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Private School

Inspection Report

ADNOC School Sas Al Nakhl

Academic Year 2015 2016

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ADNOC School Sas Al Nakhl

Inspection Date February 22, 2016 to February 25, 2016

Date of previous inspection May 5, 2016 to May 8, 2016
General Information Students

Total number of
School ID 267 2883

Opening year of Number of children

2008 416
school in KG
Primary: 1334
Number of students
Principal Wedad Saada Middle: 598
in other phases
High: 535
+971 (0)2 599 2003 3 years 8 months to 19
School telephone Age range
+971 (0)2 599 2018 years

Grades or Year
School Address Sas Al Nakheel KG to Grade 12

ADNOC.SasAlnakhl.pvt@ad Mixed - KG to Grade 4

Official email (ADEC) Gender Boys Grade 5 to Grade 12
Girls Grade 5 to Grade 12
% of Emirati
School website 92%
1. Yemeni 2.5%
Fee ranges (per Low to high: Largest nationality
2. Jordanian 2%
annum) AED 19,000 36,000 groups (%)
3. American 2%
Licensed Curriculum Staff
KG-G5: 153
Main Curriculum American Number of teachers
G6-G12: 151
Number of teaching
Other Curriculum -------- 75
assistants (TAs)
SAT Grades 11-12
External Exams/ Teacher-student KG/ FS 1:25
AP Advanced Placement
Standardised tests ratio
MAP Other phases 1:22

Accreditation Middle States Teacher turnover 7%

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Inspection activities
Number of inspectors 6

Number of inspection days 4

Number of lessons observed 150

Number of joint lesson 6

Number of parents
303; (return rate: 11.1%)
Inspectors carried out lesson observations and meetings
with leaders at all levels including: the Head of ADNOC
Schools and vice-chairman of the Board; the School
Details of other inspection Council; several representative groups of students
activities selected from all phases; parents; and principals and
vice-principals of each campus. They also reviewed
documents and students work, and observed the daily
assembly and the arrival and departure of buses.


The school, in line with the UAE governments

pioneering initiatives, aims to become a premier school in
School Aims the region, graduating highly competent, socially
responsible citizens and future national leaders.

The mission of ADNOC Schools is to prepare Emirati and

other students, through an academically rigorous
curriculum, to achieve their highest potential in a global,
School vision and mission technologically advanced society, where Arabic and
Islamic values are honoured and cultural differences are

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ADNOC schools do not discriminate, based on race,
colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender or
physical ability in the admission of its students, in the
educational policies and programs, or in the recruitment
and employment of its faculty staff. Applicants to ADNOC
Schools are selected based on good citizenship and
academic potential in a rigorous program that ultimately
Admission Policy
prepares students for colleges and careers. Special
attention is given to each applicants prior academic and
non-academic records in school, as measured by grades,
the admissions test, standardised test scores. In selecting
among applicants, the Admissions Committee considers
current capacity at the recommended grade level,
student aptitude, and social/ emotional maturity.

Leadership structure
(ownership, governance Board of Trustees; Head of Schools;
and management) Campus Principals and Campus Vice Principals

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SEN Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)
Number of students
Number of other students
SEN Category identified through external
identified by the school

Intellectual disability 5 0

Specific Learning Disability 29 1

Emotional and Behaviour

6 2
Disorders (ED/ BD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder
7 1
Speech and Language
13 0
Physical and health related
9 0

Visually impaired 12 0

Hearing impaired 2 0

Multiple disabilities 0 0

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

Number of students
G&T Category

Intellectual ability 1

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


Social maturity and leadership 0

Mechanical/ technical/ technological ingenuity 0

Visual and performing arts (e.g. art, theatre, recitation) 0

Psychomotor ability (e.g. dance or sport) 0

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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)

School was judged to be: Band (A) Good

Band C
Band A Band B
In need of significant
High Performing Satisfactory


Very Weak
Very Good


Performance Standards

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:

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

Performance Standard 6:
Leadership and

Summary Evaluation:
The schools overall

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The Performance of the School
Evaluation of the schools overall performance
The overall performance of the school is good. The team of principals, referred to
as the unified team, is building a shared sense of community across the schools
campuses. From the time students enter the school in the kindergarten (KG) they
are encouraged and nurtured by their teachers to be successful learners. This
establishes a strong foundation. By the time they leave the school the large
majority of students are very skilled and ready for their future careers or entry to
college. They achieve levels that are above curriculum, national and, on occasion,
international standards. A growing number of teachers are using assessment
more accurately to inform their lesson planning so that students, including those
with special educational needs (SEN), are able to progress well. Marking does not
always enable students to know what they need to do next to improve. Teachers
in the middle school do not use sufficient creative strategies to engage and
motivate boys to learn. Most students display very good behaviour and respectful
attitudes in lessons and during recreation on every campus. Almost all students
adopt safe and healthy lifestyles because of the example set by the school. The
school is well thought of in the community.
Progress made since last inspection and capacity to improve
The school has made good progress against the recommendations from previous
inspection reports. School leaders now evaluate rigorously the quality of teaching
and provide regular opportunities for targeted professional development and
peer support. The curriculum is now broad and balanced in most phases, but not
enough has been done to tailor it to suit the needs of middle school boys. The
school now has a new principal and vice principal for the male campus, and the
primary campus now has three vice principals. This has strengthened the senior
leadership team considerably. In addition, the head of schools, who has been in
post for two years, is well respected by parents. She meets regularly with parents
and the Board and communication is effective. Data is now used effectively to
track individual and groups of students. As a result, achievement is good overall
and very good by the time the students leave school. The school has shown it has
a good capacity to improve further.
Development and promotion of innovation skills
The school promotes opportunities for students to develop innovative and higher-
order thinking skills effectively, such as those applied at the Innovation Fayre run
by the older students in the Girls Campus. Research, problem solving and critical
thinking feature strongly in most lessons, and particularly in science. Students are
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challenged to write, perform and compete through timetabled lessons and a
range of extracurricular opportunities. Their creative abilities are recognised
nationally and internationally.

The inspection identified the following as key areas of strength:

the shared vision of school leadership contributing a cohesive school
the schools promotion of students learning skills and personal
students educational progress across the schools, particularly in the girls
protection, care, guidance and support leading to career and college
support for SEN students, particularly in the primary campus, that enables
them to successfully adopt safe and healthy lifestyles.

The inspection identified the following as key areas for

teaching strategies and appropriate use of the curriculum to engage and
motivate the middle school boys
teachers marking to guide students next steps
students punctuality to school.

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Performance Standard 1: Students Achievement

Students achievement Indicators KG Primary Middle High

Attainment Good Very Good Good Very Good

Progress Good Very Good Good Very Good

Attainment Good Good Good Very Good

(as a First Language)
Progress Good Good Good Very Good

Arabic Attainment Good Good Good Very Good

(as a Second
Language) Progress Good Good Good Very Good

Attainment Good Good Good Very Good

Social Studies
Progress Good Good Good Very Good

Attainment Good Good Good Very Good

Progress Good Good Good Very Good

Attainment Good Good Good Very Good

Progress Good Good Good Very Good

Attainment Good Good Good Very Good

Progress Good Good Good Very Good

Language of
instruction (if other Attainment N/A N/A N/A N/A
than English and
Arabic as First Progress N/A N/A N/A N/A

Other subjects Attainment Good Good Good Very Good

(Art, Music, PE)

Progress Good Good Good Very Good

Learning Skills
(including innovation, creativity, critical
Very Good Very Good Good Very Good
thinking, communication, problem-
solving and collaboration)

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Students achievement is good overall. Attainment and progress are at least good in
all subjects and consistently very good in Grades 9 to 12. Recent EMSA and MAP data
confirm good or better outcomes in all subjects. Advanced Programme (AP) data
over the last 5 years shows steady progress in most subjects and particularly in
science, thereby maintaining standards above curriculum and global benchmarks.
The large majority of Grade 11 and Grade 12 students in the Ministry of Education
(MoE) tests achieve outstanding success. Students successful achievement begins
from the time they enter the KG. Students progress is strong and is showing
improvement over the past 2 years. Across the school, progress for all groups
including gifted and talented students and students who have special educational
needs (SEN) is good in most subjects. With more challenge, the minority of gifted
and talented students would achieve even more highly. In most subjects, students
develop and make effective use of a range of learning skills such as research,
collaboration and working independently.
Achievement in Islamic education is good overall and very good by the time the
students leave the school. For example, in the KG, children can recall the Hadith, and
recite surat Al teen completely. Older girls research and develop video
representations of their work on Pilgrimage in virtual reality contexts. Students are
attaining above national expectations.
EMSA data proficiency levels shows students in Grades 5, 7, 9 and 11 in Arabic
reading and writing achieving levels above national expectations; Arabic reading is
stronger than writing. For example in the KG, almost all children can write their
names and a few letters appropriate to their age. By the time they reach Grade 12,
students learning skills are developing very strongly and they use these effectively
when researching and discussing the important contributions of influential poets.
Achievement is good in social studies and particularly good in the High School. For
example, students in Grade 6 apply their learning skills effectively in discussions
about Expo 2020 and the planned probe to Mars in 2021. They explore very
thoughtfully with each other the impact these projects are likely to have on the
UAEs position on the global map.
Attainment and progress in English strengthen from good to very good as students
progress through the school. MAP data shows growth is above curriculum
expectations. In Grades 7, 9 and 11, English reading is consistently strong and writing,
although not as strong, is still above curriculum standards. In the KG, children use an
advanced vocabulary for their age and apply this language well in different subjects
including, for example, science. By Grade 9, students use their strong English
language skills in biology to research and present their ideas about diseases. Their

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writing is particularly impressive by this stage.
Mathematics is one of the stronger subjects across the grades levels. Students
consistently achieve above curriculum benchmarks showing progress year on year.
For example, students in Grade 3 are making effective use of data presentations
such as pie charts and they can use fractions in a range of contexts. By Grade 11,
students apply their skills in using trigonometry to real-life situations.
Science is also strong throughout the school with many examples of students
progressing well using science contexts for their language development. In Grade 5,
for example, students gain a good understanding of key ideas such as condensation
and evaporation, and recognise these in real-life situations. By the time they reach
Grade 12, students can apply their high level information and communication
technology (ICT) skills to research and gain a good knowledge of the bodys immune
Students achievement in other subjects is good, particularly in physical education
(PE). Students also achieve success in many national competitions including, for
example, the National Day celebrations for the UAE culture and heritage, the ADNIC
Yas run, and the ADCB running events. Achievement in music and art is good.
The school is using students success to build confidence and encourage them to
consider university placement or careers that make them aim high. One of the
schools key goals is to ensure students who graduate are career- and college-ready.

Performance Standard 2: Students personal and social development,

and their innovation skills

Students personal and social

development, and their innovation skills KG Primary Middle High

Personal development Very Good Very Good Acceptable Very Good

Understanding of Islamic values and

Good Good Good Very Good
awareness of Emirati and world cultures

Social responsibility and innovation skills Good Good Good Very Good

Students personal and social development is good. The large majority of students

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are keen to learn. Their attitudes and behaviour are very positive. Relationships
between students in the middle phase are not as strong as in other phases in the
school, where they are very good. The school addresses the few incidents of bullying
very effectively. Students feel that the anti-bullying committee in the girls campus is
very supportive and effective in initiating conversations between students who are
having issues in their relationships with peers.

Most students show respect for staff and are fully engaged in lessons they enjoy,
particularly in mathematics, science and English. When out of the classroom or when
entering and leaving the school, most students are calm and follow instructions well.
They particularly enjoy practical work in ICT, science, art and PE. Most students
display a clear understanding of Islamic values; they respect and understand the
culture of the UAE and have been recognised in National Day celebrations for
weaving techniques and the cooking of traditional foods.

Students adopt healthy lifestyles because of the very clear guidance from the school
and the range of foods provided. The school encourages students to be responsible
to their community and people in the world at large. They raised over AED 330,000
through the Dubai Cares initiative and organised a Pink Walk to raise funds for
breast cancer. Attendance is good. The average attendance over a 3 year period has
been good at 94%. The punctuality of students at the start of the day is weak. The
website shows 8.00am as the start of the school day rather than 7.45am. The school
intends to clarify timings and to inform parents.

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Performance Standard 3: Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and Assessment Indicators KG Primary Middle High

Teaching for effective learning Good Very Good Good Very Good

Assessment Good Good Good Very Good

Teaching and assessment is good overall. Most students make effective progress in
most lessons. Lessons are well structured with a good variety of activities. Teachers
encourage research and higher-level skills. Teachers support for SEN students is a
strength. Since the previous inspection, teachers plan more carefully and there is a
brisker pace to most lessons which encourages greater progress. Higher-level skills
are better promoted. One very good example of this was seen in a Grade 9 biology
lesson where students researched genetics using tablet computers. Time was used
effectively to maintain pace and student engagement. Immediate feedback was
given to build confidence and review learning. The overall quality of teaching in the
girls school is very good. Teachers provide lessons in which the girls learn to be
articulate, motivated and independent learners. The organisation and high-quality
presentation of work in students folders are exceptional as a result of teachers
high expectations.

The teaching and learning of Arabic, social studies and Islamic education to students
for whom Arabic is a second language is good. Classical Arabic is used effectively
and includes a range of opportunities for students to develop their speaking skills,
as well as their learning skills. Students are confident with the routines and systems
that teachers use in KG and the primary phase. This confidence and security aids
their learning through repetition and reinforcement. It provides a solid platform for
future learning. Most teachers use a mix of teaching strategies which enables
students of all abilities, regardless of their learning preferences, to succeed. As a
result, students demonstrate strong learning skills and learning in groups and pairs
is the norm in most lessons. The learning environment in KG and primary is lively,
stimulating and well resourced.

Most teachers are adept at assessing students learning in the classroom through
skillful questioning that is targeted and probing. Since the previous inspection,
teachers have been guided to make better use of assessment information. Teachers
marking does not always give guidance for the next steps in students learning. In
better lessons, teachers use plenary sessions well to ensure students have

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understood the required learning. In less strong lessons teachers do not always
carefully match work to different students abilities. More-able and gifted and
talented students are not always challenged enough.

Performance Standard 4: Curriculum

Curriculum Indicators KG Primary Middle High

Curriculum design and implementation Good Good Good Good

Curriculum adaptation Good Very Good Acceptable Good

The curriculum is good. The school follows an American-based curriculum, using the
Massachusetts model. The school now meets statutory requirements for the
teaching of Arabic, Islamic education and social studies has met the
recommendations from the last inspection. The use of the Common Core Standards
for the teaching of English and mathematics and the Next Generation Science
Standards (NGSS) for science, provide an effective basis for measuring student
outcomes. The curriculum is balanced. Concepts are consolidated and individual
teachers ensure there is progression within phases. In most subjects, teachers relate
student learning to the world in which they live. Cross-curricular links are good.
Subjects swiftly spiral from one topic into the next. This encourages students to
think creatively in all subjects. Teachers enrich the curriculum by ample in-class and
extracurricular activities, particularly in the primary phase. The yearly science fair
and innovation day has a significant impact on learning in the school. It supports
students environmental awareness. Students demonstrate very good innovation
skills in creating solutions to technical and scientific problems for the fair.

Activities in all subjects are well matched to the age of the students. Teachers
emphasise both knowledge and skills as well as safe, healthy living. Support and
modification of the curriculum is provided throughout the school for students with
special needs. It is adapted to meet their needs and those of students in other
groups. The English curriculum in the is not always made relevant or modified to
match the interests of boys in the middle phase. The way teachers plan together
between phases is too limited and leads to a lack of continuity for some students
including, for example, boys from the primary to middle phase. The curriculum is
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particularly well modified for Grades 10 to 12 and gives students a very good
preparation for university. The schools counsellors offer older students very good
advice on choices and future careers and courses.

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

of students
The protection, care, guidance and
KG Primary Middle High
support of students Indicators

Health and safety, including

arrangements for child protection/ Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good

Care and support Good Good Good Good

The protection, care, guidance and support of students are good overall with some
very good aspects. Students are well cared for and feel safe and protected. The
procedures in place are rigorous and effective in safeguarding the studemts.
Students are very well supervised and school leaders encourage them to report any
concerns to the adults in the school. As a result, students are well informed about all
types of bullying and what to do should it occur.

Buildings are clean and very well maintained. Maintenance records are detailed and
thorough, particularly for specialist resources such as the swimming pool, ICT and
science laboratories and music equipment. High levels of security are in place with
guards and access procedures in operation on all gates. Students arriving and
leaving the premises are very well supervised. Regular fire drills ensure that
students know what to do in an emergency.

School leaders are effective in establishing a supportive, inclusive and welcoming

school, which is fully accessible to different groups of students and provides for
their individual needs. There are three clinics and the medical staff are fully licensed,
thus supporting the drive for healthy living. Medical records are managed well.

Relationships are very good in most phases. The identification of students with
special educational needs is effective. The support for them is making a difference
to their rate of academic and personal progress. Guidance and support for students,
which is monitored through the counsellors, is a strength of the school. Procedures
are place in all campuses to monitor punctuality though not all students arrive on
time to attend the morning assembly. Currently, school leaders are considering
adjusting the times of the start of the school day to address lateness.

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Performance Standard 6: Leadership and management

Leadership and management Indicators

The effectiveness of leadership Good

Self-evaluation and improvement planning Good

Partnerships with parents and the community Good

Governance Good

Management, staffing, facilities and resources Good

Leadership and management are good. Leaders at all levels have a clear vision and
sense of direction that is shared by the whole school community. A head of school
was appointed two years ago. Parents are very positive about this appointment. The
Board meets regularly with the head of school who, in turn, meets monthly with the
three principals to ensure communication is effective. Staff at all levels have clearly
defined roles and responsibilities and their morale is positive.

School self-evaluation is well embedded into the culture of the school and there is a
plan to prioritise each area for improvement. Monitoring of lessons has led to better
teaching. Some inconsistencies remain, particularly in the use of data to drive
improvement. Leaders ensure that individual educational plans are in place to target
the needs of SEN students and to monitor their progress. As a result, students with
special needs are fully included and are provided with appropriate levels of support
to enable them to experience success alongside their peers.

The day-to-day management of the school is good. The punctuality of students has
not been sufficiently addressed. Leaders generally rely upon praise and positivity to
manage the behaviour of students. Parents are very involved in, and positive about,
the school. The Parent Teacher Society is active and supports the school well. The
school works closely with the local community and is well respected. There is a very
strong focus on healthy living.

The premises and learning environment are very good. The physical environment is
well suited to the students and their learning needs. The school has specialist rooms,
such as the library, which are easily accessible to all students because of the
elevator. The high-quality swimming pool and gymnasia are manned by very skilled
and trained staff.

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What the school should do to improve further:
1. Improve the quality of provision for the middle phase boys by:
i. ensuring teachers have the relevant knowledge and training to
offer more creative strategies in planning and teaching the
curriculum to engage and motivate students
ii. providing opportunities to share best practice and the accurate use
of assessment information to improve the levels of challenge,
particularly for the most able
iii. targeting regular and rigorous monitoring of the impact of new
initiatives on student learning and engagement.

2. Improve the quality of marking to provide guidance for next steps in

learning by:
i. agreeing a policy for marking that extends the existing procedures
to make use of rubrics to assess and select work for the students
ii. ensuring teachers regularly mark the students work books and
provide appropriate next steps to extend and challenge learning.

3. Improve students punctuality by:

i. reviewing the information on the website to adjust the timing of
the school day to encourage students arriving by car to arrive in
time for the daily assembly
ii. communicating with parents the reasons for doing this
iii. monitoring those families that regularly arrive late and encouraging
them to be more responsible partners.

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