Choosing A School: A Look At The British Curriculum

There are currently around 200 private schools in Dubai, and around two thirds of those offer either the American, British or International Baccalaureate (IB) curricula.

Deciding on a curriculum is one of the most important decisions you will make when choosing a school for you child, whether you are looking for a new school, or even if you’re looking to change schools.  

So what are the options, benefits and qualifications pupils can expect from these three different curricula?

In this short series of articles, Connector looks at what stands out among the different curricula to help parents decide what fits best for their child. We also ask members of senior leadership teams what they think ae the key benefits of the curriculum their school offers.

This article looks at British curriculum.

Curriculum Overview

The compulsory national curriculum subjects are the ‘core’ and ‘foundation’ subjects. Core subjects are English, mathematics and science, while foundation subjects are computing, physical education and citizenship. Schools must also offer at least one subject in the areas of art, design and technology, humanities and modern foreign languages.


Secondary school students work towards taking GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education). In higher education, they can take AS-Levels, A-Levels, GNVQs, BTECs or other such qualifications.

How Work Is Graded

For GCSEs, a grading scale of nine down to one is used, with nine the top grade. Assessment is mainly by exam, with other types of assessment used only where they are needed to test essential skills.

What The Senior Leadership Think Are The Key Benefits Of Their Own Schools Curriculum

Kyle Knott, Vice Principal of Star International School Al Twar, gives his top 3 benefits offered from the British curriculum.

Internationally Reputable Education: The curriculum is very established in the realms of academia and has a strong global reputation. The global repute gains graduates the ability to access any university or college worldwide, supporting the aspirations of students from all backgrounds.

Skills Based Knowledge: The British curriculum is skills based and emphasises on knowledge application whilst many other curricula focus simply on knowledge and ultimately exam success. The evolving global job marketplaces place greater value in British National Curriculum’s graduates as it views the education’s holistic emphasis in applicable skill sets more valuable.

Difference In Teaching Methodology: The British Curriculum is student centered as it cares for the student’s academic growth throughout the 5 key stages.  Teaching is driven by a partnership between students and teachers. This results in teachers knowing their students and planning for effective teaching based on obtained knowledge and also their expert subject knowledge. This means that though whole class based, lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of all and indeed, teachers have high expectations in relation to learning and outcomes for all students.

Choosing A School: A Look At The International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum

Choosing A School: A Look At The American Curriculum

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