Dubai curriculum guide

Which is the best curriculum for your kids in Dubai. Here's how to make the best decision and why


Students are encouraged to explore, think for themselves, form opinions, relate to others, do sport and get experience in taking responsibility. In later years of study, emphasis is usually on depth of study rather than breadth.

Students take the (I)GCSE at the end of Year 11. Success in at least five subjects is usually required to continue on to A-levels and then university.

University entrance
The UK is the most obvious choice, but universities elsewehere are normally acquainted with the UK system.

British education has a worldwide reputation for quality. National Curriculum schools around the world are of comparable quality to the UK. UK university courses are only three or four years’ long.

The number of subjects may drop to five for (I)GSCE exams and as low as three for Aevels. A ‘British school’ may not actually follow the National Curriculum.


The American system strives to provide a curriculum that is appropriate for every student, so if a child doesn’t master a concept, he isn’t locked into a system that requires him to perform, nor is he left behind.

There is no standard exam that defines the US curriculum. Most American universities, however, require students to pass a college entrance exam such as the Sat, Sat II, or Act.

University entrance
Though schools in North America are most closely aligned with the American system, universities in other countries will consider an American diploma.

Students aren’t locked into one do-or-die exam that will quantify their entire school life. They aren’t stuck with one course of study until university, and even then have two years to decide.

The quality of programmes varies widely depending on where you go. A school bearing the American name may not abide by any set curriculum.

International Baccalaureate

The IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring people. In the primary years, every learning style is addressed. In the middle years, the focus is on holistic learning. In the diploma programme, students must complete core requirements, including an extended essay.

IB exams are given at the end of the two-year diploma programme. Students take a battery of different tests in a variety of subjects.

University entrance
Universities in most countries recognise the IB diploma.

The IB curriculum represents the best from many different countries. Because IB provides a standard international curriculum, students can change from one IB school to another without having to worry about missing elements. IB strictly regulates the schools that bear its name.

This is a rigorous programme and students must prove they can keep up before they enter.

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