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GEMS World Academy, Dubai

GEMS World Academy, Dubai

GEMS World Academy, Dubai is a private Pre K-12 international school located in Al Barsha, Dubai. The school was first established in September 2007 by GEMS Education, although its first year of operation was in 2008. It is a pure International Baccalaureate based school.

The school is now running at full capacity with approximately 2050 students, and has clearly found its niche, growing strongly for a number of years. The school has 185 teachers giving it a teacher to student ratio of 1:11 – one of the best in the UAE.

Teacher turnover is unusually high – or was in the last academic year, running at 35%. This is 10-15% higher than the Dubai average and will be an area of concern should the rate remain at the same level into the next year. According to the last statistics provided by the KHDA, all teachers have academic degrees.

GWA has a very diverse, international community. While the largest student nationalities are from India, the USA and UK each is very much a minority – the highest represents around 9% of total numbers. More than 90 nationalities are represented within the school, making it one of the most demographically diverse and truly international schools in the Emirate. This – says the school – facilitates international mindedness, a core aspect of the IB curriculum.

GEMS World Academy, Dubai is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer all three IB programs – Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program and Diploma Program. The Academy is also a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS) and was accredited during the 2012-2013 school year.
For 2015-2016 the school received the KHDA inspection rating of Good, the sixth year in a row it has achieved this rating. Note however that in 2015/16 the KHDA added two extra ratings – including a Very Good grade. In essence GWA no longer has the second highest rating but the third highest.

Issues lie in more senior stages of the school. GEMS World Academy’s kindergarten and elementary school are both deemed “Outstanding”.

GWA Dubai has yet to release any IB results. Its achievements page on its Web site details GEMs’ successes generally. This is a company wide policy rather than an individual school based one. It is also an unusual decision we believe for a group that has every reason to promote and discuss academic successes with the context that GEMs Education schools are inclusive, not selective.

According to the school’s latest KHDA report it does need to improve the “quality of teaching and learning in the MYP and DP to give higher attainment and progress, at least indicating actual results at IB are not on the same level as other International Baccalaureate schools in the emirate. Attainment actually fell in mathematics in the last academic year to satisfactory overall. GEMS World Academy Dubai also needs to promote “communicative competence in Arabic as an additional language and continue to develop Islamic education and Arabic so as to offer a better experience for students.”

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We should also note the comment that the school needs to “ensure students at all stages follow the school’s code of conduct and meet the behavior expectations at all times”, suggesting some disciplinary issues.

GWA3

The school is very rich in facilities: a 50m Olympic sized covered swimming pool along with a junior pool, tennis and basketball courts, skateboarding park, fully equipped gymnasium with fitness center, junior gym, indoor rock climbing wall, auditorium, symphony center, green screen room, fully equipped music recording studio and a peace garden. Impressively, GEMS World Academy also comes equipped with a state-of-the-art planetarium used by all students and staff for all subjects, not only astronomy. It is a unique asset that complements the traditional studies and produces a high resolution 360 degree view of the night sky with over 300,000 stars within its database. The school uses it to encourage pupils to learn and explore about the solar system, star constellations, and deep space objects through the interactive display as well as the opportunity to visit ancient temples and dive with whales exploring life under water among other things.

These kinds of facilities need to be paid for of course. This is a school clearly targeted at parents who want everything for their children, and can afford to pay. Fees (as of 2015-2016) range from 59320 AED per year for pre-kindergarten students to just under 103,000 AED per year for grade 12 students. This makes it,with Repton, the most expensive school that we have reviewed, although both look set to be eclipsed by the upcoming GEMS Nations school in the upcoming year.

 
The buzz
Broadly, hugely positive. Parents rave over how approachable the school is/teachers are. Many love the curriculum (however you need to do the research on IB to see if it fits with the needs of your child). Teaching is widely praised – as are the school’s facilities. The school is expensive, however parents we spoke to did not raise this as an issue. When asked the question: Does this School offer Good Value, the most common answer was “Partially Agree”. Parents would almost universally recommend the school.

 

Inspections

2008-2009 Acceptable 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 Good click here

 

Fees
PKG 59320
KG1 59320
KG2 74206
G1 74206
G2 74206
G3 74206
G4 74206
G5 85398
G6 85398
G7 85398
G8 85398
G9 94016
G10 94016
G11 102970
G12 102970

 

Location

 

 

If you are the owner 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 27, 2016 | Reviewed by David on July 28, 2012

3 Comments

Leave A Reply
  1. Marc Dawson says
    February 2, 2015, 6:00 pm

    Dear Sirs,
    while researching GEMs Wellington Academy, Al Khail on WSA, I find that your listing points to GEMs Wellington Academy, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO). I cannot find a relevant review
    Thanks
    MD

    Reply
  2. David says
    October 25, 2014, 11:25 am

    You have to wonder, while many of the facilities are impressive…are they really necessary? A planetarium is nice and all, but how many students actually end up using it to it’s full potential?

    Hopefully this school puts education before profits. But since the parents seem happy, the school must be doing something right.

    Reply

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