At Dar Al Marefa, we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life – and that every child can develop their potential if they are given the support they need from an early age. As the only Arabic and English, bilingual International Baccalaureate Curriculum school in Dubai, we teach the programmes that ensure students receive that support.
As part of a worldwide learning community, we are committed to working together – students, teachers, educators and administrators – to create an environment in which we can all learn, succeed and thrive.
Our world-class IB Curriculum is taught by experienced and highly qualified faculty and instructors. Each staff member is hand-picked to ensure that our students are always surrounded by knowledgeable, encouraging and caring teachers at all times.
IBPYP Early Years
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) Early Years lays the foundation for future learning for students aged 3 – 5. We believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and is entitled to the support that will enable them to fulfil their unique potential from an early age.Read More
IBPYP Primary Years
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged 3 -10 (including Early Years). The curriculum focuses on nurturing and developing young students into caring, active participants in their lifelong journey of learning.Read More
IBMYP Middle Years
The IB Middle Years Programme is offered to students between the ages of 11 – 16. The framework of this programme makes practical connections between students’ studies and the real world.Read More
IBDP Diploma Programme
The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is for students aged 16-19. The DP curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Activity, Service, and the Extended Essay.Read More
The International Baccalaureate Curriculum Programme is taught across the world and is chosen by more than 5,000 schools, teaching more than one million students worldwide.
The IB Mission
The internationally-acclaimed Programme aims to develop inquiring, knowledgable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect - putting emphasis on students’ personal development.
From Early Years to the Diploma Programme, we encourage students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand the world around them and are motivated to succeed.
To know more please visit the IBO website.
An Introduction to the IB
Established in 1968, the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) offers four challenging pre-university programmes to provide “a truly international education.”
The IB covers four distinct programmes:
- Primary Years Programme (PYP)
- Middle Years Programme (MYP)
- Diploma Programme (DP)
- Career-related Certificate (IBCC)
At the core of all IB Programmes is the learner profile, 10 attributes fostered in students that promote their development as responsible members of their local, national and global communities. IB learners strive to be:
The IB Curriculum at Dar Al Marefa
Dar Al Marefa is an the only IB world school in Dubai that offers the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP) in Arabic and English.
Our Dar Al Marefa mission corresponds closely with the IB mission. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to learn from this innovative, internationally-minded programme.
As part of our school philosophy, which is shared with the IB, we believe that students benefit enormously from being bilingual, and therefore we offer Arabic and English as Language A – all students are exposed to both languages from pre-primary stage. The purpose of Arabic is to keep students close to their roots and culture, while the inclusion of English is to enable them to be fluent and functional in another language.
The staffing of Dar Al Marefa is a model of the concept of diversity. We believe that every member of our school is a teacher and learner, whether they are a Homeroom Teacher, Arabic Teacher, Teaching Assistant or student – we all learn vital lessons from each other.
The Dar Al Marefa staff consists of fully qualified teachers from a wide range of countries who bring with them a variety of teaching styles and expertise.
IBPYP Early Years
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) Early Years lays the foundation for future learning for students aged 3 – 5. We believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and is entitled to the support that will enable them to fulfil their unique potential from an early age.
Our approach in Early Years is shaped and influenced by the International Baccalaureate® Primary Years Programme (IBPYP), that provides a framework within on which we develop quality learning experiences.
Very young learners need stimulating, supportive interactions with their peers and teachers and the effective use of curricula. The early years settings of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) provides each child with unique, constant learning, and makes them capable of being resilient, confident and self-assured.
Children learn and grow best in empowering environments where the offered learning experiences respond to individual needs and where authentic and active partnerships are established between educators, parents and children.
Every child develops in different ways and at a different pace and aim to ensure that each child is provided with the opportunity to experience and represent the world around them in their own unique way, developing their understanding through direct and practical experiences.
The Importance of Play
Play plays an essential role in establishing students’ well-being and happiness. It helps them learn and find stimulation. It is their route to growth – physical, intellectual and emotional – and is the most important activity that a child can undertake in the pursuit of learning.
Our Early Years education programme offers a play-based learning environment, that is designed to meet a child’s needs for all types of play, both indoors and out, providing them with valuable first-hand experiences upon which their future learning will be built.
Teaching and Learning Environment in the Early Years Programme
The Programme is grounded in constructivism, inquiry and concept-based learning, promoting a system of learning and teaching that develops critical thinking skills and contributes to the development of the whole child.
At the heart of this system is an approach that addresses the skills and attitudes required to be developed as part of a child’s early developments. The PYP framework consists of six transdisciplinary themes:
- Who We Are
- Where We Are in Place and Time
- How We Express Ourselves
- How the World Works
- How We Organise Ourselves
- Sharing the Planet
Students in Pre-KG and KG1 explore four of the PYP transdisciplinary themes, while KG2 students explore all six.
IBPYP Early Years at Dar Al Marefa
Building strong positive relationships between educators and students is a key element to our success. Our students feel cared for, listened to, and secure in a safe learning environment.
We place extensive focus on their development of social skills, including effective speaking and listening, to provide children with a solid base from which to begin their lifelong learning journey.
Our KG Department prides itself on its innovative and effective methodology, at the core of which is a highly successful bilingual approach to learning. Students are exposed to both Arabic and English equally throughout the week and, through play, are able to inquire, investigate and cooperate together in both languages.
The Early Learner
The PYP acknowledges the unique needs of early learners, aged 3 to 6 years. It is a distinguishing feature of the programme which recognizes that learners in this age range require approaches to learning and to teaching that honor their developmental stage, and the importance of play as the vehicle for inquiry. Since experiences during the early years lay the foundation for all future learning, the PYP framework allows educators to make choices to best enable learners to flourish.
Early learning in the PYP is a holistic learning experience that integrates socio-emotional, physical and cognitive development. In the PYP classroom, it takes place in dynamic environments that promote play, discovery and exploration.
Teaching and Learning Environment in the Primary Years Programme
The PYP curriculum framework begins with the premise that PYP students are agents of their own learning and partners in the learning process.
The PYP curriculum recognizes learners’ innate potential to inquire, question, wonder and theorize about themselves, others, and the world around them.
The IBPYP consist of 6 themes which encourage students to research, discuss, challenge, share, and present their ideas in relation to their own lives and in the medium of both Arabic and English.
- Who We Are
- Where We Are in Place and Time
- How We Express Ourselves
- How the World Works
- How We Organise Ourselves
- Sharing the Planet
Specific Islamic and Social Studies lessons encourage students to be proud of who they are, while celebrating their own culture, values and beliefs.
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) also focuses on key concepts and world issues that empower students to become global citizens, whilst providing them with values and dispositions for lifelong learning and the life skills to sustain them as the leaders of the future.
Our students are placed at the centre of learning and teaching. They will learn through authentic inquiry, supported by a secure framework for learning as outlined in the IBPYP. Inquiry based learning enhances learning for all students by engaging them in activities that respond to particular interests, learning needs, strengths, and preferences. It is effective in supporting and challenging the full range of ability levels in the classroom. Students develop a genuine and enthusiastic desire for learning; learn how to learn and have fun along the way.
Students have the flexibility to adopt, adapt and extend sub-skills most relevant to their abilities as early learners and primary aged students. Some examples of sub-skills include:
- Thinking – Critical, creative, transfer
- Research – Ethical, media and information literacy
- Communication – Listening, speaking, interpreting
- Social – Interpersonal, social and emotional intelligence
- Self-management – Mindfulness, time management, organisation
The IBPYP at Dar Al Marefa
The International Baccalaureate Curriculum PYP is taught through carefully orchestrated inquiry. Learners are presented with the resources, opportunities and the facilities to be able to research and respond themselves, supported by skillful adult interventions, making the learning real and interesting.
Play, problem-based learning, collaboration, experimentation, and explicit teaching all have a place within well-considered inquiry-based learning experiences. Students can explore transdisciplinary themes or subject-specific knowledge to help them become critical and creative thinkers, researchers, collaborators and communicators.
By giving students the freedom to share their learning through a variety of recording and reporting methods, varying from planned ‘student centres’ to project-based inquiries, learners build their skills throughout the inquiry and then showcase their own understanding through the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition.
Teaching and Learning Environment in the Middle Years Programme
The IB Middle Years Programme is offered to students between the ages of 11 – 16. The framework of this programme makes practical connections between students’ studies and the real world.
The IBMYP is a five-year programme that is designed to be inclusive and wholesome. The MYP curriculum framework comprises subject groups that provide a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.
- Language and Literature – English & Arabic
- Individuals and Societies
- Mathematics – in English
- Islamic Studies – in Arabic
- Integrated and Distinct Sciences**
- Design Technology
- Physical and Health Education
- Visual Arts and Drama
- Moral Education
In the MYP, students study 8 subject groups. Distinctive features of the MYP include Key and Related Concepts, which form the basis of teaching and learning in the programme.
Global Contexts provide shared starting points for inquiry into what it means to be internationally minded, framing a curriculum that promotes multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement.
Approaches to Teaching and Learning, a unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, are skills which help students manage their own learning. They provide a foundation for success in further education and the world beyond the classroom.
Action and Service, essential components of the MYP, set out clear learning outcomes that grow from students’ participation in local and global communities. MYP projects are informed by respected models of service learning and provide stepping stones toward the Diploma Programme’s core requirements for Creativity, Action and Service (CAS).
The IBMYP Personal Project
For students in their last year of the IBMYP, the Personal Project in Grade 10, is an experience in which students apply their approaches to learning skills to complete an extended, self-directed piece of work. This required component provides opportunities for creative and to demonstrate their personal learnings.
IBMYP at Dar Al Marefa
There are many reasons to choose the IBMYP Dar Al Marefa, the holistic programme includes:
- Rigorous learning objectives
- A student-centred approach to teaching
- International perspectives
- Concern for the child’s well-being
- Sustained teaching and learning in more than one language
- A focus on learning how to learn flexible thinking that prepares students to evaluate unfamiliar situations and find solutions.
Teaching and Learning Environment in the Diploma Programme
The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is for students aged 16-19. The DP curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Activity, Service, and the Extended Essay.
Dar al Marefa is authorised by the IBO to offer the Diploma Programme in grades 11 and 12. We are one of 20 schools in Dubai which currently offer the IB DP, and the only school to offer a fully bilingual IB Programme in Arabic and English.
The International Baccalaureate Curriculum Diploma Programme aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.
The broad and balanced education lets students fully explore their own culture and language, encouraging students to reflect at a personal and academic level.
Graduating with the DP enhances students’ opportunities at university, as it is widely recognised, allowing mobility for students.
The Diploma Programme
DP is an academically challenging programme for students in grades 11 and 12. It consists of a rigorous pre-university curriculum wherein students study six subjects over the course of two years, complete internal assessments that are moderated abroad, and sit for external examinations in each subject at the end of the programme. Subjects are offered at two levels: Higher Level or Standard Level.
The programme model divides the IB subjects across six academic areas surrounding the core:
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
- Extended Essay (EE)
- Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)
Each student can receive a maximum of 42 points in total for the six subjects. DP students have an opportunity to gain three additional points depending on their Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge grades, thereby allowing for a maximum of 45 points (42 points for six subjects + 3 for TOK and EE).
IBDP at Dar Al Marefa
At Dar Al Marefa, a top IB school, there are two streams within grades 11 and 12: the IB Diploma Programme and the IB Diploma Courses. Students are streamed according to academic strengths, teacher recommendations, and students’ plans for future study.
The IB Diploma Courses qualify for Certificate of Equivalency from KHDA. No equivalency is required for the IB Diploma.
The IBDP Global Advantage
Both Diploma Programme and Diploma Course students have an excellent chance of entering top universities locally and abroad – both are highly respected by universities worldwide.
Dar Al Marefa Distance Learning
In accordance with the directions from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Dar Al Marefa campus will be closed for the remainder of the academic year. In response, all learning has been moved to our robust and well-planned online platforms.
At Dar Al Marefa, we use online learning platforms as part of everyday teaching and learning, this has allowed us to shift seamlessly to our Distance Learning Programme and to continue to deliver our world-class IB Curriculum without interruption.
Virtual Learning Sessions
To ensure that every child receives the best learning experience, all our virtual classes are held via live interactive sessions to allow real time responses and interactions between teachers and student to provide support, answer questions or clarify confusion, rather than through pre-recorded sessions. We also offer recorded sessions for students to access the learning objectives according to their time preference.
Since the start of our Distance Learning Programme, Dar Al Marefa has introduced 25 new and different learning methods to make the engagement as stimulating as possible. Through a well-designed system of tasks and activities, your child’s remote learning is interactive, impactful and continually monitored.
All class material and resources are available online for students to easily access before, during and after each class.
Technology & Learning Platforms
We use an assortment of digital teaching and resource platforms to cater to each grade. Some of our key platforms are:
- Managebac – Used for planning, assessment and reporting the IB Curriculum
- Microsoft Office 365 Teams - Facilitates virtual discussions, lectures, meetings and sharing of resources
- Microsoft Office 365 One-Note – Allows students to easily collect, organise and collaborate their notes
- Kognity, iMaths, nThinking, Literacy Planet, RAZ Kids, and Maths Whiz – Used for attaining and sharing online resources
Training and Implementation
We, at Dar Al Marefa, were ready for possible closure due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We have conducted many teacher training courses and online pilot lessons with students in the classrooms before school closure, to prepare users for this new classroom environment and to provide them with the necessary skills to use their distance learning programmes. In addition, we shared with students, parents, and teachers video tutorials and newsletters with the system updates and we held online sessions to keep them informed with the latest updates to support them during this period.
A Working Partnership
Learning from home is as much of a new experience for parents, as it is for students, therefore we have planned our programme to make it successful for all involved – students, teachers and parents.
- We monitor every students’ attendance and assess their ongoing progress.
- Teachers and instructors give clear instructions and highlight the expectations and deadlines for each assigned task, minimising confusion.
- Teachers provide students with feedback as soon as possible and collaborate for extra support where needed.
- We hold virtual Q&A parent sessions to ensure that everyone is clear on the learning outcomes, keeping a transparent, two-way communication.
- All students must be present and punctual for their online distance learning sessions.
- All tasks and assignments must be submited by the instructed deadlines.
- Our students are respectful to their teachers and peers at all times
- We ask that you provide your child with a learning environment that is stimulating and encourages learning.
- Ensure that your child is present for each of their online classes.
- Make sufficient time for subject-related discussions, physical activity and play.
- Provide your child with any support required to meet deadlines
- Contact Dar Al Marefa to share feedback or address any issues.
Students Online Safety
To guard our students' safety, we set up certain policies and restrictions. These policies can prevent unauthorised users from gaining access to online classes, can allow teachers to remove inappropriate messages quickly and easily, and manage student disruptions.
Your Child’s Well-Being
The change in the way your children are learning may create a few challenges, so Dar Al Marefa has developed and implemented nine mindfulness strategies to relieve stress and provide direct individual support to students who need it.
Our Well-Being Support Team is here to help ensure that every student is adapting well.
- Tahera Al Hashimi, Counselor & Cultural Ambassador: email@example.com
- Sahar Dorra , Head of SEN & Inclusion: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Karl How, Assistant Headteacher & Student Well-being: email@example.com
Planning for Future
To provide a better educational environment and keep pace with the crisis, if it continues for the next academic year, we are working on implementing more advanced programmes and solutions that are capable of meeting the needs of users, building an e-curriculum for all phases with the possibility of holding online classes and sharing resources - all in line with the requirements of the IB Curriculum.
Support Hotlines & Email Addresses
If you have any enquiries or concerns, please feel free to call the respective numbers for assistance.
- Early Years: 056 6045659 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grades 1 & 2: 058 1198095 - rand.S@daralmarefa.ae
- Grades 3 – 5: 056 3851955 - email@example.com
- Grades 6 – 12: 056 7590137 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- IT Department: 056 8665136 - email@example.com
Coordinators & Support Teams
If you are facing technical issues or require further assistance, please contact our teams below.