United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Dubai Investments Park / Greenfield International School

Greenfield International School Experience

Taaleem-owned Greenfield International School (GIS) is a pre-KG to Grade 12 school located in Dubai Investment Park, close to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Highway to the Southeast of Dubai. The school was established in September 2007 and offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes.  It is an "International Baccalaureate World Continuum School" meaning that if offers all four IB programmes.
Parents' Rating
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4.1 out of 5 based on 33 reviews
At a glance
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Curricula taught
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
AED 54,000
Annual fees
AED 31,750–76,315
Price band help
Premium
Status
Open
Opening year
2007
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
15%
Principal
Dr Allan Weston
Owner
Taaleem
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom

Nearby nurseries

2.9km • EYFS curriculum
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LET'S GO

School Visit - Greenfield Community School, 16th November 2016

A committed supporter of the IB curriculum GCS’s credentials as an inclusive school open to a wide variety of nationalities are clear. Now in its tenth year the school is led by an energetic and committed principal who is focusing on developing the school’s reputation for rigour while retaining the warmth and friendliness of which he is proud.

This Taaleem owned school founded in 2007 is located in the Green Community district of Dubai (see WSA Area Guide). The building is modern, well spread out between wide open air spaces and arenas. Vegetation including tall palm trees is well established. The site is close to the main area dedicated to the Dubai Expo 2020 urban development projects for which there are huge plans.



We visited GCS on an open coffee morning which began with an introductory talk by Mr Andrew Wood the head of secondary. He has been in this position and in Dubai for just three years having previously been principal of Hout Bay International School in Cape Town. He explained that GCS will be celebrating its tenth anniversary next year and described it as ‘a happy school with real heart’. Andrew spoke of choosing the school as ‘mainly an emotional decision’ although ‘intellectual issues’ were also crucial.

He described the school as ‘fully inclusive’, ‘thoroughly international’ and ‘a place where students would be challenged’. He felt there is accountability and rigour and is deeply committed to the IB curriculum which is taught at the school. In fact he describes himself as an ‘IB Dad’ since he chose the IB system for his own children who have been very successful.


The sports hall at Greenfield Community School

Several students have left GCS and moved to some top universities in the UK, Europe and UAE. Many of these individual joined the school in KG1 with little or no English and have progressed to the stage where they are studying at universities in their second language.

The school has also embraced a number of BTec courses so that students at sixth form level can mix and match with IB diploma when required. This, Andrew believes, enables them to follow a more academic route or a more career focused direction at this level. We asked about the school’s greatest accomplishments and he spoke of how the school’s spirit and pride were now really strong. He feels the academic standards are ever rising, sports programmes improving and the growth of IB Diploma courses are all areas of success.

Challenges for him have been to grow the reputation of rigour and deal with the location of the campus as there have been ongoing roadwork problems although these are soon to be resolved. The school’s approach to the child is fully inclusive and the aim is that every child does the best they can. The children he explained are well-behaved. He has no discipline issues and they have a well-considered bullying policy.


Greenfield Community School's canteen 

Andrew’s own specialisms are English and Geography and he keeps his hand in as a teacher by covering some fill-in classes. He is also a keen amateur artist and on his study walls are large canvases of his beloved South African landscapes and two Mussandam seascape paintings.

The curriculum, being IB, is strongly inquiry based with a firm focus on learning skills. Parents receive plenty of feedback on progress in the form of scores and numbers but for some parents it can be an issue that there are no exams at GCSE level.

GCS is well known for its excellent mother tongue programme as there are 80 different nationalities. Only about 44% speak English as their first language. The Head of Languages has developed a link with international embassies in Dubai so students can interact with others from their home countries. In fact within the school groups of parents meet and socialize in their language.

There are 1,300 pupils from KG1 to Y13 and there are vacancies from grade 3 upwards. The 114 teachers, although mainly from the UK and Ireland cover 26 nationalities between them. There are also 37 learning assistants and 25 support staff employed. There are many opportunities to take Inset training within the school and Taaleem provides specialist IB training.

The school is about to publish an opportunity for parents to receive a sibling discount but there are no scholarships available at this point.

Unfortunately we were unable to meet the head boy/girl or any students in leadership positions. Dipika Kalra the leader of the parents association kindly took time to speak to us about the school. Initially she explained she chose GCS as she lives very close by. Her children were at a bilingual nursery so GCS with its strong EAL focus felt like the obvious choice.


The primary school playground at Greenfield Community School 

She believes it’s a bonus to have so many nationalities within the school and praised the community feel, the warmth and easy interaction between parents and senior management. She praised the IB curriculum but feels that it lacks the rigour of the approach to education in her home country, India. Dipika believes that parent’s evenings of which there are 2 to 3 a year could be more student focused and that in some subjects children should be pushed more. Communication from home to school is reasonable as they have the Communicator system but she believes there’s room for improvement.

There is a 13 strong PTA group who participate in many ways in events such as International Day, Staff Appreciation Day, Lost and Found property and second hand uniform sales. Zaks is the uniform provider and she feels it is acceptable. There is a bus service on offer where required. There are two canteens providing good hot and cold food run by the Slices company.

Clubs and activities are improving in terms of choice as sports have increased with squad training etc. A ski trip was on offer this year. There is a golf team, basketball and drama, art and music are developing. There is no specialist art or drama teacher in primary but children are taught art for six months and then switch to music.

SEN support is strong and she explained how children at GCS are very accepting of special needs children.

We were taken on a guided tour of the KG areas and observed the large colourful classrooms which had plenty of children’s work on display. There are an average of 25 children to a class with one teacher and a learning assistant. There are themed displays in the open areas between classrooms which are changed regularly according to subjects being covered.

Independence is strongly encouraged. Groups of KG1 and 2 appeared to be lively and confident. It was explained that during snack time children were challenged to open their packets and bottles rather than have adults step in to solve problems.

We saw a wide range of outdoor play equipment all covered along with blackboard type walls and wendy houses. There is a football pitch, tennis courts, basketball/netball courts and two swimming pools. A lifeguard is on duty at all times and children are taught by specialist coaches.

There is a library and children are encouraged to donate a book on their birthday as contribution to the stock. Grade 11 children interact well with KG classes as part of their CAS requires them to read with younger pupils.

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

Greenfield International School 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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