FS1 Assessment experience
I applied for my three-year-old a year in advance, for September 2014. In January 2014, I got an email from Horizon Al Safa, Dubai, giving a specific date and time for an assessment. I have to admit that I was extremely nervous – but I decided not to stress Rania out and just let her be herself. I just told her that we were going to see a ‘school for big girls’ and that it would all be very exciting.
The assessment turned out to be very clear and simple – just what’s needed for kids of under three years old. Once at the school, we all waited at reception and each child was put into a group and, in turn, each group was asked to go into a playroom.
Parents were allowed in, which was a great relief for me. The teachers observed her and the other kids, doing their rounds and chatting with some of them. Rania and I played together and had a few other kids joining us as well.
I thought the environment was ideal – it didn’t scare the kids away or make them feel intimidated. We were then asked to go outside to the sand area, where the kids went off to play while we watched (just like at a park, really). Rania didn’t want to go home!
By 20 January, we were offered a place. The whole process was very efficient, I have to say.
The only drawback was that, once I got an offer, I only had three days to confirm and put the deposit down, which meant I had to cancel assessment in all other schools. In this case, Horizon was my preferred school, so it worked out well but, if it hadn’t been, it would have killed all my other options…