United Arab Emirates / Sharjah / Muweilah / Providence English Private School

Providence English Private School Review

Providence English Private School (PEPS) is a KG1 to Grade 12 school that follows the National Curriculum for England. PEPS’s special emphasis lies in shaping individuals with strong moral and social values, who go on to contribute to the development of their societies and countries.
At a glance
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
AED 19,000
Annual fees
AED 13,520 - 27,800
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
1999
School year
Sep to Jul
Principal
Marwa Diaa
Community
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Providence English Private School
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
AED 19,000
Annual fees
AED 13,520 - 27,800
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
1999
School year
Sep to Jul
Principal
Marwa Diaa
Community
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Providence English Private School (PEPS) is a KG1 to Grade 12 school that follows the National Curriculum for England. PEPS’s special emphasis lies in shaping individuals with strong moral and social values, who go on to contribute to the development of their societies and countries.

The story so far . . .

Located in the popular Muweilah area of Sharjah, Providence English Private School (PEPS) opened in 1999 with a primary aim to “bring out the multifarious talents inbuilt in the students to face all the challenges in the life”.

PEPS’s mission is to produce global citizens, encouraging its students to develop the knowledge, skills, and values they need to engage with the world. At its heart, PEPS believes that all students can make a difference if they take an active role in their community and work with others towards equality and sustainability. In order to achieve these key goals, PEPS seeks to:

build new generations of young innovative leaders that are developed Spiritually, Physically, Academically, and Socially to serve our nation and global community.”

The sponsors and staff at PEPS believe that good character and conduct-building breed wisdom and strength, encouraging students to acquire not only knowledge but a long-lasting desire to hone skills for the future. As the school puts it:

We explore the fantasies of our students to bring out the hidden Newtons, Shellies, Lincolns, Peles . . . out of them to become the future bench marks for others.

The school’s principal, Dr Marwa Diaa, explains that while student achievement is a key concern, PEPS also realises the importance of developing student character to create the best possible learning environment. Through a combination of strong leadership, dedicated staff, and years of experience, PEPS students learn the importance of respecting each other, their teachers, and society.

What about the Curriculum?

PEPS models its curriculum on the National Curriculum for England, to ensure the all-round development of each student. Each year, students undergo two main exams, four monthly tests, and numerous other weekly tests and projects. PEPS then primarily offers IGCSEs and AS-Levels; in addition, Arabic and Islamic Studies are compulsory for all Arab students, while Arabic as a Second Language is mandatory for non-Arabic speakers. As per the UAE’s Ministry of Education (MOE) requirements, students take Social Studies from Grade 4 onwards.

In addition to Arabic Studies and Islamic Studies, students in KG1 and KG2 take English; Maths; Science; Art; Physical Development; and Personal, Social, and Emotional Development. From Grades 1 to 8, students continue to take Arabic Studies and Islamic Studies in addition to the core subjects of Maths, English, and Science, plus Moral Education and Social Studies.

Starting in Grade 9, students prepare for the IGCSEs; in common with a number of UAE-based schools, the IGCSE programme is offered over three years rather than two. Most students then go on to study for AS-Level examinations in Grade 12, rather than completing the two year A-Level programme which is usually required for university entry outside the UAE.

We would anticipate, in line with usual practice, that students will take the core subjects of First Language English or English as a Second Language; Maths; and Biology, Chemistry, and Physics (as a combined Double or Triple Science). Students would also be expected to take the following: Arabic Studies; Islamic Studies; Social Studies; Moral Education; ICT; and Environmental Management. Students can then continue these subjects into Grade 10 and 11, and Business Studies is also added as an option.

Finally, students take the AS-Levels in Grade 12, and can study the following: Biology; Physics; Chemistry; Business; Economics; Information Technology; Maths; English; Islamic Studies; and Arabic Studies. As can be seen from the subject options, PEPS offers a very traditional learning model, with a heavy emphasis on Arabic education and Business/Science streams.

While A-Levels do look to be available, it would seem that only a limited number of students go on to take them, and the subject range is extremely limited – with only Maths, Biology, Chemistry, and Information Technology being offered.

The school also seems to rely heavily on textbook learning, believing that its books are the highest asset of the school:

we take pride in the prescribed text books we have chosen after much research from the world known publishers.” 

However, students do have the chance to pursue more creative activities through PEPS’s extensive extra-curricular schedule. This is a school which strongly believes that sports rejuvenate high spirits, and as the school website states: A Healthy Life is a Wealthy Life.

To this end, it is compulsory for all students to take part in at least one form of sport or game, and PEPS is associated with various local sports clubs so that students have the best facilities available to them. Extra-curricular activities include: basketball; football; volleyball; athletics; cricket; Maths, Science, and Art clubs; and a dance club. Furthermore, competitions are run for spelling, drawing and painting, business ideas, creative writing, Quran, Arabic reading, English reading, mental maths, debate, innovation, physics, chemistry, industrial engineering, and robotics.

PEPS is involved in charities as well, celebrating Pink Day (breast cancer awareness) and encouraging its students to take part in community service. Students can also run for places on the student counsel, and the school runs a variety of fairs including a book fair and a student career development fair. As well as celebrating UAE holidays such as National Day, Martyr Day, and Flag Day, PEPS also hosts field trips, inter-school competitions, an annual Sports Day, a Profession Day, and a Traditional Dress Day.

The final key aspect of the school curriculum is its Digital Citizenship Program. PEPS has a team of ICT teachers who deliver one lesson a month at each grade level, following a dedicated Digital Citizenship Curriculum. PEPS does this through a non-profit organisation called Common Sense Education in Schools, and teaches students in the following three areas:

  • Responsibility to Oneself – staying safe online and protecting your reputation.
  • Responsibility to Family and Friends ­­– protecting the online privacy of others.
  • Responsibility to the World – communicating in a kind, respectful manner while positively contributing to appropriate online conversations.

What about Inclusion?

While PEPS does not have a detailed programme for Special Needs Education, the school website does mention that it offers remedial classes for students who are lagging behind their peers in academic achievement. These students receive extra attention from the staff and one-on-one instruction in order to improve their performance.

What about Academic Achievement? 

Unlike many schools in the UAE, PEPS has made past academic results publicly available, most recently for 2018-19 and 2019-20; available results include IGCSE, AS-Level, and A-Level results, in addition to PISA, TIMSS, and Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary Checkpoint assessments.

PEPS looks to perform fairly well in IGCSEs, although student attainment seems to decline as students move towards their final years of schooling. In 2018, achievement in all subjects was either in line with international attainment levels, or above it; Arabic Studies students seem to perform particularly well. You can see all 2018 results below: 

2018 IGCSEs

SUBJECT

Grade B or Above

Grade C or Above

Below C

English as Second Language

67%

85%

15%

Mathematics

56%

86%

14%

Biology

43%

75%

25%

Chemistry

54%

93%

7%

Physics

41%

91%

9%

ICT

78%

100%

0%

First Language Arabic

76.47%

100%

0%

Environmental Management

70%

90%

10%

Business Studies

86%

86%

14%

 

2018 AS-Levels 

SUBJECT

Grade B or Above

Grade C or Above

Below C

English Language

0%

50%

50%

Mathematics

57%

21%

21%

Biology

45%

91%

9%

Chemistry

25%

75%

25%

Physics

42%

17%

41%

Information Technology

75%

100%

0%

First Language Arabic

100%

0%

0%

Business Studies

100%

0%

0%

 

2018 A-Levels

SUBJECT

Grade B or Above

Grade C or Above

Below C

Mathematics

67%

100%

0%

Biology

50%

50%

50%

Chemistry

100%

100%

0%

Information Technology

33%

33%

66.67%

As can be seen from the results, students perform fairly in their IGCSEs, but performance seems to decline during the AS- and A-Level years. English Language, Chemistry, and Information Technology seem to be particular areas of difficulty. The 2019 results, which are published by specific grade rather than wider brackets e.g. Grade B or above, show that students tend to achieve middling marks rather than at the higher end of the scale. You can see the 2019 results below:

2019 IGCSEs

SUBJECT

A*

A* – A

A* – B

A* – C

English Language

19%

34%

72%

97%

Mathematics

17%

43%

63%

90%

Biology

31%

38%

85%

88%

Chemistry

10%

41%

79%

97%

Physics

11%

42%

68%

95%

ICT

32%

77%

82%

95%

First Language Arabic

100%

100%

100%

100%

Environmental Management

40%

80%

100%

100%

Business Studies

20%

20%

60%

100%

 

2019 AS-Levels

SUBJECT

A

A – B

A – C

English Language

20%

61%

100%

Mathematics

31%

63%

94%

Biology

18%

73%

91%

Chemistry

7%

67%

93%

Physics

30%

70%

90%

Information Technology

33%

78%

100%

Arabic

100%

100%

100%

 

2019 A-Levels

SUBJECT

A*

A* – A

A* – B

A* – C

Mathematics

0%

0%

50%

100%

Biology

100%

100%

100%

100%

Physics

0%

0%

50%

100%

While these grades may not establish PEPS as a top-performing school, students seem to fare better ahead of the IGCSE and AS-Level/A-Level years. For example, PEPS uses the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which focuses on the key three areas of Maths, Science, and Reading. In June 2017, 40 students took the PISA, and 36 students took it two years later, in April 2019. Results showed an increase in scores across all three areas: a 17-point improvement in Maths; a 30-point improvement in Science; and a 37-point improvement in Reading. Students at PEPS were also shown to be achieving either on par with other UAE schools or significantly above.

Students from both Grade 4 and Grade 8 also took the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) in 2019, and performed strongly. The school’s overall scores in both Mathematics (592) and Science (566) for Grade 4 put PEPS within the High international benchmark, and significantly above the UAE averages (481 for Mathematics and 473 for Science). Grade 8 students similarly achieved the High international benchmark, scoring 590 in Mathematics and 601 in Science. Again, this puts PEPS students significantly above the UAE average of 473 in both areas.

PEPS also uses the Cambridge Primary and Secondary Checkpoints, to evaluate each students understanding of the curriculum. Scores on the Cambridge Checkpoints scale are from 0.0 (the lowest level of ability) to 6.0 (the highest level of ability). Students achieving more than 5.0 have an excellent understanding of the curriculum content, students achieving between 3.0 and 4.0 have a sound understanding of most of the curriculum content, and students achieving less than 2.0 have a basic understanding of the curriculum content and would benefit from more focus in some areas. In 2018, Grade 5 students achieved an overall score of 3.5 in English, 4.4 in Mathematics, and 5.1 in Science. In the same year, Grade 8 students achieved 4.1 in English, 3.6 in Mathematics, and 3.7 in Science.

What the Inspectors Say

Unlike schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Sharjah schools have not participated in regulatory inspections on a regular basis; while there were a few instances of inspections being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, schools did not generally publish the outcomes. With the initiation of SPEA (Sharjah Private Education Authority), the intention is that schools will be inspected using the common framework already in place in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

However, SPEA has decided to seek a collaborative approach with the schools for this process, and although we understand that initial inspections did take place prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, results of these inspections have not been published.

As a result of the pandemic, Sharjah schools have participated in Distance Learning Evaluations, implemented by the Ministry of Education throughout the UAE (these results have been published). In its most recent Distance Learning Review Report (2020), PEPS’s implementation of distance learning was rated as Developed.

Inspectors noted that the “promotion of attendance and participation is very successful, and this results in high attendance rates and ensures that students have equal access to the distance learning provision”. They also felt that safeguarding and wellbeing were “the highest priority for the school and the wellbeing team provides effective support when it is necessary”.

In terms of curriculum, the inspectors evaluated it as carefully planned and praised teachers for sharing intended learning outcomes clearly. They also commended the wide range of clubs and activities offered by the school, and how these activities could be coordinated in a flexible way with class assignments.

Finally, inspectors felt that PEPS’s short-term planning was effective, reviewed weekly, and able to adjust to changing circumstances. Regarding longer-term plans, inspectors felt these were well-developed and included plans for the continuation of distance learning. Inspectors noted that, in order to achieve this, school resources were being effectively managed and used flexibly to maximise access.

However, the report did offer some areas for improvement. For example, they suggested that assessment processes be more focused and include personalised feedback to students. And inspectors suggested the school provide more support and communication for parents about their roles in their child’s learning.

If you would like to read the full inspection report – which we strongly advise you to do in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings – you will find it here. 

What about Facilities?

While the school website does not give extensive details as to the school’s facilities, PEPS does have well-equipped classrooms, science laboratories, a library, a computer laboratory, a large outdoor playing field, multiple small outdoor fields, a basketball court, and a brightly coloured cafeteria.

The Buzz

WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has yet to receive feedback from parents, teachers, or students at Providence English Private School.

If you are a parent, teacher or senior student at PEPS, please share your experience with other potential members of your school community by taking part in our survey. 

What about Fees?

Fees at PEPS range from AED 13,520 for KG1 to AED 27,800 for Grade 12. These fees include tuition, books, and medical, as well as the fees for the Cambridge Checkpoint Exams; uniform and transportation are not included. Fees are paid in five instalments, and there is an AED 500 non-refundable admission fee upon registration.  

PEPS is a selective school, and all students seeking admission must undergo an interview and evaluation by a selected committee for English and Maths.

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