Transferring between Filipino and British Curriculum Schools in Dubai


There is quite a number of Filipino students in Dubai studying in non-Filipino curriculum schools. Many Filipino kids are now enrolled in British schools.

In terms of entry age and years of study, what’s the difference between Filipino to British curriculum?

In Dubai, the age of the student as at 31st December at the year of entry determines the corresponding  year or grade he / she will be enrolled to depending on the curriculum.

Filipino and American curriculum follows a 12 year system (up to Grade12) while British curriculum follows a 13 year system (up to Year 13).

A student finishes at 17 years old on both Filipino (as Grade 12) or British (as Year13) curriculum, however, he starts differently when he/ she enters school at age 4.

A four year old child is KG 1 under Filipino school but is FS 2 in a British School.

Comparison Chart on Year Levels between Filipino and British Curriculum Schools in Dubai

Comparison Chart on Year Levels between Filipino and British Curriculum Schools in Dubai

Now, what happens when parents plan on transferring schools of different year system?

Let’s look at KHDA’s website under the Common Questions for Parents:

What grade does my child go to if he/she is moving from a 12-year curriculum to a 13-year curriculum?

This will often depend on the age of your child at the time of transfer and on their previous schooling. Your child’s new school should be able to advise you on this.

As example, let us see the case of Kalel. Kalel used to study in a Filipino school when he was Kindergarten 2 up until Grade 1. For some reasons, his parents transferred him to a British curriculum school where he continued Years 2, 3, 4 and Year 5. Recently, his parents visited the Filipino school and asked if Kalel can transfer back come next school year in September. The Filipino school said yes he can, however as Grade 5, not Grade 6 since he is currently Year 5 under British curriculum. As Year 5 (British), he is in effect equivalent to Grade 4 under Filipino curriculum.

Assuming all other differences have been taken into account, the total school years between Filipino and British schools are equal, but parents have to careful when transferring their children between these two curriculums so that not a year is attended twice. In Kalel’s example above, he left the Filipino school after Grade 1, but started with the British curriculum as Year 2, when he should have been Year 3.


This post has been researched as of the date it was written, please check with the specific schools of the actual rules and policies applicable at the time of when you need actual reference.


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