Modern Private School was set up in 1988 with a small number of students in a small villa at Hadbat Al Zaafran Street, Abu Dhabi, . The school has since transferred to a large building in Shakhbout City and has now grown to a student body of over 800 students. The School offers an enhanced MOE Curriculum that serves students from KG1 to Grade 12.
Modern Private School was established with the vision of providing quality education to UAE nationals, who make up 39% of the school community, and a wide range of children of other nationalities which includes Syrians (15%), Jordanians (11%), Egyptians (10%) and Algerians as well as Saudi Arabian, Sudanese, Iraqi, Yemeni, American, Iranian, Moroccan, Palestinian nationals among others.
The Modern Private School aspires “to nurture a creative and intellectually conscious generation that is ethically distinguished and faithful to the issues of his/her homeland and nation, and is responsive to the values of the local society and is able to employ scientific and practical techniques to cope with the technological renaissance that prevails in the world”.
The school has organised itself into Kindergarten– for children aged 3 years and 8 months to 5 years, Primary – for grades 1-6, Preparatory (Middle School) – for grades 7-9 students and Secondary grades 10-12. Primary, Preparatory and High Schools all have around 220-260 students, whilst the Kindergarten has approx. 90. Students are supported by 65 teachers with a teacher:student ratio of 1:22 in KG and 1:12 through the rest of the school. Although these numbers suggest a positive level of student support, the high teacher turnover level of 41% should cause some concern.
Facilities at the school appear to be good and include specialist Art and Music rooms, Biology, Physics and Chemistry Labs, a school-owned and operated canteen and outdoor sports areas including a Football field and multi-court. There is a separate Primary play area. Among the more unusual facilities is a Recording studio set up with a high-end Mac-based digital audio workstation running various recording software for recording performances or post production mixing/mastering work. The school offers a range of extra-curricular activities including creative and intellectual activities which are mandatory and take place on Thursday afternoon.
ADEK’s latest inspection took place in May 2017. The inspectors rated the overall quality of the school’s performance as acceptable and noted that the school environment "is calm, orderly and well maintained". Teaching was found to be more engaging for students compared with the last inspection result and "is leading to higher levels of motivation. As a result, students’ achievement is now broadly acceptable across the curriculum, although it remains weak in English".
Improvements were noted in relation to students’ achievement in Islamic education, Arabic, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics since the previous inspection, and the planning and implementation of more innovative teaching and learning, students’ attendance and punctuality were also deemed to have made positive progress. The management of a well-maintained, safe and secure learning environment was noted.
The quality of students’ understanding of Islamic values and awareness of Emirati and world cultures is good. Relationships between students from different cultural backgrounds are harmonious because they have a good appreciation of, and appropriate respect for, their own and other cultures. This is enhanced through their culture exhibition, for example, where they display popular food, costumes and pictures from different Arab countries. Their awareness of cultures from further afield is also developing at an acceptable level.
The school’s Admissions Policy is inclusive in its ethos and identifies students with special educational needs and those who are gifted and talented effectively. There are approximately 30 students with SEND and a significant number (approximately 200) identified with specific talents and abilities who are deemed Gifted and Talented.
Although some inconsistencies remain, the quality of teaching and learning in the majority of subjects and phases had improved and was rated acceptable overall. This represents a significant improvement and is at the heart of the school’s success in improving students’ achievement.
The overall improvement in teaching and learning (with a more motivational approach) has also impacted school discipline and has helped to improve students’ behaviour, particularly in the boys’ section. Students’ attendance and punctuality is now good. Behaviour in classrooms and around the school has improved greatly and is now acceptable overall. Health and safety, including arrangements for child protection/ safeguarding are Good.
Where the school still has significant work to do is in relation to the use of effective assessment. The quality of assessment is deemed weak. ADEK's report states that "The school’s current analysis and evaluation of students’ achievement does not reflect their performance in lessons accurately. Teachers do not check the progress of students sufficiently to find out what they know, understand and can do. Internal assessments do not produce sufficiently reliable or useful data because they are not benchmarked or moderated effectively." This is a concern, since it is an essential requirement to ensure that students are set appropriate tasks and levels of challenge.
In addition, the quality of teaching and attainment in English, modification of the curriculum to meet students’ needs (notably students with SEND or G&T) and the need for leaders’ focus on students’ learning in lesson monitoring and school evaluation were identified as areas of focus for the school. However, the inspectors feel that school leaders’ capacity to improve the school is acceptable and that further improvements can be expected.
It is to be hoped that the school continues to make the improvements evidenced in the most recent inspection report. Whilst the level of staff turnover at over 40% is disquieting, this will potentially offer the school an opportunity to recruit new staff with the necessary skills and experience to assist in this process.
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