United Arab Emirates / Abu Dhabi / Baniyas East / Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi

Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi Review

Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi, a K-12 school when fully operational, is part of the Global Indian International School (GIIS) group of schools. In the latest and second ADEK inspection, the school overall improved its rating to Good.
Parents' Rating
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3.7 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
At a glance
School phase
All through
Availability 2020/21
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Availability 2021/22
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Annual fee average
AED 11,500
Annual fees
AED 10,600 - 12,550
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
2015
School year
Apr to Mar
Principal
Dr Heena Rachh
Owner
Global Schools Foundation
Community
Main teacher nationality
Indian
Main student nationality
Indian

Nearby nurseries

2.2km • Montessori curriculum
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Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi
School phase
All through
Availability 2020/21
radio_button_unchecked No data
Availability 2021/22
radio_button_unchecked No data
Annual fee average
AED 11,500
Annual fees
AED 10,600 - 12,550
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
2015
School year
Apr to Mar
Principal
Dr Heena Rachh
Owner
Global Schools Foundation
Community
Main teacher nationality
Indian
Main student nationality
Indian
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Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi, a K-12 school when fully operational, is part of the Global Indian International School (GIIS) group of schools. In the latest and second ADEK inspection, the school overall improved its rating to Good.

The Story so Far

Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi is the first of two schools in the UAE (the other in Dubai), which are operated by a group initially from Singapore but now with a widespread presence in India. 

Originally due to open in April 2015 for KG to Grade 8, permission from ADEK took until September of the same year to be given. At that point the school opened for KG1 and KG2, with Grades 1 to 8 not coming on board until April 2016.

At the time of its second ADEK inspection in 2018-19, the school had attracted some 1,700 students and was open to Grade 12. Students were predominantly Indian nationals (88%), with Pakistani (6%) and Afghani (3%) making up the next largest nationality groups.  However, the ADEK inspection report notes that "the student population has increased by 27% since the last inspection and continues to be transient. Only 12% of the current student population have been in the school since it opened."  The inspection team is not able to offer a reason for this level of turnover of students, although the economic situation in Abu Dhabi in the past two years may have played a part.

As with most new schools, the majority of students are in the KG (44%) and Primary (46%) sections, with Secondary and High School (Grade 11) representing the remaining 10%.  Students are supported by some 100 teachers and 27 teaching assistants providing a teacher to student ratio of 1:12 - relatively low for an Indian school where 1:15 or higher is not unusual.  A  high staff turnover rate, however, is not a good sign - at 37%, this means that almost one in four teachers moved on from the school - not necessarily providing a stable environment that most schools aim to achieve - although the growth in student numbers may also have attributed to this figure.

What about the curriculum?

GIIS Abu Dhabi follows a Montessori Plus curriculum at KG, and then the most widespread Indian curriculum in the UAE, the CBSE. Both of these sit within the school group's own education methodology, something it calls "9  Gems" - a learning program that "meets the changing needs of a growing child and his/her evolving personality".

Specifically these nine "gems" are:  Academic Excellence, Collaborative & Project-Based Learning; Sports, Health & Fitness Excellence; Digital and Visual Arts; Personality Development, Speech & Drama; Creativity, Innovation and Problem solving; Entrepreneurship & Leadership Development; Universal Values, Ethics & Discipline; Community Connection, Care and Conserve and Life Skills, Career and Vocational Competencies.

In the initial years of growth, the focus is on developing universal values, ethics, discipline, creativity and personality development. During secondary and high school years, the focus shifts to academic achievement, leadership & entrepreneurial skills and key competencies for vocational and career advancement.



Originally meant to open in April 2015 for KG to Grade 8, permission by ADEK took until September of the same year to be given. At that point the school opened for KG1 and KG2, with Grades 1 to 8 not coming on board until April 2016.

What about Student Life? 

According to the school's web site it provides a wide range of extra curricular activities, "which are imparted through professional instructors". The school also offers "co-curricular" activities allow students to "pursue diverse interests and develop their innate and latent talents through host of fine and performing arts. Qualified instructors and artists impart a wide range of CCAs."

Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi says it uses field trips to help students "improve on their organisational ability, observation, learn to be independent, interaction skills with peers and seniors, and imbibe invaluable insights into life around them."

It has also set up four houses - Chrysanthemum, Hibiscus, Orchid, and Sunflower - among which all students are distributed.

"The houses develop a sense of responsibility and a spirit of healthy competition. The school organises various inter-house competitions, which are held for junior and senior students. Children are encouraged to exhibit their talent in music, dance, cultural activities, and sports."

What about the Facilities? 



The campus, spread over 19,000 square meters, includes a synthetic track for athletics, table tennis, a tennis court, a soccer ground, a badminton court, a cricket ground, swimming pool, yoga centre, Wi-Fi enabled classrooms, e-learning technology through video-conferencing, LCD video projection in all classrooms, an audio-video presentation room, a multi-purpose auditorium with a capacity of 600 seats, an exclusive play area for Kindergarten with age-appropriate equipment, a Digital Library, Music studio, Drama theatre, an Art Studio for visual and digital arts a Dance studio and a Cafeteria for students.

What the Inspectors say

In its first inspection in 2016-17, GIIS Abu Dhabi was rated Acceptable by the ADEK inspection team.   The school did well to raise its rating from Acceptable to Good on its second inspection in 2018-19, particularly given the high turnover of both staff and students.

Summarising their overall findings, the inspection team notes that "the overall performance of the school is now good because achievement of the majority of students in most key subjects is above curriculum standards. The broad curriculum and good quality of teaching overall have been improved by effective leadership, self-evaluation and improvement planning. Although students often arrive with low levels of attainment, they make good progress. Students benefit from a very caring and supportive learning environment but do not always experience sufficient challenge in their learning."

In terms of the six key performance measures, GIIS Abu Dhabi saw improvements in all six, with Students' Achievement, Teaching and Assessment, the Curriculum, and Leadership and Management improving from Acceptable to Good.  Students' Personal and Social Development and their Innovation Skills, together with Leadership and Management, improved from Good to Very Good.

The strengths of the school were defined as:

  • Students' improved achievement in most subjects.
  • Students’ personal development, their positive attitudes to learning, and their interactions with others.
  • Understanding of Islamic values and awareness of Emirati and world cultures.
  • The breadth and range of learning opportunities.
  • The protection, health and safety, and welfare of students.
  • The vision of school leaders.

In terms of key recommendations for improvement, GIIS Abu Dhabi should:

  • Raise achievement in all subjects and especially in Arabic, by:
    - employing innovative approaches to remove barriers that hinder raising achievement in Arabic, for example in the use of resources to improve differentiation;
    - improving students’ conversational Arabic, reading and writing skills
    - improving continuity and progression in learning, particularly in Arabic, through careful review;
    - raising expectations and challenge for all groups, but particularly more able and G&T students, by challenging them to think, explain, estimate, imagine and express a point of view;
    - increasing opportunities for students to innovate, create, and use technology in lessons through practical activities.
  • Ensure consistently high quality in teaching across subjects and phases, and especially in Arabic by:
    - ensuring questioning and differentiation, including that to extend the more able, is effective, especially in middle phase;
    - continuing to share good practice, particularly between language departments, to improve teachers’ skills in Arabic;
    - further use of the monitoring of teaching to embed best practice across the school, including ensuring high quality targeted support to help individual teachers to develop effective teaching strategies;
    - training teachers to use learning technology and other resources to further challenge students and deepen their understanding in all core subjects.
  • Improve the use of assessment by:
    - planning work in lessons that matches more closely the needs of more able and G&T [gifted and talented] students;
    - ensuring feedback and marking is effective so students know what they have done well and how they can improve;
    - regularly involving students in self-assessment and peer assessment
    - developing the use of benchmarking internal assessments to international standards.

As is almost invariably the case, unless the standard of teaching and assessment, and the delivery of the curriculum are at their best, students' achievement invariably cannot reach the highest levels.

If you would like to read the full inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to see the reasons behind the ratings - you will find it here.

It is very clear that the school is on the right track in terms of the road to improvement.  It will be interesting to see if the school can maintain this development as the school continues to grow further - this will inevitably present a challenge.

But if GIIS Abu Dhabi can continue to be successful, this will be a benchmark school - very much a gem - in the emirates, where a large segment of the population is currently under served when it comes to schools. We watch with considerable interest. We doubt we are alone in doing so.

The Buzz

A limited amount of parental feedback has been received by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com to our survey.  However, those parents who have responded are clearly happy with the choice they have made.  Children are happy to go to school (either tremendously or quite a bit), parents are happy with communication and academic achievement (80% entirely, and 20% for the most part), and the same percentage would not only recommend the school to other parents, but agree that the school's fees represent value for money.

If you are a parent, student or teacher at GIIS Abu Dhabi, please share your experience with other potential members of your community by completing our survey here.

What about Fees? 

Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi has a capacity for 1,700 students once fully open (from KG to Grade 12) and given the tuition fees is likely to hit that number fairly quickly. These currently range from AED 10,600 at KG, and will hit AED 12,550 at Grade 12. This makes it the most affordable new school to have opened in the UAE in recent years.

In spite of these value fees, the school seems to have good facilities for its students.

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi 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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