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Private School

Inspection Report

Al Ittihad National Private School

Academic Year 2015 2016

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Al Ittihad National Private School


Inspection Date
Date of previous inspection

16 19 November 2015
23 - 26 February 2014

General Information

Students

School ID

124

Total number of
students

1158

Opening year of
school

2004

Number of children in
KG

250

Principal

Najat Al Dhaheri

Number of students
in other phases

Primary 575
Middle 255
High
78

School telephone

+971 (0)3 781 1164

Age range

3 years 7 months to 18
years.

School Address

Falaj Hazzaa, Al Ain

Grades or Year
Groups

KG to Grade 12

Official email (ADEC)

alittihadaa.pvt@adec.ac.ae

Gender

Mixed (Male and Female)

School Website

www.inpsalain.com

% of Emirati Students

87.3%

Fee range (per


annum)

AED 16,600 AED 30,800

Other largest
nationality groups (%)

1. Jordan 4.2%
2. Oman 2.5%

Licensed Curriculum

Staff

Main Curriculum

American

Number of teachers

97

Other Curriculum

------

Number of teaching
assistants (TAs)

19

External Exams/
Standardised tests

SAT English and Maths


IELTS, PIRLS English
MAP En/Ma/Sc, EMSA

Teacher-student
ratio

1:21 KG/FS 1:21 Primary


1:12 Middle 1:12 High

Accreditation

------

Teacher turnover

20%

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Introduction
Inspection activities
5

Number of inspectors deployed

Number of inspection days

109

Number of lessons observed


Number of joint lesson
observations

Number of parents
questionnaires

Details of other inspection


activities

152; (response rate: 13.1%)


Inspectors conducted meetings with the principal, vice
principal, subject co-ordinators, teachers, students,
parents and the proprietor. They attended assemblies,
analysed test and assessment results, scrutinized
students work, and considered many of the schools
policies and other documents.
School

School Aims

School vision and mission

Leadership structure
(ownership, governance and
management)

To enable students to become effective leaders and


celebrate success and achievements.
Promote values and competences by offering
structured instruction through the curriculum.
Treat students equally and with respect, providing
them with a safe and challenging learning environment.
To create a generation that adapts to the demands of
the modern age and preserves its actual heritage.
To raise future leaders, proud of their heritage/legacy,
able to face the challenge of a most competitive global
world with great confidence.
Chair of Governors, Principal and General Manager, Vice
Principal, 4 Assistant Principals.

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SEN Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)


Number of students
identified through external
assessments

Number of other
students identified by
the school

Intellectual disability

Specific Learning Disability

Emotional and Behaviour


Disorders (ED/ BD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder
(ASD)
Speech and Language
Disorders
Physical and health related
disabilities
Visually impaired

Hearing impaired

Multiple disabilities

SEN Category

G&T Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)


G&T Category

Number of students
identified

Intellectual ability

Subject-specific aptitude (e.g. in science, mathematics,


languages)

Social maturity and leadership

Mechanical/ technical/ technological ingenuity

Visual and performing arts (e.g. art, theatre, recitation)

Psychomotor ability (e.g. dance or sport)

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The overall performance of the school


Inspectors considered the school in relation to 3 performance categories
Band A

High performing (Outstanding, Very Good or Good)

Band B

Satisfactory (Acceptable)

Band C

In need of significant improvement (Weak or Very Weak)

Acceptable
Band C
In need of significant
improvement

Performance Standard 1:
Students achievement
Performance Standard 2:
Students personal and
social development, and
their innovation skills
Performance Standard 3:
Teaching and assessment
Performance Standard 4:
Curriculum
Performance Standard 5:
The protection, care,
guidance and support of
students
Performance Standard 6:
Leadership and
management

Summary Evaluation:
The schools overall
performance

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Very Weak

Satisfactory

Acceptable

High Performing

Good

Band B

Weak

(B)

Band A

Very Good

Performance Standards

BAND

Outstanding

School was judged to be:

The Performance of the School


Evaluation of the schools overall performance
The school provides an acceptable quality of education with some aspects now
being good. There is a genuine commitment by the proprietor, governors and
senior leaders, to raising standards. Leaders have identified the main strengths and
areas for development. As a result, there are significant improvements in the
Kindergarten (KG) where children are attaining above their-age related
expectations and are making good progress in their learning. This improvement is
beginning to impact positively on the primary phase where students are developing
a good range of learning skills because the curriculum is structured more
appropriately to support students learning. This is significant because 71% of the
school population is in the KG and primary phases. These improvements are not yet
reflected in the middle and high school phases where attainment and progress are
acceptable.
Progress made since last inspection and capacity to improve
There has been acceptable improvement since the last inspection. Most of the
areas for development have been addressed. The rapid development of the quality
of teaching in the KG is beginning to impact positively on the primary phase. The
school is making progress with the provision of subject specialist teachers and is
employing more teaching assistants to provide additional support for learning in
classrooms. A range of extra-curricular activities to enhance learning is provided
before school in the morning and all students are encouraged to attend these
optional sessions. Systems to monitor student progress have been introduced. The
school is beginning to analyse diagnostic skills tests. The assessment system is in
the early stages of development and is not yet fully impacting on classroom
practice. The vice principal is driving this forward and understands the importance
of using the data effectively to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
Development and promotion of innovation skills
Innovation skills in KG are good and they are improving with good elements in the
primary phase. They are acceptable in the middle and high school phases. In the KG,
innovation skills are developed through a range of planned activities in each
classroom. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively because they are
organised into groups which they know as learning centres. They engage in
problem solving and critical thinking activities which are structured to reinforce
their learning.

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The inspection identified the following as key areas of strength:

the effectiveness of the Kindergarten


the schools well considered strategic plans
students understanding of Islamic values and awareness of the UAE culture
the safe, secure and caring learning environment

The inspection identified the following as key areas for improvement:


the effective use of attainment data to raise students achievement
students achievement in English and mathematics in the higher phase
the quality of marking and teachers feedback to students in all subjects
meeting the learning needs of any gifted and talented students and those
with special educational needs

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Performance Standard 1: Students Achievement


Students achievement Indicators

KG

Primary

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Progress

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Progress

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Islamic
Education

Arabic
(as a First Language)
Arabic
(as a Second
Language)

Middle

High

Social Studies

English

Mathematics

Science
Language of
instruction (if other
than English and
Arabic as First
Language)
Other subjects
(Art, Music, PE)
Learning Skills
(including innovation, creativity, critical
thinking, problem solving, communication
and collaboration skills)

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Students achievement overall is acceptable. Children in the KG attain levels above


their age related expectations in English, mathematics, science, Arabic, Islamic
education and social studies. Attainment is acceptable in the primary and middle
phases where students attain acceptable standards against their age related
expectations in English, mathematics, science, Arabic, Islamic education and social
studies. Students in the higher phase attain acceptable standards in science, Arabic,
Islamic education and social studies. They make weaker progress in English and
mathematics in the higher phase where there is only a small number of students, i.e.
78 (7% of the whole school population). Attainment of students across all grades in
the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests show that students are working in
line with curriculum standards in English and science. Students attainment in Arabic
is also in line with curriculum standards. Attainment is weaker in Islamic education and
mathematics.
The progress of children in the KG is good in all core subjects. In the primary phase,
students progress in mathematics and English is good and acceptable in science,
Arabic, Islamic education and social studies. Students in the middle and high school
phase make acceptable progress in all core subjects. Children in the Kindergarten
attain well and make good progress in English as a result of good teaching and the
well adapted curriculum. Students develop collaborative speaking and listening skills
in the primary phase because teachers questioning is good and there is a good variety
of activities to develop students language skills. Knowledge, skills and
understanding, including higher-level skills, are weak in English for boys in the high
phase as a result of weaker teaching in previous years. Reading is not successfully
promoted for boys and the presentation of their written work is of a low quality. This
is because their attitudes to learning are not strong. In middle and high phases,
teachers do not insist that students speak English in class. As a result, students do not
develop strong, age appropriate speaking skills.
In mathematics, most learners are able to count well when they use manipulatives in
KG and the primary phase. In KG2, children are able to make patterns with colourful
objects. KG1 children have good numeracy skills and can count to 10, recognise 5 and
relate this well to quantity. Where teaching is based on activities, students make real
life links and as a result they make good progress. Mental mathematics is an area for
development as students across the school are unable to make assumptions and
predictions. In the middle and high phases, students use calculators for simple
addition.
Children in the KG make good progress in science because teachers provide a range
of tasks to help them understand the importance of healthy eating. Their learning is
enhanced by the practical activities that engage and help them to make real life links
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through food handling. Students in the primary and middle phases enjoy practical
science tasks. For example in Grade 6, where the majority of students know the basic
definition of mitosis and enjoy constructing a mitosis model successfully.
The progress of children in Arabic and Islamic education is good in KG due to their
positive attitudes and motivation to learn through the varied activities that support
their learning in lessons. Students writing skills in Arabic are weak. Critical thinking
and problem solving skills are underdeveloped in both Arabic and Islamic education.
Students in the middle and higher phases make only acceptable progress due to
lessons that are teacher led and lack adequate challenge.
In the lessons and activities seen during the inspection, the progress of students with
special educational needs (SEN) and those who may be gifted and talented is not
secure. Although they are identified, the support for SEN students is limited to English
lessons. There is some additional support when selected students are withdrawn
from their classes to work in the special needs room. Further support for individual
students is provided by the Zayed Foundation.
In physical education (PE), art and information and communication technology (ICT)
students make good progress in KG and acceptable progress in the rest of the school.
Some good application of ICT is being used in KG, primary, middle and high phases.
For example in KG and the primary phase, learners use ICT to enhance their learning
of language and number work in mathematics.
Students develop good learning skills in KG and in the primary phase. They benefit
from lessons where activities are structured well for them to take responsibility for
their own learning. They work collaboratively in groups to discuss and share their
learning. Students develop high levels of confidence to work independently of the
teacher. Their critical thinking is extended effectively when teachers ask probing
questions. In the middle and high phases, teachers provide fewer opportunities for
students in lessons to take responsibility for their learning and to work more
collaboratively. Group work to solve more open-ended problems was limited in the
lessons seen during the inspection. As a result, their application of learning to the real
world and making connections to their own lives is less well developed.

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Performance Standard 2: Students personal and social development,


and their innovation skills
Students personal and social development, and
their innovation skills Indicators

Personal development
Understanding of Islamic values and awareness
of Emirati and world cultures
Social responsibility and innovation skills

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Good

Good

Good

Acceptable

Very Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Students personal and social development and innovation skills are good overall.
Students demonstrate positive and responsible attitudes towards learning and enjoy
their work in KG, primary and middle phases. This is less positive with students in the
high phase where there are weaker attitudes to learning. The behaviour of the large
majority of students is respectful and they respond very well to each other and to
adults in the school. Positive relationships contribute well to a friendly and
harmonious learning community where bullying is rare. Students demonstrate good
understanding of safe and healthy living through active play on a range of equipment
and show healthy choices in the food they bring and choose in school. Attendance is
good at 95%. Students arrive punctually to lessons throughout the school day.
Students have a secure appreciation and understanding of Islamic values. In
assemblies, students address the gathering and dance and sing to recorded music.
Islamic values feature strongly in all assemblies. Students read from the Holy Quran,
salute the flag and sing the national anthem with enthusiasm and energy. Students
gain good knowledge and are respectful and proud of their heritage and the culture
of UAE. They involve themselves in a range of cultural traditions and participate
actively in assembly themes and performances. They eagerly take part in school
celebrations such as childrens day events. Students design and produce decorative
art in preparation for National Day.
Students do charitable work for the Red Crescent and participate in fundraising
events. They volunteer to maintain the environment through the Environmental
Cleanliness Campaign. Students are also working on an idea to reduce traffic at the
front of the school. Students support the labour force by collecting and donating
clothing, food and water. They support the Dubai Cares project by baking and selling
food products to raise funds. Participation in the Eco Club projects involve students
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in maintaining the environment. Students in the high school phase listen to younger
students read both in Arabic and in English. Students are involved in work to promote
breast cancer awareness and celebrate Multicultural Day when parents and other
members of the community join them to organise and present information and
prepare food.
Children engage in problem solving and critical thinking activities in the KG, which are
structured to reinforce their innovation skills. For example, matching words that
contain the phonogram an to pictures using string or building words using alphabet
cards based on a range of pictures such as a van and man. In the primary phase,
students work collaboratively and also independently of the teacher when they do
group activities. Students in the primary phase develop their communication skills
well when they discuss their work in groups. They make links to the real word through
planned cross-curricular topics such as the animal project. In the high school, students
are given fewer opportunities for more open-ended problem solving and critical
thinking and are less challenged to apply deeper questioning. For example in an
English lesson, where girls analysed their work to consider how to make
improvements, the teacher missed opportunities to challenge the girls to be more
evaluative through the use of assessment criteria.

Performance Standard 3: Teaching and Assessment


Teaching and Assessment Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Teaching for effective learning

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Assessment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Teaching and assessment are acceptable overall. Teaching in the KG is good, enabling
children to make good progress with learning. Teachers have good subject
knowledge and know the children well. Relationships are strong. All teachers share
learning objectives with children and as a result, children have clarity about the tasks
and learning in lessons. Teachers in the KG understand how young children learn and
plan an interesting range of activities that support this. Teachers use prior attainment
to plan a range of activities to meet the needs of individuals and groups of learners
with similar stages of learning. Most teachers use a mix of strategies that are
challenging and engaging. The lively, stimulating learning environment and wellresourced tasks provide challenge and collaboration to develop students critical
thinking, enquiry and research skills. ICT is integrated well to enhance learning and
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children are competent at using the range of software to support their reading,
writing and number skills.
Similar approaches are now developing in the primary school where students
communication and critical thinking are promoted when teachers ask probing
questions. Links are made between the real world and subjects in the KG and primary
phases, for example with the animal project. This approach is underdeveloped in the
high school and as a result, students do not take as much responsibility for their own
learning. Tasks are not effectively matched to the learning needs of students and
there is insufficient challenge in lessons for students to develop their skills of problem
solving and critical thinking.
In preparation for assessment, teachers in the KG provide guidance and communicate
the expectations of tasks to the children as simple written steps in their workbooks.
This is evident in all core subjects. Formative marking is a strength in the KG where it
is detailed and teachers give helpful comments to support children with their next
steps in learning. This approach is developing in the primary phase where better
practice is evident in a few classes. Marking in the middle and higher phases is
inconsistent and underdeveloped. Rubrics are used in these phases to provide
guidance for assessment which is not always fully understood by the students. In a
minority of books, work is unmarked. Teachers in the high phase do not use students
prior attainment information effectively to influence their teaching.
The school has introduced benchmarking tests that provide teachers with
information about students learning skills. This process is at the early stages of
implementation and the use of this information to inform teaching in the middle and
high schools is not yet fully developed.

Performance Standard 4: Curriculum


Curriculum Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Curriculum design and implementation

Good

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Curriculum adaptation

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

The curriculum is acceptable overall. Curriculum design and implementation are good
in KG and primary. Cross curricular links are good in primary and very good in KG.
Curriculum adaptation is good in KG. The planning to ensure continuity and
progression is good in KG with a clear strength of making links across the curriculum.
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The school provides a range of extra-curricular activities for students in morning


sessions before school to enrich the curriculum and to extend students experiences.
In all grades the core subjects of English, mathematics and science are taught in
English using the California Common Core State Standards (CCCSS). Arabic language,
Islamic education and social studies follow the Ministry of Education curriculum.
The curriculum is not yet fully adapted for students with SEN and for any gifted and
talented students. Lesson plans and lesson observations show that teachers do not
plan to challenge higher ability students and support for SEN students is provided in
English medium subjects only. The new special educational needs co-ordinator
(SENCO) appointed at the start of this academic year is beginning to establish a more
comprehensive programme of support to include other subjects.
A strength of the curriculum is the schools work in making links across subjects to
develop students understanding of Emirati culture and UAE society. The school
community considers themselves to be heritage guardians.
A large minority of students leave the school at the end of the middle phase. This
leaves only a small proportion of students in grades 10 to 12 which makes the high
school only 7% of the school population. The school has detailed destination
information about students who leave before the high phase. The promotion of
enterprise and innovation skills is weak in the high school. Much of the curriculum
improvement is not embedded beyond primary and is yet to have positive outcomes
in the middle and high phases.

Performance Standard 5: The protection, care, guidance and support


of students
The protection, care, guidance and support of
students Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Health and safety, including arrangements for


child protection/ safeguarding

Good

Good

Good

Good

Care and support

Good

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

The provision for students protection, care, guidance and support in the school is
good in most respects. There are effective procedures for the safeguarding of
students including arrangements for child protection.
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The staff, students and parents are aware of these safeguarding procedures. There
are effective arrangements to ensure students safety and security. The clinic is well
equipped and supports 40 students with health conditions for example, asthma and
diabetes. Incident records and details of students who have medical conditions are
up-to-date. First aid kits and fire extinguishers are readily available. The science
laboratories are well equipped. Hazardous chemicals are kept in a locked cabinet. The
school provides a very safe, caring and secure environment for all students. Buildings
and equipment are well maintained in good repair and the school keeps secure and
accurate records. The building is adapted with lifts and ramps for students with
physical disability.
Staff and students have positive and purposeful relationships with each other.
Systems and procedures for managing students behaviour are in place and this is
reflected in the punctuality and attendance rate which is good. Internet software is
used to reward student achievement and good behaviour in school points system.
This is reported to parents using a smartphone Application Programme (APP).
Equally, points are deducted for negative behaviour. Systems to identify students
with SEN and those who may be gifted and talented (G&T) are not fully secure. The
school makes use of teachers observations and base line tests to identify G&T
students. Lists are being developed but this is not yet fully implemented in lesson
plans or in the level of support and challenge teachers provide in lessons.
Academic guidance is provided for students to support them in making academic
choices. The school effectively tracks the progress and destinations of students. This
is reflected in the destination data available which indicates that most students are
successful in applying for local universities.

Performance Standard 6: Leadership and management


Leadership and management Indicators
The effectiveness of leadership

Acceptable

Self-evaluation and improvement planning

Acceptable

Partnerships with parents and the community

Acceptable

Governance

Acceptable

Management, staffing, facilities and resources

Good

The principal and owner set a clear vision and strategic direction for the school and
this is shared with stakeholders and well supported in the school development plan
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(SDP). The governing body of which the owner is the chair, holds the schools senior
leadership to account. Self-evaluation is analytical, accurate and feeds into the
priorities for the SDP. The process of strategic planning is good and is having a positive
impact on raising standards in the KG and the primary phases.
The principal and vice principal are clear about the schools strengths and areas for
improvement and demonstrate effective capacity to improve. The vice principal is
active in ensuring that strategies for improvement are put in place. Leaders at all
levels need to ensure that they understand the attainment data and use it to ensure
lesson planning meets the needs of all groups of students at different levels of ability
and stages of learning. Examples of good practice in the KG and primary phases are
not shared across the school. Measures to improve the schools diagnostic
assessment systems and the management of data is beginning to provide the school
with information of where students skills are weak. This information is not used
effectively by leaders and teachers to ensure better planning in lessons to raise
achievement in the middle and high phase grades. Systems to ensure rigorous
monitoring of marking, planning and progress in lessons across the school are in need
of further development.
The day-to-day running of the school is good in most aspects. Students are well looked
after and appreciate the values of Islam and their cultural heritage through the wide
range of activities, assemblies, national celebrations and educational opportunities
provided.
Parents are encouraged to become involved in the life of the school. They work with
students to enrich the curriculum and broaden students experiences. For example,
on Multicultural Day, mothers prepare food and are involved in the activities. Parents
are supportive of the school. Relationships and communication are effective. They
would like more frequent and detailed information about their childrens progress.
The school buildings are spacious, well maintained and managed to support the
curriculum and learning. All facilities are in place for ensuring students with physical
disabilities are able to access all learning areas.

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What the school should do to improve further:


1. Use attainment data effectively to raise students achievement by:
i. using assessment information effectively in subjects to set clear
priorities for raising achievement
ii. taking account of students prior attainment to plan work to meet
the needs of students at different stages of learning.
2. Raise students achievement in English and Mathematics in the high phase
of the school by:
i. improving the quality of teaching in English and mathematics
ii. monitoring the progress of individual students and ensuring targets
are used effectively to enable students to take responsibility for their
learning in the higher grades.
3. Improve the quality of marking and teachers feedback to students in all
subjects by:
i. ensuring all teachers mark work regularly and provide feedback to
students on how to improve
ii. sharing the existing good practice in marking in KG across the school
iii. monitoring the quality of marking more rigorously.
4. Meet the learning needs of gifted and talented students and those with
special educational (SEN) needs by:
i. ensuring students are effectively assessed and the names of
identified students and their targets are shared with all teachers
ii. providing specific learning objectives for gifted and talented and SEN
students in lessons, and regularly monitor the students progress.

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