High School Curriculum at DAA
The High School serves grades 9 through 12. The curriculum in the high school is an academically challenging pre-university program with an American school curriculum focus in grades 9 and 10. Students enroll in a maximum of eight courses in a 4X4 block alternating Day1/Day2 schedule. Graduation requirements include a minimum of 22 credits and community service for each year at DAA. Students are also given the option in grade 11 and 12 to enroll in the full International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, IB Certificate courses, and Advanced Placement (AP) classes.
Dr. Cody Yocom
High School Principal
Meet The High School Principal
A point of pride in our high school is our focus on preparing our students to be university ready from the start of high school. All IB/AP teachers also teach in grades 9 and 10 to expose our students to the vocabulary, skills and assessment style required to be ready for these rigorous courses and therefore transition to university with confidence.
of DAA students achieved a score of 40 or higher
was the average score our IB students
of graduating class elected to complete challenging IB Diploma program
full IB diploma students
Explore our High School
To be successful, students must begin to think of career aspirations as well as educational plans for their years after high school and then set realistic goals for their academic program at Dubai American Academy.
In addition, students are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities to supplement their academic program. At Dubai American Academy, it is expected that students assume responsibility for their own achievements in education while working in partnership with teacher and parent guidance.
The American / IB Curriculum Overview
The curriculum is based on U.S. national standards and best practice research, and the language of instruction is in English.
The core program emphasizes reading and the language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, Arabic language for native and non-native speakers, and Islamic Education for Muslim students. In addition, students in preschool through grade 10 receive instruction in health and physical education with an emphasis on healthy living and good moral character. All students continue their studies in the core areas while being exposed to a wide variety of electives such as, digital video, visual and performing arts, and world languages.
Instructional objectives are clearly defined in all subject areas, but academic expectations are flexible enough to both support and challenge each individual learner. The “fluency” pillars will be at the epicenter of GEMS Dubai American Academy’s approach to curriculum, teaching and learning, and will define the learning experience for all students.
Academically, GEMS Dubai American Academy provides future-focused learning experiences that will empower and enable students to become the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders capable of challenging, influencing and sustaining the world they will inherit.
Through the provision of highly-distinguished and world-class education delivering outstanding outcomes and experiences for all students, GEMS Dubai American Academy prepares students to meet the challenge of a university education. Those who are exceptionally motivated may choose to pursue an International Baccalaureate Diploma. This qualifies students for entrance, and in many cases advanced placement, in most universities worldwide.
Beyond academics, GEMS Dubai American Academy strives to instill in all students a culture of kindness, a positive attitude toward lifelong learning, an appreciation for cultural diversity, with mastery of multiple literacies and fluencies to support genuine personal growth and future readiness.
This year heralded another successful university application season for Dubai American Academy. The 2020 cohort is DAA's largest ever graduating class with 201 (93%) out of the 217 students taking IB classes of which 158 were full DP students. This year, 7.2% of all 2020 IB Diploma students in the UAE were from DAA (2,203 students / 50 schools). With one of the largest cohorts in the Middle East, our students have much to be proud of.
DAA students achieved an impressive pass rate with 99% with 18 students achieving 40+ points. Students will continue their education in several countries, with the largest percentage going to the United States, followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.
DAA has a long history of helping students to achieve excellent IB results. From our very first year of offering the IB Diploma program, DAA’s students have scored significantly above the world averages in both individual subjects and overall results. Our program has grown substantially over the years to include all students who wish to undertake the challenging diploma program.
Athletics and Activities
Middle East South Asia Conference (MESAC) (Grades 9 - 12)
At Dubai American Academy there is a strong emphasis on developing a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and on acquiring team skills to learn and compete cooperatively with others. Dubai American Academy offers its students a variety of sports catering for the different talents within the student population.
The year is broken down into three activity seasons (Fall, Winter and Spring), each providing a range of opportunities for our students. All sports and activities are provided with skilled, experienced and passionate coaches to help our students reach their personal best in whatever activity they choose. Our athletes compete locally against other international schools in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi regions. Additionally, all Junior Varsity and Varsity teams travel to the Middle East South Asia Conference (MESAC) which is an international conference comprising of six leading schools in the UAE.
The Athletics and Activities for each season are as follows:
- Season 1 – Volleyball, Golf, Swimming and Academic Games
- Season 2 – Basketball, Soccer, Cross-Country, Tennis and Senior Fine Arts
- Season 3 – Badminton, Track & Field, Baseball, Softball, Forensics and Junior Fine Arts.
Dubai American Academy provides students with many free/low-cost opportunities to develop their particular interests and abilities. This association with students who share the same interests allows for camaraderie that fosters an increased sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging outside of the classroom. Athletics, school government, class organizations and special interest clubs provide a hands-on opportunity for students to learn and participate in leadership skills.
High School Student Government
The high school student government is an organization dedicated to providing leadership opportunities for students, providing services to the school and community and making the lives of students more enjoyable. The organization serves as a link between students and teachers, organizes social activities, and assists the greater school community in various events and activities throughout the year. Students from grades 9-12 are eligible to serve on the student government and are elected by their peers to serve as class representatives or members of the executive council. Together with the staff and administration, the student government has created eligibility requirements for students wishing to serve on the student government. It is considered a privilege to be selected, and students involved with the student government are leaders who demonstrate the qualities of exceptional and successful students.
Examples of Student-Led Clubs and Charities include:
- South Asian Culture Club
- Cybersecurity club
- The Rashid Stars
- Video Production Club
- Anime Club
- Leopards Cheerleading Club
- Little Learners
- Chinese culture club
- Arduino Engineering
- Black Student Union (BSU)
- Business Club
- Running Club
- Business Entrepreneurship club
- I'm Your Genie
- Music and culture (appreciation club)
- Sign Language Club
- Art-RUBIX Club
- Model United Nations
- Environmental club
- Chemistry Club
- Digital Art Club
- SAT Club
- Athletics Department Coaching
- Economics Club
- Film Club
- Book Tasting
- Math Olympiad club
- DAA Investment Club
- [email protected]
- Inspire Club
- TILE Club
- Mission: Recyclable
- Art 101
- Go Green
- Photography Club
- Green Machine
- Save The Children
- Medical Aspirants
- World Building Club
- Venture Capitalism Club
- Leaders of Tomorrow
- Movie Club
- Dubai Cares
- Table Tennis Club
- Debate Club
- Alex's Lemonade Stand
- IB art club
- Spanish Club
- Physics Club
- Scrabble Club
- Mind your Money
- Psychology and Charity
- African Culture Club
- Supporting South Sudan
- MS Coding Club
- Ski Club
- Global Politics Society
- AI Impact
- Debating Club
- Deeds for Special Needs
- Physics Club (Year 1)
Although the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is completed in grades 11 and 12, all students, inclusive of grade 9 and 10, take part in the CAS program. CAS Stands for Creativity, Action and Service. In total, we ask students to engage in at least 70 hours between the pillars of CAS - Creativity, Action and Service throughout their high school journey at DAA.
Exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance.
Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
Collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need.
Through CAS our students experience new things, become more internationally minded, and have an opportunity to explore their passions outside of academics. Through CAS, they are able to identify their strengths and develop areas for growth. CAS empowers them to engage with issues of global significance, gives them an opportunity of self-determination and satisfaction for initiating and completing their plan.
Meet the High School Leadership Team 2020-2021
How the DP Helps Students
The DP is able to develop the students to posses the qualifications below. Click here to learn more.
Have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
Flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
Study at least two languages
Excel in traditional academic subjects
Explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.
DAA has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School from 2019 to 2022, for its continuous innovation in teaching and learning and implementation of Apple technology in student learning...
In our ever-changing world, the school, as an institution, is also evolving...
More to Explore
Future Fluent by DesignDAA has an American Curriculum that embeds creative design, cutting-edge robotics and digital fluencies at its core
Individualized ApproachFinding the right university for our diverse group of students is paramount
VigorWe develop our learners not to simply go through the motions but to go through the emotions
Outstanding HeritageFounded over 20 years ago, DAA is the only outstanding American Curriculum school in the United Arab Emirates since 2011.
Voices of InnovationDAA provides students with an unlimited range of opportunities to believe in and communicate the power of their ideas and actions