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GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail

GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail

GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail is a UK curriculum, GEMs Education ‘Premium Plus’ school (which means top of the range for facilities and fees) school, located together with GEMS International School and GEMS New Millenium School on a new site close to Mohammed bin Rashid City (Meydan) and the Al Khail Road. 

The school has just received its first rating from the KHDA. It achieved a Good ranking. The school is a sister to GEMS Wellington Academy Dubai Silicon Oasis, which has just been awarded a Very Good rating (after three years of a Good rating).

Its position is not on first thought an ideal choice of location, overlooking as it does the Al Qouz Industrial area, but in reality, it is very convenient for the New Dubai areas (Meadows, Greens etc.), housing located on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road (Arabian Ranches, Dubai Sports City) and even Business Bay, Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim, given easy access from junction 2 (Meydan Street) and junction 4 (Umm Suqeim Street).

As would be expected with any GEMS premium school, the facilities are excellent. 

The school facilities will include Science and technology labs, Auditorium and Theatre, Recording and video studio, 3 level gymnasium with roof top tennis courts, two 25 meter pools and toddler pool, Full football and rugby pitches, Full cafeteria, Indoor and outdoor covered play areas, Specialist rooms for music, art, languages, and design, Library and study zones and Achievement Center.  The vast majority of these resources are now available.

The school currently caters for children from FS1 to year 10 and will add year groups progressively each September until it reaches capacity at year 13.

At present, no decision has been made as to whether the school will follow the IB Diploma Programme (as is the case with the other Wellington-branded schools in the GEMS group) or whether it will follow the more traditional UK curriculum A Level route for Sixth Form.  Given the limited number of schools offering A Level in Dubai, it may be that the school will choose to follow the highly successful Jumeirah College.  In any event, no decision needs to be made in this regard for a further two years or so, but parents who would prefer one of other curriculum need to be aware that the choice has not yet been set in stone.

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This school is unusual in that it is placing specific focus on supporting children who are either academically-gifted or those who have additional learning needs.  Overall the staff aim to ensure that children will achieve a minimum of three steps each year at the relevant UK curriculum level, as opposed to the two steps targeted in the UK.  This is ambitious.

Furthermore, GEMS Wellington Al Khail is the first school within the GEMS group which is clearly offering support to students who do not currently meet the relevant academic standard for their age group.  There are three levels of support – Wave 1, where children will receive in class support (at no additional cost), Wave 2, for students who are 9 months to 2 years behind their peers (where there will be learning support outside the classroom at an additional fee of AED 3,000 per year) and Wave 3, where students requiring significant additional support through a Shadow teacher will pay an additional AED 65,000 per year for this one-to-one focus.

As a relatively new school (it opened in September 2013), the school initially had something over 600 students from 42 different countries.  In September 2014, the school increased the number of FS2 classes to meet demand to a total of 10, but the overall intention as the school grows is to have 6 classes per year group.  There is a maximum of 22 children in each FS1 class, 23 in FS2 and then 27 for all other year groups.  It has to be said that these are relatively large class sizes for a Premium school; several other UK curriculum schools with strong reputations aim for between 18 and 22 students, but GEMS seems to be able to succeed academically with these larger class numbers.

As of the last inspection (2015/16) the school had 1,148 students from ages 4 to 14 (FS to Year 9). The largest demographic is Arab, although teachers are predominantly recruited from the UK. There are 87 teachers in total, giving a teacher:student ration of 1:13. The staff are all experienced in teaching the National curriculum for England and Wales.  On WSA’s last visit teachers ranged from 24 (so fairly new teachers) to 54 years of age and the school had tried very hard to include staff with significant additional qualifications – including a Marine Biologist who teaches Geography and a Commonwealth Silver Medalist in Primary.

Teacher turnover is however high, even by Dubai’s standards, currently running at 30%.

According to the KHDA’s first inspection teachers are delivering: “The quality of teaching, the curriculum, teachers’ knowledge of students’ strengths and weaknesses and the development of students’ learning skills were good across all phases, leading to good progress in English, mathematics, science and Arabic as a first language in the secondary phase.”

The school’s first report also noted that personal development is very good, and that the school modifies the curriculum well in order to support and challenge most groups of students.

Strong leadership at all levels is also noted, “enabling the school to improve further during a period of rapid change”.

In terms of improvement, both Arabic and Islamic Studies are highlighted by the school inspectors, a requirement levelled at most private schools in the UAE.

Fees are, as noted, premium. KG starts at 52,000 AED, and by Year 9 reaches 85,000 AED. Full details below.

 

KHDA Inspection Reports

2015-2016 Good click here

 

Fees

Registration Fee
AED 1,000 (non-refundable, non-transferrable, non-adjustable)

Entry Fee
AED 2,500 (non-refundable, non-transferrable, non-adjustable)

Discounts
20% Tuition Discount for 3rd Child
50% Tuition Discount for 4th Child

 

YEAR

ANNUAL FEES
AED

TERM 1
AED

TERM 2
AED

TERM 3
AED

FS 1

52 000

20 000

18 670

13 330

FS 2

65 000

25 000

23 335

16 665

YEAR 1

65 000

25 000

23 335

16 665

YEAR 2

65 000

25 000

23 335

16 665

YEAR 3

65 000

25 000

23 335

16 665

YEAR 4

65 000

25 000

23 335

16 665

YEAR 5

65 000

25 000

23 335

16 665

YEAR 6

65 000

25 000

23 335

16 665

YEAR 7

85 000

32 695

30 515

21 790

YEAR 8

85 000

32 695

30 515

21 790

YEAR 9-10

85 000

32 695

30 515

21 790

 

Location

 

 

If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any factual inaccuracies, or would like to update any information, please do not hesitate to contact us at editor@edu2021.com.

Update on August 2, 2016 | Reviewed by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com on February 7, 2015

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