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GEMS Wellington Primary School, Dubai

GEMS Wellington Primary School, Dubai

Just shy of completing its first decade, GEMS Wellington Primary School (WPS) is a well liked, increasingly established primary school based in Satwa, taking pupils from 3 to 11 years of age (KG to Grade 6). The school is home to 1200 children, coming from over 70 nationalities. No one country of origin dominates, but the largest single demographic is Indian.

The school follows the National Curriculum of England and Wales.

The student body is currently looked after by 89 teachers – two thirds of whom are British. All teachers are said to have appropriate teaching qualifications, giving the school a teacher to student ratio of approximately 1:13. That is not uncommon a ratio for GEMS Education schools, but at the top end of the spectrum for the UAE as a whole.

According to school inspections teaching is “high calibre”.

What we don’t like is the level of teacher turnover, currently running at 31% year on year. This is not unheard of in Dubai, but is about 10 points above an already high average. The school also employs 56 teaching assistants.

What we like – and very much so – is that GEMS Wellington Primary is able to work through such flux and has improved its KHDA inspection rating to Very Good, the second highest rating awarded by the regulator, and one of a few schools to get to this level. The school itself notes that it has continued to increase its outstanding components year on year, and for a while has believed it is on the cusp of gaining an Outstanding rating. Certainly there are many outstanding features.

In the most recent KHDA report the KHDA singles out “inspirational leadership”, led by the principal Mr Stephen J. Chynoweth, which has resulted in “huge improvements in many areas of school life in a short period of time…

“The school welcomes all students, regardless of need, and provides a nurturing environment in which each [can] learn.” Students are safe in the school and supported well.”


For improvement the KHDA highlighted Islamic education and Arabic, a common theme running throughout the vast majority of private schools in the UAE. The KHDA has noted considerable improvement in this area in its latest reports.

As well as teaching Arabic, WPS also offers French, but very much more unusually, Chinese as well.

WPS, as many of the GEMS schools, is, as noted, capable of offering a high level of Special Needs attention. See the Q and A with the school for more detail.

The school’s pupils tend to be the most satisfied of the school’s stakeholders, with highly positive feedback to WSA.

This is undoubtedly helped in that the school “takes every opportunity to celebrate students’ personal and academic successes”.

Parents are of course a more critical audience, but those we spoke to singled out praise for the facilities on offer at the school, one describing them as infinitely superior to those at home in the United Kingdom.

Facilities at the school are indeed very good – of the standard that GEMS has for its premium range of schools. They include two Swimming Pools (heated), Astro Turf playing areas, a gym, parent areas and meeting rooms, an Art Room, ICT facilities and a well stocked library that includes CDs and DVDs. The KHDA inspection found both the facilities and the school environment to be in excellent condition, well-maintained, safe and clean.

The school itself is extremely proud of its relationship with parents – and notes its Outstanding rating in this regard in its KHDA report.

In the WSA School Survey Wellington Primary comes highly recommended by parents. There is almost uniform satisfaction over academic attainment, but slightly lower satisfaction with the level of feedback to parents and with school discipline.

Wellington Primary offers an abundance of extra curricular activities. Children from Grades 1 – 6 (6 – 11 years old), can take part in up to two school activities per week, with activities run after 2:30 pm. Options include Music, Choir, Literacy Story Time, Cricket, Board Games, Arabic Writing, Swimming, Football, Basketball, ICT Aerobics, Dancing, Tennis Arts & Craft, Drama, Project Work, Tajweed “and many more”.

In previous reports the KHDA inspection team noted being impressed with the meticulous monitoring of student arrival and absence, and the efficiency of the school’s transport system. They also commended the warm, supportive and respectful interaction between students and staff at all times.

The school has a waiting list, but encourages parents to meet its registrations and admissions team. Fees at GEMS Wellington are very much at the higher end of the spectrum, beginning at 40795 AED for Pre-Primary, rising immediately to 51442 AED from FS2 to Year 6.

Fees are paid termly.



Pre primary 40795
FS 2 51422
YEAR 1 51422
YEAR 2 51422
YEAR 3 51422
YEAR 4 51422
YEAR 5 51422
YEAR 6 51422


KHDA Reports

2008-2009 Good click here
2009-2010 Good click here
2010-2011 Good click here
2011-2012 Good click here
2012-2013 Good click here
2013-2014 Good click here
2014-2015 Good click here
2015-2016 Very good click here



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 April 16, 2013

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