Curriculum Information

Dubai British School is a thriving British international school, located in The Springs area of Dubai's Emirates Hills. A member of the Taaleem group of schools, DBS offers high-quality education to over a thousand students aged 3 to 18. The curriculum is modelled on the National Curriculum for England, significantly enhanced by 'WOW Learning', the study of Arabic throughout and a challenging set of GCSE and GCE A Level courses from Year 10 to Year 13. We welcome a wide range of students to study the curriculum, which is designed to extend and excite all of them, whatever their interests or ability.

The opportunities that students enjoy outside the classroom are just as important as the main curriculum. Our Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) programme is extensive and varied. We want children to have a go at a wide range of sports, outward bound, service and cultural activities. We like the idea of everyone taking part and for young people to hone their skills while broadening their knowledge.

Dubai British School is an accredited member of the Council of International Schools, which means that we meet a series of exacting standards as laid down by one of the leading bodies in the world of international education. We are also regularly inspected by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB).

Secondary school students are entered for GCSE and IGCSE examinations in Year 10 and Year 11 and for A levels in Years 12 and 13.

The National Curriculum for England is divided into the following Key Stages:

Key Stage

Curriculum /Programme

Assessment Policy
3-4   Foundation FS 1 Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Ongoing Formative
  •  Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance is used to inform next steps and supports the monitoring of progress   
  4-5 FS 2
  5-6   Key Stage 1  Year 1 National Curriculum for England  
  • Ongoing Formative Teacher Assessments
  • Termly Summative Assessments using the English National Curriculum Criteria
  • External and International Testing (CAT, TIMSS, ACER, PIRLS)
 6-7 Year 2
  7-8  Key Stage 2 Year 3
  8-9 Year 4
  9-10 Year 5
  10-11 Year 6
 11-12   Key Stage 3 Year 7  
  • In-class tests, quizzes and exams
  • Project work
  • Portfolios (Art)
  • Coursework
  • IGCSE Exams
  • External and international testing (CAT, TIMSS, ACER, PISA, PIRLS, GCSE/A-Levels
  • Controlled Assessment
  • Ongoing formative Assessment
  • CEM Assessments
  • Mock Exam week
  12-13 Year 8  
  13-14 Year 9  
14-15   Key Stage 4 Year 10 GCSE/IGCSE
15-16 Year 11
  16-17  Post 16 Year 12 (*12A)


BTEC National Diploma
 17-18 Year 13 (*12B)  

Primary Curriculum
Our Foundation Stage links home and school. It begins a learning partnership which will carry the children through their Early Years education into Primary and onwards. Children are actively encouraged to explore their learning environment and are surrounded by examples of positive relationships. Learning inside and out utilises a range of resources and encourages active speaking and listening skills. Early independence, problem solving and confidence set the foundations for learning. Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Communication and Language, Mathematics, Understanding of the World, Physical Development, and Expressive Arts and Design are all interconnected. The children's daily routine draws from each area of the 'Early Years Foundation Stage' curriculum.
Our Primary School builds on the skills-based learning approach initiated within our Foundation Stage. The imaginative, diverse and creative curriculum we teach is very carefully planned to meet the needs of our children. Outstanding teaching and learning opportunities are grounded within the National Curriculum of England and adapted for our unique environment. We also have an innovative and creative curriculum reflecting best practice in the UK. Differentiated lessons pinpointing children's personal learning targets are identified throughout the curriculum; assessment is both formative and summative, allowing teachers to build up a picture of the 'whole child'. Throughout all phases of education within the Primary School, we value academic rigour married with opportunities to enable children to achieve their full potential in a wide range of creative and expressive subjects.

Secondary Curriculum
Dubai British School follows the UK National Curriculum throughout the Secondary School Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. At KS4 students take their GCSE examinations and in KS5 they will sit their A-Level examinations – qualifications that are recognized internationally for entry into higher education and/or employment. This curriculum is taught within an environment where independent learning and higher order thinking skills are developed, while individuality, risk taking and independence are celebrated. Students enjoy access to excellent facilities and resources, with instruction from highly qualified and experienced teachers.
Beyond the taught curriculum, students are strongly encouraged to participate in the wide range of activities that we offer – from within our ECA programme or through house events, school trips, the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme or any of the diverse opportunities that we make available to all of our students.
One of the keys to our success over the last 10-years has been the close relationship we foster between parents and the school. Over and above the regular reporting and parent meeting cycle, each student in the Secondary School is assigned to a Tutor Group, with a Form Tutor that meets with them every day and is always available to discuss issues and meet with parents.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7 to 9, the school focuses on a programme that closely follows the National Curriculum of England and Wales. This gives the students a chance to study a broad and balanced range of subjects. Regular assessments carried out during KS3 programme provide parents and teachers with the opportunity to compare the progress made with that of children of a similar age in the UK. The curriculum offered allows the students to follow a range of subjects, from the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, to History, Geography, Languages (Arabic, French, German, Spanish), ICT, DT, Music, Drama, P.E., Arabic Social Studies and Islamic Studies. There is also a programme that delivers Personal, Social and Health Education. The full KS3 programme prepares students to make informed choices of subjects that they may want to study at (I)GCSE and above and which may eventually determine their career path.
Students are assessed regularly throughout Key Stage 3 and their progress is monitored against their target in each subject to ensure they are working to their full potential at all times and working towards their GCSE courses.

Key Stage 4
GCSEs are internationally recognised qualifications, administered by examination boards in England and Wales. Assessment varies from subject to subject but is a combination of external examinations and controlled assessment. All students in Key Stage 4 study GCSE examination courses: English Literature, Mathematics, Science and Additional Science, together with five optional subjects. In addition, they study core subjects: Physical Education, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Arabic for Arab students and Islamic Studies for Muslim students. The two-year courses lead towards a GCSE or IGCSE, which is awarded at the end of Year 11.

Sixth Form
Our students perform at levels consistently above UK benchmarks and, as a consequence, gain places at top universities across the world, such as Cambridge University in the UK and John Hopkins University in the United States.
In the Sixth Form, our aim is to develop further intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, adaptability, communication skills and independent work habits.
The Post-16 Curriculum contains a core element as well as a wide range of A Level examination subjects from which students may select a field of study appropriate to their ability, interests and likely choices for higher education, as well as some vocational options. The core of Personal, Social and Health Education and our broad range of Extra Curricular Activities ensure breadth in our students' education.
Our Sixth Form students are leading members of our school community, helping with the running of the school and providing role models for the younger students.