Nord Anglia vs Repton
Thank you for your question. On the face of it, both Repton and Nord Anglia are similar schools – both following a UK curriculum until Year 11, and then offering the IB Diploma Programme. Since your children are both still of Primary/Elementary age, the post-16 option is probably not going to be relevant.
Whilst there are similarities of curriculum and the nationality and qualifications of staff will be similar, there are some significant differences. Whilst Repton is linked to the UK-based Repton School (a 450 year old traditional British private school with boarding facilities) and also has a sister school in Abu Dhabi, Nord Anglia is part of a much larger, expanding international group, which although managed and directed educationally from the UK, does not operate any schools there. Whilst Repton is very much viewed, therefore, as a traditional school – although in fact, its Abu Dhabi sister was the first Apple Distinguished School in the UAE – Repton Dubai offers a modern education with full use of technology. It also has excellent facilities, particularly Sports facilities and competes regularly with other schools across Dubai, it has struggled since opening to put in place its Performing Arts facilities. It is also a very large school compared with Nord Anglia which is about half the size.
Whilst Repton achieves excellent IB results and is rated as Outstanding by the local regulator, it is not academically as selective as Nord Anglia. Repton is also over 10 years old in Dubai; Nord Anglia is operating in its 5th year and has already achieved two Very Good ratings from the KHDA (one level down from Outstanding). This is quite an achievement. Nord Anglia has not yet had a cohort of students complete the IB Diploma.
Nord Anglia, in addition to its academic focus and selective approach to admission, has very strong links to the other schools in the Nord Anglia Group and is probably more internationally-minded as a result. In addition to the academic focus, the school also has very strong links to the Performing Arts programme which is offered together with the Juilliard School. IT and Robotics are a feature of the school, as are modern languages, including Chinese for which it is an exam centre. Nord Anglia is a smaller school with a very different “feel” to Repton which has tried to replicate the traditional school in the UK. Nord Anglia is very modern in design with excellent facilities (including a high quality auditorium) and plentiful outdoor space for sports. We know from parents at Nord Anglia that there is very strong parental involvement and the school actively encourages this. Feedback from Repton in the past has been less positive in this context, although the recent change of Principal is leading to more open communication.
We would advise you to read the reviews and experience reports on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com for both schools, and also the KHDA reports which will give you greater insight into the academic performance of the schools. In a nutshell, you are choosing between two schools that are probably academically similar, but with a very different look and feel. Repton is the large, traditional, typical historical British school, whilst Nord Anglia is perhaps the smaller, more international, modern and fresh face of British education overseas. We would not recommend one over the other – this will very much depend on your children’s interests and abilities. For a more academic focus, however, we would probably suggest Nord Anglia. You will perhaps also be aware that Nord Anglia operates several schools in the USA.
All of the schools have been on vacation for the past three weeks and staff returned on Sunday. Do follow up with the Admissions team at NAS again; I am sure they will get back to you. This is the email address: [email protected]. There is also an online form on the website – https://www.nordangliaeducation.com/our-schools/dubai/admissions/admissions-enquiry-visits-and-applications/enquiry.