Answers to frequently asked questions
- How many student students does the DISD have? The school has over 900 student*innen, including kindergarten (as of 01.10.2022), of which about one third is kindergarten (12 groups), about one third is Primary School and about one third is Secondary School.
- Do all family members have to have German citizenship for the children to go to DISD? German citizenship is generally not mandatory as long as the children are proficient in the German language (from age 4). However, we do give clear preference to German citizens for admission, especially in kindergarten. For more information about our admission process, please visit our website.
- Do both parents have to be able to speak German? It is not mandatory that both parents can speak German, but it is seen as an advantage that at least one parent knows German in order to be able to support the children in their school education. More information about our admission procedure can be found on our website.
- What nationalities are represented at DISD? Most of our families at DISD, come from Germany. Furthermore, we have a large number of Arab and mixed families at our school (as of 01.10.2022: 37 nationalities), which gives the school an international flair. Our student students are thus taught a high level of intercultural knowledge.
- How many classes are there at DISD? At Primary School there are four classes per grade. In the Secondary School (from the 5th grade) there are three classes per grade level, the 10th, 11th and 12th grades have two classes.
- Are student students from all grades accepted at DISD? Due to the regulations in Germany, student can only accept students up to the 11th grade. The student*innen of the DISD acquire in the 12th school year the Abitur and therefore it is forbidden for the school to admit student*innen in the last school year. However, admission to the 11th grade is only possible if the subject combinations match those of the DISD. An entrance test does not have to be taken here, but a personal interview with the Upper School Director decides on admission.
- Why does it cost something to have my child educated at DISD? How much are the school fees? The DISD, like most international schools in Dubai, is a private school and is financed by school fees. The DISD is a non-profit organization and does not make a profit from its income. As a recognized German school abroad, it is also partially supported by the German government. You will find an overview of the school fees in our Fee Table.
- Can I book a school tour? School tours always take place on Tuesday at 2:15pm (school) and 2:45pm (kindergarten) and on Thursday at 10:00am (school) and 10:30am (kindergarten). Please use the main entrance and report to the reception desk. Pre-registration is not necessary.
- What documents are required for registration? An overview of the documents required for registration can be found on our website under Registration.
- My family does not even live in Dubai yet and will only be moving in the coming months, which is why we do not yet have the residence permits (resident visas) and Emirates IDs. Can we still register our child or do we have to wait for these documents first? It is possible to register for school and kindergarten without these documents. However, they must be presented to the school during the registration process and no later than 6 weeks after your child's first day of school and are essential for registration with the KHDA (Dubai Education Authority). Only then is the registration process complete. Please take this into consideration in your planning and communicate this to your employer in a timely manner to avoid delays.
- Is registration only possible in person? No, you can conveniently send your registration documents by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org send. Personal submission is possible during the following opening hours at the secretariat: Monday to Thursday between 8-14:30 and Fridays 8-12. Please note that only complete registration documents can be accepted.
- What happens after the registration documents have been submitted in full? When all documents are complete, you will receive an invoice for the registration fee, which must be paid once for each student . This is currently AED 500 plus 5% VAT. This registration fee is valid for one school year only and is non-refundable.
- How can the registration fee be paid? The registration fee can be paid, during opening hours (Monday to Thursday between 8-14:30) and Friday (8-12), in cash or as a check and at any time by bank transfer. Please note that fees may apply for you from abroad. You can check with your local bank for details. Unfortunately, payment by credit or debit card is not possible.
- What happens after the application fee is paid? After the payment has been received and all the necessary documents, such as the student form (filled out by the school attended so far), have been submitted, you will receive an e-mail confirmation of "conditional admission", as well as an official invitation to the placement test (grades 2 to 10). Please note that the school reserves the right to schedule the tests in larger groups and on specific days, as individual scheduling is not always possible, especially at the end of a school year with the start of school for the following school year. Unfortunately, testing is not possible within our school vacations. The Holiday Calendar schedule can be found on our homepage. Generally, no entrance test is necessary for admission to kindergarten. For children over the age of four, a language test may be necessary, to which you will be invited by the kindergarten management. For admission to the 1st grade, a placement test is necessary, which is the basis for admission to the 1st grade. The test takes place at the school. However, it may happen that the school has to cancel a school place. The reasons for this will be communicated individually by the school.
- What does "conditional admission" mean? Confirmation of conditional admission is sent to student (from grade 2) after a report from the sending school has been received. This means that the school place is reserved. Shortly before the scheduled start of school, the placement test is then conducted. On the basis of the test result, the final grade level and - if necessary - compulsory participation in the fee-based remedial classes are determined. The placement into the class level and the participation in the remedial classes are obligatory and school attendance can only take place on this basis.
- Can the registration fee also be paid directly on the day of the placement test? Due to internal processes and the necessary preparation time of the teachers for the test, this is unfortunately not possible. The fee must be paid in advance.
- Do German families who move directly from Germany to Dubai, or whose children have been to a German (foreign) school, automatically have a right to a school place? Even if families move directly from Germany to Dubai, the children must take the DISD placement test. This is mandatory for every new student . The test is a computer-based test that checks the level of knowledge of the student in the subjects German and mathematics. Furthermore, it is used by the teachers to determine any need for support, which is then additional and subject to a fee. The details will be communicated to you by the teachers.
- When is the best time to enroll? Enrollments are accepted year-round and school can start year-round, however, it is recommended to start at mid-year, or the new school year. Placement tests for the new school year will take place beginning in April of the previous year (example: placement tests for the 2023/24 school year will take place beginning in April 2023). Registrations for the new school year should therefore be received by then.
- Why can't my child take the placement test for the next school year already during our vacation in Dubai in our fall break ? This is because after the start of the school year, our teachers and the school administration are busy with the new admissions of the student who transfer to our school at the half-year. Also, it makes pedagogical sense to conduct the test closer to the actual start of school so that the student can still absorb the material from the current school year and the test provides a realistic result.
- When and how do we get the test result? The evaluation of the test can take up to 5 working days. Please take this into account in your schedule and for the change of school. You will then receive an email from our office with a notification of the test result. You will then be contacted by our accounting department regarding your tuition bill. Please note that school attendance is only possible after full payment of the invoice. Please also take this into account in your time planning. If a need for support has been identified in the test or if a downgrade is necessary, this will be communicated and explained to you by the pedagogical staff. The remedial classes will then become mandatory and a prerequisite for school admission and will be subject to a fee.
- Are there any other documents required for enrollment after the test results are reported, or does that complete the school enrollment process? A transfer certificate from the previous school is required for KHDA (KHDA = Dubai School Authority) enrollment. You can get the form for this in our school secretary's office as well as in the download area of our website. Before or shortly after the start of school, the documents for the medical record are still needed, which will be deposited with our school nurse. For this purpose there is the form for the medical record. Furthermore, the copies of the vaccination cards are requested. More information about the school clinic, as well as the forms can be found here.
- Can we purchase the school uniform at the school? You can purchase the basic school uniform exclusively at the company "Threads". You can find the phone number as well as the directions on our website at School uniform. Please note that uniforms are compulsory and student will not be able to attend classes without them. Therefore, please take care of the purchase or order as early as possible to avoid possible supply bottlenecks (e.g. at the beginning of the school year).
- What does KHDA mean? KHDA is the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the local education authority in Dubai that sets the regulations for all private schools in Dubai.
- Why do I have to present my original Emirates ID at the school in order for my family or child to be registered with KHDA if I have already presented the ID copy at registration? Registration with KHDA must be done no later than 6 weeks after the start of school attendance. For this purpose, the original IDs of a parent and the respective student/child must be presented at the school's Arabic secretariat, as they will be read in a card reader. This is for registration and for signing the parent-school contract.
- What is the parent-school contract? The Parent-School Contract is a contract between the school and the parents, which is supervised and regulated by the KHDA (Dubai School Authority). This must be signed once by each family for each child.
- How do I sign the parent-school contract and what are the steps? You can find instructions on how to sign here. You will receive a notification from the Arabic secretariat of the school about the individual steps.
- What language is used for teaching? The language of instruction is German. The subject Geography is taught monolingually in English from the 8th grade and the subject History is taught bilingually (German/English) from the 9th grade.
- What foreign languages are offered at DISD?English and Arabic are taught from the 1st grade. French is a compulsory subject from the 6th grade. Arabic native speakers are taught 6 hours per week in Arabic.
- Is Arabic a compulsory subject? Due to the requirements of the local education authority (KHDA), it is compulsory for everyone student to attend Arabic classes. A distinction is made between Arabic for native speakers and Arabic as a foreign language (Arabic as a native language is taught from preschool, and is compulsory for children with nationalities).
- Which curriculum is taught at DISD and which school types are offered? At DISD, the German curriculum is taught according to the Thuringian curriculum. All school types are offered: Kindergarten, Primary School, Orientierungsstufe (5th grade), Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium.
- How is a distinction made between the three types of school at Secondary School ? Are there separate classes for each type of school? The student of the three school types share a classroom and are taught together. The teachers know which student is taught in which school form and differentiate accordingly. It is taught in the comprehensive school concept.
- Where do the teachers who teach at DISD come from? With a few exceptions, our teachers all come from Germany and have therefore also completed their teacher training in Germany. Some colleagues also come from Austria or Switzerland and are therefore also native speakers of German. Our Arabic teachers all come from the Arabic region.
- When does school start and when does it end? School starts every morning at 7:50 am with the UAE national anthem followed by the German national anthem. School ends for everyone at 2:10pm (12pm on Fridays). If there are afternoon classes (mostly at the older student*innen) or if you participate in the afternoon AG's, then school ends at 16:10 (Mon-Thu), with a snack break from 14:10 to 14:40.
- We have two children at DISD. One child gets out of school at 2:10pm and one child gets out of school at 4:10pm. Is it possible for the child who gets out of school early to wait for the sibling so I can pick up the children together? It is not possible for the sibling to wait. Only students in grade 11 and above are allowed to be in the school building without supervision. Personnel with pedagogical training are permitted as supervisors.
- Is there a school canteen where the children can eat lunch? There is a school canteen. In this canteen the student eat lunch together. For reasons of space, the lunch break is divided into two parts: first the elementary school students take their lunch and then the secondary school students. The kindergarten children eat together in their groups in the kindergarten. The canteen food is freshly prepared on site by "SwissCanonica". The food must be ordered and paid for online directly through the provider. The families receive the access data from "SwissCanonica" directly by e-mail. An order must be placed online up to a maximum of 7 days in advance. The student*innen then pick up the meal on site with their student ID. Two dishes are offered, which vary daily. There is one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian dish. Furthermore, it is possible to buy snacks and pastries directly in the canteen without ordering in advance, here cash payment is possible.
- Where can I find a materials list for school? An overview of the material lists for the different grades can be found in the download section of the school. Materials that are difficult to obtain in Dubai can also be purchased in our school store.
- Is there a possibility to participate in afternoon clubs? The school offers, in cooperation with the company 'Gulfstarsports', afternoon clubs. Parents can register their children for these every six months. For more information about the AG's please have a look at our website in the CCA section section.
- Are the AG's included in the school fees? Since the afternoon activities are an extra-curricular activity and are carried out by an external provider, they are not included in the school fees and are handled and invoiced separately, just like the canteen food. However, there are also AG's that are included in the school fees and are carried out directly by the teachers. For these AG's (swimming team, school band, choir), however, the student must meet the participation requirements (e.g. playing an instrument) to be able to participate.
- How much are the school fees? You will find an overview of the school fees in our fee table.
- How can I pay the school fees? The school fees can be paid either in cash, as a check or by bank transfer. Payment by bank or credit card is not possible!
- How is the payment of school fees broken down? Do we pay annually? School fees are paid in 3 installments. The 1st installment 40% of the school fee is due on August 15 of each year. The admission fee (10% of the school year fee) and re-enrollment fee (5% of the school year fee) are charged against this installment. The 2nd installment 30% of the school fee is due on January 01. The 3rd installment 30% of the school fee is due on 01 April. In the event a child is enrolled during the current school year, tuition will be prorated. The week of the first day of school will be charged in full. In case of enrollment during the school year, the school fees for the remainder of the school semester are due within two weeks after enrollment.
- Will I get a refund of the school fees I have already paid if my child unexpectedly has to withdraw from school in the middle of the school year? In the event of a deregistration during the current school year, the school fees will be calculated on a pro-rata basis. The week of the last day of school will be charged in full. If the child attends school for less than two weeks, the full month will be charged.
- How many classes are there in Primary School? In Primary School there are four classes from 1st to 4th grade.
- How many student are in a class? On average, there are about 20-23 student in a class.
- How many teachers are there in a class? Are there teacher assistants? A class has a class teacher and, if necessary, subject teachers. There are no teacher assistants and classes are always taught by only one teacher.
- How long does a class keep a class teacher? Typically, a class retains a teacher for two years, then a teacher change occurs.
- Is a foreign language also taught at Primary School ? At Primary School , English is taught from the first grade. Furthermore, there are Arabic classes, which also start in the first grade. This is divided into Arabic as a foreign language (beginners and advanced) with 4 lessons per week and Arabic as a native language with 6 lessons per week.
- What high school diploma is offered at DISD? Three school-leaving qualifications are offered at DISD: Hauptschulabschluss, Realschulabschluss, Abitur. The school follows the Thuringian curriculum, as do all German schools abroad in our region.
- What does "Orientierungsstufe" mean? The 5th grade is also called Orientierungsstufe. This is a grade that is independent of the type of school and at the end of which a recommendation is made for a further school career (Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium). From the 6th grade onwards, students are then educated in the respective secondary school. A final change to the gymnasium school career is possible at the end of grade 9.
- Which second foreign language is taught at DISD? French lessons become a compulsory subject alongside English from the sixth grade onwards.
- My child is to transfer to DISD, but had no French classes at the previous school. Is my child's attendance at DISD in jeopardy? It is important to communicate this early on and to indicate this accordingly when registering. A French remedial course is offered once a week for those student with deficits or need to catch up. student from 7th grade onwards may be required to attend.
- Which subject combinations are possible at DISD in the Abitur? You can find more information on subject combinations in the upper school in our Guide to the Gymnasiale Oberstufe (under editing).
- Where can student with the German International Abitur (DIA) study and what exactly is the difference between the DIA and the Abitur acquired in Germany? The DIA is basically the Abitur that you know from Germany. The only difference is the international orientation, which gives the DIA its name. This is reflected in the school subjects geography, which is taught monolingually (English) from the 8th grade, and history, which is taught bilingually (German/English) from the 9th grade, as well as in the international environment in which our student students are located. The DIA, like the German Abitur, is recognized worldwide and therefore the student can study anywhere with this degree.