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InspectionReport

TwentyFirstCenturyPrivateAcademy

AcademicYear20142015

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TwentyFirstCenturyPrivateAcademy

InspectionDate
SchoolID#

2730April2015
205

LicensedCurriculum

Philippines

NumberofStudents

2055

AgeRange
Gender
Principal
SchoolAddress

3to16years
Mixed
LizabethM.Comia
MuroorRoad,AbuDhabi

TelephoneNumber

+971(0)24413077

FaxNumber

+971(0)26310707

OfficialEmail(ADEC)
SchoolWebsite

21stcentury.pvt@adec.ac.ae

Dateoflastinspection 2128October2013

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Theoveralleffectivenessoftheschool
Inspectorsconsideredtheschoolinrelationto3performancecategories
BandA Highperforming(overalleffectivenessgrade1,2or3)
BandB

Satisfactory(overalleffectivenessgrade4or5)

BandC

Inneedofsignificantimprovement(overalleffectivenessgrade6,70r8)

TheSchoolwasjudgedtobe:

BANDC

GRADE6

Themainstrengthsoftheschoolare:

students behave exceptionally well towards adults and one another, and
arekeentolearn;theirpersonaldevelopmentisgood
students develop a good understanding of UAE values and culture and
appreciatethemultinationalsocietyinwhichtheylive
the education of many students benefits from their participation in an
extensiverangeofadditionalactivities.

Themainareasforimprovementare:

studentsacademic achievement inallsubjects,particularly intheKGand


inthelowerelementarygrades
governancearrangements
teachers knowledge of how to apply effective teaching methods and
assessmenttechniques
thequalityofeducationprovidedintheKG
thesupportforstudentswithspecialeducationalneeds
theconditionofthebuildingsandthespecialistaccommodation,facilities
andlearningresources
thestrategyforimplementingthemeasuresrequiredtoachievesignificant
improvementstothequalityoftheeducation.

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Introduction
A team of 5 inspectors evaluated the school over a period of 4 days. They
observed 89 lessons, conducted several meetings with senior staff, teachers, a
representative of the owner, parents and groups of students. They analysed
students examination and test results and scrutinised samples of their written
work.Theyconsideredotherdataprovidedbytheschoolandarangeofpolicies
and procedures. They surveyed the work of the school as a whole, including its
extracurricular activities. They analysed the 163 responses to a parents
questionnaire. The principal and viceprincipals were involved throughout and
undertook2observationsoflessonsalongsideinspectors.

DescriptionoftheSchool
The school opened in September 2010 in premises previously occupied by a
government school. The schools mission is to build a cohesive curriculum that
reaches across the disciplines, cultures and age levels, developing the whole
person.Itaimsforcooperation,respectforindividualdifferences,equippedwith
strongcommunityvalues.Theschoolsvisionistoestablishahighqualitylearning
communitywhichprovidesaworldclasseducationbenefittingall.
Thereare2,055studentsonroll:51%areboys,allareFilipinonationalsandalmost
all are Christian; 56 students are Muslim. There are 478 children in the
kindergarten (KG); 1,069 in the Elementary Department (grades 16); and 508 in
the High School Department (grades 710). The school has identified 13 students
with special educational needs (SEN): 12 with learning difficulties of different
kinds and 1 with physical disability. The school has identified a small number of
students at each grade who are academically gifted and a larger number who
havesportingtalents.
Students of all academic abilities are admitted. They follow the curriculum
accreditedbythePhilippinesDepartmentofEducationinmostsubjects;andthe
UAEMinistryofEducationcurriculumforArabic,IslamiceducationandUAEsocial
studies. For the past 2 years, students at grades 310 have taken International
Benchmark Tests (IBT) in English, mathematics and science, devised by the
Australian Council for Educational Research. Grade 10 students take admission
examinationsorganisedbyhighereducationinstitutionsinthePhilippines.
The principal reports to an Education Adviser, who is the representative of the
owner. The principal, who has been in post for 4 years, and 2 viceprincipals
comprisetheseniorleadershipteam(SLT).Subjectheads,gradelevelleadersand
the2guidancecounsellorsprovideleadershipatmiddlelevel.Thereisnoformally

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constitutedgoverningbody.Staffingisstable:lessthan10%ofteachershaveleft
theschoolannuallyinrecentyears.
Annualtuitionfeesareintheaffordableband,rangingfromAED4,300fortheKG
toAED6,700fortheHighSchool.

TheEffectivenessoftheSchool

Evaluationoftheschoolsoveralleffectiveness
Twenty First Century Private Academy provides education of unsatisfactory
quality.Theschoolprovidesalowcosteducationforalargenumberofstudents.
Thequalityoftheprovisionisnotconsistentacrossthephasesoftheschooland
is unsatisfactory in the KG and younger grades, which comprise the majority of
thestudents.
Thestudentsgoodbehaviourandkeennesstolearnarenotharnessedeffectively
to achieve better academic success. Attainment and progress remain
unsatisfactory against international standards in almost all key subjects. This is
due to unsatisfactory teaching, particularly in the KG and the lower elementary
grades, and to the inadequacy of the schools resources and facilities. The
accommodation is not fit for purpose. The poorly maintained buildings present
healthand safetyconcerns,degradethequalityofthestudentsexperienceand
placelimitationsonthequalityofteachingthatcanbeprovided.
Governance arrangements are weak. The SLT lacks sufficient independence to
effect and sustain a strategy for improvement. The school cannot improve
without external support and significant investment in premises, facilities and
resources,includingwellqualifiedandcompetentteachersintheKG.
Studentsattainment&progress
Students attainment and progress are unsatisfactory. They are satisfactory in
English and Filipino. Attainment and progress are unsatisfactory in Arabic, UAE
social studies, mathematics and science and very unsatisfactory in Islamic
education. Attainment in information and communications technology (ICT) is
satisfactory; progress is unsatisfactory because students have the ability and
potential to achieve more. Students achievement in the IBT in November 2014
was broadly in line with or just below Middle East and international averages in
mostgradesinEnglish;andbelowbothcomparatorsinmathematicsandscience.
Students attainment in Arabic is below expectations for additional language
learnersofequivalentexperience.Theyareunabletocommunicateeffectivelyin
Arabicinspeechor writing.Themakelittleprogressbecause theyaregiventoo
fewopportunitiestoreadArabicandbecausetheyarenottaughttowriteusing
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Arabic script. Attainment in Islamic education is well below expectations at all


grades, progress from relatively low starting points is unsatisfactory. Students
applytheconceptsofhalalandharamwithverylittleunderstanding.ByGrade
10,fewareabletoidentifythe5pillarsoffaithandtheirprogressislimitedbythe
lack of opportunities to recite the Holy Quran. Students show appreciation of
UAE culture, values and traditions in social studies lessons, most are unable to
relatewhattheystudytotheirdailylives.
ChildrenintheKGreachexpectedlevelsofproficiencyinEnglish.Theycanspeak
in simple sentences, give single word responses to questions and spell common
wordscorrectly.Afewareabletousecontextualcluestounderstandunfamiliar
words. Speaking and listening skills continue to progress in Grades 16. Most
studentsareabletoreadaccurately;somestruggletocomprehendthemeaning.
The most able students at Grade 6 can identify with characters in a novel, read
fluentlyandsharetheiropinionsconfidently.Theycanwriteatsomelengthabout
their personal experiences. Most are given too few opportunities to do this.
Writingformanystudentsislimitedtosimplesentencesandgrammaractivities.
Speaking and listening skills are well developed at grades 710. Students can
present arguments critically and appreciate the views of others. Many can read
well, with expression. Most of the older students are able to use a range of
writingmethods:noteform,extendedproseandpoetryaswellassummaries.
Childrenin theKGare able toidentifyfamiliarpeople,objectsandanimalsusing
the Filipino language. At grades 16, students develop their comprehension of
variousformsofwriting,includingletters,poemsandshortstories.Fewareable
todiscuss,forexample,themotivationsofcharactersconfidentlyinFilipino.They
often complete sentences using English words. More able students can read
storiesandparagraphsfluently.Themajorityarehaltingreaders,especiallywhen
thewordscontain4ormoresyllables.Atgrades710,moststudentsvocabulary,
speaking, reading and writing in Filipino meet national curriculum standards for
the high school. The majority are able write grammatically correct short stories,
essaysandpoems.
Attainment in mathematics in the KG is below the expected level. Many are
unabletocountobjectsupto10orwritethenumbers.Mostareslowinacquiring
the skills they need for the next stage of their education. Students make only
limitedprogressinmathematicsatgrades16becauseteachersexpecttoolittleof
them. They have too few opportunities for independent practical work and
problemsolving.Studentsingrades710makebetterprogress.Mostareableto
sketch, produce and interpret graphs and relate them to real life situations. The
progress of the more able students continues to be limited by the low
expectationsofteachers.
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Childrenin theKGmakeslowprogressin developingthe basic scientific skillsof


comparing,classifyingandpredictingbecauseteachershaveinsecureknowledge
of the subject. Their natural curiosity is not well developed because teaching
concentratesmoreonobservationandcommunication.Theseskillsdeveloponly
slowlyatgrades13.ByGrade6,themajorityofstudentscanidentifythelayersof
theearthandareabletousedifferentmaterialstoillustratetheirunderstanding
of relationships and properties and in showing patterns. Their ability to apply
theseobservationsinpracticalworkisweaker.Progressinscienceisstrongerat
grades 710. Most students develop an understanding of the scientific inquiry
process and are able to describe, measure, infer, compare and predict, for
example to determine velocity, momentum and acceleration. Teaching enables
students to acquire and apply these skills in practical problemsolving and
experimentalactivities.
Studentsatgrades16areabletousecomputerstomanipulateinformation.The
progresstheyareabletomakeisrestrictedbecausetheyhavefewopportunities
touseICTinlessons.Attainmentisbroadlyinlinewithexpectationsatgrades7
10. Grade 10 students can select and process content in different formats to
create presentations using animation, video, sound and text. Their progress is
limitedwhenlessonsconcentrateonconsolidatingtheskillstheyalreadypossess,
ratherthanchallengingthemtoextendthem.
MoststudentsacquirethebasicEnglishlanguageandICTskillstheyneedtowork
andlearncompetently.Inthelowerelementarygrades,manystudentsgraspof
basic numeracy operations is insufficient to allow them to solve problems in
mathematics and science. The 21st century skills required to become successful
learners, who think logically and creatively to solve problems, are
underdeveloped.
SeniorleadersconductanintelligentanalysisofstudentsperformanceintheIBT
andoftheresultsoftheschoolsquarterlydiagnosticandachievementtests.This
analysis supplies powerful data with the potential to influence the teaching in
English, mathematics and science. Coordinators in these subjects make
inconsistentuseofthesedata.
Studentspersonaldevelopment
Students make good progress in their personal development. They behave
responsibly and well at school. They are respectful towards adults and one
another.Studentsofallagescooperatewellwhenworkingandplayingtogether
and enjoy theirtime inthe school.Theattendancerateiswell aboveaverage at
97%. Most exhibit highly positive attitudes towards learning and are keen to
contributetolessonsandtotherangeofotheractivitiestheyareoffered.
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Many students capably take on leadership roles of various kinds, which involve
accepting responsibility for others and assisting in the smooth running of the
school.Thishelpsthemtodevelopthepersonalqualitiesthatwillsupportthemin
the next stages of education and employment. Students respond well to the
schoolspromotionofUAEvaluesandculture.Theydevelopstrongappreciation
of the multinational society in which they live. Most students are aware of the
benefitsofhealthyandactivelifestylesandadoptthem.
Thequalityofteachingandlearning
Thequalityofteachingandlearningisunsatisfactory.Lessonsrangedfromgood
toveryunsatisfactory;teachingandlearningweredeemedlessthansatisfactory
in more than half. Examples of unsatisfactory and very unsatisfactory lessons
were seen mainly at the lower elementary grades and in the KG. The more
effectivelessonswereobservedinEnglish,mathematicsandscienceatgrades7
10.Teachersofthesegradesknowtheirsubjectsbetterandaremoreexperienced
inusingarangeofstrategies.Theolderstudentsmakebetterprogressasaresult,
leadingtohigherattainment.
Teachersatallgradesexpecttoolittleacademicallyfromstudents.Manylessons
lack ambition and, because the pace is slow, students produce little work.
Teachers do not routinely ask questions that demand more than low level
answers and rarely encourage students to estimate, speculate and frame their
own enquiries. Teachers have access to training in potentially effective teaching
methods,forexamplecollaborativegroupworkandapproachesthatinvolvethe
presentationofresearchfindings.Theirimpactisnotmarkedinmostclassrooms
becausemanyteachersdonotfullyunderstandhowtoapplythemsuccessfully.
Teachers often attempt to accommodate students of different abilities by
decreasing or increasing the quantity of work, rather than planning tasks with
different levels of demand or support. The more able students and slower
learnersarerarelyexpectedtostartlessonswithworkpitchedattherightlevel.
This means lessons seldom challenge those who find learning easy and support
those who find it difficult. Higher attaining students in the A classes are not
alwaysgivensuitablydemandingtasks.
Mostlessonsarebasedonobjectivesthataremadeknowntostudents.Theseare
seldom referred to subsequently or used at the end to gauge progress or set
targetsforfuturework.Studentsassessmentsofoneanothersworkaremostly
verysuperficialbecausetheyhavenotbeentaughthowtoundertakeevaluation.

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Meetingstudentsneedsthroughthecurriculum
The implementation of the curriculum is unsatisfactory. The education provided
forthelargenumberofchildreninthe KGdoesnotmatchtheirneeds. Manyof
the activities, such as colouring in, cutting and pasting, copying from the board
andfillinginsinglewordworksheetsaredullandrepetitiveandhavelittlepositive
impact on the childrens development. Insufficient emphasis is placed on
developing physical and motor skills. Children have very few opportunities to
choose which activity to do, to investigate or to learn alongside one another
through structured play. Most classrooms are very small and crowded. The
outdoor play area is not used regularly for teaching and learning. Resources are
poorandscarce.Theyareoftensuppliedbyparents.
The school offers a satisfactory and improving range of enrichment and extra
curricular provision. It includes opportunities to take part in sporting, academic,
artisticandculturalactivities,competitionsandvisits;participationishigh.
Studentsreceivesatisfactoryandbetterhelptopreparethemforthenextstages
oftheireducationand employment. Theybenefitfrommock interviewsessions,
writingrsumsandcareerseminars.Localprofessionalsandemployersvisitand
the school arranges for universities from the Philippines to administer entrance
testsintheUAE.TheschoolmaintainsgoodlinkswiththeFilipinocommunityin
Abu Dhabi. Students join interschool academic and sports competitions that
challengeanddevelopthosewithparticulartalents.
Theprotection,care,guidanceandsupportofstudents
Provision for the protection, care, guidance and support of students is
satisfactory. There is a positive ethos of care and there is an effective pastoral
system.Staffandstudentsgetonwelltogetherandtheprevailingethosplacesa
firm value on learning. Teachers deal effectively with the few cases of bullying.
Provision for counselling students when they have problems is less well
developed. There is a child protection policy, which is understood and
appropriately applied by staff. The school carries out the appropriate checks of
staff suitability to work with children and takes effective measures to promote
studentattendance.
The school makes unsatisfactory provision for students with SEN. These are
identified through a satisfactory process, which involves the full participation of
theirparents.Therearenoqualifiedspecialiststaff.Thereisverylimitedsupport
forSENstudentsinlessons.Theyeachhaveprofilesdescribingtheirneeds.They
have no individual education plans (IEPs) to guide and structure teachers
support. There are 4 students attached to shadow teachers funded by their
parents.Thereislittleevidencetoindicatethissupportiseffective.
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Thequalityoftheschoolsbuildingsandpremises
Thebuildingsandpremisesareveryunsatisfactory.Theyonlyjustaccommodate
the number of students. There has been only minimal renovation since the last
inspection. Most KG classrooms are too small to allow for creative and
imaginativeplaywithsandandwater.Manyothersaretoocrampedforstudents
andteacherstomovearoundeasily.Thesinglelaboratoryisinsufficienttodeliver
the full science curriculum; all physical education and sports take place in
playgrounds;therearenospecialistroomsforartormusic.
The buildings are poorly maintained. There is rubble in the courtyard and under
stairwellsandtheprayerroomhaspeelingpaint.Unevenpavingacrossthewhole
school presents trip hazards. Chemicals in the science laboratory have not been
locked securely and hanging leads from ovens in the technology room are a
potential danger. The schools toilets are poorly maintained. They are a health
hazard for those who use them regularly; some students avoid using them
becauseoftheirunhygienicstate.
Securitythroughoutthedayissatisfactory.Externaldoorsareroutinelychecked
byahealthandsafetyofficer.
Theschoolsresourcestosupportitsaims
Thequantityandqualityofresourcesofallkindsareveryunsatisfactory.Several
KGteacherslackthequalificationsandexpertiserequiredtoteachyoungchildren
successfully. Some teachers in the KG and lower grades are insufficiently
proficientinEnglish.
Most classrooms lack the basic equipment and resources to enable teachers to
deliverthecurriculumsatisfactorily.Teachersandparentsfrequentlydonatetheir
ownresources.Therearetoofewworkingcomputersanddatashows.Students
areencouragedtobringtheirownICTdevices;thisworkswellintheoldergrades,
itisineffectiveintheyoungergrades.
Theschoollacksspecialistequipmentforscience,physicaleducation,sport,music
and art. The library is too small and the stock of books is inadequate. These
shortagesimposesignificantlimitationsonthequalityofthestudentseducation
andtheirprogress.
Theeffectivenessofleadershipandmanagement
Leadership and management are unsatisfactory because they have exerted only
very limited influence in improving teaching, learning, accommodation and
resourcessincethelastinspection.Governancearrangementsareweak.Thereis
no governing body to provide an independent voice in the leadership of the
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school,orwiththeauthoritytoholdtheschoolsleaderstoaccount,onbehalfof
theparentsandstudents,forthequalityoftheeducationtheyprovide.
The principal and viceprincipals know the students well and motivate them to
value learning. They, and other staff, successfully promote appreciation and
respect for UAE values and culture. The SLT command the respect of teachers,
who are committed to improving the quality of education. They enjoy strong
supportfromparents.Theprincipalregularlycanvassesparentsviewsandthose
ofteachersandstudents.
Selfevaluationprocessesarewelldeveloped.Mostsectionsoftheselfevaluation
form (SEF) and school development plan (SDP) have been completed
competently.TheyshowthattheSLTarereceptivetotheinspectionprocessand
preparedtotackleitsrecommendations.TheSLTconductsintelligentanalysisof
studentperformancedata.Theyundertakeextensiveobservationoflessonsand
giveteacherswrittenfeedbackandrecommendationsforimprovingteachingand
learning. The outcomes help to determine the content of staff training. These
processeshavenotledtostrong,sustainedimprovement.Traininghasnotledto
significantimprovementsinlessons.Subjectandgradeleadershaveonlyalimited
brief to use the results of monitoring and evaluation to improve teaching and
learning.
Strategic planning is ineffective. The principal and her senior colleagues have
insufficient autonomy to develop and implement a clearly defined strategy,
supported by sufficient investment, to drive the significant improvement
required. The schools leadership lacks the capacity to move the school forward
andwillrequiresignificantexternalmonitoringandsupporttodoso.

Progresssincethelastinspection
The school has made little progress since the last inspection. No substantial
advances have been made and the main areas for improvement remain as they
were 18 months ago. There are now considerably more children in the KG. The
education it provides is very unsatisfactory, partly because the accommodation
remainsinadequate.Therehasbeennoimprovementinthequantityorqualityof
resourcesavailabletoteachers.ThestockofICTequipmentremainsinadequate.
The supervision of students arriving and leaving the school by car has improved
and is now satisfactory. Unprotected pillars in the playground area have been
covered. There are still health and safety concerns associated with the very
unsatisfactoryconditionofthepremises.
Thedegreeofchallengepresentedinmanylessons,includingthoseinArabicand
Islamiceducation,remainstoolow.Separateclasseshavebeenintroducedforthe
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highestattainingstudentsinmostgrades.Someteacherstakeadvantageofthis
arrangement to devise more stretching tasks; impact is inconsistent. The quality
of the teaching of Arabic as an additional language remains unsatisfactory. Few
lessons involve tasks matched to the needs of students of different abilities.
Provision for students with SEN is unsatisfactory. The teaching now takes more
accountoftheneedtodevelopstudents21stcenturyskills.Successisrestricted
byteacherslimitedknowledgeofhowtoapplyeffectiveclassroommethodsand
assessmenttechniques.

Whattheschoolshoulddotoimprovefurther:
1. Asamatterofurgency:
i. attendtothehealthandsafetybreachesdetailedinthisreport
ii. carryoutathoroughprogrammeofcleaning,tidyingandrepairto
removethefeaturesthatdegradetheeducationalenvironment.
2. Raise teachers expectations of what students of all abilities can achieve
by:
i. planning collaboratively, focusing on increasing the degree of
progressthatstudentsareexpectedtoachieveinlessons
ii. sharing teaching approaches that successfully promote greater
studentprogresswidelyamongthestaff
iii. enabling teachers with advanced skills to influence and develop
their colleagues practice through, for example, modelling
successfulstrategiesandteamteaching
iv. giving greater responsibility to middle leaders for assuring the
quality of teaching and improving outcomes in the subjects and
gradelevelsforwhichtheyareresponsible.
3. Instituteagoverningbodythatisabletoactasacriticalfriendinholding
the senior leadership to account for the quality of education, and
representtheviewsofparents.
4. ImprovethequalityoftheeducationprovidedintheKGby:
i. ensuring that all teachers understand how young children learn
bestandemployarangeofstrategiesthatpromotetheircognitive,
socialandphysicaldevelopment
ii. securingarangeoflearningresourcesthatyoungchildrenwillfind
stimulatingandwillhelpthemtolearn
iii. preventingovercrowdingbyenlargingthepremisesorreducingthe
numberofchildrenwhoattend.
5. ImprovethesupportforstudentswithSENby:
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i.
ii.

employingspecialiststafftoprovidefortheiridentifiedneeds
constructingIEPsandensurethatteachersplananddeliverlessons
tomeettheiridentifiedneeds.

6. Deviseandimplementacoherentandcostedstrategicplanforthenext3
yearswhich:
i. setsouttheschoolsambitionsforitsstudents
ii. describesthestrategiesitwilladopttoachievethem
iii. assignsclearresponsibilitiesandaccountabilitiesforeachaspectof
theplantoleadersatdifferentlevels,withtheauthorityto
implementthem
iv. providesthenecessarylevelofinvestmenttoenabletheplantobe
fullyimplemented.

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InspectionGrades

Satisfactory

Inneedofsignificant
improvement

Satisfactory

Good

VeryGood

Performance
Standard

Very
unsatisfactory

Highperforming

Unsatisfactory

BandC

Satisfactory&
Improving

BandB

Outstanding

BandA

Poor

Standard1:
Students
attainmentand
progress

Standard2:
Studentspersonal
development

Standard3:The
qualityofteaching
andlearning

Standard4:The
meetingof
studentsneeds
throughthe
curriculum

Standard5:The
protection,care,
guidanceand
supportofstudents

Standard6:The
qualityofthe
schoolsbuildings
andpremises

Standard7:The
schoolsresources
tosupportitsaims

Standard8:The
effectivenessof
leadershipand
management

Summary
Evaluation:The
schoolsoverall
effectiveness

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