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Dubai Scholars School: Your Questions Answered

Dubai Scholars School: Your Questions Answered

There’s no question: Dubai’s parents simply love the 40 year old Dubai Scholars School.

Today, Scholars is owned and managed by Aparna Verma, who has led it through its evolution from small villa set-up to fully fledged educational institute, with two further schools (one in Sharjah and the US curriculum Clarion in Dubai) more recently added to the Scholars Group.

Scholars has been rated Good by inspectors for the past six years, yet the 2015/16 report notes that while much of the Foundation stage is only rated Acceptable, the rest of the school offers Very Good to Outstanding progress and attainment across the core subjects and more.

And it doesn’t stop there, the report also noted, “high staff morale,” “visionary leadership,” a teacher student ratio of 1:15 and what inspectors call, “outstanding student behaviour and attitude”- not bad at all for only Dhs 13,739 at Foundation stage to Dhs 26,060 for Years 11 and 12.

WhichSchoolAdvisor.com spoke to Aparna Verma to find out what makes Scholars quite so special…


What in your view makes your school so unique?

Our 40-year history gives Dubai Scholars a wealth of tried and true practices at the school. Our drama, sports and academics programs are well developed year after year. This year we added a film program called Cinemagic. Director Gurinder Chadha, director of Bride and Prejudice and Bend it like Beckham, gave us an inspiring start to the film making program.


But mainly we are very unique for our combination of students who are high achievers and creative in the arts. Many schools only focus on one or the other.


Scholars achieved some outstanding IGCSE and A Level results in 2016, can you tell us what makes Dubai Scholars so academically successful?

The majority of our students stay at Dubai Scholars for their entire schooling. This allows for a steady growth stream academically. If students are missing a step, teachers are able to follow up to correct academic weakness and get the student back on track.

Our parents are a great support for what takes place in the classroom and supporting our teachers. Our school is small enough that we know our students and parents personally. There is nothing ‘mass’ here!


Your school really doesn’t fit into the ‘for-profit’ school model, however its not actually a ‘not-for-profit’ either, can you explain where you see it fitting in today’s education climate?

The way we fit in is that we are consistently a school that grows its programs. Right now we are in the midst of a review of our A level program. It is important to us, that no matter what our “for profit’ status or age being one of the oldest schools in Dubai that we stay current. We do that on a strict budget but we don’t cut any corners when it comes to providing for our students.


Dubai Scholars offers some of the best results in the country, for a fraction of the fees most other top schools ask parents for, where do you think parents should expect the ‘savings’ to be made?

While we don’t have all the ‘bells and whistles’ that some of the newer schools have we have a dedicated staff of teaching professionals who keep the academic program constantly at the best practice level. We have all the basics (pools, sports fields, auditorium, etc.) that students need to thrive and grow. We also put our emphasis in teacher development to keep our staff on their toes as well. We are teaching smart kids who have high expectations for themselves and their school.


Considering how successful your school is, would you consider creating branches or sister-schools?

At this time no, there is only one Dubai Scholars. That said, we are part of Scholars International Group, a three-school organisation in the UAE. WE are probably the tiniest school provider group but each of our schools has a large impact in the education landscape here in Dubai.


We all know how over subscribed Dubai Scholars is, however parents are still desperate for any information of admissions, can you tell us:

When to apply – Admissions for 2017-18 have begun. We are starting assessments in December and expect to be completed by the end of January – admissions in upper Years will continue. There are not very many available spaces in our upper Years but we admit until seats are filled.

How to apply – All admissions are taken through our online system in our website at Dubai Scholars.com/admissions.

Outline the process – The process is quite simple – apply on line on the website, Dubaischolars.com/admissions. You will be sent an email with your assessment date. After the assessment all letters are sent out at once to give everyone a fair chance to apply and be assessed. The fee is Dhs 500.


Are there currently any places open for new students?

Yes! We currently have spaces in Years 6, 7 and 9, plus some spaces are available on our A Level programme. Parents need to follow the process above to start the admissions process.

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