Login | Register
Email Twitter Facebook YouTube Google+ 2013 Survey
Which School Advisor logo

Goodwill Children Private School

Goodwill Children Private School, since 2010 based in purpose built accommodation, is a primary school for 320 pupils between KG and Grade 6 (4 to 12 years of age) located in Mussafah Sha’bai, Abu Dhabi. The primary school follows a UK, Cambridge based curriculum, and is currently rated B5 – up one grade in 2015 from the C6 it had been awarded by Abu Dhabi’s inspection team, denoting a school “in need of serious improvement”.

This is a school that had needed to improve. The most concerning element in the school’s previous report had been standards and attainment described as unsatisfactory “because some teachers have only a limited command of spoken English…”

English is still said to be a concern in its latest report, however all teachers now at least have appropriate teaching qualifications. There are 31 teachers and 13 teaching support staff. The school’s principal provides some sense of continuity, having been in the post since 1992.

“The Principal has the passion, honesty and determination to improve the school further and provides clear strategic direction.”

Standards and attainment in mathematics are now described as satisfactory.

Even in 2013/14 inspectors had found some good examples of teaching. notably in Arabic, mathematics, science and ICT, with activities which interested and motivated students. At the time progress was constrained “because some [students] cannot understand English, and because lessons are not differentiated to match students’ prior attainment and abilities”.

Differentiation in tasks and activities remains a concern in the 2015/16 report.

The biggest areas of weakness regarding teaching concerns the use of independent investigation and inquiry (generally lacking), and in lower years, investigation through play – said to be non-existent at KG level where it should be the primary mechanism for learning. This was predominantly the case in 2013, but has improved somewhat over the last two years.


Strengths of the school include students themselves – said to be polite, eager to learn and try their best. “Pupils enjoy being at school and talk about it enthusiastically (2013/14). Student personal development is also praised in its latest report. .” The school also arranges school visits, and has a good set of extra curricular clubs. The school is said to be a “calm and friendly place, and students feel well cared for.”

Perhaps most encouragingly is the comment that there is a shared sense of purpose and a commitment to improve the school. This is noted in both 2015 and even in 2013.  The two owners of the school are said to understand its strengths and weaknesses and recognise further changes are needed. They have also provided the financial resources for this. The school has employed the services of a consultant over the two years leading up to the improvement in rating.

There are 178 boys and 152 are girls at the school – slightly up on the previous report. In the Kindergarten (KG) there are 117 children, 66 are boys and 51 are girls. This is a small school (it was originally a villa school).  Almost all students are Muslim. Students come from different nationalities including 7% Emirati, 52% Pakistani, 8% Syrian, 5% Sudanese with 4% respectively for students from America, India and Jordan.

There are smaller percentages of students from 18 other countries.

Of concern is that “mobility is high… a large number of students leave and join during the school year”. This will inevitably be a distraction for learning, however attendance is above average at 94%. Students are also said to be self‐disciplined, self‐motivated “and almost all are keen to learn”.

Just 2.5% of students have been identified as having special educational needs (SEN), including moderate and specific learning difficulties. The school has identified 4% of students as being gifted and talented (G&T) and 1% speak English as an additional language (EAL). Very few students speak English at home according to the school’s earlier report.

Parents have been described as patient, recognising “the difficulties many students have in accessing a curriculum taught in English”. In 2013 they argued for more support for children with special educational needs, and a stronger emphasis on the United Arab Emirates in the curriculum – both concerns the school has pushed to address, and which are now positive elements in the school’s latest inspection report.

Facilities and resources are acceptable and improving… “with generally light and airy classrooms”. The school is well maintained, and kept clean. Most classrooms are appropriate in size “as the number of students in each class tends to be relatively small”. There are restricted PE facilities but these are supplemented with access to the swimming lessons at a local sports club.

For a school in need of serious improvement at the time of its previous report, it is hugely encouraging to see the general direction the school is taking. There is a “realistic view of the progress so far”, and even this is a positive given the need to see faults before they can be tackled. Chief amongst these remains differentiation, developing assessment practices and improving attainment, especially in English.

Current fees range from AED 22,000 for KG1 – AED 24,000 for Grade 6. There are no additional charges.



ADEC Inspection Report, 2015

ADEC Inspection Report, Goodwill Children Private School, 2013




Approximate location only.


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. Please also complete the WSA Official School Questionnaire which may be found here.


Update on February 10, 2016 | Reviewed by David on July 28, 2012


Leave A Reply
  1. Tarique says
    February 3, 2016, 8:47 am

    Please update the review!

    Now [2015-2016] school fees are increased for all classes and school rating also upgraded from C6 (In Need of Serious Improvement) to B4 (Satisfactory and Improving).

    • February 10, 2016, 2:18 pm

      Many thanks for this Tarique. The review has been updated. (It is rated a B5 school).


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