Now a learning development centre, Oasis School has been renamed as Pace
Note: Oasis School in Al Safa, Dubai has been converted into a Special Needs facility and Learning Development Centre.
See the news story on reasons for the decision. At the time the news was announced 7 in 10 students had learning difficulties.
Because it is longer categorised as a "school" it is no longer regulated by the KHDA as such.
Oasis has since been renamed as the PACE Centre, and now provides individualised programs and support to its special needs students. It "integrates therapy (intervention) with learning and learning with therapy (intervention)".
PACE Centre teachers and staff work hard to maximize each student’s potential with a service-centered and outward-looking approach.
It welcomes children with special needs from the ages of 4 years until 18 years and offers a learning program that specializes in strengthening the knowledge and skills of the whole child.
Interestingly PACE offers the UK vocational based BTEC qualifications to its students.
Previous review of Oasis School
Oasis school currently teaches from FS 1 to Year 6, and is centrally located in Al Safa 1, Jumeirah, Dubai. The school was originally known as the Universal Academy of Excellence and is owned by Dubai Education, a company founded by Bin Hendi Enterprises LLC, and Emirates Investment and Development PSC.
Over 37 nationalities are represented within the student body, with no one demographic dominating.
The school has yet to receive a KHDA rating, despite being operational since 2012. Dubai's inspection team has done a preliminary inspection, but no report has been generated as of yet.
Whilst in terms of nationality this is an international school, its curriculum is entirely British. The Early Years Foundation Stage is the curriculum of choice for Foundation Stage 1 and 2, while the National Curriculum of England has been adopted for Years 1- 6.
Oasis a small school with just 13 teachers, the majority of whom are young. With such a small staff it is perhaps unsurprising it also boasts good retention - it maintained all of its teachers over the last two years. Teachers come various backgrounds, England, Ireland, America and South Africa, and all have more than 5 years teaching experience with some offering more than 10 years according to information provided by the school to WSA. A teaching degree, and a good level of teaching experience is a requirement for a teaching position at Oasis.
SEN support comes predominately through a learning support coordinator, however the teaching support staff are all said to be "experienced in handling SEN students". Extra language provision is provided for students whose first language is not English.
Small class sizes will help the management of SEN needs. Average class size is a very manageable 16. The teacher to student ratio is also impressively low with 1 teacher to 7 students. The equilibrium point for the school will be 1:10 once students have been enrolled. Note, currently the biggest classroom size is 23, still below the 25 the KHDA recommends as the maximum.
Oasis believes its "cosier" size is one of its strongest features, allowing pupils an increased interaction with teachers and teaching assistants, "providing a full coverage of their education".
The number of classes is set to expand with the school predicting that in 2016 it is estimated that it will have 1x FS1, 2x FS2, 2x Year 1, 2x Year 2, 1x Year3 1x Year 4, 1x Year 5, and 1x year 6 classes.
Oasis does not claim a particular academic focus, but to provide a well-rounded education to all of its students. In this regard, the school also offers a range of extra-curricular activities - its Oasis Music Academy offers various lessons, such as guitar, piano, keyboard and flute. There is also a range of clubs like art, lego, zumba, science and chess. Most after-school activities are free, however, there are charges related to the piano, keyboard and guitar private lessons.
As a school Oasis believes it will be of most interest to parents seeking small class sizes, interested in "highly qualified native-English speaking teachers, seeking a warm, child focused, friendly environment. The school also believes strengths lie in its qualified, experienced teaching assistants and partnerships with local community facilities for swimming and other sporting activities, its safe, secure learning environment, and its "highly competitive school fees". Note, highly competitive does not equal cheap - this is very much a mid-tier school in terms of fee positioning. However, set against the teacher to student ratio, you know where its money is being spent.
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