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Abu Dhabi Grammar School

Abu Dhabi Grammar School

Abu Dhabi Grammar School (AGS), established in 1994, is open to students from KG to Grade 12. AGS is officially licensed by the Ministry of Education and adheres to the Nova Scotia public schools programme. The school is rated C6 by ADEC, the emirate’s education regulator, which is a school “in need of serious improvement”.

That said, students graduating from the school at the end of Grade 12 largely achieve standards in line with international expectations according to the school’s inspection report. Given the school is selective on intake, there is the sense however it should be outperforming those benchmarks.

Positives for the school include its faculty. Teachers are said to have a good subject knowledge and are committed to the welfare and education of the plus 920 students at the school. Teachers and students enjoy good relationships, and there is good behaviour in most lessons.

Students come from 36 different nationalities according to the latest information available. Students are divided up into Elementary (KG to Grade 6), Junior High (Grade 7 to Grade 9) and Senior High (Grade 10 to Grade 12).

The concern for the Grammar School is its “value added”. Expectations for students’ academic progress should be higher given their starting points on entry to the school. ADEC reports the need for the curriculum to be “adapted to meet the needs and interests of students and support ambitious academic achievement.”

There is also a concern over the data the school has access to with inspectors requiring the introduction of “regular and consistent monitoring of all teaching and learning that is linked to teachers’ professional development needs”, for assessment to include “consideration of prior learning, especially in planning appropriate challenges or support to match the needs and abilities of all students”; and for robust data analysis and comparisons to external benchmarks to inform planning to accelerate the academic progress of students

In 2008 Abu Dhabi Grammar School opened new premises, and further upgraded its facilities in 2010 to include a new gymnasium, 25 meter pool, cafeteria and a high school section with 10 classrooms, science lab, dance studio, music room, computer lab and library. Facilities are described as “adequate”.

The school competes with American based curricula in general in Abu Dhabi, and more specifically with the emirate’s only other Canadian curriculum based school, the Canadian International School, which follows an Alberta based programme and is considerably better rated than the Abu Dhabi Grammar School by ADEC. Given the increasing number of new schools, the Grammar School will need to work hard to keep its current popularity – something according to ADEC at least it seems to be struggling with:


“The previous inspection noted a decline in the quality of the school’s effectiveness and recommended improvements to: the quality of teaching, leadership, students’ understanding of the UAE’s culture and values, and aspects of health and safety. The school has not made sufficient progress in successfully tackling any of these areas. The school does not show significant signs of improvement and has continued to decline. It has failed to establish a much‐needed tier of middle leaders to take responsibility for key areas of management in teaching and learning. As a result, neither the quality of teaching nor the speed of academic progress have improved…

“The school lacks a clear, focused strategic plan for development.  

“The school has not demonstrated that it has the satisfactory capacity to make improvement without significant external support.”

Students can choose from a range of extra-curricular activities, including: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Field hockey, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Netball, Swimming and Table tennis.

The academic year runs from September to June and is divided into two semesters. The main school holidays are: Winter break (mid-December to early January), Spring break (late March to early April), Summer break (late June to early September).

Tuition fees for the school (2012/13) start at 19,236 AED for KG2, rising to 40,656 AED for Grade 12. There is an additional fee for books, starting at 1300 AED for KG, rising to 2500 AED by Grade 12. There is also a transportation fee if utilised.


Inspection Report

ADEC Inspection Report, Abu Dhabi Grammar School, 2014





If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any factual inaccuracies, or would like to update any information, please do not hesitate to contact us at editor@edu2021.com. Please also complete the School Profile. We will us this to provide readers with more information.


Update on June 26, 2015 | Reviewed by David on June 30, 2012


Leave A Reply
  1. Khairunnisa Baharum says
    January 10, 2016, 4:07 pm

    May I know what is the current email address for this school?
    I did sent email to both address stated on their website but all been rejected due to domain name not found.
    Thank You

    • January 13, 2016, 2:26 pm

      Hi Khairunnisa,

      I have been provided with the Principal’s email by the school. It is as follows: amac97@hotmail.com.

      • Khairunnisa Baharum says
        January 17, 2016, 5:49 pm

        Thank you very much Lyn.I really appreciate it.

  2. Joanna Nowik says
    December 29, 2015, 3:15 pm

    My daughter has been attending to AGS for the past 3 years, started with KG2. The school has amazing teachers who touch the minds and hearts of kids in such a memorable way. I cannot stop recommending AGS whenever I speak with other parents about education in Abu Dhabi.

    The curriculum of Nova Scotia in AGS is supported with fantastic relationships between kids and teachers, which makes learning so much easier.

    AGS is not JUST a school, it’s a place where kids WANT to go to learn, it’s their second home.

  3. Mayssoun says
    May 26, 2015, 10:18 am

    Hi there,

    I worked at the school since the day it was founded.

    As a response to the above article – to formulate a more neutral opinion – check the results on the parent surveys. you can get these results through ADEC’s website.

    A BIG Thank you to all the parents and students out there who have contributed to the growth of AGS and consolidating its name among the population in the UAE, Nova Scotia and among the universities in Canada.

    Ehem – ‘we do not compete’ with any school – we want to make a difference in our students’ lives as per say our moto ‘Together … We make a difference’ (since 1994).

    • May 26, 2015, 10:57 am

      Thank you Mayssoun for your well balanced response.

      By competing we merely mean that all parents will do their due diligence, and assess the various options that fit their criteria. There will inevitably be more than one school on a parent’s list. While AGS may not compete itself, it will be competing with other schools for the affections of prospective parents.

  4. Faouzi kemmous says
    May 26, 2015, 8:59 am

    I volunteer at the school and I have two children who go there, too.
    I was present at the time of the last inspection. I witnessed several encounters such as parents walking up to different members of staff and asking them not to allow the inspectors to go into the classrooms. The inspectors were grumpy and did not smile and this made their children uncomfortable.
    There was also the time when some parents were intimidated by the inspectors because their speech was cut-off if it were in favour of the school. They were more interested in ‘dirt’.

    There were other major concerns such as comparing the Canadian curriculum with the British.
    This made me feel uncomfortable because I hold a Canadian citizenship and my girls went to school in Nova Scotia. We were very comfortable with the system seeing how my daughters’ attitudes changed and shaped their perceptions of things.
    I had every right to bring my daughters to AGS because it has the same curriculum and is Accredited by the same Department of Education of Nova Scotia.
    I felt intimidated and hurt that these inspectors stabbed our curriculum in this manner given the fact that ADEC itself is not clear on what it asks the schools to do.
    Please bear in mind that you have reported a one-sided story without addressing the issue with the school itself.
    You say the school has to defend its popularity and now that I am still volunteering there , people come and fight with administration to take their children. I have been approached by a few and I have nothing to do with it.
    Don’t you think you ought to wonder about the conflicts between what the public sees and what this discriminating report says?


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