Irtiqa’a Inspection 2015

Irtiqa’a Inspection 2015

Principal Andrew Thomas was delighted with the many positive comments received by the Irtiqa’a inspection team in their last inspection at AAESS.

Andrew said, “It was very pleasing to hear the inspection team feedback how impressed they were with our students, their conduct, and the quality of the premises and the learning resources available to teachers and students.  I was also pleased with how they recognised the very high standards reached and the qualifications gained by students at the end of Year 11, particularly in the key subjects of English, Mathematics and the Sciences.  Their recognition of the new leadership team here was also very heart warming, and deserved.”

Over the four days the inspectors were looking at six areas: Students’ achievement; Students’ personal and social development, and their innovation skills; Teaching and assessment; Curriculum; The protection, care, guidance and support of students, and Leadership and management.

Andrew added, “It was good to see that there were no surprises from the inspection and confirmed what we knew about the way the school looks after the students’ personal and social development, and their innovation skills, where the inspection graded this as Good.  Likewise, we also knew that the protection, care, guidance and support that we give the students is also Good.”

The summary of the inspection report shows every schools strength and areas for development.   The summary of this was:

The inspection identified the following as key areas of strength:

  1.  attainment and progress in the foundation stage.
  2.  standards reached and the qualifications gained by students at the end of Year 11, particularly in the key subjects of English, mathematics and the sciences.
  3. care shown towards students and the attitudes students demonstrate towards their teachers, each other and their learning.
  4. the understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for development demonstrated by the principal and the senior leadership team.
  5. the quality of the premises and the learning resources available to teachers and students.


The inspection identified the following as key areas for improvement:

  1. students’ attainment and progress, particularly in the primary phase, in Arabic literacy and in subjects taught through Arabic.
  2. attainment and progress in the primary school and in Year 12, particularly in English and mathematics
  3. consistent application of the school’s policies for target setting, assessment and helping students to understand their next steps in learning.
  4. opportunities for students to be innovative and to develop other important learning skills such as independence, creativity and problem solving in lessons.
  5. support provided for different groups of learners particularly those who speak English as an additional language, have special educational needs or are gifted and talented.


The inspection graded 4 of the 6 areas as Acceptable or Good, with 2 areas needing some improvement.  The senior leadership team, working closely with the Board of Trustees and the Chairman, have already developed a set of strategic plans that will now focus on driving the school forward to address the recommendations.   This includes restructuring the senior team where each member will take a lead for specific areas of development, where new policies will be introduced.  This will also require training and support for the staff and the Principal is excited with the prospect of being able to promote current staff to key positions of responsibility, as well as hiring new staff that have strengths in the areas required for the school.

Andrew concluded, “I am thrilled that we have been able to attract quality staff to the team.  Peter Gillmore, our Deputy, is from one of the most highest achieving Outstanding schools in the world; Suzy Eagles who has joined the team recently is also from one of the UK’s largest Outstanding schools, and I am delighted to announce that we have recently secured the services of Eliza Pierce as our new Director of  Science, also with experience of working in a UK Outstanding school, alongside Charlotte McIllroy, also with experience of teaching in an Outstanding school in the UK.  These ladies will join us in August with additional staff with strong teaching pedigrees.  I am excited with the work that is going on behind the scenes, and with my own Outstanding school background, I have every intention in making this one of the best schools in the UAE; my son is in Year 6 and my youngest son will start school in the next 18 months, so have no doubt,  there is a very proud Principal here who wants, and believes that this school will be the envy of all others.”

The last academic year saw fantastic results, with 100% A level Pass rate, and IGCSE pass rates being significantly higher than the UK in every subject.  This has seen our students gain the highest pass rates in the UAE for Maths, Science & English, with students applying to Oxbridge and the Paris Sorbonne this year.

AAESS will continue to prides itself on welcoming students from all corners of the globe and will continue to achieve high level results.

We look forward to working with you all in Achieving Excellence, now and in the near future.

>>Full Report in Arabic<<

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