The Japanese School in Abu Dhabi is a private K-9 school. It was established in 1978 by the Embassy of Japan as a school for Japanese expatriates living in the capital. In 2012 the school relocated to new premises in Al Muroor Street.
The Japanese School in Abu Dhabi currently caters for approximately 77 students and has 15 teachers, and 5 teaching assistants. That is a teacher to student ratio unlikely to be bettered anywhere especially given classes are from KG 1 to Grade 9.
JSAD is considered a stronger school by our sister site, SchoolsCompared.com, than its Dubai namesake. According to SchoolsCompared.com:
"There are weaknesses in the school - but they are significantly outweighed by strengths that flow from the extraordinary cultural and political investment in the school made by the Abu Dhabi and Japanese governments. The opportunities for both Japanese and Emirati students are many and profound. In particular, for Emirati students lucky enough to secure a place at the school, the seamless transition to higher education in Japan provides, particularly for gifted young linguists, the chance for an international education that will prove irresistible to many prospective parents. Recommended." More here.
ADEC agrees: It has twice been rated as a High Performing - Grade 3 (A3) school.
Another reason for its strength may just be its size. Class sizes are naturally very small. Most students are Japanese, but since 2006, due to a unique programme supported by his HH the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, a small number of Emirati students have also been enrolled each year until now some 3 in 10 students is Emirati.
With 10 students per class "teachers can give more individual attention to students to provide educational and daily life guidance thoroughly to all," the school itself claims.
It "gives the teachers the opportunity to get to know the students' characters and teach them effectively, not only in class but also with other school matters".
In addition, the schools says there "are always 4 members of NPO staff to take care of national students to support the classes of Japanese Language and Mathematics and to give supplementary lessons after school."
The school follows the Japanese - Monbukagakusho - Ministry of Education curriculum with subjects being primarily taught in Japanese. Arabic, for both Japanese students and the native speakers, as well as Islamic studies for the latter, are also offered by the school.
The level of attainment in core subjects, independence, attitude to learning, excellent social skills and cultural awareness were some of the main points commended in the school's most recent inspection. The help and support afforded the Emirati students attending the school was particularly highlighted with students achieving speaking, reading and writing levels in Japanese on a par with those of the native speakers.
That is a fantastic achievement for any teaching institution.
Some areas for improvement were noted, relating to ICT skills, which are not taught in dedicated lessons in the Japanese curriculum, but through cross-curricular teaching - resulting in slightly patchy skills; there were also recommendations to improve provision for the highest achievers attending the school.
Core subjects include English, Japanese, Mathematics, Social Studies, Music, Sport, Art and Craft, Gardening, Technology and Moral studies. There is a broad range of extra curricular activities on offer, as well as a number of field trips throughout the year.
Traditional Japanese sports, such as stilt walking and bamboo dragonfly spinning have also been introduced.
There is a strong sense of community about the school and students are encouraged to keep their classrooms tidy and clean themselves. This says the school is actually one of its defining elements: "The most distinctive feature of our school is "cleaning time." They [students] clean their own classrooms and hallways so that they become considerate individuals and also to develop their work ethic."
Most students are expected to return to Japan for the rest of their education, and receive excellent preparation as well as advice and support to assist with this.
Fees for the school (the latest provided by ADEC) are relatively affordable, averaging 29,580 AED across year groups from Grades 1 to 9.
The school is mixed, and pupils study together for all subjects, including Physical Education and Swimming.
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