Curriculum Policy

DIS nurtures individual achievement, promoting excellence, independence, encouraging diversity and international-mindedness.
  • Our curriculum is committed to enabling all students to access, participate and progress in their learning and achievement
  • The curriculum promotes excellence and independence, supporting students to develop understanding of the subject matter, and provides the intellectual tools and strategies to think for themselves 
  • Resources used are appropriate to students’ learning needs and cultures 
  • All relations and behaviour between students and between teachers are fair and respectful. Teachers and students will respect cultural identities and language backgrounds of each individual student 
  • Intervention strategies and the individualisation of targets will be used to assist students who are demonstrating difficulty in learning

DIS will provide and deliver a quality teaching and learning programme.

A - The following six principles will be used to guide the teaching and learning programme:

  1. The learning environment is supportive and productive
  2. The learning environment promotes independence, interdependence
  3. Students’ needs, backgrounds, perspectives and interests are reflected in the learning programme
  4. Students are challenged and supported to develop deep levels of thinking and application
  5. Assessment practices are an integral part of learning and teaching
  6. Learning connects strongly with communities and practice beyond the classroom

DIS will provide a curriculum that maximises the capacity for all students to achieve the Assessment for Learning Objectives and Standards in each Key Learning Area (KLA): an IGCSE Certificate or an IB/IBCC, Year 13 qualification; and to exit from our school with capabilities and values to be successful individuals and life-long learners.        

The curriculum will contain both horizontal and vertical guidelines of what is to be taught in each Key Learning Area from Foundation Years to IB2. These guidelines include: 

  •  Essential Learnings in KLA for Foundation Years (FS1-FS2)
  •  Essential Learnings in KLA for Key Stage 1 & 2 (Yrs 1-5)
  •  Essential Learnings in KLA for Middle School (Yrs 6-9)
  •  Essential Learnings in KLA for Senior School (Yrs 10-13)
  •  A format that contains a Rationale; Learning Intentions; Content/ Activities; and Assessment types
  •  Provision for all students to develop capabilities and values to be successful individuals and lifelong learners
  •  A programme that follows broadly, the National Curriculum of England and Wales, with an internationally relevant content
  •  Outlines and procedures for examinations by CIE for IGCSE
  •  Outlines of the philosophy and procedures of the IBO used in both the IB and IBCC programmes of years 12 & 13
  •  A copy of the Ministry of Education requirements for the teaching of Arabic and Islamic studies 

The delivery of our curriculum will support and provide opportunities for all students to reach their full potential. We believe: 

A - Our curriculum will maximise each student’s educational potential.

  • Students, given the right support, sufficient time and effective teaching, can develop knowledge, skills and understanding to achieve their potential
  • Our planned learning experiences must continue to challenge students who demonstrate deep understanding 

B - Learning experiences will be equitable.

  • DIS values the diversity of cultures and knowledge that students bring with them into the classroom. In this international context the uniqueness and capabilities of each student will be maximised
  • Teachers will use English, and Arabic where appropriate, to enable students to reflect on actions and knowledge 
  • Introduction of new material will be delivered using a variety of pedagogical strategies and contexts 

Assessment will be an ongoing, rigorous process. Evidence gathered will determine what each student knows, understands, and to be used to inform the teaching of our curriculum.

A - Assessment will be valid.

  • Assessment tasks will provide reliable information on student achievement, in relationship to the curriculum 

B - Assessment will be explicit.

  • All assessment should be explicit so that basis for judgments are clear
  • Students will know what they are expected to learn and be aware of the criteria and standards used to determine their quality of achievement
  • Feedback on students’ work and progress will help them reflect and identify steps they can undertake to improve 

C- Assessment will be comprehensive.

  • Student assessment will demonstrate their learning consistently within a range of contexts 
  • Teacher judgement of student achievement will be based on a range of evidence both formal and informal, and from various situations 

D- Assessment will demonstrate the extent and depth of student learning.

  • Assessment tasks will be appropriate for all students in an international setting
  • Assessment practices will encourage students to reflect and take responsibility for their own learning

E- Assessment will inform planning and teaching.

  • Assessment is to be used by teachers at the beginning, during and at the end of learning units/sequences
  • Assessment is to be used to diagnose student progress and to inform interventions and individualised learning targets 

DIS will monitor and assess individual student achievement and evaluate it against international benchmarks and exam results. A collaborative process will be used to support teachers in making consistent judgements. Assessment will include:

  • Initial assessment on enrolment
  • A range of assessment processes, and tools use to monitor individual progress and achievement
  • Data to demonstrate individualised learning
  • The use of data for targeted teaching
  • Data to inform school curriculum planning and implementation
  • The tracking of student progress at DIS
  • Mock Yr 11 examination procedures
  • Mock IB2 examination procedures
  • The process and method of moderation in order to strengthen teacher consistency, judgment and comparability of reported results

DIS uses international assessments tasks, certification and IB Diploma externally assessed examinations and Moderated Internal Assessment Tasks, for benchmarking students’ progress and/ or exiting DIS. International assessments include:

  • ACER-ISA and ePIPS procedures
  • Year 9 Checkpoints
  • PISA, undertaken at the age of 15. (MOE requirements)
  • IB/IBCC procedures

 DIS will regularly report relevant information to parents on student achievement and learning.  We will: 

  • Issue 2 formal, written reports to parents each year 
  • Use a Foundation Years, (FS1 & 2) Early Learning Goals in their reporting format
  • Use a Primary School (KS 1 & 2) four-point scale for Achievement and a 5-point scale for Effort in their reporting format
  • Use a Middle School (Yrs 6-9) Assessment for Learning Levels in their reporting format
  • Use an IGCSE and IB reporting format. (Yrs 10-13)
  • Report orally to parents twice yearly through parent-teacher interviews
  • Use Student- Led Conferences in Primary School and Middle School with evidence of tracking in the core subjects via a Student Portfolio
  • Report to parents’ results of the ePIPS, ACER, yr 9 Checkpoints, IGCSE and IB/IBCC results
  • Upon request, meet with any parent to discuss a student’s progress, or provide a written report that clearly states a student’s achievement  

DIS will provide students with appropriate access to Information, and Communication Technologies (ICT).

  • Students will learn to access, manage and evaluate information from a range of digital technologies
  • ICT will be used as an integral tool to engage students in understanding concepts and processes in more depth, and to extend the classroom across space and time
  • The curriculum reflects and builds upon ICT skills students bring to the classroom
  • ICT classes will encourage students to reflect critically, and safely



  • Deira International School
  • Dubai Festival City, P.O. Box 79043, Dubai, UAE
  • +971 4 232 5552
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