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

Emirates International School Meadows Q & A

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
Curricula taught
Availability 2019/20
radio_button_unchecked Limited
Availability 2020/21
fiber_manual_record All grades
Annual fee average
AED 51,500
Annual fees
AED 26,802 - 79,488
Price band help
Premium
Status
Open
Opening year
2005
School year
Sep to Jul
Principal
Kathryn Dyche-Nichols
Owner
Habtoor Group
Community
Main teacher nationality
British
Main student nationality
A mix of nationalities
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LET'S GO

Welcome to the Emirates International School Meadows 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.

What qualities and characteristics would you say define your school?

With over 80 different nationalities of students, Emirates International School – Meadows is a truly international school which very much embraces and celebrates its diversity and multi-cultural approach to learning. We are passionate about ensuring that every one of our students is recognised as an individual who is capable of achieving wonderful things, and our inclusive approach and personalised learning programmes ensures that each child is given the very best opportunities to reach their true potential across every area of our broad, balanced International Baccalaureate curriculum programme.
At all stages of their educational journey through school our students achieve great academic success and we are extremely proud of the fact that their results compare particularly favourably against their peers, both nationally and internationally. Much of this is due to our outstanding approach to the care, well-being and support of our students so that they are nurtured and guided throughout their learning journey to become mature, confident and well-rounded young adults who are thoroughly prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the world in which they will live.
We truly appreciate that a strong partnership between school and home is the cornerstone to each child’s successful education, and are committed to ensuring that our parent community is given every opportunity to be intrinsically involved at each stage of the learning process. From high quality Coffee Mornings and practical workshops to our successful online learning platforms, we have created a supportive ethos where parents are able to play an integral role in their child’s educational career, and where they, themselves, are able to continue to develop as learners as well.
Emirates International School – Meadows is a learning community where Excellence, Innovation, Self-awareness and Motivation are the threads which are woven through every aspect of school life, and we continually strive for further improvement so that each and every one of our students only receives the very best educational provision which we can offer.

How many nationalities are represented in your school?

There are 86 nationalities represented in EISM.

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

The student population at EISM reflects the diversity of Dubai.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

13:1

Does your school have a waiting list?

Yes, EISM has limited availability in some year groups.

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

At Emirates International School – Meadows we offer a rich, innovative inquiry-based international education in English. Our curriculum is designed for an inclusive environment which promotes excellence in all academic activities. We aim to enhance the educational and holistic development of each of our students, empowering them to think critically and creatively, and to show resilience in their preparation for the next stage of their educational journey.
Through our carefully designed International Baccalaureate curriculum programme we provide our students with excellent educational opportunities to develop as independent learners, critical thinkers and well-rounded global citizens who are passionate about lifelong learning. Our skilled teaching staff act as facilitators in the learning process; they guide and nurture the students to take personal responsibility in every aspect of their studies and to continually strive for success.
We fully acknowledge that parents aspire for their children to perform well in external benchmarking assessments, and we have therefore designed our curriculum in such a way that ensures that every student can develop the skills which will enable them to achieve to the best of their ability in such contexts.
Whilst we are immensely proud of our students’ academic performances our wider curriculum also offers outstanding opportunities for success in such areas as Creative Arts and Sport. We provide our students with the platform to showcase their talents to the wider school community and we are rightly proud of their successes.

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

We fully recognise the importance of ensuring that all children maintain a healthy lifestyle, and our Physical Education and Sport programmes are integral aspects of this. Physical Education is a fundamental aspect of our curriculum, and our excellent PE specialist teachers create exciting and innovative lessons which encourage our students across the school to participate as fully as possible. Our Physical Education programme is broad and balanced and enables our students to gain a strong knowledge and understanding of the different skills they need to be successful in all disciplines, such as swimming, athletics, gymnastics, ball-related games, and health-related fitness. Our focus is on providing every child with outstanding opportunities to participate at their own level and to constantly strive for further improvement. We provide them with meaningful opportunities to apply their learning in competitive situations; every child participates in an annual Sports Day with their peers, whilst we also have an extensive range of sports teams, such as football, netball, basketball, cross-country and rounders, who compete to a high level against schools from across Dubai. We also provide our children with high quality outdoor education opportunities; we run a range of camps within the UAE which provide our children with exciting and enjoyable activities such as abseiling, climbing, snorkeling and canoeing. Our commitment to our student community is to engender a spirit of enjoyment, fulfillment and success through all aspects of Physical Education and Sport at EIS-M, and to encourage them to appreciate the benefits of pursuing regular sporting and fitness related activities throughout their lives.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Whilst our Physical Education and Sport programmes are the cornerstone of ensuring that all of our students maintain healthy lifestyles, we cater for each child’s physical and mental well-being in all other areas of school life. Our International Baccalaureate curriculum programme provides many opportunities for our students to learn about how lifestyle choices can impact upon their health; through their own research they inquire about such issues as the impact of food choices, how to maintain a balanced lifestyle and how to maintain positive relationships with their families and friends.
Our High School students participate in a range of meaningful activities as part of their Wellbeing Wednesday programme, when they have opportunities to discuss a range of topics related to their physical and emotional health. We recognise the impact that positive mental health can have on being a successful learner and place significant emphasis on ensuring that each of our students feels safe, supported and well-cared for throughout their time in our school.
Our pastoral programme focuses on celebrating positive behaviour and creating a Culture of Kindness throughout our school community. We take regular opportunities to remind our students of the importance of treating one another respectfully and in a caring manner through activities such as Anti-Bullying Week and the International Day of Happiness. We also have a fully trained School Counsellor who is always available to provide support for individuals and groups of students; she focuses on giving ownership of conflict resolution to the children so that they learn how to positively settle disagreements and also understand how they might act differently in future.
Our extensive after school enrichment programme also provides a wide range of high quality opportunities for students from Early Years to Year 13 to participate in activities such as Yoga and Mindfulness, in addition to a menu of sports-related activities.

How do you promote healthy eating?

We actively promote healthy lifestyle choices to our students in all aspects of school life, and healthy eating is a fundamental aspect of this. Our canteen serves a delicious range of healthy hot and cold meals and snacks which are prepared and served by the Metropolitan Hotel catering team, and all of our menus are monitored and approved by Dubai Municipality. This gives our parent community confidence and peace of mind that their children are only eating food which has been sourced from reputable suppliers, offers nutritional value and is calorie controlled. We also operate a healthy lunchbox policy; our parents understand that their children’s packed lunches should only contain healthy food items and we send regular reminders so that all members of our school community appreciate the importance of ensuring that our students eat healthily.
We plan our International Baccalaureate curriculum programme to ensure that there are regular high quality opportunities for our students to research how lifestyle choices can significantly impact upon their health, and healthy eating is an integral aspect of this inquiry-based learning. We want all of our students to understand the real importance of healthy eating, not only in the present but also as they reach adulthood, and to take real responsibility for their choices so that they are able to make positive and valued contributions to society as they grow older.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students?

Yes, we have full catering facilities.

If yes, does it serve hot food?

Yes, we serves fresh hot food daily.

What would be the amount spent by a student for their lunchtime meal?

Students spend approximately 20 AED

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

Our school day commences at 7.40am and finishes at 2.50pm
Early Years finish at 1pm

Is there a school uniform?

Yes

Please advise on your discipline policy?

We have a discipline procedure which reflects our high standards and expectations in all aspects of school life. We use positive re-enforcement to ensure that high standards of behaviour are the norm throughout the school each and every day. Parents, Students and Staff were integral in developing the procedure to ensure it reflected the schools International Baccalaureate ethos and school vision. Issues which arise are dealt with according to the correct procedure and as a result are resolved quickly with the support of key stakeholders.

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

Ongoing and holistic assessment practice is a core part of the PYP, MYP and IB programs. Our teachers are experts in both ‘Assessment for Learning’ and ‘Assessment of Learning’ meaning that both students and parents are very clear in what their current levels of Attainment and Progress are and what next steps are required to move forward. Within the Early Years our Early Learning Goals, aligned against the PYP Framework ensures that staff have a high quality and rigorous external benchmark to quantify students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in 17 areas of learning. Standards in both Early Years and PYP are rigorously adhered to when evidencing students independent learning through various different medias as shown in Teacher Assessment Folders and the students own Personal Portfolio that are moderated on a termly basis for quality assurance, all of this media is available to Parents and Students throughout the school year and are focused upon in both Parent Teacher Conferences and Student Led Conferences. The use of our Seesaw Online Learning Journal in the PYP Phase ensures parents can see their child’s work uploaded where they can reflect on their learning - in real time, the work is then shared with various stakeholders. Seesaw gives a window into each of our classrooms and into the students learning process reflecting on areas relating to the core subjects and the PYP Units of Inquiry. With regard to National Parameter Assessments in both CAT4 and GL Progress Tests, parents are sent letters detailing their child’s results detailing how well they have performed against internal and external benchmarks. Coffee Mornings and Parent Workshops are delivered both before and after external benchmark tests are taken allowing parents to have clarity in both the purpose of the tests and the interpretation of results. With the MYP and IB Our assessment processes are consistent and well-developed, using the MYP curriculum requirements as well as tailoring the curriculum to meet the needs of the National Agenda assessment requirements. Targets are generated through internal and external assessment data to complete the full profile of student performance and these are shared regularly with all stakeholders. Internal data is collected at 6 points across the academic year and analysed by department leaders and Heads of Year to inform attainment, progress and next steps. The introduction of AssessPrep within Years 10 and 11 ensures an enhanced assessment process that strongly prepares students for their final MYP examinations. The IB’s Online Feedback Platform - Managebac is fully utilized by staff, parents and students to ensure there is consistency between all stakeholders completing a consistent and coherent triangulation of learning.

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

Parents are valued stakeholders here at EISM and as a result we hold regular meetings to provide formal feedback as a result. Across school a strong Parent and Student Induction Program ensures both Parents and Students are ‘Safe, Settled and Secure’ in their new environment, where we provide both group and 1:1 meetings with new parents and students ensuring that following their Entry Assessments they are well aware of both targets and next steps in their curriculum journey. Within all phases of the school a formal ‘Meet the Teacher’ evening takes place with Parents that includes a formal presentation from Year Leaders and Class Teachers ensuring parents are well aware of policy, practice and routines. Following these presentations formal meetings take place to introduce teachers to parents allowing them to ask any questions about the upcoming term both academically and pastorally. Throughout the school year parents have multiple options to meet with teachers on a formal basis. Within the Primary Phase we have termly Parents Evenings that are split into three separate areas, homeroom, Language and Maths giving parents focused time and attention on these core areas. In addition to this, parents can arrange to meet subject specialist teachers in Arabic, Islamic, MFL, PE, and Creative Arts who are all available to see during these events. Within the MYP and IB we have 2 Parents Evenings per year group, per year giving parents the opportunity to book meetings with specialist subject teachers across all subjects in school. In addition to these parents’ meetings transition meetings take place between Year 6 and Year 7 to ensure parents and students are again well informed about the next steps in their learning journey at EISM. Alongside transition meetings we also have various ‘Options Evenings’ available to parents informing them of the subject options and choices available at both MYP (Year 9 into 10) and IB (Year 11 into 12). In regard to ‘Reporting to Parents’ this happens twice a year (End of Term 1 and End of Term 3) across school where parents receive a formal report detailing academic attainment and progress in all core and non-core subjects, including a personalised comment from teachers and students attitudes to learning.

What is your medium of instruction?

English is the medium of instruction at EISM.

Is Arabic taught as both a first language and second language in your school?

Our curriculum ensures that all students study Arabic either as a first or second language.

Which other languages are taught?

We also teach French and Spanish as part of our curriculum offer, but we have students who study German, Dutch and Swedish as part of their IBDP curriculum.

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

We have an EAL Department who offer personalised support for those that require it.

Is Islamic Education/Studies for the Arab Muslim students delivered in Arabic for them?

Islamic education for our Arab Muslim students is delivered in Arabic.

Do you have a dedicated prayer room/s for the Muslim students?

Yes, we have dedicated prayer rooms for our Muslim students.

Does your school measure Value Added data? Please provide details of your current Value Added average scores

Here at EISM we add great Value to our students learning potential based on our CAT4 and ALIS Predictions at PYP, MYP and IB. Within the PYP very are very proud to say that in all core subject areas (English, Maths and Science) our students make ‘higher than’ or ‘much higher than’ expected progress against their CAT4 predictions in relation to their GL Progress Test Results. Subsequently our students within the Primary Phase have considerably exceeded both the UAE and International Standard for GL Progress Tests in both attainment and progress. Within the MYP and IB our students make considerable gains in their studies against their internal and external predictions. At IB Level our students achieve above the world average in all of their subject areas and make better than expected progress against their ALIS predictions.

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

All students in Year 11 are entered for IB MYP external examinations.
All students in Year 13 are entered for IB DP external examinations.

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

Within the Primary Phase ‘Home Learning’ is sent weekly to parents by class teachers via email and the Year Group Newsletter. Our expectation is that a differentiated (according to the ability of the child) piece of homework is completed by students in English and Maths alongside a focused task from their current ‘Unit of Enquiry’. Homework can be completed using many platforms and different types of media and in some cases, homework is set using our Seesaw Online Learning Journal’ where parents can contribute to or make comments on the process. Project based work will also be an ongoing aspect of Home Learning more than likely involving ‘Agency or Action’ in relation to the students contribution to the local and wider community. Alongside the reading of their home reading book, signed by parents and teachers, we expect our primary students to be spending roughly between 30-60mins completing their Home Learning. Within the MYP and IB the 30-60 minute time frame is also a guideline for how much time students should be spending investing in their studies at home per subject level. We value our students well-being and ensure that as a result they are not overloaded by different subjects all at once. Therefore our students across the high school receive a homework timetable and schedule to ensure they manage their workload effectively to maximise learning potential.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

In addition to our focus on “quality first teaching for all”, with the expectation that all students are given appropriately challenging work in every lesson, at EISM we offer a wide range of opportunities for our most able students to explore their areas of special interest. Extension activities and extra-curricular events develop their skills and knowledge in a range of contexts. Programmes that we currently run include:
• Amazing Race - an academic competition run by student leaders
• World Scholars Cup - an external academic competition at local, national and international level. The World Scholars Cup includes writing and debate skills
• University of Wollongong Library Amazing Race
• Model United Nations - student’s experience political debate and speech making with the goal of improving our world society

Student seminars and parental coffee mornings keep all aware of the Gifted and Talented programmes and upcoming events. We make sure that all students know why they have been identified and what they can do to aim high.

Our school Counsellor and Careers Advisor work closely with students throughout the year; great potential can bring stress and we ensure that our high ability students are equipped to deal with examination stress and can manage the process of applying for university. Our close links with many renowned international universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have helped students to secure places in many of the finest universities in the world, including Stanford, Oxford, the London School of Economics, Kings London and many more.

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

All of our IBDP students go to their first choice University. Recent students have gone on to study at Stanford and Oxford University.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

Yes, we have a full learning support team.

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?

Our excellent Inclusion department is well staffed by highly experienced and well qualified specialist staff. Qualifications held include Masters degrees, Special Education professional qualifications, Educational Psychology degrees, and counselling qualifications. Students are assessed on entry to the school, to identify learning needs promptly. We involve parents and students in constructing an Individual Education Plan, which is reviewed termly at a parental meeting.
We focus on "quality first teaching for all", with the needs of all learners met always. Teachers use contextual data such as CATS preferred learning styles, Learner Profiles and Individual Education Plans to plan appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
Students with more profound learning needs benefit from other support programmes, such as in-class support with specialist Inclusion staff and withdrawal lessons. Some students work one-to-one with a personal LSA (Learning Support Assistant) in all of their lessons.

Please provide comprehensive details of how well your school did in 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?

In terms of the IBDP, EIS Meadows is a school on the move. In recent years having introduced subjects like Philosophy and Music, facilitating a range of mother tongue languages and being accepted as one of the schools on the pilot programme for Nature of Science - we are living the IB philosophy. This is demonstrated by the scope and caliber of universities to which our graduates have gained entry.
As one would expect, grades in individual subjects are consistently above the world average and added value is measured when comparing results attained by students to their ALIS predictions. In addition, the average point score consistently exceeds the world average and we are particularly proud of having had two students from the class of 2017 attain perfect scores. The same cohort had our first student secure a place at Oxford.

Not to be out done, the class of 2018 have students attending Stanford University on a full scholarship, Imperial College and Kings College London. We expect that this trend will continue for future years and the school continues to grow and develop as an ever changing and dynamic leader in the field of IB education.

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

EISM Inclusion staff are experienced in supporting students with a range of specific learning needs, including dyslexia and Aspergers’ Syndrome amongst others. Regular staff training focuses on specific strategies that can be used effectively in the classroom to give our students every opportunity to progress and develop as learners.
Our school mission to provide an inclusive learning environment means that we are always committed to the holistic development of students. Educating “the whole child” is a strength of the school and is one that has been identified by successive inspection teams.

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

Our Inclusion staff includes a qualified counsellor and psychologists who work with families of students with moderate learning needs to develop Individual Education Plans. When a student’s difficulties are more profound and require extensive support, we advise parents to obtain a full Educational Psychologist’s assessment and report. We then use the findings to refine the support plan that is in place for the student; measures may extend to requiring the student to be supported in all classes by a full time learning support assistant.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

We have an extensive Parents Representative Group, members of whom represent our 86 nationalities and our multicultural approach to the International Baccalaureate Programme. Parents meet half termly together with the Principal, Head of Primary and Head of High School. This empowers members and all parents to have a voice within the school. Each member of the group is given a responsibility for a key area for school improvement. For example, we have a group of parents who are consulted on Curriculum, Language and Inclusion. This ensures parents are not only party to the continued development of the school but also contribute to and have an opinion on the strategic vision of the school.

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

Our parents, as is the case with all stakeholders, play an integral part in life at Meadows. Parents are invited to key events to support and celebrate students’ achievements academically, in sporting events and the Arts. They take an active role in both our PYP and MYP Exhibitions as well as our Tech Fair and Stem events. We extend a welcome to parents to support the organising, planning and running of key events throughout the year. We are proud of our International Day, National Day and International Iftar events in which parents play a key role. Our parents are invited to attend school excursions where appropriate in the Primary School.

We have an open forum for parents to have an active input and voice in our learning activities via our pro-active PRG. One of the sub-committees represents curriculum and are able to be involved in curriculum development as well as teaching and learning.

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

We have a Governance structure which includes parental representation. This ensures parents have a voice on the Board of Governors and they are able to report back to parents so that the vision and journey of the school is shared and supported by everyone.

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

We are mindful of the needs of all groups of parents, those new to the school and those who have been part of the Meadows family for many years. We offer an array of events, activities and information sessions throughout the academic year.

We have generic sessions like our popular coffee mornings in which we share information about the upcoming term for each year group. These are key sessions to keep parents updated. We offer more bespoke sessions for new parents on our systems like the use of Managebac or our assessment procedures. These are informal sessions in which there is often a dialogue between parents and the School Leadership team.

Throughout the year there are year specific sessions such as our “What is MYP?’ information session for new Year 7 parents as their children transition from Year 6. We also offer Year 9 and 11 option evenings to support parents at key times which are crucial for individual students.

Many of the sessions are repeated to ensure all parents can attend at a time which is suitable for them as well as individual sessions for parents who join mid-year. We offer a very bespoke support programme for parents throughout the year. This means our parents are informed and fully supported throughout their child’s learning journey at Meadows.

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