FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are some commonly asked questions about our school, our curriculum and education systems that may help you understand us better.
WHAT IS OUR SCHOOL ABOUT?
We are a Boutique School and we’re a new school so every child will get lots of personal attention, care and support. We believe in the holistic development of children and we are not just focused on academics. We find each individual child’s strengths and talents and we build on them to give them confidence to solve unfamiliar problems.
Because of the current situation, we know that children need an extra-boost of support to give them that reassurance so we’re really focusing on their social and emotional well-being.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE SCHOOL?
Vernus International School (VIS) will be a community hub, within the Dubai Silicon Oasis Community. Our school will be open for the community place to socialize, meet people from the community and to host events and activities.
Our community school will offer a broad and balanced curriculum that provides children with opportunities to develop life skills and attitudes needed to be successful in the workplace.
WHAT IS OUR CURRICULUM?
We have a US curriculum based on the Californian Common Core State Standards, however, this will be delivered through Project-Based Learning.
WHAT IS PROJECT-BASED LEARNING OR PBL?
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered learning approach in which students are actively engaged in real-world meaningful projects. Students are assigned projects that may extend over a duration of one week, a month, or a term. They delve into a thinking process that helps them answer questions posed by peers and/or teachers to achieve results necessary for project progression.
The projects assigned are inter-disciplinary, so students will be utilizing their faculties and the resources present in their environments and across school subjects. They will be working in groups, actively using their critical thinking skills, knowledge of math and science, research on history, and artistic tendencies to accomplish the outcomes required to complete assigned projects. As a result, students develop tangible material knowledge along with critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills.
HOW IS PBL DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL LEARNING?
Unlike traditional learning where classrooms are teacher centered, PBL places the focus solely on the student. PBL classrooms are not lecture-driven, in fact Teachers teach everywhere but the “front of the classroom”. They serve as “active participants” continually rotating around the classroom, guiding students as they lead their own investigations/researching and learning. At an early age, the child learns to become independent, curious about, and in charge of his learning.
HOW WILL MY CHILD BE ASSESSED?
Assessments at Vernus International School will be ongoing formative and summative evaluations. Teachers will assess students’ progress on their critical thinking, content mastery and application, participation, presentation styles, and investigative approach.
IS VIS A VOCATIONAL SCHOOL? AND WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT
Yes. Vernus International School helps students discover and hone their interests in life at an early age. Our vision is to help our little ones find and nurture the doctor, lawyer, musician, artist, engineer, baker, athlete, astronomer, even farmer in them and guide them along their paths towards success.
WHAT ADDITIONAL LANGUAGES DO YOU OFFER AT VERNUS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL?
All our children are required to practice and master English, Arabic, and French. Our language classes are integrated into our curriculum from as early as Pre-K through to grade 5, and to 12th grade as the school grows.
CAN YOU PLEASE ADVISE ON WHAT KIND OF SPORTS/ACTIVITIES THE SCHOOL WOULD HAVE AT ITS FACILITY?
Students will have choices of volleyball, basketball, football, swimming, general exercise via Physical Education and Project-Based Learning activities and assignments. Part of Vernus International School being a PBL based school, our sports and activities are embedded into the curriculum and lessons. Classes are multidisciplinary and will include lessons conducted across the astronomy room, hydroponics room, media and drama room, cooking room, and even the gymnasium.
WHAT IS YOUR STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO FOR KG? AND WHAT IS YOUR CLASS CAPACITY?
Our class sizes of no more than 24 students will include 2 certified adults in each class – Class Teacher and Teacher Assistant. Both will have a strong background knowledge in American common core curriculum and PBL.
WHAT IS THE STUDENT DEMOGRAPHIC?
We are a multinational environment that reflects the diversity of the UAE.
WHAT NATIONALITY ARE THE TEACHERS?
All our teachers are from all over the world, many of them have worked for our group for many years. They are specialists in both the American curriculum and teaching the early years and elementary years. Alongside this we have a SEN specialist to ensure that all students from the gifted and talented to those that require additional support are given the best opportunities to learn and succeed.
WHICH GRADE/YEAR SHOULD MY CHILD BE IN?
Schools are required to comply with the age/year criteria and the cut-off date of 31st August for all curriculums with no exception as per the ministerial decree (820) of 2014. Visit https://www.khda.gov.ae/en/Website to check age/grade criteria.
SHOULD I PREPARE MY CHILD FOR KINDERGARTEN?
Pre-K children should be prepared for being in a setting without their parents. It is also important to start encouraging your child to be independent in eating, dressing and tidying up. We would also encourage you to develop your child’s social skills with other children the same age, this can be done by joining parenting groups, play groups or sending your child to nursery. Being toilet trained is a requirement for all children entering Pre-K.
WHAT IS KHDA AND WHY DO WE HAVE TO REGISTER?
KHDA is the Knowledge and Human Development Authority that regulates Private Schools within Dubai. KHDA registration is prescribed by the Dubai Government for legitimate residence in the country and proper registration in a Dubai School. Failure to comply may result in the school taking punitive action as mandated by KHDA, and this may range from temporary suspension to cancellation of admission. The school will handle this process with you.
WHAT IS THE KHDA PARENT CONTRACT?
A constructive partnership between the school and parents is key to ensuring students ‘well-being’ is at the core their educational experience. It is beneficial for all concerned if this partnership is based on agreed terms and conditions set out clearly in a contract developed by the school and issued by KHDA. Parents are required to sign the Parent School Contract for each academic year (this is a mandatory KHDA requirement).
WILL MY CHILD HAVE BOOKS?
The main focus of our curriculum is the Project-Based Learning approach; however some textbooks will be used to enhance and compliment this. The cost of the books is included in the school fee.
WHAT TECHNOLOGY IS IN THE SCHOOL?
Technology will supplement learning where and when it is appropriate.
Virtual reality will be used in appropriate ways to enhance the children’s learning and supplement the curriculum.
WHAT IS THE HOMEWORK POLICY?
There will be no homework in the traditional sense, however children will be encouraged to do activities connected to their projects or tasks and activities to involve their parents.