United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Arabian Ranches / Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches

Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches Q & A

JESS Arabian Ranches (Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches) is a not for profit co-educational all-through school located in Arabian Ranches, Dubai.
Parents' Rating
4.0 out of 5 based on 80 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2022/23
Availability 2023/24
Annual fee average
AED 67,000
Annual fees
AED 41,829–93,852
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
Shane O’Brien
Main student nationality
United Kingdom
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
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Welcome to the Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.

Does your school have a waiting list? In which years?

For most year groups, yes, but not for our Sixth Form, where we offer the IB Diploma and the extended BTEC 'PLUS' courses. Applications are welcome and can be submitted online via our online Application Portal on our website.

Also, we do have limited availability for Years 8, 9 and 10 for the 2019 academic year.

The waiting lists in the primary schools remain long for the younger year groups (F1, F2, Year 1 and 2). Lists tend to be shorter for Key Stage 2 years (Year 3-6) and there tends to be more movement and availability at the primary school in Jumeirah.

What are qualities and characteristics that define your school and its students?

More commonly known as ‘JESS’ and one of the few non-profit making and established schools in the region, we are a sought-after, well-respected and leading school in the Middle East, delivering world class education to English-speaking students from over 70 different countries.

JESS is a school which aims to have a global reputation for delivering a unique brand of education that challenges young people to make a difference. We strive to identify and tap into every individual student’s gifts, finding areas in which they can shine and build confidence. At JESS, we pride ourselves on being a high-achieving community school where every boy and girl is important.

How many nationalities are represented in your school? How international would you say your school is?

The students at JESS reflect the international nature of the Dubai population. As the name suggests, students must be fluent in English to attend the school, but we have over 70 different nationalities attending.

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

The nationalities that represent the largest proportion of our pupils are: British (who account for over a half of the student population) Australian, Indian and Canadian.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

This differs depending on the year group and the subject, but on average, our teacher:student ratio is c. 1:20.

Class sizes in Primary are 22. Foundation 1 classes have a teacher and and a teaching assistant in each class, plus an extra Teaching Assistant for the year group. From Foundation 2 to Year 2, each class has a teacher and a teaching assistant. For the Key Stage 3 years (year 3 to 6), in addition to the class teacher, a teaching assistant is shared across the year group.

In Secondary, tutor sizes are also 22 (except in exceptional circumstances). In the earlier secondary years, students are taught in sets for some subjects, then later on in the GCSE years, for all subjects. Set sizes can vary in size but our aim is to ensure that they are never more than 22 per group.

Does your school measure Value Added data? Please provide details of how you measure, and current Value Added benchmark scores.

We do measure this and our value-added scores are very high. We offer full transparency on all our examination results and details can be found on our website at https://www.jess.sch.ae/about-jess/examination-results

If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?

In the secondary school, students are guided into choosing a balanced range of subjects for their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) courses in Years 10 and 11. Details of the options offered is published on our website www.jess.sch.ae in Secondary / Curriculum Overview / Key Stage 4

In our Sixth Form, we offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and BTEC Plus Diploma Courses in Sport Science, Art and Design and Business Studies. Further detail is on our website www.jess.sch.ae within Sixth / Curriculum.

Please provide details of how well your school did in its previous external exams for students at 16 and at 18 years of age? Please provide sufficient detail to allow parents to have a view on how academic your school is?

Both GCSE and International Baccalaureate results in 2018 qualified as the best ever by JESS students, achieving what are exceptional outcomes for a mixed ability school. Our leading scholars achieve at the highest level globally whilst we take pride in every child exceeding expectations whatever their individual challenges might be.

GCSE (16 year olds)

All GCSE outcomes in 2016 either exceed or are on a par with the best ever achieved by JESS students. 99.2% of students gained 5 or more A*-C grades with 23% of all grades being an A*, nearly one in every four grades. Well over half (59%) of all grades achieved were an A* or A. 85% were A*-B. These are superb figures for a mixed ability school where Value Added statistics are exceptional. These results reflect the determination and application of our students and the commitment of our teachers to work hard for each and every child. Once again English saw a 100% pass rate at A*-C as did numerous other subjects. Art, Economics, Geography, History, Graphics, Resistant Materials, ICT, Music, PE, Biology, Physics and Chemistry all achieved the same perfect pass rate. Twenty three Year 11 students earned themselves a place on the JESS Academic Honours Board gaining 9 or more A*-A grades.

IB (18 year olds)

The IB Programme at JESS continues to go from strength to strength with the most recent cohort (May 2016) achieving yet again our best set of results moving the bar even higher. There were many stand-out highlights including 3 students who scored 43 points or more placing them in the top 5% globally. The school’s overall average of 35.3 continues to fly high above the world average of 30 points and was complimented this year with a 100% pass rate and individual subject averages of 5.7. With 35 points being the equivalent of two A*s and two As at A level this is a very satisfying result. Perhaps more telling was the significant value added to our students coming with mixed ability ranges who outperformed across nearly all metrics to attain impressive final results proving once again that JESS is a place where students can, quite simply, excel.

IB Highlights

- 17.6% of pupils achieved more than 40 points

- 57.6% of pupils achieved more than 35 points

- 88.2% of pupils achieved more than 30 points (which is the world average)

- Diploma Pass rate was 100%

Detailed breakdowns of all examination results can be found on our website www.jess.sch.ae at JESS / Examination Results

What percentage of your sixth form that take exams at 18 go to university, and where, in general, do they go?

98% of our graduating Sixth Form students either go directly to university or take a year out. IB Diploma graduates at JESS have gone on to secure places in the world’s top institutions including Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, Bath, Caltech, UCLA, Brown, New York, McGill, Sydney, Melbourne, Otago, Stellenbosch, Leiden, Ludwig Maximilian, Central St. Martin’s, Glasgow School of Arts, Savannah College of Arts, and many others. Our students have gone on to study courses including Law, Engineering, Medicine, Architecture, Liberal Arts, Design, Literature, Education, Economics, Business and many more. Diploma courses students have also had success with direct entry or pre-degree foundation programmes to universities such as Edinburgh Napier, Central St. Martins, Northampton, Middlesex, Leeds Beckett, Herriot Watt, Queen’s, Sophia University and others. Our first BTEC cohort (in Sport) also managed to secure places in Loughborough, Nottingham, Kingston, Northumbria and elsewhere.

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?

Independent learning is embedded through a range of homework opportunities. JESS students experience e-learning, reading, writing and creative learning at home.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?

JESS students have 140 minutes of PE / Games per week as part of the normal curriculum, so just over 2 hours per week. To ensure that sports continue through the whole year, even in the very hot months, we have extensive indoor air-conditioned sports facilities.

All students take part in our PE lessons change depending on the season and they are:

For boys: Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Athletics

For girls: Netball, Soccer, Swimming and Athletics

Other competitive Sports on offer include Cricket, Cross Country, Basketball, Golf and Rounders.

Other extra-curricular physical activities offered at JESS include things such as Circus Club, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Strength & Conditioning, Musical Theatre, Street Dance and Belly Dancing!

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Health issues are quite often discussed in school assemblies and in the classroom. We also hold termly ‘PSHE’ (Personal, Social, Health Education) days, during which students have a break from the normal timetable to cover different issues, including, amongst other things, physical and mental well-being.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Healthy lunchboxes are encouraged from a very young age and our canteen (for Secondary students) provides many healthy options for our older students.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students? How does it promote a balanced diet?

Yes, we have a canteen catered by Abela (the same company providing food for Ikea) which provides many different great value meals for students every day - at both break and lunchtime.

What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?

The total spend obviously depends on how much they buy and exactly what. On average AED20 per day would be sufficient for students to be able to buy enough food to sustain them during the school day.

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?

Primary gates open at 7.20 am and the school day begins at 7.40 am and ends at the following times:

Foundation 1 - 12 noon

Foundation 2 - 14:05

Year 1 & 2 - 14:30

Year 2 to 6 - 14:40

in Secondary, gates open at 7.20am. The school day begins at 7.35am and finishes at 15:20 Sunday to Thursdays.

Is there a school uniform?

There is a school uniform introduced for the 2018-2019 Academic Year. Students from Foundation 1 up to Year 11 in the JESS colours of navy blue, pale blue and white. It is a simple uniform of polo shirts with skorts or shorts (for younger pupils), cotton blouses and shirts and skirts/trousers, in keeping with the hot climate of Dubai. JESS Sixth Formers do not have to adhere to a uniform but they must follow a 'smart/business-like' dress code.

Please advise on your discipline policy?

JESS sets high standards of behaviour. Clearly communicated expectations, guidelines and consistent methods of managing behaviour form the basis of our philosophy for promoting successful behaviour.

We believe that:

- All staff and students have the right to work in a safe, orderly and supportive environment, which is free from distraction and where they feel respected and valued.

- It is the role of the staff to encourage individuals to become more responsible for their actions, attitudes and values and accept the consequences of their actions.

- The majority of motivation for students to effectively manage their own behaviour should be intrinsic.

- All members of the JESS community should always be respectful and polite.

Throughout JESS, consistency of behaviour management is achieved by staff knowledge and consistent practice of both whole school policy and behaviour procedures for both Primary and Secondary.

- Ensuring any personalised behaviour procedures are consistent across a Year Group complying with the rationale and expectations of both the JESS behaviour policy and the Primary and Secondary behaviour procedures

- Having a clear behaviour policy that is shared with parents.

Our full 'Behaviour Policy' which covers disciplinary procedures can be viewed on our website, along with all our school policies, at www.jess.sch.ae, in JESS / School Policies.

Which languages are taught at your school - please detail any as a first as well as second language?

French is offered in Primary. In Secondary, students can choose Spanish or French.

Do you offer a dedicated prayer room/s for students? For which faiths?

Yes we do.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

We have a comprehensive inclusion policy (published on our website in JESS / School Policies) which aims to provide for the development of the full potential of each individual student. We recognise that all students have individual abilities, qualities and talents, which need to be identified and developed within an environment which celebrates and values achievement. We, therefore, plan our learning and teaching in such a way that we enable each student to achieve the highest level of personal achievement.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

Our learning support department is named 'The Oasis' and staff members are committed to early identification to ensure a proactive approach that can protect children against the effects of underachievement in the classroom.

Not all schools are staffed or resourced to offer learning support to those children with either moderate or significant learning needs. To what level can you offer support for those with learning differences?

Our learning support provision is designed to promote confident, independent learners who come to an understanding of their learning profile and develop the skills necessary to achieve their potential. The Oasis staff offers in-class support, focus groups, 1:1 tuition and advice on possible strategies and activities to use with children with specific need. Provision is dependent on the finite resources available.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

We have 2 very active Parents' Groups (the JPG - JESS Parents' Group) , one at the Jumeirah school, one at Arabian Ranches. All JESS parents are welcome to be involved.

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?

Yes, we encourage parents to get involved as parent helpers in classes and we quite often need parents to go along on school trips to help out.

Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?

The Board of Governors at JESS consists of individuals appointed on a voluntary basis and willing to contribute their time plus personal and professional skills to JESS. Details of our current Board members, plus the Board email, is published on our website and they are contactable via email should any parent wish to contact them.

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?

Yes, our Parents' group usually organise a welcome meeting for all parents new to JESS at the beginning of the school year and we always have an induction session for new families to JESS prior to them joining.

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches 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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