Switching to British or American curriculum from CBSE

We are planning to relocate to Dubai from India. Have two kids who will be going to class 9 and class 1 respectively .

My elder son find CBSE a bit too pressurizing , so we are planning to shift both our kids to a light weight curriculum where more options are available in higher classes .

1. Can someone please guide on a suitable curriculum ?

2. If CBSE is a better option to go , would like to know schools which are lenient when it comes to average students .

3. What will be pros and cons in switching from CBSE to British or American curriculum?

vijivishnu86 Default Asked on March 26, 2023 in Curriculum.
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1 Answer(s)

Although there is a perception that the US curriculum is less pressurised than Indian and British curricula, in reality, as students progress through Senior school, expectations are equally high. My advice would be to consider the longer term, in respect of where you see your older child moving onto post Secondary school.  If the intention is that he will return to college or university in India, it probably  makes sense to continue in the CBSE curriculum.

Schools in the UAE are very used to educating students of all abilities, and are monitored and inspected on a regular basis (annually in Dubai) by the local regulator, the KHDA.  You will find that the inspection reports, which are published for each school on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com under the Inspection tab, provide detailed information about the school’s processes in terms of teaching appropriately to the abilities of each child. In addition, there is a very strong focus on student wellbeing and this is also assessed and reported on. Our advice would be to check the inspection reports and reviews for any school that you are considering.  Don’t simply focus on the overall inspection rating, but read the full report to get an understanding of how the school is performing across all key performance standards in each section of the school.  The latest reports for the 2022-23 academic have only very recently been issued, so the information is up to date.

If you are considering an international university education for your children, then it may be worth considering other curricula although the CBSE is recognised in most countries (including the US and UK).  The US and UK curricula are much more aimed at encouraging students to learn independently, through their own research and creative thinking, guided by teachers, rather than the more teacher-led approach within CBSE schools (although again the best CBSE and CICSE schools are also much more focused towards this form of pedagogy). US and UK curriculum schools also tend to have a much broader curriculum in terms of Arts in particular, as opposed to the focus on Commerce and Science for the most part in many UAE Indian curriculum schools.

It may be worth considering a change, but we would definitely not advise the British curriculum for your older child, as he would be joining Year 10 which is the first of the two year I/GCSE programme, and it is likely to be far too big a change.  Grade 9 in the US curriculum is also likely to be challenging, but there are no public examinations at that stage within US curriculum schools, although his performance will count towards his overall GPA at graduation. We would suggest that if you wish to pursue the other curriculum options, you reach out to schools that you may wish to consider and ask for their feedback in terms of whether they feel it wise to move your child at this point.  In terms of your younger son, it would be much easier for him to switch curriculum, but presumably you would wish to keep both children together at the same school.

WhichSchoolAdvisor Head of Department Answered on March 26, 2023.
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