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Private School

Inspection Report

Al Ettehad Private School

Academic Year 2015 2016

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Al Ettehad Private School

Inspection Date 02 05 November 2015


Date of previous inspection 19 24 January 2014

General Information Students

Total number of
School ID 142 644
students

Opening year of Number of children


1995 77
school in KG

Number of students Primary: 359


Principal Khaja Waheeduddin Middle: 208
in other phases
High:

School telephone +971 (0)3 780 5025 Age range 4 16 years

Area 16, Plot 14, Falaj Hazaa, Grades or Year


School Address KG Grade 8
Al Ain Groups

Official email (ADEC) Alettehad.pvt@adec.ac.ae Gender Mixed

% of Emirati
School Website N/A 0%
Students

Fee range (per Largest nationality 1. Pakistani 67%


AED 1,920 AED 2,700 2. Afghani 25%
annum) groups (%)
3. Bangladeshi 5%

Licensed Curriculum Staff

Main Curriculum Pakistani Number of teachers 33

Number of Teaching
Other Curriculum N/A 3
Assistants (TAs)

1:15 (KG/FS)
External Exams/ Teacher-student
No external exams 1:19 Phase 1
Standardised tests ratio
1:16 Phase 2

Accreditation ------- Teacher turnover 28%

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Introduction
Inspection activities
4
Number of inspectors deployed

4
Number of inspection days

95
Number of lessons observed

Number of joint lesson 4


observations
Number of parents 75; (response rate: 12.8%)
questionnaires
The inspection team held meetings with the
principal, vice principal, a governor representative,
middle leaders, subject leaders, teachers, students
Details of other inspection and parents. They attended assemblies, undertook
activities learning walks, reviewed documents, assessment
information and a parent survey, and scrutinized
students work.

School
The schools aims are to use the expertise of our
academic and non-academic staff to achieve excellent
School Aims
outcomes for our students, imbuing them with the
spirit of good citizenship.
The vision of Al Ettehad Private School (AEPS) is to
foster excellence in world class standard education
through collaboration, informed decision-making and
School vision and mission
continuous improvement. Our learners will be well-
prepared and responsible citizens to meet the global
challenges.
The school gives priority to siblings of present students
and Pakistani nationals. Depending on the spaces
Admission Policy
available and with the approval of ADEC, students from
other backgrounds are accepted.

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The school is administered through a Board of Trustees
that includes the two owners, the principal and vice
Leadership structure
principal. The other members of senior leadership team
(ownership, governance and
include three section heads (co-ordinators). The
management)
governing board is managed by the chair who is also
the managing director.

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SEN Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)
Number of students
Number of other students
SEN Category identified through external
identified by the school
assessments

Intellectual disability 0 0

Specific Learning 0 0
Disability
Emotional and Behaviour 0 0
Disorders (ED/ BD)
Autism Spectrum 0 0
Disorder (ASD)
Speech and Language 0 0
Disorders
Physical and health 0 0
related disabilities
Visually impaired 0 0

Hearing impaired 0 0

Multiple disabilities 0 0

G&T Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)

Number of students
G&T Category
identified

Intellectual ability 0

Subject-specific aptitude (e.g. in science, mathematics,


0
languages)

Social maturity and leadership 0

Mechanical/ technical/ technological ingenuity 0

Visual and performing arts (e.g. art, theatre, recitation) 0

Psychomotor ability (e.g. dance or sport) 0

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The overall performance of the school
Inspectors considered the school in relation to 3 performance categories

Band A High performing (Outstanding, Very Good or Good)

Band B Satisfactory (Acceptable)

Band C In need of significant improvement (Weak or Very Weak)

School was judged to be: BAND (C) Very Weak

Band C
Band A Band B
In need of significant
High Performing Satisfactory
improvement
Outstanding

Acceptable

Very Weak
Very Good

Weak
Good

Performance Standards

Performance Standard 1:

Students achievement

Performance Standard 2:
Students personal and
social development, and
their innovation skills

Performance Standard 3:
Teaching and assessment

Performance Standard 4:
Curriculum

Performance Standard 5:
The protection, care,
guidance and support of
students

Performance Standard 6:
Leadership and
management

Summary Evaluation:
The schools overall
performance

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The Performance of the School
Evaluation of the schools overall performance
The quality of education provided is very weak. The principal and other senior
leaders have made little effort to improve the performance of the school in almost
all areas of its work. Attainment is weak and the progress of students remains very
weak throughout the school, including in the Kindergarten (KG). The procedures to
ensure students have a safe and secure environment are very weak. Personal and
social development is weak although the school does ensure students learn respect
for the UAE heritage and culture. Teaching is very weak because it is mostly based
on worksheets and fails to engage students. The planning and delivery of lessons
does not cater for the needs of the most and least able students. The curriculum is
not sufficiently broad. There are few cross-curricular or enrichment opportunities.
Attendance is low and there is persistent lateness.
Progress made since last inspection and capacity to improve
The school has made little progress since its last inspection. The attainment of
students remains below age-related expectations and progress is very weak. The
school has not ensured adequate staff recruitment checks are undertaken. At
present, half of the teachers are not approved by the authority. Students continue
to gain appropriate understanding of UAE heritage and culture. Personal
development is weak although girls show better attitudes to learning than boys.
Attendance remains low and the school does not monitor the punctuality of
students who are persistently late.
The teaching remains very weak. Most lessons do not engage or motivate students.
Leaders do not know how to monitor teaching effectively or provide targeted
professional development to address weaknesses. Assessment is very weak.
Teachers are not analysing or using the information purposefully. The curriculum
has not been adequately reviewed to provide students with opportunities for
innovation or wider learning.
The principal and senior leaders lack understanding of how to evaluate the schools
performance or drive improvement effectively. They demonstrate little capacity to
improve the school.
Development and promotion of innovation skills
The school does not plan the development of innovation skills in its curriculum or
classroom practice. The development of learning skills is very weak as teachers are
delivering lessons based narrowly on knowledge, rather than skills acquisition.
Students have few chances to work on their own or collaboratively to develop their

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creative and critical thinking skills. The school provides limited extra-curricular
activities to enhance students innovation or wider learning.

The inspection identified the following as key areas of strength:


students respect for the UAE national anthem and flag during morning
assemblies
girls show better attitudes towards learning than boys
adequate clinic facilities provided by the qualified nurse.

The inspection identified the following as key areas for improvement:


safety, protection and security of students in the school
urgent attention to staff vetting and approval procedures in line with the
Organising Regulations of Private Schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi
students attainment and progress across all key subjects and phases to
meet curriculum and national expectations
the quality of teaching and appropriateness of the work teachers give to
students
inaccurate assessment processes which do not support students learning
over optimistic self-evaluation
the effectiveness of leadership to ensure that required improvements are
made to the provision.

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Performance Standard 1: Students Achievement

Students achievement Indicators KG Primary Middle High

Attainment Weak Weak Weak


Islamic
Education
Progress Very weak Very weak Very weak

Attainment N/A N/A N/A


Arabic
(as a First Language)
Progress N/A N/A N/A

Attainment Weak Weak Weak


Arabic
(as a Second
Language) Progress Very weak Very weak Very weak

Attainment Weak Weak Weak


Social Studies
Progress Weak Weak Weak

Attainment Very weak Very weak Very weak


English
Progress Very weak Very weak Very weak

Attainment Weak Weak Weak

Mathematics
Progress Weak Weak Weak

Attainment Weak Weak Weak


Science
Progress Weak Weak Weak

Language of
Attainment N/A N/A N/A
instruction (if other
than English and
Arabic as First Progress N/A N/A N/A
Language)

Other subjects Attainment Weak Weak Weak

(Art, Music, PE)


Progress Very weak Very weak Very weak

Learning Skills
(including innovation, creativity, critical
Very weak Very weak Very weak
thinking, communication, problem-
solving and collaboration)

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Students attainment is weak in Arabic, Islamic education, mathematics, science and
UAE social studies throughout the school, including KG. It is very weak in English.
Overall, attainment is below national, curriculum standards and students are not
acquiring the skills and knowledge expected for their age. The school uses no national
or international tests to measure students attainment or monitor their progress over
time. Assessment tests set internally are not moderated. The information from the
tests is not analysed effectively nor used to inform planning.
Students progress is very weak. This is the case for both boys and girls except in
Arabic, Islamic education and English where girls make slightly better progress. In
Arabic, students have few opportunities to think for themselves or work
collaboratively which results in very slow progress, particularly in writing. In Islamic
education, students show respect in reciting from the Holy Quran. Too much time
spent copying work from the board means they are not able to discuss or explore its
meaning. As a result, they have limited understanding of the implications of Islamic
values for their lives.
Students English speaking, reading and writing skills are very weak. Overuse of
worksheets means they have few opportunities to speak and collaborate. The unclear
pronunciation of a number of teachers contributes to students developing inaccurate
speaking skills. In KG, children are not acquiring phonetic skills to help them decode
words. Students in the primary phase cannot write confidently or accurately in
sentences. In mathematics, KG children are not acquiring adequate mathematical
language. They do not understand the concepts of less and more. The limited use of
manipulatives to reinforce learning in younger primary grades means students do not
get a good grounding in number skills. As they move up the grades students are
unsure in transferring skills to new contexts. Girls progress in mathematics lags
behind that of boys. For example in Grade 3, girls are unable to read the time
accurately on a clock face. In science, progress is weak overall because students have
few opportunities to discuss or explore topics through investigation. In Grade 6,
most students do not know that water is a universal solvent and a minority think that
oil will dissolve in water. In a middle phase lesson, students made better progress as
they were enabled to understand how platelets help to stop bleeding.
Very limited resources mean that KG children have few opportunities to learn through
play and child initiated activities. Overuse of poorly designed worksheets and
teachers limited understanding of early years education contribute to the childrens
very weak progress.
In information and communication technology (ICT) and physical education (PE)
students also make very weak progress. Throughout the school, students are not
enabled to be proactive learners. They have very few opportunities to collaborate,
exercise initiative or develop innovation skills.

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Performance Standard 2: Students personal and social development,
and their innovation skills

Students personal and social development, and


KG Primary Middle High
their innovation skills Indicators

Personal development Weak Weak Weak

Understanding of Islamic values and awareness


Weak Weak Weak
of Emirati and world cultures

Social responsibility and innovation skills Very weak Very weak Very weak

Students personal and social development are weak. Students, with the exception
of some girls, do not show positive attitudes to learning. Relationships between staff
and students are not always respectful. In some lessons, unruly behaviour by a few
students disrupts learning. Girls are more aware about healthy lifestyles than boys.
Despite this, most students do not attach sufficient importance to maintaining
healthy habits. Too many eat crisps and chocolate at break times. Only a minority of
students wash their hands after eating. Students throw litter in classrooms and the
courtyard and are not always challenged by adults about this behaviour. Attendance,
at 83%, is very weak and a minority of students are persistently late each morning.

Students show appropriate respect for the UAE national anthem and flag during the
assembly. They also demonstrate respect for students from different cultures in
lessons and around the school. There is limited evidence of celebration of Islamic
values in classrooms other than respect shown to the Holy Quran.
Students social responsibility and innovation skills are very weak. They have few
opportunities to be creative or exercise initiative. Independent thinking and
innovation are rarely seen in lessons. For example, in a Grade 4 computing lesson,
students spent most of their time listening to the teacher rather than applying their
computing skills to meaningful tasks. Students rarely take the lead in organising
events or participating in activities outside the school. There are few links with
external organisations to enable them to gain practical experience of the world
around them. The student council is not active and students lack opportunities to be
involved in decision making. The only role they have is helping at break times but their
responsibilities are unclear and do not include a pertinent focus for example,
supporting the school in addressing the litter issue.

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Performance Standard 3: Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and Assessment Indicators KG Primary Middle High

Teaching for effective learning Very weak Very weak Very weak

Assessment Very weak Very weak Very weak

Teaching and assessment are very weak. Teachers subject knowledge does not
promote students learning sufficiently as the teaching strategies are very limited.
Teaching is typically characterised by talking while students listen passively. There are
few quick question and answer sessions to activate thinking and test learning. In a
few lessons, teachers excessive talking leads to deep boredom and disengagement
of students, including falling asleep. Lesson planning is very weak and focuses mainly
on the knowledge to be conveyed. Worksheets are a mainstay of most lessons. Many
of them are inadequate because they do not provide tasks which require thinking and
time is often wasted. For example, in Grade 6 English, a poorly designed worksheet
resulted in only a few students being able to identify the antonyms and synonyms for
words they were given.
In a minority of lessons, where visual resources such as video or the projector are
used, the teaching is more engaging and captures the attention of students. Teachers
are unable to plan or use strategies to meet the needs of different groups of students,
such as the most and least able. Limited resources and lack of expertise contribute to
this inadequacy. Teachers planning for critical thinking, problem-solving and
innovative skills are also very weak. For example, in English lessons, students have
few opportunities to be inventive and make up their own stories. They rarely consider
different audiences or purposes in their writing. There are no cross-curricular links
across subjects or phases. This means learning is not re-enforced or enhanced.
Teachers lack consistent processes to manage behaviour. For example, in some
grades, poor class management results in boisterous behaviour by a few students
disrupting the learning of all.
Teachers assess students three times each term. The tests are not standardised and
their reliability is not secure. Often 100% of students pass the tests. As no external
examinations are taken, the results cannot be measured against national and
international benchmarks. Teachers do not analyse the test data to identify gaps in
learning or plan teaching to cater for the needs of different abilities. Students work
is usually marked with minimal ticks. Marking does not provide feedback to students
on how they can improve their work.

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Performance Standard 4: Curriculum

Curriculum Indicators KG Primary Middle High

Curriculum design and implementation Very weak Very weak Very weak

Curriculum adaptation Very weak Very weak Very weak

Curriculum implementation and adaptation are very weak. It is not broad and
balanced in the subjects offered as no art or music are provided and there is limited
extra-curricular provision. Nor does the curriculum cater for the needs of different
ability groups. There are basic plans in place for all ages and grades in most of the
core subjects. Plans for particular grades are missing in some subjects, for example,
Grade 4 mathematics and the Grade 6 social studies. The timetable complies with the
minimum number of teaching hours and the curriculum requirements for Arabic,
social studies and Islamic education and other core subjects. There are weaknesses in
transition arrangements. For example, the school does not prepare its Grade 8
students well for making subject choices in preparation for their move to Grade 9 in
another school. KG children lack the independent learning skills needed for
progression to Grade 1.

The review of the curriculum is inadequate. The school lacks any cross-curricular
provision as leaders are not aware of the significance of this in reinforcing learning.
Planning to meet the needs of different ability groups, including lower and higher
ability students, is very inadequate. Senior leaders believe that support for these
students is provided through individual worksheets or group work. In practice, these
are mostly limited and inappropriate. The school lacks processes and expertise to
identify students with special educational needs (SEN) or those who are gifted or
talented.

There are very few opportunities for students to broaden their knowledge through
enterprising project work or innovation. No group work or independent learning are
evident in the planning. Few practical experiments enrich learning in science.
Occasionally, some enhancement is provided by, for example, a visit to a date farm.
There are a few extra-curricular activities for boys, such as playing cricket and football
with other schools and inter-school competitions. Students do have acceptable
opportunities to develop their understanding of the UAE culture and society, in
lessons and, for example, by planning the assembly for the Flag Day celebrations.

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Performance Standard 5: The protection, care, guidance and support
of students

The protection, care, guidance and support of


KG Primary Middle High
students Indicators

Health and safety, including arrangements for


Very weak Very weak Very weak
child protection/ safeguarding

Care and support Very weak Very weak Very weak

The protection, care, guidance and support for students are very weak. The school
lacks a central register of staff and almost half of the teachers are not checked or
approved by the relevant authorities. The school is without a social worker at present.
This means that students have no one to approach if they have concerns or feel
unsafe. The school has a child protection policy. It is not fully tailored to the schools
context and staff, students and parents are unaware of its implications. Not enough
is done to promote safe and healthy living. There is a licensed clinic and nurse. The
nurse monitors students health but is not proactive in promoting healthy lifestyles.
There are insufficient first aid boxes around the building. The school canteen is clean,
hygienic and serves healthy food. Maintenance of records regarding the safety of the
building and premises is not stringent. For example, during fire evacuation
procedures, staff only take a head count of students rather than calling the registers.

The behaviour management policy states that teachers will use their own strategies
to manage behaviour. As a result, there is no consistent approach throughout the
school and some poor behaviour is not handled effectively. Absence is not adequately
addressed. The school does not record the names of students who are persistently
late and makes no attempt to improve their punctuality. Senior leaders are confused
about whether the school has students with SEN because they lack the expertise and
processes to identify them. There are no processes to identify gifted or talented
students.

No effective alternative arrangements have been put in place, following the recent
departure of the social worker, to provide students with personal and academic
support. The curriculum policy refers to personal and social education lessons to
support academic and personal development. The timetable has no such lessons
scheduled. Students receive no academic guidance from their teachers either verbally
or in their books.

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Performance Standard 6: Leadership and management

Leadership and management Indicators

The effectiveness of leadership Very weak

Self-evaluation and improvement planning Very weak

Partnerships with parents and the community Weak

Governance Very weak

Management, staffing, facilities and resources Very weak

Leadership and management are very weak. The principal, vice principal and middle
leaders have very inadequate understanding of the schools performance. The leaders
lack understanding of how to provide a curriculum which meets national and
international expectations, including innovation and higher order thinking skills.
Leaders and teachers relationships are not sufficiently positive or productive. Morale
is low and staff do not feel valued by senior leaders. The schools capacity for
improvement is very weak as little progress has been made since the last inspection.
Senior leaders have limited expertise to draw on to provide the educational support
teachers need. The leaders do not seek external support in the form of professional
development or consultation to help them improve the school. As a result, the school
is not providing students with an acceptable standard of education. It is in breach of
regulations in regard to the significant proportion of teachers who have not been
vetted. Other aspects of staffing deployment do not meet requirements. For
example, three assistant teachers are teaching subjects and grades for which they are
not specifically qualified.

Senior leaders are unable to accurately evaluate the schools performance. They do
not observe lessons on a regular basis. When they do, they are unable to provide a
reliable evaluation of teaching and learning. The schools self-evaluation form (SEF) is
over optimistic and leaders insist the school is making good progress. The school
development plan (SDP) is inadequate to drive the school forward. Some priorities
and deadlines are not adhered to. For example, a priority to provide art and music by
June 2015 has not been implemented. The SDP is not used to check the impact of
improvement actions. Senior leaders do not distribute responsibilities to middle
leaders effectively and they are not sufficiently clear about their responsibilities in
regard to the SDP. This limits their ability to be effective. There is no evidence of target

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setting or checking of teachers performance. Governors do not have an accurate
picture of the schools performance and do not hold the senior leaders to account.

Parent survey information indicates that parents feel welcome in school. They have
limited opportunities to support the school or make a contribution. There is no
parents council and parents are not involved in consultation or decision making.
Given the weaknesses in following up absences, punctuality and other issues, only
some aspects of the day-to-day running of the school are adequate. Teachers
contracts are honoured. At 28%, teacher turnover is high owing to low morale and pay.
Inadequate resources undermine the teaching and students progress. Senior leaders
do not plan adequately to address these deficiencies.

What the school should do to improve further:


1 Improve safety, protection and security of students in the school, by:
i. ensuring all staff are fully vetted before employing them
ii. deploying teachers according to their specialist qualifications
iii. providing training for all staff in the implications of the child
protection policy
iv. providing a behaviour management policy which is agreed by all staff
and monitor the consistency of its implementation in all areas of the
school
v. providing effective procedures to address student absence and
lateness.

2 Improve the quality of teaching and the appropriateness of the work


teachers give to students to help improve students achievement by:
i. providing professional development in how to deliver lessons with a
wider range of student-centred activities in which collaboration,
creativity and innovation feature regularly
ii. providing guidance on how to plan and deliver lessons which
challenge able students and support the less able
iii. increasing the learning resources available in all classrooms,
including KG, and ensuring these are used regularly to enhance
learning
iv. extending the curriculum to provide art and music and increased
extra-curricular opportunities for students
v. providing KG children with daily opportunities for independent and
play based learning.

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3 Improve assessment processes so that they are accurate and support
students learning by:
i. moderating internal tests to increase their reliability and consistency
ii. using the test data to track students progress, and identify and
address gaps in learning
iii. providing external standardised tests to measure attainment against
national and international benchmarks
iv. regularly marking students books and providing them with feedback
on how to improve.

4 Improve leadership and management by:


i. providing training in lesson observation, self-evaluation processes and
improvement planning for senior and middle leaders
ii. providing leaders with good quality external consultation and
guidance to support them in evaluating performance and driving
improvement
iii. setting up a performance appraisal system for teachers and
addressing morale issues
iv. the governing board holding senior leaders more accountable for
school performance.

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