Far Eastern Private School, established in 2001, is located in Al Shahba, Sharjah. Its curriculum is Philippines based, and is targeted principally at the Filipino community. The school currently offers education to over 1,300 students.
Established in 2001, Far Eastern Private School's (FEPS) main campus at Al Shahba is home to over 1,300 mainly Filipino students, although in total students from some 22 other countries attend the school. Countries as diverse as Afghanistan to the USA are represented with students from all five continents creating a real global mix. A second campus was established at Halwan in 2016.
The school's Mission statement notes: As a haven of academic excellence in the UAE, FEPS commits in developing God- fearing, academically equipped, and socially upright individuals regardless of race, creed, culture, gender and ethnicity.
The school's Vision Statement notes: FEPS envisions of becoming a globally competitive center of academic excellence and human development by providing holistic quality education in the UAE.
The school was established by Mme. Maria Teresa Sales Al Ansari and Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Al Ansari and is now led by Principal Pevwarti L. Sursigis. Far Eastern Private School is licensed by Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA), The Ministry of Education in Sharjah, and is recognized by the Department of Education in Manila, Philippines.
FEPS offers a full education from KG to Grade 12 in a mixed gender environment from KG1 to Grade 4, prior to offering single gender classes from Grades 5 to 12. There are between three and five classes per grade, with a maximum class size of 30 students in all grades. The teacher:student ratio in the KG and Senior grades (11-12) is 1:25, whilst it is 1:30 from Grades 1 to 10.
In common with many schools in the UAE, the number of students decreases slightly towards the top of end of the school. Currently, FEPS has some 135 students in KG1 and KG2, 477 in Grades 1 to 4, 379 students attend Grades 5 to 8 and there are 141 students in Grades 9 and 10, with a further 85 students completing their education in Grades 11 and 12.
Students are taught by 47 teachers who are supported by 10 Teaching Assistants who are assigned in supervising small groups or whole classes in activities related to arts, reading related activities, small group activities inside or outside and preparing supporting documents with regards to curriculum including literacy, numeracy and phonetics.
Teaching staff are clearly satisfied with their employment at FEPS - an important factor in ensuring stability in curriculum delivery - with staff turnover limited to between 6 and 8% annually. This compares with a UAE average of 20-22% among international schools. Teachers are recruited from the UAE and Philippines.
All teachers have Bachelor’s Degree in Education with active an Teacher’s License and with a minimum of two years' teaching experience. FEPS adopts a blend of horizontal and vertical hierarchical approach to organisation and management of its staff. According to the school, this blend helps to reduce the communication barriers between subordinates and more senior roles, whilst maintaining a firm hierarchical structure. A percentage of the school budget for career growth and professional development of teachers is allotted annually.
FEPS aims to support students of all abilities who are able to access the curriculum. This is done through the application of differentiation in the classroom through the use of different methods/approaches in teaching and learning such as: Flexible-pace learning, collaborative learning, digital resources, progressive tasks, verbal support, and ongoing assessments.
FEPS offers the Philippine Curriculum with STEM, ABM and General streams in Grades 11 and 12. Students are taught English, Tagalog (Filipino) and Arabic Language between Grades to 10. Grade 11-12 students have Tagalog (Filipino).
For students in the KG section, core subjects focus on Health, Well-Being, and Motor Development, Socio-emotional Development, Language, Literacy, and Communication, Mathematics and Understanding the Physical and Natural Environment.
As students move into the Elementary section of the school from Grades 1 to 4 the curriculum is broadened to include Filipino, English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Values Education/Islamic Studies, MAPEH (Music, Art, Physical Education, and Health), Arabic Language, Moral Education and Computer Studies. Grades 5 and 6 additionally study HELE (Home Economics and Livelihood Education). From Grades 7 to 10, HELE is replaced by TLE (Technology and Livelihood Education).
In Grades 11 and 12, the curriculum broadens further to include a wide range of options including the STEM strand (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and the ABM strand (Accounting, Business & Management). The curriculum includes a broad range of subjects - some less seldom seen within schools in the UAE.
These include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Basic Calculus, Mathematics, Fundamentals of Accounting & Business Management, Organization and Management, Business Finance, Applied Economics, Business Enterprise/Simulation, Business Marketing, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility Practical Research, Entrepreneurship, a Research Capstone Project, Statistics & Probability, Empowerment Technologies, and Disaster, Readiness & Risk Reduction.
A more liberal arts focus is provided by subjects including Introduction to Philosophy and Human Development, Media & Information Literacy, Understanding Culture, Society & Politics, Filipino Culture, and Oral Communication. Physical Education is also included as one of the more traditional subjects.
The focus is not, however, solely on the academic. FEPS also offers a range of extra-curricular activities including School Publication, Supreme Student Government, Community Service, Athletics, Music and Arts, and Interschool and Intra-school competitions. Internally-led activities are free of charge with minimal fees for externally supported activities.
The school also offers external school trips for Junior High students in grades 7 to 10 to both Asian and European countries. Fees for these trips range from AED 6,000 to AED 8,000 per student dependent on destination.
FEPS uses a range of assessment tools to track and address student progress. These include Assessment of Scholastic Skills through Educational Testing (ASSET) / Cognitive Assessment Test 4 (CAT 4) / International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) and International Benchmark Test (IBT).
Students also participate in TIMMS and PISA tests and publish the results.
TIMMS results for Grade 4 students in 2019 were:
TIMMS results for Grade 8 in 2019 were:
No doubt FEPS will continue to focus on raising overall attainment against the global and UAE benchmarks.
99% of students from 2019-20 left FEPS to pursue their tertiary education, a similar percentage to previous years. The vast majority of students (97%) go on to university in the Philippines and attend universities such as Southville International School & Colleges Manila, Far Eastern University Manila, Mapúa University Manila, University of Santo-Tomas Philippines, and University of The East, Philippines.
Students are supported in terms of their future educational and career aspirations through a preparation process for Senior High School students. The school conducts yearly career week activities to the graduating students. Activities such as career orientations, talk on college survival tips, focus group discussions on the aspects to consider in choosing a career, mock tests for entrance exams and open forums are organised by the school counsellor and the school principal.
Additionally, career orientations are arranged by inviting local colleges and universities abroad to conduct a talk or virtual tour for graduating students. Application forms (recommendation forms) are submitted to the guidance office and are duly filled-out by the students with the guidance of the school counselor. A career interest inventory survey is administered, and the results are interpreted by the school counselor through individual or group career counseling sessions.
The school has 50 classrooms of which 18 are equipped with interactive whiteboards. Specialist facilities include four Computer Labs, four Science Laboratory/Preparatory Rooms, four MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health rooms, a Library and Clinic with isolation room. The air-conditioned auditorium/function hall with state-of-the-art audio and video is a feature of the school.
Sports facilities include an outdoor Football Field, and Indoor Full-Court Gym (for Basketball, Handball, Badminton, other sports activities).
Unlike schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Sharjah schools have not participated in regulatory inspections on a regular basis. With the initiation of SPEA (Sharjah Private Education Authority), the intention is that schools will be inspected using the common framework already in place in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
However, SPEA has decided to seek a collaborative approach with the schools for this process, and although we understand that initial inspections did take place prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, results of these inspections have not been published.
As a result of the pandemic, Sharjah schools have participated in Distance Learning Evaluations (DLE), implemented by the Ministry of Education throughout the UAE (these results have been published). In its most recent Distance Learning Review Report (2020), FEPS' implementation of distance learning was rated as Developed. (SPEA’s website notes “Partially Developed” but the actual report indicates a “Developed” rating). You can read the report here.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has received a very limited number of responses to our School Survey. Those parents who have responded appear to be largely satisfied with the school. Students appear to enjoy going to the school and have a strong sense of belonging. Parents are broadly happy with the level of fees that they pay, with two-thirds agreeing that they represent value for money and advising that they are satisfied with the academic performance of the school.
Whilst all the parents who had responded to the survey said that they were satisfied with the school's disciplinary policy, a worrying two-thirds also said that they were concerned about bullying. However, despite this concern, all also said that they would recommend Far Eastern Private School to other parents.
If you are a parent, teacher or student at Far Eastern Private School and would like to share your experience with other potential members of your community, please do so by completing our Survey.
Fees at FEPS are highly affordable, ranging from AED 3,700 in KG 1/KG 2, rising to AED 4,000 from Grades 1 to 4, AED 4,500 for Grades 5 and 6, AED 5,000 for Grades 7 and 8, AED 6,000 for Grades 9 and 10, AED 7,000 for Grade 11 and AED 8,000 for Grade 12.
Far Eastern Private School Al Shahba is a Best of school, a ranking determined by parent surveys on the site. It can be found in the following Best of rankings:
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