German International School Abu Dhabi is a private K-12 school located in the Zaab district of Abu Dhabi City. Established in 1976 as a school for German expatriates, the school is small, with under 350 students. It is rated A2 (Very Good) by ADEC, the highest grade the education regulator currently awards in the emirate. No school has yet been rated A1 (Excellent).
The A2 rating is actually a step up from the school's first inspection - which was not released to the public. In its first report the school rated A3 (Good). The school expanded in 2010 and 2011 to include Grade 11 and 12 students. It had at the time of its last inspection 85 children in its kindergarten (KG), 113 in the primary section (Grades 1 to 4), 117 in the secondary section (Grades 5 to 10) and 23 in Grades 11 and 12.
Sixty three percent of students are German and twelve per cent Emirati.
Nearly all teachers are highly qualified and all have a secure command of their subject. The school itself operates under the jurisdiction of the German authority for schools outside Germany.
According to ADEC, children in KG make good progress in most basic skills. By the end of KG they are well prepared to learn reading, writing and arithmetic in the primary section of the school. Their attainment and progress in listening and speaking in English are very good. They can follow lessons conducted entirely in English and can express themselves confidently using simple, familiar language. Their information communication technology (ICT) skills are below international standards, however, because of lack of access to computers. Pupils are immersed in the German language. Children in KG develop well socially and become independent and confident learners.
Students continue to make rapid progress in the primary section. By the end of Grade 4, standards in reading and mathematics are good. Writing is less well developed, but generally in line with international standards. Most students’ progress in English is well above international standards. By the end of Grade 6, standards in most subjects are above age‐related expectations in core subjects.
Students continue to make good progress in the secondary section. Standards in most subjects are high with many students exceeding expectations. In English and physics, standards are well above international expectations.
Results for the past two years in the German school leaving examination (Abitur) were high and standards observed in the current Grade 12 class are above international standards in most subjects, but especially English, mathematics, physics and Arabic for Arabs. Parents, and students, value the final German qualification, which provides access to both German and international universities.
Parents are in general very supportive of the school and really appreciate the caring family atmosphere, the very positive teacher student relationships, and the school's high standards.
The school buildings and grounds are very impressive and provide a high quality environment that is conducive to learning. They are very safe, clean, and hygienic. The specialist facilities for science, physical education, art, handicraft, music and the library are of very high quality.
Annual school fees are AED 32,900 in Grades 1 to 4; AED 37,200 in Grades 5 to 10 and AED 41,600 in Grades 11 and 12. These fees cover textbooks, disposable resources and trips. The fees are considered fair by parents and the school offers excellent value for money in view of the high outcomes.
Note: Admission to the primary school is determined by an assessment test of basic skills.
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