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Repton School Dubai

Repton School Dubai

You could almost hear the joy. After six years of continuous improvement, Repton Dubai finally achieved an Outstanding rating on its seventh attempt, a long time coming for this high-profile, top-tier but costly Dubai school. The school made it two in a row in 2015/16 confirming excellence has now well and truly embedded itself at a school that always set its targets high.

Launched in 2007, Repton, located in Nad Al Sheba, is currently home to over 2111 students (down just under 100 on last year, and 200 over two years), almost four times as many as its sister school in the UK of the same name. Its school grounds are vast, with some new parents describing it as “like walking onto a university campus”.

The school takes girls and boys from three to eighteen years of age, and offers both day and boarding facilities (from Grade 6). Its “Outstanding” rating makes it one of only 16 schools in the emirate to achieve the grade. Repton Dubai is also rated ‘Outstanding’ by British Schools Overseas (May 2015).

Repton School, Dubai follows the English National Curriculum from Foundation Stage to Year 11. Students are entered for IGCSE at the end of the secondary phase and follow the increasingly in vogue International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at post-16. This is unlike the UK school which follows a GCSE route, followed by the traditional (for the United Kingdom) A’ Level curriculum.

WSA discusses the relevant merits of each curriculum here in terms of their approach, however you can see the logic in the deviation. While A’ Levels are established and recognized by universities around the world, the IB Diploma is more of an international curriculum in terms of its syllabus, and arguably therefore more suited to Dubai and 62 of the 63 nationalities that attend the school.

Note: The largest single nationality within the school is, as you would expect, British, however this is a school also favoured by the local community – over one in 10 students is Emirati.

One thing to look for when examining IB schools is staff resourcing. The syllabus and methodology of the IB diploma requires more staff and Repton does not disappoint. It employs 201 full-time teachers, and 60 teaching assistants making the school one of the better resourced institutions in the emirate in terms of teacher-to-student ratios.

One trick no Dubai school has yet to offer, but which a school like Repton probably has the resources, and space to do, is to offer both A’ Levels and the IB. The choice is not about which is better, but about which suits the student in question. A’ Levels allow focus, the IB allows breadth. By offering both and channeling students towards the curriculum that best fits their needs, any school that has the resources would be able to increase their results in external examinations considerably.

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Repton School Dubai generated significant publicity at its opening, much of that simply from the famous name of the school itself (Dubai does love a brand), combined with the city’s love of the new, and the general need for good quality institutions. Repton UK enjoys a good reputation as an English public school. Academically (and it’s more than just academics of course) it is ranked 97th in a league of UK public schools in terms of exam performance (A’Level), which may not sound high, but puts it top third of a very competitive bunch.

It is perhaps unreasonable to expect Repton UAE to offer the same experience of its UK counterpart – academically or holistically. One is over 500 years old, the other just over 5. The school has had its share of teething problems as anyone who does research on the school will find out from various UAE forums. The school seems quite unlike many others in the heated response any discussion of it gets. Some actually hostile, some very passionate in its defense.

In fairness to the school the majority of negative comments seem to come from parents who don’t actually have children at the school – although some parents have actually moved their children from Repton. The parents of those attending in general rate highly the quality of teaching and care – the school is highly recommended by parents, and there is strong satisfaction for academic attainment. Lower satisfaction levels exist for feedback, and on school discipline.

Aside the name, a second reason behind the heated response may have something to do with the cost. Fees at the school range from 47,599 AED for KG1 to over 100,000 AED for Grade 13. That makes it, with GEMs World Academy, one of the two most expensive schools in the UAE and its fees still clearly exclude many potential students whose parents may have wanted them to attend. It also sharpens the senses when it comes to determining ‘value’ – and certainly puts the performance and facilities Repton offers under the microscope. (It also means you are far less likely to forgive the school’s initial “teething pains”.)

The school has recently released its results to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com. It does relatively well. The full results may be found below, but 91% achieve A* to C at GCSE, while IB performance has been improving year on year – and its 2015 average, 34, was on a par with the leading IB schools in Dubai. Its average score in 2012/13 was 30 and that 4 point increase is hefty in terms of improvement. Each point is the equivalent of 2.2% (1 point divided by 45 points (maximum points), times 100).

According to the KHDA, attainment and progress, curriculum and quality of teaching, learning and assessment are ‘Outstanding’ at Foundation Stage (noted in 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 reports). This is of course where the school has most ‘history’ – the school did not start taking senior students until one year after it had opened. It is at other phases of the school the KHDA notes most progress. The school is now rated Outstanding for Maths, Sciences and English at Primary and Secondary stage, while post-16 it is rated Very Good. For Islamic Education and Arabic both performance and attainment are largely rated Acceptable.

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Facilities at the school are very good – and certainly there is little complaint here. The school is on a dedicated campus which it claims is the largest in the Middle East. At 1.3 million square feet it’s certainly big, with large playing fields and dedicated buildings for music. As well as describing it like a university campus, the architecture is described by visitors as a bit Disneyland – old spires in new Dubai. The school has too many after school clubs to actually list – but you can find the details here.

Fees for boarders are clearly higher than the tuition fees we have discussed. For boarding options fees range from 130,000 AED at Year 6, to 166,000 AED at Year 13. (Note, the cost of boarding in the United Kingdom is presently the equivalent of 175,000 AED (£9,760 per term) – it does not seem to matter the age range.)

Repton School Dubai offers a number of scholarships – for internal and external candidates. Don’t ask, definitely don’t get. The school had admissions information on its Web site. At the time of this review, it had availability from Years 1 to 10 (but not nursery or reception or Years 11 and 12). Hopefully up to date information here.

Note 2: Repton Abu Dhabi opened its doors in September 2013. Initially taking pupils for Nursery (FS1)  through to Year 1. Year 2 followed from 2014. The school is housed in two buildings on Al Reem Island.  The first intake (Nursery (FS1) to Year 1) is housed in the Foundation School. Year 3 followed in September 2015 with the opening of the second building.

 

IB, 2011-2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Worldwide
Percentage of Candidates Passing the Diploma 65% 71% 80% 90% 97% 77%
Average Points Score per Student 31 31 30 33 34 29.9
Highest Diploma Points Score 37 40 39 43 42 45

 

GCSE

Result Summary
2012 2013 2014 2015
A* % 22 22 21 25
A* – A % 42 44 46 54
A* – B % 64 66 70 77
A* – C % 82 86 88 91

 

Fees

FS 1 50379
FS 2 50379
YEAR 1 52750
YEAR 2 52750
YEAR 3 57491
YEAR 4 59269
YEAR 5 64011
YEAR 6 64011
YEAR 7 77049
YEAR 8 80013
YEAR 9 82967
YEAR 10 88903
YEAR 11 94831
YEAR 12 100759
YEAR 13 100759

 

KHDA Rating

2008-2009 Good click here
2009-2010 Good click here
2010-2011 Good click here
2011-2012 Good click here
2012-2013 Good click here
2013-2014 Good click here
2014-2015 Outstanding click here
2015-2016 Outstanding click here

 

Location

 

 

General Information

School Name Repton School Dubai
Curriculum UK/IB
Telephone 04 4269393
Fax 04 3446304
P.O.Box Nad Al Sheba
Email info@reptondubai.org
Website www.reptondubai.org

 

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. Alternatively or better additionally, please complete the Official WSA Q&A.

 

 

Update on May 31, 2016 | Reviewed by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com on November 8, 2012

10 Comments

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  1. APicton says
    February 12, 2015, 11:52 am

    Everyone does seem to have a very polar opinions about Repton. My personal (subjective) impression was very positive , the children all seem very happy and Repton’s been posting some amazing accomplishments recently on Facebook. Just go visit the school and decide for yourself is what I’ve learned.

    Reply
    • Mum of 1 says
      March 7, 2015, 12:33 pm

      The majority of children are very happy at Repton. It is academically focused and as time moves on it, I believe it will become very selective indeed.

      From my perspective, Repton lacks a holistic approach in the sense of looking to enable all children to succeed in something. The average child coming from a small school to a significantly larger school, may fade into the background and face a number of other previously unidentified challenges. The result is, unintentional marginalisation and self esteem issues.

      The schools provision is for children who just get on with it. Pop your little sausage in to the sausage machine and as long as there are no hiccups along the way, you will get a well formed sausage popping out at the other end. There is no doubt, this school will be the perfect for school for little Tommy.

      It is large and culturally very diverse – which is not a bad thing – if your child can cope with it. There is no predominant nationality. It truly is a real melting pot of children with culturally diverse backgrounds which makes for an interesting dynamic.

      My suggestion would be (excuse me for stating the obvious but…..) if you have a child who has been at a smaller school and was doing well, scrutinise the school you are choosing in the UAE very carefully. Take a good look around and don’t choose a school in haste. It really isn’t just about academics – but that is from my view of my world.

      Overall, I can say that the majority of the teaching and pastoral care has been excellent. The current Headmaster of the Junior school has been amazing, is very proactive and supportive, offering a very personalised approach to dealing with day to day issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough.

      Reply
  2. UK Parent says
    January 20, 2015, 7:54 am

    I would be interested to know if any British parents found that their child’s accent changed whilst in this school. Whilst British form a significant group at the school, there are over 70 nationalities – which is great for diversity, but does that mean British kids end up losing their native accent?

    Reply
    • January 21, 2015, 10:52 am

      Dear UK parent, I cannot speak in general terms, but as the parent of 3 children, all of whom attended international schools in Dubai, I can say that their accents became perhaps less regionally identifiable than when they arrived in Dubai, but they are still clearly British. In my experience, children need to be immersed in a different language environment with one strong focus for there to be an impact. My older children have both studies in Australia and have picked up the local pronunciation of certain words, but again, their accents are still identifiably British.

      Reply
    • Mum of 1 says
      March 7, 2015, 11:13 am

      My child still has a very British accent.

      Reply
  3. Wagondragon says
    January 13, 2015, 5:12 pm

    Can’t say I would recommend the school from personal experience. The senior school cannot be described as inclusive if you are considering this school for a child with any kind of disability. Despite suggesting testing is part of the selection process for entry into the senior school, I discovered by accident that I was actually ‘blocked’ from re registering my child for entry into the senior school from the junior school. The poor admissions staff member was really embarrassed having to explain why.

    My child is on the mild end of the autism spectrum (you would hardly know apart from some behavioural blips that we are working on). Whilst the learning support staff has been excellent, the antics of the senior management team are questionable. This ‘sifting’ is tantamount to a form of ethnic cleansing – it would appear that children who are academically capable (have the proof in the form of last terms school report) but have a disability, are deselected from the system.

    Shocking considering the school carries the name of a reputable school in the UK.

    Reply
  4. Beth Hakim says
    October 26, 2014, 4:31 pm

    The problem is, I think parents would feel better if these extra costs were being reinvested back into the school, as opposed to the pockets of certain individuals (ie, non-profit vs. profit). They say you can’t put a price on good education? Apparently in the UAE, you can. I do wonder how much longer the market can support this system…there are so many ultra-expensive schools in Dubai and the UAE, I do wonder how all those people are able to afford it (and these are schools with large student bodies).

    For all the hype and facilities this school supposedly has going for it, you’d expect a better rating than ‘Good’. But then, with the name attached to this school, would it even matter?

    Reply
  5. John says
    February 18, 2014, 9:39 pm

    Repton have increased their fees by 9% from 2011/2012 to 2012/2013 school years. Then they increased it by a further 2.4% from 2012/2013 to 2013/2014 school years. That’s 11.4% in just 2 years. When I spoke to the KHDA and asked why, given the fact that all fees were supposed to be frozen, they said it was due to new classrooms built and additional Islamic study rooms.

    I think this is disgraceful given Repton only ever achieved a “Good” rating. Charging premium rates for only a “good” educational rating is outrageous. I’m really happy that I moved my kids to an “Outstanding” school for a 20% drop in fees and 100% increase in quality.

    Reply
    • Professor says
      February 19, 2014, 8:05 pm

      Hi John, the KHDA made clear that schools that were investing would be able to make increases to school fees – and Repton has been. (It already has a pretty impressive (and expensive) campus – I am sure you would agree with that). It’s a balance, isn’t it… We as parents want schools to invest in facilities, employ the best teachers, have incentives for staff so there is less churn – but we also want school fees to remain static. That is a difficult trick for any business to pull off…

      And, whether we like it or not, education in the UAE IS a business. According to information we have been given it takes schools up to 12 years to pay off original capital costs. Schools are no longer gifted land as they once were, or helped by generous individuals as they once were. It’s a private sector play.

      Well done for getting your child into an Outstanding school. Let’s hope there are more of them come April and the latest KHDA reports…

      Reply
    • Ella says
      February 26, 2014, 9:54 am

      Hi John,

      I agree with you. We are in a very similar situation, may I ask you where did you move your children and are you still happy with the new school as all school in Dubai have some issues, thanks, Ella

      Reply

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