United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Sobha Hartland / North London Collegiate School Dubai

North London Collegiate School Dubai Q & A

Prestigious British independent school North London Collegiate School (NLCS) opened in Dubai in September 2017, the brand’s first in the Middle East.
Parents' Rating
3.4 out of 5 based on 35 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
AED 106,000
Annual fees
AED 83,000 - 130,000
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jul
James Monaghan
Sobha Group
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
Main student nationality
United Kingdom
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Welcome to the North London Collegiate School Dubai official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.

Does your school have a waiting list? In which years?

We are currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 academic year. As the school grows, it is expected that in the future a waiting list will be introduced.

What are qualities and characteristics that define your school and its students?

At NLCS Dubai, we will support every child develop their own unique gifts, and to become grounded, self-confident individuals, with no limit to their potential. Opened in September 2017, our school is located in the Sobha Hartland development at Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum City, just three kilometres from the Burj Khalifa. NLCS Dubai is an authorised International Baccalaureate Continuum School, offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the IB Diploma on a world-class, purpose-built campus.

Our students will leave us with a clear sense of where their passions and interests lie, having experienced a wide variety of activities and opportunities: academic, sporting, and artistic. They will be prepared for the challenges of a world in which borders are fading, in which international mindedness and compassion are essential. They will be equipped with the skills and attributes to think flexibly, to be independent, balanced, and to take risks where appropriate. They will welcome and be curious about other cultures and recognise a breadth of perspectives on world history and events. We believe that the IB programmes provide the ‘gold standard’ in education for today’s world and for tomorrow’s.

Since 1850, NLCS (UK) has maintained its reputation for providing an outstanding education. Founded by Victorian pioneer of education, Frances Mary Buss, in her family home in North London, the original vision of the school was to give to girls the quality of education and the aspirations that, at the time, were only afforded to men. The vision of our founder remains true to this day – we are a school which believes fundamentally in what students ‘can do’, in never placing ceilings on what they can achieve, never ‘labelling’ them, and never ‘writing them off’. Strong in tradition yet forward-thinking and outward-looking, North London Collegiate schools provide an ambitious academic education, led by highly qualified, knowledgeable teachers through engaging and inspiring lessons.

The Sutton Trust has described NLCS as the most successful school in the United Kingdom in placing its students into the country’s most competitive universities. Our 2017 average IB Diploma score of 42.4 places NLCS as the number one IB school in the UK for at least the twelfth consecutive year, and among the very best IB schools in the world. Students at NLCS Dubai will enjoy a quality of teaching and learning that enables them to strive for the highest levels of academic attainment. Our students will have confidence in their abilities and will be encouraged to believe in themselves, take risks and stretch themselves beyond what they thought possible.

We recruit some of the best teachers from around the world; they are highly qualified and inspire their students to discover a love of learning that will last a lifetime. Teachers are carefully selected for their love of their subject. They encourage students to explore beyond curriculum boundaries and discover their own passions. The school feels busy and purposeful, with warm and respectful relationships developed between staff and students and between the students themselves. It is a place where everyone matters.

We believe that a happy student is a successful student, and that with the right guidance they will be able to flourish academically and socially. Our teachers guide their students to understand academic excellence and recognise that it is attainable.

Each member of our teaching staff has a specific pastoral responsibility, ensuring that every student receives the individual support that they need in order to flourish. NLCS students exude a grounded self-confidence and a willingness to step outside of their comfort zone to try new things. Our pastoral care is designed to help students overcome any difficulties, whether academic, social or personal; we give up on no-one.

At NLCS Dubai, we understand that often it’s what students do beyond the curriculum that helps to shape their personalities and differentiate them from the crowd. All students will take part in an extensive range of extra-curricular activities, clubs and societies to pursue their interests and to discover a love of activities that perhaps they’ve never had the opportunity to try before.

Our purpose-built, 38,000 square metre campus has been carefully designed to provide an optimal learning experience and a close community feel. Our large, bright classrooms utilise the latest technologies. We offer 13 science laboratories, premium IT facilities, a state-of-the-art performing arts centre, a large dining hall and an array of sporting facilities, including tennis courts, basketball court, cricket/rugby field and an 8 lane indoor swimming pool.

How many nationalities are represented in your school? How international would you say your school is?

There are 41 different nationalities.

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

The students are 40% British and 14% from all other European countries.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

The teacher to student ration is between 1:7 and 1:12. Each child benefits from a very high level of pastoral care. In pre-Kindergarten to Grade 1, there will be not more than 20 children in a class, joined by one teacher and one teaching assistant.

Between Grades 2 and 7, there will not be more than 24 in a class, again accompanied by one teacher and one teaching assistant (two teachers, rather than one teacher and one teaching assistant in Grades 6 and 7).

From Grade 8 onwards, class sizes will be smaller and will initially depend on demand.

If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?

NLCS Dubai is an authorised IB World School, offering the IB continuum through the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the IB Diploma.

What percentage of your sixth form that take exams at 18 go to university, and where, in general, do they go?

In keeping with patterns at NLCS (UK) and NLCS Jeju in South Korea, we expect 100% of our graduating students to go on to further studies at the world’s leading universities, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States, but also Australia, Canada, Europe, The Middle East, Asia and elsewhere.

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

There is a certain ‘alchemy’ at work in NLCS Schools, which combines an ambitious academic education with pastoral care that truly values each individual and a range of extra-curricular activities that caters for every possible interest and talent. ‘Everyone matters’ at NLCS Schools, and that means that every individual is well-known, is valued for who they are, and their contribution is recognised and celebrated. The opportunities for leadership, for public speaking, for performance, for creative expression, and for sports and outdoor activities are many and varied, and coupled with our focus on supporting the individual, the result is that students feel happy, and are given the confidence to run their own race – to embrace challenges, to be grounded, resilient and to flourish in whatever walk of life they may choose.

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?

Children in the First School will undertake a small amount, approximately 20 minutes, of reading homework on a daily basis. In addition they will have another homework activity once per week, such as maths.

Students in the Lower School have about thirty minutes of homework in an evening and this rises to about forty minutes at the top of the Junior School. The school does not set homework over the holidays.

In the Senior School, homework levels will vary at different times of the year, and depending on which courses a student is following. However, we always seek quality over quantity, and recognise that all students need their down-time.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?

All students have timetabled lessons in P.E. and have numerous sporting clubs to choose from. We encourage our students to make the most of the Extra-curricular programme which is offered during the lunch hour and after school. There are also additional training sessions for team players before and after school.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

We are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles at NLCS Dubai. We will serve a wide range of healthy, delicious lunches and snacks in our school cafeteria. Children are taught about health and well-being, and all students will undertake regular physical activity through our P.E. lessons and numerous after-school sports clubs and societies. Our pastoral care programme ensures that students can access emotional and mental well-being support as required. Further details will be published at www.nlcsdubai.ae.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Healthy eating is promoted in the P.E. curriculum, during PSHE and Moral Education lessons and in the choices available to the students in our cafeteria.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students? How does it promote a balanced diet?

Yes. The school has a very spacious, comfortable cafeteria where students will be able to dine at lunch times.

What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?

Grade 4 and below pay 22 Dirhams and Grade 5 and above pay 26 Dirhams.

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?

All children will start at 8.00am. Children in Pre-KG to Grade 5 will finish at 3.20pm, with after school activities and clubs running until 4.05pm. Students in Grade 6 and above will finish at 4.00pm, with after school activities running until 5.00pm.

The main school bus service will depart at 3.30pm and 4.30pm, and the late school bus service will depart at 5.15pm.

Is there a school uniform?

Yes. Parents will be able to obtain school uniforms by ordering online directly from our supplier, visiting our supplier’s store in Dubai, or by collection from the school at designated times prior to the start of the new school year. Contact details for our supplier
can be found on the Uniform page of our website. http://www.nlcsdubai.ae/parents/uniform

Please advise on your discipline policy?

School rules are kept to a minimum and exist to ensure that all members of the School community can live and work together in a supportive way. Our Behaviour Policy is not primarily concerned with rule enforcement; it is a means of promoting good relationships so that everyone feels happy, safe and secure. This policy supports the School community in aiming to allow everyone to work together in an effective and considerate way.

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?

Feedback is via Reports and Parents Evenings. Additionally, NLCS parents are always welcome to pop in for a chat with teachers.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?

Parents receive two written reports per term and, in addition, attend one parents' evening per term with their child.

Which languages are taught at your school - please detail any as a first as well as second language?

In addition to English, which is our main language of instruction, we offer Arabic, French, Spanish and Mandarin, with German being added from September 2019. As the school grows, where there is sufficient demand for additional languages, it will be our policy to meet this demand wherever possible.

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?

Yes. We have a Head of EAL and additional support from teachers and teaching assistants.

Do you offer a dedicated prayer room/s for students? For which faiths?

Yes. Prayer rooms for male and female students, as well as for staff members and visitors, will be available.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

Yes, we have a dedicated Learning Support Department.

Not all schools are staffed or resourced to offer learning support to those children with either moderate or significant learning needs. To what level can you offer support for those with learning differences?

Students with a variety of special educational needs and/or disabilities will be able to demonstrate their academic potential and hence access the curriculum. We recommend that parents consult with our admissions team as early as possible for further guidance regarding our learning support provision, in order to allow us to investigate and put in place any special requirements.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

We have a Parents' Guild and class representatives in Grades 5 and below.

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?

Absolutely – we offer many opportunities for parents to be as actively involved within the school community as possible.

Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?

Yes, parents are invited to join the Board of Governors and form a vital link between the School and our wider school community.

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?

Yes. We host many Open Events throughout the academic year which include; Open Afternoons, Taster Days, School in Action and information evenings on the International Baccalaureate. Please see our website for further details and to register your interest.

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

North London Collegiate School Dubai 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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