Part of the SABIS network of schools, The International School of Choueifat Al Ain is home to over 2000 students, with over one in two from the UAE. Jordanians, Egyptians and Syrians are also well represented at the school.
Currently rated Acceptable by the Abu Dhabi Education Authority, standards and performance at the International School of Choueifat in Al Ain broadly fall in line with the group's UAE average.
The school employs just shy of 100 teachers giving it a teacher:student ratio of 1:20 in KG and 1:22 through the schools other phases. This is a little high. but then Choueifat's teaching methodology, which requires a less tailored approach to each individual child, does not put such demands for teaching staff.
For a more in-depth take on the SABIS methodology read our review of the Dubai school here.
The school has a staff retention rate of 81%, slightly better than the UAE average. Teaching itself is described as satisfactory, although again this will have less to do with the teachers at the school, and more the SABIS methodology.
"The focus in most lessons is on students’ acquiring knowledge rather than deeper understanding and innovation skills." ADEC
Because this systematic to the school's approach, International School of Choueifat Al Ain has limited opportunities for improvement in this regard. Most of the recommendations for improvement made in the school's latest report "remain largely the same as the previous one, particularly those with regard to the quality of teaching, challenge for the more able, use of assessment data and the KG..."
In consequence attainment and progress across phases and across subjects is of an acceptable standard, but no better. Only progress in English, again across phases is deemed to be Good. It must be noted however that the students that go onto high school do well in external examinations. In IGCSE, students’ attainment is well above international averages in English, mathematics and science. Advanced Placement (AP) and A level results are above international averages.
However, very few students do actually go onto the high school - less than 5% of the student body. Over 9/10 students leave before the exams that would take them on to university.
Other strengths of the school include its assessment processes to monitor student achievement, the positive attitudes, behaviour, relationships and participation in a very wide range of extra curricular activities of students, the positive ethos and care which ensures students are safe and healthy and a robust management systems that enable the school to run very smoothly.
The key area to improve on remains the development of students’ critical thinking, independent, problem solving and collaboration skills; a reversal of the emphasis on students’ retention of factual information without deeper understanding and application of their knowledge; better use of assessment data to provide consistent challenge for all groups of students, especially the most and least able students; and better opportunity for children in KG to learn through play and experiential activities.
Parents in general are relatively happy with the school, and do not express particular concern with the quality of teaching or academic achievement. There are some concerns with the quality of Arabic language provision - an issue noted in the school's inspection reports.
ISC-Al Ain offers its students by and large very good facilities including several outdoor courts, a green football pitch, a multipurpose air-conditioned sports hall, gymnasium, two swimming pools, a theater, ballet and gymnastics rooms, and a computerized examination hall equipped with five hundred computers. The campus also offers specialised physics, chemistry, biology, and computer laboratories.
Extra curricular activities offered by the school are varied and numerous. In addition, throughout the year, ISC-Al Ain holds a number of events. The highlight of the year is International Day which involves students of all grades, teachers, and parents who work together to celebrate the numerous different cultures and traditions of its students. ISC-Al Ain also organizes a number of social and athletic events throughout the year for students of all ages, such as Sports Day, Open Ballet Day, the Annual Ballet Show, and the Annual Gymnastics Show.
Fees at the school are in the 'affordable' bracket, ranging from 19,400 to 34,300 AED annually.
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