United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Bur Dubai / Sophia High School

Sophia High School Q & A

Sophia High School is a relatively new online school located in the UK but educating students from 18 different countries including the UAE.
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Availability 2022/23
No data
Availability 2023/24
No data
Annual fee average
AED 41,500
Annual fees
AED 40,000–45,200
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jul
Mr David McCarthy
Ms Melissa McBride
Main teacher nationality
Main student nationality
United Arab Emirates
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Welcome to the Sophia High 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?

1. 4 Dimensions of Learning Program offering Global Citizenship, Wellbeing and Mindfulness, Digital Native Learning Curriculum and Personal Goals, enhanced by the delivery of the IPC and IMYC globally recognised curriculum.

2. Our Educational Leadership Team share over 50 years of Headship and Teaching experience in Outstanding rated British Independent Schools and British International Schools Overseas. Our Master Teachers are all fully qualified, experienced teachers within the British Curriculum and hold post graduate degrees in education and teaching.

3. Small Class Sizes - we offer a leading ration of a maximum of 6 students per live lesson learning pod in the core subjects. This ensures a huge degree of personalisation and engagement for every learner and supports us in developing strong relationships and lines of communication with our parents.

What is the single biggest challenge your school is currently addressing?

Our pioneering global citizenship and wellbeing program ensures that our students not only are exposed to meaningful and purposeful learning opportunities through the delivery of the UN Global Goals as a central part of our curriculum, but also supports us in the development of our students from the learners of today to the leaders of the future.

We delivery a digitally native curriculum designed to not only equip our students with the knowledge, skills and understanding of how to learn safely and effectively online but delivers core competency skills in this area that they will need for their future. From learning about the Google teaching and learning tools to complete their work and learning, to discovering about The Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and NFTs, we are providing our children with the skills to be social entrepreneurs, content creators, changemakers and tech savy leaders of the future.

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


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

We are a school that puts students first. We believe that we are reimagining the future of education. Crazy today. Obvious Tomorrow. At Sophia High School, anything is possible.

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

We are a global learning community with students learning across 5 continents in 18+ (and growing) countries.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

1:6 in the core subjects

Please describe your approach to teacher recruitment in terms of the balance of staff you seek in terms of nationalities and in terms of years of experience/ qualifications you look for. Please also provide details of how you use teaching assistants.

We pride ourselves in upholding the highest standards of Safer Recruitment in Education, benchmarked against the rigorous ISI standards for Safeguarding Children in Education. All our teachers hold post graduate degrees in education and have at least 5 years of teaching experience in British Curriculum Schools in the UK and British International Schools overseas.

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

All students take part in a standardised benchmark assessment in Reading, Maths and GAPS and are then tested each term in order to measure and track value added benchmark scores throughout the year to measure progress and achievement overtime.

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

We offer the best of a British Independent Education, delivered in an online educational learning environment. Following the UK National Curriculum, we are members with the globally recognised Council of International Schools and were one of four online schools in the UK chosen to work with the UK Department for Education and Ofsted on the pilot inspection programme for the soon to launch Accreditation Scheme for Online Education Providers.

We believe that the learners of today are the leaders of tomorrow and through their education at Sophia High School, anything is possible.

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

We offer a blended learning program, with daily timetabled live lessons for children to take part in, followed by a guided program of independent home learning projects and activities which are linked to the real time lessons.

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

Physical Education is taught as a subject at Sophia High School with children having the opportunity to structure sport and wider physical activities into their daily timetables of learning. We often have challenges across the school where our students compete against each other and also take the opportunity to share their physical endeavours with the wider school in weekly assemblies.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Wellbeing and Mindfulness are a core area of our curriculum focus at Sophia High School. All children receive specialist lessons with our PSHE and Mindfulness teacher and the promotion of healthy lifestyles is a central part of our online education curriculum model which provides families with the ability

How do you promote healthy eating?

Healthy Eating is taught as part of our discrete science curriculum from Early Years through to Key Stage 3.

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

8.30am - 1:00pm UK Time for Live Lessons

1:30pm - 4:00pm UK Time for Independent Home Learning (Our Families in time zone ahead of us, use their morning sessions for Independent Work)

Is there a school uniform?


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

All families are invited to a weekly 1-1 meeting with their child's teacher and we encourage students to join these sessions. Our Google Classroom Digital Learning Environment ensures that learning is visible and accessible 24/7. Parents have a termly report in our standardised assessments to measure ongoing progress and attainment benchmarks and receive subject reports twice yearly in February and July.

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

All Parents have weekly 1-1 parent / teacher meetings at Sophia High School

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


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


How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

We believe in teaching the stage of learners and so have an accelerated learning programme available to children who exhibit gifts and talents in subject areas.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

We have teachers who are experienced in learning support and additional needs.

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?

At this time we are not staffed or resourced to support children with significant learning needs but this is an area we are currently developing.

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

We have a partnership with a leading organisation and partner of CIS that we can recommend to families who require additional support.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

Yes - Friends of Sophia High 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 - parents are more than welcome to join our Learning Community, Assemblies and Special. events.

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


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

Yes, we offer a virtual open house event and 1-1 virtual meetings with our Senior Leadership Team for prospective families. All parents and children are provided with a Google Bootcamp as part of the induction program prior to joining Sophia High School.

If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any inaccuracies, or would like to update data, you can now open an account with us. You will also be able to add admissions availability per year group, and advertise current job vacancies. This is a free service. Please help us keep prospective parents up to date with your latest information.

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