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Inspection Q&A

Q1. What is the Knowledge and Human Development Authority?

  • The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. It supports schools, universities, parents, students, educators, investors and government partners to create a high-quality education sector focused on happiness and wellbeing

Q2. What is the Dubai School Inspections Bureau (DSIB)?

  • DSIB provides comprehensive information on the standard of private school education in Dubai, which helps to inform improvement planning at school and policy level. This is achieved through several approaches, including annual school inspections, parents’ meetings and focus groups, teachers, parents and students surveys
  • Having a view of the standard and quality of education provided throughout Dubai is critical for everyone concerned with education. DSIB provides an inspection service which gives independent, comprehensive assessment of educational standards and school performance for every private school in Dubai
  • The standards have been developed and are regularly revised in cooperation with educational practitioners across the diverse curricula represented in Dubai
  • Through inspections and the participation of schools in international assessments, DSIB provides KHDA, the Government of Dubai and the wider public with an accurate and detailed view of the quality of school education in Dubai in relation to the educationally best-performing countries in the world

Q3. How are the schools inspected?

  • In order to judge the overall quality of education provided by schools, inspectors consider the six standards of performance that form the basis of the UAE School Inspection Framework (the framework)
  • They look at children’s attainment and progress in key subjects, their learning skills, and their personal and social development, as well as judging how effective the teaching is and the assessment of learning across the school
  • Inspectors consider how well the school’s curriculum, including activities inside and outside classroom, meet the educational needs of all students, and how well schools protect and support children. In addition, inspectors judge the effectiveness of leadership, which incorporates governance, management, staffing and facilities
  • Inspection judgements are drawn from evidence gathered by the inspection team, including observation of students’ learning in lessons, review of their work, discussions with students, meetings with the staff, parents and governors, and review of surveys completed by parents, teachers and students

Q4. What does Kings’ Education stand for?

  • Kings’ Education is a prestigious group of schools following British curriculum, which has built a reputation of offering children, parents and teachers a sense of belonging amongst a warm and friendly community. Kings’ provides a supportive and inspiring learning environment which results in unrivalled learning opportunities, excellent teaching and a truly transparent partnership between parents, teachers and children
  • September 2014 saw the opening of two new schools under the brand – Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba, and Kings’ School Al Barsha. Since then, all schools have had a particular focus on the teaching of children adopting an approach which will help them develop as moral, successful and most importantly, happy individuals

Q5. What is your reaction to the results?

  • Building on the Kings’ success story to date, we are thrilled with the extremely positive recognition we have received from KHDA in our first inspection for our two newest schools. It’s a real milestone on our journey to excellence
  • We have a robust commitment to creating an environment where all pupils feel safe and comfortable with a sense of belonging. We strongly believe that it is this sense of purpose that has led to us achieving these fantastic results in the right way, as well as nurturing exceptional teachers and leaders that continue to make our vision a reality

Q6. What are you particularly proud of?

  • KHDA’s inspection results have not only recognised the Kings’ Schools’ overall learning environment and strength of community for children and staff, but the outstanding, robust and rigorous arrangements that we provide for child protection and keeping children safe
  • Kings’ prides itself on happy and safe children across all its campuses and this is an important priority for every member of staff
  • Kings’ provides a supportive and inspiring learning environment which results in unrivalled learning opportunities, excellent teaching and a truly transparent partnership between parents, teachers and children
  • We are proud of our achievements this year which we believe have provided the foundation for another positive inspection next time. We look forward and are committed to continuing to progress in the next academic year and beyond

Q7. How do the inspection results compare with the other schools in the Kings’ Education portfolio?

  • The positive results add to Kings’ Education’s prestigious track record of Kings’ School Dubai which remains as an ‘outstanding’ rating for another consecutive year in its most recent inspection, the only school in the UAE to do so

Q8. Why were you not judged as outstanding?

  • The criteria of the inspection requires systematic evidence over a period of time in order to be able to achieve outstanding status. While not impossible, it is very difficult to achieve in the first three years. Without a solid track record of results, which in Kings’ School Al Barsha’s case is GCSE attainment, it is very hard to evidence in the short term
  • As such, no other school has achieved a result of ‘outstanding’ in it’s first three years – in fact, Kings’ Dubai was first rated outstanding after four years of operation and since then there have been a number of changes to the inspection framework criteria
  • This is a milestone in our journey to excellence and it was acknowledged by the inspectors that we are well on our way to this target

Q9. What is the inspection journey?

  • The school opened in September 2014 taking students from Foundation Stage to Year 9 initially. At the time of the inspection provision extended to Year 11
  • The current number of students on roll is 1367 representing an increase of 450 from the previous academic year. The Principal has been in post since May 2016 and the Head of Primary since September 2016

Q10. How did the inspection find the quality of education?

  • Kings’ School Al Barsha was inspected by DSIB from 23rd of January to 26th January. The overall quality of education provided by the school is good
  • Kings’ School Al Barsha has been recognised for its outstanding personal development of students who show a strong commitment to being socially responsible. Kings’ Education invests in, and develops talent resulting in high quality teaching and an accessible, visible and inspiring leadership team that provide outstanding direction. This is evident in the excellent review of the partnerships established with parents as well as the energetic leadership that has created a positive learning culture
  • The school was also commended for its broad and balanced curriculum with appropriate adaptations made to meet the needs of different groups of students incorporating a strong ethos of inclusion to provide opportunities for all. In particular, the Foundation Stage curriculum was found to be outstanding

Q11. What aspects does the school need to improve on?

  • In order to build on its success, the school will continue to modify and develop the curriculum in order to ensure that it is appropriate for all students as well as being challenging enough for more able learners
  • There are also plans to further develop the provision of Arabic and Islamic education within the school

Q12. How is the school contributing to the National Agenda Parameter?

  • While in the early stages of using the frameworks and international benchmark tests, the school is working towards fully aligning these and will make progress towards achieving the National Agenda target which meets or exceeds expectations
  • All teachers are also increasingly linking activities to real life situations in their lesson planning to ensure students are aware of what international tests mean for them in terms of their achievements and how they are compared to international expectations

Q13. How is the school contributing to The National Innovation Strategy as set out by UAE Vision 2021?

  • The school provides many opportunities for the development of innovative thinking in extra-curricular activities
  • The requirement to think innovatively is promoted through the ‘Kings’ Learning Behaviours’ and features in lessons
  • Students enjoy the opportunity to participate in the ‘Innovators and Entrepreneurs’ Club’, which is run in partnership with industry experts
  • There are many other opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and work together as innovators, including a number related to environmental sustainability
  • Leaders continuously promote and seek to develop innovative practices, including setting implementation targets in improvement plans