Academy Academy Description ADEK Rating Curricula Location
Al Ain Academy

Primary & Secondary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding FeaturesEnglish National CurriculumAl Ain
Al Bateen Academy

Secondary, Mixed

OutstandingEnglish National Curriculum,IB Diploma ProgrammeAbu Dhabi
Al Mamoura Academy

Primary Mixed / Secondary Girls Only

Good With Very Good Features English National CurriculumAbu Dhabi
Al Muna Academy

Primary, Mixed

OutstandingEnglish National CurriculumAbu Dhabi
Al Yasmina Academy

Primary & Secondary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding FeaturesEnglish National CurriculumAbu Dhabi
The Pearl Academy

Primary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding FeaturesEnglish National CurriculumAbu Dhabi
West Yas Academy

Primary Mixed / Secondary Segregated 

GoodAmerican Massachusetts State CurriculumAbu Dhabi
Al Forsan Nursery

Nursery Mixed

Not ApplicableEnglish National CurriculumAbu Dhabi
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  • 09 Mar, 2017
  • Aldar Academies

From bullying to slipping standards, there are many reasons why a school switch might be the best step to take. To help you make this important decision, here five signs to look out for.

1. School standards are slipping

Academic standards were probably the first attribute you looked at when choosing your child's current school, so when they start to slip, you need to take note. Reversing a trend of poor results can't happen overnight, and may come too late for your child. Voice concerns to the principal to understand their plan of action, and keep a close eye on academic standards by looking at recent exam results across all years.

School inspection reports from the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) will also help you monitor the progress - or decline - of your school. ADEK last inspected private schools during the 2015/2016 academic year, ranking them from ‘Outstanding' to ‘Very Weak'.

2. There's no guaranteed route to exams

Sandwiched between university and secondary school are the post-16 years, which involve final exams before students can jump into their undergraduate studies. These exams are therefore crucial, but not all education providers offer a guaranteed route from the secondary years to post-16 exams.

For example, some English National Curriculum schools don't offer A-Levels, meaning you'll eventually need to find one that does if your child wants to continue their studies. The question is, when does your child make the switch? Sooner rather than later is recommended, to limit the disruption your child faces and give them time to settle and prepare for the busy exam season.

3. Your child isn't being challenged

No matter how strong the school is performing overall, your child still needs to be challenged every day to make sure they're getting the most from every lesson. If they're regularly assigned extra tasks or complain of boredom, they may be too advanced for the level of education being provided.

"If your child needs a tougher test, the school should be well prepared to provide it. This could mean grouping them with students of a similar ability, or offering extension and booster classes as exams approach” recommends Casey Cosgrave, Principal of West Yas Academy.

"If this can't be met, they may not be able to realise their potential in the classroom, which limits their opportunities to grow” she added.

4. Your child is unhappy

While it's normal for children to sometimes dislike school (we've all felt it), a prolonged period of unhappiness suggests something may be wrong.

The cause of this unhappiness could be bullying, difficulty making friends, anxiety, or a problem teacher - all of which can do serious damage to their education. The first step should be to understand exactly what's troubling your child before informing the school principal and counsellors. They can help you solve the issue, but if the problem persists, a school switch should be considered.

Feelings of unhappiness at school not only harm your child's academic ability but also begin to affect their life beyond the school gates. This is a big red flag that needs to be addressed.

5. The school won't listen

The school/parent relationship should be a partnership; a collaboration that solves problems in the classroom and leads to the best learning outcomes.

If this isn't the case, and teachers or the higher powers won't listen to your concerns, how can you trust their actions? These concerns should be shared with the principal, but if no action is taken, a new, stronger partnership should be seriously considered for the good of your child.

The decision to change your child's school isn't an easy one to make, but in the situations above, it's often the best choice for them and their future.