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Kings’ School, Nad Al Sheba – Second Review

Kings’ School, Nad Al Sheba – Second Review

Kings Nad Al Sheba has come some way since its opening in September 2014.  The original building now houses only the Foundation section on the ground floor with 5 FS 1 and 5 FS2 classes. 

Each class now has access to the outside areas with plenty of play space and the opportunity for free-flow activity during the cooler weather.  Playground equipment remains a little sparse with one large climbing/play frame, but further equipment to be installed.  

The Foundation section also offers a Primary Hall which is used for PE activities, an activity room used for indoor play away from the heat and a specialist music room.  There is a canteen for the children which offers pre-packed cold meals or children bring their own packed lunches. 

At the front centre of the building is an indoor green space which has been planted as an Eco-garden.  For every box of plastic items that the children are able to recycle, a seedling is planted in the garden.  To the rear of the Eco-garden is the main common area where the library and creative/role play area are located.  At the rear of building located adjacent to the, as yet unfinished, sports facilities is the Learner pool which FS1 children use once per week.

The main development has been the opening of the adjacent Primary building.  Currently the school has 3 x year 1 classes (with approximately 15 children per class) and 2 x year 2 classes whose classrooms are located on the ground floor of the building, together with 2 x year 3, a combined year 4/5 class and a single year 6 class on the second floor.  Similar to the Foundation section, ground floor classrooms open to the outside area where there is large, shaded play equipment in place.  Inside, an attractive majlis area is tucked away under the stairs as a reminder of the local culture and the carpeted staircase itself is used as a seating area for assembly, with staff and students automatically using the uncarpeted side areas of the staircase for passage.  To the rear of the staircase is a large open area with equipment which is used for fine motor activities.  Upstairs are the upper Primary classrooms with an attractive, recently opened library at the front of the building with a “learning tree” seating area at its centre.  More specialist classrooms (including Music and IT) are located here. 

Kings’ has always had an excellent reputation for its Arabic teaching and the Nad Al Sheba school is working hard to ensure that it maintains this.  Arabic is taught in the form rooms (rather than in a separate Arabic room) and very much based around informal learning through play initially, before moving on to a more formal programme in year 1.  French is also taught from year 1 and Spanish is added in year 5.  The school also has a strong learning support team in place including speech and language therapists, working with children with a range of additional learning needs including Dyslexia and learning delays.  

Unfortunately, the Kings Nad Al Sheba school has found it hard to attract sufficient additional numbers of students over the past year to enable it to open its Secondary school at present.  Work on this and the other major Sports and Arts facilities seem to have been put on hold, and although the schools states that it intends to offer GCSE in year 11 and the IB Diploma in year 13, current year 6 students will continue their Secondary education at Kings Al Barsha.  It may well be that Kings Nad Al Sheba will become a mirror of the original Umm Suqeim school for the foreseeable future catering only to Primary students. 

There is no question that Kings Nad Al Sheba has all of the positive aspects in terms of resources and staffing that should allow it to be recognised alongside the other Kings schools.  As the developments around the area grow (the Meydan development in particular heading in this direction), Kings Nad Al Sheba will hopefully be able to attract more families who are seeking a quality UK education in a well-planned, smaller and more homely environment than some of its immediate neighbours (which include Repton, GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis and GEMS Firstpoint).

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Fast Facts

Current student body – 250

UK curriculum with intention to offer IB Diploma at Sixth Form (but see Secondary status below)

33 nationalities – predominantly UK passport holders

Maximum 24 students per class

 

WSA First Review

Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba, is the third Kings’ School, opening its doors on 14th September 2014.

Editor’s note: You can read a Q and A with the school here.

On arrival, the school is very recognisable, as it follows the same architectural scheme as the original Kings’ School (rated Outstanding by the KHDA) in Umm Suqeim and in Al Barsha. Located close to Repton and the GEMS Modern Academy (opposite Dubai Silicon Oasis), whilst the school’s waits for the RTA approved road, the school can be reached along a temporary road that runs along the side of the Repton site.

Presently, two main buildings on the site are open and building progress continues on the rest of the development. This means that, currently, outdoor space is very limited. However, the school anticipates that the remaining primary facilities, playing fields and two swimming pools (one for Early Years) will be open in September. The capacity of the school will eventually reach 1,720, but at present there are 240 children at the school, it is very much a small community. Within these numbers, however, children are of 24 different nationalities with UK passport holders being the majority.

Classrooms are based around a central teaching area, the classrooms are light and bright and well resourced. A great deal of thought has gone into the choice of furniture with desks and chairs colour-coded dependent on the age (and size) of the users. The central area is also used as a break-out area for play-times and as a change of scenery for the children.

There are five FS1 classes, four FS2 classes, three Year 1 classes, two Year 2 classes, two Year 3 classes and one each of the other year groups, with specialist teaching for certain subjects for example Arabic and PE. Small class sizes, enable teachers to provide one-on-one support as required. The school hope to reach 750 students in Primary and this will be split across 5 classes in FS1 (each of 20 children with one teacher, one teaching assistant and a nanny), four classes in FS2 (each of 24 children with the same staffing levels) and then from Year 3 upwards, children will be supported by one teacher and a shared teaching assistant per two classes.
Staff are predominantly from the UK and all native-English speakers with the exception of those teaching Arabic.

All children are required to have English as their main language (Kings’ generally does not offer EAL provision), it does have Learning Support, a Speech and Language Therapist who report to the Head of Learning Support, who has responsibility for this field across all three schools. Similarly, all three schools will apply the same curriculum standards and even the same whole-school learning themes.

One of the strengths of Kings Umm Suqeim has been its commitment to the teaching of Arabic to non-native speakers and Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba is continuing down the same path. Arabic is integrated into the curriculum from Foundation 1 with informal role plays and interaction taking place as part of the day-to-day activity.
In addition to the Sports facilities, a number of other facilities are due to come on-line with the completion of the rest of the site. These include a Black-box Studio, a cafeteria (which will include hot meals) and a Parents’ Cafeteria. Currently, a meal delivery service is being offered by Dish and approximately 50% of the children are using this.

Families seeking to move their children to a small-school environment, knowing the strength of the reputation of the original school, will no doubt be very comfortable with the latest member of the Kings’ group of schools.

At all Kings’ schools fee payment options were reviewed and in order to give parents more options a new structure was introduced this year, where parents can either pay in full for the year, pay termly by 3 cheques or pay with 10 post dated cheques. The 10 post dated cheque system was introduced in order to give parents the option to spread payments over the year in line with salaries (for further details http://www.kingsdubai.com/Fees).

Fees begin at 50,200 AED for FS1 and rise to 76,700 AED for Year 7.

 

School Fees 2015 / 2016

Foundation Stage 1 50,200
Foundation Stage 2 50,200
Year 1 52,500
Year 2 52,500
Year 3 57,200
Year 4 59,000
Year 5 63,700
Year 6 63,700
Year 7 76,700

 

Location

 

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 October 9, 2016 | Reviewed by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com on October 27, 2014

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