Three schools join KHDA list of highest-ranked in Dubai

Dubai’s top schools include some of the oldest in the emirate and institutions with various curriculums, although British schools dominate

Pupils prepare to start classes at the Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, one of the highest-ranked in the emirate. Pawan Singh / The National
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Three schools in Dubai have this year been added to the list of those recognised as outstanding by the emirate's education authority.

Safa Community School, Dubai British School Jumeirah Park and Lycee Francais International are the latest to be named among Dubai's most highly ranked schools.

Twenty other schools maintained their grade of outstanding in the latest rankings by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the emirate's regulator of private schools.

Rebecca Coulter, principal at Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, said her team had worked hard to improve their KHDA ratings over the years to reach an outstanding grade.

"We did a huge amount of work on the quality of teaching and learning, particularly looking at student progress and lessons and the quality of lesson planning," said Ms Coulter.

"I suppose it is a reflection of the hard work that's been put in from our senior leaders and our teachers to ensure that the quality of teaching is is excellent.

"Our GCSE and A-Level results and our external assessment results are consistently outstanding."

The school will be increasing fees in line with the KHDA's announcement and approvals, she said.

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A senior official at Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou put the school's success down to pupils enjoying their studies.

"We have happy pupils and I think that's one of the most important things," said Audrey Ruchet Bach, marketing, communication and admissions director.

"We have a welcoming school and that's really important.

"In terms of pedagogy, we work on digitalisation, inclusion, languages and wellbeing of the pupils. I think that would be the main priority. That helps with the outstanding rating we have."

Alhough the school is eligible for a fee increase, she said there were no plans at present to do so.

One of the perks of moving from the very good to outstanding bracket of the rankings is being eligible to increase annual fees by 3.9 per cent.

The National has compiled a list of Dubai schools ranked outstanding, which includes institutions from a variety of curricula including the French curriculum, UK, International Baccalaureate, Indian, and American.

These are as follows:

Dubai British School Jumeirah Park

Founded in 2015, the school has pupils aged between three and 18 from around the world and the institution focuses on the wellbeing of pupils.

Fees at the UK curriculum school range from Dh59,700 for first-year pupils, to Dh77,250 in Year 13.

Safa Community School

This school has been ranked as outstanding this year after being rated very good since 2018.

The school places emphasis on diversity, individuality, excellence, differentiation, sports, development and on helping pupils become the best versions of themselves.

Situation in Al Barsha South, tuition at the school ranges from Dh53,187 in FS1 to Dh87,386 for Year 13.

Kings' School Dubai

The school, situated in Umm Sequim 3 near Burj Al Arab, offers primary education for children aged three to 11.

Kings' has attained an outstanding rating every year since inspections began.

Fees at the school start from Dh44,928 for FS1 to Dh68,374 pupils in the sixth year.

Victory Heights Primary School

This British Curriculum school in Dubai's Sports City places focus on the importance of an ‘all-round’ education, character development, leadership skills and being a team player.

Fees range from Dh39,216 in foundation stage one to Dh53,476 in year six.

Dubai British School

Dubai British School, in Emirates Hills, is extremely popular with families.

The school was established in 2005 and has been rated outstanding by the KHDA since 2017.

Fees range from Dh50,496 for FS1 to Dh75,746 in Year 13.

Jumeirah English Speaking School in Al Safa and Jumeirah English Speaking School in Arabian Ranches

Jumeirah English Speaking (JESS) follows the UK curriculum and International Baccalaureate and is one of the oldest schools in the emirate.

The non-profit school was founded in an apartment in Deira in 1975 with only 17 pupils.

In 2005, the demand for school places led to a new campus being constructed in Arabian Ranches.

The school has two branches — one in Al Safa 1 and another in Arabian Ranches.

Fees at JESS start at Dh44,340 in FS1 and go up to Dh96,669 in Year 13.

Nord Anglia International School

Opened in 2014, Nord Anglia International School is a popular choice among parents, and follows the UK curriculum.

Fees at the school range from Dh66,302 in FS1 to Dh100,264 in Year 13.

Dubai International Academy

The school in Emirates Hills follows the International Baccalaureate programme.

It was the first IB school in the UAE to receive an outstanding rating in 2015-16, which it achieved again in 2016-17. However, it was rated very good in 2017-18, before returning to outstanding status in 2023.

Fees at the school start at Dh42,832 in kindergarten and go up to Dh75,893 in year 13.

Kings' School Al Barsha

The British Curriculum school in Al Barsha 3 differs from its other branch, in that it caters to pupils from years FS1 to year 13, while Kings' School Dubai offers primary education for children aged three to 11.

Fees start at Dh55,231 for FS1 and go up to Dh99,699 in Year 13.

Gems Dubai American Academy

The school is the only American curriculum school to find a spot on the list of outstanding schools.

The school in Barsha South focuses on celebrating diversity, resilience, creativity and driving positive change.

Fees for kindergarten are Dh64,665 while those for grade12 are Dh91,158.

Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou School Oud Metha and Lycee Francais International

The Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou Primary (LFIGP) is in Oud Metha. Fees at the school range from Dh36,702 in grade one to Dh49,536 in grade 12.

Fees at Lycee Francais International start at Dh27,730 in pre-primary and go up to Dh58,664 in grade 12.

Dubai English Speaking School and Dubai English Speaking College

Dubai English Speaking School (DESS), one of the oldest in the country, was established in 1963 in a room of a residential villa in Dubai.

Dubai's late Ruler, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed, in 1967 granted the school land in Oud Metha.

From only a handful of pupils in the villa, thousands of children now attend DESS and its secondary school arm, Dubai English Speaking College.

Fees at Dubai English Speaking School start at Dh40,220 in foundation stage one and go up to Dh84,609 in sixth form.

Dubai College

The non-profit school in Al Sufouh, which follows the UK curriculum, is one of the oldest in the city and is often described as one of Dubai's best.

The teachers have been known to maintain high standards and the school has some members of staff who have worked there since the 1980s.

Dubai College's fees for years seven to 11 are Dh89,205 for the 2023/24 academic year. Fees for years 12 and 13 are Dh101,012 a year.

Gems Wellington International School- Dubai branch

One of many Gems Education schools to make the outstanding category, the Gems Wellington International School in Al Sufouh offers both the UK curriculum and the International Baccalaureate diploma programme.

Fees range from Dh45,529 in foundation stages to Dh98,465 in Year 13.

Repton School

The Repton in Nad El Sheba is one of three branches in the UAE.

This branch, founded in 2007, has had an outstanding rating on DSIB inspection reports from 2014 until 2023.

Fees in FS1 start at Dh54,449 and go to Dh97,850 for Year 13.

Deira International School

Deira International opened in 2005, has a multicultural community and aims to help pupils achieve their objectives.

Fees range from Dh42,487 in FS1 to Dh77,612 in Year 11.

Gems Modern Academy

The school in Nad Al Sheba is the only Indian curriculum school rated outstanding in the city.

Tuition fees start at Dh30,272 in pre-kindergarten and go up to Dh55,404 in Grade 12. IB fees go up to Dh72,180 in Grade 12.

Jumeirah College

This institute is a UK-curriculum school in Al Safa 1.

Tuition fees start at Dh75,178 in the seventh year and go up to Dh93,972 in Year 13.

Horizons English School

Based in Dubai’s Al Wasl area, Horizons English School caters for foundation stage one to year six.

Horizons’ fees range from Dh40,863 for foundation years to Dh55,177 from Year 1 to Year 6.

Gems Jumeirah Primary School

Gems Jumeirah Primary School in Jumeirah 3 is one of the most sought-after primary schools in the emirate and has been rated outstanding since 2010 by the KHDA.

The school offers a bespoke and innovative curriculum that focuses on the British Curriculum.

Fees range from Dh43,185 for FS1 to Dh53,057 from Year 1 to Year 6.

Updated: May 09, 2024, 4:34 AM