A ‘great community feeling’, ‘peaceful environment’ and teachers who ‘took the time to make our son feel comfortable’ plus lots more, this is why these parents chose Jumeira Baccalaureate School
Parents to Romeo, Fabrice and Marie-Jeanne share their insights on why JBS is a great choice of school.
- How did you first hear about your school?
When we moved in and started looking, it was on my top five list given by good friends already living in Dubai.
- What factors played into your decision to send your child to this school?
The kindness and empathy of the teacher who did Romeo’s assignment and who was going to be his teacher on his first year in Dubai : Ms Moffat. Unlike the three schools we went previously for an assignment, she treated him with a lot of respect, took the time to make him feel comfortable and to reassure him: my son then did not speak a word of English, and obviously Ms Moffat did not speak French nor Italian, so as you can imagine it was some kind of challenge. That is what win us over, nothing else was more valuable to us.
- Did you take a tour of the school before making your decision? What were your first impressions?
Yes we did, we liked the green and peaceful environment, the behavior and politeness of the students we bumped into, the fact that classes were not overcrowded and the general feeling of quietness and respect.
- How did your child adjust to the school? Did the school take any special measures to help with the settling in process?
It was not an easy step for our son : he moved from a tiny almost cartoon-like countryside school, lost in the the middle of Normandy, back in France, to start a new school year not only in a new country but also in a brand new language. Hence it was very important to us to ensure that he would not be left to himself in a huge school with many kids per class. He needed time and attention, and got plenty of both : he first followed a special curriculum for non-native speakers, but quickly was back in class for most of the week where everyone from teachers to students did their very best to make him feel he belonged. It worked : he really loves his school.
- What in your opinion are the three greatest strengths of the school?
There is really a great community feeling, which both kids and parents enjoy, and there is also a special feature that was extremely attractive to us as native French speakers: JBS offers a very strong French curriculum, which was a big part of our final decision. Being both my husband and I multilingual professionals, we wanted to give our son the opportunity to be in a full immersion English environment, and this is why we did not picked the obvious choice of most of the French community, and did not send him to the French school. JBS is one of the very few high standard schools in Dubai which offers both school endorsed and extra payable French ECA’s, which allowed him to not only keep up with his French but actually make significant progress.
- How does the school include parents in the community?
We meet regularly for assemblies, sports or learning celebrations, and many festivities throughout the year. We have also our Monday Markets, and a very strongly involved PFA, the school is the link between many different communities, as it is frequent here in Dubai, and we all love our International day. Moreover, parents are always welcome in class : for instance I had the opportunity to give a short speech on what is a sustainable organic vegetable garden, because it was fitting in one of the themes addressed by the teacher, and enjoyed every minute of it : it was great to see the class life from the inside and being part of their day for a little while.
- How does the school keep you informed about your child’s progress?
We have an online tool called Communicator, but also a regular email/whatsapp feed from the class rep parents, the teachers and the principal. Of course also proper teacher/parents/pupils meetings, and every teacher is always available on a simple call for a private meeting should you ever feel the need.
- What is the number one thing you’d miss if you transferred your child to another school?
We are not looking to move, and would happily let our child grow where he feels comfortable: I know “school shopping” is big in Dubai, but no school is hundred percent perfect, and here our son is happy to go to class every morning (well, almost – he still is a kid after all!) so that is definitely priceless. But should it be the case, from an educational point of view, we’d miss definitely the French curriculum and our very motivated French teacher’s crew. And otherwise, the strong community feeling, the human size of the school and the classes, and the availability of the staff from every single teacher up to the complete board of principals.
- What kind of child (or family) would you say would be the best fit for this school?
A French or Franco mixed family looking for both a strong English IB and a solid French support, but also anyone looking for a human sized school, and teachers who “leave no one behind”.
- What extra-curricular activities or out of school programmes does the school offer that you have taken part in?
There is plenty to pick from, but so far our son was part of the swimsquad and we were really amazed by his progress (he started Grade barely able to swim across the pool on his own), and especially by the kindness and support of his fellow swimmers : he once missed the first place by a few seconds and everyone – yes, everyone, not only his team mates – went up to him to cheer him up. Next thing you know, at the following race, he got his hands on a medal. He also enjoyed yoga, kung-fu, music practice, and of course…the French classes!
Brought to you in partnership with Jumeira Baccalaureate School (JBS).