United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Al Barsha / Kings' School Al Barsha

Kings' School Al Barsha Review

Having opened with approx. 650 students in September 2014, Kings Al Barsha has grown to an excess of 1,662 now, of which 547 are secondary. The majority of students are British passport holders.
Kings' School Al Barsha
First Published: Sunday 21 December, 2014
Updated: Wednesday 4 April, 2018

Having opened with approx. 650 students in September 2014, Kings Al Barsha has grown to an excess of 1,662 now, of which 547 are secondary. The majority of students are British passport holders.

First Published: Sunday 21 December, 2014
Updated: Wednesday 4 April, 2018

The Story so Far

Kings' School Al Barsha is an integral part of the Kings’ Schools family of schools which was founded in 2004, starting with Kings’ School Dubai, which is the only school in Dubai to have achieved an Outstanding rating by KHDA every year since inspections began. 

Experience Kings' School Al Barsha with WSA here

The school uses an adapted and enriched National Curriculum for England framework for their students, from FS1 to Grade 12. Secondary school students at the school work towards their GCSE and A-Level qualifications. In addition, all students in the Secondary School also work towards their Gold Level Duke of Edinburgh Award. This award is bestowed on students for completing a series of self-improvement exercises, with the Gold Level requiring 12-18 months of commitment. 

Much of the teaching at Kings Al Barsha is also building on the IB curriculum with teaching concept-based and often student led. There is no doubt that the environment is busy and students in both Primary and Secondary seem motivated and enthused by their teachers.

What about Student Achievement? 

The school's first GCSE cohort, grades were good with 44% scoring A* to A and 92% A* to C.

What do the Inspectors Say? 

For the school's first KHDA report in 2016/2017, Kings' Al Barsha received a Good rating. The strengths of the school were found to be the overall provision and the curriculum, which the report ranks as Outstanding, the students' behavior and personal development, and the energetic leadership. 

Source: Inspection Reports 

The progress and attainment of students is Good across most of the school, except for in the Foundation Stage where it is ranked as mostly Outstanding. An area of focus for the future, as recommended by the inspection report, is Arabic and Islamic Studies. As the report notes, "Governors and senior leaders of the school should improve the provision of Arabic by; holding teachers and middle leaders accountable for improved learning outcomes for all
learners in all aspects of the subject;  identifying starting points in learning for all students, setting challenging targets and matching differentiated work in every lesson to their needs." 

Source: Inspection Report 

Students’ personal and social development, and their innovation skills is rated as Outstanding across the school. As the report explains, "Students are very responsible and self-reliant learners. They show a mature and caring attitude towards their peers and adults... Their behaviour in class and when moving between lessons is exemplary. They respond very well to adults and to their peers. As a result, difficulties are easily resolved and bullying is rare." 

Teaching for effective learning has also been rated as Good or Very Good. As the report notes, "Most teachers demonstrate sound subject knowledge and understanding of how students learn. There is a good balance between teacher-directed and independent learning. Many teachers consistently engage students in work that allows them to learn actively." The report did find that "teachers do not always initiate two-way dialogue that engages students in thoughtful discussions," however, "the learning environment is positive and of good quality."

Read our Q and A with Kings' Al Barsha here 

Kings' School Al Barsha is very clear about its commitment to inclusion. As the school explains on their website, "The whole school community is encouraged to ensure inclusion and the best possible social, emotional, behavioural and academic progress for all of our students. This is provided through innovative learning and teaching, dissemination of information, training and access to quality staff at all levels."

This focus on the value and important of inclusion been identified and applauded by inspections who rate the school's provision and outcomes for students with SEND as Good. The report finds that "Parents speak very positively about the support of the SEND department for their children. They are consulted at all stages of identification and provision. As a result, they feel very welcome to contact the school at any time and receive particularly helpful advice and support from staff." 

The recommendations for the school as it gears up for its second round of inspections is, as the KHDA notes, to "modify the curriculum and adjust teaching to meet the needs of underachieving groups and accelerate their progress; identify and provide consistently high challenge in all lessons for the more-able learners" 

What About Facilities? 

The facilities at the school are outstanding and include: 

  • Purpose-built and state-of-the-art Science laboratories
  • Design Technology and Food Technology departments which include a 3D printer, a laser cutter and specialist machines 
  • Mac suites
  • Music technology and recording studio
  • Apple TVs in every classroom
  • Interactive whiteboards throughout school

Sports Facilities are also impressive and include: 

  • Multi-sport astro pitches
  • Hard rubber courts for netball, basketball and volleyball
  • Full size grass rugby and football pitches
  • Short athletics track and grass area for field athletics
  • Multiple tennis courts
  • Two indoor gymnasiums
  • Two large fitness studios
  • Incredible sports hall facilitating full size basketball arena with spectator seating
  • Three swimming pools: beginner, primary and competition 

Even though the school is relatively new, Kings Al Barsha seems to be very much an established school and once the remaining facilities open, it will also be an extremely well-resourced one.

What About Fees? 

Fees at Kings' School Al Barsha start at AED 52,007 for FS1 and rise to AED 100,300 for Year 12. However, the fees have been frozen starting at Year 11 at AED 97,798 so Years 11 - 13 will not rise above that fee rate.  Excitingly, Kings' School Al Barsha offers scholarships. As they note on their website "Kings’ Education is proud to offer Scholarships to exceptional students. We want to attract and nurture the most gifted and talented children through our scholarship programme." There are GCSE Scholarships and A Level Scholarships. 

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