Raffles World Academy is located in Umm Suqeim 3, in the block between Kings’ Dubai and the Jumeira Beach Hotel. Raffles World Academy is part of Innoventures Education and Raffles nurseries feed into it seamlessly.
RWA is an IB school with a very international feel to it. No single nationality stands out either amongst the students or the staff. The 2-3 storey buildings it occupies are situated in the middle of the block, with ample parking in front and at the back. Facing the entrance, the primary section of the school is to the right, while the secondary is to the left. The KG section is at the back of the building, with its own entrance and car park areas. Security at the entrances is efficient.
The large open entrance area looks inviting with flags of many nations decorating the walls. The bright interior of the school is busy and has a lived-in look with children milling around working on various activities. At the time of the visit there were approximately 2000 children registered at the school, but the noise level was low and all the children encountered seemed to be happy and courteous.
The school boasts a KG Section (KG 1-2 –PYP), a Primary Section (PYP)A Lower Secondary or Middle School Section – grades 6-8 (CS1), an Upper Secondary or High School Section - grades 9-10 (CS2) and the final IB Diploma Section – grades 11-12. Unlike the British system, this is a 12 grade system.
The pick-up times for the school are staggered, with the youngest children finishing at 1pm and the oldest at 3.15.
The school boasts a sizeable library of over 27.000 volumes in various languages, such as Arabic and Mandarin. The library is open and spacious, occupying two floors, with a sweeping staircase leading up to the upper floor used by the secondary students of the school. Here there are spaces for individual study and indeed, several young students were working silently on laptops, with earphones, oblivious to the visitors.
The corridors are wide, with classroom doors opening off them. Cubbies located outside the classrooms enable bags and other items to be left, while lunchboxes and flasks go in with the children. The classrooms were decorated with the children’s art and project work. Children seemed engrossed in their work working in groups, some with teachers, some on their own. One year 3 classroom had an area of proudly constructed, elaborate and rather large junk vehicles on display. The happy and slightly less than perfect offerings spoke volumes of the effort and enjoyment the children must have had in constructing them. Each class has 25 students in the primary section of the school.
There is an atrium in each section of the school where exhibitions, shows and various collective activities take place. There are numerous sports halls, a dance studio and all the usual facilities you would expect in a modern school.
A shallow training pool is available for younger children, as well as a larger pool for regular swimming training. Physical education is on a 6 week rotational basis, with gymnastics, sports and swimming alternating. Several large playing fields and sports fields surround the school. There are no trees, and little real vegetation, however the areas are partially shaded and clearly a place of much work and fun.
The school has a large canteen where primary and secondary children eat at different times. The food is provided by Abela and a menu is posted on-line for parents to peruse. Every attempt is being made to provide children with healthy options. The meals cost 15 Dirhams each, with fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolate frowned upon.
The school has a bus service, provided by Falcon Buses, but does not own its own buses.
For our inspector, this school offered an inviting and convincing picture of a successful school. Its track record for IB speaks for itself.
Raffles World Academy 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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