Pros and Cons of UK Curriculum


1. Who is the curriculum suitable for?

The UK Curriculum, or National Curriculum for England as it is formally know, is a broad balanced curriculum that is suitable for children and young people from across the globe. The breadth of subjects includes the Arts, Sciences and Humanities and overall it is a very liberal model that can be adapted to meet the needs of children whose previous learning experiences might have been in another country specific or world curriculum . With a proven track record of providing the most accomplished routes to universities and as a long standing and renowned model of education, the NCfE is known for academic excellence across the world and truly is a global passport to success.

2. Benefits of studying UK Curriculum?

The curriculum is very established in the realms of academia and has a strong global reputation. As well as the traditional content that one might expect to find, the NCfE also promotes spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepares all students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. One of the core aims of the National Curriculum is that it provides a framework for the knowledge that will help young people on their journey to becoming globally educated citizens and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement. In the Primary years the curriculum remains as broad and balanced as possible with a strong focus on discover child centered learning but as children grow, so too does the curriculum evolve and become more specialized. The range of subjects that older children can focus on is vast and ranges from Economics to Engineering or English Literature, Art to Arabic, Mathematics to Music Technology and Mandarin or Physics to Photography, Physical Education or Psychology. All of these will lead to a variety of pathways and are delivered under the regulations of a national examinations benchmark that makes it easy for parents, students, teachers, other schools, universities and employers to track progress and understand targets for future learning.

3. Challenges in learning through the UK Curriculum?

Delivery of the curriculum is through English and some of the content may have a British centric approach. Examples of where this might manifest itself are in the learning of monetary units in the Primary phase where the British pound is used to the higher years of History subject content. However, international teachers understand the need to modify the content and curriculum to suit the needs of the students that they teach and can contextualize accordingly. The adaptability of the International GCSE framework also means that teachers and schools have the choice to take a more international approach to the choosing of examination boards that better suit their context and cohort.

4. What are the various subjects taught, mandatory subjects, whether subjects selection is flexible or not?

Throughout the Primary Phase and early Secondary, there are a core group of subjects that one would expect to find in a traditionally British education system. They include the Arts, Sciences and Humanities subjects . At various stages, parts of the curriculum become optional, for example at the age of 14 at the start of GCSE and again at 16 at the start of A level, young people can choose subjects that are of greater interest to them and thereby narrow their focus to ensure greater success. However, much as is the expectation here in the UAE, the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science are compulsory through to the age of 16 at the end of GCSE level. A student would normally take approximately 10 or 11 subjects at GCSE level and most schools will offer in excess of 20 optional subjects to add to these core subjects. Such choices and decisions are always take with the expert advice and guidance of the school and also with the support and discussions that are had with parents. At the age of 16, students’ narrow down further and tend to choose 3 or 4 subjects from a further range of over 20 that are offered at school

5. What is your method of teaching?

At Hartland International School, teaching is driven by a partnership between students and teachers resulting in teachers knowing their students and planning for effective teaching based on that knowledge and also their expert subject knowledge. This means that though whole class based, lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of all and indeed, teachers have high expectations in relation to learning and outcomes for everyone in their care. Specialist teachers further support the learning experience of the children also by adding a different dimension to the traditional British structure with Design Technology, Art, Music, PE and four different Languages all delivered by specialist practitioners from Year 2. This is highly unusual but also highly effective for both children and staff. For example, a specialist secondary Science teacher works with class teachers in the Primary phase to ensure that content and topic is both in line with curriculum expectations but is further reaching in terms of opportunity and experience for the children.

6. What are the after school activities you provide and how do they help?

With just over 450 children at the school, our students have access to a broad range of over 75 activities from sports to academic interests and a variety of clubs and community initiatives from Year 1. Activities include Yoga, Weaving, Creative Writing, Debating and Lego Club but to name a few. Integral to The Hartland Way and our Enrichment Programme is a commitment to wider education. So whether you are a budding Master Chef or Chess Master, or the next editor of the National Newspaper, there is always an avenue to explore and an opportunity to discover. Our philosophy is that each and every journey beyond the classroom should enriche the lives of our young people as they traverse day-to-day Hartland life. Our Enrichment Activities are an expectation rather than a traditional extra-curricular club with additional and external activities also offered by approved providers at additional cost.

7. What are your fees?

Our fee structure is commensurate with the exceptional facilities that the school offers. As approved by KHDA, our fees range from AED 49,750 to AED 81,000 depending on Year group. However, since the school opened in 2015, it has continued to offer a lower fee for parents and the range goes from AED 49,000 to AED 76,000. There are many partnership corporate agreements in place that are managed and approved that offer a further variation and discount and the school would be happy to share those with prospective parents. The school also offers a scholarship programme with full tuition fees paid for up to 10 students per year, details of which can be found on our website.

Fiona Cottam
Hartland International School

Accreditations & Affiliations