Originally a full Primary school, Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou Oud Metha is now solely a French curriculum Kindergarten that serves ages 3 to 6 exclusively. It remains one of the most difficult schools in which to find places, despite more recent reductions in demand seen in schools following other curricula.
The story so far...
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou (LFIGP) Oud Metha is part of the larger French family of schools belonging to LFIGP with other locations in Sharjah and Dubai Academic City. The schools are also closely attached to the French Consulate which offers grants to families whose school-aged children are registered with it. The schools operate on a not for profit basis.
Originally the Primary school for the group in Dubai, the opening of the much larger, initially Secondary only, school at Dubai Academic City facilitated the transfer of all but Nursery/Kindergarten (Petite section, Moyenne section and Grande section) children to the newer site, enabling the entire Oud Metha school to be given over to the youngest children.
Part of the logic for this development is the location, and therefore limited opportunity for expansion of the Oud Metha school. It is located in the heart of Bur Dubai on a plot near the French Alliance and the French Business Council (The French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dubai) that, whilst with adequate outdoor space and facilities for the youngest students, was very restricted in terms of expansion options for a full Primary School.
The school's overall Mission is "Excellence for all". "Awarded 'Outstanding' by the KHDA and SEZ authorities, the LFIGP preaches the excellence of education provided to all its students throughout their schooling, particularly through the reinforcement of language learning from the nursery school. An individual approach to all abilities, including the provision of a support team for care of students with special needs, allows all the pupils to continue their school path in the best conditions.
The school has 18 teachers and 15 teaching assistants, providing a staff to student ratio of 1:26 - on the high side for a Kindergarten level school. Teacher turnover at 30% in 2017-18 was also on the high side for Dubai where the average ranges from 20-22% per year. In 2018-19, a more reasonable 22% of staff left the school - still rather higher than we would expect. The majority of students are French passport holders, although there are a small number of 14 Emirati students among the total cohort of just under 400.
What about the curriculum?
The school follows the French National curriculum. According to the most recent KHDA inspection report, LFIGP adheres closely to the French Kindergarten curriculum revised in 2015. The curriculum is concept driven and written in terms of skills. It is also practical, innovative and adapted to engage all children. There are well-developed opportunities for enterprise, innovation and creativity. Although not a requirement, Arabic is taught in two 30 minute sessions per week.
A programme of extracurricular cultural and sports activities is offered to Grande Section students every day from 14:00 to 15:30 and includes, among other things, arts, crafts, cooking, theatre, dance, Zumba, Basketball and mini-Football, etc. The programme of activities changes every quarter.
What about the facilities?
The school was renovated in 2014 and the single storey buildings now have larger classrooms, shaded playgrounds and play structures for kindergarten-aged students, an infirmary, a library, a gymnasium, a motor-skills room, and a cafeteria. All classrooms are also equipped with computer equipment and interactive white boards. The KHDA inspection report notes that the WiFi system needs to be improved.
What the inspectors say
As a result of its school licence, LFIGP Oud Metha is inspected annually by the KHDA inspection team - one of a small number of schools providing education at this level to be part of the inspection process. This is a school that has continued to maintain improvements over time, with the latest KHDA report for 2018-19 ranking LFIGP Oud Metha as Outstanding for the fifth year in the row.
Students' achievement across the board in French, English, Mathematics and Science is rated Outstanding. Inspectors noted "The children's excellent achievements in French, English, mathematics and science are strengths of the school. Most children are able to converse with each, teachers and visitors using at least two languages, moving easily from one language to another. They enjoy the opportunity to think, talk with one another and make fluent and meaningful contributions to their lessons".
In fact, in every measure across the school, it is rated Outstanding.
Inspectors commented that "almost all children achieve better than expected in the French curriculum. The school outperforms most comparable Kindergarten schools in France".
Praise was also given to the "highly positive" attitudes and behaviour of students, the teachers who are "exceptionally skilled in encouraging dialogue and in developing children's speaking and listening skills", the excellent health, safety, care and support "set within a welcoming and inclusive environment", and the Principal who is highly visible "and provides a nurturing leadership".
Overall the school's strengths are:
Given such high praise from the inspection team, there was little that they could recommend for improvement, although a number of suggestions for development were made within the report.
Overall, however, the sole recommendation from the Inspection team was limited to addressing the concerns raised by some parents in relation to the transition to the Primary school (at Dubai Academic City) and to the provision for Arabic learning.
Inspectors recommended that LFIGP Oud Metha should:
If you would like to read the entire KHDA inspection report - and we strongly suggest that you do - please go here.
Some 120 parents responded to the KHDA's pre-inspection survey. All of them were satisfied with the quality of education provided by the school and almost all felt it was value for money. A small minority felt that teachers and leaders do not always listen and act on views expressed. They agreed that bullying was not an issue at the school and that their children are kept safe.
The WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Parent survey has not sufficient responses to enable us to share the opinions expressed to us.
If you are a parent or teacher at Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou Oud Metha, please share your experience and views by completing our survey here.
Fees at the school for 2018-19 were AED 29,060 for Nursery (PS), KG1 (MS) and KG2 (GS). LFIGP has not yet shared the revised fees for 2019-20.
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