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Private School

Inspection Report

Al Dar Private School

Academic Year 2015 2016

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Al Dar Private School


Inspection Date
Date of previous inspection

February 29, 2016

to

March 3, 2016

March 3, 2014

to

March 6, 2014

General Information

Students

School ID

138

Total number of
students

553

Opening year of
school

2006

Number of children
in KG

107

Principal

Asmaa Abd Alazeem

Number of students
in other phases

Primary:
Middle:
High:

School telephone

+971 (03) 783 2213


+971 (03) 783 2215

Age range

3 years 8 months to 18
years

School Address

Musaibeekh, Al Foaaa, Al
Ain

Grades or Year
Groups

KG to Grade 12

Official email (ADEC)

Aldar.pvt@adec.ac.ae

Gender

Mixed

School website

www.aldarps.com

% of Emirati
Students

20%

Fee ranges (per


annum)

Very low to low:


AED 4,100 - AED 12,600

Largest nationality
groups (%)

1. Egyptian 27%
2. Syrian
13%
3. Palestinian 8%

Licensed Curriculum

155
101
190

Staff

Main Curriculum

Ministry of Education
(MoE)

Number of teachers

45

Other Curriculum

----------

Number of teaching
assistants (TAs)

External Exams/
Standardised tests

EMSA Grades 5, 7, 9, 11.


TOEFL, IELTS Grades 11 & 12

Teacher-student
ratio

KG/ FS

1:25

Other phases

1:30

-----------

Teacher turnover

30%

Accreditation

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Introduction
Inspection activities
Number of inspectors
deployed

Number of inspection
days

Number of lessons
observed

93

Number of joint lesson


observations

Number of parents
questionnaires

57: (response rate: 10.6%)

Details of other
inspection activities

Inspectors carried out lesson observations and held


meetings with teachers, students, high school leaders, the
owner, the Board of Trustees, the nurse and the social
worker. Inspectors reviewed students coursework and a
range of documents.
School

School Aims

School administration is seeking to provide a safe learning


environment for students and stimulating the learning
process. The administration is seeking to graduate students,
proud of their identity and their homeland, and are always
working for the elevation of this homeland.
Vision: Prepare a generation, distinguished in creativity,
which adheres to religion and serves its homeland, matching
the requirements of the modern age through a good
administration and social effects.

School vision and mission Mission: Prepare high quality end-to-end services to
students according to high standards and established with
the participation of the community, giving them the
opportunity to express their views and develop a spirit of
competition and creativity. To achieve distinction.

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Admission Policy

For kindergarten (KG) there is a meeting with children and


their parents. Parents must approve of school policies. For
other grades, written examinations and meetings are held for
each grade.

Leadership structure
(ownership, governance
and management)

The principal, vice principal, subject leaders for English,


Arabic, mathematics, science, social studies, Islamic
education; 4 supervisors for each of KG, boys high school ,
girls high school, and boys primary; Board of Trustees.

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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)

Visually impaired

Hearing impaired

Multiple disabilities

SEN Category

Speech and Language


Disorders
Physical and health related
disabilities

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)

50

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 B

Satisfactory (Acceptable)

Band C

In need of significant improvement (Weak or Very Weak)

(B)

High Performing

Satisfactory

Acceptable

Band B

Good

Band A

Very Good

Performance Standards

BAND

Outstanding

School was judged to be:

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

High performing (Outstanding, Very Good or Good)

Weak

Band A

The Performance of the School


Evaluation of the schools overall performance
The school offers an acceptable quality of education. Relationships and students
behaviour are good in lessons and around the school. Students have a good
understanding of Islamic values and a good appreciation of UAE culture and history
which is demonstrated in assemblies. Attainment is acceptable and close to agerelated expectations. Teaching is acceptable overall with some examples of good
teaching. Students critical-thinking, problem-solving and innovation skills are not
sufficiently promoted across the school. The school does not accurately identify
students with special education needs and those who are gifted and talented.
These students do not always make the progress of which they are capable because
their specific needs are not always reflected in lesson planning. The school is
managed well on a day-to-day basis. Leaders have not done enough to ensure that
effective use is made of assessment information to improve achievement further.
The curriculum has not been sufficiently modified to meet the needs of students of
all abilities.
Progress made since last inspection and capacity to improve
The school has made acceptable progress in responding to the majority of the
recommendations from the previous inspection report, and thus the leadership
demonstrate an acceptable capacity to improve further. The schools development
plan now addresses the requirement to raise the level of achievement of students
in reading and writing in English and Arabic and for teachers to use and understand
modern teaching methods. These areas are reflected in lesson plans but are not yet
reflected in all teaching. Teachers now produce work sheets for students of
different abilities but they are not always used in lessons. The use of assessment
information to improve teaching and to modify the curriculum to meet the needs
of students of all abilities has improved but remains under-developed.
Development and promotion of innovation skills
The school does not develop or promote students innovation skills well enough. In
a few lessons students can use critical thinking and independent learning. This is
not yet sufficient across the curriculum to foster innovation and creativity in a
significant way. One good example was seen in a Grade 6 English lesson on the
power of the imagination when students discussed how shapes could be used to
represent emotions. An Innovation Week has taken place in which students
prepared displays, including models of buildings and 3D structures. Overall, the
promotion of innovation skills is under-developed.

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The inspection identified the following as key areas of strength:

promotion of UAE culture, heritage and Islamic culture


students attainment and progress in Arabic in the primary phase of the
school
relationships amongst students and between students and staff
management of the day-to-day life of the school.

The inspection identified the following as key areas for improvement:

use of assessment information to influence teaching, the curriculum and


students progress
provision to support critical thinking, problem solving and innovation
modification of the curriculum to meet the needs of students of all abilities
identification of, and support for, students with special educational needs
and gifted and talented students.

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Performance Standard 1: Students Achievement


Students achievement Indicators

KG

Attainment

Good

Weak

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Weak

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Acceptable

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Acceptable

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Islamic
Education

Arabic
(as a First Language)

Arabic
(as a Second
Language)

Progress

N/A

Primary

N/A

Middle

N/A

High

N/A

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Weak

Progress

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Progress

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

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, communication, problemsolving and collaboration)

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Students achievement is mostly acceptable across all subjects with a few variations
at different stages. Progress as measured by the school against authorised and
licensed curriculum standards suggests high standards in the quality of attainment
but this is not reflected consistently in the quality of classwork. Attainment and
progress in coursework is generally acceptable in almost all subjects across all stages.
Overall, girls achieve better results than boys. Students with special educational
needs and gifted and talented students do not make the progress of which they are
capable as their needs are not effectively identified.
Overall, attainment and progress in Islamic education are acceptable. Most students
make acceptable progress in the majority of lessons. Students demonstrate
acceptable levels of knowledge, skills and understanding that are in line with
curriculum standards. In the middle school, where attainment and progress are
acceptable, students can memorise Hadeeths and extracts from the Quran and give
meaningful examples from them. Attainment and progress in the high school phase
are acceptable. Most students attain levels that are in line with curriculum standards
and a few are above. The majority of students can read the Quran, explain its meaning
in detail and give real-life examples to demonstrate the points being made when
discussing, for example, the role of marriage in Islam.
Overall attainment and progress in Arabic is acceptable and matches curriculum
expectations. The majority of children in the KG are able to read and write letters and
identify them in different contexts. In the primary school, the large majority of
students can form correct phrases from the given letters and provide examples of
their own. The overall attainment and progress of students in Arabic in the high school
phase is acceptable for girls but weak for boys. This difference is due in part to the
quality of teaching which for boys is too teacher-led.
Overall, attainment and progress in all grades in social studies are acceptable. In the
primary phase, the majority of students can compare and contrast between the UAE
in the past and today. Most students attain levels that are in line with curriculum
standards and a few are above. In the high school phase, the majority of students can
discuss issues relating to the population of the Arab world.
Attainment in English is acceptable overall in the school. Progress for most students,
including students with special educational needs and gifted and talented students,
is also acceptable. For example, in a primary lesson, students define key terms and
relevant vocabulary on relationships about a topic on family members. In a Grade 3
lesson, students describe in English their activities on a typical day at school. Lack of

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effective lesson planning for different ability groups means that not all students are
able to make the progress in English of which they are capable.
Students achievement in mathematics is acceptable overall. In the KG, attainment
and progress are generally acceptable and most children can count reliably with
numbers from 1-18, place them in order and write them correctly. In the primary
phase, students achievement is in line with curriculum standards. Most students can
make comparisons between fractions and multi-digit numbers and can solve word
problems involving the multiplication of fractions. In the middle phase, achievement
is acceptable and a large majority of students can compute the volume and area of a
rectangular prism and explore the properties of 3-D shapes.
Overall, attainment and progress in science is acceptable and in line with curriculum
standards. The progress of students in the KG and primary school is better than that
in the high school phase due to a greater opportunity for students to lead lessons,
and they have better attitudes to learning and improved learning skills. In the primary
phase, the large majority of students can identify the states of water and mention
examples related to it. Students make better progress when lessons are held in
science laboratories as it allows opportunities for active learning.
The development of students learning skills is acceptable overall. They have positive
attitudes to learning and work productively in groups. Their acquisition of critical
thinking, problem solving and innovation skills is weak.

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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

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Personal development

Good

Good

Good

Acceptable

Understanding of Islamic values and


awareness of Emirati and world cultures

Good

Good

Good

Good

Social responsibility and innovation skills

Weak

Weak

Weak

Weak

Students personal and social development are acceptable overall. The large majority
of students are keen to learn, especially in KG and primary phases. They have positive
attitudes to learning and to the school. Students across the school take on roles and
responsibilities as members of the school council, as group members in lessons or in
the roles of student teachers. Relationships are positive among students and with
adults throughout the school. Students help and support each other. For example,
more-able students work with low-ability students during group work in lessons in the
primary phase. Teachers and students cooperate well in lessons.
Students behaviour across all phases is good. The school encourages positive
behaviour and punctuality through rewards for students, resulting in improved
behaviour and punctuality. Attendance is good at 94%, and most students arrive at
school and to lessons on time. A few students arrive late for assembly. School records,
alongside students and parents views, indicate that bullying is not an issue in the
school.
Students are knowledgeable and appreciative of the heritage and culture of UAE.
Heritage tents are displayed inside the school with a range of tools that reflect UAE
culture. In assembly, students are exposed to a range of activities and competitions
that promote UAE values and an appreciation of UAE leaders. Students know the
author of the national anthem and the musician who wrote its melody and they
respond to the national anthem respectfully. Islamic values are promoted across the
school and in assembly activity effectively, with Quran recitations and Hadeeth, and
Islamic education lessons.

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Students have limited independent, innovation, critical-thinking and problem-solving


skills since these are not adequately developed in most core subjects, particularly in
the middle and high school phases. A large minority of lessons in these phases include
activities which are solely teacher led. The majority of students adopt a safe and
healthy lifestyle. Students have little involvement in the local community as
volunteers and have limited awareness of the importance of environmental issues.
Students are not encouraged sufficiently to get involved and take action to improve
their community.

Performance Standard 3: Teaching and Assessment


Teaching and Assessment Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Teaching for effective learning

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Assessment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Teaching and assessment are acceptable overall. Teachers subject knowledge and
their knowledge of how students learn is a strength in Arabic, science, mathematics
and English in the KG and primary phases in particular. Teacherstudent interactions,
including the use of questioning and dialogue, engage students well and promote
their learning in all core subjects. Resources are used effectively throughout the
school, especially ICT resources in classrooms.
A large minority of lesson plans in the primary and middle schools do not provide
sufficiently interesting or motivating activities. This is due to an emphasis on teacherled learning which limits the opportunity for students to develop critical-thinking and
problem-solving skills. In comparison with the primary and middle phases, students in
the KG and high school phase, students are provided with more opportunities to
develop these key learning. For example, in a Grade 11 lesson, the class was led by a
student who introduced the topic of internet addiction and asked students questions
herself, with the teacher as a facilitator.
Teachers are positive and provide a suitable environment in their classrooms where
students can learn effectively. They do not adequately match learning to the whole
range of abilities of students. This is particularly the case when providing for students
with special educational needs. Similarly, teachers do not provide acceptable levels

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of challenge to promote higher-order thinking skills for gifted and talented students
in most core subjects.
Diagnostic testing is regularly implemented and internal assessment processes are
consistent. The outcomes are not sufficiently analysed to identify students strengths
and areas of development in order to improve achievement for groups or individuals.
Students are not consistently given appropriate challenge and support by means of
constructive feedback in lessons or when their work is marked in exercise books.
Students are rarely involved in assessing their own learning.

Performance Standard 4: Curriculum


Curriculum Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Curriculum design and implementation

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Curriculum adaptation

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

The curriculum is acceptable overall. It is broad, relevant and appropriate, and meets
the requirements of the Ministry of Education. The school has held internal reviews
of the curriculum. These are shared within departments. For example, a review of
mathematics resulted in the provision of enriching resources to support gaps in
students knowledge and skills through the design of focused mathematics booklets.
The curriculum provides acceptable opportunities for continuity and progression
from one stage to another. The newly-adopted KG curriculum plans ensure suitable
transition from KG to the primary school. The academic career guidance for older
students provides them with insights into various career options for the next stage in
their education. Extracurricular provision is acceptable and has included, for example,
a visit to the Al Najah exhibition which deepened students understanding of
university and college courses. Students also make educational trips to the United
Arab Emirates University (UAEU) laboratories and the Heritage Village. The school
holds competitions in school assemblies which expand students general knowledge.
Through planned activities and projects, students learn about the importance of
healthy lifestyles. These include an awareness of First Aid procedures and the
importance of healthy eating. Students take part in a range of physical activities to
support a healthy lifestyle, including PE, and competitions in basketball and football.
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The curriculum is not adequately modified to fully meet the needs and abilities of
students of all abilities, including those who are gifted and talented and those with
special educational needs. In addition, the curriculum does not provide sufficient
opportunities to help students transfer knowledge and skills between different
subjects. The school provides acceptable cross-curricular links amongst subjects.
There are limited opportunities to integrate ICT fully in lessons. Opportunities to
explore innovative ideas and how to develop an entrepreneurial outlook are limited.
There are some examples of activities which promote innovation skills in the
curriculum but they are not planned.

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

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Care and support

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

The promotion of care, guidance and support is acceptable overall. The school has
adequate formal procedures for the safeguarding of students, including child
protection. Most staff are aware of these procedures. The school takes acceptable
steps to protect students from all forms of bullying and abuse, including cyberbullying.
The school meets the general requirements for maintaining the health and safety of
students and staff. Safety checks are regular. Some aspects of the school premises
and facilities do not meet the needs of all students. Toilets are not age appropriate in
the KG and there are no lifts for students with physical disabilities. The school
buildings and equipment are kept in sound repair by a specific committee designated
for this purpose. The school maintains secure records, including records of incidents
and subsequent actions.
The supervision of students is effective. The school nurse, the social worker and the
health and safety committee discuss and monitor the provision of first aid,
vaccination and screening. The nurse monitors students cleanliness across the
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school. Topics related to health are discussed with students, including healthy eating,
obesity and diabetes. The committee monitors children with illnesses including
asthma and diabetes. The school promotes safe and healthy lifestyles effectively
through a range of talks on health-related issues.
The school is effective overall in promoting good attendance and punctuality. The
school effectively promotes positive relationships among children and between staff
and children. The school has effective procedures in place to manage students
behaviour. These procedures are shared with staff, children and parents and
implemented well across the school. A rewards system is in place to promote
attendance, positive behaviour and punctuality.
Procedures for the identification of students with special educational needs and
gifted and talented students are not effective. The number of children identified as
having these particular needs is limited and interventions are insufficient overall.

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

Acceptable

Leadership and management are acceptable. The owner and the principal of the
school share a vision for the school to improve and to meet the needs of all students.
The owner holds the principal to account by listening to stakeholders, including the
Board of Trustees, parents and supervisors and intervening when appropriate. The
school is managed well on a day-to-day basis. The school developed its development
plan (SDP) in order to respond to the areas for improvement identified in the previous
inspection report. The school has organised continuous professional development
(CPD) classes, including a week at the beginning of the academic year provided by
consultants from Abu Dhabi University, in order to raise standards in teaching and
learning. Updates on professional development are provided once or twice a month.
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Subject leaders meet their departments once a week to discuss all issues connected
with the department.
The principal, the vice principal and subject leaders observe teaching and learning in
each class once a month. Leaders have not yet done enough, through their
observations and feedback, to ensure that effective use is made of assessment
information to improve achievement further. Teachers observe each others classes
in order to benefit from a shared understanding of what makes good teaching. As a
result of CPD, the use of up to three different worksheets has been introduced in
about half of all lessons to better meet students learning needs. Better teaching has
led to improved results over time. The high school phase leadership team meets about
once a month. Some analysis of data is used to identify additional support for weaker
subjects. A workshop was held to improve KG teaching when this had been identified
as a problem in the SDP. Procedures for the identification of students with special
educational needs and those who are gifted and talented are under-developed and
rely too much on teacher assessment without external validation.
Some aspects of the school premises and the learning environment do not support
the curriculum well enough, for example the library and the school laboratories. In
addition, the range of resources to support effective teaching and learning is weak at
present.

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What the school should do to improve further:


1. Use assessment information more effectively to improve progress in
learning by:
i. carefully analysing students attainment and progress in each grade,
taking into account gender and age
ii. identifying where the priorities are for improving students progress,
including by ensuring assessments are moderated robustly to ensure
they reflect students learning accurately
iii. using the analysis and priorities to implement appropriate changes in
lesson planning, teaching and the curriculum to ensure the greatest
impact on improving attainment
iv.
regularly monitoring and evaluating the impact of these changes in
lesson observations and work scrutiny.
2. Improve the teaching of critical thinking, problem solving and innovation by:
i. preparing lessons which include planned opportunities to develop
these skills across the curriculum
ii. focusing on the provision of these opportunities and their impact
when learning and teaching is being monitored and evaluated in
lessons.
3. Modify the curriculum to meet the needs of students of all abilities by:
i. ensuring teachers provide suitable learning experiences that always
meet the needs of students of all abilities, and especially those who
require additional support or challenge
ii. ensuring teachers provide students with opportunities to work at
different rates to match their needs and abilities
iii. ensuring school leaders monitor and evaluate the impact of
curriculum modifications on the progress of all groups of students
effectively.
4. Improve the way the school identifies and meets the needs of students with
special educational needs and who are gifted and talented by:
i. developing appropriate criteria, with the aid of specialists where
necessary, to identify students with special educational needs and
those who are gifted and talented
ii. ensuring teachers use specific, tailored programmes for students
who require additional assistance and those who need to be further
challenged.
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