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GEMS Sports Academy – WSA Q and A

GEMS Sports Academy – WSA Q and A

What is the official name of your School?
The GEMS Sports Academy

What is your school’s Web site address?
www.gemssportsacademy.com

What qualities and characteristics would you say define GEMS Sports Academy?
Follow a fully developed sports academy program (academia and athletics are placed as equal value). Either study an International Baccalaureate qualification or a bespoke USA College high school qualification. Train like a professional athlete. Secure USA college Sports scholarships. Develop the mindset of a professional athlete. Develop as a student athlete within the best sporting facilities in the UAE. Graduate with the most widely recognized qualification in the world.

The GEMS Sports Academy is the only school of its kind that places academia and athletics at the same level of importance. Students that come to the sports academy are developed as highly performing student-athletes coupled with following either the International baccalaureate qualification or our newly designed USA College high school certificate. Students follow a bespoke timetable that allows them to train to the highest levels and study at the same time.

At the heart of the academy we aim to promote student centered learning that supports athletic development both physically and mentally. Our mission is to develop young people through elite professional education and coaching, whilst embedding our ethos of healthy lifestyle and professionalism.

At the core of our academy are the following behaviours that we expect from our student-athletes:
• Excellence
• Accessibility
• Flexibility
• Innovation
• Consistency
• Synergy
• Continuous learning and improvement

At GEMS Sports Academy we believe by harnessing the phenomenal power of sport in combination with a structured programme of education and athletic development ensures that our academy students develop key skills that will help them as they progress through their student-athlete career.

With professional academy coaching, expert instruction, proven training methodologies, a challenging and motivating learning environment ensures the GEMS Sports Academy provides the ultimate foundation for future success.

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The Academy provides both a challenging and supportive environment that brings out the best in student-athletes. Through small class sizes, and expert instruction we encourage creativity and discussion. Through a bepoke learning model coupled with the world’s best international qualification partners in Edexcel and the International Baccalaureate, the GEMS Sports Academy ensures that student athletes are able to progress onto university degree programmes around the world.

How many nationalities are represented within GEMS Sports Academy?
17

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?
British, but we also have students from the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Russia, UAE, Philippines, India, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Sri Lanka, USA, Germany and France.

What is the teacher: student ratio?
1:15

Does GEMS Sports Academy have a waiting list?
No, however students need to pass and athletic test before admission. If students do not pass this athletic test they will not be accepted into the Academy

What percentage of your students achieve entry to higher educational institutions and, in general terms, which countries?
Primarily the USA. Also, the UK and Europe

How does GEMS Sports Academy promote healthy lifestyles?
Students follow a very healthy lifestyle in terms of training like professional athlete that includes a carefully controlled nutritional plan and the training schedule.

How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?
The Academy students train as professional athletes. This equates to approximately 23 hours of training per week. Training includes strength and conditioning program and a bespoke sporting development plan spread over a 38-week Academic year.

How do you promote healthy eating?
The academy designs a 38 week nutritional plan that all of the academy students follow. Students are regularly tested and monitored in terms of Athletic levels and nutritional results.

Does GEMS Sports Academy have cafeteria facilities for the students?
Yes, serving hot food, at a cost of, approximately, 25 AED .

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?
7:45 AM – 3:20 PM Sunday – Thursday

Is there a school uniform?
Yes, students wear an Academy training kit and formal classroom attire. This uniform is purchased directly from a Sporting supplier.

Please advise on your discipline policy and/or provide a link to your website.
Disciplinary procedures follow the standard GEMS school protocols as per KHDA regulations.

What is your policy on mobile devices such as mobile (cell) phones in school?
Mobile phones can be used for student self-learning and all the use of parental communication tools. Mobile phones are not allowed to be used during classroom and training allocations

How does your school differentiate learning?
Learning is differentiated through a variety of methodologies in terms of assessment and delivery design. The academy is currently housed inside of GEMS Wellington Academy (silicon oasis) where its students have access to an amazing blended learning option for their IB subjects. This flexibility in delivery design allows the academy students to travel and compete internationally in their respective sporting fields.

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?
Students are readily monitored against their learning objectives for the academic year. This includes monitoring homework and formal assessments, which are set by teachers. The academy students typically spend around 12 hours a week as private study. This private study includes completing formal assessments, SAT preparation and university applications. The academy actively encourages independent learning and self-regulation in both academic and athletic programs.

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?
Feedback progress is communicated to students and parents via formal parental evening events that are held throughout the academic year combined with informal regular face-to-face meets. Other communication comes from email, telephone and ad hoc ‘drop in’ appointments. Written communication is via student termly reports and academic reporting.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?
Formal feedback occurs on average three times per term.

Is Arabic taught as both a first language and second language in your school?
Yes

Which other languages are taught?
Spanish, German, Mandarin, French, Italian, Portuguese.

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?
Yes

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

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

If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?*
IGCSE, EDEXCEL, International Baccalaureate

What is you medium of instruction?
English

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?
As part of GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis – we are able to offer excellent Learning support.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?
Yes

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?
The aim of the academy is to attract gifted and talented sporting students; therefore we are well-equipped to develop talented students.

Does your school have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers syndrome and so forth?
GEMS Wellington Academy has this provision

Does your school have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support those youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?
Yes

Does you school offer activities to students from other schools after school hours?
Yes – school sports teams, drama academy, music academy, performing arts academy

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?
GEMS Wellington Academy has a parents group.

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?
The academy offers parental tours of both the silicon oasis and sports city campuses. Parents are also able to meet with the academy staff, coaches, mentors and school counselors to ensure that their student athlete is making the right choice in coming to the GEMS Sports academy.

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