Q+A: Oaktree Primary School, Dubai
Oaktree Primary School in Dubai provides an English National Curriculum education for children aged 3 to 11 years. Here the school answers our questions and takes us on a guided tour...
How old is the school?
We opened in September 2016 so we are just a year old!
How many students do you have?
We currently have 150 students on roll and will grow to a maximum of 600. That’s why we describe ourselves as a village school in the heart of the city and in this way, we are unique in Dubai.
What do you do to help children settle in?
Before the summer holidays, we hold a ‘new pupil day’ and a ‘transition day’, where the new children get to meet each other, the children at the school and the teachers. Parents are invited too!
At Foundation Stage (FS) we offer flexible days (three to five days per week). Only when the parents feel their child is ready do they increase the number of days they are in school.
Why should I send my child to your school?
We are a small, tight-knit, family-orientated school. We have great ambitions for our children: we believe that life and education are about striving to achieve one’s best, whilst caring for the needs of others; we believe that happiness, success and being a good person are all interconnected; we want the same as you do – the very best that your children can achieve.
What facilities do you offer?
These include a fully shaded and temperature-controlled swimming pool and an outside, shaded AstroTurf pitch.
What happens when parents visit the school?
Parents are invited for a tour of the school during the teaching day in order to get a real feel for the place, so they can make an informed judgement as to whether or not we are the right school for their child.
They are taken on the tour by our wonderful registrar Samantha; parents can choose to have their children tour with them or we can arrange a play date, a popular option with parents of younger children.
On the tour, parents view all our facilities, meet our children, our teachers and even our Principal. Any questions they have are answered there and then, though they are very welcome to contact us after the tour, if have any further questions.
After the tour parents can book for their child to have an assessment. We then get back to them within 24 hours to offer them a place.
What assessments are required to enrol?
Each child is assessed in-house on their basic English (age specific) and to establish their learning needs.
What curriculum do you follow?
England and Wales National Curriculum.
How have you adapted the curriculum to suit your location/country?
We offer Arabic for native and non-native speakers and UAE social studies. In addition, we incorporate into our school life national celebrations such as National Day, Flag Day etc.
What is your teaching philosophy?
- Through active and enquiry-based learning we aim to address the needs of the whole child and challenge our children to overcome obstacles. We teach them how to think, not what to think!
- We help children develop confidence, pride, a willingness to take risks and not to fear failure but to learn from it.
- We aim to empower future global citizens with the skills, resilience and determination to make a difference to their own world and the worlds of others.
- We expect each child to do their best, not only to achieve success, but because striving for success, having those goals and aims in life, is what brings happiness, and therefore we ensure our children find happiness through learning! It is this that drives us at Oaktree, to work with our children in order that they achieve everything of which they are capable, whatever that may be.
How large are the classes in your school?
In FS1 and FS2 we have up to 18 students in each class and in Year 1 to Year 6 the maximum is 22 students.
What is the background of your teaching staff?
Our leadership team and classroom teachers are all from the UK and are UK trained.
Do you offer a wide range of field trips?
Yes, this year we have been to the Dubai Miracle Gardens and visited souks, museums and the aquarium at the Dubai Mall.
Are there any residential trips throughout the year?
Yes, we go camping in the desert amongst other things.
Do you have a rewards system to encourage good work?
We have a house system and ‘stars of the week’ assemblies.
How do you support pupils who are struggling, and how do you challenge the more able?
We have a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, a sensory room and an integrated gifted-and-talented policy.
How are pupils with English as an additional language supported?
We have a specialist teacher who takes EAL classes for students who require this.
What languages do you offer?
We offer Native Language lessons for French, Russian and Spanish speakers within the curriculum at no extra cost. We also offer Arabic to native and non-native speakers.
How can parents get involved?
We have an open-door policy and we actively encourage our parents to get involved. Our parents have run our International days and even redecorated our canteen!
How often are parents invited to attend assemblies?
They are invited to class assemblies once a month.
How often are parents invited to parents’ evenings?
Twice a year.
Do you offer parent workshops relating to what the children are doing?
Yes, we have informal coffee mornings centred around particular curriculum areas such literacy, maths etc.
What opportunities exist for parents to speak to their child's teachers should they have any worries or concerns?
Parents can contact their child's teacher at any time if they have any concerns. We welcome parents in our school and recognise the importance of their support to enhance learning.
How important is music in your school?
It is very important. We provide specialist music lessons for our students.
Do you have an annual production?
Yes, the ‘End of Year’ show!
Do you have a school choir?
Yes. This year they opened an adult choir competition called 'Short and Sweet'.
What extra-curricular activities do you provide?
We offer a variety of ECAs including street dance, ballet, football, tennis, robotics, touch rugby, swimming, athletics etc.
Does the school provide after-school care or a homework club?
We have an ‘ECAs and Siblings Club’ for our FS children as they finish a little earlier than the rest of the school.
How do most children travel to and from school?
Children either take the school bus or are dropped off at school by their parents.
Do you have a wide range of food options?
Yes, and we have a healthy eating policy.
Do most children bring in packed lunches or eat from the cafeteria?
It’s a mixture of both.
How do parents pay if they want children to take school meals?
This can be arranged through our new mobile app.
How do you cater for children with special dietary requirements?
We are a ‘no nuts’ school and all food is Halal. The school nurse and doctor work closely with each family if a child has special dietary needs.
How do you tackle bullying?
We have a clear anti-bullying policy.
To view the Winter's profile for Oaktree Primary School, please go to this link.