Jumeirah Specialist Teaching
JESS Dubai

Jumeirah Specialist Teaching

JESS Dubai
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One of the strengths of our school is its specialist teaching. All the specialist subjects are all taught by teachers in a space designated to that subject area.

These teachers are experts and lead practitioners in their respective fields and the learning and progress made in these areas is exceptional. The specialist teachers deliver their respective curricula and also provide a wide variety of co-curricular activities to complement their subject.



Arabic is the fifth most spoken language on the planet with over 250 million native Arabic speakers. In the UAE, Arabic is a core subject and is compulsory from Year 1 through to Year 9. However, students at JESS enjoy learning Arabic from Foundation 1 onwards.

Our Arabic Learning Assistant works collaboratively with the Early Years team to successfully incorporate Arabic into the children's play. There are two curricula: one for native Arabic speakers and another for non-native Arabic speakers. Students spend many hours learning Arabic whilst on their JESS journey and the positive attitude of parents, students and teachers towards learning this complex language will ensure that our aspirational aim of having children achieve an Arabic GCSE is well within their grasp. Learning a new language helps us to develop a wide range of skills that can be used across the curriculum. At JESS, we believe that although we are learning one new language, we are teaching our students how to learn a language, a skill that they will need as they move forward in their education.

Foundation Stage

An informal introduction to Arabic language is facilitated through our Arabic Speaking Teaching Assistants in the Foundation Stage. Exposure to Arabic for our younger pupils whilst learning through play helps lay the solid foundations from which to build upon.

Key Stage One

Pupils begin to study Arabic in Year One. During Key Stage One pupils will concentrate on the sound and lettering of the alphabet using a variety of resources to help them become increasingly familiar with the written and oral forms

Key Stage Two

From Years Three to Six, a more topic based curriculum is introduced in which pupils learn a variety of vocabulary in context from numbers and colours to food and classroom items. Emphasis is placed upon a context based

curriculum where speaking and listening and useful conversational Arabic are at the heart of the curriculum. Pupils are taught how to read and write words to reinforce their reading and writing skills with the aim of giving a sound base of Arabic on which to continue into Year Seven.


The aim of the Learning Resource Centre is to facilitate a lifelong love of books and literature and to develop independent learning skills.

There is a wide selection of material available for students to borrow, including fiction, non-fiction and audio books. There are also 11 computers which classes can come and use during the day for group or independent work. Our newest additions to the library are iPod books, where children can listen to an audio book as part of their library lesson or during second break.

The library is open at second break for students to come and use to change their books or to enjoy a quiet place to read or study.

The library is staffed by a full time qualified Librarian and a part-time Assistant Librarian and operates a Library Management System called 'Junior Librarian', which students can use to access information on materials in stock. The link to our library management software 'Junior Librarian' can be accessed here. Children have their own log-ins and can access the system from anywhere in the school or at home, using this link. Please note that there are over 6,500 websites catalogued here which are great for homework help.

Foundation and Key Stage One

Foundation Stage and KS1 classes are timetabled to visit the library once a week where they have the opportunity to listen to stories, choose from a wide selection of books and to engage with the Librarian and each other about books they have read.

Key Stage Two

KS2 classes are scheduled to visit the library once every two weeks where they have an hour session including opportunities to engage with the books, learn research skills and how to use the library management system, participate in literary projects and much more.

Our Year 5 and 6 classes also have a dedicated area within the library with books aimed at their age range and maturity, with a focus on our Accelerated Reader Programme – a competitive programme designed for students to select a book at their level and take quizzes based on the content. This programme is a highlight for our Year 5 and 6s with a Reader’s Cup awarded every two weeks to the student who has made the most progress.



A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Foundation Stage

The computing experience is delivered in the comfort of their familiar environment and through touch-screen computers and iPads in the central area. Students are introduced to basic computer skills and terminology while using interactive programs.

Key Stage One

Children receive one Computing lesson per week delivered by a specialist teacher alongside the class teacher. Throughout each scheme of work children learn to use technology purposefully to create, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content. They also learn to use technology safely and respectfully, as well as learning the technical basics of computing by creating and debugging simple programs and applying logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.

Key Stage Two

Children receive one Computing lesson per week in Y3-6.  All lessons are delivered by a specialist teacher. Children develop their computational thinking throughout Key Stage Two by learning:

  • how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly
  • how computer networks operate
  • how to design, write and debug software
  • how to use different search technologies
  • how to apply logical reasoning when predicting the behaviour of programs
  • how to select, use and combine a variety of software on a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals.

Technology in use at JESS

Across the primary school children have access to a range of technology including mobile devices and the internet. Such technologies have provided an opportunity to transform and enhance learning throughout all subject areas.

Foundation Stage

In the Foundation Stage a bank of iPads are frequently used by children during both lessons and free flow time.

Key Stage One

A total of eleven iPads are allocated to every class from Years 1-3 to support and transform daily lessons.

Key Stage Two

Children in Years 4, 5 and 6 have the opportunity to participate in an optional Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. This enables children to personalise their learning and improve their organisational skills.

Islamic Studies

This is an area that continues to develop at JESS with a designated Islamic Studies classroom and prayer rooms, a specialist Islamic teacher, exciting lessons and great resources.

These all ensure that our Muslim pupils enjoy this area of learning. The Qur'an Club and Qur'an competition highlights the tremendous interest and commitment from pupils and staff which has a positive effect on recitation and memorisation of the Qur’an.

Several important religious events such as Eid Al Adha and the practical performance of the Hajj pilgrimage are studied in depth. Celebration of pupils’ progress and achievement is facilitated through sharing assemblies and certificates presented in assemblies.


Each child from Foundation One through to Year Two experiences two sessions of music per week. Students in years three, four, five and six have one class of Music weekly, for the duration of an hour.


The curriculum is wide and varied, teaching the children the key elements of music through performing, composing and listening activities and drawing on music from many different genres and cultures.

Foundation Stage

Children in the Foundation Stage have lots of fun! They learn key musical skills such as listening, playing instruments with control and exploring sounds. They are encouraged to respond creatively to a musical stimulus and thoroughly enjoy movement and singing.

Key Stage One

During Key Stage One children build on the skills that were introduced in the Foundation Stage. Children follow a comprehensive programme to develop their ongoing skills in music and explore rhythmic and melodic notation, pitch and listening. They have lots of opportunities to widen their experience of playing both pitched and unpitched percussion instruments. Their listening skills are extended and simple composition work is introduced. In year two every child learns the basics of recorder playing which serves as a great foundation for later instrumental work.

Key Stage Two

Children in Key Stage Two follow an extremely varied curriculum developing their understanding of musical concepts through experiencing music from different styles and cultures. They perform on a wide range of instruments, including recorders, steel pans, keyboards, xylophones, glockenspiel and ukuleles developing their understanding of musical theory and exploring their creative ideas.

Key Stage Two students develop their skills through recording and appraising their work using ICT. They also are introduced to music software and are encouraged to experiment with composition using these tools. ICT Both music teaching rooms are equipped with interactive white boards and Apple Mac computers, which allow students to explore and organise a variety of sounds to create different compositions. Software such as Garage Band, Groovy Music and Sibelius are incorporated into classroom practice to enhance musical understanding.

Music Groups

Students can participate in a variety of Music clubs including Choir, Folk Group, Orchestra, Wind Group, String Ensemble, Steel Pans, Brass Band, Beginners Band and Rock Band. Throughout the year there are many school events where students can perform individually or as part of a group.

The Music Department works closely with instrumental teachers from the Centre of Musical Arts and the wider community. Students have the opportunity to receive individual or group tuition on a wide range of musical instruments including flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, French horn, saxophone, violin, cello, piano and guitar. Students are encouraged to sit an ABRSM exam in the final Term.

Physical Education

Outstanding Physical Education is a cornerstone of the JESS Jumeirah Curriculum. We passionately believe that our broad and balanced curriculum helps children to develop a love of sport and activity that stays with them throughout their lives. Through our extensive range of curricular activities and extra-curricular clubs, we provide a fully inclusive experience for children of all ages and abilities.

Within each lesson, activities are differentiated and specific to each learner, ensuring that everyone is challenged to meet their full potential. As well as learning key movement skills, pupils also develop a deeper understanding of the importance of making informed and healthy choices throughout their life. The PE department is staffed by 3 full time PE specialist teachers and a full time sports coach. Lessons are regularly supported by professional coaches from local community sports providers.

Foundation Stage

In the Foundation Stage, pupils enjoy three lessons per week. Two of the lessons focus on physical development and fundamental skills, the third lesson develops dance and movement skills. Lessons are delivered that allow children to play and select their challenges whilst also practising carefully selected skills designed to complement their curricular learning. Our Foundation Stage children enjoy their learning in a variety of environments such as our specially designed Learn to Swim pool, PE studio, Indoor Gross Motor Soft-Play Area and our extensive outdoor facilities. All Foundation Stage PE lessons are taught by specialist teachers, ensuring all pupils are appropriately challenged. Physical Development is one of the prime areas of learning in the Foundation Stage and is also regularly enforced through continuous provision and structured play activities.

Key Stage One

In Key Stage 1, our pupils advance to more complex skill acquisition activities. These lessons are designed to build on the success pupils achieve during the Foundation Stage and help them transition into more specialised games and units of work in the upper school. As well as a strong emphasis on body strength and balance activities, pupils will also spend time improving their running style and hand eye coordination. Whilst providing individual challenge, these lessons also introduce competition and cooperation, teaching pupils how to compete fairly and safely. Pupils at this stage graduated to two longer lessons per week and can start to access some of the extracurricular activities the school has to offer.

Key Stage Two

As pupils transition into Key Stage 2, our curriculum shifts focus from skills based to activity based lessons. Throughout Year 3 to 6 children will enjoy activities such as Football, Rugby, Netball, Athletics, Cricket, Rounders and Swimming. As pupils build and develop their own personal interests; they also have the opportunity to progress their skills as part of our highly successful extracurricular program. Within the department, our teachers have a broad range of specialisms and interests that our fully maximised to ensure all pupils are supported and extended to receive the challenge in their chosen sport. Children in this Key Stage enjoy two lessons of 1 hour and 45 minutes respectively.

The Oasis

Within the JESS community, there will be many pupils whose individual learning style requires curriculum adaptation and specific, targeted tuition. This includes children who are more able, gifted and/or talented as well as those for whom learning presents some challenges. The staff within The Oasis aim to work with the children, their parents, their teachers and any outside specialists to ensure that each child fulfils their true potential in an environment in which diversity is respected.

Additional Learning Needs

The Oasis is a department within the school which identifies and supports students with learning differences.  The team will act in a consultancy role to work with class teachers/specialists to ensure all students have access to quality first teaching. Where students do not make age appropriate progress, despite high quality teaching, The Oasis team will implement appropriate support, which may include extension/enrichment activities, assessment of need, selected individual targets and action plans. The overall purpose of The Oasis is to develop, in students, the learning skills necessary to access the wider curriculum, to help extend the most able and to raise each student's confidence and self-esteem.