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Frequently asked questions

1. What kind of communication can I expect from HIS?

HIS main communication tool for the whole school is D6 school communicator, which should be used by every parent. On D6 parents will find regular updates about school events, Head Master weekly updates, overview of respective year groups and more. Additionally, parents will be provided with email addresses of respective teachers to discuss independent educational questions and inquiries about their child. Parent-Teacher meetings are being held across the whole school at different times throughout the year. For Foundation Stage, ClassDojo is used to reward positive behaviour, keeping parents in the loop and to further encourage communication with parents giving daily class updates with pictures and videos as well.

At Primary School, home-school diaries are used as the main source of individual child’s communication. Year leaders share a weekly update with the parents which informs them of objectives covered and any other relevant information. All parent’s have access to each class teacher’s email and also use this as a form of communication.

In Secondary teachers directly e-mail parents with all important information. All assessment information, important dates and events will be shared in this way. In comparison to other stages this is our main form of communication. If you wish to meet with a member of SLT we are able to arrange this for a mutually convenient time, often around drop off and pick up.

General enquiries and feedback are being dealt with by our communications coordinator.

2. How are parents involved at HIS?

Parents can get involved in multiple ways at HIS. “Friends of Horizon PTA Committee”, parents are encouraged to get involved actively with all activities arranged by the PTA. Each class has a parent representative, who liaises with the teacher to facilitate improved communication between the parent and teacher. At Foundation Stage, parents have the opportunity of bi-weekly stay and learn sessions followed by coffee morning and workshops.

In Secondary parents have an open invitation to see their child learning and we are increasing the number of coffee mornings in the upcoming academic year 2018-2019 to fortnightly with more opportunities to come to assemblies led by the students and parent workshops.

3. How does HIS support transition from Foundation Stage to Primary Stage and Primary Stage to Secondary Stage?

FS and Year 1 teachers work closely together throughout the year to ensure a smooth progression in the curriculum as they move to year 1. In term 3 the year 1 teachers visit the FS2 classes, observe the learning and get to know the children. Over a 6 week period FS1 children will spend time in an FS2 class with FS2 teachers and FS2 children will spend time in Year 1 classes with Year 1 teachers. The whole school have a transition day in the second last week of term 3 where all children move to their new classes and where possible spend time with their new teacher. When the students have gone home all teachers prepare detailed transition notes and share these with next years’ teachers.

Secondary have the ‘Headstart’ Programme where they have a long transition into Secondary. This starts in Year 5 with a fun challenge with HES in June each year. Following on from this, there are lessons from Secondary specialists, joint trips and clubs and assemblies for Year 6 through to Year 13. Year 6 have the opportunity to get to know all staff and students through a series of events running up to Year 7. Transition Day is the great opportunity to experience a full day in Secondary and meet anyone they have not had the opportunity to so far. Being an all through school we are able to ensure we are also prepared academically and that we know each students’ strengths and areas of development so that each student is able to surpass their goals and targets.

4. Where is HIS located?

HIS is located in the heart of Jumeirah and only 20 minutes away from Arabian Ranches, our school is close to the iconic landmark Burj Al Arab and areas such as Dubai Marina, Al Barsha, Emirates Hills and The Palm. Situated on a secure and spacious site, our school offers a peaceful and positive atmosphere that is safe, nurturing and conducive to learning.

5. Which grades does HIS offer?

At HIS we follow the UK national Curriculum of England and Wales, which is a 13 year curriculum, and children are placed in their age appropriate year groups according to UK standards. HIS is an all through school, meaning children start at FS1 and can stay up to A-levels aged 18. HIS follows the GCSE, IGCSE and A-levels curriculums.

6. Do you cater for exceptional children?

We at HIS are an inclusive school and very open to view applications from every child. We have an inclusion team to support children with additional learning needs. Each application is looked at on an individual basis and is subject to the school being able to cater the right provision to support your child effectively. However, HIS does not have the facilities to cater for children who are physically challenged.

7. My child does not speak English. Can he/she still join?

It depends on the individual assessment of your child, however we do not offer English as an additional language. Therefore, your child is required to be able to understand basic and age appropriate instructions in English to be able to access HIS curriculum.

8. What kind of facilities does HIS have?

Our facilities at HIS are purpose built to nurture the young minds of our students. Located at the heart of Jumeirah, we offer state-of-the-art learning facilities and resources with a stimulating and supportive environment that is filled with opportunities to learn.

Some highlights include:

  • Spacious science laboratories
  • Eight-lane swimming pool
  • Indoor air-conditioned gymnasium
  • Fully-fitted multipurpose theatre
  • Outdoor AstroTurf football pitch
  • Art Room
  • Food Technology Room
  • Dining Hall
  • Primary and Secondary library with an extension collection
  • Indoor and Outdoor Foundation Stage Shared Learning Zones
  • Science Rooms

9. Does HIS provide transport?

Yes, Gulf Pinnacle Transport is an external provider outsourced to the school. They offer transport opportunities for a range of locations across Dubai which is dependent on demand and on the number of students per location. They have a representative based at school every day who would be happy to discuss individual transport needs.

10. What is the nationality / qualifications of teachers?

All teachers at HIS are UK nationals and have been educated in the United Kingdom with exception of HIS Arabic team.

11. Does HIS offer after school care?

You have the possibility to enroll your child at Star Club, which provides after school care until 5pm from Sundays to Wednesdays and 4pm on Thursdays. Click here for Star Club charges and more details.

12. What are HIS school timings?

Timings for Foundation Stage 1&2 are 07:45-08:00am Drop Off. Pick up timing for FS1 is 12:45pm and for FS2 01:00pm respectively. For Primary and Secondary Stage, gates open at 07:30am and school starts at 07:45am till 03:00pm (Sun-Wed) and 02:05pm on Thursdays. For Year 1 pupils, to get accustomed to the longer hours at Primary School, we will operate a shorter day during the first week of the term whereby students will finish at 01:00pm. For the rest of the term all Year 1 and Year 2 parents have the option to collect children at 02:05pm or 03:00pm. We like Secondary students to be seated in form time by 7:40am so that they can start their form time curriculum.

13. Why does my child have to repeat parts of the year? (Applicable to students from the

Southern Hemisphere e.g. Australia, South Africa) The academic year in the Southern Hemisphere is different from that in the UAE which starts from September for British Curriculum Schools. The KHDA requires a transfer certificate from the previous school in order to register and their rules are strict on the year of entry. For example, a student completing Year 5 in December in the Southern Hemisphere would be able to join Year 6 at HIS in January, but no later. As the student will have missed a full term of Year 6, however, entry into Year 6 in January would also depend on a successful entry assessment. Whereas a student transferring to HIS in September would continue with Year 5, as they will not have completed that year in their previous school.

14. How many different nationalities are in the School?

Approximately 70 nationalities are currently enrolled across our school. At HIS we have predominately British families but given Dubai’s landscape we are home to a mix of nationalities, which facilitates a diverse classroom and learning environment for your child.

15. How do I keep track of the progress of my child?

As a parent, you are able to contact respective teachers via email. At each end of the term HIS has a teacher-parent meeting across the whole school at different times of the year, where you been given detailed report on the progress of your child. Additionally reports are given to you at end of Term 1.

16. How many students are at HIS per Class?

Class room size does not exceed the maximum of 25 pupils across Primary and Secondary Stage. However, at FS1, class rooms do not exceed 22 pupils and FS2 24 pupils respectively.

17. How do we asses’ children throughout the year? (respective heads)

In the Primary, each child’s progress is tracked through Classroom Monitor. Each term we have an assessment week where the children are assessed on their learning. At the end of Key Stage 1, Year 2 sit their SATs assessments in June and Years 3-6 complete GL Assessments.

In Secondary, students have a mid-term formative assessment based on what students are currently learning and an end of term summative assessment based on everything that they have learnt in the subject so far. Students will then complete a redo to learn from their mistakes. Teachers continually assess students through questioning and marking work to ensure students’ understanding and progression.

18. How much are the Fees at HIS?

For detailed information on all school fees

19. Why do we have to pay a separate book fee?

The book fee covers the materials which your child uses throughout the whole academic year, such as pens, paper, class room books, diary, homework books etc.