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Dubai - primary schools

Dubai - primary schools

Old Jul 18th 2009, 9:41 am
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Default Dubai - primary schools

Apologies if covering old ground but so much seems to change in a short space of time .... I have read past threads but needed to clarify:

Am I correct in saying that your child needs to finish the school year (in the Uk or our case Australia) in order for him/her to start the next school year in Dubai?

Are we able to start him mid-year (January) in Dubai?

Our son is 5 - will be 6 in January and will have completed the first year of primary school here in Australia (I think this equates to year 1 in the British System). We will want him to be starting in Dubai in January - one term into the new school year there (but the start of the school year here). Is this going to be a problem?

And finally (for now anyway!) ... any suggestions in terms of which primary schools we should consider - prefer to find the right school and then accommodation. (Other half to be working in DIFC) Naturally depends on waiting lists/availability of places - any updates on the status of waiting lists - has there been an exodus since the school year finished?

Many thanks for all your help/suggestions.
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Old Jul 18th 2009, 10:31 am
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by mustang sally View Post
Apologies if covering old ground but so much seems to change in a short space of time .... I have read past threads but needed to clarify:

Am I correct in saying that your child needs to finish the school year (in the Uk or our case Australia) in order for him/her to start the next school year in Dubai?

Are we able to start him mid-year (January) in Dubai?

Our son is 5 - will be 6 in January and will have completed the first year of primary school here in Australia (I think this equates to year 1 in the British System). We will want him to be starting in Dubai in January - one term into the new school year there (but the start of the school year here). Is this going to be a problem?

And finally (for now anyway!) ... any suggestions in terms of which primary schools we should consider - prefer to find the right school and then accommodation. (Other half to be working in DIFC) Naturally depends on waiting lists/availability of places - any updates on the status of waiting lists - has there been an exodus since the school year finished?

Many thanks for all your help/suggestions.
Hi Mustang Sally - in theory your child must have completed the school year in their home country and have a letter for the school stating they are okay to move to the next grade. In practice it's just the luck of the draw and whatever school you choose. I know Australian kids that have had to repeat and some that were put up to the next grade even though they'd only done half their year in Aus. We arrived here last summer from Australia - the kids went to school in Australia until almost the end of August and then started here beginning of September. Our youngest had just turned 5 and had been in kindy in WA two days a week, she was put into Grade 1 here at an international school. One British school wanted to put her into FS2 - like prep because she'd had no formal schooling in Australia. My son who was in Grade 2 at the time of our arrival had to do another complete year of Grade 2 and our eldest daughter had done 18 months of Grade 4 in Australia (due to a state move and her being one to two years younger than the kids in her grade in Perth). She automatically went into Grade 5.

Hope this hasn't confused you even more. What I'm trying to get at is that there are no set rules here and you just have to get here, do some research on the school's you've applied for, see them and work out from there where they want to put your son. My guess is that if you come in January, he will have to finish the school year here in Grade one, or if he's in Prep/Preschool again as the school year will be half over by the time you arrive. Prep equivalent from what I can gather is FS2 in the British system and KG2 in a PYP school.

In terms of primary schools. It's just a matter of coming and checking out the feel of the school for yourself. My kids were in Raffles (International school with loads of kids from all over) I chose it for it's international flavor (I didn't want the kids coming to Dubai and not experiencing going to school with locals). It turned out to be a mistake as it was a new school and the standard of the school was way below that of an Australian private school. The schooling here is quite expensive but don't expect it to be on parr with private schooling in Aus. My kids will go to a British school (Horizon) in September, even though it's British, it has a very "aussie" style of teaching. Heaps of play based learning and just as much focus on sports and the arts as on academia. School places seem to be more readily available than when we applied this time last year, but come September you may have your choice of any school, depending on how many families actually return to Dubai.

Good luck.

Kim
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Old Jul 18th 2009, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by Kim67 View Post
Hi Mustang Sally - in theory your child must have completed the school year in their home country and have a letter for the school stating they are okay to move to the next grade. In practice it's just the luck of the draw and whatever school you choose. I know Australian kids that have had to repeat and some that were put up to the next grade even though they'd only done half their year in Aus. We arrived here last summer from Australia - the kids went to school in Australia until almost the end of August and then started here beginning of September. Our youngest had just turned 5 and had been in kindy in WA two days a week, she was put into Grade 1 here at an international school. One British school wanted to put her into FS2 - like prep because she'd had no formal schooling in Australia. My son who was in Grade 2 at the time of our arrival had to do another complete year of Grade 2 and our eldest daughter had done 18 months of Grade 4 in Australia (due to a state move and her being one to two years younger than the kids in her grade in Perth). She automatically went into Grade 5.

Hope this hasn't confused you even more. What I'm trying to get at is that there are no set rules here and you just have to get here, do some research on the school's you've applied for, see them and work out from there where they want to put your son. My guess is that if you come in January, he will have to finish the school year here in Grade one, or if he's in Prep/Preschool again as the school year will be half over by the time you arrive. Prep equivalent from what I can gather is FS2 in the British system and KG2 in a PYP school.

In terms of primary schools. It's just a matter of coming and checking out the feel of the school for yourself. My kids were in Raffles (International school with loads of kids from all over) I chose it for it's international flavor (I didn't want the kids coming to Dubai and not experiencing going to school with locals). It turned out to be a mistake as it was a new school and the standard of the school was way below that of an Australian private school. The schooling here is quite expensive but don't expect it to be on parr with private schooling in Aus. My kids will go to a British school (Horizon) in September, even though it's British, it has a very "aussie" style of teaching. Heaps of play based learning and just as much focus on sports and the arts as on academia. School places seem to be more readily available than when we applied this time last year, but come September you may have your choice of any school, depending on how many families actually return to Dubai.

Good luck.

Kim
oh kim, my kids are both at horizon and love it...what year are yours in...?

MM, xx
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Old Jul 18th 2009, 1:08 pm
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

They'll be going into Grades 2, 3 and 6 in September. The girls dance there too.
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Old Jul 18th 2009, 1:34 pm
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by Kim67 View Post
They'll be going into Grades 2, 3 and 6 in September. The girls dance there too.
oh we could end up with kids in the same class, lol...my eldest is going in to year 2...

MM, xx
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Old Jul 18th 2009, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by Madam Medusa View Post
oh we could end up with kids in the same class, lol...my eldest is going in to year 2...

MM, xx
That would be funny - I'll look out for you.
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Old Jul 19th 2009, 10:30 am
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Many thanks Kim. Info did help. My concern is if he has to redo the year as he will be coming back him to same school and would obviously prefer it if he rejoins friends.

MM - I've read before in a thread that your child really enjoys Horizons - anything in particular? And what sizes are the classes?

Another query - they ask for vaccination information is that because vaccinations are mandatory or for info only?

Many thanks
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Old Jul 19th 2009, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by mustang sally View Post
Many thanks Kim. Info did help. My concern is if he has to redo the year as he will be coming back him to same school and would obviously prefer it if he rejoins friends.

MM - I've read before in a thread that your child really enjoys Horizons - anything in particular? And what sizes are the classes?

Another query - they ask for vaccination information is that because vaccinations are mandatory or for info only?

Many thanks
Yep, two of my kids will be a year below their old classmates when we return to Queensland. It's one of the drawbacks of travelling I guess, but they survive, especially at 5 and 6.
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Old Jul 19th 2009, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by mustang sally View Post
Many thanks Kim. Info did help. My concern is if he has to redo the year as he will be coming back him to same school and would obviously prefer it if he rejoins friends.

MM - I've read before in a thread that your child really enjoys Horizons - anything in particular? And what sizes are the classes?

Another query - they ask for vaccination information is that because vaccinations are mandatory or for info only?

Many thanks
i've got two children there...they have both loved it from day one...it's a smaller school than most, only 2 or 3 classes per year, class size is about 20-24...teachers are fab and the school has a lovely feel to it...they take the academic side seriously, but there is a real emphasis on creativity which i like...oh, that and the fact that it has something like 54 natonalities represented so the kids are mixing with other children from all over the world...

MM, xx
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Old Jul 30th 2009, 12:25 am
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by mustang sally View Post
Apologies if covering old ground but so much seems to change in a short space of time .... I have read past threads but needed to clarify:

Am I correct in saying that your child needs to finish the school year (in the Uk or our case Australia) in order for him/her to start the next school year in Dubai?

Are we able to start him mid-year (January) in Dubai?

Our son is 5 - will be 6 in January and will have completed the first year of primary school here in Australia (I think this equates to year 1 in the British System). We will want him to be starting in Dubai in January - one term into the new school year there (but the start of the school year here). Is this going to be a problem?

And finally (for now anyway!) ... any suggestions in terms of which primary schools we should consider - prefer to find the right school and then accommodation. (Other half to be working in DIFC) Naturally depends on waiting lists/availability of places - any updates on the status of waiting lists - has there been an exodus since the school year finished?

Many thanks for all your help/suggestions.
Hello, we moved from Oz to Dubai in January 2008. My daughter had completed the first year in primary (Kindergarten) and started halfway through Year 1 at a British Curriculum school at the end of January. She had no problem fitting in and was the right age for the year (5). We chose Gems Wellington Primary School as it was pretty much the only one with a place for her. It was a new school at the time but we were lucky and it turned out to be a good one, though not the cheapest (very close to DIFC too).
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Old Jul 30th 2009, 1:19 am
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Thank you Kim, MM and Flowergirl... all information is very helpful.
Sorry for silence ... entire household been sick!
My shortlist so far is
Horizons
GEM Wellington Primary
Jumeriah Primary School
Wellington International School
Kings School
Dubai American Academy

About to start contacting them all - and any others I come across! Any other info/comments - good or bad would be very much appreciated.

Other questions ...
vaccinations are they mandatory - which ones?

And totally off the original topic ... but throw it in anyway .... is there anything you wish you had taken over which you didn't (or anything you did and wish you hadn't!). Specific to children and also general household stuff.

Many thanks
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Old Jul 30th 2009, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Hi

What if you're from a non english speaking country (Denmark), how do you then treat schooling?

I have a son, 6 years old, and he starts in danish school til september.

So next summer he has been going 1 year in school, but do not speak any english...though he is really smart, and would probably learn it really fast being in an english speaking environment.

Anyone have any experience with that?
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Old Jul 30th 2009, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by MartinRaz View Post
Hi

What if you're from a non english speaking country (Denmark), how do you then treat schooling?

I have a son, 6 years old, and he starts in danish school til september.

So next summer he has been going 1 year in school, but do not speak any english...though he is really smart, and would probably learn it really fast being in an english speaking environment.

Anyone have any experience with that?
last year we had a french kid in the class he spoke no English at all, I didn't think it was fair on the class Teacher though because she wasn't there to teach him English but to teach the other kids how to read and write etc.
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Old Jul 30th 2009, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by MartinRaz View Post
Hi

What if you're from a non english speaking country (Denmark), how do you then treat schooling?

I have a son, 6 years old, and he starts in danish school til september.

So next summer he has been going 1 year in school, but do not speak any english...though he is really smart, and would probably learn it really fast being in an english speaking environment.

Anyone have any experience with that?
In my daughters grade 1 class last year, she was one of about three kids that could actually speak english out of a class of 18. The kids went to one lesson a day for ESL (English as a Second Language). It's amazing how quickly they were all speaking english. My daughter's best friend could only speak dutch and my daughter only english, they still communicated and actually taught each other their native language.
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Old Jul 30th 2009, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Dubai - primary schools

Originally Posted by mustang sally View Post

Other questions ...
vaccinations are they mandatory - which ones?

And totally off the original topic ... but throw it in anyway .... is there anything you wish you had taken over which you didn't (or anything you did and wish you hadn't!). Specific to children and also general household stuff.

Many thanks
The only additional vaccinations, other than the compulsory one's in Aus the school suggested my kids have was TB.

The things I wish I'd bought for my kids - ballet shoes, leotards etc, extra bridges, strings etc for cello, extra sun shirts and bathers. I glad we bought their bikes because decent kids bikes are hard to come by.
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