Login | Register
 
Email Twitter Facebook YouTube Google+ 2013 Survey
American School of Creative Science, Maliha Road

American School of Creative Science, Maliha Road

The American School of Creative Science (ASCS) is a Sharjah based K-12 through school with a population of approximately 2500 students. Given the school was founded in 2012/13, this represents quite some growth.

Three schools will eventually operate under the brand – a second school in Sharjah in Al Layyah and one in Dubai in Al Barsha. Both schools are due to open in September 2016. The school is a sister to the “International School of Creative Science” which opened in 2002 and offers a combination of the UK curriculum and Ministry of Education Arabic and Islamic Studies curriculum

ASCS describes itself as family friendly, “with excellence rooted in its values”. Its strengths it says lie “in the Islamic environment in combination with a true American education”; the “interculturalism and internationalism” of its students, and the “rich delivery of a dual-curriculum” (around 36 nationalities are represented in the student body). Islamic values are clearly in the school’s DNA with students “expected to uphold [its] moral and behavioral standards”. Students are predominantly drawn from local Emirati, Egyptian, and Jordanian families.

The school follows a “US Curriculum” (the Common Core), along with the UAE’s National Curriculum in Arabic, Islamic Studies, and Social/National Studies. The school operates a “Unique Qur’an Memorization Program” and is “in the process of” applying for accreditation with NEASC – a mandatory requirement now for all schools in neighbouring Dubai.

ASCS pays equal attention to sciences, engineering, arts, and languages, and some of its more diverse offerings will include Robotics “and French” as electives to High School Students. The school offers SAT 1 and SAT Subject Exams.

As well as the mind American School of Creative Science also works on the body: Its PE program runs from KG-12, and the school offers International Sports as an elective. The school also offers a variety of sports based extra curricular activities and has “outsourced a football coaching program that is offered on school grounds for our school students”.

Facilitating learning the school claims to be the only Promethean Center of Excellence in the entire Middle East region. “The facilities of the school are state of the art and truly cutting edge” it says.

The school’s 2500 students are served by 350 teachers in total. That represents almost a doubling of the number on the previous academic year (180), and that has come with the addition of grades 8-11 in 2015/16. According to the school “teacher turnover is not significant… We have a good retention rate.” American School of Creative Science hires both fresh graduates and veteran teachers. “Fresh graduates are eager to learn and broaden their career, while veteran teachers have a capability to extend their expertise to peer educators.”

Advertisement

The school’s student population, is as you would imagine, skewed towards younger years with 10-12 classes at KG, 3 classes at 7th grade. The school caps its classes at 28 – above the 25 we would recommend. As the school progresses through grades class sizes grow.  The school claims a 1:25 teacher to student ratio for Middle and High School classes but 1:14 for Elementary.

All teachers at ASCS have a Bachelor Degree as a minimum in the field of expertise. ACS says it follows MoE regulations and requirements and “as of now, MoE doesn’t require a teaching license as a must for new hires”. This is at odds with requirements elsewhere in the emirates which now require a teaching qualification in addition to a university degree.

The US curriculum staff predominantly come from the US and Canada; Arabic and Islamic staff are mainly from Lebanon, Egypt, the UAE and Pakistan.

Teachers will need to be skilled irrespective of the lack of specific teaching qualification: Gifted and talented students are handled by differentiated instruction in class.

Extra-curricular activities are also used to support the needs of students defined as gifted and talented.

ASCS offers a range of extra curricular activities (ECAs) including a range of sports, art, Origami, swimming, and language development programs. ECAs are provided for free.

The school is in the process of setting up a specific department to meet the needs of students who need learning support. Currently the school’s social workers and teachers “work collaboratively to refer students to the right place and then in coming up with an individual learning plan to help students in class”.

ACS wants to integrate into the wider community, and there are multiple opportunities for parents to get involved with International Day, Cup-cake day, Graduations, Pajama Day, Color day, National Day, Sports Day, Spelling Bees, the Qur’an Competition, Science Fair and Art Gallery. There is no opportunity for more formal representation on the board of governors however, which we feel is something of a missed opportunity.

Fees at American School of Creative Science are mid-range, starting at 19,500 AED at KG1 and rising to 46,000 AED for Grade 12. Full details may be found below the WSA inspection report.

 

 

The WSA Inspection – May 2016

The American School of Creative Science is located in an impressive modern building near Maliha Road.  The site is currently being expanded to double in size for September 2016. 

ASCS

The reason for this massive expansion is the development of the school – currently home to 1,900 students – to enable a separate Middle and High School section. 

Sister to the International School of Creative Science which opened in 2002 offering a combination of the UK curriculum and Ministry of Education Arabic and Islamic Studies curriculum, the American School of Creative Science opened in 2013 at the current site. 

It offers a US curriculum (with accreditation currently being sought through NEASC) in combination with the MoE curriculum.  Both schools, owned by the Bhukhatir Group are also expected to expand their presence to Dubai in 2016/2017.

These two schools have really forged the way for the provision of a recognised international curriculum in combination with the strong desire by parents to enable their children to be educated in an environment where their faith and culture is preserved.  The way in which the two curricula are delivered – and the way in which the school is organised – makes it quite different.  Essentially, timetabling is split between the two curricula in differing percentages.  In KG, children spend roughly equal (50:50) amounts of teaching time on the US curriculum and the MoE curriculum. From grade 1 to grade 4, the split is more focused towards the US curriculum with a balance of roughly 60:40 and by the end of Elementary School, the balance is closer to 70:30.

Not only does the school offer English as a Second language to non-native English speakers, it also offers Arabic Second Language instruction to non-Arabic speakers, since this is fundamental to a part of the curriculum which is much cherished by both students and parents alike – Quran Memorisation is integrated into the school timetable.  This does away with the requirement for students to have additional teaching after school, although the school day is adjusted to take this into account and students are present from 7 am to 2.15 pm (2 pm in KG).  

The school does have a small number of non-Muslim students and these children have the option not to attend Islamic Studies. 

Staff are also not required to be Muslim, but female members are requested to cover in line with the school’s uniform policy.

In line with the requirements of the MoE, gender separation takes place within the school from Grade 4 upwards in terms of both students and teachers.  This presents its own challenges, particularly in the Middle and High School where the goal is to ensure that both male and female students cover the exact same curriculum.  Male and female teachers are paired to ensure that the same content is delivered.  The school buildings are effectively split into 2 square blocks each set around a central quadrangle with classrooms separated on both sides.  The library and science labs are shared by both groups of students, but through separate access doors and at separate times.  The KG section is located across the front of the school and incorporates both a large indoor play space and outdoor equipment.  Classrooms are well furnished and busy and boys and girls play happily together.

Parents have been very keen to see the development of the High School and are very engaged in their children’s learning and interaction with the school. As the High School is growing, so the academic programme is being adjusted to ensure that it meets the demands for an accredited High School Diploma to be issued.  More emphasis is being placed on the teaching of Maths and Science to ensure sufficient credits for university entry.  Ongoing assessments (SATS) are already in use.  The staff see that maintaining a balance in the High School across both curricula is likely to be a growing challenge and recognise that the school may well have to become more selective in its High School intake, as supporting non-English speaking entrants at that level is not possible.

Another area that the school is also strengthening is in regard to the provision of support for children with SEN.  Currently there are 3 social workers on site and a Special Educational Needs department with coordinator is being established.  Children are often not identified or diagnosed until they reach school and the social work team has established relationships with external experts to whom they refer parents.

Perhaps to the surprise of some, the school has a broad range of nationalities that it serves – 34 in total.  Between 50-60% are Emirati families, followed by other expat Arab nationals and Pakistanis.  The range of teacher nationalities is even higher with 46 represented among the 352 total staff serving both parts of the school.  The senior staff of the school see Professional Development as a core part of their responsibility.  The Senior team are all involved in working with the Heads of Department to ensure that mirror teaching takes place and peer observation is a key part of training.  The school has an active policy of recruiting fresh graduates and training them internally.  These younger staff tend to be enthusiastic and committed – particularly as there are opportunities to grow with the expansion of the school.

The facilities of the school are excellent – the school is a Promethium School of Excellence and in addition to widespread use of technology, each part of the school has access to its own gym and external sports areas as well as an indoor pool.  A canteen provides healthy food to both sets of staff and students.  The facilities are certainly up to the standard of most upper-mid-range to premium schools but fees of AED 19,000-AED 39,000 per year make it more affordable than many.

WhichSchoolAdvisor.com knows from parental feedback that the growth of the dual curriculum schools is one that many parents are looking forward to. ASCS seems to have already worked its way through many of the challenges that are involved in what is a complex social and educational environment.  First impressions are of a regular, organised and happy international school environment, but one in which faith clearly plays an especially important part.”

Fees

Books Canteen Tuition Yearly
Kg. 1 700 500 19,500
Kg. 2 700 500 19,500
Grade 1 1,200 500 22,750
Grade 2 1,200 700 22,750
Grade 3 1,200 700 22,750
Grade 4 1,400 1,000 26,000
Grade 5 1,820 1,000 29,250
Grade 6 2,200 1,000 37,500
Grade 7 2,200 1,200 37,500
Grade 8 2,200 1,200 37,500
Grade 9 2,500 1,200 46,000
Grade 10 2,500 1,200 46,000
Grade 11 3000 1,200 46,000
Grade 12 3000 1,200 46,000

 

 

Update on June 5, 2016 | Reviewed by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com on June 1, 2016

3 Comments

Leave A Reply
  1. AJ says
    September 4, 2016, 10:00 am

    ASCS unfortunately is not a school I personally would recommend for anyone serious for education. Communication from school is sparse and the lack of communication is often frustrating. No one seems to know an answer to your query when you inquire either by phone or via its chat service. I have not seen one native school teacher for English (in the primary school at least). There is not, in my opinion, enough stress on education. Note: This comment has been edited.

    Reply
  2. maryam says
    August 27, 2016, 3:24 pm

    ASCS is one of the best schools you can find in uae. It is an excellent school with a lot of activities and not a lot of homework which I’m pleased with. If you are looking for a school, trust me its the rit one.

    Reply
    • Mrs. Shabnam says
      October 4, 2016, 10:28 pm

      Assalam alaikum Maryam, which class does your ward go to? I am looking to admit both my kids age 7 and 5 in this school. I am still not clear which curriculum is it offering. In the description it says, UK + UAE. I was expecting it to be American Curriculum. What kind of improvement do you see in your child. By the way I am an Indian. Wasslam

      Reply

Share YOUR experience... Have your say here...