| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Which curriculum to choose?

Dubai has a wide range of school systems to choose from

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The American Curriculum

What is it? Provides an holistic approach to learning, but unlike the English National Curriculum, it doesn’t lock children into a system that they will need to follow up to Grade 10 or 11. Students are encouraged to study a broad range of subjects, even up to university level, and the curriculum is less geared towards in-depth study (as with A Levels). Schools offering this program run a standards-based system which parallels the American System, thus allowing students to readily transfer in and out of other US schools. Importance is also given to the personal development of each child, so that subjects that have not been mastered, can be repeated. However, there is no standardized core curriculum monitoring, as there is with the English National Curriculum, as various US states follow their own programmes.

‘We (at AAM) believe that the American curriculum provides the framework for us to develop well-rounded global citizens.’ Delice Scotto, Principal, American Academy in Al Mizhar

Exams taken: Schooling is broken down into Elementary (K-Grade 6), Middle School (Grades 7-8) and High School (Grades 9-12). Throughout these years, a broad breadth of subjects are taught that focus on personal development as well as academic achievement. On reaching grades 11 and 12 students follow Advance Placement Courses (AP). These courses are first year college level courses designed by members of the College Board.

Pros: It’s flexible, and if your child struggles with certain subjects, there is always the opportunity to revisit them until they have mastered the basics. There are no ‘sudden death’ exams to stress out about, the curriculum is focused on constant assessment throughout the year instead.

Cons: There are no set standards of performance, which means quality of education can vary widely, even among the few American Curriculum schools in UAE.

American schools in Dubai:
• Dubai American Academy (04 347 9222; www.dubaiacademy.com)
• Dubai National School – Al Barsha (04 347 4555; www.dns.sch.ae)
• Dubai National School - Al Twar (04 298 8555; www.dnschool.net)
• Greenwood International School (04 288 8000; www.greenwood.sch.ae)
• Universal American School (04 232 5222; www.uasdubai.ae)

Time Out Dubai,

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