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Al Mawakeb School, Barsha

Al Mawakeb School, Barsha

Al Mawakeb School is a private, K-12 school (3 to 18 years of age) located in Al Barsha, Dubai. The school is one of two campuses located in Dubai (the other based in Garhoud) managed by the Academia Management Solution International (AMSI).

The Barsha school was established in 1997 (considerably newer than the Garhoud branch) and currently has approximately 2700 students from a range of backgrounds and nationalities, but one in four come from Emirati families. US students account for approximately 5%.

Interestingly, the kindergarten students are taught through the medium of French with English and Arabic as additional lessons. From Elementary onwards, the curriculum is delivered in English with French and Arabic as separate subjects.

Students study a modified US curriculum combined with the Ministry of Education Islamic Education and Arabic curricula. From Grade 5 boys and girls are separated.

The school employs 147 teachers, one in 5 of whom are new to the school.  According to information received by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com teachers must come from either Syria or Lebanon as they have to be fluent in Arabic, English and French.

The 2013-2014 KHDA inspection rated the school as Acceptable, a ranking the school has received since inspections commenced six years ago.  The report notes that the past year school had succeeded in meeting all of the MoE’s requirements including; improving self-evaluation; improvement planning; as well as improving the quality of support across all phases.

The school’s key strengths recognised by the KHDA largely highlighted the progress in core subjects, noting the strides made in Islamic Education and Arabic as a first language in the Elementary phase, English in the Kindergarten phase,  and science in the Middle phase.

The overall day-to-day management of the school and the partnerships established with parents were also acknowledged by the KHDA. Although teachers’ overall knowledge of their subjects was considered “well developed”, the lesson plans fell short of promoting learning within the classroom.  As a result, going forward the KHDA recommends teachers develop learning skills which will “assist students to learn and solve problems independently”.

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The KHDA also suggests ‘using Common Core standards for English and mathematics and aligning science to the standards adopted by a specific US state’ as well as reducing Kindergarten class sizes as well as improving support for students with special educational needs (in particular by improving staff training, using individual education plans and tracking progress). WhichSchoolAdvisor.com is seeing ever greater adoption of the US Core Standards in schools within the UAE.

Students are “caring, friendly and courteous” to others and behaved positively in class and in the school. Relationships with teachers and school management are “strong, cordial and mutually respectful”.

Most parents believe their children make good progress in English, mathematics and science and received a good quality education. A large number of parents feel the school is led well with a small majority feeling that the school’s leadership listened to their opinions.  Students feel they make good progress in Islamic Education, English, mathematics and science. Arabic seems to be the only area of concern for a significant minority.

School facilities at Al Mawakeb include a library, science and computer labs, art workshops and a school clinic. In addition the school also is a recognized SAT exam center for students who wish to enter college.

The school offers regular physical education classes, including out of school hours training for basketball, volleyball, track and field, table tennis and football. The school also organizes and annual ski trip abroad, and has a wide array of clubs – from Robotics to Drama, from Computer club to Piano.

School fees for 2014 – 2015 are mid range beginning at 17,825AED per year at KG, rising to 39,970 AED (2012) for Grade 12.  However, the tuition fee for Grades 11 and 12 includes a notebook computer fully loaded with the material required for their program, 1 set of P.E. uniform, 2 sets of school uniform & a comprehensive personal accident cover. The notebook computer is purchased once either in Gr.11 or Gr. 12. If it is already acquired in Gr.11, the student will be entitled to a deduction of its price in Gr.12. There are additional fees for tailored Arabic courses for students.

 

The buzz

Feedback to WSA is that class sizes can be high – up to 30 per class. The primary section is taught like the high school, with specialist teachers for specific subjects such as Science, Maths, Arabic. The school employs a sticks and sweets approach to teaching which can work for some children, but is not the most modern of educational practices. Children are also subject to regular test or ‘quizzes’, similar to the Choueifat model. Some parents have told WSA it is not necessarily the most creative environment for children.


KHDA Rating

Academic year Overall performance Report
2013-2014 Acceptable
2012-2013 Acceptable
2011-2012 Acceptable
2010-2011 Acceptable
2009-2010 Acceptable
2008-2009 Acceptable

 

Location

 

 

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.

 

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

1 Comment

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  1. Noora says
    September 4, 2014, 10:16 am

    I love the school. It has taught me to always be respectful helpful and to always treat others as family.

    Reply

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