Shining Star International School is a CBSE curriculum school which opened in the Mussafah area of Abu Dhabi in 2014. It currently educates around 1,450 children from KG1 to Grade 12.
The story so far...
SSIS is now in its eighth year of operation. The school aims to provide a sound and holistic education, offering a wide variety of subjects and extra curricular activities to ensure that children develop a broad range of skills. Technology is at the heart of the school's educational process ensuring students are prepared for an ever changing world. SSIS works towards ensuring that students "evolve into responsible citizens with knowledgeable minds and benevolent hearts".
The school is led by its Chairman, Mr. Sanjiv Khanna, whose remarks on the school website include "Shining Star believes that only education can bring about a positive change in society. The school plays an important role in each student’s journey, right from the beginning aiming to enable them to become well-equipped for the future challenges".
The school's mission is statement says
"through the combined efforts of our staff, parents, students and community to develop future leaders with active and creative minds. Our focus is on the holistic development of the individual, social, moral, intellectual and physical growth, along with a strong sense of heritage and culture". Its vision, which gives a sense of the direction within the school, is "To be a school of innovation and creativity, preparing students for global challenges".
Technology is a key part of the delivery of the vision and curriculum of the school.
Principal, Mr. Alyas Ali, joined the school in 2016 with the aim of improving SSIS' performance following its first ADEK inspection in 2015, when it was rated Weak. The second inspection, which took place in February 2017, rated the school as Acceptable overall with inspectors commenting on the improvements under Mr. Ali's leadership.
Mr. Ali commented "we aim to provide each and every student with a unique experience which allows them to achieve their potential in both academic and social terms. We believe in developing everyone holistically and we aim to produce young adults who will positively contribute to their communities and the world as a whole".
In a clear step towards transparency and good governance, SSIS organises a Parent Council which meets on a monthly basis. The participants of the Council are chosen on an annual basis with the aim of finding parents with a broad mix of skills that can contribute to the school's operations. In addition, two parents also participate, together with the owner, the chairman, the Dean, the school principal, one member of staff and two community members, on a newly formed Board of Trustees.
The school has grown rapidly since its opening, with some 1,450 students supported by 55 teachers and five teaching assistants. A teacher to student ratio of 1:26 (a high figure) is maintained throughout the school, with maximum class sizes of 25 in KG and 30 in the remainder of the school. Students are predominantly from India, followed by Pakistan and Bangladesh. The school is led by Ms. Abhilasha Singh.
SSIS delivers the curriculum in accordance with the guidelines of the CBSE, followed through NCERT textbooks. Equal weightage is given to academic and co-curricular activities, ensuring holistic development of each child. According to the school, the curriculum is research oriented, challenging and caters to the needs of students with varied abilities. The school emphasises critical thinking and creative expression among its students and aims at seeing them excel both academically and socially.
SSIS teaches five languages including English, Arabic, Hindi, Malayalam and Urdu. Co-curricular activities include yoga, martial arts, football, cricket coaching, Abacus, Robotics classes, nature clubs, book clubs, art and craft camps, drama, music and dance, chess, language, photography, literary and vocational studies among others.
Unfortunately, SSIS does not appear to publish its academic results - something we at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com always encourage in order that students can share their achievements and parents can see how the school is performing.
Whilst academic achievement should not be the be-all and end-all of education, it is inevitably an important factor in school choice.
The school is housed in a modern building in the Mussafah area of Abu Dhabi. Facilities include a library, drama studio, computer labs, robotics lab, science labs and multi-purpose auditorium along with a cafeteria, music and art facilities and a clinic, in addition to the usual classroom and outdoor sports facilities. SSIS offers competitive sports throughout the year, together with a wide range of arts.
Having received an initial rating of C6 under the previous ADEC rating system (in need of significant improvement), SSIS had come a long way by the time of its second inspection in February 2016, when it achieved an Acceptable rating. In May 2018, on its third inspection, SSIS was again rated Acceptable, the rating that it retained in its first pandemic inspection of 2021-22.
SSIS had made significant improvements between 2018 and 2021 when the most recent inspection took place, although this was not reflected in the overall rating. 6% of ratings were Very Good, 35% Good and 29% Acceptable compared with 41% Good, 82% Acceptable and 6% Weak in 2018.
If you would like to read the inspection report - and we strongly recommend that you do so in order to understand the reasons behind the overall rating - you will find it here.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has received a reasonable number of responses to our Parent Survey - read the results here. Those parents who have participated have rated SSIS 4/5 - a positivity rating of 80%.
If you are a parent, teacher at Shining Star International School, please share your opinions and experience with other potential members of your community and take our Survey.
Tuition fees at Shining Star International School are low to moderate with KG1 commencing at AED 7,900 and Grade 12 AED 15,500. Fees may be paid in four payments across the academic year. In addition to the Tuition fees, parents will also need to pay for books (varying between AED 495 in KG1 to AED 880 in Grade 12) and uniforms (AED 396-435).
Shining Star 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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