High School

The Dunecrest High School is committed to offering a comprehensive, college preparatory curriculum which is challenging and engaging for students.

At Dunecrest we believe that education is not solely about academics. Learning is a continuous and holistic process that engages the whole child. High quality teaching supports students in their journey to discovering their place in the world and understanding their responsibility to contribute positively to it. Students engage in hands on learning, design, exploration and innovation, and are given a broad range of choices , enabling them to pursue their individual passions.

At Dunecrest we see students as partners in learning and recognize that students have something to teach us, as expressed by Dr. Russell Quaglia:

• Students can teach us about their future hopes and dreams.

• Students can teach us how they learn best.

• Students can teach us about the conditions that support their learning.

• Students can teach us about their interests and areas of expertise as well as the personal experiences of race or otherness that shape their worldview.

• Students learn by teaching.

By listening to our students, we will help them grow as learners and achieve their goals.

In addition to the wide range of academic courses, the High School offers an extensive range of athletic and co-curricular options. Through participation in sports, clubs and activities, students will have many opportunities to grow and learn beyond the classroom.

Academic Programs:

During the 2019-2020 Academic year the school we are expandnig to offer the choice of two academic pathways, the American High School Diploma program and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), for students in Grade 11 and continue the expansion into the 2020-2021 school year with the addition of courses for students in Grade 12. For more information about the IBDP pathway, please click here .

The American High School Diploma program is aligned to the AERO Common Core Plus curricular standards and offers courses in English, Science, Humanities, Math, Programming, Robotics, World Languages, Physical Education and the Arts. The curriculum is designed in interdisciplinary, project based units which challenges students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers. Technology standards are interwoven into all curricular units.

Students in Grade 9 continue to be engaged in independent and small group design projects, but their focus is narrowed to designing solutions to solving problems related to sustainability.

Students in Grade 10 participate in an ‘Individual Investigation’ which requires them to engage in an independent research project on a subject of their choice and submit their study as an academic paper so that they may develop their research, academic writing and information literacy skills.


Grade 9 Algebra 1
Grade 10 Geometry

The High School mathematics curriculum is based on the AERO Common Core Plus Curricular Standards.
These standards are divided into the mathematical domains of: counting, numbers in base ten, operations and algebraic thinking, measurement and data, and geometry. In addition, students are immersed in learning developmentally appropriate mathematical practices.

As stated in the official literature of the Common Core State Standards, ”The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe ways in which developing student practitioners of the discipline of mathematics increasingly ought to engage with the subject matter as they grow in mathematical maturity and expertise throughout the elementary, middle and high school years.”

The eight Standards for Mathematical Practice are:
1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
4. Model with mathematics
5. Use appropriate tools strategically
6. Attend to precision
7. Look for and make use of structure
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning


Grade 9 Biology
Grade 10 Chemistry

The High School science curriculum is based on the AERO/NGSS Curricular Standards. AERO Common Core Plus have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards. These standards will be taught through hands on experiments and a collaborative, project based learning approach.

The NGSS standards approach learning in a cyclical format. Ideas are introduced in earlier stages and built upon at more advanced levels in the later stages of a child’s education.

The standards are written to provide a three-tiered approach to learning through acquisition of cross cutting concepts, science and engineering practices and disciplinary core ideas.

The High School standards are bundled into Biology, Physics and Chemistry courses. Earth science standards are integrated into these areas and they are taught as is developmentally appropriate.

• Matter and its interactions
• Forces and Motion
• Energy
• Waves and Their Application
• From Molecules to Organisms, Structures and Processes
• Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy and Dynamics
• Hereditary Inheritance and Variance of Traits
• Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
• Earth’s place in the universe
• Earth’s systems
• Earth and Human Activity
• Engineering and Design


Grade 9 English Nine
Grade 10 English Ten

The High School English curriculum is constructed from the Aero Common Core Plus, English Language Arts Curricular Framework

The standards are divided into the following conceptual areas:
• Reading Literature
• Reading Informational Text
• Writing
• Listening & Speaking
• Language Foundations

Social Studies

Grade 9 Social Studies Nine
Grade 10 Social Studies Ten

The High School Social Studies curriculum is based on the AERO Common Core Plus Social Studies Framework and Literacy in Social Studies Standards.

The Social Studies framework is developed around eight key learning standards:

• Standard 1 (Time, Continuity, and Change) Students will understand patterns of change and continuity, relationships between people and events through time, and various interpretations of these relationships.

• Standard 2 (Connections and Conflict) Students will understand causes and effects of interaction among societies, including trade, systems of international exchange, war, and diplomacy.

• Standard 3 (Geography) Students will understand the interactions and relationship between human societies and their physical environment.

• Standard 4 (Culture) Students will understand cultural and intellectual developments and interactions among societies.

• Standard 5 (Society and Identity) Students will understand social systems and structures and how these influence individuals.

• Standard 6 (Government) Students will understand why societies create and adopt systems of governance and how they address human needs, rights, responsibilities and citizenship. Standard 7 (Production, Distribution, and Consumption) Students will understand fundamental economic principles and ways in which economies are shaped by geographic and human factors.

• Standard 8 (Science, Technology, and Society) Students will understand how societies have influenced and been influenced by scientific developments and technological developments.

Arabic Language

Grade 9 Arabic as a First Language) and AAL (Arabic as an Additional Language).
Grade 10 Arabic as a First Language) and AAL (Arabic as an Additional Language).

The primary goal of our program is to enable students to communicate effectively in the Arabic language. (Modern Standard Arabic and Arabic as a Foreign Language).

The High school Arabic curriculum will follow the learning standards provided by the Ministry of Education in Dubai for AFL (Arabic as a First Language) and AAL (Arabic as an Additional Language).

Students at this age are placed in language classes based on their mother tongue language as well as their proficiency within their level of language acquisition.

Islamic Studies

Grade 9
Islamic Studies Nine English
Islamic Studies Nine Arabic
Grade 10 Islamic Studies Ten English
Islamic Studies Ten Arabic

At Dunecrest, Islamic Studies is part of our learning curriculum for our Muslim student body. Our Islamic Studies curriculum meets the expectations for learning established by the UAE Ministry of Education for Islamic Education. The Islamic studies curriculum is developed around the following core program goals:

• To make students more aware of Allah and their responsibility to serve Him and propagate his message.

• To teach students how to prepare for their ultimate objective: success in the life hereafter.

• To help establish in students a firm commitment and dedication to Islam as the eternal source of guidance.

• To make students aware of their responsibilities as Muslims.

• To teach students how to think, analyze, and solve problems based on Islamic rules.

• To encourage students to acquire positive attitudes, develop balanced personalities and appreciate knowledge.

• To work closely with parents to provide a secure, nurturing, and motivational environment for children to grow and prosper in.

• To expand students’ reading vocabulary and improve their understanding of words and their meanings.


In Grades 9 and 10, Band and Choir will be offered as electives as part of the Dunecrest High School music program:


Band is a year-long elective that engages students in performance, composition, reflection and practice. Classroom activities are designed to develop elements of musicianship including tone production, technical skills, intonation, music reading skills, listening skills, analyzing music and integration of other applicable disciplines such as sight-reading and correct responses to a conductor’s suggestions. Students study a varied repertoire of developmentally appropriate concert band literature.


Choir is a year-long elective that engages students in performance, composition, reflection and practice. Students will learn a broad range of choral repertoire and perform on several occasions throughout the year. The students will work on basic vocal technique, warm-ups, sight reading, and ear training exercises to perform a vast array of musical styles, from classical to pop to jazz. Many songs will be sung acapella and in four-part harmony. Singers will have the opportunity to solo in class and in performances.

The music curriculum is standards based and aligned to the AERO Common Core Plus curricular standards and shaped with the concepts found in the National Core Arts Standards. Learning is divided into four conceptual ideas:

• Creating
• Performing/ Presenting/Producing
• Responding
• Connecting

Visual Arts

Grade 9
Visual Arts Nine
Grade 10 Visual Arts Ten

The Visual Arts course is a year-long elective that invites individual responses and inspires students’ imaginations. Immersing students in a creative process develops their confidence in taking risks and challenges their problem-solving skills. Discussions and journal writing nurture critical thinking and metacognitive skills as students reflect on their work. Many assignments encourage the investigation of personal narrative or the investigation of others, allowing students to make their voices heard and giving them opportunities to hear and value the varied work of their classmates.

The Visual Arts curriculum is standards based aligned to the AERO Common Core Plus curricular standards. It also draws heavily upon the concepts found in the National Core Arts Standards. Learning is divided into five conceptual areas:

• Creating
• Performing/Presenting/Producing
• Responding
• Connecting
• Historical and Cultural Context

Theatre Arts

Grade 9 Theatre Arts Nine
Grade 10 Theatre Arts Ten

Theatre Arts is a year-long elective that provides opportunities for students to realize their potential for personal expression and growth through the exploration of theatre. Students develop their skills to explore character development, theatre roles and the use of body. Assignments are aligned to the National Core Arts Standards, which are designed to prepare students to create, perform, respond, and make connections between different know-how and cultures. Students are encouraged to investigate, research and document their findings, and to take risks.

Physical Education

Grade 9 Physical Education Nine
Grade 10 Physical Education Ten

SHAPE America's National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education define what a student should know and be able to do as result of a highly effective physical education program. Shape America defines physical literacy through five key ideas:

Standard 1: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

Standard 2: The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

Standard 3: The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.

Standard 4: The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.

Standard 5: The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.


Students in the High School program are supported by a Counselor who implements a guidance program based on the standards of The International Model for School Counseling Programs. The Guidance curriculum follows learning standards which are aligned from Pre-K to Grade 12 and are developmentally appropriate.

The guidance curriculum is implemented during homeroom periods and focuses on supporting the development of students in four key areas:

• Social and Emotional Support
• Academic Skills
• Global Perspectives
• Life skills/transitions

In addition, high school students are supported by a college and career guidance counselor who works to ensure that students have all of the knowledge and information they need to make informed choices about their educational and professional future.

ELL Support

English Language Learning Support uses a co-teaching inclusion model to meet the needs of students in the classroom.

ELL support is developed through the use of the WIDA instructional model, which provides a program of rich standards, learning materials and assessments for teachers to draw upon. These include the “can do” assessment statements that are used to measure students’ levels of language acquisition on admission to the school, as well as to monitor their progress and support throughout the program. Dunecrest has chosen to use the WIDA model as the WIDA vision matches the school’s vision of learning. WIDA’s core values are:

• Innovation: Drawing upon research and practice to create the best resources for children, youth and educators.

• Service: Exceeding expectations with trusted and knowledgeable support of our clients and stakeholders. Can Do Philosophy: Recognizing and building upon the assets, contributions, and potential of culturally and linguistically diverse children and youth.

• Collaboration: Facilitating interaction among educators, state and local educational agencies, researchers, policy-makers, and experts worldwide.

Support for Students with Additional Needs (SEND)

Dunecrest utilizes the response to intervention (RTI) approach to support students with special educational needs. The school uses the tiered approach to provide interventions for those students that need additional support through a co-teaching model. Diagnostic testing during the admissions process identifies the needs of individual students entering the school and if necessary, a support plan is developed for them ready for their first day of classes.

Dunecrest ensures that learning environments and teaching strategies are inclusive of all children and that all children are included as a part of the community and feel that they belong.