by Belinda Breeze

Following the English National Curriculum, which is one of the most well-known and highly regarded in the world of international education, the school is recognised by the UK’s leading education accreditation bodies – British Schools Overseas (BSO) and British Schools in the Middle East (BSME).

SIA’S BLUEPRINT FOR UNMATCHED LEARNER SUCCESS: At SIA, the HPL system is the cornerstone of its educational philosophy, guiding its students to exceptional achievements. This advanced framework is designed to unlock each student’s potential, promoting a culture where exceptional achievement across all spheres is the norm. Through this innovative lens, it cultivates learners who are not only knowledgeable but also adaptable, creative, and equipped with the critical thinking skills and growth mindset necessary for lifelong success. As the sole bearer of the High Performing Schools Awards (HPSA) status and on an exclusive path towards World-Class status with HPL, SIA sets the gold standard in education.

SIA’S EXCEPTIONAL ACADEMIC IMPACT: The SIA 4X advantage has set new benchmarks in academic excellence through its Sixth Form learners, who have attained an average Global Learning (GL) value added score of +7.3, significantly outperforming the UK and UAE averages of +0.5 and +1.85, respectively. This score, validated by GL Assessments and the Fischer Family Trust (FFT), reflects the substantial impact of SIA’s high-quality teaching and learning environment. This is the SIA 4X Advantage.

SIA’s Value-add score is 4X higher than the UAE’s national average: This outstanding performance is not just higher, but four times higher than the UAE national average. Notably, GL assessments are universally utilised by schools across the UAE, making this accomplishment even more remarkable. The value-added score is a critical indicator of the actual academic progress students make, surpassing their predicted outcomes. It reflects the effectiveness of SIA’s HPL ecosystem, which not only enhances individual student achievements but also shapes the school’s strategic educational approaches. For further insight into the SIA 4X advantage, you might find the following resource valuable: A-Level Value Added – Top School Guide.

PIONEERING LEARNER LEADERSHIP: At the forefront of innovative educational practices, SIA was distinctively chosen to showcase its pioneering ‘learner leadership’ programme at the prestigious annual HPL conference. This programme exemplifies SIA’s commitment to cultivating leadership qualities across all year groups, empowering students to spearhead events and initiatives, thereby nurturing a culture of responsibility, leadership, and building and managing teams.

PERSONALISED LEARNING AT ITS BEST: SIA’s success stems from its personalised learning ethos, fostering deep connections between teachers and students and customising the educational journey. This approach empowers students to set ambitious goals, explore their interests, and take charge of their learning, supported by targeted feedback and resources from dedicated educators. This environment nurtures every student’s potential, making SIA a beacon of academic excellence and personal growth.

GLOBAL ACHIEVEMENT AND RECOGNITION: SIA’s learners are amongst the highest achievers in the UAE, the region, and the world, consistently attaining test scores that are above the UK, national, and global averages for GL achievements, IGCSE, and A Levels. Its commitment to becoming an HPL school and consistently innovating learning opportunities has yielded positive outcomes, of which SIA is immensely proud.

CHAMPIONING STUDENT WELL-BEING AT SIA: Understanding the critical importance of mental health among youth, SIA is committed to fostering a supportive and nurturing environment that addresses the well-being of its students. This commitment comes against a backdrop of concerning statistics, such as a 2023 study revealing that one in five children and adolescents aged 8 to 19 years are likely experiencing a mental disorder, with the prevalence slightly higher in the older age group of 17 to 19 years. In response, SIA has developed a comprehensive well-being initiative designed to support students’ emotional and psychological needs, ensuring a safe, inclusive, and empathetic educational environment where every student has the opportunity to thrive.

A THRIVING LEARNING OASIS HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT AT HEART: SIA crafts a nurturing atmosphere, emphasising the well-being and holistic growth of every learner. The blend of academic excellence with character education and social-emotional learning prepares students to excel and contribute positively globally.

SIA’S DYNAMIC SPORTS PROGRAM: At SIA, sports take centre stage as one of its unique strengths. Its vibrant sports programme, highlighted by annual sports days, competitive leagues, and a variety of competitions, showcases the school’s commitment to physical education and team spirit. Building on the sporting prowess at SIA, the boys’ team recently made waves at the Ajman Academy swimming gala, competing in the esteemed external EISSA league. Clinching first place in the U14 category, the athletes not only secured a remarkable victory but also embodied the spirit and pride of the school.

UNLOCKING OPPORTUNITIES: SIA is a catalyst for student success, offering a spectrum of opportunities that extend from prestigious university applications to essential life and workplace skills. Starting from Year 10, learners engage in hands-on experiences across various departments, gaining practical insights and earning certifications that pave the way for their future. Engaging in practical roles across various sectors such as the cafe, medical office, marketing, administration, library, and finance, students at SIA gain invaluable real-world experience. They maintain reflective journals and receive certifications upon completing their programmes. The unique ‘Yusa’id initiative’ within SIA, aimed at uplifting the school’s blue-collar community, instils a deep sense of compassion and empathy in students.

DIVERSE AND DYNAMIC TEACHING: At SIA, 57% of its homeroom teachers hail from the UK and Ireland, bringing with them a depth of educational expertise and cultural insights. Alongside a faculty that spans 14 different nationalities, this British influence enriches the school’s educational approach, emphasising critical thinking and a love for learning, all within a framework that celebrates diverse perspectives and global understanding.

BEYOND THE BOOKS: Beyond academics, SIA places a profound emphasis on nurturing the whole child, fostering character development, leadership skills, and a sense of social responsibility. Through an extensive array of extracurricular activities, including sports, performing arts, and community service initiatives, learners are encouraged to explore their passions, hone their talents, and embrace the values of teamwork and empathy.

UNITY IN DIVERSITY: Also, central to the ethos of SIA is a commitment to fostering a culture of inclusivity and diversity. With a student body comprising over 60 different nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds, the school celebrates the richness of its community and promotes cross-cultural understanding and mutual respect, enhancing the vibrant community spirit that defines SIA.

PERSONAL TOUCH: Weekly ‘Meet the Heads’ sessions, dubbed ‘HOD POD’, alongside monthly teacher-parent calls, ensure a personal connection with every family, enhancing the educational experience. Feedback-driven growth by actively seeking parents’ feedback post events, SIA stays well-tuned into the community’s pulse, tailoring events and activities to meet their needs and enrich the school’s vibrant life.


Well-Rounded Education SIA stands out for its comprehensive approach to education, preparing learners for success in a dynamic world. “We provide a well-rounded education that prepares learners for success,” Batts states, highlighting the school’s commitment to excellence. Principal James Batt emphasises the importance of a positive, inclusive culture at SIA. “At SIA, we prioritise creating an ‘ecosystem’ where every individual feels valued, supported, and motivated to excel,” he notes, highlighting the foundation of the school’s success.

“My approach is centred on guiding and nurturing our school community towards continuous improvement and growth,” he shares, underlining his commitment to fostering an environment of excellence.

“I have found great value in helping leaders identify and harness their unique strengths to drive better outcomes,” he explains, advocating for a culture where everyone’s best is celebrated.

“Over the past three years, I’ve witnessed remarkable transformations within our beloved school.” He highlights the journey towards becoming the first HPL school in Sharjah, emphasising the commitment to enriching educational experiences.

Journey of Transformation: Reflecting on SIA’s progress, James shares, “Over the past three years, I’ve witnessed remarkable transformations within our beloved school.” He highlights the journey towards becoming the first HPL school in Sharjah, emphasising the commitment to enriching educational experiences. James looks forward to SIA achieving ‘World-Class’ status through the HPL journey. “This year, we are laser-focused on achieving recognition as a ‘World-Class’ school,” he asserts, showcasing the ambition to elevate SIA’s status further.

James shares exciting news: “I have recently been honoured with a prestigious HPL Fellowship, (one of just three individuals globally honoured with a fellowship from HPL founder Deborah Eyre), which I will be receiving at Warwick University in March 2024,” a recognition that celebrates the dedication and commitment of the entire SIA community. This accolade underscores the collective efforts in shaping an outstanding educational environment.

VISIONARY PATHWAYS CONTINUOUS EVOLUTION: SIA is not a school that just sits back and rests on its laurels though, with one eye constantly on the future, as James explains, “As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of education, it is essential to reflect on our vision for the future of Scholars International Academy. Rooted in educational research and best practices, our vision for the future of SIA is multifaceted. More than a school, SIA is a dynamic community committed to excellence, innovation, and continuous improvement. “As we work towards realising this vision, we remain committed to collaboration, innovation, and continuous development. Together, we will shape the future of SIA and empower generations of learners to become leaders, thinkers, and change makers in the world. How exciting!” James concludes.

SHAPING FUTURE LEADERS: Mr. Kumar Verma’s Educational Ethos In his director’s message, Mr Kumar Verma, Managing Director of Scholars International Group (SIG), reflects on the essence of education at SIA.

“In the fast-evolving landscape of education, the challenge lies in equipping our students for a future driven by relentless innovation,” he states. Drawing from the innate curiosity and creativity of students, Mr Verma highlights that the inspiration for advancing education at SIA comes directly from the students themselves. Describing the transformation at SIA, Mr. Verma discusses moving away from a standardised, one-size-fits-all educational model to embrace a more personalised, teacher-driven approach.

“Our focus has shifted to emphasise the critical role of quality teaching in delivering true educational value,” he adds. Mr. Verma concludes, “At SIA, we view innovation not as crafting something new but as rekindling timeless principles of learning. We recognise that true education extends beyond our classrooms, thriving within each child. Our mission is to ignite the innate spark of wonder in every student, guiding them to create their own paths.”

To find out more about SIA’s unparalleled educational experience, why not take advantage of one of its school tours, which offers flexible timings for the convenience of parents during both weekdays and weekends. Call +971 6 519 7000.