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GEMS Westminster School, Sharjah

Definitely not the way you would choose to launch a school, GEMS Westminster school, Sharjah was all set to open on September 9th, 2012 with 500 children eagerly looking forward to start at the emirate’s newest school, only to discover the school had yet to acquire the necessary licence approvals from the education ministry. Even on September 26, UAE media were reporting that many parents were “threatening to pull their children from the school” with the gates still to open.

Read the official Which School Advisor GEMs Westminster School, Sharjah Questionnaire here.

Owned and managed by the the country’s largest education provider, GEMs Education, a group not unused to opening schools in the United Arab Emirates, those teething pains were perhaps more of surprise. Still the school did finally open on October 2nd 2012. New Principal Valerie Thompson (formerly head of GEMS’ Al Khaleej National School) announced to parents that she was “ecstatic” the gates were finally to be opened.

Clearly too early for real parent of student feedback the school does seem to be moving beyond those initial teething pains. The school has been busy announcing school year captains, parent and teacher meet and greets, parent conferences… all things established schools take for granted.

Westminster School Sharjah says on its web site it is based on the Dubai school of the same name. Like its Dubai namesake, the Sharjah school fees are at the highly affordable level for a GEMs school, starting at 12,000 AED for Foundation Stage, moving up to 14,000 AED for Grade 6 and 18,000 AED by Grade 9.

The school will eventually be a full K-12 school and follow the the British Curriculum, preparing students to take the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level and A Level Examinations of the Universities of Cambridge and London (UK).

Facilities at the school are good but very average for a GEMs based school – but perhaps better than fair at the price point. They include and indoor four court sports hall, outdoor football pitch, cricket nets, four outdoor multi-games courts (two at ground level and two on its roof), a multi-purpose sports hall, music, art, science and various other laboratory facilities, ICT and Electronics labs, a library, indoor and outdoor play areas, as well as specialist classrooms for primary and secondary schools.

 

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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 June 26, 2015 | Reviewed by David on July 28, 2012

3 Comments

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  1. Sharjahresident says
    September 8, 2015, 7:12 pm

    My daughter attended this school for a year and I couldn’t have been more disappointed with the teaching and staff there.

    In my experience teachers often marked homework incorrectly. They were often over reliant on projector notes and did not explain to the students what was on the slides. When students did ask questions, teachers were often unhelpful.

    The only one redeeming aspect about this school other the fact that it is exceptionally clean is the principal is effective, fair and a very conscientious lady. Ms Valerie is wonderful. Shame, the same cannot be said about her staff.

    Reply
    • Sharjahmum says
      December 1, 2015, 4:56 pm

      Where are you shifting your daughter now?

      Reply
  2. Khalid Javaid says
    April 22, 2015, 11:56 am

    1. have shifted from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in August 2014 & my three children are currently studying in Gems Westminster Sharjah. But the experience with the school has been utterly unsatisfactory. Discipline among the teacher is pathetic with several of teachers missing/ or absent from classes & the students in the class are left at the mercy of sub-teachers with videos running the class.
    2. No emphasis is laid on class test before the end of semester exams, classwork is seldom checked by teachers.
    3. Co-ordination between the teachers & parents on the minimal level. Only through a phone call on the common board number or end of semester parent-teacher meeting only.
    4. The papers in the end of semester tests are checked casually by the teachers. Last semester, on a random basis, I cross-checked the papers already presumably checked by the teachers. A number of errors were found in the teachers’ marking, even to the extent certain full questions were unmarked.

    Reply

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