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GMT 18:40 2011 Wednesday ,11 May

Arab Today, arab today Quality teachers make a difference

Provide excellent learning opportunities for all students is no easy job
DUBAI - Arabstoday

Provide excellent learning opportunities for all students is no easy job A school is only as good as its people, is the secret the only private school which scored an outstanding rating in all the three annual inspections by officials wants to

share with the teaching community.

The 438 students strong, Kings Dubai School, which follows UK curriculum, is already overwhelmed by a long waiting list. With the school scoring a hat-trick in the latest inspection results announced yesterday, the list is not expected to become shorter anytime soon.
CEO and Head teacher of the school, Kevin Stedman, said: "We are very pleased with the results, especially because we felt far more challenged this year unlike the previous two years."
Staying at the top spot is no easy job, he said.
"Maintaining high quality staffs who are well briefed and kept up to date with methodology is very important," Stedman said.
Six out of 136 private schools in Dubai were ranked as outstanding by the emirate's Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), based on inspection of schools this academic year.
Stedman credited his staff members and stressed the need to find innovative ways in ensuring delivery of curriculum and assessment of children.
"We also keep the parents informed so that they can support the students."


He said that since three years of inspections have now been completed by the KHDA, officials should consider implementing a system where successful schools need not have to go through rigorous inspections every year. Self review of the schools may be checked by the officials instead, he suggested.
"Funding and facilities are the biggest challenges for schools," he said.
A school which has steadily gone up the KHDA ranks year after year is another UK curriculum school, Al Ameen. The school was rated as unsatisfactory in 2008, acceptable in 2009 and good this year.

Principal Fatima Martin said: "Sustained effort is the reason behind our improvement."
"We aim to provide excellent learning opportunities for all students," she said.
Changes made to make improvements included establishing clear guidelines and action plan, self evaluation and improvement strategies.
"Most of all was the understanding that teachers are the key agents of change." The teachers did demonstrate the capacity to evolve and enable the transformation, she added.
Dubai Gem Private School, which follows UK curriculum, climbed from acceptable to good rating this year.
Headmaster Keith Sedgwick said that KHDA recognised several outstanding features at the school this year and improvements in 27 areas were acknowledged. "Hard work and dedication of our staff and the terrific guidance of the inspection team helped," he said.
The inspection process has been extremely helpful, he said, adding that the most notable aspect about it is the quality control arm of the inspection itself.
"Funding is a major challenge faced by schools because in order to improve we have to be able to recruit and retain high quality teachers who have to be paid higher salaries," he said, noting that the government decision to freeze fee increases this year will have some impact.

From : Gulf News

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