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Private School

Inspection Report

West Yas School

Academic Year 2016 2017

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West Yas School

Inspection Date April 24, 2017 to April 27, 2017

Date of previous inspection N/A to N/A

General Information Students

Total number of
School ID 281 270
students

Opening year of %of students per Main Curriculum 100%


2016
school curriculum Other Curriculum ----
KG 114
Currently, there is no Number of students Primary: 138
Principal
prinicpal in other phases Middle: 18
High: ---

School telephone +971 (0)2 885 7001 Age range 3 to 11 years

West Yas Academy, Yas


Grades or Year
School Address Leisure Drive, Yas Island, KG to Grade 6
Groups
Abu Dhabi

Official email (ADEC) West Yas.pvt@ADEC.AC.ae Gender Boys and girls

Aldaracademies.com/index.
php/en/our-schools/west- % of Emirati
School website 57%
Yas-school Students

Very high 1. American: 11%


Fee ranges (per Largest nationality
(AED 51,000 to AED 61,500) 2.Jordanian:4%
annum) groups (%)
3. Korean:3%
Licensed Curriculum Staff

Main Curriculum American Number of teachers 29

Number of teaching
Other Curriculum --- 15
assistants (TAs)
External Exams/ MAP Test Teacher-student KG/ FS 1:13
Standardised tests GL assessments ratio Other phases 1:8

Accreditation Phase 1 NEASC Teacher turnover 8%

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Introduction
Inspection activities
Number of inspectors 3
deployed

Number of inspection days 4

Number of lessons observed 74

Number of joint lesson 10


observations
Number of parents A parental questionnaire has not yet been carried out
questionnaires in this new school.
The inspection team held meetings with the senior
management team, heads of departments, other
teachers and governors. They reviewed school
Details of other inspection documents, performance data, records and students
activities work. Inspectors observed assemblies, school
activities, arrivals, departures and intervals. They
spoke to parents, students, and children in the KG.

School
West Yas School aspires to be a world-class school
that challenges all of its students to achieve their
higher potential and inspires them to be the critical
School Aims thinkers, problem-solvers, artists and innovators of the
future who will make positive contributions to their
communities, nations and the world.

Our Purpose: Empowering our next generation to


shape the future. Our Promise: Delivering the highest
School vision and mission standards of education and inspiring a love of
learning.

The school has an inclusive and open admission policy.


KG children are invited to spend some time in provision
Admission Policy
to become familiar with routines.

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Leadership comprises a company Director who is
serving as acting senior manager/school leader, an
Leadership structure
assistant principal, three team leaders and two heads
(ownership, governance and
of departments. The governing body includes the
management)
executive management team and representatives
from parents and the community.

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SEN Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)
Number of students Number of other students
SEN Category identified through external identified by the school
assessments internally

Intellectual disability 0 0

Specific Learning Disability 3 4

Emotional and Behaviour


5 20
Disorders (ED/ BD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder
3 4
(ASD)
Speech and Language
4 5
Disorders
Physical and health related
3 1
disabilities

Visually impaired 0 0

Hearing impaired 1 0

Multiple disabilities 2 0

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


Number of students
G&T Category
identified

Intellectual ability 14

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


7
languages)

Social maturity and leadership 0

Mechanical/ technical/ technological ingenuity 0

Visual and performing arts (e.g. art, theatre, recitation) 1

Psychomotor ability (e.g. dance or sport) 0

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The overall performance of the school
Inspectors considered the school in relation to 3 performance categories

Band A High performing (Outstanding, Very Good or Good)

Band B Satisfactory (Acceptable)

Band C In need of significant improvement (Weak or Very Weak)

The school was judged to be: Band A Good

Band C
Band A Band B
In need of significant
High Performing Satisfactory
improvement
Outstanding

Acceptable

Very Weak
Very Good

Weak
Good

Performance Standards

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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The Performance of the School
Evaluation of the schools overall performance
The overall performance of the school is good. This follows an important
management intervention in recent months to stabilise the school following the
resignations of two principals since its opening in August 2016. Children enter KG
with knowledge and skills that are low for their age but they get off to a good
start and progress well, and this progress continues through the primary and
middle phases in most subjects. Students good personal development is based
on strong relationships between staff and students, positive behaviour and
attitudes and students good knowledge of UAE culture and Islamic values. The
school has developed strong partnerships with parents and the community.
Following an unsettled first term for the school, the current team of school
managers took an important decision early in 2017 to refocus learning and
teaching towards an enquiry-based approach. This initiative is having an
increasingly positive impact across much of the school but managers have yet to
ensure consistency in teaching and learning, including through the impact of
middle leaders on their subjects, particularly Arabic.
Progress made since last inspection and capacity to improve
This new school has not previously been inspected. It is presently moving in the
right direction because of the effective lead given by a Director of the company
who is running the school pending the arrival of the new principal. Due to the high
expectations and shared commitment of all staff, the school has become an
inclusive and supportive community where students and staff work together in
mutual respect. Leaders are in the process of devising questionnaires to gather
and analyse such views. The schools capacity to improve is presently good. If
governors ensure a smooth handover to the new prospective principal and avoid
another significant change in the schools improvement strategy, then the school
can maintain this capacity.
Development and promotion of innovation skills
The school promotes innovation skills effectively. It has embraced the UAE
national agenda to promote innovation. Science, technology and engineering
lessons foster students skills to create, test their ideas and develop the necessary
skills to solve problems. Teachers generally adapt the curriculum to provide
students with opportunities to be innovative in their work. Overall, the school is
making effective progress across the curriculum to develop and teach the skills
that underpin innovation.

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The inspection identified the following as key areas of strength:

the quality of education in the schools Kindergarten (KG)

the strong relationships within the school as shown in students positive


attitudes to learning and good behaviour

students appreciation of the heritage, culture and future vision of the UAE
and their understanding of Islamic values

very strong partnerships with parents and the community

effective management of change in recent months, including the high


priority the school gives to students health and safety and maintaining
effective daily routines.

The inspection identified the following as key areas for


improvement:

the need to improve further the standards in Arabic, particularly in the


upper grade

inconsistency in the quality of teaching and learning in the minority of


lessons

the impact of middle leaders in monitoring the quality of their subjects and
bringing about improvement

the need to ensure the schools prospective new leadership arrangements


are implemented effectively and with urgency.

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Performance Standard 1: Students Achievement

Students achievement Indicators KG Primary Middle High

Attainment Good Good Good


Islamic
Education
Progress Good Good Good

Attainment Good Acceptable Weak


Arabic
(as a First Language)
Progress Good Acceptable Acceptable

Arabic Attainment Good Good N/A


(as a Second
Language) Progress Good Good N/A

Attainment Good Good Good


Social Studies
Progress Good Good Good

Attainment Good Acceptable Acceptable


English
Progress Good Good Good

Attainment Good Acceptable Acceptable


Mathematics
Progress Good Good Good

Attainment Good Good Good


Science
Progress Good Good Good

Language of
instruction (if other Attainment N/A N/A N/A
than English and
Arabic as First Progress N/A N/A N/A
Language)

Other subjects Attainment Good Good Good

(Art, Music, PE)


Progress Good Good Good

Learning Skills
(including innovation, creativity, critical
Good Good Good
thinking, communication, problem-
solving and collaboration)

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The overall quality of students achievement is good. As a new school there is no
historical data available to evaluate overall trends over the last three years.
However, the schools assessment data, students learning in lessons and their
recent coursework indicate that, while most enter the school with knowledge and
skills that are well below where they are expected to be, they make good progress.
As a result, the majority of KG children are already attaining levels that are above
age-related expectations after just two terms. Students progress is improving and
attainment is rising. Leaders are beginning to take steps to compare their schools
performance with other international schools to improve their practice. Different
groups of students make similar progress.

Students achievement in Islamic education is good. The majority of students are


achieving above age-related curriculum levels. In KG2, the majority of children can
recite respectfully short Souras from the Holy Quran with confidence. In Grade 2,
the majority of students can talk about Prophet Mohammeds (PBUH) life, how he
was a good role model showing tolerance to others, and making links with their own
lives. By Grade 6, the majority of students can recite Hadeeth Shareef correctly
and explain confidently how Muslims should be a role model for good behaviour in
the school and beyond. Most students recite verses of the Holy Quran appropriate
to their age group correctly, following appropriate Tajweed rules.

Students achievement in Arabic as a first language is acceptable overall. The


majority of children in KG achieve above age-related expectation. In primary, most
students achieve in line with curriculum standards. In the middle phase, attainment
for the few students is weak and progress is acceptable. In KG2, the majority of
children are confident about their learning and can recognise letters and sounds and
read and write simple words correctly. In Grade 1, most students develop acceptable
knowledge of grammar and can read and write short sentences correctly. In Grade
6, only the majority of students can differentiate between a fact and an opinion and
are beginning to use their language skills to write a simple paragraph. Overall,
students speaking skills in standard Arabic are underdeveloped.

Students achievement in Arabic as a second language is good. The majority of


students are achieving above curriculum expectations. In KG2, the majority of
children can recognise many letters and sounds and can write their names correctly
from right to left. By Grade 5, students are developing a good breadth of vocabulary
and the majority use it well to construct sentences correctly, above age-related
expectations.

Students achievement in social studies is good across the school. The majority of

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students achieve above age-related expectations and curriculum levels. In KG2, the
majority of children know the colours of the UAE flag and can compare UAE
traditional clothing with their own. In a Grade 5 lesson, the majority of students
were able to explain aspects of communication between the UAE and South Asia
now and in the past, demonstrating knowledge above curriculum standards. By
Grade 6, the majority of students show good knowledge of the UAEs geography
and strategic location and feel confident to express their views about UAEs plans
for sustainable energy.

In English, childrens achievement in the KG is good. The majority of children are


achieving above age-related expectations. For example, they can express their views
about similarities and differences in related stories using their well-developed
vocabulary confidently and clearly. In primary and middle phases, students
attainment is acceptable and their progress is good. Most students are achieving in
line with curriculum expectations in reading, writing, listening and speaking. In
Grade 3, for example, students read with age-appropriate fluency and listen carefully
to identify different features of poetry, and they speak clearly to provide reasoned
explanations. By Grade 6, students initiate interesting discussions and can write
broadly with age-appropriate skills and with a clear purpose.

In mathematics, childrens achievement in the KG is good. The majority of children


are achieving above the levels expected for their age following strong progress in
lessons. In primary and middle phases, most students attainment is broadly in line
with curriculum expectations and their progress is good. In the KG, children can
create complex patterns using different resources, explaining the reasons for their
findings. In Grade 4, the majority of students can use partitioning to multiply two-
digit numbers and learn to solve problems. By Grade 6, students can use inverse
multiplication to find the quotient of a fraction.
Students achievement in science is good across the school. The majority of students
achieve above curriculum expectations. For example, in KG1, children can name
different parts of a plant, using scientific terms such as leaf, stem and root. By Grade
5, students are confident when they analyse an astronauts needs, suggesting ways
astronauts can handle resources safely in space under the pressure of gravity. By
Grade 6, students confidently create their own models of Plate Tectonics,
describing Plate Boundaries and using scientific terms such as divergent, transform
and convergent to share their findings.
Students achievement in other subjects is good. In physical education (PE), for
example, they make good progress during regular planned physical activities
including swimming and demonstrate good physical skills for their age. In art, music

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and drama, students make good progress in developing their understanding,
practical skills and talents, demonstrating enjoyment in their learning.

Students learning skills are good overall. Students engage well in learning, work
productively on their own and collaboratively in groups. They understand the
connections between subjects and can apply their learning to the world beyond
school. Students use information and communication technology (ICT) effectively.
For example, Grade 6 students used a mapping application to locate co-ordinates for
specific places. Students are becoming increasingly confident in taking an active part
in debates and they lead on research to discover, test their ideas and build the
confidence to share their findings with others.

Performance Standard 2: Students personal and social development,


and their innovation skills

Students personal and social


development, and their innovation skills KG Primary Middle High
Indicators

Personal development Good Good Good

Understanding of Islamic values and


Good Good Good
awareness of Emirati and world cultures

Social responsibility and innovation skills Good Good Good

The quality of students personal development is good. In KG, children share


resources fairly and take turns. Students make friends and enjoy working with each
other. They have positive attitudes to learning and behave well, although a few
students become restless and lose concentration when lessons become less
motivating. Students follow the schools code of conduct and remind each other to
be kind to others. Students engage very well in various activities to promote their
healthy lifestyles. For example, they enjoy physical exercise and talk about the very
positive impact it has on their health and wellbeing. Attendance at 94% is good.
Students generally arrive to school and to lessons on time.

Students appreciation of the heritage, culture and future vision of the UAE and their
understanding of Islamic values is good. Through the My identity programme,

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students learn about the UAE in the past and present. For example, KG2 children talk
about how fishermen used traditional boats in the past for pearl diving, comparing
with modern boats. Overall, students are developing a good understanding of the
different cultures and traditions around them and, through International Days, they
are beginning to learn about a range of cultures further afield.

The quality of students social responsibility and innovation skills is good. Students
take an active part in environmental projects, such as recycling, to keep the school
free from litter. The school council leads on numerous activities, including raising
funds for the Red Crescent to support the local community and beyond. Students
enjoy various learning experiences to initiate ideas, develop their independent
innovation skills and learn to solve problems.

Performance Standard 3: Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and Assessment Indicators KG Primary Middle High

Teaching for effective learning Good Good Good

Assessment Good Good Good

The quality of teaching is good. Teachers have good subject knowledge. They have
respectful relationships with students and manage behaviour well. Displays provide
an appropriate balance between supporting learning and celebrating students
success. Teachers share learning objectives clearly so that students understand
what is to be achieved. They generally use various resources and different strategies
to support students learning. Teachers use questions generally well to gauge
students understanding and deal with misconceptions when they occur. They do
not use questioning consistently to challenge students to think deeply enough or to
require sufficiently expansive responses. Most teachers plan and provide learning
experiences which motivate students to learn. Teachers know students well but
only in the large majority of lessons do they provide sufficient challenge and
support. Lower attaining students and those who require support generally receive
additional help when needed.
Assessment arrangements are broadly good, although teachers do not always use
assessment information to fully support and extend the learning of all groups of
students. Many teachers mark students work regularly and explain to students
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what they might do to improve the quality of their work. However, not all students
routinely use this feedback to improve their work. Continuous assessment
procedures are robust and linked to curriculum levels. Leaders are taking steps to
compare their data with international standards to improve their performance. Staff
have received training related to data analysis. Leaders and staff regularly meet and
analyse assessment data for individuals and groups of students to identify any gaps.
Teachers appreciate regular professional development and the dialogue they have
with school leaders and feel these have a positive impact on their teaching.

Performance Standard 4: Curriculum

Curriculum Indicators KG Primary Middle High

Curriculum design and implementation Good Good Good

Curriculum adaptation Good Good Good

The quality of curriculum design and implementation is good. The curriculum is


broad, balanced and relevant. The schools Curriculum Compliance Committee
regularly checks the curriculum to ensure it follows the authorised licenced
curriculum and national statutory requirements. The curriculum has been reviewed
to ensure generally good continuity and progression. In the Arabic language,
particularly in the upper grades, students do not always have enough opportunities
to develop their reading and writing skills and to fully engage in learning, however.
Following a major recent change in curriculum implementation, the school has
introduced The Enquiry Approach to Learning to allow students to transfer
knowledge and skills between different subjects. This is a promising initiative which
is already beginning to have a positive impact. The curriculum provides very good
choices for students to follow their interests, talents and aspirations. Such
opportunities include science, technology, engineering and sports.
The schools approaches to curriculum adaptation are good. Teachers generally plan
well to meet the needs of almost all groups. For example, SEN and G&T students
access appropriate activities to help them progress well. The curriculum is very well
enhanced by a wide range of extra-curricular activities including art, design and
technology and the Young Thinkers club. There are good learning experiences to

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allow students to develop their social contribution including, for instance, the
competitions in sports and mathematics and leading on the Young Readers
programme in the schools KG. Links to UAE culture and society are good. Muslim
students speak proudly about the opportunity to pray in school and to reflect on
their lives and those of others around them. In addition, students say they enjoy
many opportunities to develop their creativity and imagination such as art, music
and drama. The curriculum has yet to provide more challenge for the more-able
students.

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


of students

The protection, care, guidance and


KG Primary Middle High
support of students Indicators

Health and safety, including


arrangements for child protection/ Very Good Very Good Very Good
safeguarding

Care and support Good Good Good

The quality of health and safety, including safeguarding, is very good. The school is
an orderly and calm learning environment that helps students feel safe and secure.
Rigorous implementation of the child protection policy and safeguarding
procedures ensures students are very well cared for. Students know how to protect
themselves from the dangers of bullying, including cyber bullying. For example,
students spoke about the benefits of Upstanders Week to Say No to Bullying.
They are confident to ask for support should a welfare concern arise.

The school is hygienic and very well maintained, meeting the needs of students.
There are very good arrangements to ensure security, health and safety, including
supervision of students in school and on school transport. Administrative
procedures are efficient and records maintained appropriately. The school promotes
the importance of safe and healthy living very effectively.

The quality of care and support is good. Staff have good relationships with students
and manage behaviour well. Systems for managing attendance and punctuality are
effective. The school has very good procedures to identify SEN and G&T students.
Well-targeted support ensures that SEN students make good progress in relation to their
different starting points. Teachers monitor students academic progress and personal
development and regularly report to parents. Parents appreciate the good care and support
their children receive from staff.

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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 Very Good

Governance Acceptable

Management, staffing, facilities and resources Very Good

The overall quality of leadership and management is broadly good following


significant recent change. The present team of school leaders has developed a
cohesive learning community in a short time, despite considerable disruption caused
by the resignation of two principals in the schools first term of existence. Leaders
understand the need to ensure students make the best possible progress, although
they have not yet had time to have a decisive impact on improving learning and
teaching in a few areas. Staff morale is high and professional relationships are
positive.
The quality of self-evaluation and improvement planning is generally good. The
schools self-evaluation (SEF) is mostly realistic and includes the views of parents,
students and stakeholders. The SEF informs the school development plan (SDP)
which accurately focuses on what the school needs to do to improve. Leaders
observe lessons regularly, give teachers specific feedback to help them improve and
hold them accountable for students achievement. They have yet to focus
sufficiently on the quality of all students learning experiences in lessons and to
develop the role of the middle leaders to monitor the quality of their subjects.

The quality of partnerships with parents and the community is very good. Parents
contribute very well to the life and the work of the school. This is evident in the way
they organise special events such as Arabic Reading, and Flag and National Days to
bring the community together. Parents say they are pleased with the effective
communication they receive from the school and appreciate the open-door policy
to approach staff for support when needed. The school hosts events such as sports
activities and works very well with other national and international establishments
to enrich its curriculum.
The quality of governance is acceptable. Governors are supportive and know the
school well but have not been successful in ensuring the schools stable leadership.

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The arrival of the prospective new principal can be an important step forward for
the school if school governors ensure it leads to continuity in the present
improvement strategies rather than disrupting them again. Governors have yet to
focus sufficiently on improving standards.

The quality of management, staffing, facilities and resources is very good. The day-
to-day management of the school and its procedures and routines is very efficient.
The school is appropriately staffed with suitably qualified teachers who benefit from
regular professional development. Premises and resources are of very high quality,
including a library, two swimming pools and other facilities for sports. These
resources are used regularly providing an exciting environment for learning.

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What the school should do to improve further:
1. Improve students achievement further in all subjects, particularly in Arabic
language, by:

i. ensuring all teachers provide more enthusing opportunities to help


students fully engage in learning
ii. requiring teachers to offer more effective and regular learning
experiences to help students develop their reading and writing skills
iii. ensuring teachers consistently check the progress students make and
offer them support so that they can achieve well.

2. Improve the consistency in teaching and learning in the primary and middle
phases by:

i. improving teachers questioning skills


ii. increasing the level of challenge in lessons to stretch all students
according to their abilities, particularly the more-able
iii. strengthening the quality of oral and written feedback to help students
know how to improve their work
iv. adapting the curriculum further to better meet the different needs of all
groups of students.

3. Increase the impact of school leadership on student outcomes by:

i. stepping up professional development for middle leaders so that they


know how to monitor and improve the quality of their subjects
ii. ensuring that governance arrangements manage the prospective change
in school leadership to cause minimal disruption to the improvement
agenda now underway.

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