SAMA American Private School was started in September 2012 in the Emirate of Sharjah, Al-Azra Private School district, just next to the Emirate of Ajman boarder. The campus is a modern purposely-constructed two story building – built to meet the international standards of student safety, protection and comfort and equipped with modern ICT infrastructure to provide internet to all classrooms and offices with interactive smart boards in all the classrooms. The school caters for students as of KG1 to grade twelve and offers quality education to K12 students whose parents are interested in a private school option that is characterized by high standards of discipline and high academic expectations.
Our priority is to ensure that both parents and students become actively engaged in our school’s vibrant community and benefit from the curricular and co-curricular programs that are provided by our school.
The school’s building has a library, three computer labs, seven science labs, three art rooms, a cafeteria, outdoor sport facilities, shaded areas, a multi-purpose hall, a clinic for a resident nurse and a part time medical doctor, classrooms that cater for 2000 students and offices for administrators. Initially, in 2012/13, there were 342 students; this grew to 550 the following year followed by 795 in 2014/15. By 2015/16 there were 1035 students enrolled and currently the school student population is 1303. The successful school’s student growth rate is mainly attributed to parent satisfaction which has contributed to the school’s success (as evidenced in the Parent Surveys). The continual improvement and enhanced reputation of the school is expected to continue year on year, hence requiring further expansion of premises.
The school is currently setting plans to add an additional building with an indoor gym and another spacious multi-purpose hall, in addition to some supplementary classes for the KG and primary sections.
Our staff comprises of 186 full time teachers, administrators and support staff. The faculty comprises of a school Principal, a Vice Principal, four Heads of departments, six section supervisors, a Social Counsellor, 85 teachers, 28 teacher assistants, 33 administrators and an additional number of support staff. All teaching staff possess the appropriate teaching qualification(s). This requirement is reflected in the selection process/policy prior to interview.
The modern CCTV system and surveillance cameras are installed throughout the campus to provide close supervision for all the school premises and common areas thusenhancing safety and security.
The school provides all parents with the option of “user-pays” transport services care of the school-owned buses, where the emphasis is on safety, comfort and appropriate supervision while in transit. All buses are brand new, equipped with surveillance cameras, have up-to-date vehicle maintenance and safety checks routinely completed. They carry first-aid kits and have operational air conditioning. They are all complaint with all applicable transportation laws of the UAE.
The school uses the American Curriculum/CCSS in all key subjects i.e. English, Math and Science and complies with the UAE Ministry of Education requirements in Arabic, Islamic Studies and Social Studies. The school complies with all statuary laws and derives its legitimacy from both the UAE Ministry of Education and Labour Law.
The main challenge for our school is the effective provision for SEN students as almost all such students approach our school for admission without prior assessment or identification of such needs. Most parents of SEN students are either unaware or unwilling to provide/disclose such important information upon registration which sometimes leads to some delay in discovering and referring such cases to licensed professionals for assessment.
Providing world-class education to nurture academic excellence, holistic growth, innovation and capability of contributing to global progress.
Each child, as a unique individual, regardless of his/her ethnic background, should enjoy special protection, be given opportunities and facilities to develop physically, mentally, socially and spiritually in a healthy and appropriate manner in conditions of freedom and dignity.
This takes place in a context of equal learning chances that instill in each student a desire to learn, to take appropriate risks, and to accept challenges accompanied with well-pronounced disciplinary policies, collaborative relationship with different stakeholders and continuous pursuit of academic excellence where values of respect, trust, academic honesty and mutual understanding and thus ensure that the students’ voices are stressed.
Students are the school’s overriding priority. We aim to develop their understanding, skills and potential so they are in a position to meet the challenges that they will face in a rapidly accelerating globalized and competitive world. Students’ academic and social development is the school’s core target, in partnership with the parents and community.Our international educational programs should be well-organized to provide disciplined and challenging education which will prepare students for post high school opportunities, and to develop 21st Century skills.We aim to generate students who are global and critical thinkers, collaborators, civil communicators, problem solvers, workforce oriented and environmentally aware, healthily and ICT literate with a high sense of responsibility and loyalty to the UAE, the globe’s welfare and deep-rooted ties to cultural identity.
We also believe that our main role is to inspire our students, ignite their potential through providing appropriate challenges and allowing venues for investigations, exploration, facilitation and careful monitoring of the learning process. The teachers as facilitators of students’ learning will connect students’ to their own growth and development journey, providing them with knowledge content and practical opportunities to develop their innate talents, skills and gifts in authentic situations with obvious connectivity to the real world. Students will have interdisciplinary opportunities for critical thinking and problem solving, as well as innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship.
The school provides a rigorous college preparatory program in a nurturing and safe environment which acknowledges every student’s intrinsic worth. Through the educational experience, staff of the school will assist students to develop self-confidence, personal insight, and respect for the knowledge and opinions of others. The school believes that partnerships with family and community are essential in fostering student learning and development.
SAMA school has developed relations with multiple educational institutions to provide e.g. teacher training and placements for Higher education/Universities’ students.
To be effective with young people, parents and staff must also have a learning orientation so that they perceive the young accurately and treat them wisely. All relationships will be characterized by honesty, trust and respect.
This high quality teaching performance is best ensured with continuous professional development, commitment to action research and inquiry, strong and high morale growth, and carefully constructed recruitment and selection policies to ensure that we attract, develop and retain teachers of the highest quality, integrity and personal as well as professional standards.
The uniqueness of SAMA American Private School lies in having Islamic beliefs and practices as essential elements in its programs as stipulated by our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), “Seek Education from the Cradle to the Grave”, while establishing ties to the UAE heritage in a modern American educational system.
Though SAMA American Private School has been operating for less than five years, but it has gained a very good reputation of an education institution providing quality education and has become the choice of parents. The student enrollment rates continue to grow remarkably as a result of more parents approaching the school to admit their children based on the satisfaction that current parents show. The school has become well-established as an engaging, supportive and inclusive community characterized by very good discipline and a strong ethos of child protection, safety and security.
The school has lately conducted a comprehensive process of curriculum review to make it more aligned with students’ needs and international standards. Curriculum programs, courses and activities have become highly balanced and broad, promoting challenge, gratification and innovation.The school is aiming at providing rigorous academic standards and further enrich the learning experience.
The school strives towards continuous improvement, this is being augmented by a very supportive governing board. An integral component of such an improvement course of action is the strategy and plan to professionally develop school staff. This plan, which is data-driven, has been developed and initiated during this academic year and is highly systematic with very clear milestones and objectives mainly aspiring at elevating the level of staff performance and optimizing students’ learning and growth.
The school has accomplished some achievements during the past couple of years and mostly during the past academic year. Such achievements show the level of distinctive performance of both staff and students on one hand and indicate the growing acknowledgment of the local community at the Emirate level or even the national level on the other.
Our grade three, five, seven and nine students participated in the standardized UAENAP exams that were conducted by the Ministry of Education. The analysis of the results show that the averages of our students in all four grade levels are far higher than the averages at the emirate level and the national level. In most of the curriculum standards that were included in the exam, our students’ attainment was rated as a point of strength.
Our high school students participated in some scientific competitions and were able to win the Environment Sustainability Award across Sharjah. Their project was rated as the top project. A different team of students have also qualified to Think Science Competition 2016 by introducing some innovative projects that aim at reducing energy consumption. The project that was fully implemented in our school campus and was among the very few selected projects nation-wide to participate in the Think Science Fair 2016. A third team participated in the Zayed Award for Renewable Energy and their participation was a very good opportunity to deepen their understanding of this area of science.
Our school students participated in the Reading Challenge initiative and many of our students qualified for the Emirate level. Some of qualifying students competed at the UAE nation-wide level and three of them were judged as winners.
Further successes include:
- Winning three Runner ups in the Reading Challenge Initiative
- Winning Awards in Quran memorization nation wide
- Certifying a Sports Teacher to become a FOOTBALL COACH BY The Asian Federation.
- Hosting the Innovation School to deliver the Innovation of Learning for students
- The integration of Global Issues in the Curriculum Design
Our school community is very culturally diversified with staff and students coming from more than forty nationalities; such diversity brings wealth to students’ life and nurtures the development of the sense of internationalism among them.
The Curriculum at SAMA American Private School is aligned with the Common Core Standards CCSS in all key subjects namely math, science and English while the Islamic Studies and Arabic subjects are aligned with the UAE Ministry of Education requirements. The design of the curriculum allows a range of elective courses that prepare students for future career orientation in a systematic manner. The curriculum is well planned for progression on by examining progress in skills across all subjects. The scope and sequence of the key subjects ensure that the previous learning is taken into account and most students are well prepared to undertake the transition to the next phase of learning. Subject to an Entrance exam upon admission and the diagnostic test conducted at the beginning of the school year ensures that previous learning and the shared level expectation is taken into account when preparing for the arrival of new students, as well as the older students to the next phase.
The curriculum is comprehensively documented to include expected learning outcomes, benchmarks, and instructional methodologies, teaching materials, resources and assessment. Curriculum documentation is the outcome of collaborative efforts of Head of Academics, Head of Departments, coordinators and teachers.
SAMA School is devising continuous improvement plans that encompass all aspects of school operational systems and academic ones. A new modified appraisal system is in place to ensure criteria complaint with the latest methodology, inclusive learning and interdisciplinary connections in an atmosphere conducive of equitable challenges for all students .The school recruitment policies and procedures are revised and formalized in committees to secure qualified teachers in place besides the re assignments of senior positions and staffing at a larger scale for new posts the school needs to sustain better performance. The main focus of the school curriculum and programs is to enhance the development of twenty-first century skills like creativity, critical thinking, innovation, problem solving and effective communication skills to prepare students for the next stage of their education and later for life. Students are actively engaged in project work and research and are always encouraged to participate in such competitions and Fairs at the local and national levels.