Four schools gain ‘outstanding’ rating in Abu Dhabi inspections

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Al Muna Primary School, a British-curriculum school open to pupils from FS1 to Year 6, was the first to earn the coveted “Band A, Outstanding," mark at the start of the 2015-2016 academic year.

Two other Aldar Academies British-curriculum schools, Al Bateen Secondary School and Al Mushrif Primary school soon followed, although these were inspected as one school and share the same audit report because they operate out of the same building.

Last week, Taaleem’s International Baccalaureate-curriculum Raha International School Abu Dhabi was added to the elite list.

“It gives a lot of pride to the parents, the students and the staff that what they’re doing has been recognised and I think that makes everyone feel good," said Iain Colledge, who will take over as principal at Raha International School after Wayne MacInnis retires at the end of this year.

“It’s a boost of confidence for everybody. We all feel really proud."

To achieve the highest ranking, the schools had to undergo a “very rigorous," inspection, said Peter Carpenter, Aldar Academies’ director of education.

Like all private schools across the country, they were judged on six performance standards, including the level of students’ achievement, personal development, protection and the quality of the school’s teaching, curriculum and leadership.

“In each of those, for all three schools, each evaluation was outstanding," said Mr Carpenter. “So, you’ve got six outstanding judgements feeding into the overall and I don’t think that’s ever happened. It certainly hasn’t happened in Abu Dhabi."

But officials from both Aldar Academies and Taaleem say there is always room for improvement.

At RIS, for example, Mr Colledge said he wants to further develop the competitive sports and performing arts programmes. The school is expecting to open its new 650-seat performing arts hall, which includes the emirate’s first full orchestra pit, in the coming academic year.

Mr Carpenter said the outstanding schools have “raised the bar for education in Abu Dhabi".

“Moving forward we’re constantly looking at how we can strive to be even better than we are — so that our students are even more successful in their examinations and the teaching continues to improve using the very best IT, for example, the best innovative approaches," said Mr Carpenter. “Moving forward, we want to be even better for our students."

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Source:The National,  6 June 2016