Jumeriah Primary School is a co-educational, private primary school (ages 3 to 11, FS1 to Year 6) which is located in Al Safa, Dubai. The School was first established in 1996 and is part of the GEMS Education group. For 2017-18 the school has been ranked Outstanding by Dubai's Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) for the eighth year running. JPS is also accredited by British Schools Overseas (BSO) and is a BSME and COBIS member.
GEMS Jumeirah Primary School has been rated Outstanding for the ninth year running in the 2018-19 KHDA inspection process. An abbreviated version of the inspection report can be found under the Inspection tab. An update of this review will be completed once the full report has been issued.
The story so far...
Jumeriah Primary School offers education to just over 1,450 students - sizable for a primary, which can be off-putting for some parents used to smaller schools. However, the school building (over two floors) and the organisation of the classes and year groups within it, mean that there is little sense of its size. The school itself is described as "warm and caring" and "very inclusive" by parents of students who attend. The school itself says it has a 'small school atmosphere'.
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Almost 1 in 3 students are British, although this is no Little England - JPS represents pure multi-cultural Dubai with some 70 countries represented in total.
Students are supported by 99 (predominantly-British) full time teachers and almost as many (91) teaching assistants. Staff appear to be happy with their employment; at 10% teacher turnover is well below the Dubai average of 20-22%. Average class sizes are in the range of 22 (Foundation Stage) to 27 (years 1-6, and at a maximum approved level); one of the few concerns raised by parents in the KHDA pre-inspection survey. However, the teacher:student ratio at 1:15 has changed little in recent years and should ensure adequate individual attention for each child. This is especially important in a school as inclusive as JPS - approximately 110 students are currently identified as Students of Determination with SEND requirements. JPS has always been a Pioneer in this field, launching the first Achievement Centre within the GEMS group.
GEMS Jumeirah Primary School follows the National Curriculum for England from Foundation Stage 1 to Year 6. Increasingly close links are being formed with its sister school, GEMS Jumeirah College, located close-by. The College offers resources such as Science Technicians to the Primary School, whilst JC students benefit from mentoring opportunities at JPS. The majority of students go on from JPS to JC for Secondary education. The Principal at Jumeirah College maintains that the best way to ensure that a child is accepted at his school, is to send him or her to JPS.
Facilities at JPS are very impressive, including a well-stocked library, a prayer room, a multi-purpose Main Hall, a large, temperature-controlled Sports Hall, a fully shaded 25-metre swimming pool and infant learning pool, an all-weather synthetic turf pitch, a Mac Suite, a science lab, two gardens and four age-appropriate playgrounds.
We love the extensive and varied extra-curricular activities on offer, such as French club, Volunteering in the Community, Jewellery Making, French Boules, Mindfulness & Yoga, Fun Fitness, Recorder, Drama & Debate, Swim Squad, Athletics, Soft-tipped Darts, Table Tennis, Embroidery, Sketching, Rugby, Basketball, Archery, Irish Dance, Choir, Ukulele, Netball, Football, Cricket, Creative Craft, Philosophy, Fashion Design, Chess and Game Design.
What the inspectors say
The school's 2017-18 KHDA report serves only to reconfirm that high standards of JPS in the view of the Inspection team. Their comments in relation to the Leadership and Management of the school serve only to underpin its Outstanding rating. "The inspirational and inclusive principal engages the whole school community in promoting the school’s vision of all students achieving outstanding learning and personal development. Senior and middle leaders and governors play a key role in ensuring rigorous self-evaluation processes. Accountability underpins the excellent provision that supports students’ successes. Parents are active partners in their children’s education; they value the high quality communications they share with the school."
Inspectors noted that the strengths of the school are:
Indeed, with almost every key indicator found once again to be Outstanding across the key criteria measured by the inspection team, it might seem that there is not much more for JPS to do to improve. Like most international schools, its Achilles Heel remains the progress and attainment of students in Arabic as a first language, second language and Islamic Studies. Progress in Islamic Studies and Arabic as a Second language is rated Good, whilst the other measures are Acceptable.
Teaching and assessment is a clear strength of the staff, with the inspectors noting that "The quality of teaching is outstanding overall. Teachers know their subject matter, and almost all expertly manage to create an imaginative learning environment of excitement and interest. Interactions with the students are exemplary. High quality planning takes account of the extensive assessment data available to ensure tasks and activities meet the needs of all students and promote critical thinking and problem solving skills."
Students' attainment across the school is also rated Outstanding. "Throughout the school, students demonstrate outstanding attainment and progress in English, mathematics and science. Students are highly motivated and engaged in their own learning." This is reflected in their achievement in international benchmark tests. The most recent TIMSS (The Trends in International Mathematics and Science ) data showed that JPS students in Year 5 attained a high international benchmark. The JPS score was 583 which is higher than the international benchmark of 550. This is significantly higher than the TIMMS centre point- even after the emirate's much improved December 2016 results.
Inspectors also heap praise on the design and adaptation of the curriculum which "is outstanding and teachers rigorously aim to develop adaptations to meet the needs of all groups of students. Continuous review and updating is demonstrated across the curriculum. Personalisation and students’ choice in learning are focal points at this highly inclusive school. This leads to creative, physical and practical activities being at the fore of the students’ experiences. The underpinning inquiry-based learning promotes continuity and progression in students’ learning."
JPS is also one of the few schools to achieve an Outstanding rating for its SEND provision and outcomes. Inspectors commented that "Governance and leadership of provision for students with SEND is outstanding, confirmed with the appointment of a governor for inclusive education, an inclusion champion and the development of the Inclusive Education Plan. Identification and intervention is very thoroughly carried out for students with SEND and also for students who may be 'at risk'. Early Intervention is a key characteristic of the identification and intervention processes."
Overall, although the report includes recommendations for development across all key criteria, the recommendations for improvement are limited to Arabic and Islamic Studies. JPS should:
"Accelerate attainment and progress in Islamic education and Arabic language by:
Fees for the school are mid-range for a premium, high achieving school, starting at AED 40,036 per annum for Foundation Stage 1, rising quickly to AED 50,466 from FS2 through to Year 6. While no one likes fees, it is rare to find a parent that feels JPS does not offer a quality service in return. Parents in general rate highly the education the school offers their child, although satisfaction with academic attainment is slightly lower than average. It is a school an overwhelming majority of parents would recommended to others in the WSA School Survey.
As mentioned earlier. a final very strong feature of JPS is that it has priority placement at the very popular and sought after Jumeirah College. Applications to JC are required and an entrance examination taken, however "the majority of the children from GEMS Jumeirah Primary School do accept places at GEMS Jumeirah College".
Note: JPS is, like many tier one primaries, currently over subscribed.
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