Shaikh Rashid Pakistan School

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Curriculum: Pakistani
Email:
Phone: 04 298 83 03   Int: +971 4 298 83 03
Fax: 04 298 83 43   Int: +971 4 298 83 43
   
Area in Dubai: Al Qusais
Address: His Highness Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum
Pakistani School
Al Qusais 1 - P.O. Box: 26371
Dubai, UAE
 
Last KHDA rating: Unsatisfactory Full KHDA/DSIB report as PDF  
 

The context of the school

His Highness Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School is located in Al Qusais. It opened in March 1995. At the time of the inspection there was a student roll of 1,348 students, aged three to 18 years. The school had significant student mobility, with 430 students joining different grades in 2010-2011 mainly from different regions in Pakistan. The school provided four phases of education: these were Kindergarten, primary (Grades 1 to 5), middle (Grades 6 to 8) and senior (Grades 9 to 12). Grades 6 to 12 had separate boys' and girls' sections. The school followed a Pakistani curriculum with Pakistani Board external examinations undertaken in Grade 10.

The school had two changes of leadership in 2010-11 with the current Principal being appointed in May 2011. There were 55 full-time teachers, of whom 18 were new to the school in September 2011. The senior leadership team included the newly appointed Principal, Kindergarten, primary, middle and secondary co-ordinators in the girls' section, plus middle and secondary co-ordinators in the boys' section. The school was a Pakistani community school and was held accountable to the Pakistani Consulate and local sponsors.

The change of Principal, the significant changes in staffing and the admission of 430 students in different grades provided a significant challenge for the Advisory Board, the other leaders and managers of the school, and had caused instability.

Overall school performance 2011-2012

Unsatisfactory

How has the school progressed since the last inspection?

His Highness Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School provided an unsatisfactory quality of education. It had certain positive features, such as the students' knowledge of Islam and their understanding of how Dubai has developed as a multi-cultural community. Most students made good progress in English. The majority of students made acceptable progress in other key subjects, except in primary and middle mathematics, where progress was unsatisfactory.

The new Principal had identified priorities for improvement which included increasing levels of attendance and raising the quality of teaching and learning. The Principal had begun to give clear direction and guidance to all staff members. However,school leaders had failed to address most areas recommended in the previous inspection report. Teaching for effective learning was unsatisfactory and subject leaders had made little impact on improving students' learning. Students did not receive enough opportunities to discuss their learning with teachers. Teachers did not know students' strengths and weaknesses well enough and this hindered the students' progress. The curriculum was unsatisfactory. Physical education was absent from the curriculum due to a staff shortage and students' use of computers to research and learn independently was extremely limited. Communication between the school and parents was unclear and there were few opportunities for parents to learn about their children's progress and personal development. The views of the students was often not heard or valued. The school failed to give adequate account to parents and other stakeholders for its performance and quality. The school had important weaknesses in health and safety, care and support. For example, poor hygiene in the toilets, overcrowded buses and a lack of supervision of private vehicles. The Advisory Board had failed to effectively support and hold leaders to account for the overall decline in the performance of the school.

Key strengths

  • The students' strong desire to learn and be involved in improving their school
  • The newly appointed Principal, who had taken some steps to achieve stability
  • Parents who were supportive of the school and proud of its community ethos

Recommendations

  • Raise students' attainment in all key subjects and across all phases
  • Improve the quality of teaching and learning so that lessons involve students and meet the needs of all
  • Improve the curriculum to provide active learning experiences, enrichment when needed, and physical education
  • Immediately rectify the health and safety issues identified in this report to ensure that all students are safe
  • Ensure that there are enough teachers to cover classes and enough appropriate resources to support learning in all phases of the school

How good are the students' attainment and progress in key subjects?

Attainment in the key subjects was acceptable for most students, except in Arabic as an additional language in the primary phase. A majority of students in Arabic could not apply what they knew in everyday conversations and reading and writing for pleasure was limited. In Islamic Education a majority of students could recite many chapters of The Holy Qur'an. Students' knowledge of Islam enabled them to explain the Zakat, the Salah and the Prophet's vision (PBUH). Their application of what had been learnt was weak. In English, attainment was acceptable in the Kindergarten and primary phases and good in both other phases. English was used throughout the school day, supporting the good attainment in the middle and secondary phases. Across the school, listening skills were mostly good, speaking skills were variable in the Kindergarten and primary grades and writing skills were weak. In mathematics and science, attainment was acceptable across the school.

Progress ranged from unsatisfactory to good across subjects and phases. In Islamic Education, Arabic and science it was acceptable. Progress in English was mostly good, but just acceptable in the Kindergarten. In mathematics, progress was acceptable in the Kindergarten and high school phases but unsatisfactory in the primary and middle years. Most primary students could not relate mathematics or science to everyday life; most middle school students could substitute values when using algebraic formulae but their analysis and interpretation of data was limited. The majority of secondary students used and applied logarithms well and were able to use algebraic methods to solve simultaneous equations in to variables. Students' progress in science was acceptable across all phases, but investigative skills were extremely limited. Most students had a growing scientific vocabulary and could recall scientific facts. Examination results indicated that most students made acceptable progress, although a few attained high standards. Students with special educational needs made unsatisfactory progress.

How good is the students' personal and social development?

Students' attitudes and behaviour were acceptable, as students showed respect for school rules and values, which they followed most of the time. Most students got on well with each other and their teachers, but there were some exceptions. Most students made healthy food choices and were aware of the importance of healthy life styles. Attendance over the last full term was unsatisfactory. Students had a clear understanding of Islam and non-Muslims showed respect for and knowledge of Islamic practices. Nevertheless, that knowledge did not include understanding the impact of Islam upon the wider world. Students' appreciation of Dubai's traditions and culture was strong and they could discuss the values underpinning society in the UAE. A very strong understanding of the benefits and challenges of cultural diversity was shared by most students. Whilst only prefects had defined responsibilities, most others had high levels of personal commitment to being responsible. Younger children had good ideas about how to improve behaviour. Almost all students knew about Dubai's development and could give valid reasons for the economic recession. They discussed recent changes and their impact on groups in Dubai, and suggested how to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

How good are the teaching, learning and assessment?

Teaching was unsatisfactory across all phases of the school. Most teachers had good subject knowledge but very few understood how students learn. In the Kindergarten and Grade 1, teachers lacked the ability to plan meaningful learning experiences for young children. Most teachers created a positive climate for learning and this was helped by the positive behaviour of students and a desire to learn. Relationships between teachers and students were mostly positive. Whilst teachers produced lesson plans, they were not sufficiently detailed to be effective in most cases. Often the learning objectives were too broad and activities were not well-designed to enable them to be achieved. Time was not well-used in most lessons because the pace was dictated by the teacher or the least able students. Resources beyond text books were rarely used to support teaching and learning.

Learning was also unsatisfactory in all phases. In almost all lessons, teachers talked too much and students too little. Most teachers did not enable students to be active participants in their learning, although a few did manage a more interactive style using open questions. In most lessons questions were closed and answers were repeated in unison, requiring very limited answers and therefore, limited thinking. Teachers invariably did not allow enough time for students to think, reflect or consider new information. Students rarely asked questions of their teachers. The general lack of participation by students meant that learning was unsatisfactory.

The quality of assessment was also unsatisfactory. Students' work was marked regularly but it lacked written feedback, and too often work was ticked with no evaluative comments. Teachers' dominance of lessons often meant that feedback to students about their progress was not given. Teachers' assessment of work was weak and their understanding of individual student's strengths and weakness was poor. The more able and least able students were not identified or assessed in lessons. Consequently, learning was not appropriately challenging for students. Enquiry and research skills were under-developed across all phases and critical thinking was rarely observed.

How well does the curriculum meet the educational needs of students?

The curriculum was unsatisfactory overall, although there were some positive features. It was based on the Pakistani curriculum which is broad and balanced. However, the curriculum was not suitable for the large number of students who joined the school part-way through the year, with limited knowledge of English. In the Kindergarten, the curriculum provided too few opportunities for practical activities to promote children's independence and allow them to investigate and explore. Investigative opportunities in science and mathematics in the primary, middle and secondary phases were uncommon. Students had limited opportunities to develop speaking and writing skills in any of the languages they were learning. Links between different subjects were weak. For example, proper English skills were not reinforced in other subjects. Enrichment of the curriculum through extra activities such as debates, competitions and sports matches were mainly school based, with few opportunities to link with other schools and the local community.

How well does the school protect and support students?

The arrangements for ensuring students' health and safety were unsatisfactory overall. While arrangements to monitor students' medical needs were good, there were other significant shortcomings. Transport was unsafe, including overcrowded buses and a lack of supervision that allowed small students to run in between waiting cars. The toilet facilities were unhygienic. Much of the furniture had graffiti on it and was in need of repair. Facilities to support students with disabilities were very limited. Promotion of healthy lifestyles had not been well communicated to most students. Staff members and students were aware of child protection procedures but there were some instances of bullying.

The quality of support for students was also unsatisfactory. The guidance given to students about their personal development was inconsistent. The monitoring of attendance was improving although a few older students arrived late to classes. Relationships between teachers and students were generally positive; however, there were instances of tension between older boys and a few teachers. Provision for those identified with special educational needs was unsatisfactory. There were no arrangements to identify students who would benefit from specialist support. The least able, the more able and students who entered the school with little English had not been identified. The management of students' behaviour was inconsistent and at times inappropriate.

How good are the leadership and management of the school?

The quality of the school's leadership was acceptable. The school had seen a significant change in teachers, students and leaders in the last year. The newly appointed Principal was committed to improving the quality of teaching and learning, raising overall attainment and improving communication with parents. He had involved senior leaders in agreeing direction and a new school vision. Senior leadership teams were aware of the priorities for improvement but lacked understanding of how to review and evaluate initiatives successfully. Most teachers did not understand how to put ideas into practice in their classrooms to improve student learning. Monitoring by the leadership team was at an early stage and had not addressed the important weaknesses in teaching and learning.

Self-evaluation and improvement planning were unsatisfactory. Performance management of teachers was in place and the development of teachers had been identified as a priority. No prior processes for self- evaluation existed and that fact lessened the accuracy of school's recent self-evaluation judgements. Some evaluations were inflated and others were not based upon reference to sources of evidence. Examination data was not used for school improvement or raising student attainment. Most recommendations from the last inspection report had not been addressed. Subject leaders did not have a realistic view of the strengths and weaknesses of students. There was no corporate understanding of how to raise attainment.

Partnership with parents and the community was acceptable. The school had recently established a parent council, but communication by the school did not provide sufficient information about progress, attainment and students' personal development. The school was not responsive to their questions and concerns, such as improving that communication. A significant minority of parents were concerned about the lack of information about their children's academic progress, the sporting facilities, lack of curriculum opportunities and learning resources. Links with the community had made some impact on the facilities, including the building of a new mosque and refurbishment of the boys' first floor classrooms.

Governance was acceptable. Statutory requirements for Islamic Education and Arabic as an additional language were met. There were no formal arrangements in place to support school leaders and stakeholders in the review and evaluation of the school. The advisory board did not ensure that the priorities for improvement were being met. Parents were not consulted in the shaping of new policies and procedures. Whilst the Principal was answerable to the owners of the school, there was no regular monitoring of his performance or that of the school.

The management, of staffing, facilities and resources of the school were unsatisfactory. The school time table had been reviewed but needed further improvement to meet the needs of all students. Poor communication between teachers and administrators affected the day-to-day operation of the school. There were too few qualified teachers and consequently a few classes were doubled up. There had been some improvement in the facilities but those for sport and science remained insufficient. There was no shaded outdoor area in the boys' section. Learning and information and communication technology resources were very limited, which negatively affected learning for all groups of students.

What are the views of parents, teachers and students?

Before the inspection, the views of parents, teachers and senior secondary students were surveyed. Key messages from each group were considered during the inspection and these helped to form judgements.

A very small minority of parents responded to the survey, even fewer than last year. Similarly, a small minority of teachers and about one-third of the senior students responded to the survey. Overall, a majority of parents were satisfied with the quality of education available at the school, but more than a few were not. Most parents agreed that their children's progress was good in Islamic Education, English and science. A majority believed that progress was good in Arabic and mathematics, but a third of them believed that progress was not good in Arabic as an additional language, a view shared by the senior students. Only about half of the parents believed that students' behaviour was good. Although a majority of parents believed that teaching was of good quality, about a third disagreed. Half of the parents believed that there were not enough clubs and activities at the school, an opinion shared by senior students and teachers. A third of the parents indicated that the homework given to their children was not suitable; again, these opinions were shared by the senior students. A majority of parents believed the school was well led and that leaders listened to them, but a third did not think so. Parents likewise had mixed views about communication with the school and the quality of reports. Senior students held similar views about leaders. Only about half of the parents believed that the school provided good quality learning resources for their children and the senior students held similar opinions.

Only five teachers completed the on-line survey. All teachers valued the inspection process because it identified weaknesses, whilst others complained about a lack of resources, particularly the low number of computers available.

Students complained about the safety of some air-conditioning units and the lack of hygiene in washrooms. A few older girls felt that the boys did not respect them.

Established: March 6 1995 (Age: 19)
Member of: MOE
Accredited by: MOE
No of students: 1,352
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