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The Winchester School, Dubai

The Winchester School, Dubai

UK curriculum based Winchester School, located in Jebel Ali, is home to just over 3,500 boys and girls, aged between three and 18 years. The single largest demographic is Indian, but the school had students from just under 90 different nations including those from Pakistan, Arab countries, Asian countries and The Philippines.

The school is particularly worthy of note for rising up the rankings in a way that is unique amongst schools in Dubai. Between 2008 and 2011 this was a school rated Acceptable. In its latest rating (2015/16) the school was ranked Very Good – just outside of the top rating of Outstanding. Leaders, teachers, parents and students at Winchester should feel incredibly proud.

The decade old school employs 215 teachers and 50 teaching assistants, all “well qualified and suitably experienced” according to the KHDA, Dubai’s education regulator. Most teachers, like the student body itself, are recruited from India and Asia in general. Teacher turnover is running at 19% – average for a Dubai school, quite high for an Indian curriculum school.

Approximately 20 per cent of the students study Arabic as a first language. Around 2% of students have been identified as needing some form of SEN attention.

The school describes itself as “highly affordable”, and it is almost certainly one of the best value schools offering an EYFS and England and Wales based curriculum – see fees below. Students are entered for external Cambridge, UK IGCSE, AS and A-Level examinations in the upper school phases. The school has also recently introduced Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) vocational courses for post-16 students.

The school no longer publishes its examination results – a GEMS Education group wide policy, one we think is a mistake. Instead all GEMS schools hide behind an ‘average’ which we think is pretty meaningless.

Previously Winchester had provided some detail on its results, if haphazardly. In terms of IGCSE examinations the school claimed for 2012 a 70 percent pass rate of five, A* – C grades. This is normally the minimum requirement for further studies (although normally requirements include these include Maths and English). At AS Level the school claimed an 80% pass rate, while for A’ Level examinations the school says it achieved a 97% pass rate. However its actual A* to B pass rate at A’ Level was 38%.

The Winchester School also used to provide detail on university destinations with most school leavers going on to universities in the UAE. Destinations also included junior to mid ranking Canadian, U.S., UK, and Indian institutions. Currently however the Winchester site hides behind generic GEMS Education school leavers. Given the diversity of the group’s schools, this is pretty meaningless information.

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The lack of transparency is a shame considering the school’s overall performance. Winchester is now rated outstanding by the KHDA for English, Maths and Science at FS and at the other end of school life, at Post 16 . In between Winchester is rated Very Good.

The school has a reasonable level of facilities (although not up to the level of GEMS’ top end schools). They include well equipped classrooms, a multi-purpose auditorium, a variety of sports fields to encourage specialised learning in different outdoor games, music and art & craft rooms, and two well-resourced libraries. Extra-curricular activities seem limited, and very much focused on sport – basketball, cricket, tennis, and soccer in particular.

Feedback to WSA via its School Survey has been mixed. Only one in five parents would recommend the school (against an average of two thirds for UAE schools in general) . The school has thus far not performed particularly well in an assessment of its academic performance by parents, or in the level of feedback provided to parents. That said, survey results are still limited in number. Given the paucity of responses results may currently be skewed.

Feedback to the KHDA certainly seems a little more positive. Parents agree their children are making good progress in English. They are less positive about progress in Arabic for native speakers. Most agree children make good progress in Islamic Education, mathematics, science and Arabic as an additional language. Moreover parents report children enjoy school, that they are looked after and feel safe in the school and on the buses. Parents say students are respected, valued and treated fairly. Most parents think that the school is well led.

Fees at Winchester are, as noted, relatively very affordable for a UK based, GEMS managed school. Fees start at 12,996 AED for KG and rise to 28,992 AED for Grade 13. Full details below.

Children must take an age related placement test to enter, but an offer of a place is not based solely on the test. The school also conducts an interview with each child.

 

Fees

Pre primary 12996
FS 2 12996
YEAR 1 16246
YEAR 2 16246
YEAR 3 16246
YEAR 4 16246
YEAR 5 16246
YEAR 6 17329
YEAR 7 17329
YEAR 8 17329
YEAR 9 20579
YEAR 10 23197
YEAR 11 23197
YEAR 12 28992
YEAR 13 28992

 

KHDA Rating

2008-2009 Acceptable click here
2009-2010 Acceptable click here
2010-2011 Acceptable click here
2011-2012 Good click here
2012-2013 Good click here
2013-2014 Good click here
2014-2015 Good click here
2015-2016 Very good click here

 

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.

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Update on October 5, 2016 | Reviewed by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com on June 10, 2013

2 Comments

Leave A Reply
  1. Virginia says
    October 4, 2016, 5:13 pm

    This is a very poor report of this school

    school is very good KHDA 2015.
    The level and quality of the school is improving every year.
    There are also westerners in this school, not only indian and Asian.
    The extra activities also included Math and Science club, theatre, English, quarrel … Etc only by invitation
    The fees are high that you have in the web, the rate of A levels are higher

    Reply
    • October 5, 2016, 6:01 pm

      Many thanks for pointing this out Virginia. The review has actually now been updated. Fees are the KHDA approved tuition fees. Regarding nationality, we simply note in the review the main nationality of students and teachers.

      Reply

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