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Sharjah English School – WSA Q&A

Sharjah English School – WSA Q&A

Which School Advisor: What is the official name of your School?
Sharjah English School – The Which School Advisor review of Sharjah English School may be found here.

Which School Advisor: What is your school’s Web site address?
http://www.sharjahenglishschool.org

Which School Advisor: How many nationalities are represented in your school?
45

Which School Advisor: Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?
Yes there is

Which School Advisor: Which nationality (ies)?
British

Which School Advisor: What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?
1:23

Which School Advisor: Does your school have a waiting list?
Yes it does

Which School Advisor: Kindly add details. Can you also supply a link and/or contact person where a prospective parent could find out more information?
Registration opens in January for the following September. There is an entry test for all applicants. Normally there is a waiting list for primary places, and for some secondary year groups.

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Details about admissions are available on our website, or from our registrar at the following email address: admissions@sharjahenglishschool.org .
Prospective students and parents are encouraged to make an appointment to visit the school and have a tour.

Which School Advisor: If a secondary school, what percentage of your students achieve entry to higher educational institutions and, in general terms, which countries?
All our graduating A Level students qualify for university and college places. The majority aim for UK universities, but we have a cohort of students who go on to US colleges, universities in Australia, South Africa, Canada or local universities.

Which School Advisor: How does the school promote healthy lifestyles? If you have a general policy statement regarding this, please supply a link to the school website so that WSA can add it to your school details.
The school has policies on promoting healthy lifestyles, exercise and participation in outdoor activities. Our facilities, including an extensive sports field, swimming pool, sports hall and gym, are heavily used by students, including at weekends and holidays. SES teams compete in fixtures against Dubai and Sharjah schools in a host of disciplines, with increasing success.

Which School Advisor: Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity? Please supply a link to this section in your website if you have one.
All children participate in PE lessons as part of the core curriculum. The programme also includes swimming for all. The breadth and variety of sports and physical activities is extensive, and described by school inspectors as ‘excellent’. All students participate in lunch-time or after school activities, and these include coaching by outside providers where necessary. In addition to sports like rugby, netball, soccer, cricket, swim squad, rounders, track and field, students also have regular camps and desert trips, and most senior students take part in the International Award (Duke of Edinburgh Award).

Which School Advisor: How do you promote healthy eating?
Our pastoral programmes, Physical Education lessons and Science classes all promote healthy lifestyle choices. Lunches provided in the school, through an outside provider, are selected for nutritional value and quality.

The school does not permit vending machines and works with parents to discourage unhealthy lunches or fast food.

Which School Advisor: Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students?
Yes it does

Which School Advisor: If yes, does it serve hot food?
Yes it does

Which School Advisor: What would be the amount spent by a student for their lunchtime meal?
Less than 20 AED

Which School Advisor: What is the starting and finishing time of your school day? If you have this information on your Web site, please provide a link to it.
Registration is at 7:50am, for lessons starting at 8:00am. The school day ends at 1:00pm for Foundation, 2:00pm for Primary and 2:50pm for Secondary.

Which School Advisor: Is there a school uniform?
Yes there is

Which School Advisor: If yes, what is it? Where can parents buy it? A link to your website would be a useful reference for parents.
Details of our school uniform are available on our website, in the admissions information.

Which School Advisor: Please advise on your discipline policy and/or provide a link to your website.
We have a Positive Behaviour Policy in primary and secondary sections. Our approach to discipline is one which encourages respect, tolerance and politeness. It stresses rewarding good behaviour, rather than adopting a punitive approach. Our policy is available to all parents or prospective parents at reception.

School inspection describes student behaviour throughout the school as ‘exemplary’; we simply do not experience serious breaches of discipline.

Which School Advisor: What is your policy on mobile devices such as mobile (cell) phones in school?
We are increasingly exploring the use of mobile devices in school as a tool to support innovative teaching and learning. Our policy on this is developing in the light of our recognition of the importance of IT literacy for our students. Currently we are planning initiatives and trials in the use of mobile devices and tablets in school.

Which School Advisor: How does your school differentiate learning?
All sections of the school utilise teacher planning and curriculum meetings to create opportunities for differentiation. We pride ourselves on addressing the needs of all students, whatever their level of ability. Differentiation is addressed in schemes of work, groupings of students, differentiated task setting, and varied outcomes. Our curriculum policies outline the requirements for teachers to plan and teach in a manner that serves all ability levels; this includes taking account of the needs of the gifted and talented students as well as those requiiring support.

Which School Advisor: Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?
There is a homework policy which outlines the reasons for setting homework, the types of task set, the amount of time that should be spent on homework, and the manner in which work should be marked and commented on by teaching staff.

Which School Advisor: How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?
There are numerous opportunities for informal and formal feedback. Parents can contact teachers through planners or by email. Full reports are issued regularly, recording progress by use of National Curriculum levels. In Secondary, there are twice-termly monitoring reports as well as full reports. Throughout the school, progress is tracked against targets and UK averages.

Which School Advisor: How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?
Reports are issued twice a year, and all parents can attend teacher / parent conferences at least twice a year. Teachers, coordinators, subject heads are also available at other times by appointment.

Is Arabic taught as both a first language and second language in your school?
Under our designation as a community school set up to serve the local British community, we are not obliged to offer first language Arabic.

Which other languages are taught?
French

Which School Advisor: Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?
No we do not

Which School Advisor: Is Islamic Education/Studies for the Arab Muslim students delivered in Arabic for them?
No it is not

Which School Advisor: Do you have a dedicated prayer room/s for the Muslim students?
Yes we do

Which School Advisor: If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?
In Primary school, pupils are assessed by SATs in Year 2 and in Year 6. Secondary children do Key Stage 3 SATs at the end of Year 9.

Our students are prepared for the General Certificate of Education (GCSE) and Advanced Level (A Level) examinations at Year 11 and Year 13.

Which School Advisor: What is you medium of instruction?
All instruction, outside of French or Arabic language lessons, is through English.

Which School Advisor: 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?
We do offer learning support to children with a variety of difficulties, including physical and learning difficulties. We have a dedicated Learning Support Department, who offer both in-class support and individual lessons. In assessing students for admission, learning difficulties are explored and students can still be offered a place if sufficient learning support provision can be put in place; we will not accept children whom we cannot support.

Which School Advisor: Do you have a learning support team in your school?
Yes we do

Which School Advisor: How do you support gifted, able and talented students?
The school has a Gifted and Talented register, and policies for dealing with the needs of these students. Provision is through the subject specialists, and is enhanced by creating extra opportunities through early examination entry etc.

Which School Advisor: Does your school have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers syndrome and so forth?
Yes it does

Which School Advisor: Kindly provide details on the support for specific learning needs your school provides?
Support required for specific learning needs is assessed on entry. We can support a range of needs and conditions, but such provision is on an individual case-by-case basis.

Which School Advisor: Does your school have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support those youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?
Yes it does

Which School Advisor: Does you school offer activities to students from other schools after school hours?
No it does not

Which School Advisor: Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?
Yes we do

Which School Advisor: Please pass on contact details of the parents’ group.
The Parent Support Group (PSG), whose function is mainly fund-raising, is represented on the school web-site and can be contacted through the school Reception.

The Board of Governors also includes a Parent Representative, who can be contacted by parents in the event of a major concern which has not been dealt with by the school. The contact details for the Parent Rep are on the website.

Which School Advisor: 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 there are

Which School Advisor: Kindly add details of such parent group activities you deem will be of interest.
There are many opportunities for parents to be involved as parent helpers, classroom assistants, sports coaches, club organisers, language teachers etc. We are a community, family school and value the involvment of parents at every level in the school. Parents frequently assist in trips, career talks, providing work experience etc. Our parents are a very engaged and committed group, who are very active in the life of the school.

Which School Advisor: Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?
Yes there is

Kindly provide details on the opportunities for representation on the Board of Governers?
The Board of Governors includes a Parent Representative, who can be contacted by parents in the event of a major concern which has not been dealt with by the school. The contact details for the Parent Rep are on the website. The Rep is nominated and elected by parents each two years.

Which School Advisor: Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?
Yes – there are curriculum briefings, settling in meetings, opportunities to discuss each major transition within the school. All new or prospective parents are also welcome to tour the school, meet the management etc. before committing to SES.

Which School Advisor: What qualities and characteristics would you say define your school?
An established and reputed British curriculum school, SES was founded in 1974 as a primary school, and added a secondary section in 2005. SES is easily accessible from Dubai, just off Emirates Road. It is a not-for-profit school, which places great emphasis on supporting and challenging all its students. The school is a friendly, inclusive community school, where we believe that students need to be secure and happy in order to learn and reach their full potential. The engagement of parents in the life of the school is a cornerstone of our success.

Staffed entirely by UK qualified and experienced staff, the school produces outstanding results at all levels. SES students are prepared for GCSE examinations and A Levels; further down the school, children are assessed through the UK SATs in Year 2, Year 6 and Year 9. Standards are well in excess of UK norms. Our alumni attend top universities in the UK and the USA, and our students graduate from SES as confident, articulate citizens of the 21st century world. They acquire respect, concern for others and engage fully with the world around them.

The school is accredited by the British Schools of the Middle East (BSME) and British Schools Overseas (BSO). The most recent inspections (March 2013) have highlighted the pastoral provision, extra-curricular opportunities, exemplary behaviour, communication with parents, standards of teaching, and student achievement as the strengths of the school. The inspectors also emphasise the appreciation that the children have for the time given by teachers to pupils’ progress and success.

Few schools in the UAE can boast of facilities and a site like SES. There are large areas for sports and a state of the art auditorium for music and drama.

As a comparatively small school, we have an intimate knowledge of our students, and have policies and strategies in place for intervention and support when students are falling behind. There are also policies for pushing gifted and talented children, and opportunities for accelerated learning.

Our vision is for SES to consolidate its reputation as one of the very top UK curriculum schools in the region and to match the top UK schools internationally.

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