Frequently asked questions

General

How many pupils attend DISD?

The school has around 750 pupils, incl. Kindergarten (status: 1st March 2018), of whom approx. one third of attends the Kindergarten (12 groups), approx. one third the primary school and approx. one third the secondary level.

Do all family members have to have German citizenship in order for the children to attend DISD?

German citizenship is generally not compulsory as long as the children have a command of the German language (from 4 years of age). However, we give German citizens clear preference upon admission, particularly in the Kindergarten. You can find further information on our Admission Procedure on our website.

Do both parents have to speak German?

It is not mandatory for both parents to speak German; however, it is seen as an advantage if at least one of the parents can speak German in order to be able to support the children in their school education. You can find further information regarding our Admission Procedure on our website.

Which nationalities have the largest representation at DISD?

Most of our families, resp. children at DISD come from Germany.

Furthermore, we have a large number of Arabic and mixed nationality families at our school (status 1st March 2018: 31 nationalities), giving the school an international flair. Our children are therefore awarded a high degree of intercultural knowledge.

How many school classes are there at DISD?

There are three classes per form in the primary school. In the school year 2018/19 we are anticipating four 1st classes for the first time. In the secondary level (from the 5th class) there are two classes per form.

Are pupils from all forms admitted to DISD?

Due to the rules in Germany, pupils can only be admitted up to the 11th class. The pupils at DISD attain the “Abitur” (university entrance qualification) in the 12th school year and therefore the school is not allowed to admit pupils in the last school year.  However, it is only possible to admit children to the 11th class if their subject combinations concur with those of DISD. An admission test does not have to be done here but a personal meeting with the head of the sixth form will decide upon the admission.

Why is there a fee charged for having my child taught at DISD? How high are the school fees?

DISD is, like most international schools in Dubai, a private school and is financed through the school fees. DISD is a non-profit organisation and makes no profit through the admissions. As a recognised German school abroad, it is also partially supported by the German state. You can find an overview of the school fees in our Fee Table valid for the current school year.

General – Registration

Which documents are required for the registration?

You can find an overview of the required documents for registration on our website at School Registration and Kindergarten Registration. There and in our Download Area  you will also find all required documents for download.

The following documents are required for the registration:

School registration:

School registration form

If necessary form for special needs at school

Copy of the child’s birth certificate

Copy of the child’s passport (with residence permit if already available)

Child’s Emirates ID card (if already available)

Parents’ passport copy (with residence permit, if already available)

If necessary, proof of custody

If necessary, bus registration form

Copy of the annual school report from the last three years (and in addition the half-year report upon admission for the second half-year)

Kindergarten registration:

Kindergarten registration form

Appendix to the Kindergarten registration form

Form on the child’s level of development

If need be, form for special needs at the Kindergarten

Copy of the child’s birth certificate

Child’s passport copy (with residence permit, if already available)

Child’s Emirates ID card (if already available)

Parents’ passport copy (with residence permit, if already available)

If need be, proof of custody

If necessary, bus registration form

My family doesn’t yet live in Dubai and will only be moving there in the next few months, meaning we do not yet have residence permits (residence visas) and the Emirates IDs. Can we still register our child in spite of this or do we have to wait until we have these documents?

It is possible to register your child at the school and the Kindergarten even if you don’t have these documents. However, they must be submitted in the course of the further registration procedure and at the latest 6 weeks after your child’s first school day and are essential for the registration with the KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority). Only then has the registration process been completed. Please take this into account when planning and communicate this to your employer in good time in order to avoid delays.

Is it only possible to register in person?

No, you can quite simply send you registration documents by email to info@germanschool.ae. It is possible to submit the documents personally to the secretary’s office during the following opening hours: Sunday to Thursday between 8 am – 10 am and 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm. Please note that only complete registration documents will be accepted.

What happens after the registration documents have been completely submitted?

When all documents have been completely submitted you will receive an invoice for the registration fee that has to be paid for each pupil. This fee is currently 500 AED plus 5% VAT. This registration fee is only valid for one school year and cannot be reimbursed.

How can the registration fee be paid?

The registration fee can be paid during the opening hours (Sunday to Thursday between 8 am – 10 am and 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm) in cash or by cheque as well as at any time by bank transfer. Please note that you could incur charges when paying from abroad. You can check the details from your local bank. Unfortunately it is not possible to pay by credit or debit card.

What happens after the registration fee has been paid?

After the payment receipt has been determined we will get in touch with the pupils’ current schools to exchange information based on an assessment. If the exchange has gone smoothly, you will then receive a confirmation by email for the “conditional admission” together with the school fee invoice as well as an official invitation to the entrance test (classes 2 to 10). Tests are always possible on Mondays and Wednesdays during the school year. Please note that the school retains the right to have the tests conducted in larger groups (max. 20 pupils) and on certain days since an individual appointment is not always possible, especially at the end of a school year with the school starting the following school year. Unfortunately, no tests are possible during our school holidays. The Holiday Calendar can be found on our website.

Generally no admission test is necessary for admission to the Kindergarten. In the case of children aged from four years of age, a language test may be necessary: you will be invited to this by the Kindergarten management.

An entrance test is necessary for admission to the 1st class that represents the basis for admission to the 1st class. The test takes place in the school.

However, it is possible that the school will cancel a school place. The school will inform the parents of the reasons for this individually.

What does “conditional admission” mean?

The pupils (from class 2) will receive confirmation for a conditional admission after an assessment from the submitting school has been received, meaning information has been exchanged. This means that the school place is certain and confirmed. The entrance test will be carried out shortly before the planned start of school. On the basis of the test result, the final class level and – if necessary – a mandatory participation in remedial lessons (incurring fees) will be determined. The grading in the class level and the participation in remedial lessons are obligatory and children may only attend school on this basis.

Can the registration fee also be paid directly on the day of the entrance test?

Unfortunately, this is not possible due to internal processes and the teachers’ necessary preparation time for the test. The fee has to be paid in advance.

Do German families who are moving to Dubai directly from Germany resp. their children who were at a German school abroad automatically have a right to a school place?

Even if families move to Dubai directly from Germany, the children have to take the DISD entrance test. This is mandatory for each pupil. The test is a computer-based test that checks the pupils’ level of knowledge in the following subjects: German, English and Mathematics. Furthermore, it serves to help the teachers determine possible special educational needs that would be in addition to lessons and would incur fees. The teachers will inform you of the details.

When is the best time to register?

Registrations are accepted throughout the year and the pupils can also start school throughout the year.  However, it is recommended to start at the beginning of the half-year resp. at the beginning of the school year. Entrance tests for the new school year take place from February of the previous year (example: entrance tests for the school 2018/19 took place from April 2018). Correspondingly registrations for the new school year school should have been received by then.

Why can my child not do the entrance test for the next school year during our holiday in Dubai in our autumn holidays?

The reason for this is that after the school year has started our teachers and the school administration concern themselves with the new admissions of pupils changing to our school at the start of the half-year. Moreover, it makes sense in educational terms to conduct the test closer to the actual start of school time-wise so that the pupils are able to acquire learning material from the current school year and so that the test provides a realistic result.

When and how are we informed of the test result?

The evaluation of the test can take up to 5 workdays. Please take this into account in your schedule for changing schools. You will then receive an email from our accounts department with relevant information on the grading and the school fee. Please note that it will only be possible for your child to attend school after the complete payment of the invoice has been made. Please also take this into account in your schedule. If special educational needs have been determined in the test or if it is necessary for the child to repeat a year, the specialised educational staff will inform you of this and explain it to you. The remedial lessons then become compulsory and are a prerequisite for school admission and are subject to fees.

Are other documents necessary for the registration after we have received notification of the test results or is the school admission complete after this?

A transfer certificate from the previous school is required for the KHDA registration (KHDA = school authorities in Dubai). You can obtain the form for this from our school secretary’s office as well in the download section of our website. Before, resp. shortly before the start of school the medical records documents will be required that can be submitted to our school nurse. There is a medical records form for this. Furthermore, the copies of the vaccination cards are required. More information on the school clinic as well as the forms can be found here.

Can we purchase the school uniform at school?

The basic school uniform can be bought exclusively from the company “Stitches”. The telephone numbers as well as the directions can be found on our website under School Uniform.

Please note that the uniform is compulsory and pupils without school uniform will not be able to participate in lessons. We would therefore advise you to purchase or order the uniform in good time in order to avoid possible supply bottlenecks (e.g. at the beginning of the school year).

General – School Fees

How high are the school fees?

You can find an overview of the school fees in our Fee Table valid for the current school year.

How can I pay the school fees?

The school fees can either be paid in cash, by cheque or by bank transfer. It is not possible to pay with a debit or credit card.

How are the school fees broken down? Do we pay annually?

In the case of new registrations 30% of the annual school fees are due for payment upon the confirmation of the school resp. Kindergarten place. This “admission fee” serves to guarantee the place resp. as a down payment and becomes immediately due for payment. After the start of the school year, a further 20% of the annual fees then becomes due for payment and at the start of the second half-year (in February) the remaining 50% of the annual fees is due. This means that the “admission” fee listed in the fee table is set off against the school fees.

In the case of remaining pupils the reenrolment fee will be invoiced, that is charged with 10% of the annual school fees and which is due for payment in April. After the start of the school year, a further 40% of the annual fees then become due for payment and at the start of the second half-year (February) then the remaining 50% of the annual fee.

Please find further information under Schedule of Fees on our homepage.

Will I be reimbursed for the school fees I have already paid if I have to unexpectedly de-register my child from the school in the middle of the school year?

The following provisions and regulations of KHDA (school authority in Dubai) apply to attending school:

Attending Kindergarten/school takes place: Calculation of fees:
2 weeks or less 1 monthly instalment
between 2 weeks and 1 calendar month 2 monthly instalments
longer than 1 calendar month 3 monthly instalments
longer than 2 calendar months Fee for the entire half-year

 

The school year is respectively calculated for 10 months. Deregistration from the bus transport and from additional offers is only possible at the same time of de-registering from attending the school or Kindergarten.

Please find further information on the Schedule of Fees on our homepage.

General – KHDA registration:

What does KHDA mean?

The KHDA is the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the local education authorities in Dubai that stipulate the regulations for all private schools in Dubai.

Why do I have to submit my original Emirates ID to the school in order for my family resp. my child to be registered with KHDA if I have already submitted the ID copy upon registration?

The registration with the KHDA has to be made at the latest 6 weeks after the pupil starts attending the school. For this purpose the original ID of one parent and the respective pupil/child has to be submitted to the Arabic secretary’s office of the school since these will be inserted into a card reader. This serves the purpose of registration and the signature on the parents-school contract.

What is the parents-school contract?

The parents-school contract is a contract between the school and the parents that is monitored and regulated by the KHDA (school authorities in Dubai). This must be signed once by each family for each child.

How do I sign the parents-school contract and what are the individual steps?

You can find instructions on signing here. You will be notified by the school’s Arabic secretary’s office regarding the individual steps.

General – lessons and school organisation:

In which language are the pupils taught?

The teaching language is German. The subject of Geography is taught in English from the 8th class and the subject of History bilingually from the 9th class (German/English).

Which foreign languages are offered at DISD?

Lessons are taught from the 1st class in English (3 lessons per week), as well as in Arabic (4 lessons per week). From the 5th class French is a compulsory subject. Native speakers of Arabic are taught in Arabic 6 hours a week.

Is Arabic a compulsory subject?

Due to the requirements by the local education authorities (KHDA) it is compulsory for each pupil to take part in Arabic lessons. A difference is made here between Arabic for native speakers and Arabic as a foreign language (Arabic as a native language is already taught from the pre-school and is obligatory for children with nationalities).

Which curriculum is taught at DISD and which types of schools are offered?

At DISD the German Curriculum is taught according to the Thuringia curriculum. All types of schools are offered: Kindergarten, primary school, orientation level (5th class), Hauptschule (secondary school), Realschule (secondary modern school) and Gymnasium (grammar school).

What difference is made in the secondary level between the three types of school? Are there separate classes per school type?

The pupils of the three school types share a classroom and are taught together. The teachers are aware which pupils are taught in which school type and differentiate accordingly. An overall school concept is taught.

Where do the teachers who teach at DISD come from?

Apart from a few exceptions our teachers all come from Germany and thus have completed their teacher training education in Germany. Some colleagues also come from Austria or Switzerland and are thus also German native speakers. Our Arabic teachers all come from the Arabic region.

When does school start and when does it end?

The school starts every morning at 7.50 am with the national anthem of the UAE, followed by the German national anthem. The school ends for everyone at 2.10 pm. If there are afternoon lessons (mostly for older pupils) or if pupils take part in after school groups, the school then ends at 4.10 pm, whereby from 2.10 pm until 2.40 pm a snack break is planned.

We have two children at DISD. One child finishes school at 2.10 pm and one child at 4.10 pm. Is it possible that the child who finishes earlier waits for his/her sibling so that I can pick them up together?

It is not possible for the sibling to wait. Only pupils from the 11th class are allowed to wait in the school building without supervision. Personnel with educational training are permitted as supervisors.

Is there a school canteen where the children can have lunch?

There is a school canteen. The children eat lunch together in the canteen. Due to lack of space the lunch break is divided up into two parts: the primary school children have lunch first and then the children from the secondary levels. The Kindergarten children eat together in their groups in the Kindergarten. The canteen food is prepared fresh in the school by “Organic Foods and Café“. The food must be ordered and paid online via the provider. The families receive the access data by email from “Organic Foods and Café“. Orders must be received up to a maximum of 7 days beforehand online. The pupils then collect the food from the canteen using their pupil ID cards. Two dishes are offered that vary daily. There is a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian meal. Furthermore, it is possible to buy snacks and pastries directly from the canteen without pre-ordering; it is possible to pay cash here.

Where can I find a material list for the school?

You can find an overview of the Material Lists of the different class levels in the download section of the school. Materials hard to find in Dubai can also be purchased in our school shop.

School bus:

Which residential areas do the school buses stop at?

A short overview of all residential areas our school buses stop at can be found on the School Bus Page of our website. You can find out about the further details as well as the current capacities from our bus coordinator Ms Sabine Berti directly by email at  sabine.berti@germanschool.ae or personally during administration opening hours. Likewise you can submit the registration for the bus to Ms Berti.

After-school groups:

Is there the possibility to take part in after-school groups?

Together with the company “Just Play” the school offers after-school groups. Parents can register their children for these every half-year. For more information on the after-school groups, take a look at our homepage in the Afternoon section.

Are the after-school groups included in the school fees?

Since the afternoon activities are extra-curricular activities and conducted by an external provider, these are not included in the school fees and are processed and charged separately, as is the case with canteen food. Merely the registration information (online registration) is communicated to the parents by the school on behalf of Just Play.

However, there are after-school groups that are included in the school fees and directly carried out by the teachers. However, the pupils must fulfil the participation prerequisites (e.g. playing an instrument) for these after-school groups (swimming team, school band, choir) in order to participate.

Kindergarten:

From which age can my child attend the Kindergarten at DISD?

Children can attend our Kindergarten from the age of 3 years of age. The provisions of KHDA hereby apply, that differ from the regulations in Germany:

If children have reached 3 years of age by 31st December, they then attend the “Pre-Kindergarten”, which corresponds to the  1st Kindergarten year.

If children have reached 4 years of age by 31st December, they then attend “Kindergarten 1”, the second Kindergarten year.

If children have reached 5 years of age by 31st December, they then attend “Kindergarten 2”, the third Kindergarten year.

Is there a pre-school?

The pre-school is part of the third Kindergarten year. The children go to the pre-school once a week from the different groups for one day a week so that the children can get used to the atmosphere in a classroom.

Are the Kindergarten groups divided up into different age groups?

Our Kindergarten groups are mixed-aged.

How many children are in one Kindergarten group and how many groups are there in the Kindergarten?

There are a maximum of 19 children admitted to one group and there are a total of 12 groups.

Is there any childcare for children younger than 3 years of age?

At present we are not offering any childcare for children younger that 3 years of age.

We have submitted the registration documents for the Kindergarten, however we haven’t received any response as to whether we will be offered a place or not. What is the best way for us to proceed?

Due to the high demand for Kindergarten places it could take a while until you receive any response. However, you will normally receive a response from the Kindergarten within a fortnight. The question of whether a place is available cannot always be answered generally since in the case of full Kindergarten occupancy we may have to wait for free places until we are able to offer you a place. During this time we request the parents not to make any inquiries by phone – in any case we will get in touch within two weeks. In urgent cases you can contact the Kindergarten under kindergarten@germanschool.ae.

Is there an admission test for the Kindergarten?

There is no classic admission test; however we retain the right to have a language test conducted here in the school for children from 4 years in age. However, the test is mostly only required with children whose native language is not German.

Primary School:

How many classes are there in the primary school?

There are three classes per class level in the primary school from the 1st until the 4th class. From the school year 2018/19 we are anticipating four 1st classes.

How many pupils are in one class?

There is an average of approx. 20-22 pupils per class.

How many teachers are in a class? Are there teacher assistants?

A class has one class teacher and if necessary a subject teacher. There are no teacher assistants and lessons are always only given by a teacher.

How long does a class retain its teacher?

Generally a class retains its teacher for two years, then there will be a change in teacher.

Is a foreign language also taught in the primary school? If yes, how many teaching hours per week?

From the first class in the primary school there are 3 English lessons per week. Furthermore, there are Arabic lessons that likewise take place from the first class. These are divided into Arabic as a foreign language (beginners and advanced learners) with 4 lessons per week and Arabic as a native language with 6 lessons per week.

Secondary School:

Which school-leaving qualifications are offered at DISD?

At DISD three school-leaving qualifications are offered: Hauptschulabschluss (secondary school certificate), Realschulabschluss (secondary modern school certificate), Abitur (university entrance qualification). The school complies with the Thuringia curriculum like all German schools abroad in our region.

What does “orientation level” mean?

The 5th class is also called orientation level. This is a year independent of type of school and at the end of this year a recommendation is given for the continuing school path (secondary, secondary modern, grammar school). From the 6th class the respective lessons are taught in the respective school types. It is possible to change to the grammar school for the last time at the end of class 9.

Which second foreign language is taught at DISD?

Along with English, French lessons are taught as a compulsory subject from the 6th class.

My child is to change to DISD, however he/she had not been taught in French in the previous school. Is attending school at DISD at risk?

The important thing is to communicate this fact at an early stage and to state this correspondingly when registering. A French support course is offered once a week that is geared to pupils with deficits or with a need for remediation. Pupils from the 7th class can be obliged to participate.

Which subject combinations are possible at DISD for the Abitur?

More information on subject combinations in the upper sixth can be found in our Guide through the upper sixth of the grammar school.

Where can pupils study who have completed the German International Abitur (DIA) and what exactly is the difference between the DIA and the Abitur acquired in Germany?

Basically the DIA is the Abitur as it is known in Germany. The only difference is the international orientation, lending the DIA its name. This is reflected on the one hand in the school subjects of Geography, which is taught monolingually (English) from the 8th class and History, which is taught bilingually (German/English) from the 9th class as well as in the international environment in which our pupils find themselves. The DIA is, just like the German so Abitur, recognised worldwide and therefore the pupils can study everywhere with this qualification.