Primus Private School, located on the Dubai- Sharjah border area in Al Waaq'a, was previously known as Rajagiri International School. The school has undergone a brand transformation, whilst maintaining its Good rating by the KHDA for the 11th year in a row during the 2019-20 inspection process.
Primus Private School (PPS), previously known as Rajagiri International School, is a CBSE curriculum school, teaching boys and girls from Kindergarten to Grade 12 as of the 2019-20 academic year.
At the time of the last KHDA inspection in 2019-20, PPS had approximately 1,400 students and 108 teachers, together with three teaching assistants and five guidance counsellors, the majority of whom were Indian passport holders. This gives the school a teacher to student ratio of 1:13 with actual class sizes averaging 27 students, erring on the larger side. Teacher turnover was 19 percent - below the UAE average of 20-22%, although on the high side for an Indian led school.
One perhaps less usual (and some parents may feel less desirable) focus of the KG curriculum is on Computer skills. Primus says "We expose our children to the IT world from a very young age. Our state-of-the-art computer labs and Audio Visual rooms are an indication of our adaptability to the ever changing IT world. They provide every student the opportunity to use the computer on one to one ratio, thus making them techno-smart".
There is also an early focus on Parental support in relation to reading, whereby the Kindergarten Reading Program – School Home Link is designed to develop a link between school and home. The programme aims to familiarise parents with the teaching techniques implemented for the kindergartners and thereby enable parents to adopt similar techniques with their children at home as well. To effectively achieve this purpose, the book is being sent home at regular intervals for parents to make ample and suitable use of it.
The Primary phase curriculum from Grades 1 to 5 is imparted through ‘learning by doing’. The curriculum is designed to provide students with opportunities for personal and intellectual growth through speaking, listening, reading, viewing, writing, and representing to make meaning of their surrounding environment. Students completing primary school will be able to question, investigate and make critical observations; the curriculum emphasizes enquiry, creativity, analytical evaluation,
Core subjects include English, Arabic, Mathematics, Environmental studies/Science, Social Studies, Computer Studies, Second Languages (a choice between French, Malayalam or Hindi), and Islamic Education (Muslim Students). Co-curricular subjects include Physical Education, Swimming, Art & Creative Expressions, Vocal Music, Dance, Yoga/Karate, Dramatization, Public Speaking and Gardening.
According to Primus, the Middle School Curriculum is framed on "the principals [sic] of NCERT and also by taking required extensions from International curriculum, focused on key concepts and skills on which growth and development of an individual is built during the early adolescence". The curriculum is designed to develop a balance of knowledge, understanding and application of the key concepts of the core subjects along with focus on the 21 century skills of critical & creative thinking, problem solving and analytical reasoning.
Core subjects remain largely as per the Primary curriculum with the addition of Moral Education and of 'Makers' within the co-curricular programme.
Once students move on to Grades 9 and 10 , in preparation for their first CBSE Board Examinations, the focus of the curriculum is "to encourage higher order critical thinking, innovation, reasoning, analytical and logical applications".
The curriculum options are designed to provide ample opportunities for students to study a range of subjects. The core curriculum includes English, Maths, Science, Arabic (as an additional language), Islamic Education (for Muslim Students), Moral Education, a second language option of Hindi, French or Malayalam, and Social Studies both UAE & Indian. A range of co-scholastic activities are offered including Physical Education, Swimming, Music, Art, Dance, Drama, English club, Science club, Maths club, MUN club and Work Experience opportunities.
Finally, in the Senior Secondary section, the curriculum encompasses five major learning areas; Languages, Humanities, Mathematics, Science, Commerce, Health and Physical Education. In common with the vast majority of CBSE curriculum schools, students choose between Commerce and Science streams with a relatively limited range of choices. Although Art and Creative Expression are included as co-curricular options, there are no Liberal Arts subjects included within the core curriculum.
All children participate in activities including swimming, literary club. Music, Dance, Games, Gymnastics, Aerobics, and Art. The Literary Club includes different activities such as elocution, drama, recitation and reading. A Reading club supports students whose reading skills need improvement. Students are able to display their dance and musical talents at special assemblies, UAE National Day Celebrations, Environment Day, Sports Days, Concerts and Talent Week.
The school provides a well balanced and graded physical education programme which includes healthy sportsmanship. The children are introduced to the basics of games including football, badminton, table tennis and basketball. There is also a focus on different activities according to the students' ages, starting from Mass Drill, March past, Parades and the basics of gymnastics. Special emphasis is placed on track and field games.
PPS had some 65+ students with SEN requirements and promotes itself as an inclusive school. The Student Development Centre takes the lead in providing an inclusive education to students in close collaboration with parents, teachers and external specialists. Primus offers a range of additional provisions which are subject to staffing and availability and are offered in response to the needs of the cohort. They include, but are not limited to: Interventions for literacy, Interventions for mathematics, Speaking and listening, Social skills, Motor skills, Life skills, Directed studies, and Extra-curricular activities specific to students with SEND.
The school's SEN team supports students who are identified as needing learning support, following post-entry and routine screening, are given help either individually or in small groups. Individual Education Plans are drawn up for relevant students. These are managed by the Learning Support team and close communication with parents is believed to be essential in ensuring that this support is as effective as possible.
PPS has developed a network of external providers, who parents can contract to provide specialist assessment and therapy services . These services include Comprehensive developmental/diagnostic assessment, Psycho educational assessment, Behavioral assessment and intervention, Occupational Therapy/Sensory Integration assessment and intervention, Speech and Language Therapy assessment and intervention, and personalised support from a 1:1 Learning Support Assistant.
Support with their learning is not just restricted to those children who sometimes find the going difficult – it is the school's aim that students at the top end of the ability spectrum are also given support and challenge within their learning, so as to further enhance their skills and achievement.
Unfortunately, PPS does not include any details of students' academic achievements at Grade X or Grade XII although the first cohort of Grade 12 students would have completed their studies in 2021. This is a great pity as WhichSchoolAdvisor.com believes that sharing the achievements of students with their school community is an important means for parents and older students to make decisions on the suitability of a school at this level.
The school does, however, include full details of PPS students' participation in one of the major international benchmarking tests - TIMSS (trends in Maths and Science), which last took place in 2019. PPS students performed well ahead of target in this and the full detailed report is available here.
Classrooms are spacious, with no overcrowding, and provide a good learning environment. They are child friendly equipped with interactive white boards to facilitate modern teaching methodologies and embrace the advantages that technology has to offer, whilst at the same time ensuring a "smooth blending with traditional chalk and talk". Recent improvements to playground surfaces have also expanded outside learning opportunities for students.
Specialist facilities include a KG rumpus room, a learner and larger swimming pool, an updated library, a large football field and covered indoor sports area, KG play areas with large climbing equipment, an indoor activity area with table tennis and indoor sports activities, Music and Art rooms, computer and science laboratories and an auditorium.
The school offers a variety of co-curricular activities for Kindergarten and Primary Students. The co-curricular activities for the Kindergarten takes place during their regular school time. The activities for the Primary Section are conducted between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm.
For the eleventh year in a row, Primus School achieved the KHDA's minimum targeted rating of Good (as opposed to the minimum required rating of Acceptable). As is so often the case, though, the overall rating does not really cover the full situation.
The 2019-20 inspection report must have been something of a disappointment to PPS. For whilst there were improvements in ratings - notably in Primary and Middle School English attainment to Very Good, and in KG Science to Good - eight further ratings for Student Achievement were downgraded, all in relation to Progress and across each section of the school aside from KG. This appears to have been driven by a weakness among certain teachers to meet the learning needs, through differentiation, of different groups of students - particularly those with additional learning requirements. The provision and outcomes for students of Determination was one of the few Acceptable ratings within the report.
The two further key performance standards to which the Inspectors always pay particular attention of Teaching and Assessment and the Curriculum are rated at least Good (and in the case of Curriculum design in KG, Very Good). Students' personal and social development and their innovation skills are clearly strengths, being rated Outstanding across the school for Personal development, and Very Good across Primary, Middle and Secondary for Social and innovation skills.
Health and safety (including Child protection) are also rated Outstanding across the school whilst Care and Protection retained their Very good rating. Finally, the remaining key performance standard of Leadership and Management retained its mix of Good and Very Good from the previous inspection.
In terms of the strengths of PPS, inspectors identified these as:
As regards the main areas of improvement, the inspection team advised that PPS should:
If you would like to read the Inspection report in full - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings - you will find it here.
In common with all UAE private and public schools, PPS was subject to a Distance Learning Evaluation following the implementation of on-line learning at all schools as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. PPS achieved the highest Developed rating. The report can be found here.
Feedback to the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Parent Survey has been relatively limited. Parents who have responded, have given the school an overall rating of 3.5/5 - or a positivity rating of 70%. Despite somewhat mixed views overall, including some concerns around value for money of fees, academic performance, communication and disciplinary policy, an overwhelming 89% would recommend PPS to other parents.
In order for us to be able to share a more representative view of the school for potential members of your community, if you are a parent, teacher or student at PPS, please share your opinions and experience and complete our survey here.
Almost 300 parents completed the KHDA's pre-inspection survey, with 98% of respondents stating that they were satisfied with the quality of education provided by PPS. Parents indicated that school leaders listened to them and took action when necessary. They agreed that their children were safe at school and that teachers helped them to develop their learning skills. Parents confirmed that they were kept well-informed by the school.
282 students from Grades 6 to 12 (almost the entire student body) participated in the KHDA's Well-being survey. They reported high levels of satisfaction, and spoke highly of their sense of belonging and friendships at school. Their overall levels of happiness were above the average of schools in Dubai. The majority of students were optimistic about their futures.
It is very evident from parent and student feedback that the community at PPS is a satisfied one. However, from the view of the DSIB inspection team, there are clearly improvements still to be made. Any school that achieves the same rating for eleven years, has most certainly made progress in its provision - the demands from the KHDA have grown annually and schools that stand still are in reality going backwards, It seems that PPS is one of a number, who on the face of it, are not quite prepared to make the step up to the next level, despite there being obvious areas where they are out-performing the current rating.
We would hope that the team at PPS addresses the specific areas of improvement - and hopefully the downgrades in the last inspection will provide the motivation to achieve this.
KHDA approved tuition fees range from AED 11,339 per annum for KG rising to AED 22,731 for Grades 9 to 12. For the 2022-23 academic year, PPS is offering discounts ranging from 15% in KG to 5% in Grades 1-6. Full details can be found here. In addition, the school charges an annual Resources Fee for KG1, KG2 of AED 300, and from Grade 1 to 12, of AED 400. The school offers sibling discounts of 10% for each additional child.
Tuition fees may be paid in 10 equal instalments during the academic year. There is a lump sum payment discount of 5% for payment in full and parents also have the option to make full payment by credit card.
Primus Private School 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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