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Glenelg School Madinat Zayed

Rated as a “competent” school, Glenelg School Madinate Zayed is a private not-for-profit school currently rated B5 by the Abu Dhabi education authority. The school was opened in 2011 and is owned by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). The school is co-educational with two campuses one for each individual gender. The school is over‐subscribed, but this is not unusual for a performing school in the capital.

The school is located in new, purpose‐built premises. It is one of three owned by ADNOC and collectively known as the Glenelg Schools of Abu Dhabi (GSAD). The curriculum of The Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi is based upon that of The Glenelg Country School in Maryland, USA, and has been adapted for UAE students. Students follow a set curriculum which includes the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Arabic, Islamic Studies, World Language, and PE.

In 2013, Glenelg at Madinat Zayed had 635 students on roll and provides for the 3‐10 age range, that is, Kindergarten (KG) to Grade 5. It has since applied to become a full K12 school and numbers will have grown. The group as a whole, with three schools, currently educates more than 6,000 students across locations.

In terms of intake, 99% of students are Muslim and 93% are Arab. 91% of students come from the UAE with about 2% from each of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

To compare performance against international benchmarks the school uses the Iowa Tests. These show that standards amongst older students are well below international levels, sometimes by as much as three year groups according to ADEC’s report on the school. Younger students and KG children perform closer to age expectations: “standards are generally a little below but in the very best lessons can match international bench marks”.

Note, for a new school, that will not have taken those in older year groups from KG1, this is not necessarily surprising, or a true reflection on the performance of the school itself. Data the school itself has collected reveals older students began with “exceptionally poor knowledge and little competence in the skills needed for effective learning… Few Grade 5 students came close to the fluency in English and basic mathematics skills required to make adequate progress. These essentials have been re‐taught and built on so that progress, as measured in tests across the year, show satisfactory gains.” This is not the same situation for those who have started at the school. “In KG and the lower grades, students have had most or all of their education in this school. They have had mostly satisfactory or better teaching and their more rapid progress reflects this.”

Leadership and management of the school is good and the contribution of the Principal said to be particularly strong. Teaching at Glenelg School Madinat Zayed is said to be satisfactory and improving. Some behavioural issues were noted in the early stages of the school after launch but these were quickly dealt with and incidents moved quickly to normal school levels. The curriculum itself is said to be satisfactory, and improving.

Support for students with special educational needs is good with good progress made, and learning and social needs are well diagnosed and supported. Support for gifted students is still more of a work in progress.


The school itself is well resourced, both in terms of classroom materials, but more importantly in terms of suitably qualified teaching staff, “who bring extensive experience and good classroom skills to the school”. Buildings and premises are new, the quality is very good, well maintained and in first rate condition. The school plot also has scope for expansion and outdoor learning.

Admission involves a range of elements including entrance examination, previous record and interviews with both the students and their parents.

Fees at the school range from 19,000 AED to 35,000 AED, which places the school at the mid end of the market.


Inspection Reports

ADEC Inspection Report, 2013, Glenelg School Madinat Zayed





If you are the owner 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 July 28, 2012

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