successfully completed the IBDP with 80.7% achieving 30+ points and 50% being awarded 35+ points. There was no mention of students having achieved 40+ points. The school did not provide details of the average point score overall - probably the most important statistic in relation to the IBDP award, nor of the total student cohort and pass rate. Given that students did not sit exams for the second year as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, it seems probable that, if anything, the Centre Assessed Grades are likely to have resulted in higher outcomes.
Past IB DP graduates have consistently surpassed global and local averages: in 2017, the average DP point score was 32 against a global average of 30, in 2016 - an average DP point score of 31 against the global average of 30, in 2015 - an average DP point score of 33 against a global average 29, in 2014 - an average DP point score of 33 against the global average of 29, and in 2013, the average DP point score was its highest ever at 34 points against a global average of 29.
34 points would be considered the level necessary for entry to a good traditional "Red brick" university in the UK, whilst entry to Oxford or Cambridge, or an Ivy League US university would generally require 40+ points, all of which EIS Jumeirah students have achieved in the past.
In 2017 the school recorded a "100%" success rate for its IB Career Related Programme students - "a great testament to the efforts of these students embarking upon the vocational alternative to the IB DP." We do not know the number of IBCP students, nor does the school release the student numbers for the DP or MYP students, and more importantly the overall pass rates at DP level. Again, no statistics were released for 2021.
The campus is situated on a pleasant and inviting 12-acre site, located in a prestigious and well-developed residential area, and offers good facilities. Buildings are low-rise and set in green spaces with large playing fields, many shade trees and covered walkways.
EIS Jumeirah, evidently having listened to the comments of parents and in order to be able to expand, opened a new addition to its Primary school in 2017. The facilities include a library, two dedicated computer labs, two sports halls, a playground, grass field, sports facilities and a swimming pool. The new facilities and new classrooms were purpose-built with Early and Primary Years children in mind with excellent access to the large outdoor play space, interactive whiteboards and tablets in each classroom.
Despite these improvements, however, the 2017-18 KHDA inspection report noted that although the Primary school is housed in a very good modern facility, "the Foundation Stage classrooms are limited in size for the number of children".
The original High school is also a substantial building and has over 85 classrooms with 2 Mathematics labs, 11 Science laboratories, 5 IT laboratories with over 200 computers, 4 dedicated art rooms, 3 drama rooms, 2 music rooms, 2 examination halls, 2 libraries (including one specifically for the IB Diploma Programme), a language laboratory, a food science laboratory, a number of sporting fields, a 25 meter swimming pool, a fully-equipped sports halls and a fitness suite. School facilities also include a 550 seat theatre with a state-of-the-art lighting and projection system, and a state of the art Innovation lab. All rooms are fixed with interactive white board technology and wireless network access.
During the 2017-18 and 2018-19 inspections the school received a Good rating from the KHDA and achieved the same outcome in 2019-20; this for the eleventh year in a row.
However, as is so often the case, the overall rating does not tell the whole story. The influence of the newest Principal has clearly been recognised; the latest inspection report shows that this is a school that has many Very Good and Outstanding elements.
In common with all UAE schools, following the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic, EIS Jumeirah participated in a Distance Learning Evaluation not long after the physical inspection by the DSIB team.
With three possible outcomes available, EIS Jumeirah achieved the highest rating of Developed. The report can be read here.
Previously, the school had been urged by the KHDA to raise the quality of teaching and assessment, rated earlier at a minimum of Good across the school, since these are the two key performance standards that probably have the most impact on Student Achievement.
In the most recent report, inspectors noted that "Students’ achievements are at least good in most subjects and phases. In the Foundation Stage (FS) children make excellent progress in English. Diploma Programme (DP) students’ achievement in English is high. Progress in Arabic as a first language is good, although attainment remains acceptable. There is a similar picture in Islamic education in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and DP. Achievement is acceptable in Arabic as an additional language, and in UAE social studies. Learning skills are strong across the school".
These improvements were reflected in modest rating upgrades to Very Good in DP Science, and to Outstanding progress in EY English. It is very clear that the EY and DP sections are those with the greatest strengths within the school in terms of Student Achievement, Teaching and Assessment (rated largely Very Good in these two sections of the school, but Good in PYP and MYP) and the Curriculum. Curriculum design is largely rated Very Good and Outstanding in DP, but its adaptation to meet the needs of individuals and groups of students remains Good in PYP and MYP.
Students' personal and social development and their innovation skills are, in contrast, an absolute strength of EIS Jumeirah. Personal development is rated Outstanding across the school, whilst Social responsibility and Innovation skills are rated Very Good in EY and Primary and Outstanding in Secondary and post-16. Students' understanding of Islamic values and awareness of Emirati and world cultures are also rated Very Good in EY and PYP and Outstanding in MYP and DP phases.
The protection, care, guidance and support of students has improved to Very Good across the board, whilst Care and Support in DP is rated Outstanding. Although the school has an inclusive ethos, inspectors found that the quality of learning support for students with additional needs limited students' progress. Rated Good, inspectors noted that "School leaders and governors have successfully developed an inclusive ethos within which students with a diverse range of needs are welcomed. Although members of the small inclusion support team are well qualified and experienced, long-term planning is at an early stage".
In terms of the leadership and management of the school, there has evidently improvement through overall ratings have not changed from their mixture of Good and Very Good. The inspectors in their summary noted that "Senior leaders ensure that students’ well-being and academic achievement lie at the heart of the school. Middle leaders vary in their effectiveness. Self-evaluation procedures provide an accurate picture of the school’s performance. Parents are very supportive and effectively engaged in their children’s learning".
Inspectors summarised the strengths at EIS Jumeirah as:
The inspection team identified the following recommendations for improvement:
If you would like to read the most recent inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings - you will find it here.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has received relatively limited feedback from parents to our School Survey. With just under 30 responses, this is not as large a sample as we would like to see, and views by those parents who have responded have been mixed.
The overall rating is 2.8/5 or an overall approval rating of just 56%.
Children's sense of belonging and enjoyment in going to school are below UAE averages, and a very high 3/4 respondents had considered moving their child to another school - the reverse of UAE averages, where this figure is 25%. Whilst close to 1/3 of respondents were satisfied with the academic performance of the school, and a further 1/3 partially satisfied, the remaining 29% were dissatisfied - again a much higher number than the UAE average of 6%. This is reflected in the fact that 58% of parents believed that additional tuition was necessary for children - double the UAE average.
Communication and discipline were areas where EISJ could also do better, with 26% and 28% respectively dissatisfied with these aspects of the school. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, 29% of respondents would not recommend EISJ to other parents, and a further 14% were unsure if they would do so. This dissatisfaction was also reflected in the fact that 46% of respondents felt that fees did not represent value for money, with only 20% agreeing that they did.
We recognise that it is often disaffected members of a community that respond to surveys such as ours, whilst those parents who are happy overall with their choice of school tend not to be so vocal.
However, in order to ensure that prospective parents, teachers and students receive a more 'rounded' view, we would strongly encourage parents, teachers and staff at EIS Jumeirah to share their experience by completing our Survey.
According to the most recent KHDA report, parents are very supportive and effectively engaged in their children’s learning. They are well informed about school issues. Most parents are very positive about their involvement with the school. They feel that the school promotes a strong regard for family life and creates a sense of community amongst a school population which has diverse cultural backgrounds. Links with a variety of charities raise students’ awareness of the needs of others.
Some 437 parents responded to the KHDA's pre-inspection survey, with 96% saying that they were satisfied with the quality of education provided by EISJ. The report notes that "Most parents appreciate the approachability of the school and the quality of education that the school provides. They are confident that their children are well cared for and kept safe and are pleased with the information that they receive about their children’s learning".
Over 700 students responded to the KHDA's Wellbeing Survey. They were found to have a strong sense of belonging and were positive about the relationships that they had with their teachers and other students in the school. They felt safe in school and said that they received help whenever they needed it. They were motivated and willing to persevere with their work.
EIS Jumeirah, much like its sister school in the Meadows, clearly has a committed management and owners who are willing to invest in the staffing, facilities and resources. We, at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, believe that, with the arrival of a highly experienced Principal from an IB background in a very successful Dubai school, the additional skills and impetus are in place to see EIS Jumeirah move forward apace on its road to improvement.
We look forward to seeing it achieve the long awaited step up from a Good school to a Very Good school - not only in terms of its exam results and post-16 student successes, but in delivering the same high quality of education throughout the school.
As of 2020-21 school fees range between AED 35,034 per year for EY students to AED 74,283 for Grade 12 / 13 - top end for UAE schools, but on par with other IB/UK based curriculum schools.
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