5 Must-Know Tips About Enrolling Your Child in a Dubai School
Although you might have already settled into your new home in Dubai, your work isn’t over yet. You still have plenty of things to do to guarantee a smooth transition for your family into your new life in Dubai.
One of the things you have to do is to find the right school for your child.
Fortunately, there are plenty of schools to choose from in Dubai, so you won’t have to worry about not finding one where your little one can get good-quality education and make the most of all their learning experiences.
Additionally, many schools here have straightforward registration and admissions processes, so you won’t have too many difficulties going through them.
For instance, the process for online enrolment at GEMS Wellington Academy - Silicon Oasis allows parents or legal guardians of children to fill out the registration form on a computer or mobile device.
If you choose this school for your child, you can have an easier time registering and following the other steps to formally enrol them.
A Guide to Enrolling Your Child in a Dubai School for the First Time
Since it’s your first time to enrol your child in a school in Dubai, you may still find the process intimidating.
Below is a guide that can help you go through the admissions and enrolment processes with less guesswork and hassles:
1. Choose the right school for your child.
Most of the work you have to put into enrolling your child in their first school in Dubai would be focused on finding the right school.
Ideally, you should have started researching different schools in Dubai before arriving here. If you haven’t, a simple search on the internet will generate a list of educational establishments here.
You only need to open each school website to know their location, and whether their curriculum, facilities, and fees suit your expectations.
Below are some specific tips to keep in mind as you find the right school for your child:
● Make sure the school has the necessary permits or licences and accreditations. You would also do well to look into their reputation and see if they are globally recognised. You can do this by checking online reviews or feedback.
● If you know other parents in Dubai, ask them about their children’s schools and if their little ones are happy with the learning style and experiences they are receiving.
● It is also important that you put some thought into selecting the right curriculum for your child. If you have plans of going back to your home country, ensure there are local schools that have this programme so they can continue it.
● Ensure the programme is recognised internationally, especially if you plan to move to another country or your child dreams of going to one of the top universities in the world.
● Consider the location of your preferred schools. You can save money and avoid the hassle of long drives and commutes if the school you choose is nearby.
Once you have narrowed down your options, think about visiting these schools with your child to see if they feel comfortable inside the campus and classroom and if they are happy with the facilities.
When you’re ready to choose, include your child in your decision since they’ll be the one going to school.
2. Know the school’s admissions and academic year timetables.
While going over the school website or visiting their campus, check their admissions timetable.
Schools with international curricula in Dubai usually start admissions for the following academic year in March.
Most private schools start their first term in August or September. If you and your family arrive in Dubai before these months, you won’t need to rush your child’s application.
However, the earlier you start your child’s application, the better to guarantee their place in your chosen school.
If you arrive later than August or September in Dubai and have not started your child’s application in advance, find out from your preferred schools if they still accept new students.
Most schools with available slots will accept students until September.
However, if you are transferring your child in the middle of the academic year, ensure you have already chosen a school and spoken with them regarding the transfer beforehand. This is because you may be required to submit more requirements, particularly if you select a different curriculum for your child.
3. Understand the school admissions process.
Schools in Dubai have different admissions criteria. You can ask the staff directly when you visit the campus or read the information on their website.
If you are enrolling your child in Year 3 or higher, they likely need to take a placement or admission test.
The test depends on your child’s year and the school curriculum. It usually covers key subjects, including English, maths and science.
Some private schools include an interview in their admissions process. Find out if your child has to undergo one so you can help them prepare for it.
Most of the time, these assessment tests come with a non-refundable fee, so be prepared to pay for them as well.
4. Check the enrolment requirements of your chosen school.
Many primary and secondary schools in Dubai allow parents to start their child’s registration process on their website.
You can fill out the enrolment form on their website, making this part of the process easier and more convenient for you.
At this stage, you need to prepare the required documents. These usually include:
● Your child’s birth certificate in Arabic or English
● Transfer certificate from your child’s previous school
● Your child’s school records for the last two years
● Your child’s passport and residence visa or ID (if available)
● Passport-sized photos
● Your passport and residence visa
Some documents need to be submitted with attestation. Check the school website for their specific requirements regarding this.
5. Secure your child’s place in your chosen school.
When you have submitted your child’s enrolment form and requirements and they pass the test and interview (if required), you will receive an acceptance letter.
You can then reserve your child’s spot by paying the deposit. Now, you can proceed with the enrolment process, which means paying for the school fees.
Check the school website or speak with a staff member about the payment methods and options. Find out how you can save money on the fees as well.
For instance, some schools offer discounts if you pay the tuition fee in full before the term starts or if you use a credit card from certain banks.
When you know these facts, you won’t find enrolling your child in their first school in Dubai confusing or difficult. You can also ensure your little one will be happy and thrive in a new learning environment.