Emirates National Schools Ras Al Khaimah was the fifth school to open under the Abu Dhabi-based ENS Group of schools.
ENS was established by Presidential Decree and is owned by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs. The Board of Trustees is made up of a number of prominent Emiratis including H.E Ahmed Mohamed Al Hemeiri, who is Chairman. The first school opened in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi in 2002.
In common with the other schools in the group (Al Ain, Abu Dhabi - Al Manaseer (Primary) and Al Nayhan (Secondary), Mohammed bin Zayed City, and Sharjah), the school follows a US common core curriculum combined with the International Baccalaureate framework. A new branch of the school will open in Dubai in September 2021.
The Vision of the schools is defined as:
"Preparing future leaders through innovation in education and treasuring of cultural heritage".
The Mission of the schools states that:
"Emirates National Schools aims to provide students with educational programmes that develop character, use technology to improve learning, and prepare students to be leaders and community members".
Whilst set up essentially to educate and develop Emirati students, the schools do accept children of other nationalities, including non-Arabic speakers.
ENS Ras Al Khaimah Campus was established in 2015. The school welcomes students from Kindergarten through grade 12 (in both boys and girls sections). Students from KG to Grade 4 study in mixed-gender classes.
The US Common Core standards-based curriculum is offered in both Arabic and English languages with Arabic, Islamic and Social Studies following the Ministry of Education curriculum. ENS RAK follows a dynamic inquiry-based learning approach which is based upon the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP) framework.
The IB curriculum is cross-curricular and topic based, rather than subject based, and students are required to develop their own independent study skills with the aim of developing into life-long learners. ENS RAK aims to provide a stimulating, inquiry based learning environment, both inside and outside of the classroom, that empowers students to be critically thinking global citizens. Students are encouraged to be caring and open-minded to others, while maintaining and respecting their national identity.
The other schools in the ENS Group in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi are IB World Schools and offer the IB curriculum up to Grade 10 based on the content of the US common core. In grades 11 and 12, students may choose between the IB Diploma programme for the more academically able, AP courses for those seeking to continue in college in the US or elsewhere, or a US High School Diploma issued by the school. It is not clear currently whether ENS RAK will follow the same path, or continue with purely the US qualifications.
All four schools in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi have been inspected by the regulator, ADEK, and have been rated Good or Very Good. The Sharjah school achieved a Developed rating for the Distance Learning Evaluation which took place in mid-2020 following the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The Sharjah school organises multicultural activities that promote International Mindedness and the UAE cultural identity, in addition to providing the students with multi-sensory experiences to expand literacy, numeracy, vocabulary and concepts throughout the foundation stage of child development. In addition to Maths, English and Science taught according to the US standards, classes are offered to students in Arts, Music/Drama, Instructional Technology, Physical education and swimming by qualified specialised teachers.
The facilities of the school are impressive and include substantial outdoor space, indoor swimming pools and gymnasia, large, bright classrooms with interactive white boards, libraries, IT suites and a large cafeteria among others.
Unfortunately, with no inspection reports issued by the RAK Education Authority (under its link to the UAE Ministry of Education) there is little objective information about ENS RAK. However, based on feedback from the Abu Dhabi schools in particular, we would expect high academic standards and strong parental involvement.
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Although the ENS schools are most definitely focused on attracting Emirati students, there is clearly an intention to encourage students of other nationalities to join them. The innovative and high quality curriculum, strong investment in staff and facilities and high regard in which the schools in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah appear to be held by the regulators, suggest that the standards in RAK will be similar. Definitely a school to consider - especially given the regard in which the IB programmes are held internationally and the modest fees that the RAK branch asks for.
Fees range from AED 15,100 for KG 1 and 2, AED 21,300 for Grades 1-4 and AED 31,200 for Middle and High School.
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