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All academic matters at The City School are the responsibility of the Academic Department which comprises three sections:

  • Academics (curriculum, assessment, career guidance and counselling, and libraries)
  • Professional Development & Research (teacher and school leader training)
  • Inspection & Quality Assurance (school inspection and improvement)

The City School is clear in its strategic intent to provide a high-quality educational experience that will motivate, enthuse, and encourage its large student community worldwide.

With a readiness to move rapidly to develop new ways of teaching for effective learning, our schools exude a confidence that comes from a remarkable track record of having academic systems and procedures in place which suit our students’ needs and help sustain a high level of examination success.

In establishing a clear future vision of what academic excellence might look like in our schools, there is a constant need to shape our academic planning to align with, and equip our students with, the skills and values to cope with growing demands of the 21st century.

Early Years

The teaching and learning philosophy involves adopting a communicative language approach, where language facility is first grounded in speaking and listening, and the everyday experience of language. On this foundation, students will receive motivating language practice so they build vocabulary, reading and writing skills in equal parts. Real world activities and role-play are an important component of this teaching approach. Occasional opportunities will be taken to immerse classes in using the language.

Curriculum for Years 3 – 8

Curriculum Rationale

The City School aims to provide the highest quality educational opportunities in:

  • Literacy and numeracy skills.
  • A broad and balanced range of knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • The development of higher order and independent thinking skills.
  • An enlightened awareness of tolerance across all origins and religions.
  • Personal and social development.

O level and Matric (Classes 9 – 11)

  • The City School is primarily a Cambridge GCE O level and A level school system. Parents must be aware of this when registering their children.
  • Matric is offered in schools only where student numbers and facilities – including the availability of classrooms and laboratories – justify the provision.
  • Despite The City School’s expectations that all pupils will take O level, by the time pupils have entered Year 8, teachers and Heads may be of the opinion that some children will not easily cope with the O level course of studies and that it is better for the child to follow the Matric course of studies in terms of obtaining a good Matric certificate rather than a poor O level result.
  • The Mid-Year examinations in Year 8 form the basis of this bifurcation decision and parents are fully involved at all stages.

Post 16 Education

The post 16 curriculum is enriched by robust Future Leader Enrichment Programme, academic and careers education and programme of learning that develops 21st century skills.

At Post 16, range of coerces are offered to prepare students for higher and further education, training and employment.

Students are expected to select four AS courses for Year 12 and encouraged to continue through to Year 13 to study four subjects or at least three subjects at A2. This will Equip them to make choices from a wide range of universities and education providers, as well as preparing them for future employment.


Teacher assessment takes place regularly at all levels of the school. Teachers have training in the use of formative assessment and feedback as a foundation for adaptive teaching. Termly tests and continuous assessment will ensure that all students and their parents have a full record of progress. Progress of individuals and of student groups (boys and girls, Emiratis, gifted and SEND students) will be tracked using predicted and actual marks and grades, with teachers following up cases of underperformance. Students will earn certificates to reflect their achievements within the school and all will sit external examinations appropriate to their abilities.