United Arab Emirates / Sharjah / Halwan / Far Eastern Private School Halwan

Far Eastern Private School Halwan Review

Far Eastern Private School Halwan is the sister school to the original campus at Al Shahba. Both schools offer the Philippines curriculum but are attended by a wide range of nationalities.
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4.0 out of 5 based on 45 reviews
At a glance
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
AED 5,000
Annual fees
AED 3,700 - 8,000
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
2016
School year
Sep to Jul
Owner
Maria and Ahmed Mohamed Al Ansari
Community

Nearby nurseries

0.8km • EYFS curriculum
1km • EYFS curriculum
1.9km
2km • EYFS curriculum
2.1km
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Far Eastern Private School Halwan
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
AED 5,000
Annual fees
AED 3,700 - 8,000
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
2016
School year
Sep to Jul
Owner
Maria and Ahmed Mohamed Al Ansari
Community
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Updated:
Thursday 16 September, 2021

Far Eastern Private School Halwan is the sister school to the original campus at Al Shahba. Both schools offer the Philippines curriculum but are attended by a wide range of nationalities.

The story so far...

Established in 2016, the Far Eastern Private School Halwan (FEPS Halwan) is the second of two schools established by Madame Maria Teresa Sales Al Ansari and Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Al Ansari. The original school in the Al Shahba area was established in 2001 and is just over double the size of the newer Halwan branch. The growing demand and increasing number of Filipinos and other nationalities in the UAE encouraged the owners to embark on expansion to the second location.

Both schools share the same Mission and Vision:

MISSION: 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.

VISION: FEPS envisions of becoming a globally competitive center of academic excellence and human development by providing holistic quality education in the UAE.

FEPS Halwan is offers mixed gender classes from KG to Grade 4 - in line with Sharjah government requirements - and is single gender from Grades 5 to 12.  The school has just under 600 students from a diverse range of 14 nationalities. Although almost 95% of students are Filipino, students from as far afield as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mali and the USA also number among the 13 other nationalities.

Students are organised into classes with a maximum of 30 students and between one and two classes per grade.  The teacher:student ratio is 1 teacher: 25 students in KG, and 1 teacher to 30 students in Grades 1 to 12. There is a surprising balance of boys and girls between the grades, with KG students at 29:21, Elementary 125:116, Junior High 39:94 and High School 42:118.  Girls, therefore, make a significantly higher proportion of students that boys.

The school employs 28 teachers and four teaching assistants. Staff are employed predominantly from the Philippines for subjects other than Arabic and Islamic Studies where teachers are UAE nationals. All teachers hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with active an Teaching License from the home country and the UAE, and with a minimum of two-year teaching experience. Teachers are issued with teaching approval from the Sharjah Private Education Authority. 

Importantly, teachers appear to be satisfied with their employment at FEPS Halwan, with turnover limited to 5-10% per year - a key factor in ensuring a stable environment, and well below the UAE average of 20-22% in international schools.  This may in part be due to the school's commitment to professional training and development on an on-going basis.

What about the curriculum?

Far Eastern Private School implements the K to 12 Philippine curriculum which covers Kindergarten and 12 years of Basic Education, including six years of Elementary Education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School) designed to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts, develop lifelong skills, and prepare graduates for tertiary education. 

The school says that it aims to help the student to become "an intellectually mature and spiritually oriented person of character. It also aims to mold the student with clear and firm principles, and to be courageous and resolute in action. Thus, the student grows as an individual with confidence in self, others, and in the world around".

Core subjects taught and required of students at each stage of schooling start in the KG section with Health, Well-Being, and Motor Development, Socio-emotional Development, Language, Literacy, and Communication, Mathematics and Understanding the Physical and Natural Environment.

Arabic Classes commence in Grade 1 and are mandatory until the end of Grade 9. In addition, Filipino is offered to all students regardless of nationality, as required by the curriculum.

From Grades 1-4, students focus on classes in Filipino (Tagalog), English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Values Education/Islamic Studies, MAPEH (Music, Art, Physical Education, and Health), Arabic Language, Moral Education and Computer Studies.

In Grades 5-6, in addition to the subjects in earlier grades, HELE (Home Economics and Livelihood Education) is added to the curriculum and from Grades 7 to 10, this is replaced by TLE (Technology and Livelihood Education). 

Once students enter Grades 11-12: three academic strands, together with a General Academic Strand, are offered:

  • ABM- Accounting, Business and Management
  • STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • HUMSS- Humanities and Social Sciences

Whilst there is a clear focus on the academic, the school also offers a limited range of extra-curricular activities including Academics and Non-Academics Clubs, School Publication, Supreme Student Government, Community Service, Athletics and Interschool and Intra-school Competitions.  Internal activities are offered free of charge, whilst external activities attract only minimal fees. 

The school also offers international school trips for Junior and Senior High School students to both Asian and European countries.  Costs range from AED 6,000-AED 8,000 dependent on the destination.

What about support for Students of Determination and those with Gifts and Talents?

Far Eastern Private School Halwan has been consistently supporting inclusion. The school says that it handle students with different abilities uniquely. Following an initial period of observation, interviews and assessment from external approved agencies, the school counselor provides an Individualized Education Program that is disseminated and discussed to the parents, therapists and teachers.

The school believes that early intervention and involvement of parents and families are the key to implementing successful teaching strategies for pupils with special education needs. Support is based around inclusive teaching adapted by teachers, and supervised by the SEN Coordinator, who supply and conduct differentiated activities and teaching strategies.

Currently the FEPS Halwan has 12 students who have been identified with a range of additional learning needs including intellectual developmental delay, speech delay, mild ASD, ADHD, Neuro Developmental Disorders and Sensory Modulation Disorder. 

The school provide options to parents in terms of whether the school will provide a Learning Support Assistant where required or whether parents themselves arrange this support. All advisers are involved in the SEND programmes with the assistance of the guidance counselor and SEND Coordinator. The students also have their personal therapists (independent from school) who coordinate with to the SEND Coordinator and teachers.

Specialist facilities include a designated SEND room, play area and the guidance office.

What about Academic Achievement?

FEPS Halwan uses a range of external tests and assessments to measure and monitor students attainment.  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).

FEPS Halwan students also participate in the international TIMMS and PISA tests which are taken by students in Grades 4 and 8 every three years.

Unusually, in our experience, for schools in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, both FEPS schools have been open and willing to share their results - something that we at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com strongly encourage.

For TIMMS 2019-Grade 4:

  • In mathematics, the school’s overall score was 497, compared with a UAE average of 481,  which placed the school within the Intermediate international benchmark;
  • In science, the school’s overall score was 509, well above the UAE average of 473, which placed the school within the Intermediate international benchmark.

For TIMMS 2019-GRADE 8:

  • In mathematics, the school’s overall score was 489, compared with the UAE average of  473, which placed the school within the intermediate international benchmark.
  • In science, the school’s overall score was 505, well above the UAE average of 473, which placed the school within the Intermediate international benchmark.

An impressive 95 - 98% of Senior students go on to university from FEPS Halwan. 40% of students continue on to university within the United Arab Emirates, whilst over 50% go back to the Philippines to further their studies.  Popular university choices include 
Saint Paul School of Professional Studies, Philippines, American University of Sharjah, UAE, Holy Angel University, Philippines, Bath Spa University, UAE, Bolton University, UAE, Middlesex University Dubai, UAE, Gulf Medical University Ajman, UAE, De La Salle University, Philippines, Far Eastern University, Philippines, University of the People, Adventist University of the Philippines and Mapua University, Philippines.

The school supports Senior High School students in choosing the best career options in line with their skills and capabilities.  FEPS Halwan organises a “Career Week” which involves career orientation from the Guidance Office and from some invited UAE-based and Philippine colleges and universities. This enables students to connect to information on various colleges, major and careers, or to recommend colleges to match their academic profiles and career goals.

The school is enables students to attend seminar workshops and work immersions for them to have a glimpse of the real-life working environment. Students are given the opportunity to get out of the classroom to gain genuine business and industry insights for them to develop their awareness of workplace culture, to enhance critical workplace skills, such as positive leadership and communication skills.

The school also ensure that pertinent documents are being furnished, such as a recommendation letter and relevant academic records, and students are assisted in the processing of their college or college scholarship applications.

What about the facilities?

FEPS Halwan is accommodated in a modern building which has 26 classrooms, of which 10 have integrated Interactive Whiteboards.  Specialist classrooms include two Computer Laboratories, one Chemistry Laboratory, one Physics Laboratory and one Biology Laboratory.  Additionally, the school offers a Library, Conference Room, Guidance Room and Multipurpose Hall.

Sports facilities School include a School Gym for Indoor Sports and Football Field. Separate indoor and outdoor play areas are provided for KG and SEN students. 

What the inspectors say

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, however, 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 Halwan's implementation of distance learning was rated as Partially Developed the second of three possible ratings. You can read the report here.

What about the Fees?

FEPS Halwan fees fall into the highly affordable category. Fees for KG1 and KG2 are AED 3,700 AED, rising to AED 4,000 for 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. 

 

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

Far Eastern Private School Halwan 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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