ICS Khalifa City will open in September 2021 as the fifth school to join the ICS group of schools in Abu Dhabi.
International Community School Khalifa City will be the fifth school under the ICS brand to open in Abu Dhabi, alongside the original school at Mushrif founded in 1990, ICS Al Najda, ICS Khalidiya and ICS Al Falah.
The school will officially open from KG1 to Grade 12 in its first year in September 2021 - with no requirement to start at the Elementary level only, given the established reputation of the group. Whilst the Khalidiya and Al Falah schools have not yet been inspected by ADEK, the Mushrif and Al Najda schools have both been rated Good.
However, the school makes clear on its website that Grades 6 to 12 will only open if sufficient children register.
We are told by the owners that the school will be mixed-gender throughout, and that capacity is 1,500 students overall. Staff will include 'Highly qualified and experienced native English-speaking class teachers and subject teachers', although at this stage, no details of the nationalities involved have been confirmed.
In common with most of the ICS group schools, ICS Khalifa will offer the US curriculum - the exceptions to this are the Al Najda and Khalidiya branches which continue to offer UK curriculum. Although the group had indicated that they planned to introduce the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme, this has not yet taken place.
Our expectation is that the school will offer the US Common Core curriculum following California State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards for Science subjects. In due course, the school will also offer Advance Placement courses for students aspiring to university places in the US.
Importantly, the school is also expected to be accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED), a US accreditation agency that ensures schools comply with teaching and curriculum standards and enables its accredited schools to issue High School Diplomas that ensure access to tertiary education.
The KG curriculum will be based on the KCCS (Kindergarden Common Core Standards), which largely centres on the building of foundation skills for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. The Maths curriculum focuses on two major strands, firstly 'representing, relating, and operating on whole numbers', initially with sets of objects and secondly, describing shapes and space. The Science curriculum focuses on innovation, engineering, technology, and the real world to make sense of the world around students. Core subjects also include Arabic and Islamic Studies.
In common with best practice across most international curricula, KG is focused on learning through play. Each child is provided with engaging, multi-sensory learning opportunities through song and dance, arts and crafts, IT and sport and ample opportunities for self-expression.
For students from Grade 1 to 12, the curriculum is designed to offer a large breadth and depth of study with flexibility in learning pathways and addresses a variety of learning styles. It aims to provide opportunities for integrating the learning objectives from a variety of subjects with a cross-curricular approach, in a relevant and engaging manner.
In addition to following the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) California framework for English Language Arts and Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for Science, students will also follow the Ministry of Education (MOE) curriculum for Arabic, Islamic Studies, Social Studies and Moral Education.
The school will also support innovation and development, especially in relation to the use of ICT, incorporating artificial intelligence, robotics and other technologies to enhance and enrich learning across the school’s curriculum.
This will also ensure Distance Learning provision will be tried and tested in the event that students are required to undertake home learning in light of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The new school at Khalifa City will have a particular focus on the incorporation of a STEAM framework that enhances student academic performance and interaction. In keeping with UAE national priorities and focus on STEAM subjects, students continue to study sciences through to Grade 10.
The curriculum is planned to ensure progression in all subjects and prepares students for success in their next level of education and future careers. It promotes higher-level thinking skills, literacy, numeracy, creativity, positive attitudes, strong ethics, self-management and adaptability. It also promotes the Arabic language and the national identity and enhance the development of 21st century skills, including collaboration, communication, analysis, synthesis, critical thinking, problem-solving, digital literacy, innovation and life skills.
According to the school, Grades 9-12 students will have very good choices and opportunities for learning experiences that encourage their talents, interest and aspirations. A wider range of electives will be available in Grades 11-12.
In common with the other schools in the group, we would expect to see a wide range of extracurricular activities offered in due course.
We are told that the school will offer 'State of the Art' indoor and outdoor facilities that serve all levels starting from KG till grade 12. These will include specialist facilities such as ICT, Science and Chemistry labs, music, art and drama rooms, a theatre, libraries and cookery room. Sports facilities will include a swimming pool, a fully-equipped gymnasium, and top-class sports facilities.
Given the 30 years' experience of the International Community Schools' group, and the positive ADEK view of the schools that have been inspected, it seems that parents will be making a safe choice if they choose to place their children at the latest branch in Khalifa City. Whether it will attract sufficient interest from older students to open the Middle and High school sections remains to be seen.
Fees range from AED 26,000 in KG to AED 28,350 for students in Grades 1 to 5. The school is offering a 15% discount on these fees for KG and Elementary students only. There is a sibling discount of 20%. These discounts are applicable for 2021-22 only.
Middle and High School fees range from AED 30,900 from Grades 6 to 9, to AED 33,700 for Grade 10 to 12. In addition, parents can expect to pay from AED 300 in KG1 to AED 3,850 in Grade 12 for book fees. Uniform and bus fees (with transport offered throughout Abu Dhabi) will add a further AED 350 and an estimated AED 4,845 respectively.
As the school is currently under construction, an admissions desk has been set up at the ICS Mushrif Campus. Registrations may be made online using an online enrollment form. For further information, call +971 2 633 0 444 / +971 50 590 8879 or send an email at [email protected]
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