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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I am in the process of planning a family move to Dubai as I will be taking a new job there. As you might expect, the first and main challenge is to find a suitable school for the children who are now in pre-school and Year 1 ages in England (3.5 and 6 years). So they will be looking to enter into FS2 and Year 2 in the next academic year in Sept 2016 in Dubai.

My budget criteria is to pay around 45000 AED per child, and I want to the children to learn to speak and write Arabic in the same level as they do now in English. Not interested in the religious education, but rather Arabic as a language, which needs to be part of the school curriculum rather than an ‘option’ or extra the child can have.

I looked at GEMS schools, they seem too much expensive, but I managed to find a school that charge just above my budget (without the bus and extra fees), and have spaces for us. We do come from England so we know what to expect from a British system school. So I will shortlist.

I also looked at SABIS schools (International Schools of Choueifat), they seem nicely under the budget and have free spaces in one of their branches. I do however understand the differences between the two schools. I studied in SABIS myself and I know what to expect. They are more intensive and academic which I don’t mind for my children. So I am shortlisting this school too.

So, from your own experiences, which school is better, and is the extortionate amount that British systems schools charge generally worth it?

Also, if you know what are the government requirements in teaching Arabic in British schools or how they do it in general, please let me know how it works.

Your views are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks
 

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There is an expectation for all British curriculum schools to teach Arabic (can't speak for others I'm afraid), usually about three hours per week from Y2... The standard of teaching can be variable though.
In terms of the style of teaching and learning - SABIS is not for everyone, but then you're familiar with their approach. I prefer a more investigative and creative style of learning, as I think it leads to curiously and enthusiasm for learning... But as I said that is a matter of personal preference.
Many of the British curriculum schools are driven towards academic excellence and have very good facilities - they have to, in order to compete in a market where supply is now outstripping demand, and parents can more readily vote with their feet!
I also think it is worth considering how long your children will likely be away from the Uk - will they need to fit back into a British curriculum at some point in the future?
Best wishes on matching budget to expectations. It's definitely one of the most difficult decisions for relocation. 😊
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, decision made for now!

First thanks for your replies.

We decided to stick to the British system. In way, I did think that because I studied in SABIS, I want to the children to study something else!

So, my question - which I presume deserve a separate post - anyone have experience of GEMS Wellington Academy - Silicon Oasis?

It's the school I identified that suits us from location point of view. There is a nearby one called GEMS Firstpoint in the Villa. Anyone ahs a view which one we should go for?

Also, any view on living near that area, the Silicon Oasis, The Villa?

Thanks
 

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I'm afraid I cannot speak from experience about either location for living but I know that each school is only a short distance to commute from either. I have a friend who works at WSO and lives at The Villa.
You will probably find the experience similar at both schools - they are both GEMS, after all.
WSO has been around a little longer and is therefore more established - you can find an annual DSIB inspection report if you google for it.
First Point has yet to be inspected as the school has not yet been open three years.
My apologies that I cannot offer more specific information.
Best of luck.
 
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