The school uses a rich continuously developed curriculum that offers a range of opportunities designed to motivate and inspire all students, to ensure good provision in all subjects, to meet the academic and personal development needs of all students, and to prepare students for the next phase of education, within school and beyond. The curriculum is a good opportunity for enterprise, innovation, and creativity as well.
The school adopts CCSS in English and Math, and NGSS in Science. The standard-based curriculum is not only content based but is based on improving students’ skills and knowledge at the same time. It provides an overall development of the personality of the student. The curriculum has a clear rationale aligned with the school, Emirate and national visions.
The curriculum is broad and includes a good balance of supplementary and enriched curriculum. It is powered by enriched content and skills that support students to achieve and make better progress when do learning tasks. The school conducts regular reviews of its curriculum in relation to students’ achievements, aspirations, and Emirate and national priorities.
As for the Arabic subjects, United School adopts MOE standards that enrich the content skills-based curriculum in order to provide more opportunities for students to learn according to their abilities and needs. Students enjoy working in groups in Arabic and English lessons when asking them to write for comprehension and demonstrate their understanding by role-playing in class.
It is relevant, comprehensive, and promotes innovation and challenge. It is highly effective in developing a balance of knowledge, skills, and understanding. In math and science, students work in a project-based approach and they link their understanding with real-life scenarios as possible.
The curriculum is very well planned to ensure structured progression in all subjects. It meets the needs of all students. The CCSS and NGSS curriculum provides an opportunity for students to extend their knowledge and think out of the box when doing learning activities with a cross‐curricular approach and enable them to make links between different aspects of learning.
Innovative and coherent learning experiences are embedded through aspects of the curriculum to enable all students to develop an understanding of the UAE’s culture and society. Islamic Education and Social Studies, students work together in making exhibitions and special events, which nurtures the appreciation toward the UAE values and Islam culture.
Cross-curricular links are innovatively planned and managed well to significantly enhance students’ transfer of learning between different subjects. All teachers need to prepare at least one integrated lesson with another subject.
The planned curriculum is extended by a very wide and stimulating program of extracurricular activities within and outside the school in art, drama, music, and sport including football and chess. Students are very effective in engaging in debate about Islam Manners in cooperation with Social Studies and English.
In addition to clubs such as science, environment, and reading clubs and Educational visits to science fairs and scientific trips contribution.
The development of students’ ability to learn independently and make presentations of lessons is more consistent. Some subjects, including English and Science, offer more opportunities to undertake research and fact-finding than others.
The teachers use a wide range of student-centered strategies that concentrate on active learning. In some lessons, students have the opportunity to lead and they prepare lessons to accompany teachers by using modern strategies, like Flipped Learning, Web Quest (using ICT as a mind tool), Micro teaching styles, Mind mapping, Discussion and debate sessions, Story narration and role-playing, Learning by fun for KG/cycle, Learning by doing – KWL, Kegan strategy and 5Es strategy. The teachers use ICT resources effectively to enhance the quality of learning. They also implement engaging activities and more cooperative and collaborative strategies that have left a good impact on students learning.
Teaching styles focus on achieving learning outcomes and how to make students well-engaged in their learning. Critical thinking is a common feature in all classrooms, problem-solving and innovation are observed in all sections and independent learning is a target for all students.
The school has a clearly defined assessment policy. Formative and Summative Assessments are conducted as per the school policy. Most of teachers implement Assessment for Learning (AfL) strategies to actively involve learners in questioning and self-assessment to deepen their understanding and further increase their enjoyment of learning.
Teachers are being trained to give more detailed feedback to students on their classwork/ assignments. Teachers’ comments refer to the next steps in the Assessment Papers and students are made aware of their need to respond to targets.
The school has three terms and Summative Assessments are conducted at the end of Term 1 and Term 3. Formative assessments are held for students in all grades, a percentage of these marks are considered for the end of the term results. Baseline tests are held at the beginning of the academic year to help the teacher ascertain the attainment level of the students.
The students also take the MAP to be able to benchmark their performance internationally through a standardized test.
Apart from these formal kinds of assessments, there are informal ones happening throughout the year like impromptu debates, discussions, role plays, public speaking, quizzes. Students of grade 12 now take the EmSAT as a formal test for admission to local universities.