The schooling in Dubai is as varied as the cultures that call the city home. The decision of where to send your children is a critical one. Discussions about the benefits of different curriculums, as well as the quality of the teaching, can get heated. If you’ve decided on (or shortlisted) Dubai British School as the learning centre for your children, then read on.
According to the school’s mission statement, Dubai British School is where “excellence is valued.” As a school community, the aim is to be approachable and supportive, to value continuity in learning, to have high expectations of students, and to find strength in diversity (over 60 nationalities are represented in the student body).
Every student is encouraged to challenge themselves, fulfill their unique potential, to think locally as well as globally, and to be considerate of the needs of others. The school says that this mission statement emphasizes the role of the community in the school – and as much as possible parents, students, staff, and friends alike are encouraged to get involved.
Dubai British School is conveniently located opposite the Meadows Town Centre, a compact hub with coffee shops and supermarkets in the middle of the Springs (Emirates Hills) residential area of Dubai. Just down the road is the Dubai British School – Jumeirah Park, which is a completely different learning institute.
The Dubai British School accepts children from FS1 (aged 3) all the way through to Year 13 (aged 18), and currently has almost 1100 children in attendance. Of these, almost 10% of students are recognised as having Special Educational Needs (SEN).
The school has 83 full time teachers, including the Headmaster, as well as 35 teaching assistants. Part of the staff also includes two full-time nurses, a doctor, a primary counselor, and a secondary counsellor.
Dubai British School follows the UK curriculum, and has consistently strong academic results, year after year outperforming the UK average. In 2013, a total 90% of its GCSE students attained grades A*-C (against a UK average of 68%), while 39% achieved an A* or an A (while the UK average was 21%).
Past students have gone on to some of the world’s best universities including Oxford, Cambridge, and Princeton. The school has a dedicated careers adviser to support students with decisions related to their futures. The school also participates in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Dubai British School offers an extensive range of extra-curricular activities both internally and from external providers. Recently, Year 12 and 13 students attended the Model United Nations at Yale University.
The school has a number of facilities on site, including but not limited to a tennis court, basketball court, swimming pool, sports hall, football pitch, auditorium, foundation playground, primary playground, separate primary and secondary computer suites, separate primary and secondary libraries, sixth form common rooms, and dedicated extended learning rooms.
The school offers all classes in English, but in line with schools in the UK, they offer additional modern language classes for French, Spanish, and German. All students are also given the opportunity to learn Arabic.
If English is not your child’s first language, but you still want them to attend Dubai British School, then rest easy. Additional English Language classes are available to help students in their learning as required. The classes are run by the Student Support staff.
As with most schools in Dubai, it is compulsory for all students to wear a uniform. The uniform is designed with the temperature and climate in mind, and is for sale at the ZAKS store in the Al Barsha area, not too far from the school.
The uniform is different for the lower school (FS1 to Year 6) and the high school (Year 7 to Year 13) with some additional flexibility for Year 12 and 13 students. They have also recently announced a partnership with Al Boom Diving, which is now the provider of a uniform swimming costume for water sports and activities.
Dubai as a city has recently increased its efforts to raising awareness about healthy eating. Education on this topic starts young, and one of the leading schools working with the government is Dubai British School.
Aside from encouraging parents to pack healthy lunches, the school has turned it into an opportunity to create a hands-on learning experience by setting up its own vegetable garden on the school premises.
The school believes that in this way, they can help to bust myths about healthy eating, and they raise awareness about where food comes from, as well as the nutritional impact of meal choices. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the children have responded very well, and the organic school-grown vegetables are used to make the salad sold at the school.
Registration & Fees
The school is very popular, and since places are limited, getting your child admitted can be difficult. The process is further complicated because admissions are open with different timings for different year groups.
Where at all possible, you should plan to apply 2 years in advance to maximise your chance of acceptance. Click here to check out their website for updated information regarding the timing of admissions.
School fees start at 41,000 per year for FS1 and rise in increments every few years, reaching 61,800dhs a year for Year 12 and Year 13 students. Although this might sound shockingly high, remember that a lot of Dubai employers will pay for (or contribute to) the cost of school fees for up to 3 children.
If you think that Dubai British School will fit your child’s needs, then this is the paperwork you will have to get in order:
- A copy of school reports for the last 2 years, including the current year
- 2 copies of your child’s birth certificate
- 4 recent colour (passport size) photographs of the applicant
- 2 copies of each passport (details and residents visa pages) for the father, mother, and child
All applications carry a 500dhs non-refundable fee, however this in no way guarantees acceptance. When all the required paperwork is received, you will be contacted by the admissions office to arrange the appropriate Entrance Assessments.
Assessments are only arranged if the school has places available, otherwise your application form will be placed on a waiting list.
Acceptance to the school is contingent upon the results of the assessment test, student interview, and former school history.