Good Will Children Private School, since 2010 based in purpose built accommodation, was originally founded as a Primary school, but has since expanded the provision for its 551pupils from KG and Grade 8 (4 to 14 years of age) located in Mussafah Sha’bai, Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi.
The Story so far...
Founded in 1992 as a Primary School, Good Will Children Private School has expanded its provision to children to Grade 7 in 2017-18 and is approved to offer Grade 9. The vast majority of students are in the Primary School with a small number (a little over 20) making the transition to the new Middle School section. The school's students are mainly Pakistani (51%) followed by Jordanian (8%) and Syrian (6%), although the school supports a total of 19 nationalities including a small number (3%) of Emirati children.
Students are supported by 42 teachers and 21 teaching assistants, offering a very good teacher to student ratio of 1:11 in KG/FS and 1:10 through the remainder of the grades. Unfortunately, staff turnover at 22.5% is on the high side and at odds with the school's statements on the importance of their teachers "Qualified and trained teachers are fundamental to the success of an educational structure. At Good Will School, we value our teachers and recognise the importance of empowering them with new learning and teaching strategies because a well-informed, motivated and trained teacher makes all the difference in a classroom". Despite the staff turnover, it seems that those who remain are indeed providing a reasonable quality of education. Feedback from parents is that "Each member of the staff is very easily approachable and already ready to hear/help. Teachers are very hardworking."
What about the curriculum?
Good Will Children Private School follows a UK, Cambridge-based curriculum, and was rated Good in its last ADEK inspection which took place in 2016-17. Unique to Cambridge curriculum schools in Abu Dhabi, the school offers Urdu as second language.
What the inspectors say
Rated Good, this is a significant improvement from where the school was just a few years ago when the school was rated Weak and found to be "in need of serious improvement".
As the most recent report notes, "The school has improved in all the areas identified in the last inspection. Lesson plans are now well structured with clear learning objectives identified. The expected learning outcomes are shared with students and are clearly evident in their activities." This is a great achievement and bodes well for all of the school's stakeholders, and most importantly, for the students.
Overall, student attainment and progress is ranked Good and Acceptable for most core subjects. Students who needs additional support are identified and scaffolded into higher levels of learning. As the report found, "There are well structured systems for identification and support for special educational needs students (SEN). In most lessons, SEN students make good progress in line with their identified needs."
A strength of the school is students’ personal and social development, and their innovation skills. This has been ranked Good across the board. As the report notes, "Students are respectful to each other and their teachers and have positive attitudes to learning. Most students behave well and respond quickly to teachers’ instructions." The report also notes the many opportunities for student leadership within the school, with an "active student council," among other opportunities.
Teaching in the latest report has been identified as Acceptable. As the report notes, "Teachers have good subject knowledge and apply it well to their planning and teaching. They are aware of how students learn in different ways and the need for a variety of approaches to enhance their progress. Teachers in all phases and subjects plan activities that engage students with shared learning objectives in most lessons."
An area of focus for teaching is to benchmark students' attainment and progress with external examinations. As the report explains, "The school uses a limited range of international benchmarking tests to measure attainment and progress in a few grade levels. The outcomes are not always interpreted effectively to get a true measure of students’ performance."
The leadership and management of the school has also been ranked Good. As the report explains, "The senior team sets a clear vision and mission to support their continuous improvement agenda and create a supportive environment for learning. The principal’s calm and supportive leadership provides senior and middle leaders, together with the teachers, with the confidence to continually improve their practices and to enhance students’ learning opportunities. The strong team spirit throughout the school generates a caring, supportive and safe environment for students." Strong leadership is a critical pillar in a school's ability to provide opportunities for teacher development and student growth.
An area of focus for the future is to improve the quality of teaching and learning by "planning to create greater stretch and challenge for higher achieving students and more structured support for students who find learning difficult." The school can also look for ways to make assessment more structured and meaningful so that it enhances student progress and achievement. The report notes that the school needs to, "establish an effective moderation process to ensure that the assessment of students’ attainment levels is consistent and accurate."
Overall, Good Will Children Private School has made impressive progress over the course of the last three ADEK inspections. Students at the school are safe, well cared for, and there is continued improvement in teacher, assessment, and leadership.
Current fees range from AED 23,200 for KG1 – AED 29,900 for Grade 7-9. There are no additional charges.
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