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GEMS Founders School – WSA Q and A

GEMS Founders School – WSA Q and A

What is the official name of your School?
GEMS Founders School

What is your school’s Web site address?*

What qualities and characteristics would you say will define GEMs Founders? ‘Why your school?’
Quality, affordable British Education with a clear focus on building character and supporting the UAE’s 2021 National Agenda for Education.

How many nationalities are represented in your school?
So far, approximately 76

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?
Not really, we have a real mix, very representative of Dubai.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

Does your school have a waiting list?
Yes in FS classes. Please contact our registrar, Vidya Thajim, vidya.thajim at gemseducation.com for more information

How does the school promote healthy lifestyles?
Whenever possible GEMS Founders School will participate in local campaigns that promote healthy lifestyles and our medical and pastoral teams will carefully monitor the health and well-being of our students.


Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. 
Students will have Physical Education as part of the weekly lessons in line with the National Curriculum for England. In addition we will offer an Enrichment Programme that will allow students to participate in a wider range of physical activities. We hope to participate in inter-school competitions and in local events. There will also be an after school sports programme provided by our teachers and outside specialists.

How will you promote healthy eating?
Healthy eating, as part of a healthy lifestyle, is priority for growing children. At GFS we believe there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ food, just that there can often be better, healthier choices and that some food items are ‘treats’ that should be eaten less often. In choosing our school caterer we were very clear that the provision should include healthier choices that our students would still enjoy. Snacks that students bring from home will be monitored and workshops are planned for parents to encourage them to provide food and drinks that will sustain their children through the day.

Will GEMS Founders School have cafeteria facilities for its students?
Yes, it will cost approximately 15 AED for a hot meal.

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?
The school day will begin at 7.30 a.m. The Foundation Stage students will leave school at 12.00 p.m. while the last lesson for rest of the school of the school finishes at 2.00 p.m. Most after-school activities will finish by 3.45 p.m.

Is there a school uniform?
Yes, please see: http://www.threadsme.com/

Please advise on your discipline policy at GEMS Founders School?
We will have a policy of ‘positive reinforcement’ when respectful, appropriate behaviour is practiced. A reward scheme will followed through our House System. Children will be given an opportunity to immediately stop any anti-social behavior and be encouraged to make a better choice. There will be zero-tolerance of bullying of any description. There will inevitably be sanctions that will be in line with the MoE recommendations.

What is your policy on mobile devices such as mobile (cell) phones in school?
We have a BYOD policy in place which will allow usage of devices in areas designated or within learning environments when with a member of staff. Beyond this students will not use mobile devices around the school during the school day.

How will your school differentiate learning?
Teachers will plan, taking into account both the content requirements and the needs of the varied learners in their classroom. Differentiation will be planned to respond to students’ varied readiness levels, interests, and preferred modes of learning. They will offer additional support to those pupils operating below their age-related expectations or with special educational needs and will offer additional challenge to those performing above their age-related expectations or who are More Able Gifted and Talented. They will also consciously plan for the learners who have English as an additional language or who are of Emirati culture.

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?
There will a recommended time for independent learning outside of the classroom with age-appropriate expectations. (In Years 1 and 2, this will be one hour a week, in Years 3-4 an hour and a half and in Y5-6m 2 and a half). All pupils will be expected to have a daily routine that involves reading, spellings and some mental mathematics work. Learning activities will mainly be linked to the core subjects of numeracy, literacy and science. We view home learning as an opportunity for parents to become more engaged in their child’s learning. Homework will look to both consolidate current classroom learning and also allow students the opportunity to learn independently in advance of their lessons, in order to be able to apply their skills more readily within the classroom, e.g. through a Flipped Learning model.

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?
Through working with their teachers, students will know their targets for the year and will regularly have opportunity to review these. Lessons will be planned with clear learning objectives and success criteria that will be shared with students and will take account of individual needs. We will be utilising a range of strategies that will keep parents informed of their child’s progress in school. Parents are also encouraged to contact their child’s teacher should they have any concerns, to set up individual meetings.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?
Parents will have the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher in person, during terms one and two. During term three, parents will be given a written report of their child’s progress and achievements during the year. End of year assessment data will also be included where relevant.

Which languages are taught?
French is taught within the curriculum from Key stage 2

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?
GFS will have EAL teachers as part of our inclusion team. They will support in class and work with individuals and small groups of students who are new to the English language or who need to improve their English to be able to access the curriculum along with their peers.

Is Islamic Education/Studies for the Arab Muslim students delivered in Arabic for them?

Do you have a dedicated prayer room/s for the Muslim students?

What is you medium of instruction?

Not all schools are staffed or resourced to offer learning support to those children with either moderate or significant learning needs. To what level can you offer support for those with learning differences?
It is possible to offer full support for children with learning needs and each student is considered individually to ensure the school has the capacity to help them progress.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?
Our faculty and inclusion team will be responsible for ensuring that all abilities are challenged and supported. When gifts or talents are identified they will be celebrated and encouraged whether in or out of school. Advanced learning plans for our highest achievers will ensure they are supported and challenged so that their accelerated rate of progress is maintained.

Does your school have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers syndrome and so forth?
No such specialization yet.

Kindly provide details on the support for specific learning needs your school provides?
Our inclusion team will consist of a SEND co-ordinator supported by SEN and EAL teachers, LSA and a school counselor. Individual learning and educations

It is possible to offer full support for children with learning needs and each student is considered individually to ensure the school has the capacity to help them progress.
We are an inclusive school and will endeavor to meet the needs of all our students. Our SENDCo will ensure that when required individual education plans will be followed.

Does your school have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support those youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?
We are still recruiting for our inclusion team. We hope that amongst them we will have a member with this experience or qualification. Access to one is available through parental request or school need.

Does you school offer activities to students from other schools after school hours?
Yes, this is currently being designed for the school opening in August 2016

Do you have a parents’ group supporting GEMS Founders School?
We will have opportunities for parental engagement and a Parents Association

Kindly add details of such parent group activities you deem will be of interest.
Reading in class, sharing experience, chaperones for trips and activities, helping to organize festivals and celebrations.

Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?
Currently under review

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?
All parents are new to our school and a regular set of activities has already been enacted which have given parents an opportunity to Meet the Principal on two separate evenings and two evenings to meet the Extended Leadership Team have also already occurred. More are in place to assist the new parents and answer all the questions they may have about GFS.

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