United Arab Emirates / Dubai / The Meadows / Emirates International School Meadows

Emirates International School Meadows Review

Emirates International School Meadows is a private all through school established on September 2005 by the Al Habtoor Group and located in The Meadows, Dubai. The school caters to over 1660 students from more than 80 nationalities (one of the highest splits in demographics we have seen) and is split into two sections, one section for Primary and Junior school students and another for High school students.
Parents' Rating
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4.2 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
At a glance
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Curricula taught
Availability 2018/19
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Availability 2019/20
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Annual fee average
AED 47,500
Annual fees
AED 26,802 - 74,538
Price band help
Premium
Status
Open
Opening year
2005
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
24%
Principal
Kathryn Dyche-Nichols
Owner
Habtoor Group
Community
Main teacher nationality
British
Main student nationality
A mix of nationalities

Nearby nurseries

0.2km • EYFS curriculum
1.2km • EYFS curriculum
1.6km • EYFS curriculum
1.7km • EYFS curriculum
1.7km • Blended Early Years curriculum
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Emirates International School Meadows
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Curricula taught
Availability 2018/19
radio_button_unchecked No data
Availability 2019/20
radio_button_unchecked No data
Annual fee average
AED 47,500
Annual fees
AED 26,802 - 74,538
Price band help
Premium
Status
Open
Opening year
2005
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
24%
Principal
Kathryn Dyche-Nichols
Owner
Habtoor Group
Community
Main teacher nationality
British
Main student nationality
A mix of nationalities
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First Published:
Saturday 28 July, 2012

Updated:
Wednesday 8 May, 2019

Emirates International School Meadows is a private all through school established on September 2005 by the Al Habtoor Group and located in The Meadows, Dubai. The school caters to over 1660 students from more than 80 nationalities (one of the highest splits in demographics we have seen) and is split into two sections, one section for Primary and Junior school students and another for High school students.

Emirates International School Meadows has been rated Good for the eighth year running in the 2018-19 KHDA inspection process.  An abbreviated version of the inspection report can be found under the Inspection report tab.  An update of this review will be completed once the full reports have been published.

The story so far...

The Emirates International School campus at the Meadows was among the first schools to open in the Emirates Hills area, the Meadows development itself being among the first (after the Lakes) to encourage expatriates to purchase their homes in the UAE, which until this time (in 2002) had been restricted to UAE and GCC nationals only.  As a result, EIS Meadows sits in the heart of one of the most multicultural areas of the city, and the choice of the IB programmes is only too appropriate.  In line with its historic mix of UK curriculum (EYFS and IGCSE), EIS Meadows has an EY1 to Year 13 grading structure.

The school caters to over 1660 students from more than 80 nationalities (one of the highest splits in demographics we have seen) and is split into two sections, one section for Primary and Junior school students and another for High school students. It employs 141 teachers all of whom (according to the KHDA) are suitably qualified for their roles.  However, it seems that a lack of suitably qualified and trained teaching assistants in the Early Years (EY) section, in particular, has been identified by the KHDA as an area in need of improvement. Teaching staff are predominantly from the UK.  With a staff to student ratio of 1:12, individual attention and teaching should be a strength of the school.  However, it would seem that this is area still for development at EIS Meadows, and the turnover of staff at 24%, which is on the high side for an international school in Dubai (where 20-22% is the norm), suggests that they are not entirely satisfied with their employment.

In 2011/2012 the KHDA, Dubai's education regulator, improved Emirates International School Meadows' rating by one grade to Good - a level which it has maintained for the past seven years. The school is the younger sister to Emirates International School, Jumeirah, which is also ranked Good by the KHDA (and has been for nine consecutive years).

To maintain the same level of rating for seven years suggests that progress on improvements has not taken place at a particularly strong pace.  However, in the latest (2017-18) KHDA report, it seems that positive movement is taking place, driven by changes to the senior leadership of the school. The report notes that, in terms of leadership and management, "The executive team has strategic vision and is developing the middle leaders, creating a platform for improvement. Comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of lessons and data have led to curriculum change. A focus on teaching and learning is beginning to improve students’ outcomes. The school engages parents well and they challenge governance. The committed owners are improving resources and teachers’ professional development".  Clearly investment is being made and progress is being seen - putting EIS Meadows on a stronger path to improvement. 

EIS Meadows, in common with EIS Jumeirah, now follows the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum - it is a continuum school, meaning it offers the IB Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), the Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) and the Diploma Programme (IBDP) for those aged 16 and above.  Historically, both schools offered the IGCSE programme in grades 9 and 10, but it seems that the introduction of the IB MYP Diploma examinations (EIS Meadows has been an early adopter) has given EIS and its students and families the confidence to follow the IB programmes in their entirety.

What about academic results?

Like its sister school EIS Jumeirah, EIS Meadows has in the past been worthy of considerable praise for the comprehensive provision of external examination data. This is key information for prospective students when choosing a school, and the EIS schools had been models for others to follow. Although the most recent IB Diploma data is not yet available on the school's website, comprehensive data for the past three years is available.

In 2016-17, 46 students sat the IB Diploma and achieved an average score of 33 - back to the scores of 2011-12, which had dipped to 30 points in 2013.

  2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
IB Diplomas Awarded  51 60 44
 Average Score of Diploma Candidates  32 32 33
 World Wide Average Diploma Score  30 30.07 29.95
Percentage of students completing full Diploma  92% 94% 96%
 Percentage of students scoring 24 points or higher 93% 94% 96%
 Percentage of students scoring 30 points or above  54% 59% 67%
 Percentage of students scoring 40 points or above   6%  17%
Top IB Diploma Score (Maximum 45) 40 43 45

At 33 points, in 2017, EIS Meadows was one of the highest achievers of all IB based schools in the UAE, whilst in 2013, at 30 one of the lowest, but still fractionally above the global average of 29.81. 

The school - unusually in our experience -  also publishes its results for the MYP Diploma programme - a relatively new examination which is largely based on-line and examines the main language and literature of teaching (in the UAE, English), together with Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry (or Integrated Sciences), Geography, History (and/or Integrated Humanities). There were 84 MYP students in the 2017 cohort of whom 94% were awarded the MYP certificate with two students achieving 54 points.  The average points score for the MYP at EIS Meadows was 42.8 against a world average of 35.8 points.  Fourteen students achieved 50 points and above from a total achievable of 56 points.

What the inspectors say

EIS Meadows has previously been rated Outstanding for both attainment and progress for the core subjects of English, Maths and Science for Post-16 education. It has dipped from that high and is now Outstanding for progress and attainment in Science and English. For Maths, in line with the past several years, it has been rated Good. 

At secondary level, Maths and English are rated Very Good, whilst Science is rated Good.

For primary and EY, the school is rated Good across all three core subjects with the exception of progress in the Primary School for Maths, which has improved to Very Good.

In terms of the three core Arabic-based subjects, Islamic Education and Arabic as a Second language are rated Good across EY, Primary and Secondary (there are no DP Arabic Second language students), but only Acceptable for Arabic as a first language.  This must be a concern for the school, given the additional emphasis now placed on these subjects as part of the UAE National Agenda.

Elsewhere this is largely an improving school on a pretty strong foundation already. Particularly impressive is personal development and social responsibility and innovation skills, which are rated Very Good in EY and Primary phases and Outstanding in Secondary and post 16 phases.  IB at its best is very good at developing the "human" and this can be seen very much in action at EIS Meadows.

Clear evidence of improvement can also be seen in relation to Teaching and Assessment, with Teaching for Effective Learning rated Good in EY and Primary, and Very Good in Secondary and Post-16, whilst Assessment is rated Outstanding in post-16 and Good across the other sections of the school.  Again, this must be an area of focus for the school since these key measures have so much influence on student outcomes.

The other key performance area which has evidently required improvement is in relation to the curriculum and its adaptation to meet the needs of individual students.  These two key measures are rated Outstanding in post-16, Very Good in Secondary, but are rated Good in EY and Primary.  The school will no doubt be focusing on ensuring that it takes best practice from the higher sections of the school and adapts them effectively to improve standards in the Primary and EY.

There is no doubt that EIS Meadows offers a caring and supportive environment for its students. Health and Safety, including Child Protection measures, are rated Very Good across the school, as is the Care and Support of students in EY.  For the other sections of the school, this measure is rated Outstanding.  Inspectors commented that "Academic guidance on next steps is consistently strong in the Primary (PYP), Secondary (MYP) and post-16 (DP) sections, but less personalised in the early years. Students with SEND, and the gifted and talented are accurately identified in all phases. Students with SEND are generally supported well".  

Overall strengths of EIS Meadows were identified as:

  • The effective application of assessment data and processes in the DP phase to ensure staff and students are able to identify what is already known and what students need to discover;
  • The attitudes and behaviour of the principled, caring and reflective students;
  • The initial translation of the strategic vision into systems of monitoring, evaluation and review that create a platform from which the school can improve;
  • The engagement of parents, staff and students in influencing governance;
  • Implementation of the UAE moral education and social studies, developing students into ethical, open-minded and balanced individuals.

In terms of the main areas for improvement, the KHDA inspectors identified these as follows:

  • Reduce the disparity in the quality of teaching, especially in the early years and PYP, ensuring it meets the needs of different groups of students, allowing them to achieve their potential.
  • Ensure there are sufficient suitably qualified and experienced staff in the early years to support the learning of all children o resources are developed to increase access to outdoor learning and improve outcomes.
  • Raise attainment and increase progress in Arabic by: better use of assessment information by all teachers to modify lessons and activities to meet the needs of all students, particularly the more able and less able, [and] providing students with more focused opportunities to develop writing skills, using rubrics to illustrate progress.

What about facilities?

Facilities at EIS Meadows are in general very good. The Primary school's facilities consist of 65 classrooms with LCD projectors and interactive white boards, two IT suites, a library, a multi-purpose hall, a 20 meter indoor swimming pool, an outdoor sports turf, dedicated art, music, drama and language teaching rooms as well as conference and meeting suites for faculty and parents. Similarly the high school has 6 IT suites, a cafeteria, library, multi-purpose sports hall/gymnasium, dance studio, 20 meter indoor swimming pool, outdoor sports turf, two art suites, two music suites, a drama room and a language teaching room.

As of 2017/18 school fees range between AED 26,802 per year for KG1 students to AED 74,538 for grade 12/Year 13 students - high end, but on a par for high achieving UK/IB based schools.

Currently, EIS Meadows is a school with very clear strengths in the Secondary and post-16 phases, where it is academically on a par with other top performers in Dubai.  Its challenge is to bring the EY and Primary school up to the same level.  EIS Meadows is a school that, in WhichSchoolAdvisor.com's opinion, should be viewed at least a Very Good school, with the potential to be Outstanding - particularly in the post-16 phase. 

Notes: A “highly respectable” pass rate at IB that would be suitable for entrance into good red brick universities in the UK is around the 34 plus mark. Top-tier universities are officially looking for 38 plus. In reality a 40+ score is more likely to get a student into an Oxbridge.

 

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