United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Al Quoz / Lycée Français Jean Mermoz

Lycée Français Jean Mermoz Review

Lycée Français Jean Mermoz, located in Al Quoz 1, opened in September 2017 and offers the French Curriculum taught in French in conjunction with English and Arabic.
Parents' Rating
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3.3 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
At a glance
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Curricula taught
Availability 2021/22
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Availability 2022/23
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Annual fee average
AED 45,500
Annual fees
AED 36,000–54,000
Price band help
Premium
Status
Open
Opening year
2017
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
30%
Principal
Thomas Dentinger
Community
Main teacher nationality
France
Main student nationality
France

Nearby nurseries

1.7km • Canadian curriculum
1.8km • EYFS curriculum
2.5km • EYFS curriculum
2.5km • EYFS curriculum
2.6km • Blended Early Years curriculum
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Lycée Français Jean Mermoz
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Good
Curricula taught
Availability 2021/22
hourglass_empty
Availability 2022/23
hourglass_empty
Annual fee average
AED 45,500
Annual fees
AED 36,000–54,000
Price band help
Premium
Status
Open
Opening year
2017
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
30%
Principal
Thomas Dentinger
Community
Main teacher nationality
France
Main student nationality
France
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Lycée Français Jean Mermoz, located in Al Quoz 1, opened in September 2017 and offers the French Curriculum taught in French in conjunction with English and Arabic.

The story so far..

Lycée Français Jean Mermoz (LFJM) is arguably the fifth French school to open in Dubai and the most recent.  Traditionally, French families sent their children either to the Lycée Français Georges Pompidou or AFLEC - both of which were consistently full. Two other schools - the Lycée Libanais and International Concept for Education (ICE)  - both largely supported by Lebanese interests and families, also offer the French curriculum, but LFJM - although accepting students from a wide range of nationalities - was clearly established to fill the gap the two original schools could not, due to simple lack of capacity.  

Lycée Français Jean Mermoz's foundation of study focuses on three main areas of student development: student autonomy, world citizenship, and the cultural and physical development of the child. On opening, the school limited classes per grade level to four in order to "promote the development and well-being of students." 

Read WSA's Hard Hat Tour of Lycée Français Jean Mermoz here

As noted in WSA's Hard Hat Tour, the hope is for this school to "introduce more 'global' ideas" to the traditional French curriculum. LFJM Principal, Thomas Dentinger, planned to bring in teacher teamwork ideas such as pair-observation, morning briefings to "challenge and improve best practice at LFJM."  

Certainly it would seem, in its fourth year of operation, LFJM has been successful in recruiting students - at the time of the school's first KHDA inspection in March 2022 (delayed one year by the Covid 19 pandemic), almost 1,000 students attended the school from Petite Section, (preKG) to 4ème (Grade 8 equivalent)) - 3ème will open in August 2022.  The school opened in 2017 with just 170 students from PS to CE2.

Staff turnover at 38% (above the UAE average of 22-24%) at first sight suggests that the school has not been so successful in retaining its teachers, but, in reality, this percentage reflects the recruitment of new staff as the school has expanded.

As would be expected, the largest nationality group among the students is French, but the school educates 60 nationalities in total, including seven Emirati students and some 40+ students of Determination.  Teachers, of whom there are 78, supported by a further 15 teaching assistants and a guidance counsellor, are predominantly French nationals. 

What about the curriculum?

The school follows the French National Curriculum and is accredited by the French Ministry of Education through the Agence pour l’enseignement français à l’étranger (AEFE).  Students study French, English and Arabic from CM. 

The majority of students start the school as non-English speakers in Maternelle. According to the DISB inspection team, when compared to the national French curriculum standards, the attainment of students in English is excellent. The school uses the Cambridge curriculum to supplement English provision and students’ achievement in lessons is good in Primaire and very good in Collège. 

What about the facilities?

Located in the Al Qouz area, close to the main residential areas of Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim but with easy access to the Al Khail Road, the purpose-built campus includes a 300-seat auditorium, two libraries, three laboratories, and a canteen. Outdoor facilities include a semi-Olympic size swimming pool, two sports fields, and two gymnasiums. There are two large covered outside play areas with play equipment for younger students.

What the inspectors say

The first inspection of LFJM was postponed by one year as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, but when it did finally take place in March 2022, the school achieved a Good rating - the highest rating given to schools on their first inspection.  This is the minimum rating that Dubai schools are expected to achieve by the KHDA, which has taken active steps to prevent students attending schools rated Acceptable and Weak.

In fact, the rating of Good seems a little unkind on first review.  The school has clearly made a very strong start in terms of the delivery of its curriculum and the academic achievements of its students, with the ratings for progress and achievement for French, English and Mathematics being rated Very Good across the school. Science was also rated Very Good in Collège, but Good in Maternelle and Primaire.  Learning skills were also found to be Very Good in Maternelle and Collège, though Good in Primaire.

Students' personal development was rated Outstanding across the school - a rare accolade in a first inspection, whilst their social development and innovation skills were rated Very Good. Their Understanding of Islamic values and awareness of Emirati and world cultures was rated Good.

Other highlights include the Curriculum design and implementation, and the Health and Safety of students including Child Protection and Safeguarding, rated Very Good across the school. The leadership and management of the school, Management, staffing, facilities and resources, and the relationship between LFJM, parents and the Community, similarly were awarded Very Good ratings.  Almost all other ratings were awarded Good, including the Provision and outcomes for students of determination.

If LFJM has a weakness, it is without doubt in the provision of the Arabic subjects. Islamic Education and Arabic as a second language were awarded Acceptable across the school. But the immediate concern that LFJM will need to address is the Acceptable rating for student achievement in Arabic as a first language in Primaire, and the award of a Weak rating for attainment in Collège

Overall, the inspection team defined the strengths of LFJM as:

  • Students’ excellent behaviour and attitudes to learning
  • The community of the school, which is underpinned by warm relationships, very effective communication and a productive partnership with parents
  • High attainment in French, mathematics, English and science
  • School leaders' clear vision for the school, which provides a coherent sense of purpose
  • The spacious and well-resourced learning environment.

In terms of areas of improvement, the main focus is on those key performance standards rated Good, and inevitably on Arabic as a first language provision. 

The inspection team identified the need for LFJM to:

  • Increase the proportion of lessons which provide the highest quality of learning through:
    – the more consistent teacher use of assessment data to adapt lessons to meet the needs of all students;
    – extending the active role of students in their own learning.
  • Improve the impact of provision for students of determination by:
    – developing the leadership capacity for inclusion;
    – enhancing daily planning, including supporting teachers with specialist input.
  • Enhance the curriculum through:
    – extending the connections made to UAE’s values, culture and society;
    – increasing curricular adaptations to meet the needs of different groups, including lower and higher achieving students.
  • Improve achievement in Arabic and Islamic Education.

There is no question that LFJM has every reason to be very satisfied with their first inspection result. It has often be stated by the KHDA that probably the most vital asset of any school in terms of improvement is its leadership. 

The inspection team noted particularly that "Leaders provide a strong vision which is shared by the whole community. Educational leadership ensures the consistency and quality of provision continues to improve, even with high numbers of new staff, due to expansion... Delegation has been carefully managed to develop the capacity of leaders. Relationships and communication are key strengths. Senior leaders demonstrate their ability to innovate and improve the school, being particularly effective in the delivery of high-quality learning in Collège. School leaders understand the school’s strengths and areas for improvement, using available data effectively to produce a self-evaluation that was informative and broadly accurate."   

It is rare to find as positive a statement on first inspection in relation to the leadership of a school.

If you would like to read the full inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings - you will find it here.

The Buzz

WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has received very limited feedback to our Parent Survey.  The small number of parents who have completed the survey are broadly positive about the school. The greater majority agree that their children have a strong sense of belonging and that they enjoy going to school, they are broadly satisfied with feedback from the school and its disciplinary policy. 

Where respondents differ is in respect of the academic performance of the school  - where two thirds were satisfied, but one third was not - and over the value for money represented by the fees and whether they would recommend it to other parents-  where again two thirds were satisfied, but the remaining third were split between being unsure and disagreement.  

If you are a parent, teacher or older student at Lycée Français Jean Mermoz, please share your experience and opinions with other potential members of your community and complete our Survey here.

The KHDA inspection process did not include the usual pre-inspection survey, so there is limited comment in relation to parents' views of the school. However, the report does note that:

"An active parents’ association, Les Amis de Jean Mermoz, organises a variety of events. There is an opendoor policy and a wide variety of communication channels, including dedicated apps for administrative communication and events. Parents support their children’s learning well, leading to greater attainment. Parents receive regular written reports that cover academic progress and personal and social development. Four parent-teacher conferences are held annually."

Our View

Without doubt, Lycée Français Jean Mermoz has a very strong first impression on the DSIB inspectors and parent feedback to the inspection team has been very positive. This school will not - at least on its current campus - have the capacity to extend to a large number of students, and in some ways, that should ensure that the very positive communication between the school and its parents will remain.

We are interested to see how the school continues to develop and what progress has been made when it is next inspected.  After such a strong start, we expect further positive developments in LFJM's delivery of a quality education.

What about the fees?

School fees start at  AED 36,000 for the "petite section" which is ages 3/4 and rise to  AED 54,000 for 4ème. The fee structure appears to add AED 2,000 per grade, so are likely to reach AED 62,000 for Terminale. These fees include stationary but not textbooks or personal devices (iPads are a requirement from 6ème. There is an additional AED 500 Pre-registration fee, as well as an AED 3,000 First Registration Fee.  A sibling discount of 10% applies from the third child.

 

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

Lycée Français Jean Mermoz 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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