The Iranian Khadije Kobra School for Girls is a long-established school located in the Karama district of Dubai.
The story so far...
The Iranian Khadija Kobra School for Girls (KHA) was established in 1955. The Girls school operates under a ‘directorate’ managing the affairs of eight Iranian schools in the UAE, with a combined student population of 6,000. The other schools are: Towheed International and Boys School, Towheed Girls School, Salman Boys School, Sharjah Boys and Girls School, Imam Khomeini (MBUH) Boys and Girls School in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain Boys and Girls School, and Adab Private Boys and Girls School.
Little independent information is available about the school which purports to have a website; however this is non-operational.
Based on the most recent KHDA report, we know that the school has close to 500 students, all Iranian nationals. It offers an education for girls from Grade 1 to Grade 12. The school employs 35 teachers and 2 teaching assistants. With a teacher:student ratio of 1:14, this is acceptable in terms of the degree of individual support students should be able to receive. Staff turnover, at 20%, is around average for international schools in the UAE, but still means that one in five staff are new at the beginning of the academic year.
Just under 10% of students have some form of additional learning need. Support provided by the school is rated Good by the KHDA.
What about the curriculum?
The school follows the curriculum of the Iranian Ministry of Education. It is described as balanced by the KHDA inspection team, and extended with English in the Primary phase (though this is not a curriculum requirement) and with art, creativity or media studies in the High School. Older students transfer to a sister school for specialist teaching of Maths and Science. The curriculum is said to be adapted well in Arabic and English, and includes innovation as a separate aspect of study in the Middle school. As most classes follow strict curriculum guidelines, there are few opportunities for students to develop innovation skills in general classes.
The teaching of Islamic education is said to be "not fully-compliant" with UAE Ministry of Education rules by the KHDA and this is reflected in the school's KHDA rating which has been Acceptable since the school inspection process began in Dubai.
What about the facilities?
The KHDA report states that the building is old but well maintained. Outdoor spaces and classrooms have been recently refurbished, and the library redesigned. A laboratory is also provided for practical learning. Infrastructure to enable the use of technology in all classrooms is currently being planned. A student radio station plays an important part in school life.
What the inspectors say
The school was rated Acceptable for the eighth year in a row. Performance in terms of student achievement, teaching and assessment and the curriculum are largely rated Acceptable.
In common with many schools rated acceptable, KHA teachers have not yet become accustomed to using assessment data to adapt the curriculum to meet students' individual needs. Progress in English and Maths across the Middle and High school sections is rated Good, as is progress in Arabic in the Middle School and attainment in English in the High School. Teaching in the Middle and High School sections was also found to be Good, but the use of assessment to adapt the curriculum was rated Acceptable, as were all other measures of this key performance standard.
Positively, students' personal and social development was largely rated Very Good. The protection, care, guidance and support of students across the school was also found to be Good. Leadership and Management were largely acceptable with the exception of the relationship with parents and the community, which was found to be Very Good.
In terms of what the school does best, inspectors listed:
Key recommendations were to:
To a significant degree, KHA is constrained by the very controlled curriculum and resources driven by the Ministry of Education in Iran. However, there are clearly ways in which teachers can better support students through a more individualised approach based on assessment of students' capabilities and use of this data, and this is where the focus for improvement lies.
It is evident that this is in many ways a very happy school where its students individually flourish from a personal development standpoint.
Only a very small number of parents (22) responded to the KHDA's pre-inspection survey, probably on the grounds of language - the survey is only available in Arabic or English - but those who did were overwhelmingly satisfied (91%) with the quality of education provided by the school. Parents feel that the school provides a good education for their children and value of money. They value the communication with governors and the support the school has secured within the local Iranian community.
What about fees?
Fees at Iranian Khadije Kobra School for Girls are extremely low, starting at AED 3,333 in the Primary school to Grade 5, and rising through the Secondary School to AED 4,500 in Grades 10, 11 and 12.
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