Emirates National School (ENS) Al Ain is a private K-12 school established in September 2006 and located in Towaya, Al Ain. It is one of five campuses operated by ENS including others in Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed City, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. It follows a US Core Core curriculum in combination with the IB PYP, MPY and Diploma programmes.
The school aims to help students reach their full potential and to become role models in the community. The Al Ain campus currently caters to over 2,000 students, of whom approximately 20% attend the KG section, 50% attend the Primary School, around 20% are in Middle School and 10% in High School. Over 90% of students are Emirati, with a further 2% each made up by Jordanian, Syrian and Omani children.
The KG and Primary School to Grade 4 are co-educational. From Grade 5 onwards, students attend gender-separated Girls and Boys' campuses.
The school currently employs 164 teachers and 51 teaching assistants (TAs) providing a staff:student ratio of 1:16 in KG and 1:12 in other sections. These are relatively low numbers, ensuring that class sizes remain small and that individual student attention is available. A teacher turnover rate of 8% suggests that this a school in which teachers enjoy their work - the UAE average is around 22%.
Emirates National School Al Ain follows a combined US curriculum (accredited by AdvancED) with the more recently introduced the IB (International Baccalaureate) programmes, including the PYP (Primary Years Programme), MYP (Middle Years Programme) and the Diploma. The Al Ain City Campus became the first campus authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organisation to offer the PYP, MYP and DP programmes in the City of Al Ain and was the first ENS campus, in Spring of 2015, to attain IB authorization for the three Pre-K through Grade 12 programmes.
The school is very proud that in its authorization report, the IB Program Authorization teams and ADEC School Inspectors reported high quality teaching and learning within Al Ain Campus. Subjects are taught in both English and Arabic as set by the Ministry of Education guidelines, with compulsory subjects in Social Studies and Islamic Studies for Muslim students. Additionally students can also study French as a secondary language.
The mission of ENS Al Ain, is to promote "a multicultural community that creates internationally-minded leaders, delivers excellent education through modern methods and technology that enables students to contribute to the international society."
The basic path for secondary students is to earn internationally recognized academic credits in grades 11 and 12. Students conclude their studies by earning the American High School Diploma. They also have the option of attaining college credit for Advanced Placement coursework (and potential US College entry) or attaining the more demanding but internationally recognised IB Diploma.
The school aims to develop students’ essential personal characteristics through the integration of the IB ‘Learner Profile’ attributes, attitudes, skills, concepts, and community service. These principles are used at all levels to guide students socially and morally to become future leaders, who are open minded and building upon their national identity. The programme is designed to offer enriched opportunities for creative thinkers through the integration of technology in learning activities and through the careful planning for the development and integration of innovative ideas in the field of Science, Arts, Arabic, Mathematics and English.
In its most recent ADEK inspection in November 2016, the school was rated Good. All six key indicators of performance, including Students’ achievement; Students’ personal and
social development, and their innovation skills; Teaching and Assessment; Curriculum; The protection, care, guidance and support of students; and Leadership and Governance achieved this rating - an achievement that suggests that school is well on the way to achieving a Very Good rating if it continues on the same track. An improvement in attainment notably in Mathematics and Science (rated Acceptable) will need to be a major focus of the school.
What the inspectors say:
Inspectors noted that the school prepares students particularly well for their future education and careers. Information and communication technology (ICT) is embedded in lessons and students regularly use ICT for research and to present their work. Girls in the High school phase are proficient users of spreadsheets. Leadership opportunities are a regular feature of the most effective lessons where students assume responsibilities during group work.
Students’ attainment overall is acceptable and progress is good. Attainment and progress are good in Arabic and Islamic education throughout the school. In English and Mathematics, most children enter with weak literacy and numeracy skills, make good progress throughout the school and reach good attainment levels in English and acceptable levels in Mathematics and Science by the time they leave. In the Primary and Middle schools, in Social Studies, most students attain in line with curriculum standards. In Science, students make good progress in the Secondary school. In 2016, a small cohort of students successfully completed the IB Diploma programme in Mathematics, Science, English, Arabic and Business Studies.
Students generally make good progress in other subjects and most reach at least good levels of attainment in physical education (PE) and art. Fine art skills for the more able students are exceptional. They produce attractive and technically proficient work in water colours, pencil and oils. Students demonstrate acceptable skills in music lessons.
Students have a good understanding and appreciation of Islamic values and UAE culture and heritage. They know how to live healthy lifestyles. Most students have a positive attitude to their studies and are enthusiastic participants in extra-curricular competitions and events. They are proud of their school and their achievements, particularly in sport and the high-quality art they produce. Students act responsibly in class when given leadership opportunities. Older students take increasing personal responsibility for their own learning and are developing as committed, caring young citizens.
Teaching is now good overall. Teachers know students’ strengths and weaknesses and monitor their academic and personal development well. There are still improvements to be made through the sharing of best teaching practice at the school. Internal assessment procedures are effective and comprehensive. However, the school does not currently compare its internal data with external or international bench-marking data in order to obtain an objective understanding of students’ progress. This is a key area of focus for the UAE Education Authorities. The small number of students who require additional support are monitored closely.
The implementation and adaptation of the curriculum are good. The curriculum provision promotes students’ academic and personal development very well. The school’s planning, delivery and resourcing prepare students effectively for further education and their future careers. The IB Diploma Programme provides challenging, interesting and relevant opportunities for high-attaining students to further their studies. The stimulating KG curriculum and engaging teaching ensures that children make rapid progress in their development of basic literacy and numeracy skills.
The school provides a safe, secure and harmonious environment for learning and benefits from high-quality premises and resources. Facilities include a canteen, medical clinic, ICT labs, gymnasium, science laboratories, libraries, playgrounds and theater. The school provides an extensive range of sports and cultural enrichment activities. Sports teams have achieved national success in a range of sports including football, rugby, swimming and handball.
Overall, the school leadership has demonstrated good capacity to lead further improvement. The principal and the large number of staff with management responsibilities work cohesively within the four campuses.
Parents are fully supportive and actively involved in the life of the school and their support for and involvement in the school are comprehensive. Parents are regularly surveyed and their opinions acted upon, for example in making changes to the option choices. Community links promote students’ personal and social development well. The school’s Board of Directors and the parent representative act as critical friends and enablers of the school’s aims.
Overall the ADEK inspection team identified the strengths of ENS Al Ain as the development of students’ learning skills throughout the school; the school’s preparation of students for further education and their future careers; students’ understanding and appreciation of Islamic values and UAE heritage and culture and the support and involvement of parents in the life of the school.
Areas of improvement which the inspectors identified were the need for further improvements in the standards achieved in the core subjects, and the need for greater consistency in the quality of teaching to match the most effective practice.
School fees range between AED 20,200 per year for pre-KG students to AED 53,770 for Grade 12 students.
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