United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Umm Suqeim / Raffles International School

Raffles International School Q & A

Innoventures-managed Raffles International School is located in Umm Suqeim and currently has 1,220 boys and girls on its roll, aged between three and eighteen years.
Parents' Rating
3.6 out of 5 based on 150 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Very good
Availability 2022/23
Availability 2023/24
Annual fee average
AED 55,500
Annual fees
AED 30,384–78,408
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
Mr Steven Giles
Main student nationality
United Kingdom
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
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Welcome to the Raffles International School 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.

If you have to highlight three strengths of your school, what would they be?

Personalised learning

High levels of progress

Sense of community

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

Not at present

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

A sense of belonging to a vibrant international community of learners.

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

Just over 100 different nationalities

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?


What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

One teacher per 9 students

Does your school measure Value Added data? Please provide details of how you measure, and current Value Added benchmark scores.

Not specifically. Student progress is tracked against CAT4 indicators and all students' progress is tracked against 'if challenged' grades. Any student showing signs of dropping behind their individual progress target is provided with support.

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

The school currently offers iGCSE, AS, A level and BTEC qualifications. Examination boards depend upon 'best fit' for each subject however most are Cambridge or Edexcel

Please provide details of how well your school did in its previous external exams for students at 16 and at 18 years of age? Please provide sufficient detail to allow parents to have a view on how academic your school is?

86% of our Year 11s achieved A* - C grades at iGCSE in June 2020. To further support our most senior students, personal tutors/learning mentors meet with our 6th Form students to guide them through the initial adaptation to A Level or BTEC study.

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

All Year 13 students take A Level or BTEC courses or a combination of both. With the exception of Emirati boys completing National Service, all graduating students continue their studies at university or in further education across a broad range of locations and subjects however Business related courses are currently the most popular.

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

RIS provides the best of UK curriculum and teaching in an international context. Students are encouraged to make connections between their learning and their lives and communities in Dubai and globally

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

Homework is expected and monitored through Edmodo and MS Teams. Students in early primary years are expected to read at home, developing into 40 minutes maximum in upper primary. Secondary homework will depend upon subject options however the school values a holistic approach to education and homework is therefore limited to ensure students have time to enjoy opportunities for sport and play

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

PE is timetabled for all students and a comprehensive co-curricular programme as well as inter-school competition encourages healthy living through sport and physical activity

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

As part of our curriculum for life, all students learn about healthy choices, from food to relationships, safeguarding and physical activity

How do you promote healthy eating?

Students learn about the importance of a balanced diet. Food choices are carefully monitored in the school cafeteria and information shared about lunch box choices and ingredients

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

Yes, from Year 3 onwards

What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?

AED 12-15

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

Beginning September 2020, school timing will be 7:40 to 2:40 for all FS-Y11 students. Sixth Formers may have an additional period 2:40 to 3:30 depending on their subject choices. CCAs, when permitted, run from 2:45 to 3:45.

Is there a school uniform?

Yes, available from Zaks Uniform Shop and Online

Please advise on your discipline policy?

The school adopts a positive behaviour policy, reinforcing appropriate behaviour choices and is proactive in promoting positive behaviour with awards and other recognition in assemblies and through parent communications. Consequences and sanctions for inappropriate behaviour are shared with the school community in the Parent Handbook and Behaviour Policy document.

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

Digital platforms like Edmodo provide parents with access to student work and teacher feedback. The school uses iSAMS to communicate interim grades and three reports per year are sent home.

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

Three written reports per year, two parent - teacher conferences and unlimited informal opportunities to discuss progress and attainment with teachers by individual appointment.

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

French and Mandarin are currently available from Year 3 onwards. In addition, students with Russian, French, Hindi, German or Spanish Mother Tongue may opt for Mother Tongue classes during school time.

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

Yes, EAL is available throughout the school.

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

Yes, seperate boys and girls prayer rooms are available for students and teachers throughout the day

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

A teacher is specifically responsible for GATE students. These are identified by teachers, parents or the students themselves and a personalised programme is developed to enrich their learning in the particular area of their talent or ability.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

Yes, we have a dedicated Head of Inclusion. All learning support students have a 'pupil passport' identifying their areas of strength and development. This is shared with all teachers and specific targets are agreed for these students and their progress is measured against these targets

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?

Our Inclusion Team manages a professional development programme to ensure that all teachers understand their responsibility for addressing the learning needs of all students, not just the most able or any other single group

Does your school have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers syndrome and so forth?


Does your school have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support those youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?

Not on staff however we have a close working relationship with several private centres offering such services and counselors, psychologists and other carers regularly hold free information sessions with parents under the guidance of our two school counselors to share information and support all kinds of social, emotional and learning needs

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

Yes, the Parent association for Raffles International School meets with the school principal weekly to discuss school wide matters and support learning, activities and special events across the school

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

Yes - through class parents, reading parents (mums and dads), field trip support, our Circle of Culture and other special events

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

Yes, two of our eight permanent members are parents and other interested parents are regularly invited to join board meetings as visiting members

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

Yes, we provide sessions specifically about programmes in RIS as well as sessions about digital parenting, 3rd culture kids, living in Dubai and many other subjects

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

Raffles International 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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