| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Which curriculum to choose?

Dubai has a wide range of school systems to choose from

curriculum
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The Australian Curriculum

What is it? The Australian Curriculum is based on the assumptions that each student can learn and the needs of every student are important. It enables high expectations to be set for each student as teachers account for the current levels of learning of individual students and the different rates at which students develop. Therefore, the system has more in common with the IB system than the English National Curriculum or the American curriculum. A fully holistic approach to learning aims to develop student’s key skills so that they become successful and qualified individuals once they enter their professional life. The system encourages students to engage directly with their community from an early age, but also offers a strong grounding in the core academic subjects. Assessment is carried out on a project by project basis. There is a lesser emphasis on specific content and a greater emphasis on process, particularly higher order thinking and inquiry.

The Australian curriculum is also broader and provides students with a wider range of academic options.

‘The aim is to provide students with the education and necessary skills to become the next generation of leaders, in whatever country they might live. As Principal, this means that we must educate both the head and the heart of each student. We do this by offering a more innovative and balanced approach to education and so providing children with an opportunity to excel. By working closely with each family and providing a wide range of opportunities, we encourage students not just to be intellectually strong, but as importantly, emotionally strong as well.’ Dr Roderick Crouch, Principal, Victoria International School Sharjah

Exams taken: At Victoria International School, for example, students are awarded the VCE (Victoria Certificate of Education) once they pass their core high school modules at the age of 16. This two-year qualification is an all-in-one mechanism to rank a students’ level before they go to university, and is based upon both coursework and examinations.

Pros: The standards are very high, the learning is holistic with a strong academic element and the qualifications gained through Australian schools are internationally recognised and accepted at most universities.

Cons: Choice of schools is currently limited in the UAE.

Australian schools in the UAE:
• Victoria International School of Sharjah (06 577 1999; www.viss.ae)
• Australian International School Sharjah (06 558 9967; www.ais.ae)

By Time Out Dubai Kids staff
Time Out Dubai,

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