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Private School

Inspection Report

Al Shohub Private School

Academic Year 2015 2016

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Al Shohub Private School


Inspection Date
Date of previous inspection

February 29, 2016

to

March 3, 2016

May 12, 2014

to

May 15, 2014

General Information

Students

School ID

228

Total number of
students

913

Opening year of
school

2013

Number of children
in KG

209

Principal

Kate OSullivan (acting)

Number of students
in other phases

Primary:
Middle:
High:

School telephone

+971 (0)2 555 9995

Age range

3 to 18 years

School Address

PO Box 31515, Abu Dhabi

Grades or Year
Groups

KG G12

Official email (ADEC)

alshohub.pvt@adec.ac.ae

Gender

KG Grade 4 Co-education
Grade 5 Grade 12 Girls

School website

www.alshohub.org

% of Emirati
Students

93%

Fee ranges (per


annum)

Low to High:
AED 14,760 AED 49,980

Largest nationality
groups (%)

1. Yemeni 1.5%
2. Jordanian 1.4%
3. Omani
1%

Licensed Curriculum

448
214
42

Staff

Main Curriculum

English National Curriculum


(ENC)

Number of teachers

66

Other Curriculum

--------

Number of teaching
assistants (TAs)

17

External Exams/
Standardised tests

IGCSE, GCE AS, CEPA, MoE

Teacher-student
ratio

KG/ FS

1:23

Other phases

1:24

Edexcel, CIE

Teacher turnover

15%

Accreditation

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Introduction
Inspection activities
Number of inspectors
deployed

Number of inspection
days

Number of lessons
observed

87

Number of joint
lesson observations

Number of parents
questionnaires

82; (response rate: 10.7%)

Details of other
inspection activities

Inspectors conducted meetings with the principal, the head of


the kindergarten/assistant principal and the head of
primary/assistant principal, teachers, staff, students, parents
and the proprietor. They observed lessons, attended assemblies,
analysed test and assessment results, scrutinized students
work, and considered many of the schools policies and other
documents.
School

School Aims

School vision and


mission

The school aims to provide a high quality education for all


students to achieve their potential and reach the best
international standards.
Vision: To be recognised as the leading provider of The English
National Curriculum for Emirati students, to ensure they become
global citizens with 21st century skills and lifelong learners.
Mission: To produce students who can compete in a global
economic environment, whilst maintaining a strong ethos of
UAE heritage and culture.

Admission Policy

The school has an open admissions policy and students are


admitted following an entrance examination.

Leadership structure
(ownership,
governance and
management)

The senior leadership team consists of the acting principal and 2


assistant principals and are supported by the governing body
and proprietor.

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SEN Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)


Number of students
identified through external
assessments

Number of other students


identified by the school

Intellectual disability

Specific Learning Disability

Emotional and Behaviour


Disorders (ED/ BD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder


(ASD)

Visually impaired

Hearing impaired

Multiple disabilities

SEN Category

Speech and Language


Disorders
Physical and health related
disabilities

G&T Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)


G&T Category

Number of students
identified

Intellectual ability

Subject-specific aptitude (e.g. in science, mathematics,


languages)

17

Social maturity and leadership

10

Mechanical/ technical/ technological ingenuity

Visual and performing arts (e.g. art, theatre, recitation)

Psychomotor ability (e.g. dance or sport)

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The overall performance of the school


Inspectors considered the school in relation to 3 performance categories
High performing (Outstanding, Very Good or Good)

Band B

Satisfactory (Acceptable)

Band C

In need of significant improvement (Weak or Very Weak)

(A)

Satisfactory

Good
Band C
In need of significant
improvement

Weak

High Performing

Acceptable

Band B

Good

Band A

Very Good

Performance Standards

BAND

Outstanding

School was judged to be:

Performance Standard 1:
Students achievement
Performance Standard 2:
Students personal and
social development, and
their innovation skills
Performance Standard 3:
Teaching and assessment
Performance Standard 4:
Curriculum
Performance Standard 5:
The protection, care,
guidance and support of
students
Performance Standard 6:
Leadership and
management

Summary Evaluation:
The schools overall
performance

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Very Weak

Band A

The Performance of the School


Evaluation of the schools overall performance
The overall performance of the school is good. The acting principal knows the
school well and has set a clear agenda for continuous improvement. There is
understanding of the sch0ols strengths and areas for development within the
leadership and the staff. School development is focused strategically on raising
students achievement. In the kindergarten (KG), children start school with slightly
lower than average attainment and teachers plan interesting lessons that enable
children to make rapid progress in developing their basic learning skills. In the
primary phase, lessons are engaging and students are actively challenged. This
means progress in the primary phase is consistently rising in Arabic medium
subjects, English, mathematics and science. In Islamic education, students enjoy
learning about the UAE heritage and culture. The school ensures that promotion
and understanding of the UAE culture and heritage is well integrated into subjects
across the curriculum. Attainment and progress is consistently rising in the KG, in
the primary and the middle school phases. In the high school phase, which is girls
only and makes up of only 5% of the student proportions, attainment has not yet
reached the same high standard.
Students show good attitudes and behaviour in lessons. In the high school phase,
students learning is often slowed down by insufficient challenge and motivation.
This is reflected in the schools examination results where students do not achieve
high levels of success. Teaching and assessment in all subjects are good and
teachers now ensure students are making good progress. The curriculum is broad
and balanced. Health and safety including the safe-guarding of students is good and
students and staff benefit from a safe learning environment.
Progress made since last inspection and capacity to improve
There is significant improvement since the previous inspection, demonstrating
strong capacity for improvement. All performance standards are now rated as
good. The school has addressed most of the areas for improvement identified in
the previous inspection report. Students in the KG, primary and middle school are
now making good progress in all core subjects and developing good personal
qualities. Teaching methods and strategies are improving and teachers are planning
varied activities to help students to make progress. The curriculum is broad and
balanced and information and communications technology (ICT) is being used
appropriately to support learning.

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Development and promotion of innovation skills


The school has developed an innovation action plan. It is based on developing work
in science, technology, maths and art. Opportunities for students to develop their
innovation skills have been introduced through an Innovation Day in term one.
Another innovation initiative is planned for term 3. The school participated in the
Formula One (F1) in Schools programme. Students engaged in activities relating
to designing F1 cars and project managed aspects of advertising and marketing as
well as visiting the Yas Marina Circuit. In lessons, teachers provide group activities
that enable students to solve problems, work collaboratively and provide peer
support during learning activities.

The inspection identified the following as key areas of strength:

the day-to-day running of the school

students positive attitudes to learning


curriculum implementation and adaptation
the celebration of UAE culture and heritage in a stimulating learning
environment
the progress of students in the primary phase.

The inspection identified the following as key areas for improvement:

students achievement in the high school phase


the punctuality of students to school
the introduction of quality of joint planning within and across phases
the role of middle leaders, particularly in relation to monitoring teaching and
learning.

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Performance Standard 1: Students Achievement


Students achievement Indicators

KG

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Good

Good

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Good

Attainment

Good

Good

Good

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Good

Attainment

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Islamic
Education

Arabic
(as a First Language)

Arabic
(as a Second
Language)

Progress

N/A

Primary

N/A

Middle

N/A

High

N/A

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Good

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Acceptable

Attainment

Good

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Acceptable

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Good

Attainment

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Progress

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Attainment

Good

Good

Good

Good

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Social Studies

English

Mathematics

Science
Language of
instruction (if other
than English and
Arabic as First
Language)
Other subjects
(Art, Music, PE)
Learning Skills
(including innovation, creativity, critical
thinking, communication, problemsolving and collaboration)

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Students achievement is good overall. Attainment overall in KG and primary phases


is above average when compared to age-related and national expectations. There are
significantly more students in the KG and primary phases than in the middle and high
school. Overall attainment in the middle and high school is broadly in line with age
related expectations.
Most students including those with special educational needs (SEN), in the KG,
primary and middle phases make good progress in most core subjects. This is as a
result of improved teaching, improving use of assessment and high expectations.
Good progress is evident in Arabic, Islamic education, science, mathematics, English
and social studies. Progress is not as strong in these subjects in the high school.
In Islamic education, good progress can be seen in the way students discuss prayer
being an action and telling the truth is good behaviour. In morning assemblies,
students recite confidently and accurately from the Quran with tajweed.
In Arabic, most children in the KG and primary phases make good progress by building
their language and reading skills from their average starting points. For example,
children in KG can read full words and divide words into syllables. Older students use
correct annotations to explain the text they use. Extended writing skills are less well
developed. They progress to achieve well in the MOE examinations.
In English, students make good progress to develop effective communication skills in
speaking and reading. Their extended writing skills are less well developed by the time
they reach the high school phase. In KG, children use phonic sounds to build skills in
reading and writing. They communicate effectively in English to access all their work
in English medium subjects. Students read with increasing accuracy and fluency and
engage appropriately with tasks in lessons in the primary and middle school phases.
In Grade 12, where extended writing skills are developing, teachers focus on
supporting students to use spider net techniques to help build and structure their
research and writing on the impact of social media on modern English. This approach
is less evident in the lower grades.
In mathematics, students attain well and make good progress in the KG and primary
phases. In the middle school phase, students can simplify algebraic expressions and
solve simultaneous equations by elimination. This represents good levels of
achievement. The attainment and progress of students in the high school phase are
acceptable. Teachers take the opportunity to make learning relevant to the real
world, for example in Grade 6, students draw line graphs to show the growth in
population in the UAE. Grade 1 students look at reading ages of books through
sampling word length to produce a tally chart to compare books. Attainment and

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progress in the high school is weak over time and as a result, students in previous
years achieved less well in external examinations.
Students in the KG, primary and middle school phases make good progress in science.
In Grade 4 they can make simple electrical circuits and work out why they dont work.
Grade 5 discuss why some plastic bags may be stronger than others, then test their
strength. Students enjoy doing experiments. In Grade 8, they look at the impact of
heat on making bread dough and on using food and chemicals to reproduce the
processes that operate in the digestive system. In a Grade 11 physics lesson, students
work together on a poster to illustrate the key concepts learned related to magnetism
to consolidate their understanding. The students are organised so that stronger
students support those whose understanding is weaker. Lessons in the higher grades
are often too teacher led, they copy work from the whiteboard which is not
sufficiently differentiated for students to take responsibility for their own learning.
Students develop a broad range of skills in art, physical education (PE) and in ICT and
they achieve above the English national curriculum expectations.
Most students in all phases develop good learning skills. They work collaboratively
when they are given the opportunity and increasingly take more responsibility for
their own learning. Students enjoy learning and teachers relate learning well to real
world situations. Students are attentive, keen to learn and participate effectively in
peer support as well as peer assessment. They engage fully in all tasks and respond
well to adults in lessons and around the school.

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Performance Standard 2: Students personal and social development,


and their innovation skills
Students personal and social
development, and their innovation skills
Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Personal development

Good

Good

Good

Good

Understanding of Islamic values and


awareness of Emirati and world cultures

Good

Good

Good

Good

Social responsibility and innovation skills

Good

Good

Good

Good

The personal development of most students in the school is good. The large majority
of students show good attitudes to learning. Students positive behaviour and
relationships contribute well to a friendly and harmonious learning community. They
show care towards one another for example a teacher praised the consideration of
two boys when they shared their lunch with a friend who forgot to bring his. Most
students respond well to critical feedback, both when given by their classmates
during peer support, peer assessment and comments by teachers. The majority of
students make healthy choices in the food they bring to school and in their snack
choices from the canteen. A minority of students arrive late in the morning.
Attendance overall is good at 94%. Weaker behaviour of a few Grade 9 students are
affecting their performance in a few lessons.
Students appreciation of the role of Islamic values in UAE society is evident during
morning assembly, where they recite verses from the Quran and sing the national
anthem while raising the flag. Many displays celebrate the UAE culture and students
talk proudly about their heritage. Students are involved in their community and their
environment. They participate in food drives and in recycling programmes. They are
affiliated with Tadweer, the recycling company, and the Red Crescent. The school
environment is free of litter and classrooms are clean and well cared for.
Students participate in innovation projects linked to the schools Innovation Day
initiative. They experience innovation, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
through imaginative projects such as the F1 racing theme. Students work
collaboratively to design racing cars and manage advertising and marketing based on
their work and visit to the Yas Marina Circuit.
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Performance Standard 3: Teaching and Assessment


Teaching and Assessment Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Teaching for effective learning

Good

Good

Good

Acceptable

Assessment

Good

Good

Good

Acceptable

The quality of teaching and assessment is good. Most teachers demonstrate good
subject knowledge and activities that ensure students make good progress in lessons.
This is less strong in the high school where students need more effective support to
prepare for examination courses. In good lessons, teachers provide opportunities for
students to work collaboratively, apply critical thinking through questioning that
encourage deeper thinking and problem solving activities. This is seen to good effect
in a Grade 3 science lesson where students are asked the question; Are all metals
magnetic? the discussion that follows leave students unsure. They are then guided
to test a range of metals and they arrive at the correct answer, that not all metals are
magnetic. Teachers are starting to analyse the results of tests and examinations more
effectively to inform their planning. This means that teachers gain reasonable
knowledge of students strengths and weaknesses and plan for students learning
needs. This is not yet consistently applied by all teachers across the school. Teachers
therefore do not always provide sufficient challenge in their lessons for the higher
attaining students to achieve higher levels. Similarly, in a minority of lessons, teachers
do not intervene effectively to help those who are not making the expected progress.
Learning activities are not effectively matched to the learning needs of higher and
lower attaining students in these lessons. In the high school, students need more
specific support with revision and preparation for external examinations.
Assessment procedures are effectively linked to curriculum requirements. Where
there are examples of good marking, teachers provide detailed corrections and
helpful feedback for students to improve. This is not always consistent across all
subjects. Students are encouraged to assess the work of other students and this helps
them to understand how the marks are distributed. Good marking and assessment is
not yet a consistent feature of teaching in all subjects and this does not support
students effectively enough to make the maximum progress.

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Performance Standard 4: Curriculum


Curriculum Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Curriculum design and implementation

Good

Good

Good

Good

Curriculum adaptation

Good

Good

Good

Good

The curriculum is good overall. It is broad and balanced and meets the requirements
of the MOE and the English National Curriculum in all subjects. The curriculum
provides a range of options for students in the high school including: Art, Business
Studies, French, Food and Nutrition and ICT. Students in the middle school take art,
French, food and nutrition from Grade 7 upwards. There are opportunities outside the
school day for students to learn German. The curriculum has a focus on developing
not just on the acquisition of knowledge but skills and understanding. For example,
Grade 6 students research and produce multi-media presentations on the UAE and
answer questions from classmates. In a Grade 2 lesson, students classify animals into
6 groups. In doing so, students show understanding of the characteristics of each
classification. In the majority of lessons, the curriculum builds on what students have
learnt previously.
Students in Grades 10-12, with mothers, are invited to a careers day to meet the
recruitment advisors from leading national and international universities. The school
provides transition support for students including those with SEN into Grade 7. This
support is not yet fully co-ordinated in specialist subjects across the curriculum
between all phases or between Arabic and English medium subjects. For example in
the library, students in Grade 8 cover basic skills in learning to use the library while
those in Grade 6 develop more advanced literacy skills.
The school reviews the curriculum to ensure it meets all curriculum requirements.
There have been changes to requirements for iGCSEs and the curriculum is adapted
to meet these needs. In most subjects, teachers consider the learning needs of higher
attaining and lower attaining students. This is not yet successfully transformed into
modified activities to suit the learning needs of students at different stages of
development. Curricular links to the heritage and culture of the UAE across subjects
is good. This is underdeveloped in other areas where there is limited planning
between the Arabic and English medium subjects.

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Performance Standard 5: The protection, care, guidance and support


of students
The protection, care, guidance and
support of students Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Health
and
safety,
including
arrangements for child protection/
safeguarding

Good

Good

Good

Good

Care and support

Good

Good

Good

Good

The protection, care, guidance and support of students is good. The schools
procedures fully support a safe, secure environment for all students and staff. Parents
and staff are aware of the safeguarding procedures and all staff receive the relevant
training and security checks. Security guards are on regular duty to monitor visitors.
Teachers and parents attend workshops and there is good emphasis on cyber bullying
so that information is shared effectively.
The school has clear and appropriate procedures in place for managing weak
behaviour and to secure child protection. Incidents of poor behaviour are dealt with
effectively by staff and parents are consulted. The schools work with parents to
ensure students arrive punctually to school in the morning, has not yet had sufficient
impact and too many students arrive late in the morning. Attendance overall is
acceptable.
Students are encouraged to make healthy choices as part of the schools healthy
lifestyles programme. Students confirm that unhealthy food is not allowed in school.
Students participate effectively to adopt the advice they are given. The role of the
nurse in providing health education is underdeveloped. Staff and student
relationships are mutually respectful and students know where to go if they need
support. The clinic is well equipped and has appropriate arrangements for the safe
storage and dispensing of medicines. The school has a register of students for each
bus and students are supervised by adult bus monitors. The school provides academic
guidance for students about career choices as well as support for the boys before
they transfer to other schools for Grade 5. There is a careers day as part of a
universities fair to introduce different courses and options. Formal procedures to
identify SEN students or those who are gifted and talented are in place. They are fully
supported by the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). As a result, SEN students
make good progress with learning. support

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Performance Standard 6: Leadership and management


Leadership and management Indicators
The effectiveness of leadership

Good

Self-evaluation and improvement planning

Good

Partnerships with parents and the community

Good

Governance

Good

Management, staffing, facilities and resources

Good

Leadership and management of the school is good and they share a clear vision with
governors, staff, students and parents. The progress that students make has
improved since the previous inspection. Most students now make good progress in
core subjects. The acting principal is supported well by the leadership team. The selfevaluation form (SEF) is evaluative and shows that leaders know the school well.
Leaders, staff and parents are included appropriately in preparing the SEF and the
school development plan (SDP). Leaders regularly observe teaching as part of the
teacher-evaluation process. The role of middle leaders is underdeveloped and as a
result, there is limited specialist subject monitoring to ensure core subject teachers
particularly in the middle and high schools, provide effective and coordinated
continuity and progression. Monitoring does not ensure that higher attaining
students are making the expected progress.
The school communicates effectively with the wider community. There are good
relationships with parents. A recent initiative during the week of inspection, the
school invited parents to visit classrooms and to participate in the reading week. In
the main, parents have positive views of the school. Parents receive regular feedback
on students performance and they appreciate the effective communication of
progress from the school. However, parents would like to know more about how to
provide academic support for their children. A mothers council has been established
and meet on a regular basis. There are effective links with organisations to help
broaden students experiences with the wider community. These include, for
example, the UAE University and The Red Crescent, as well as local businesses such
as the Formula 1. Specific academic performance targets and development targets are
set each year and progress is monitored by the acting principal and governors.
Members of the governing body visit the school on a weekly basis to meet with the
acting principal and meet as a governing body each month.

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Leaders have not sufficiently monitored or addressed students lateness to school.


Assemblies remain limited in celebrating students successes or sharing the cultural
values and traditions at the start of the day. The day-to-day management of the school
by the leaders and staff is acceptable. The school building is of a very good standard
and well used to promote the well-being of students.

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What the school should do to improve further:


1. Improving students achievement in the high school by:
i. making more effective use of achievement data, to ensure students
are making the expected progress
ii. providing appropriate challenge and support for students taking
external examinations
iii. setting individual targets for students to raise their aspirations and
challenge to attend regularly and commit fully to achieving success
2. Improving the punctuality of students to school in the morning by:
i.
ii.

involving parents appropriately in resolving students lateness


using appropriate consequences to deter students from being late.

3. Improving joint planning within and across phases by:


i.
ii.
iii.
iv.

establishing regular joint meetings between Arabic and English


medium teachers to share planning and teaching strategies
ensuring subjects provide appropriate continuity and progression
particularly in core subjects within and across phases
sharing strategies for developing reading and students skills in
extended writing
working collectively to improve the quality of morning assemblies
through subject input.

4. Improving the monitoring role of middle leaders in relation to monitoring


teaching and learning through:
i.

ii.

iii.

developing middle leaders in the skills of monitoring as part of


distributed leadership, so increasing capacity to sustain
improvement
securing the use of appropriately challenging tasks in lessons to raise
achievement of students, particularly for those who are high
achievers
ensuring that data is used effectively to track students progress in
lessons.

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