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What subjects are taught by the International Baccalaureate curriculum and English National curriculum at the Primary phase, and how? When are students assessed? What are the learning objectives and which type of child does each curriculum suit? These and more are all questions we hear from parents trying to choose between the IB or English National Curriculum. We asked two UAE school leaders for their thoughts…

To gain a better understanding of how the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and English National Curriculum works at primary level, we spoke to; Clare Turnbull, Head of Prep at the Royal Grammar School Guildford, Dubai (an English National curriculum school) and Peter Bonner, Assistant Principal Primary at GEMS World Academy – Dubai (an ‘all through’ IB curriculum school), to learn more about their school’s chosen curriculum.

Clare, Peter – Are there any main points you think parents should bear in mind when considering which curricula/school to choose for their child?

Clare: For me, whilst the curriculum might be one of the factors when choosing a school, it should not be the driving force. Outstanding schools are outstanding schools, kind and caring schools are kind and caring schools, transformational schools are transformational schools. I am lucky enough to have visited and inspected many schools teaching a variety of curricula, and the common features of outstanding schools have been far more tied to relationships, to ethos, to values and to individualised approaches rather than specific curricula. However, it goes without saying that I have chosen, and I love working in, a British Curriculum school! Finding a school that will suit each of your children is the main thing. Parents here in Dubai have a wonderful choice, make the most of it!