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Repton Abu Dhabi – First Review

Repton Abu Dhabi – First Review

Repton School Abu Dhabi, located on Reem Island about 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Abu Dhabi, has – impressively – achieved a Very Good, A2 rating from ADEC’s inspection team in its 2015/16 report – up two notches from its first report. It is a for profit, and selective school.

Note: The school’s inspection report has NOT been made available on ADEC’s web site, but has been released to us by the school. You may find it here.

The school follows a curriculum based on the National Curriculum for England, starting with the Early Years Foundation Stage in Nursery. The school will eventually open up to Year 13 and will offer IGCSEs and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Repton Abu Dhabi opened in September 2013. It is a sister school to Repton School Dubai, now rated Outstanding by the KHDA, and Foremarke Dubai and a partnership between Repton School, Derbyshire, UK and Evolvence Knowledge Investments (EKI), a Dubai-based investment company. Repton School, UK, holds two of the six places on the board of governors including the chair of the governors’ education committee.

The school is a member of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS).

Currently 40 plus nationalities are represented at the school, and no one nationality dominates. The biggest nationalities are those from Britain (17% of the school’s population) and the UAE (18%). The majority of students live within the immediate vicinity of the school, and on Abu Dhabi island, but the school has recently started to offer bus services to areas further afield including Khalifa City.

The school is growing at some pace. In 2013/2014 Repton Abu Dhabi was home to just 70 pupils. For 2014/15 260 pupils were housed in one of the four classes in FS1, six in FS2, four in Year 1 or the two in Year 2. This year the population has doubled to 503 students up to Year 4 – equally split between boys and girls, and between KG/FS and primary.

The growth is largely fueled by the addition of new year groups. Repton Abu Dhabi is adding one year, each year. Year 4 came online for the 2015/16 academic year, and Year 5 will open in September 2016.


So far the school seems to be managing the growth well. According to inspectors it has “responded most effectively to the challenges of a quickly expanding student population from a range of nationalities and cultures. Key strengths are the students’ strong personal and social development, nurtured by the high quality of protection, care, support and guidance in this inclusive community.”

Maximum class sizes are on the small side as you would expect from a premium England curriculum based school, with 20 pupils. The school has a teacher to student ratio of just 1:22 in Foundation and 1:20 in Primary. There are 49 members of the teaching staff (26 teachers and 23 teaching assistants), with all teachers have a teaching degree or degree plus PGCE (the vocational teacher training qualification). “No exceptions are made”, Repton AD informed WhichSchoolAdvisor.com.

Teachers are all recruited from the United Kingdom, and while it is early days, the school seems to have good retention policies in place. Only three of the school’s teachers left after the first year – a relatively low and healthy number for a new school. Even after its third year the school’s turnover rate was 11% – about half of the average rate across the UAE. All schools in Abu Dhabi have to offer every member of staff 25 hours CPD a year – a key to retention. The school says it “easily achieves this” through pre-term INSET and monthly training sessions.

The quality of teaching is generally “very good” according to the school’s inspection report. Repton Abu Dhabi “uses comprehensive assessment processes and thorough analysis at all levels to inform planning for learning and effectively meet the needs of all students.

“The curriculum is well planned, adapted and implemented to actively engage students in learning, particularly in subjects taught in English.”

Repton Abu Dhabi does not claim a specific academic focus, but “encourages the pursuit of excellence in a broad range of activities”. English, Maths, Science, ICT and Arabic on the timetable for all. Islamic Studies and Civics are included from Year 1. The school combines the National Curriculum of England and Wales with the requirements of ADEC, Abu Dhabi’s education regulator.

According to regulators, “the large majority” of students make better than expected progress and the majority of students attain levels above curriculum standards. Achievement is highest in English where most students demonstrate skills and understanding above appropriate curriculum standards and their progress is better than expected. Arabic is an Achilles Heel: Attainment levels are generally acceptable, however progress is said to be good. In Maths and Science attainment ranges from Good to Outstanding.

Facilities at Repton Abu Dhabi are very good. Its building has been designed “specifically as a Foundation School” and “therefore everything is age appropriate”. Repton Abu Dhabi also says pupils benefit from their own smaller setting for their introduction to formal education, rather than being a small part of a large school. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com found classrooms light, airy and well equipped, although the school building itself is on quite a narrow plot with limited outdoor space and a number of apartment buildings under construction close by.

There are two large communal halls centrally located on the ground and first floors, which are used for assemblies and performances on one level and for PE activity on the upper floor.

There is an outdoor area on the first floor of the school (above the indoor swimming pool) which is marked out for sports activity for use during the winter months.

The school runs over 40 clubs for week. These range from mini movers to drama and karate to model making. All Repton staffed clubs are free. However, those provided by Gulf Star, an external provider, come at an extra cost.

Repton Abu Dhabi gives an overall impression of a happy, nurturing environment (the school’s nurturing environment is a “key strength” of the school according to ADEC).  The building itself is somewhat lacking in character compared with other schools within the same group, but as the school progresses and more of the children’s artwork etc. is displayed, this will hopefully add to the cheerful atmosphere.

Fees are in the top-tier for Abu Dhabi, ranging from AED 55,000 – AED 67,000. Places are, at the time of the review, available in most year groups. Humpty Dumpty Nurseries and EKI currently act as feeders to the school.


Inspection Reports
Quality Inspection report by Repton UK, 2013
ADEC Inspection Report, 2015/16





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 May 19, 2016 | Reviewed by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com on October 31, 2014


Leave A Reply
  1. David Smith says
    February 28, 2016, 3:09 pm

    I took my child out after just 1 term and was not at all impressed. I would certainly not recomend.

    • Lubna Kokab says
      March 23, 2016, 3:49 pm

      Hi David,

      Could you please give me more details as i liked the ambiance of the school and was hoping to have my daughter admitted?

      Would appreciate learning your experience.


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