A Durham education is one that inspires, nurtures and encourages its students through the provision of the finest quality teaching coupled with extensive opportunities to enable our students to achieve. Our teaching encourages our students to think creatively, to apply knowledge and skills successfully and imaginatively, and to constantly challenge themselves whilst building ‘Confidence for Life’ in a nurturing and supportive environment.

At Durham School Dubai, our curriculum guided by the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework and English National Curriculum. Our skillful teachers draw upon the best of modern and traditional teaching pedagogies enhanced and enriched by use of technology and the exciting learning opportunities available in Dubai. 

Durham School Dubai is committed to delivering an education that is engaging, challenging, motivating and fun. Using a holistic approach to education, our students learn through stimulating and creative experiences, in the classroom and beyond, in lessons and co-curricular activities. We aim to ensure that every Durham student’s experience of school is positive and productive laying the foundation for academic success, coupled with the social confidence and competence required to make their way in the world.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Children entering Durham School Dubai in EYFS start Foundation Stage 1 in the September after their third birthday.  The Early Years Foundation Stage is a two-year phase. Teaching assistants support the class teachers in the delivery of the curriculum and specialist teachers deliver carousel activities in Art, Music and Computing, as well as an informal approach to Arabic. The children in Foundation Stage will also love visiting the Library each week.

The children have a dedicated play area featuring a range of activities, including wheeled vehicles, keeping them fully occupied at break times!  Our talented and experienced staff provide a range of changing outdoor play activities such as water, sand, mark making and small world. The learning environments are a hive of activity providing the children with a range of multi-sensory activities. Display areas celebrate the children’s work across all curriculum areas.  All classrooms have interactive whiteboards to support the children’s learning; these offer ways to support and consolidate day to day skills and allow access to the world outside through interactive websites.

Phonics Programme by Little Wandle

At Durham Dubai we use a structured approach to teaching children how to use phonic sounds in their reading and writing, with the aim that children become fluent readers and accurate spellers.

We teach early reading through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised  systematic, synthetic phonics programme.

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Primary School

Key Stage 1

Key Stage One is a two-year phase, covering the 5 – 7 years age range.

As your son or daughter moves from Early Years to Key Stage One (KS1) in Durham School Dubai, a more formal approach to lessons begins. A lot of the learning is still taught through play, especially in Year 1. 

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Key Stage 2

Key Stage Two, is a four-year phase from Y3-6, (7-11 years old). In some curriculum areas the Key Stage 2 timetable will run parallel to the KS3 Secondary school timetable, this allows more specialist teaching in Upper KS2. The learning environments are well resourced and maintained providing the students with a range of multi-sensory activities. Display areas celebrate the students’ work across all curriculum areas.

The students have a dedicated play area featuring a range of facilities, as well as a playing field providing opportunities to participate in team games.

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Secondary School

Key Stage 3


Durham School Dubai aims to provide an education that challenges young people to make a difference in the world. At all levels our curriculum is designed to embed this ethos and prepare students to stand out. Our bespoke Key Stage 3 curriculum enriches the English National Curriculum and includes a range of lessons to develop young leaders of the future. In Key Stage 3, students follow the English National Curriculum. At Durham School Dubai, we value the importance of providing vocational pathways for our students, building confidence for each and every student.

In Key Stage 3, students have form rooms with an experienced form tutor who oversees their education and pastoral care. In addition, the House System is embedded into the school creating opportunities for friendly competition and house events and also to develop peer mentors across the age groups. The form tutors meet with the students daily and oversee their development liaising with all of their subject teachers. They will know each student in their class extremely well and will be the parents’ link for all the students’ needs.

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6th Form

Durham Dubai 6th form will offer a range of A-level options for our students allowing them to specialise in subjects of particular interest to them. We aim to support our students in their studies to obtain the best possible grades to enable them to access their universities of choice. Students will be guided as to the subject choices and to university placements through a dedicated student support team with experience in placing students in universities in the UAE, the UK, the United States, Asia and Europe.

We also understand that A-levels might not be the best option for some students and therefore BTEC awards are under consideration as an alternative pathway for some. In keeping with our promise to all of our students, our education programme is tailored to fit the students; our students are not manipulated to fit our programme.

Leadership skills, community projects and service are all important aspects of our sixth form education. Whilst academic achievement is extremely important, so too are social skills and social competence. Our students will be given plenty of opportunities to develop and extend themselves through a range of activities and a comprehensive extra-curricular programme.

Arabic Language and Islamic Education

The teaching of Arabic Language for both native and non-native speakers, Islamic education for our Muslim students and Social Studies and Moral Education are all a part of our core curriculum. These subjects will be taught as directed by the Ministry of Education and our students will follow the Ministry approved syllabus in each component. We believe high quality teaching results in the best learning outcomes for our students and we are determined that these subjects will be taught to the highest standards encouraging learning and enjoyment and a pride in Emirati roots and culture.

Arabic Language

The Arabic as a first language curriculum promotes language development adhering to the UAE Ministry of Education expectations for Arabic Language. From a young age, or students develop their native language skills through Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing, and Grammar. Students in the Primary School and KS3 will have specialist Arabic lessons four times in a week.

The teaching of Arabic to non-native speakers is most important. The curriculum teaches Arabic by implementing the best practices associated with the  teaching of modern foreign Languages. Our students will  learn Arabic through the development of  four skills: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Our students in the Primary School and KS3 will  attend specialist Arabic lessons four times in a week.

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