Stress Free Move with Children

Planning a move with children can be a very traumatic experience.

Children be they small or adolescents do not relish moving because they will leave their friends behind and generally do not like the disruption in their lives.

Your keenness and positive attitude to the move can help the children to accept change. Involving them in the organisation of the move will further help them to accept the inevitable change in their lives.

Organise a Family Meeting

Perhaps over a meal of their favourite food. The meeting should be conducted in a relaxed atmosphere with everyone encouraged to voice their point of view and maybe even their fears. Describe to them how you felt when you have moved in the past.

Get to Know the New Location

If you already have details of the new house, and particularly if photographs are available, then show these to the children and describe the attractions of the local area.

Important Stuff

In most homes, children have large collections of toys and activities, which have not been played with for a long time. They have either been outgrown or superseded by up to date versions. Now is the time to have a good ‘clear out’ by explaining that it is just not worth taking certain items. You can consider a pre move sale of unwanted items. Most children would relish the idea of converting their unwanted items into cash. Alternatively the proceeds from such a sale could be used to purchase a new item, which all the family can enjoy.

A leaving party for your children’s friends is an ideal time for the swapping of contact details, email and postal addresses. Your children can prepare information, maps and photographs and use to describe their new surroundings and lifestyle to their friends.

Schooling Plan

Discuss with them the arrangement for their continued schooling. Show them brochures and descriptions of the school, which they will attend. Pay attention to extra curricula activities, school clubs and sporting opportunities.

Education in the United Arab Emirates

Because of the large mix of nationalities in Dubai education establishments are many and varied. Seeking advice from work colleagues and friends is extremely helpful in choosing the correct place for the child. Many establishments operate a waiting list system and thus it is not always possible to enrol a child in the preferred school. Visits to preferred establishments can be arranged by prior appointment.

Once the preferred school is selected the enrolment procedure generally requires certain documents to be produced such as:

  • Passport copy with residence stamp.
  • Photographs
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Immunisation record
  • Previous school records for past 24 months
  • Original transfer certificate from the current school
  • Latest original report card
  • The most recent original report card must be attested by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UAE Embassy in that country except for Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong and United States of America

School terms are as follows:

  • Autumn term from mid September to Mid December
  • Spring term from early January to early April
  • Summer term from mid April to early July

Nursery and pre school establishments for the ages from 3 to 5 are numerous and fees vary widely with the level of these establishments. Nursery schools usually like to interview a child before acceptance is granted. Hours of attendance is generally 4-5 hours per day.

Primary and Secondary schools are for age ranges 5 to 11 and 11 to 18.

In order to admit a child most schools require proof of the child’s previous school academic record. An official letter from the school in the home country is also required with details of the child’s education to date. Some establishments will also ask for a character reference. Sometimes a brief entrance exam is required to be taken and physical examinations and family meetings (interviews) are required. To cover the majority of educational requirements most national curriculum syllabuses are available in Dubai schools; i.e. GCSE, ‘A’ level, international Baccalaureate, CNEC and the American and Indian equivalents.

Schools are regularly inspected by officials from the Ministry of Education to ensure that standards and regulations are being adhered to. Teaching standard are generally very high and schools usually have excellent facilities and offer many extra curricular opportunities.

School fees cover the basic charges and some include the cost of books and travel to school by bus. Fees vary between establishments and some levy a charge for registration and a deposit.

School hours are generally from 08.00 to 13.00/15.00 hours and from Sunday to Thursday. The majority of teenagers at university level tend to return to their home country where they continue their education. For others who opt to stay in Dubai there are some University affiliates from Australia, America and Europe which offer degree and diploma courses in such subjects as Arts, Sciences, Business, Management Engineering and Technology. Some commercial organisations offer higher education courses for school leavers as well as adults.

Whist education establishment can vary it is generally found that the vast majority are of a very high standard.