Secondary School

Welcome by the Head of Secondary


I would like to wish you a very warm welcome to The English College, the best value, high quality, British education in Dubai. We are driven by our core values of aspiration, gratitude, integrity, resilience and respect, which are at the heart of everything we do. Our Outstanding pastoral care ensures that our students are happy, safe and supported and our dedicated pastoral team and full-time counsellor ensure that students have the support they need to flourish. Learning is challenging, fun and engaging; our teachers have dedicated professional development time each week where they spend time developing their pedagogical practice, collaborate with colleagues and further develop their craft. Consequently, our outcomes are excellent; students’ attainment competes with the very best schools across the globe. Even more importantly, our students far surpass their potential, compared to their CAT4 target grades, leading to Outstanding value added data. Students at EC are successful and achieve the very best they can; they achieve individual success and that success looks different for every single, unique, student.  This ensures that our students have the grades that they need to further their education at top institutions across the world, supported by our dedicated Higher Education advisor. In addition, we are incredibly lucky to have a brand new building with state-of-the-art science labs, art studios, drama studios, a fitness suite and a dedicated health clinic to name but a few. Children have to feel safe and supported at school – I strongly urge you to come and have a look around our school and I am sure you will feel the warmth, support and excitement that I feel every single day.

Emily Hopkinson

Head of Secondary School


Our Vision

At the English College, we encourage students to always try their best and aspire to excellence. We strive to develop lifelong learners who flourish in all they do and embrace, with passion and confidence, their responsibility to support others and make a difference both locally and globally.

Pastoral Care & PSHCE programme (EH)

We pride ourselves in delivering the very best holistic care for all of our students. We have truly earned our KHDA rating of “Outstanding” for pastoral care; we value each and every one of our students and our aim is to ensure they are successful, whatever that looks like to them. We nurture budding medics, dentists, lawyers, musicians, sportspeople, actors, chefs, economists and psychologists to name but a few. Holistic care is important to us; it’s important that our students develop the skills they need for success. To support this, we have a full time counsellor in school who works with students to overcome whatever barriers they face in life. In addition, we have developed an inhouse tutorial programme that allows students to develop the necessary skills for 21st century life such as critical thinking, resilience and problem solving. Furthermore, our tutorial programme allows students to explore and debate issues to broaden their thinking and experience, and to prepare them for life beyond EC.

Teaching and Learning

We recruit high quality, experienced teachers to ensure the best possible provision for our students. Our teachers are all experienced and fully trained professionals, with the vast majority being UK trained and offer a classroom environment that is both supportive and challenging. Regular learning walks by members of the leadership team demonstrate that our students are actively engaged in their learning, enjoying passionate teaching and thriving due to the high expectation placed on all. Students are provided with a personalised learning experience where they are provided with appropriate challenge.

Our professional development programme ensures that our teachers have time to reflect on their practice, collaborate with others and learn about the most recent pedagogical practices. The professional learning library is well resourced with teachers actively engaging in their own, tailored professional development, led by our Head of Learning, Daryl Sims. We have a learning culture at EC following the principle of ‘Kaizan’ (continuous improvement) – our teachers constantly strive to be even better as we all subscribe to the philosophy that we can all learn, grow and improve along our professional development journey.


The curriculum at The English College, one of the best British schools in Dubai, reflects our philosophy and aims. It is broad and balanced, recognises UK guidelines and fulfils the requirements of the UK National Curriculum and beyond. We provide education that is suited to all students and there is great emphasis on academic excellence. Students need to secure the best achievable qualifications. However, we firmly believe that the value of our curriculum goes beyond purely what is examinable. We believe every learner is entitled to a curriculum that is rich and varied, challenging and inspiring, which enables every individual to fulfil her or his potential to the highest possible standard. We promote the view that learning should be experienced as something which is enjoyable, engaging, rewarding and confidence building. The curriculum enables our students to become:

• Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
• Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
• Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

It is our intention to lay secure foundations for progression into Further and Higher Education and we consider preparation for Sixth Form study to be a key feature of our Secondary School. Lessons are taught by highly qualified and motivated staff, all of whom are experts in their subject. All departments are well resourced.

Our curriculum is broken up into the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for FS1 and FS2, and The National Curriculum of England for Year 1 to Year 13.

Key Stage 3: (years 7, 8 and 9)

At The English College, we aim to give students an inspiring and engaging experience. Our Keys Stage 3 curriculum is broad, balanced, ambitious, inclusive and relevant for the 21st century. We encourage, support and develop students to become life-long independent learners, whose emotional health and wellbeing, along with their academic and intellectual potential, will flourish. We develop the whole person by building their character with strong leadership skills, values and instilling our core values of Collaboration, Aspiration, Respect, Excellence, and Responsibility.

Students study a Key Stage 3 programme which works alongside the UK National Curriculum so they can develop a full understanding of both core and foundation subjects before choosing their GCSEs when they are better informed and more mature to narrow their focus.

During Key Stage 3, Students will follow the following subjects:

Arabic, Art, Computing, Drama, English, French, Geography, History, Islamic Studies (Muslim students’ only), Maths, Moral Education, Music, Physical Education, Spanish and UAE social Science.

Key Stage 4: GCSE qualifications (years 10 and 11)

Students in years 10 and 11 will study for their GCSE qualifications. There is a set of core subjects that are compulsory for all students, including subjects such as science, mathematics and English language and literature. However, for the first time in their academic career, students have some choice in what subjects they study alongside their compulsory subjects. This is an exciting and important decision however it can be a daunting time for some. Therefore, our options choice process equips both students and parents with the knowledge and confidence that they need to make informed decisions about the courses that they will study.

Planning for the future is a key component of our PSHCE programme and this feeds into the options process which includes; assemblies, GCSE taster sessions, a parent information evening and one-to-one guidance meetings with our specialist staff. Our curriculum is designed to allow students the freedom to engage in a broad range of disciplines across the sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences and technologies or, if they so choose, pursue a focused pathway. This flexibility allows our students to create their own tailored curriculum meeting their passions, needs and aspirations so that they will be successful.

Our options booklet for 2023-2025 Year 10 can be found here.

Key Stage 5: A level/BTEC qualifications (year 12 and 13)

Our Key Stage 5 curriculum aims to cater to the needs of our students. We offer pathways that create a personalised, meaningful, and challenging timetable for each and every student, based on their strengths, successes and aspirations. We offer 3 pathways of learning: A level only, BTEC only, or a Blended A level and BTEC pathway. Most students will choose 3 subjects, with a minority choosing 4 subjects. We offer a large range of subjects so that our students can be successful, regardless of where their strengths lie from drama to law, physics and English literature. The full list of subjects offered can be found in our Sixth Form options booklet 2023/24 found here. Each pathway has entrance requirements based on GCSE grades which are clearly communicated in our Sixth Form option booklet. The entrance requirements help us to ensure that we are setting students up for success at the end of their pathway.

Throughout Year 11 we provide our students with taster sessions, a PSHCE program which educates the students in career pathways and higher education destinations, one-to-one guidance meetings with our HE/Careers Advisor and an information evening with our specialist staff. Students will then select their options which will be confirmed on GCSE results day.