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 (although it is actually located in Umm Suqeim 3), is one of the oldest international schools in Dubai and was the first to offer the IB Diploma programme. 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 has apparently convinced the school and its families that there is 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.
Emirates International School, Jumeirah caters to more than 2,200 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 181 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 17% 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, will hopefully 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.
Established over 27 years ago, some parents note the facilities, while considerable, have failed to keep up with the best of the more modern schools. Recent investment in the construction of a brand new EY Section has evidently been undertaken in order to raise the quality of provision and to encourage more entrants to the school.
The school ranked 'Good' for the tenth year for its most recent KHDA assessment, and whilst most parents seem generally satisfied, the KHDA report notes "However, some parents expressed some concerns about teaching, resources and their understanding of students’ progress from reports". Perhaps more worryingly, teachers expressed concern about the provision of resources, including technology, to support students’ learning, and the effectiveness of their own professional development, and a large minority of students also commented on the consistency of teaching and the level of resourcing.
In the WSA survey, Parent recommendation of the school ("Would you recommend this school to other parents?") is very much below average at 45%. Some 89% of parents who responded to the survey have considered moving their children to another school (compared with a UAE average of 38%). In addition fees are considered too high, and parents worry about the ability of the school to meet their child's learning needs.
The school is attended by a great variety of nationalities, with approximately 20% from the subcontinent and another 17% Emirati. There are also many students from other Middle Eastern countries, as well as from Europe and the United States.
What about Academic achievement?
EIS Jumeirah has 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. In fact, whilst EIS Meadows provides a thorough and detailed analysis of its students' achievements, EIS Jumeirah, by contrast, is decidedly minimalist! Given that the school regularly achieves an above average IB Diploma score when compared against global peers, it would be helpful to see further analysis.
The school's website states that that the "vast majority of EIS students go onto well-known universities in the UK, the US and Canada such as Stanford, Exeter, London School of Economics, MIT, University of Michigan, UCLA, Warwick and the University of Toronto. In recent years EISJ has repeatedly graduated students with scores of 40+ including a score of 45 points, six scores of 44 points and a further six scores of 43".
Recent 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.
Since 2015, EIS Jumeirah has also reported the achievements of its MYP cohorts, with around 80% achieving the full MYP award in 2017, having gained 28 points or more.
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.
What the inspectors say
During the 2017/18 inspection the school received a Good rating from the KHDA. This is for the ninth year in a row. 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. There has evidently been some improvement, in so far as these key measures are rated Very Good in EY and post-16 for assessment. However, both Primary and Secondary remain rated Good - the minimum level expected by the KHDA. A second key area of improvement - that of Curriculum Design and its implementation - has evidently moved forward with upgraded ratings to Very Good across the three lower sections of the school, whilst this measure was already rated Outstanding in post-16.
These are two key elements of any school that contribute most significantly to the attainment of students and are therefore vital to the improvement process. The degree of variability in terms of both the quality of teaching and assessment and adaptation of the curriculum to meet the learning needs of different students are clearly still areas on which the school needs to focus.
In terms of student achievement, attainment and progress remain broadly rated Good across the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, although both attainment and progress in English are significantly better than the other two subjects. English attainment is rated Very Good in Primary and Outstanding in post-16, whilst progress in English is rated Very Good across the three lower sections and Outstanding in post-16. With the exception of progress in EY for both Maths and Science (rated Very Good), all other measures are Good.
Achievement in relation to the Arabic-based core subjects is considerably less strong than the English-based subjects. Islamic Education is rated Good in Primary, but only largely Acceptable in Secondary and post-16. Attainment in Arabic as both a first and second language is rated only Acceptable across the school, although progress is rated Good in Arabic as a first language and in EY as a second language, but has been downgraded to Acceptable in second language Primary teaching. Given the focus of the KHDA and the UAE National Agenda on the provision of Arabic, and the sizeable native-Arabic student body, this must be a concern for the school.
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 across all phases.
The protection, care, guidance and support of students were rated Good across the board and with Very Good post-16 provision of care and support in particular. Although the school has an inclusive ethos, inspectors found that the quality of learning support for students with additional needs limited students' progress.
In terms of the leadership and management of the school, there has evidently been much progress. The inspectors in their summary note that "Senior leaders share a clear vision of the school’s future and a commitment to national priorities. Accurate self-evaluation has led to curriculum change, focused staff development and identified support for individual students". However, it is too early yet for the improvement plans to have been fully implemented and to have impacted students' achievement to any great extent.
Inspectors summarised the strengths at EIS Jumeirah as:
The inspection team identified the following recommendatons for improvement:
What about facilities and resources?
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 brand 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 have been 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 latest KHDA inspection report notes 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 outdoor spaces are underused due to the lack of necessary human and material resources to support free flow and discovery learning. Limited access to interactive technology resources restricts opportunities for student-led learning that is a central expectation of the International Baccalaureate". These are significant resourcing issues that will need to be addressed by EIS Jumeirah.
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.
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, would hope, that with the arrival of a highly experienced Principal from an IB background in a very successful Dubai school, the additional skills and impetus will be 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 2017-18 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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