Horizon English School (HES)

Horizon English School (HES)

Overview

Horizon English School (HES) is a leading British school in Dubai that was established in 1989. HES offers the British curriculum education to children aged 3 to 11 years of age.  It is a part of British School Middle East (BSME) network. HES is an Al Najah school that manages schools, nurseries and training centres in over 4 countries.

Currently, the school has over 900 students belonging to 70 different nationalities, with a majority of them from the United Kingdom (UK). The school is inclusive to all and currently has 50 students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND). To meet the needs of students, the school has 69 full-time teachers and 38 teaching assistants.

This school offers a friendly and warm environment with excellent learning opportunities for every child. The supporting staff at Horizons English School focuses on creating an educational community that thrives on being challenging and innovative.

English is the primary language spoken in this school. However, students who do not speak English as their first language are also encouraged to apply.

HES emphasizes on producing well-rounded students that have high self-esteem. This student-centred approach has made them one of the top 25 schools in the United Arab Emirates. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and British Schools Overseas (BSO) rated the school as outstanding.

Read this guide to know more about this school.

Residential Communities near Horizon English School

Located at Al Wasl, Horizon English School is in proximity to various residential communities. These areas include:

The residential community of Jumeirah is the nearest. Due to its proximity to Dubai’s shoreline, Jumeirah is one of the most sought-after residential communities in Dubai with a large variety of apartments and villas.

Campus of Horizon English School

Currently, HES has all the facilities required for a well-rounded education. This includes spacious classrooms, laboratories, outdoor play spaces, sports facilities, auditorium and dining spaces. In addition, the school has undergone major improvements to ensure better facilities for its students. 

These improvements include the development of new specialist teaching spaces, extra classrooms, library and STEAM zones for stimulation of innovation and generation of new ideas. The sports facilities in Horizon English school are improved with the addition of a raised playing area, additional upgrades to the facilities include the swimming pool and a new fitness centre. The Auditorium and dining areas have also been modified. New parking spaces are being added to reduce traffic congestion during peak times such as the drop off and pick up.

Library at Horizon English School
School library at Horizon English School (Image credits: Horizon English School Facebook Page)

Location of Horizon English School

Horizons English School is located in Al Wasl area near Safa Park.

Why Horizon English School?

Horizon English School has a rich history of providing quality education to its pupils. In its 30 years of educational experience, the school never rested on their laurels and continuously strived to attain academic excellence. This has made it one of the best primary schools in Dubai.

The school operates on the Ethos “ A school that cares”. The school strives its best to help students reach their full potential. The school has outstanding teachers with students excelling in subjects such as English, Mathematics and Science. The school has a specially designed learning environment that contributes to the positive learning experience.  

The academic syllabus at HES has been designed to teach students skills that will help them navigate their academic aspirations. The staff tries to make sure every student at HES experiences educational adventures, discoveries and lifetime of wonderful memories.

The staff at Horizon English School strives to teach students to think critically. They firmly believe that this develops their ability to create and maintain lasting work relationships and acquire skills that will help them live a successful life.

HES offers an exceptional range of extracurricular activities to develop social and personal skills among its pupils. The management encourages students to take part in extracurricular activities like sporting events, arts and music classes. The addition of the new STEM lab facilities more extracurricular activities based on technology. Students are also offered opportunities to explore the themes of the Dubai Expo 2020. Students who finish their schooling at HES are offered a place in Horizon International School, a secondary education campus by Al Najah Education.

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.

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

  • All teachers will be Covid-19 tested.
  • In Years FS1, FS2 and Year 1, each class will consist of two small stable groups, reducing the capacity of the classroom overall and ensuring the children only mix with others within their group.
  • There will be a number of site modifications, including one-way systems, hand sanitizer stations across the school and thermal cameras installed at each entrance.
  • Where there is a positive case of Coronavirus, only the one class and respective class teachers will have to remain at home and quarantine for 14 days, as stipulated by the KHDA.
  • 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.

Years Offered at Horizon English School

The school is divided into three phases, as seen below:

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

Horizon English School Curriculum

HES follows the National Curriculum of England. This school continuously modifies its curriculum to provide the most effective education to all their students.

Early Years/ Foundation Stage 1 and 2

For the foundation stage, the school follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The framework allows the school to use multiple ‘play and learn’ strategies to develop important skills among children. 

FS1 and FS2 groups are motivated to blend with their fellow schoolmates in their daily free-flow time. Each classroom has its own outdoor play area to encourage students to spend as much time as possible learning outside. Every class, along with an instructor has its very own teaching assistant and weekly sessions for Arabic, music and physical education.

During this stage, the school focuses on instructing students on seven cores of learning: physical development, individual, social and emotional development, mass communication, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. By pursuing these disciplines, students learn the art of problem-solving, which allows them to master critical thinking skills and broaden their perception of how the world operates.

Students of kindergarten at Horizon English School
Kindergarten children engaged in ‘play and learn’ activities at Horizon English School (Image credits: Horizon English School Facebook Page)

Lower Primary/ Key Stage 1

The school developed the curriculum for KS1 that promotes independent learning.  To ease the transition from foundation stage to Year 1, classes in the first term mirror what has been taught in FS2. The subjects introduced to children are English, Mathematics, Science, Arabic (Islamic Studies for Muslim students), French, Music, Physical Education, Swimming, Geography, History, Art and Design, Social Studies and Moral Education.

At HES, the curriculum is designed such that each student is given care and support and thus ensuring their steady progress. The curriculum also gives priority to STEM subjects ( Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Upper Primary/ Key Stage 2

They continue to follow the National Curriculum of the UK for the upper primary stage. The KS2 includes specialised subjects such as French, Arabic, Islamic studies (for Muslim students), Computing, Art and Design, Music, PE, Swimming, English, Maths, Science, Social Studies and Moral Education.

Along with ensuring that students meet their educational goals, all pupils are instilled with values of leadership and effective communication. A number of enriched learning opportunities are provided through outdoor activities, field trips and residential trips (Year 5 and 6). At this stage, HES believes that computation studies are important for pursuing top-notch secondary education. Students are provided with facilities such as spacious computer labs and also supports Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for students of Year 5 and Year 6

Students are taught about leadership and responsibilities through becoming the Head Boy/Girl, student council, prefect or house captain and sports leaders. “Spirit of Horizon” award which is a very coveted award that is given to one student from Year 6. This award celebrates perseverance, resilience and positive attitudes of the student.

Distance Learning at Horizon English School

In case of a positive Coronavirus case, the class and respective teacher will be asked to quarantine for 14 days during which the class will be conduced via Zoom meetings.

KHDA Rating

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is a government organization responsible for assessing the quality of private education in the emirate of Dubai. They inspect private schools in Dubai with judgments made on a six-point scale: outstanding, very good, good, acceptable, weak and very weak.

KHDA's 6-point rating scale
KHDA’s rating scale explained

In its latest inspection, KHDA rated HES as outstanding. The school dipped in rating for a few years but is able to regain its position as an Outstanding school in Dubai. Here is a history of KHDA’s rating for Horizons English School:

Years
KHDA Rating
Years
2009-2012
KHDA Rating
Good
Years
2012-2015
KHDA Rating
Outstanding
Years
2015-2018
KHDA Rating
Very Good
Years
2018-2019
KHDA Rating
Outstanding

KHDA observed the following key strengths leading to the outstanding rating:

  • Outstanding attainment in Science, English and Mathematics due to the positive role of the school.
  • The school has been able to show tremendous progress in every aspect of personal and social development of children. In addition, HES has been successful in utilising sporting activities and physical education to promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • KHDA observed an effective use of imaginative curriculum, top-notch teaching and use of assessment information in improving the quality outcomes for students of the foundation stage.
  • The school ensures a safe and inclusive environment to its pupils through outstanding health, safety and security arrangements. 
  • Exceptional role of school’s leadership in improving innovation, improvement and teamwork.

Academic Calendar for Horizon English School

  • The academic calendar for HES comprises three terms: winter, spring and summer. The year starts in August and ends in July.
  • The first (winter) term starts in the last week of August and ends in the second week of December. This is followed by a 3-week winter vacation.
  • The second (spring) term starts in the first week of January and ends in the last week of March. Students can expect a vacation of 2 weeks.
  • The final (summer) term starts in the third week of April and concludes in the first week of July.

For further information, view the academic calendar of Horizon English School.

Admission and Fees

How to Apply to Horizon English School?

The school publishes when they are open for admissions for the new academic year. Generally, they accept applications throughout the year but admissions are subjected to availability of seats. The application process starts with the school website. Parents can either apply for an online application formbook a tour or submit an enquiry. Parents can also email the registrar at registrar@horizonschooldubai.com.

In the online application, the following documents are required to be uploaded:

  • The candidate’s previous academic record for the last 2 years (For admission in Grade 1 and above)
  • A copy of the candidate’s vaccination record
  • Recent passport-size photographs of the candidate
  • A copy of the candidate’s birth certificate (in English or Arabic)
  • A copy of the Emirates ID card of the candidate and the parents
  • A copy of the candidate’s and the parents’ passport with a valid residence visa )

Once the form has been submitted, the applicant will be invited to the school for an assessment which will determine the final admission. For the foundation stage, the child will be invited for a stay and play session. 

Successful candidates are offered an offer letter, after which parents have to confirm their child seats by paying a deposit of AED 6,000 which is deductible from the first term fees. Parents will then receive a starter pack from the school which will require parents to submit the transfer certificate from the previous school if any to the school office.

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 Horizon English School

The Horizon English School Dubai fees are as follows:

Years
Medical Fee
Term 1 Fee
Term 2 Fee
Term 3 Fee
Total Fee
Years
FS 1
Medical Fee
AED 1,200
Term 1 Fee
AED 15,872
Term 2 Fee
AED 11.900
Term 3 Fee
AED 11,900
Total Fee
AED 40,872
Years
FS 2
Medical Fee
AED 1,200
Term 1 Fee
AED 19,020
Term 2 Fee
AED 14,260
Term 3 Fee
AED 14,260
Total Fee
AED 48,740
Years
Year 1 to Year 6
Medical Fee
AED 1,200
Term 1 Fee
AED 21,430
Term 2 Fee
AED 16,070
Term 3 Fee
AED 16,070
Total Fee
AED 54,770

COVID-19 Discounts at Horizon English School

In face of Covid-19 pandemic, the school is offering 20% discount on tuition fee.

School Facilities

Lunch Options at Horizon English School

The cafeteria at Horizons English School provides hot and cold meals. They include salads, fruits, yoghurt and sandwiches, etc. Students can also bring packed lunches from home. The school has no birthday cake policy and asks parents to refrain from sending items such as eggs, nuts, chocolates and sesame for their child’s lunch.

School Transportation at Horizon English School

HES offers a secure school bus transportation facility. Gulf Pinnacle Transport is the official transport provider for the school. Currently, they have 10 buses with state-of-the-art safety equipment covering wide areas of Dubai. To ensure a pleasant travelling experience, the bus routes are mapped in such a way that the maximum travelling time for each bus is 1 hour.

The safety of children is the number one priority. Each school bus has a female bus attendant employed directly by the school authority. The management also provides parents with the facility to track the status of their kids with the help of a specially designed application. The service is available for all students (FS1 to Year 6).

For information regarding routes, timings and transportation fees, contact Gulf Pinnacle Transport at forman.hes@gulfpinnacletransport.com.

School transport facility at Horizon English School
Gulf Pinnacle Transport offers school transport facility to Horizon English School (Image credits: Horizon English School Facebook Page)

Holiday Camps at Horizon English School

Holiday camps at HES focus on music, arts, sports and languages. These camps are either held within the campus or organized by third-party operators.

Sports Facilities

Sports facilities include indoor and outdoor courts for tennis, volleyball, basketball, etc. They also include a flood-lit sports pitch, two swimming pools, sports halls and tennis courts.

Sports facilities at Horizon English School
Students of Horizon English School playing in sports pitch available at the campus (Image credits: Horizon English School Facebook Page)

Extra-curricular Activities at Horizon English School

One thing that makes HES Dubai different from other educational institutes is that they offer extra-curricular activities for FS1 students too, which is typically unheard of. The management at HES inspires students to learn things that go beyond the classroom. The school tries to come up with new activities every year to give students something new and exciting to do. Some of these extra-curricular activities include:

Lego Construction
Handwriting
French Movies
Choir
Zumba
Water Polo
Arabic Reading
Hip-Hop Dancing
Problem Solving
painting as extra-curricular activity at  Horizon English School
Arts-related activities for students of HES (Image credits: Horizon English School Facebook Page)

Field Trips from Horizon English School

Students at HES are taken to yearly field trips which include trips to Dubai Aquarium, The Green Planet, Al Ain Zoo, Sharjah museum and Burj Khalifa.

Year 3 are taken to wilderness sites for a day trip, usually near Sharjah or RAK. Year 4, 5 and 6 students are taken for an overnight trip. HES takes students for an annual ski trip in January. Students from Year 4, 5 and 6 have the option to go on a school trip to Switzerland.

After-school Care at Horizon English School

HES believes that students should get as much from their time at the school as possible. In that regard, they also offer after school care. On occasion, the school partners with outside firms to organize activities such as Little Masterpieces, Dance Horizons, Elite, Drama Scene, Football, Ballet, Basketball, Karate, Tennis, Art and other creative avenues. In addition to the above-stated, some noteworthy after-school care activities in HES are:

ASA
Description
ASA
Late Club
Description
The Late Club is managed by HES staff and it was specially created for parents who have odd work timings. This club operates from 3 to 5 pm on school days.
ASA
Sibling Club
Description
This club is specially designed for siblings to help make their bond stronger. FS1 and FS2 can join this club and enjoy activities such as singing, music and arts.

Medical Care at Horizon English School

The school has a medical centre with two full-time nurses that can tend to any emergency and administer first aid. The school also keeps an updated record of the medical conditions of all students.

Contact

Mode of Communication between Teachers and Parents

One of the most crucial modes of communication between teachers and parents is the Friends of Horizon (FOH). This is a community group of Horizon English School that focuses on engaging students in the school’s activities. It is a parent-led group, responsible for managing various events. The two primary purposes of this group are to organise social events for schools and fundraising. FOH also ensures a strong communication channel between teachers and parents for the effective growth of students. Other modes of communication include WhatsApp groups where parents of the children of the same age can communicate with the class teacher.

Horizon English School Contact Information

Note that the cover image belongs to Horizon English School.

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