Dubai English Speaking School

Dubai English Speaking School

Overview

Dubai English Speaking School (DESS) is one of the oldest educational facilities in the country. This is one of the top British curriculum schools in Dubai. It was originally established in a small villa in 1963 by the British Embassy. Following its humble beginnings, DESS has grown into a coveted international school in Dubai with a highly sought after ‘Outstanding’ rating from the KHDA.

Today, DESS accommodates over 800 students (representing 50 countries) who are given exposure to high-quality British curriculum led education that will help them secure admission to the top universities around the globe. This primary school in Dubai covers the National Curriculum of England for children from 3 to 11 years of age. DESS established a new facility called Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) in 2006. They also started a new FS1 facility in September 2014.

Book day celebration in Dubai English Speaking School
Children celebrating World Book Day at school (Image Credit: Dubai English Speaking School)

Residential Communities near Dubai English Speaking School

Located in the community of Oud Metha in Bur Dubai, DESS is a good option providing quality education for families residing in several neighbouring areas. Click the links below to know detailed information about the top residential communities near DESS:

However, the nearest neighbourhood is Umm Hurair 2 which has quite a few affordable and pocket-friendly apartments for those who wish to stay close to the school.

Parent who are looking for residential buildings close to the school can check out apartments for rent available in Bur Dubai.

Campus of Dubai English Speaking School

Currently, DESS, Dubai has only one campus located in Oud Metha. The land for the campus was granted by His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the erstwhile ruler of Dubai. The main school hall is named in honor of his wife and is called Latifa Hall. The school features many facilities to enhance the learning experience including science labs, libraries, sports facilities, ICT rooms, music hall and more. 

This school has come a long way since its initial beginnings. Over time, DESS has expanded by including various facilities for primary and secondary level students that promote comprehensive learning.

Location of Dubai English Speaking School

DESS school is located in Oud Metha (near St Mary’s Catholic Church). The campus is well-facilated, catering to the needs of students in academic and non-academic fields.

Why Dubai English Speaking School?

DESS takes pride in giving priority to their students’ academic, as well as personal development through their innovative approach to education.

This school believes that in order for the students to be successful and responsible individuals, they must develop an understanding of core human values.

DESS encourages children to identify their unique skill sets by taking on leadership roles and participating in philanthropic and environmental causes. This school’s personalised learning environment allows students to develop four highly essential skills: creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. 

Being one of the Outstanding rated schools in Dubai, DESS also exposes students to a world of opportunities.Students graduating from this school are praised for their keen sense of understanding and academic acumen. The school is also affiliated and certified by the National Curriculum of England. In addition to these reasons for enrolling in Dubai English Speaking School, the rich history, highly qualified staff and innovative teaching practises are other considerations that add to the school’s popularity.

School Details

COVID-19 Protocols

The Government of Dubai has developed protocols for schools to follow until the pandemic is over. This is an accumulative effort and approach to keep everyone, including students, teachers, parents and all the relevant third parties safe and healthy.

The KHDA has uploaded protocols for school reopening on the official website for your convenience. Here’s an overview of the preventive SOPs in place. 

  • Sterilising the school building, classrooms, laboratories and other facilities regularly, according to the recommendations of the National Authority for Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management.
  • Assessing the temperature of everyone who enters the school building daily.
  • Maintaining physical distance guidelines as recommended by the relevant health authorities and reducing the headcount capacity in classrooms.
  • Seats will be placed 1.5 metres apart in classrooms.
  • Keeping the bus capacity between 30% and 50%.
  • Limiting gatherings and suspending group activities such as school celebrations and sports events.
  • Appointing a trained health and safety officer to ensure that people and processes in the school comply with health and safety protocols.
  • Physical education will continue; however, swimming pools will be closed.
  • School-wide events such as sports day, assemblies, international days, activities are put on hold.
  • Students can either attend classes in person or opt for distance or E-learning; schools can and should provide 100% distance learning provisions.
  • For now, schools’ fees remain unchanged for the next academic year; however, schools have the authority to offer discounts as they deem fit.
  • COVID-19 PCR testing is not mandatory for students without travel history. Only those who show symptoms of COVID-19 are required to take the PCR test.
  • The KHDA recommends schools to provide virtual tours. If parents do visit the campus, they MUST follow all the safety measures. This includes wearing face masks and maintaining a 1.5 metres distance.

Years Offered at Dubai English Speaking School

Phases
Years Covered
Phases
Foundation Stage
Years Covered
FS 1 and FS 2
Phases
Lower Primary / Key Stage 1
Years Covered
Year 1 and Year 2
Phases
Upper Primary / Key Stage 2
Years Covered
Year 3 to Year 6

Students who graduate Year 6 are given automatic admission in DESC. This facility currently has over 1500 students and offers IGCSE, GCSE and A Level qualifications for students in 11 to 18 years age group.

Dubai English Speaking School Curriculum

DESS Dubai follows the British National Curriculum and includes core subjects such as French, Geography, Arabic, Performing Arts, Islamic Studies, History, Literacy, Numeracy, Physical Education [PE], Science and Personal Health and Social Education [PHSE].

Key Stage 1

In this stage at Dubai English Speaking School, children are introduced to different languages, including Arabic, to help establish a strong foundation for later years. Teachers utilise entertaining methods such as playing games, singing and play acting to improve students’ Arabic vocabulary. Arabic is taught formally as part of the curriculum in Year 1 and 2.

Key Stage 2

Students are exposed to even more languages and are introduced to language-based skills to help them develop their vocabulary.
Core subjects taught in this stage include the following:

  • Islamic Education
  • French
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Moral Education Program (MEP)
  • Physical Education (PE)
  • Performing arts

Distance Learning at DESS

Dubai English Speaking School realizes that not every child can attend face-to-face learning, hence 100% distance learning provisions are provided. Parents can choose online learning at the start of the school. However, they can revert to in-class learning method at any given point during the school year.

The learning from Year 2 to Year 6 will be taught by their class teacher with support from other members of the team who deliver some of the sessions. FS 1 to Year 1 will have a designated Distance Learning teacher in addition to their assigned class teacher.

Distance learning will be conducted via digital resources. These include Seesaw activities and pre-recorded video lessons.

KHDA Rating

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is a government organisation responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. They assess private schools in Dubai with judgments that are made on a six-point scale.

KHDA rating for schools
KHDA rating for schools

According to the latest report, Dubai English Speaking School KHDA rating is ‘Outstanding’. Given below is a 10-year history of the KHDA rating for Dubai English Speaking School:

YEARS
KHDA RATING
YEARS
2009 – 2015
KHDA RATING
Good
YEARS
2015 – 2018
KHDA RATING
Very Good
YEARS
2018 – 2019
KHDA RATING
Outstanding

Some of the main reasons for obtaining this rating are as follows:

  • Outstanding leadership that has developed an inclusive culture in which creativity flourishes.
  • First-rate teaching and the thoughtful use of assessment information which promote outstanding attainment in English, mathematics and science. 
  • The outstanding environment for learning in the Foundation Stage, excellent personal and academic development, and a sense of social responsibility. 
  • The outstanding partnerships with parents and the excellent arrangements for keeping students safe and promoting healthy life styles and emotional well-being. 
  • The imaginative curriculum, excellent library and stimulating teaching areas for Arabic, French, art and music.

DESS is also noted for providing support for students with special educational needs (SEND). KHDA inspectors have noted that specialist teachers utilise an extensive range of tools to identify students with SEND. The relevant data is utilised for matching the needs of students. This also includes intervention programs or in-class support.

Academic Calendar for Dubai English Speaking School

DESS Dubai calendar is divided in three terms, as follows:

  • Term 1 (Winter Term) starts in the last week of August and ends in December.
  • Term 2 (Spring Term) starts in January and ends in March.
  • Term 3 (Summer Term) starts in April and concludes in July

For detailed information regarding national and religious holidays, you can visit the academic calendar.

Admission and Fees

How to Apply to Dubai English Speaking School?

Potential candidates can send their admission applications any time throughout the year. The application form can be accessed through the main website or by contacting the admissions team on admissionsmanager@dessc.sch.ae. Parents must ensure to fill in all the required fields in the online application.

New students in Dubai English Speaking School
New FS1 and FS2 children engaging with a teacher on their first day of school (Image Credit: Dubai English Speaking School)

After the application has been submitted, parents will receive a system generated automated acknowledgment email.
The supporting documentation and admission fee would be requested through email when the application is reviewed by the admissions department.

Inability to disclose relevant student data will influence the application of the child.

Successful students will receive terms of acceptance and an offer letter by email.

Admission is decided on the following criteria:

· Age appropriate fluency in the English (reading, speaking, writing and comprehension)
· Exemplary school reports (if eligible)
· A positive attitude and interest in activities such as sports and performing arts

You can get more information regarding admission policies on the website.

Parents must ensure that their child meets the following age placement criteria.

Years
Minimum Entry Age
Maximum Entry Age
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Years
FS 1
Minimum Entry Age
3
Maximum Entry Age
4
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Years
FS 2
Minimum Entry Age
4
Maximum Entry Age
5
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Years
Year 1
Minimum Entry Age
5
Maximum Entry Age
6
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Years
Year 2
Minimum Entry Age
6
Maximum Entry Age
8
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Years
Year 3
Minimum Entry Age
7
Maximum Entry Age
9
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
6
Years
Year 4
Minimum Entry Age
8
Maximum Entry Age
10
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
7
Years
Year 5
Minimum Entry Age
9
Maximum Entry Age
11
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
8
Years
Year 6
Minimum Entry Age
10
Maximum Entry Age
12
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
9

This is based on the age of the students on 31st July (for schools beginning in April) and 31st December (for schools beginning in September). Source: KHDA

* This is to cater to students transferring from systems that admit students of a younger age)

Fee Structure at Dubai English Speaking School

Dubai English Speaking School fees structure reveals different ranges for foundation stage and primary stage.

Years
Term 1 Fee
Term 2 Fee
Term 3 Fee
Total Fee
Years
Foundation Stage
Term 1 Fee
AED 12,059
Term 2 Fee
AED 11,705
Term 3 Fee
AED 11,704
Total Fee
AED 35,468
Years
Year 1 to Year 6
Term 1 Fee
AED 14,924
Term 2 Fee
AED 14,485
Term 3 Fee
AED 14,485
Total Fee
AED 43,894
Additional Fees:

DESS fees also includes additional charges that have to be paid at the time of admission, including:

  • Acceptance fee: AED 3,500 (non-refundable)
  • Internal deposit (DESS Year 6 to DESC Year 7): AED 3,000
  • Re-registration fee: AED 1,750 (non-refundable)

COVID-19 Discounts at DESS

In the face of Covid-19 pandemic, Horizon English School has reduced tuition fee by 5% from the published 2019 – 2020 fees.

School Facilities

Lunch Options at DESS

DESS does not currently offer a canteen for students in the lower grades. There is however a kiosk for older children. The students are also allowed to bring packed lunches from home.

School Transportation at DESS

DESS outsources the transport services to United Car Rentals (UCR). All bus drivers of UCR are highly trained and the buses are outfitted with GPS and CCTVs. This company holds a license issued from RTA and also participate in the on-going driver training and customer care courses. Concerned parents should get in touch with the company to know the transportation fee for their area. 

Sports Facilities

Swimming pool in Dubai English Speaking School
Year 5 students in action at Swim Gala (Image Credit: Dubai English Speaking School)

DESS students are encouraged to participate in sports such as swimming, gymnastics, rugby, basketball and netball.

DESS also participates in various tournaments throughout the year where students can showcase their talents, compete with other kids on their level and improve their skills.

Extra-Curricular Activities

DESS provides an extensive range of extra-curricular activities. Some of these activities include sports days, career fairs, drama festivals and literature days.   

SchoolsBuddy is an ECA (Extra-Curricular Activities) management system that has been incorporated by DESS. Through this system, parents can select activities they wish their child to participate in and manage all the details. DESS regularly updates the list of available extra-curricular activities on a termly basis. Parents can access the details by downloading the SchoolsBuddy app.

Field Trips

Field trip at Dubai English Speaking School
Year 2 pupils on a field trip to Sustainable City (Image Credit: Dubai English Speaking School)

DESS tries to organise educational trips where students can learn and have fun at the same time. Students are generally taken to various sites with historical significance and for sports events.

After-school Care

Currently, there are no after-school care facilities at DESS. However, DESS encourages students to participate in after school activities where they can learn music, drama, performing arts and more.

Medical Care at DESS

Two full-time nurses are employed by the school to take care of any medical emergencies. A certified doctor also visits the school twice a week. Parents are informed of an emergency by the nurses.

Contact

Mode of Communication between Teachers and Parents

The parent portal on the website is the main channels for communication between parents and students. This portal allows the school to share child-specific data with parents, through a tablet device or smartphone. Through this portal, parents can also:

  • Download their child’s academic school reports
  • View and download the examination timetable
  • Access useful websites through quick web links
  • View contacts and alert the school when there is a change in details 
  • Reset the password and recover their username if it is forgotten

Apart from the parent portal there are Whatsapp groups for each grade using which parents can stay informed of the happenings at school. To join such groups, parents will need to get in touch with the form teacher or other staff members.

Dubai English Speaking School Contact Information

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