Riverston School Dubai is a new mainstream UK curriculum school that will also be offering a fully inclusive environment to children of all abilities. It is named after the UK school which is highly regarded for its broad provision, and is associated with the Riverston Centre in Dubai which opened in 2017.
The story so far...
In February 2021, it was formally announced that Riverston School had closed. Further details can be found here.
Riverston School Dubai is a landmark school for the city, having been established as a fully inclusive school, catering to children of all abilities. It is already making its mark in the UAE Education sector, having been the Winner of the "Best International Initiative in the UAE" at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com's sister website - SchoolsCompared.com - Top School Awards in March 2019, as a result of the association of Riverston UK with the Dubai school.
Riverston Dubai follows the National Curriculum of England, and the school team, including its Principal, Deputy Principal/Director of Inclusion and teaching staff are all experienced in working with students with the broadest variety of educational abilities. All teaching staff (currently six) are from the UK, apart from the Islamic and Arabic teachers. In addition, the school has four Learning Support Assistants who are qualified to provide a range of additional support including ABA therapy, play therapy, or SEND support. Class sizes are limited to 16 students per class to give children individual attention and to determine and develop each student’s strengths. The total capacity of the school is 300. Whilst not specifically a school for Students of Determination, its fully inclusive ethos means the school has the internal capacity to provide additional focused support to students of differing abilities.
Riverston Dubai has been inspired by the success and approach of Riverston UK. Riverston is a UK-based, international education and training group with Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’ and ‘excellent’ nurseries and schools in the UK, as well as children's centres in India and the UAE. As a branch campus of Riverston School London, Riverston School Dubai mirrors the London school’s highly successful inclusive model of education. The Group has nearly 100 years of experience in providing high-quality education. Riverston School, London opened in 1926.
The primary-only school is located in Nad Al Sheba 4 and began to admit students starting FS1 from September 2018; the children who join FS1 must be aged 3 by 31st December of the year in which they commence school in the prior September. There are assessments and observations prior to admission, which take place either at Riverston School Dubai or at the child’s current school/nursery (where possible). In more complex cases, observations can be arranged across 3 days, but in general, a one and half hour assessment is the norm. Based on this, each child’s strengths and areas where support is required are determined and each child receives a personalised learning plan and timetable. Students in the school have tutors who track progress across all areas of academic and personal development.
As part of the school's commitment to support children of all abilities, including those with additional learning needs, specialist support, such as Speech and Occupational Therapy, is included within the school's provision, avoiding the necessity for parents to ferry their child between specialists outside of school. There will be additional fees for this.
The Principal of the school is David Quick who has 28 years of experience as a teacher, including 11 years as a member of Senior Leadership Teams, seven years as a Deputy / Assistant Head and four years as Principal with roles in the UK and internationally.
Mr. Quick explained: “ Riverston School will be a small school with small classes and a real family atmosphere. Every child will have their individualised learning programme. We will ensure that each child will have that personal care and we will know them inside out. This will enable us to draw out their talents and allow them to taste success. When the child finishes school with us, they will have reached their potential and subsequently will be ready to take the next steps on their lifelong learning journey.”
At the core of the school’s philosophy will be parent partnerships and the community for easy transition for the students.
Mr Quick told WhichSchoolAdvisor.com that “I believe in building partnerships and communities. At my previous school, I established a number of new links with parent groups, local community groups, local authorities, schools, vocational colleges and universities to successfully and seamlessly transition students and ensure that each child could benefit from continuity of practices and care between their time in school, at home and in the community. This is something that I am looking to continue in Dubai. Ensure successful transition of students in and out of the school as well as the creation of strong, long-term partnerships with families, the KHDA and other stakeholders in the community."
Such small class sizes inevitably come at a price. The fees start at AED 67,500 for FS1 to Year 1, and AED 70,500 for Year 2 to 6. There is an application fee of AED 500.
The further assessments costs are AED 1,500, which results in a report including a detailed representation of each student’s strengths in dimensions such as reading, attitudes and relationships. The first points in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) are generated out of the observations and assessments. In more complex cases, where applicable, additional fees of between AED 20,000 - 50,000 may be added, if additional levels of support and therapy are required.
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