The older sibling (in terms of provision, not age), Repton School Abu Dhabi's Fry campus caters to children from Years 2 to 4 (Prep School), through Junior (Years 5-6) and Senior schools on a purpose-built site at the heart of Reem Island. The original Foundation School, which opened in 2013, remains open and is located close to the Junior and Senior school, which opened in September 2018. The school is currently rated Very Good by ADEK and Outstanding by BSO.
Repton Fry Campus is the Junior and Senior School for Repton Abu Dhabi. The school is effectively a 'through school' on two campuses: Repton Foundation School (Rose Campus) caters for children from Foundation Stage to Year 1.
Repton Fry Campus caters to children aged from 6 (Year 2) to 18 (Year 13). The Junior School incorporates Years 2 to 6 (including Pre-Prep for Years 2, 3 and 4), whilst the Senior School covers the traditional Senior School years from Years 7-13.
Feedback to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com through our Surveys has been somewhat limited, but recent comments, reflecting parent sentiment in general with regard to strengths of the school, include:
"The leadership of the school and quality of teachers is exceptional"
"Great location and supportive leadership team and teachers".
In March 2022, the Repton group of schools (which includes the two campuses in Abu Dhabi, and the two in Dubai) announced a significant changes to the leadership of Repton Al Barsha and Repton Abu Dhabi, resulting, in August 2022, to Repton Abu Dhabi Principal, Gillian Hammond, moving to Dubai to take over the interim leadership at Repton School Al Barsha until the end of the 2023 academic year.
In July 2023, owners Excella announced that Miss Hammond would be taking over the position as Chief Education Officer for the Repton UAE schools and Principal of Repton School Dubai. As a result, former Vice Principal of Repton Abu Dhabi, Steven Lupton, who was appointed Interim Principal on his predecessor's relocation to Dubai, has now been appointed Principal on a permanent basis.
Repton Fry Campus opened with a decided focus on students at the younger end of the spectrum in 2018, but five years later opens its final year group for A Level students (Year 13) in August 2023.
Average class sizes are 20 students with a maximum of 24 planned. 24 in a class is perhaps higher than a typical premium school where we would expect to see a absolute maximum class size of 22. However, it is likely to be sometime before these numbers are reached in all year groups.
Teachers appear to be satisfied at the school - staff turnover, historically at 8%, is very much on the low side compared with the UAE average of 20-22%. This is a good sign in terms of the relative stability of the school staffing. At the time of the post-Covid ADEK inspection in June 2022 , there were 88 teachers and 16 teaching assistants. This is double the number of 2019. The teacher:student ratio has also increased from 1:12 to 1:15 - still on the low side but creeping upwards nonetheless.
In line with the policy of the longer established Foundation school, almost all staff are recruited from the UK (with the exception of specialist language teachers) and are required to have appropriate teaching qualifications plus experience without exception.
Also in June 2022, student numbers had increased significantly to 1,221. Student nationalities are a broad mix with over 40 countries represented. UAE nationals represent the largest single group at 18%, followed by UK nationals and students from India.
Repton Abu Dhabi is the fourth school, and one of three in the UAE, bearing the Repton name. According to the school, the partnership between all three UAE-based schools is very strong and there are also many initiatives which bring genuine meaning and substance to the links between Repton School Derbyshire, with its 450 year history, Repton School Dubai, Repton School Al Barsha (formerly Foremarke School Dubai) and Repton School Abu Dhabi.
The Dubai school has been rated Outstanding by the KHDA since 2014-15, whilst the Al Barsha school, which is now extending to offer an all-through provision, has been rated Very Good since 2017-18.
The Abu Dhabi Junior and Senior school achieved a Very Good rating in 2018-19 on its first inspection in its first year of operation. This rating was retained through the pandemic and reconfirmed in June 2022.
Perhaps in order to show that the school should not be measured by its ADEK inspection rating alone, Repton Abu Dhabi participated in its first British Schools Overseas inspection in 2023. No doubt, the leadership and the entire school community will have been delighted (and vindicated) with the award of an Outstanding rating across all measures. BSO inspections are carried out by teams on the behalf of the English Department of Education, and use the OFSTED inspection framework and measures to evaluate the school.
Two members of the governing body of Repton UK are permanent members of the Repton Abu Dhabi board, with the aim of ensuring the greatest possible coherence between the two schools at all levels. There have been student exchanges between the UK school and Repton Dubai, and plans are underway for joint sports tours and trips. Similar plans are under discussion for Repton Abu Dhabi. Common in-service training initiatives for teachers are being developed and there is a regular interchange of ideas between staff in the three schools.
There are striking similarities between the schools, in uniforms, house names and traditions, institutional language and in fact everything that goes into producing a common ethos and environment some three thousand miles apart. For those families relocating back to the UK, or considering UK Boarding for their child, both Repton and Foremarke Hall (Repton’s preparatory school) offers a continuity of curriculum and culture.
A particular focus of both Repton Abu Dhabi campuses is in the provision of support for students with additional learning needs (SEND) or who are Gifted and Talented (G&T). At the time of the 2022 ADEK inspection, some 3.19% (39 students) had been identified with SEND requirements.
The inclusion department, which works across both campuses, has a team of 10 staff including school counsellors and support assistants. Staff are trained to work with students with a variety of additional needs including Autism, Downs Syndrome and ADHD among others. The team works in a consultancy role with class teachers and specialists to ensure that all students have access to quality teaching initially. Where further support is required, extension or enrichment activities, needs assessment, individual targets and action plans are formulated to meet the student's individual needs. Unusually, this service is provided free of charge.
For a school that aims to be wrapped in the traditions of its 450 year old UK namesake, Repton School Abu Dhabi also has a traditional vision:
“Our vision is to be a world class school, providing the best for every child ”.
Children follow the National Curriculum for England (NCfE) in the Junior School until Year 6. In Pre-Prep (Years 2-4), English and STEM skills are a key focus, with Science and Computing being other core subjects.
Repton Abu Dhabi was recognised as the first Apple Distinguished School in the UAE and innovation is a common thread running through school life. Digital technology plays a vital role in all subjects, with each child using their own iPad throughout their life in the school. This becomes a progressive ePortfolio of children’s work, and parents are sent regular updates on their child’s progress electronically. The focus on STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths - is very much at the core of the curriculum throughout Repton Abu Dhabi.
In keeping with the UAE Ministry of Education requirements, Arabic is also taught as a core subject. Muslim children are also taught Islamic Studies, while UAE Social Studies are taught formally from Year 1 onwards. The school endeavours to weave Emirati culture through all curricular subjects. Given that the percentage of Emirati children attending the Foundation school is among the highest groups, this focus is not surprising and well advised.
To develop well-rounded children, French, Art, Music, Physical Education (PE) and Swimming are taught as part of the core curriculum. As would be expected, language subjects are taught by specialist teachers with the expectation that all pupils should be developing secure conversational skills in both Arabic and French by the time they leave the Junior School. Regular homework is set in all core subjects to support and extend children’s learning, and to instill self-discipline and independent study.
Music and the performing arts are viewed as a vital component of the school and the development of a fully rounded child. The children enjoy specialist music lessons and regular opportunities are created for pupils to perform, and develop their own confidence to both their peers and a wider audience, through regular assemblies and shows. Throughout the school art work is displayed from pupils in all age ranges. Pupils are taught to create in a variety of media as well as being given specific guidance on technique.
Sport has long been at the heart of quality UK independent schools and this is also the case at Repton Abu Dhabi. From FS1 onwards, pupils are taught by specialist PE teachers and this is integral to the Fry campus. Children participate in games and swimming during their normal timetable and are able to add one of the many additional options as part of the after school activity programme.
The school is a member of the Abu Dhabi International Sports Association (ADISSA) leagues, and students participate in a broad range of team sports activities. Repton also hosts an annual Emirati Boys Only Swimming Gala, swimming lessons for the public, Adissa Swim Galas, tennis lessons and tennis and football unified lessons for SEN students. Many students participate in community sporting events, such as the Abu Dhabi Marathon.
The school offers a wide range of Extra-curricular and Outdoor Activities (including international trips); some provided by Repton staff free of charge and others are paid for and provided by the school’s partners.
As the school began to grow its Secondary section from 2019, it began to offer a full range of IGCSEs, in addition to A Levels for Sixth Form which admitted its first cohort of AS level students to Year 12 in September 2022. This diverges from the path taken by Repton Dubai, which originally offered the IB Diploma programme, but has subsequently added A Level for students in Years 12 and 13.
In Years 7-9, students are taught core subjects (Maths, English and Science) in streamed ability groups, and non-core subjects in mixed ability groups. At the end of Year 9, students, after participating in a full guidance programme, choose their IGCSE options and follow these over a two year period. At the end of Year 11, students who achieve a minimum of 6 passes at IGCSE at grade B or above are invited to join the Sixth Form to follow the full A Level programme.
Repton Abu Dhabi has shared some, if not all, details of its students' successes at I/GCSE with WhichSchoolAdvisor.com and also publishes some information on its website.
Whilst we recognise that exam results are not the be-all and end-all of education, we believe that they are an important factor for parents and students in their choice of school and encourage transparency in this context.
For details of UAE wide 2022 I/GCSE results, go here.
In 2022, Repton Abu Dhabi's second cohort of students sat their I/GCSE examinations in the traditional form. Although the school did not reveal the number of students in the cohort, (which if similar to the previous year would have been 20-30 students), they revealed that 30% of entries were awarded A* (Grades 9-8), 54% of entries were awarded A*-A (Grades 9-7) and that 97% of entries received A*-C grades (the pass grades at I/GCSE). Repton Abu Dhabi's cohort achieved marginally better results than the Dubai school, although the cohort there would have been significantly higher.
Repton Abu Dhabi's 2021 I/GCSE cohort was among all students in the UAE who were unable to sit their examinations as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic and the first cohort of students at the school to take part in these public examinations. As a result, the exams were marked by teachers and leaders of the school, and awards were based on assessments and predicted grades.
A small cohort of 21 students were entered for 174 examinations and achieved a 100% pass rate for students in achieving 5 or more I/GCSE grades at 9-4’s (A*-C) including English and Mathematics. 34% of entries were awarded the highest Grade 9, whilst 44% of exam entries were awarded Grade 9-8 (A*), with 64% attaining the Grade 9-7’s (A*-A). 79% of entries were awarded A*-B whilst 98% of entries received an A*-C grade.
As would be expected with a new campus in an area under development, facilities are impressive. The school encompasses a total built up area of 25,000 sqm and houses state-of-the-art facilities including a six-lane 25-meter indoor swimming pool, two regular sized gymnasiums and one 40x20m Indoor Futsal Gymnasium as well as four shaded rooftop tennis courts. There is also a sky-court/dining area with capacity for 400+ students as well as a central library, in addition to the art centre, design and technology rooms, music halls, science laboratories and many educational learning spaces.
The specific focus on STEAM subjects within the school means that the technology resources are particularly impressive. These include a robotics lab equipped with drones, 3D printers, flight simulators, spherical robots and swivl devices among others.
The Repton Abu Dhabi Junior and Senior school was inspected by ADEK's inspectors for the first time in February 2019 and achieved the same Very Good rating as the Foundation section. Given this was the school's first inspection, this was impressive. It is rare for schools to achieve higher than a Good rating on first inspection.
At the time of the inspection, the school was only open to Year 9 and was predominantly made up of approximately 450 Junior School students, with some 60 students in the Secondary section.
Summarising the main outcomes of the inspection, the report notes that "The school opened in September and has almost trebled in size this academic year. The school has students in Years 2 to 9. Most students are additional language speakers in English and/or Arabic and have been learning to speak them for under a year. There is limited assessment data for the very small number of middle school students. Repton is an Apple Distinguished School in recognition of its use of digital learning."
Further, the inspection team commented: "The overall performance of the school is very good. Achievement is very good as a result of the very good teaching and curriculum quality in most subjects. Students’ independent learning skills and personal development are very good overall, and attitudes, behaviour and innovation skills are outstanding. Procedures for students’ health and safety and support for students with special educational needs (SEN) and those who are G&T are outstanding. Senior leaders have established an aspirational vision for students’ high achievement but achievement in Islamic education, Arabic and social studies is not yet as good as almost all other subjects."
It is doubtful that Repton Abu Dhabi's team could have hoped for a more positive report! Five of the six Key Performance Standards were rated Very Good, whilst the Protection, Care, Guidance and Support of students was rated Outstanding.
The follow up inspection which took place in June 2022 was also very positive in terms of its ratings. Repton Abu Dhabi was again rated Very Good and were probably somewhat disappointed to not receive an overall Outstanding rating.
For reasons that have not been explained (we assume to enable inspections to take place at all schools that had not been inspected in 2019 and 2020), the inspection team reviewed only four of the six key performance standards and issued abbreviated reports without commentary.
Interestingly, the report includes a PIE chart which breaks down the percentage of Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Acceptable and Weak ratings allocated to each performance measure. In 2022, Repton Abu Dhabi was awarded 41% of ratings at Outstanding (12% in February 2019), 29% Very Good (82%) and 29% not evaluated. In 2019, 6% of measures were rated Good whilst none received this rating in 2022. There are obvious opportunities for improvement in terms of Student Achievement.
If you would like to read the inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to understand the strengths of the school and those areas where improvement is required - you will find it here.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has received a limited number of responses to our School Survey. Those parents who have shared their views, have rated the school overall with 3.4/5 or a positivity rating of 68%. It seems that parents who are less impressed with the school are inclined to share the views anonymously through our survey. This is reflected in the fact that 43% of respondents have considered moving their child to another school (the UAE average is 25%.
The majority of respondents tell us that their children enjoy going to school and have a strong sense of belonging. However, some 14% of parents (almost one in six) are dissatisfied with the academic performance of the school, whilst a further 19% are partially satisfied. 33% of respondents feel that their children require additional tuition outside school.
62% of parents are largely satisfied with communication and feedback from the school, but that leaves 29% who are only partially satisfied and a further 9% who are dissatisfied. Fees, as is often the case, are also a bone on contention, with strongly held views on the subject. Whilst 57% of respondents do consider them to be value of money, 33% resoundingly disagree with this statement. This same percentage of respondents would not recommend Repton Abu Dhabi to other parents, although 62% would do so, whilst 5% remain unsure.
We find the results in this latter context somewhat surprising. We wonder whether the 26% who would not recommend the school to other parents, are the same 26% of respondents who felt that the school fees at Repton Abu Dhabi did not represent value for money.
As mentioned early in this section, it is evident that a proportion of what is a relatively low number of respondents to our Survey have used it to express their less positive views.
In order to ensure a representative view, if you are a parent, teacher or senior student at Repton Junior and Senior School Abu Dhabi, please share your experience and comments with other potential members of your community and complete our Survey here.
In terms of competitors, Repton Abu Dhabi still has a little catching up to do. Whilst the reputation of the Foundation School (now offering places for students from FS1 to Year 1 only) has grown following its ADEK inspections, having initially been rated Very Good in 2015-16, 2018-19, and 2020-21, and the award of an Outstanding rating in 2021-22, the Secondary section is still relatively new. The achievement of the improved Very Good rating again in 2021-22 will no doubt reassure parents that it is on course to join the Foundation School.
Obvious competitors include Cranleigh, Brighton College, and the British School of Al Khubeirat, each of which have been rated Outstanding by ADEK. The first two schools also have strong and established relationships with the UK "Mother" schools, whilst BSAK is one of the oldest schools in Abu Dhabi. All offer A Levels at Sixth Form.
Sharing full details of the examination results for I/GCSE (and A Level when the first cohort takes them in Summer 2024) will ensure that parents can receive a full understanding of students' (and the school's )performance.
Fees are currently AED 59,150 Nursery and FS2, rising to AED 65,610 for Year 1. Year 2 (at the Junior school) is actually a lower fee at AED 63,060 before fees rise to AED 67,200 for Years 3 to 8, AED 72,370 for Years 9 - 11 and AED 76,500 for Years 12 and 13. These compare with favourably with Brighton College (whose fees are very similar), and are significantly lower than Cranleigh, whose fees range from AED 65,000 to AED 96,000 for the same year groups.
Repton (Fry Campus), Junior & Senior School, Abu Dhabi 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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