United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Remraam / South View School

South View School Experience

Owned by Interstar Education, the organisation behind well regarded Victory Heights Primary School and Delhi Private Schools, South View School certainly has the backers to make its mark in Dubai.
Parents' Rating
4.3 out of 5 based on 359 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Availability 2022/23
Availability 2023/24
Annual fee average
AED 49,500
Annual fees
AED 43,000–61,500
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jul
Mr David Flint
Interstar Education
Main teacher nationality
Main student nationality

Nearby nurseries

0km • EYFS curriculum
1.3km • Bespoke Curriculum curriculum
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Though the façade of South View School (SVS) is as glossy and as architecturally impressive as any new school in Dubai, our discussions with staff, parents and students alike bring us to a simple conclusion: this is a school with top notch facilities that has managed to retain a grounded sense of ‘normal’.

We arrive on a hot May morning for our visit and, having found a parking space immediately outside the gates, a security card checks our credentials and we proceed through to reception. This is a glass sided cube of a building with an exterior design that might well be that of a high-end hotel. We are given a warm welcome by Marketing Executive Zainab Poonawala and the smiling SVS administration team.

Meeting the Principal

Founding Principal Ms Joanne Wells tells us that her own happy school life led her to a career in education.

“I loved school! I was very happy there and have so many good memories of my school years, it was natural for me to pursue a career in education. My school was small…I had what I would call a “village education” back in the UK. That village education made me appreciate smaller schools like SVS. At our school we have teachers who get to know the children really well and who truly care.”

Ms Wells is proud of the school’s “sensibly positioned fee structure” and is keen to underline that despite having ‘mid-tier’ fees, South View School in no way compromises on either educational standards or facilities offered. “Put it this way,” she says “we are by no means capitalising on parents’ guilt!” Ms Wells aims to offer a “very good British education at a very good price”.

The welcoming reception area at South View School

This being the first year for SVS, Ms Wells has been very much focussed on developing the “feel and the ethos” of the school. Despite still having a relatively small student cohort, the Principal and her team have made sure that the children have been exposed to many varied experiences, even though at present student numbers are relatively low (although on a par with Dubai’s newer schools).

As an example, Ms Wells tells us that the school played host to the BSME (British Schools in the Middle East) games, despite not being able to field a team. This was a great experience for the children, says Ms Wells “as they saw what their school is really capable of”. The SVS students were sporting hosts and happily cheered on their peers from other schools. In much the same vein, the school also hosted the ‘Big Sing, Small School’ event, which featured many other schools from across Dubai.

Although leadership duties take up much of her time, Ms Wells does still teach and will likely be ‘on timeable’ next academic year for English and History. Ms Wells is looking forward to integrating 25 new staff (including a wide range of subjects specialists for secondary students) and to seeing how their skills and experiences will help to further develop the culture of the school.

The Library

Meeting the Parents

We meet two parents, one of whom is a school governor. Mariam, who has a son in Year 4 tells our team that she had initially thought that the new school would be a ‘stepping stone’ as the family transitioned to a new location, but having been here for some time now, she cannot imagine her son leaving.

Read our South View School REVIEW

“This is a place where my child can be a real child. They welcome all personalities! Unlike at his last school, I feel he is having a true childhood here”.

Our second parent, Emma, agreed that this is a school which offers the personal touch. Having arrived from the UK fairly recently, she primarily wanted a school where all three of her children (aged 5, 9 and 12) could go together, something she felt would help them settle into their new lives. The fact that SVS is a small and new school meant, she felt, that her children would get lots of personal attention. Nearly a full academic year in, and she feels she has been right in this regard! Emma has found the staff at SVS to be “helpful, welcoming and open” and that the education they are getting is “much better” than that they had been getting back in the UK.

One of the three multipurpose halls

There have been challenges of course, but both parents agree that when issues arise, the school “listens and reacts quickly”. Emma and Mariam agreed that “the right foundations are here. The school is working out any small niggles, step by step”.

The most pressing issue for parents is improving the range of extra-curricular activities, however they understand that these have been constrained by low student numbers this year. The range of trips had been relatively limited this year, again perhaps due to numbers. Parents hope to see more next year.

Emma felt that homework was reasonable but was a little confused about how it was allocated. “My Year 4 child seems to get more than my Year 7” she said “which is not very popular at home!”

Uniform is a common bugbear in many schools and the same is true at SVS. Parents felt that the PE kits (which are a combination of white and grey) become stained very quickly. In Foundation Stage, where messy play is a daily event, the girls wear light coloured dresses – parents feel that this is impractical. That said, they did feel that quality is good, colour aside.

The school uses a number of lines of communication, but the parents seem to find the ‘Seesaw’ app most effective. “It’s amazing” said Mariam “we get updates, important information, event dates, reminders and photos all in one place. So easy!”.
Overall both parents were happy with their choice of school, which they agreed represented great value for money. The both liked the physical surroundings and facilities in the school.

Read our South View School REVIEW

Talking to Teachers

Our next stop was to meet with Ms. Hayley Lamb, Head of Primary at SVS. Since our visit, it has been announced that Ms Lamb will be returning to the UK and succeeded by Mr Sam Halliday, who joins the school from Kings’ Nad Al Sheba.
Ms Lamb felt proud of the progress that has been made. “It’s a real school now” she said, adding that “the children are learning and progressing, relationships are strong and our assessments system is developing. These are real achievements”. Ms Lamb herself designed the curriculum for primary and is pleased with how it is now evolving.

A typical primary classroom

Hayley was especially proud of how well the teachers, (many of whom had been new to Dubai in September 2018) had adapted to their new lives as well as creating a school that was “fully functional from day one”. Ms Lamb had worked in other new schools where things hadn’t gone quite as smoothly as the first few weeks at SVS.

She used the library as an example. “We had a fully functional library open from day one. That certainly does not happen in every new school! I was very proud of that.”

Ms Lamb also praised the support team and their role in the smooth running of the school. “The Learning Support Assistants here are the best I have ever worked with. If we ask for something done, it’s done before we know it. They have made such as difference to daily life and how this community has now come together”.

Ms Lamb and her team were hard at work preparing for an end of term production in which every child would have a part.

Meeting the Students

We met a group of children, representing Year 4 and Year 7.

Overall the younger children felt that their school was “a lot of fun and very organised!” The older children appreciated that as a small school they received lots of individual attention and help. Evie mentioned that teachers “always make sure to check in on you and make sure you are ok”.

The school has a Student Council which the students felt teachers “really listened to”. They gave an example of adding the mirrors to washrooms as an issue that the Student Council had helped them to address.

The Foundation Stage play area

The children describe their teachers as “funny, motivated and encouraging” and felt that the workload in class really depended on how much they wanted to challenge themselves. It was unanimously agreed that the very best lessons were in PE! The students are also looking forward to a wider range of extra-curricular activities. They enjoyed the school food although some of the children felt that there we “too many carbs” – a very mature outlook!

Touring the School

South View School shares the same architect as the well-received Victory Heights Primary School. Unusually in our experience, the school was built in one go, with no phases to the construction. The children moved into a ‘ready to go’ school.

The Foundation block on the ground floor has two wings, each class with an outdoor learning area and its own, well equipped playground. We liked how these were used, how they flowed from the classroom areas and the range of play equipment, all of which was good quality and offered age appropriate challenge.

Each class and outdoor area has been designed with visibility in mind, so that the children are able to be independent, but also in the line of vision of an adult at all times. There’s clearly plenty of space for free flow and for children to make choices about their own learning.

“The school is built on a design philosophy of flow and movement, the school has both a sense of interconnectedness and ease of movement. South View is designed as an organic structure where the child actually grows with the school,” South View owner Mr Dinesh Kothari.

We certainly felt the ‘flow’ of the building as we toured. There is an understated colour scheme throughout the school; muted yellows, grey and beige/natural woods which creates a calm atmosphere and unifies the spaces. The reception area is particularly welcoming and attractive.

One of the Secondary Science labs

As our tour progressed, we noted that on the upper floors some stairwells and corridors are exterior to the building. Surely a more eco-friendly option but undoubtedly hot for students moving between classes in the summer months! We were impressed to see the library developing; it is soon to become a double storey area with the two zones connected by a stunning spiral staircase.

The perennial issue of traffic and parking at South View has been simplified as much as possible. Parents were happy about this, although they did say that parking could still be ‘tricky’. Drop off and pick up is divided into three zones and there is a separate entry for secondary students. To further reduce traffic, there are buses available from Arabian Ranches, Dubai Sports City, Damac Hills, Dubai Investments Park, Mirdiff, The Palm and Jumeirah Village Circle.

A central courtyard play area is provided for primary students. There is little play equipment in this area at present, something that the students would like to see changed. There is, however, plenty of space to run around and some shade at either end.

The Sports block is impressive, with a swimming pool on the ground floor, secondary multipurpose hall above it and multipurpose roof courts on the top. The canteen has been placed between the swimming pool and the playing field with windows on both sides. This means that parents can easily watch the students from the cafeteria while having a cup of coffee – ideal! In total, the school has three multipurpose halls – one for the Foundation Stage, one for Primary students and one for Secondary.

There is no auditorium in the school. This was a deliberate decision by the leadership team who wanted to give more space to each phase of the school and decided to use the space for the three multi-purpose halls. We noted a small amphitheatre style outdoor performance space which we expect will be used a lot as the weather begins to cool again.

SVS is a new school still in the process of developing it's 'personality' and feel.  We felt that the foundations for creating a definable culture are there.  The coming year will see many changes as more students join and the teaching faculty expands. 

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

South View 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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