New Delhi Private School was set up in 2017 for the express purpose of providing a further Primary level feeder school to the long established Delhi Private School Sharjah.
The original Delhi Private School Sharjah opened in 2000 with 146 students. Over the past twenty years, the school has grown to approximately 6,000 students and its success has resulted in phased expansion, with a separate Senior wing being added in 2004, a separate Primary block in 2008 and, almost ten years later, the opening of a Primary-only school as a feeder to the original school in 2017.
Such is the demand that the New Delhi Private School Sharjah (NDPS) now has close to 850 students, with some 210 in the KG section, a further 410 in the lower Primary and 215 in the upper Primary.
The school is led by Ms Bhanu Sharma under the direction of DPS Private Schools UAE owner Mr. Dinesh Khotari. Delhi Private School in Dubai is under the same ownership.
NDPS Sharjah was established on the basis of a growing need to offer quality education and services to a large Indian Professional community. The school says that "at NDPS Sharjah, we firmly believe that a strong foundation is most important for the future. Our clear aim and purpose is to provide a holistic learning environment in which students achieve their very best, academically, physically and socially, following in the footsteps of our parent school."
As would be expected, the majority of students (98%) and staff are Indian nationals, but the school has students representing five further nationalities including American, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Philippine and Sudanese.
Classes are mixed-gender until grade 5 when they are separated, in line with the sister school that NDPS feeds and in line with SPEA regulations. The overall balance of boys to girls within the school is 14:10. There are generally 5 sections per grade with the exception of Grades 1 and 5 where there are six, and Grade 4 which has three sections. Classes average 24, with maximum sizes of 22 in the KG sections and 25 students in the remaining grades.
The school says "We aim to turn out happy pupils with sound moral values, who are hardworking, self-disciplined, considerate, responsible and sociable Individuals ready to face the challenges of the twenty-first century."
NDPS employs 73 teachers and a further 12 teaching assistants, enabling a teacher to student ratio of 1:11 - very much on the low side for Indian schools. In general the school boasts a low staff turnover rate of 6% (compared with a UAE average of 20-22% in international schools, although Indian curriculum numbers are generally more positive) and explains the reason behind this as "Our team loves to stay together, when for unfortunate reasons a team member has to leave NDPS doors are always open to welcome them back."
Whilst the vast majority of teachers are Indian passport holders, the school does also employ teachers from America, Egypt and the Philippines. All staff at NDPS are graduates from recognised universities, with overseas teaching experience in their specified subjects. A further reason why teacher turnover is low may well be the regular professional development for all its team members. A substantial amount (5%) of the school budget is assigned every year for teacher professional development.
NDPS Sharjah follows the CBSE curriculum which advocates a Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation process, designed to bring about a paradigm shift from examination-centered learning to a more holistic education. The teaching is a thematic and activity-based learning process. This approach emphasises ‘learning by doing' and the importance of adopting innovative methods to achieve academic excellence whilst taking into account psychological, pedagogical and social principles.
The school told WhichSchoolAdvisor.com that what separates it from others are the following attributes:
"The delivery of a multilayered educational model consisting of macro and micro paradigms, that is based on the principle to provide not only academic, but also enhance learning, enhance skills and inculcates positive attitude, passionate students, who are willing to challenge their limits to achieve the best and compete in 21st century.
Our school aims to consider the uniqueness and individual needs of its pupils by delivering a broad based and relevant Curriculum. We endeavor to motivate, support and inspire emotional and educational growth in a safe, secure, stress-free environment."
Learning is centered on hands on activities, lab work, project work, games, logical and lateral thinking activities. Cross curricular teaching also forms an integral part of the learning process which is delivered through appropriate hands-on learning experiences, discussions, stories, class assemblies and carefully organized field trips
Students begin their educational journey in the Kindergarten where learning is focused on various theme-based, hands-on teaching techniques. As students move on to Grades 1 and 2, learning becomes more formal and they acquire a range of skills through cross curricular teaching which prepares them to think and experiment on their own. In Grades 3, 4 and 5, students continue to build confidence and become active participants in the learning process. They also get ready for formal assessments through weekly tests.
According to the school, great care is taken in the Primary Section to ensure that "the syllabus of one class dovetails into the next higher class in such a way that no undue burden is felt by the student." The curriculum reflects not only the scholastic aspects, but also life skills acquisition, personality attributes, interests, values and proficiency in co-curricular activities reflecting a true picture of the growth and profile of the learner.
Core subjects are Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, Moral education, Islamic Studies and Arabic. Additional languages are also offered from Grade 3, when student may choose between Hindi and French.
In line with its commitment to offer a holistic education, NDPS offers broad range of extra-curricular activities including Dance (Indian and Contemporary), Music (Vocal and Instrumental), Art, Robotics, Swimming, Basketball, Cricket, Badminton, Chess, Board Games, Soccer, Table Tennis, and STEM. All activities provided within the stipulated school hours are integrated in the students' timetable and covered in the tuition fee paid.
NDPS also aims to provide afternoon activities which are optional with an extra charge.
In addition, Grade 5 students are provided with opportunities for international trips. For the academic year 2019-20 the Grade 5 students travelled to India for a fee of around AED 3,400.
NDPS has a small number of students that have been identified as in need of additional support (a total of 13). The schools says its staff is sensitive towards students of determination with all teachers oriented towards screening of SEND students. The school follows an inclusive approach with specialised support by a counsellor and special educator.
An individualised educational plan (IEP) is followed in support classes to facilitate the classroom teaching. Students attend one on one remedial sessions with the special educator. The IEP is followed by the special educator and it is also shared with all concerned teachers in order to modify the curriculum according to the student’s needs. The school provides extra time and the availability of a prompter/reader during assessments.
During the classes, students are also divided for discussions in mixed ability groups. They are given differentiated worksheets and the curriculum also includes activity-based learning. The school points out that the provision of peer support "is a way to ensure building healthy socio-emotional relationships." Parents work as partners with the teachers with the common aim of supporting the child.
The school also has a facility of a learning support assistant where needed by a student. If necessary, parents are responsible for sourcing a shadow teacher whom they support financially. There is no extra cost for SEN provision through the school's own team.
Students who require additional support in the English language are also provided with this free of charge.
NDPS measures student attainment and progress through a range of benchmark tests:- ASSET 2019-20 (where 90% of students attained above stanine 6 and were ranked Outstanding in English, Maths and Science). Students will participate in CAT4 (Cognitive Bench-mark tests) and PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) for the first time in 2020-21, together with TIMMS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) which will also be conducted next in 2020-21. Both TIMMS and PIRLS are international tests to which the UAE Government has committed participation.
NDPS was also successful in winning the Young Philanthropic Dubai Cares award and Hamdan award recognition in its first attempt by its students.
New Delhi Private School is located on a campus of over 8000 square metres of land. The schools says that it aims "to provide facilities that are an integral component of conducive learning, comfortable and safe for students."
Facilities include Smart Classrooms, a Library, a STEM Lab, a Language Lab, a Computer Lab, Creativity Stations, an Enrichment Resource Centre, a Music Room, a Dance Studio, an Art Room, a Sensory Garden, a Clinic, a Canteen, and a technology infrastructure to a BYOD (Bring your own device) policy.
In addition to the academic and creative activities, students are encouraged to be involved in sports and games activities that nurture their physical growth and development. To this end, sports facilities include a Swimming Pool, Basketball Court, Badminton Court, Soccer Field, Cricket Practice Nets, Indoor Play Areas for KG, an Outdoor Play Area, and a Recreational Room with provision for Table Tennis, Chess, Board Games and Yoga.
As a relatively new school, NDPS has not yet taken part in a formal school inspection process in line with the Unified Inspection Process that has been introduced to schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The relatively new Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) which has taken over responsibility for private schools in the emirate - a responsibility previously administered by the Ministry of Education through Sharjah Education Zone - has committed to the introduction of the inspection process. However, it seems, in an effort to take a cooperative approach, SPEA has said that inspection results and reports will not be issued publicly initially.
However, as a first step towards a more open inspection process, SPEA has published the results of the UAE-wide Distance Learning Evaluation, mandated as a result of the switch to online learning due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
NDPS was rated Developed - the highest of the three possible ratings. If you would like to find out more about the process and the results, you will find the report here.
As a relatively new school, and with the lack of formal school inspection process in Sharjah, there is relatively little independent information available about NDPS. However, given the history and popularity of its sister school, we can only expect that similar standards will be maintained.
NDPS told us that "The School Community works collaboratively in a conducive and professional environment to nurture students to be confident, respectful citizens of the world and provide them the necessary tools to be successful in life as empowered contributors to global society."
If you are a parent or teacher at NDPS Sharjah and would like to share your experiences with other potential members of your community, please share them by completing our survey here.
Fees range from AED 12.500 in KG1, rising to AED 14,500 from Grades 1 to 4, and AED 14, 950 in Grade 5.
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