United Arab Emirates / Abu Dhabi / Al Mushrif / International Community School Mushrif

International Community School Mushrif Review

The original International Community School is a private K-12 school located in Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi. The school was first established in 1990 and caters to approximately 1,600 students, almost exclusively of Arab origin, with UAE Nationals the largest single grouping, followed by Jordanians, Egyptians and Syrians.
Parents' Rating
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3.1 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
At a glance
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Acceptable
Curricula taught
Availability 2018/19
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Availability 2019/20
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Annual fee average
AED 31,000
Annual fees
AED 21,050 - 46,046
Price band help
Mid-range
Status
Open
Opening year
1990
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
20%
Principal
Muna Al Nasser
Community
Main teacher nationality
A mix of nationalities
Main student nationality
A mix of nationalities

Nearby nurseries

1.3km • Blended Early Years curriculum
2.4km • EYFS curriculum
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International Community School Mushrif
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Acceptable
Curricula taught
Availability 2018/19
radio_button_unchecked No data
Availability 2019/20
radio_button_unchecked No data
Annual fee average
AED 31,000
Annual fees
AED 21,050 - 46,046
Price band help
Mid-range
Status
Open
Opening year
1990
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
20%
Principal
Muna Al Nasser
Community
Main teacher nationality
A mix of nationalities
Main student nationality
A mix of nationalities
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First Published:
Friday 10 August, 2012

Updated:
Tuesday 12 February, 2019

The original International Community School is a private K-12 school located in Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi. The school was first established in 1990 and caters to approximately 1,600 students, almost exclusively of Arab origin, with UAE Nationals the largest single grouping, followed by Jordanians, Egyptians and Syrians.

The Story so far...

Set up in 1990, International Community School Mushrif has gone through a period of change over the last few years, having moved from a school offering both a UK and US curriculum to an exclusively US curriculum more recently.  The school had been growing significantly - over 400 new students joined the school between 2014 and 2016 - but numbers appear to have reduced somewhat - to just under 1,600 students in 2018.

Based on the most recent ADEK report - the inspection took place in November 2017 - ICS had some 220 children in KG, 530 in primary, and 400 in secondary (where the largest reduction in students numbers seems to have taken place) and 300 in High School.  The largest nationality group is Emirati (at 24%) followed by Jordanian at 19%, and Egyptians and Syrians (each 13%).  However, beyond these larger groups, there are a further 40 nationalities represented at the school.

The school currently employs 100 teachers, and 13 teaching assistants. Its teacher to student ratio is a reasonable 1:15 across the school. Teacher turnover continues to run at 20% - average for the UAE. 

Approximately 1% of students had been identified with Special Educational Needs at the time of  the 2018 inspection. In 2016, no students were registered with Special Educational Needs, however, the most recent report (following the inspection in November 2017) indicates that this situation has now changed.  The 2018 ADEK reports notes that "Students with special educational needs (SEN), and those who are gifted and talented (G&T) are now identified. The school produces an individual education plan (IEP) for all students with SEN".  Support ranges from 1:1 interventions to physical site modifications and off site collaboration. 

The Principal's introduction to the school provides further information about the school's goals which include to:

  • Teach children to embrace lifelong learning
  • Care about treasured heritage and values
  • Promote [a] positive climate and supportive culture
  • Foster academic achievement and the sense of responsibility
  • Embrace an open minded approach to life, diversity, and respect for one another
  • Enhance open communication
  • Cultivate leadership in others
  • Support and manage change
  • Collaborate with all stakeholders

The school aims "to always Inspire, Challenge and Succeed".

What about the curriculum?

The school had previously aligned its American curriculum to the ‘Virginia Common Core State Standards’, but is now in the process of transitioning to the California Common Core Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Students follow the Ministry of Education curriculum for Arabic, Islamic Studies and Arabic Social Studies,  It has phased out the UK curriculum that was previously offered. 

Subjects offered through the school include Science, Mathematics, English, English Social Studies, Arabic, Arabic Social Studies, Islamic, French, Computing, Business Studies, Sociology, Art, Music, and Physical Education. This is quite restrictive in terms of a range of study options.

In keeping with UAE national priorities and the focus on STEAM subjects, students continue to study sciences through to Grade 10 with some subject options. A wider range of electives is available in Grades 11-12, although details of these are not provided on the school's website.

The school has introduced Advanced Placement (AP) courses starting from the Academic Year 2018-2019. The first batch of AP students will sit for the examinations in May 2019 at the end of Grade 12.  AP is the main College-entry exam for US universities.

ICS is internationally accredited by AdvancEd, ensuring that its High School Diploma will be recognised by universities around the world.  

Extra curricular activities at ICS include Eco-Club, Student Council, Student Red Crescent Society, Model United Nations, School Band, Choir Club, Tournament of the Minds, Think Science, Innovation Science Club, Robotics Club, ICT Club, Heritage Club, Book Club, Arabic Reading & Drama Club, French Club, Math Club, Arts & Crafts Club, Media Club -  Photography & Film-making, Cooking Club, Table Tennis Club, Karate, Ballet, Gymnastics, Football, Basketball, and Volleyball.

What about facilities?

Facilities at the school include a library, two computer labs, a gymnasium (equipped for sports such as basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer and badminton), a swimming pool,  science labs, a music room, art room, cafeteria and medical clinic. Facilities are, in effect, satisfactory, but as the school continues to grow, its position in the centre of Abu Dhabi will put constraints on its ability to expand these offerings. The school is said to already be considering a move to a new location. Classroom sizes, as well as indoor/outdoor sport facilities are already an issue for the school.

Previous concerns raised by ADEK in relation to resources - and notably a lack of technology and interactive white boards in the classrooms - appear to have been addressed.

What the inspectors say

ICS was rated a "satisfactory" but also an "improving" school by ADEK, Abu Dhabi's education regulator, for the second time in 2016, and effectively achieved the same rating again - that of Acceptable - in 2018.  The Principal comments on the school website that ICS is "diligently working towards a high placement accreditation by ADEK".

In terms of the six key performance standards, ICS was rated Acceptable in the key areas of Student Achievement, Teaching and Assessment and the Curriculum, but Good in relation to Students' Personal and Social Development and their Innovation Skills (an improvement from the previous inspection), The Protection, Care,  Guidance and Support of students, and the Leadership and Management of the school.

Inspectors noted that the school had implemented most of the recommendations from the previous reports.  They found the school's strengths to be:

  • Students’overall progress in Islamic education, mathematics, science and art.
  • The positive attitudes and academic progress of students in the high phase.
  • Students’ personal and social development, and their understanding of Islamic values and Emirati culture.
  • The school’s caring and welcoming environment.

Areas for improvement identified the need to:

  • Enhance achievement in subjects, particularly Arabic as an additional language and social studies by: providing clear expectations for students’ learning in lessons; developing students’ independent research skills; [and] increasing opportunities for students to develop problem solving, higher order thinking, and innovation skills more consistently in lessons.
  • Meet the learning needs of higher-achieving students and those with special educational needs (SEN) more consistently by: teachers knowing and understanding the learning needs of all students; providing differentiated learning activities; ensuring all students are fully engaged and benefit from learning for the full lesson; [and] providing more consistent support for students with SEN in all lessons.
  • Develop the accountability of middle leaders and subject coordinators by them: assuming responsibility for both subject and students’ academic targets; leading planning and teaching strategies to meet the needs of all students [and] monitoring students’ academic progress in lessons in all subjects.
  • Leaders to promote high standards and more effective learning across the school by: using prior assessment data more effectively to raise overall achievement, particularly of boys [and] raising teachers’expectations of boys.

There are clearly improvements being made at ICS.  In particular, the move to the California State Curriculum, the widespread use of ICT and the growing culture of innovation within the school, both in lessons and extra-curricula activities, and the care and support provided to students are positive signs.  The requirement to raise achievement in Arabic and English is clearly key to future improvement and can only be driven by improved teaching and assessment. 

Fees range range from AED 21,050 in KG1, AED 23,800 in Grade 3, to AED 39,800 (though new students pay a higher rate from Grade 3 upwards (from AED 27,366 to AED 46,046 in Grade 12).  There are also additional fees for books (ranging from AED 1,400 in KG1 to AED 4, 385 in Grade 12), transport (AED 4,100) and uniforms (AED 400). Admission is an open process with an entrance test to determine skills gaps.

 

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Comments
2 Archived Comments
LaChandra Baker
Archived 14th Aug 2016, 20:42

Hello, I wanted to know more about your school. My daughter will be joining me and she will be 7 years old. She is an American. Will this school be suitable for her. Thanks in Advance!

Roshan
Archived 26th Feb 2014, 22:16

Hi,I am trying for the admission of my son for KG1 in any indian school (CBSC), but it is very difficult because so many villa schools are going to be closed ( as per instructed by ADEC ),I tried in Abu Dhabi Indian School,Sunrise English Private School,Private international school,Ryaan international school, but everywhere admission for KG1 is going threw lots of draw only, because seats are very less and number of registration is too much. So I have too much stress for my son admission. Please suggest if any possibility of in any indian school.

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