The Westminster School

The Westminster School

Overview

The Westminster School Dubai, founded in 1995, is a primary and secondary school owned by the GEMS Education Group. It is one of the largest international schools in Dubai, with over 5000 students. The school follows the National Curriculum of England and offers A-level education to Year 13 students. It is one of the best schools in Al Qusais which is known for its outstanding campus facility and quality of education.

The school has students from over 70 different nationalities with a majority of them holding Pakistani, Egyptian and Indian passports. Additionally, Westminister has seen a surge in the number of Emirati students, which is a positive sign for any international schools. To support the educational needs of students, they have a teaching force of almost 300 teachers. The teacher to student ratio is 1:23 in foundation stage and 1:18 in advanced stages. The facilities available at The Westminster School support the academic and non-academic needs of its students.

Due to financial constraints, GEMS decided to shut the school in 2013. Ultimately, they reversed their decision and since then; the school has progressed in all aspects. The educational institution is striving to improve students’ experience by adding new features. This guide provides an overview of the details, admission and fees, facilities and other vital aspects of The Westminster School Al Qusais.

Residential communities near The Westminster School

Located in Al Quasis, The Westminster School is close to many residential areas. Some of these are:

Al Nahda, Dubai is the nearest residential community to The Westminster School. It is one of the affordable living communities in Dubai that borders with the Emirate of Sharjah. With the availability of all the amenities, it is one of the most sought-after communities to rent apartments. Those looking to move close to the school will find this place ideal to live.

Campus of The Westminster School

GEMS Westminster School Dubai has a purpose-built campus with a wide range of facilities. It has 180 classrooms for children from foundation stage 1 (FS1) to Year 13.

Classrooms of The Westminster School
Students learning in the bright classrooms of The Westminster School (Image Credits: The Westminster School Twitter Page)

These classrooms are bright, spacious and comfortable. Besides classrooms, other facilities are:

Activity Room

To support the extra-curricular programme offered at The Westminster School, the school has an activity room and an audio-visual room. The audio-visual room has high-end multimedia facilities, which allows the school to conduct recreation and learning activities for young children.

Covered Play Area

For kindergarten students, the school has a covered play area equipped with necessary play material. The safe and secure environment of this area stimulates students’ learning through ‘play and learn’ activities. They also have a separate recreation area for senior students.

Science laboratories

To support science education, The Westminster School has 6 well-equipped laboratories for physics, biology and chemistry. 

Library

To provide suitable learning material for different age groups, The Westminster School has three libraries. Each library has a plethora of books, magazines and other academic and non-academic resources to promote learning skills among students. They also serve as spots for students to study alone or in groups.

Art, Craft and Music Room

Students interested in music, art and crafts are not left behind as the school offers well-equipped rooms for these activities. Here, students can practice their artistic skills as part of the curriculum.

Other Facilities

Considering the increasing use of technology in schools, Westminister provides 5 computer laboratories with high-speed internet and multimedia facilities. During the lunch break, students can access the school’s canteen. The school also has sports and medical facilities.

Location of The Westminster School

The school is located next to the Capital School near the junction of 10th Street and Baghdad Street in Al Qusais.

Why The Westminster School?

The Westminster school is the largest UK curriculum school in Dubai which provides education to over 5000 students. The educational programme followed at the school revolves around value-based education, which not only focuses on building academic skills but also fosters strong personality and character-building skills. Moreover, the dedicated teaching staff ensures a smooth implementation of child-centric programmes.

All this leads The Westminster School to offer high-quality education to its students. The National Curriculum of England is an internationally recognised education programme, providing ample opportunities for students to enrol in top universities around the globe. It offers a high-quality education at affordable fees, making it an attractive option for many parents.

As a part of the GEMS Education group, students and their parents enjoy exceptional benefits. All schools owned by GEMS education, including The Westminster School, follow the core values of growing by learning, leading through innovation, pursuing excellence and global citizenship. The global network of schools allows them to share the best practices and norms, resulting in implementing the best practices and teaching skills. Moreover, the school has a GEMS Reward programme, which rewards parents of their continued support to GEMS Education. Students at the school feel safe and secure thanks to a warm and caring environment. All the staff contributes to offer the best schooling experience to students. It is an inclusive school with students belonging to over 70 nationalities. They also provide additional learning support and Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) support to over 270 students. All this results in the development of an atmosphere encouraging children to learn and prosper.

School Details

COVID-19 Protocols

GEMS Education, one of the leading education providers in the UAE, collaborated with KHDA and other authorities to offer a safe learning environment for students. For this purpose, they have developed protocols that are as per KHDA’s guidelines on school re-opening. These guidelines include:

  • The school checks the temperature of students and staff entering the school premises. No one with a temperature above 38-degree centigrade is allowed to enter the school.
  • The Westminster School sterilises the campus and school facilities regularly with high-quality hospital-grade disinfectants. All the GEMS Schools engage with Dubai Municipality-approved company for disinfectants.
  • Staff members and students ageing six years or more need to wear a mask at all times. Carry extra facemasks with yourself. The school has also installed hand-washing and cleaning arrangements throughout the campus.
  • The Westminster School established a dedicated task force to manage the school’s response to COVID-19.
  • Some parents are hesitant to send their kids to school. For those, the school is offering distance-learning programme.
  • The school practices social distancing at the campus. Students and staff have to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from one another.

For more information, read the health and safety measures taken by The Westminster School.

Years Offered at The Westminster School

The school provides education to children aged 4 to 17 years old. It splits the education system into the following age-group categories:

Stage
Year
Stage
Infant School
Year
FS1 to Year 2
Stage
Junior School
Year
Year 3 to Year 6
Stage
Middle School
Year
Year 7 to Year 11
Stage
Senior School
Year
Year 12 and Year 13

The Westminster School Curriculum

The syllabus followed at The Westminster School is based on the British style of education. Following the National curriculum of UK, the school prepares its students for International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) at the secondary stage and AS Level and A Level at Sixth form stage.

The educational programme followed at the school results in the development of skills and expertise necessary to compete in the 21st century. Furthermore, the school’s syllabus fosters critical thinking, creativity, enquiry and planningskills among students. The school adjusts the curriculum for each age group based on the specific needs of children. 

Infant School Curriculum

In the foundation stages, the school follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. It is a popular education framework to develop skills among young learners. The school enforces a positive attitude at the foundation stage by providing individual support, encouragement and support, resulting in the development of basic cognitive and motor skills. Besides these, it also fosters socialand interactive skills and self-esteem. The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and phonic methods are prevalent in the Kindergarten stage.

The Westminster School's Students of infant stage engaged in curricular activities
Students of infant section playing and learning simultaneously (Image Credits: The Westminster School Twitter Page)

From Year 1, the school follows a more formal approach of teaching as per the guidelines of the National Curriculum of England. The core subjects for Year 1 and Year 2 are:

  • Arabic
  • Art and Craft
  • Computer Studies
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • Islamic Studies (Arabic or English)
  • Mathematics
  • Moral Instruction
  • Music
  • Physical Education

Junior School Curriculum

In this stage, the school focuses on the intellectual and emotionaldevelopment of students. For this purpose, the school offers an academically rigorous curriculum that challenges students on different fronts. Students are introduced to a range of core and foundation subjects that prepare them for the subsequent stage of education. Besides academic skills, the school also focuses on building socially acceptable behaviour and etiquettes among junior school students.

The following are the core subjects taught in junior school:

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Computer studies 
  • Social Studies
  • Second Language (Hindi/French/Urdu)

Additionally, the foundation subjects offered to junior school students are:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Arabic
  • Islamic Education/Moral Instruction
  • Physical Education

Middle School Curriculum

In the starting years of middle school, The Westminster School follows an integrated academic programme that covers a range of subjects that are also a part of the IGCSE syllabus. From Grade 9, the school prepares students for IGCSE examinations. The school assesses students’ performance by following a grade point scale ranging from A to G. The curriculum followed in this stage results in building research, resource collecting, independent thinking and effective communication skills. The following are the subjects offered in middle school:

  • Art
  • Arabic
  • Combined Science
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Social Science
  • Second language
  • Islamic Education/Moral Instruction

Senior School Curriculum

In senior School, The Winchester School offers Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS Level) in Year 12 and Advanced Level (A-Level) in Year 13. To increase the breadth of the curriculum, the school offers AS Level as a separate qualification. However, in other schools, AS Level is a part of A-Level. The subjects offered to senior school students are:

  • Accounting
  • Applied ICT
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • English
  • General Paper
  • Geography
  • Global Perspectives
  • Islamic Education (A or B)
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Please note that Islamic Education A is for Muslim Arab students and Islamic Education B for non-Arabic Muslim students.

Distance Learning

The school has an active distance-learning programme that supports the educational needs of students at home. This step was initiated when the government of Dubai decided to shut down the school due to the global pandemic. The Westminster School has all the resources to deliver synchronous and asynchronous lectures to students. Check out the remote learning plan by The West Minster School.

KHDA Rating

KHDA, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority is a governmental body that ensures the quality of education offered by private schools in Dubai remains high. KHDA attempts to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of school through annual inspections to ensure that they meet the highest quality standards. KHDA rates schools based on a 6-point scale: outstanding, very good, good, acceptable, weak and very weak.

KHDA 6-point scale
KHDA’s rating scale explained

In the latest inspection report by KHDA for 2019-2020, The Westminster School maintained its streak of good rating for the sixth consecutive year. Before the inspection for 2014-15, KHDA rated it as an acceptable school. Here is a 10-year history of KHDA rating for The Westminster School:

Years
KHDA Rating
Years
2010-2014
KHDA Rating
Acceptable
Years
2014-2020
KHDA Rating
Good

In the latest report, KHDA reported the following strengths of The Westminster School:

  • Quality teaching and support to students in post-16 stage results in very good progress in science, mathematics and English
  • Students’ appreciation of the UAE’s culture and understanding of Islamic values
  • The school’s attention to students in building the understanding of social and environmental responsibility
  • Health and safety system for students and staff
  • Effective communication with parents resulting in full support to students’ education

Though, The Westminster School can obtain a better rating by working on the following recommendations:

  • Strengthen teaching and make use of assessment, especially in junior and middle school to ensure at least good progress in all subjects.
  • Increase the rigour and accuracy of the students’ assessment system to improve self-evaluation.
  • Enhance the school resources for effective learning and teaching by hiring staff for students of determination and ensure students in FS and primary stages have access to high-quality resources

Academic Calendar for The Westminster School

New and existing students start the academic year and the autumn term in the first week of September. The autumn term then concludes in the second week of December, followed by a 3-week winter break. Spring term begins in the second week of January and ends in the last week of March. Followed by a 2-week break, the final summer term begins in the second week of April and concludes in the first week of July.

The academic year at The Westminster School starts in late August and ends in early July. The school splits the academic activities into three terms: winter term, spring term and summer term.

  • For Foundation stagestudents, the winter term starts in the last week of August, while for the rest of the students, it starts in the first week of September. Students expect a midterm break in the fourth week of October. The term concludes in the second week of December.
  • After a 3-week winter break, the spring term begins in the second week of January. The second term also has a mid-term break in the third week of February. The term ends in the last week of March.
  • The end of the second term follows a 2-week spring holiday. The summer term starts in the third week of April and ends in the first week of July.

Please note that the dates for Islamic holidays depend on moon sightings. For more information, view the academic calendar for the Westminster School.

Admission and Fees

How to Apply to The Westminster School?

The admission process at The Winchester School is a straightforward task. Those willing to apply to the school must fill an online enrolment form. Please note that the school strongly emphasises selecting the appropriate year for their child. The age-year guidelines for Westminster School are:

Year
Minimum Entry Age
Maximum Entry Age
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Year
Foundation Stage 1
Minimum Entry Age
3
Maximum Entry Age
4
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Year
Foundation Stage 2
Minimum Entry Age
4
Maximum Entry Age
5
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Year
Year 1
Minimum Entry Age
5
Maximum Entry Age
6
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*

This is based on the age of the students on 31st December (for schools beginning in September). Source: The Westminster School

* This is to cater to students transferring from systems that admit students of a younger age)

After submitting the online enrolment form, the school contacts the parents to bring their child for an assessment test. Through assessment, the school evaluates the candidate’s skills in English and mathematics.

After clearing the entrance test, the school extends an admission offer to the parents. At this time, parents need to submit the following documents:

  • 2 copies of the candidate’s birth certificate (translated into English or Arabic)
  • 2 copies of the candidate’s passport with a valid UAE residence visa
  • 2 copies of the candidate’s Emirates ID (both sides)
  • 2 copies of the candidate’s immunisation record (in English)
  • 2 copies of the candidate’s previous report card (in English) 
  • 2 copies of the parents’ passport with a valid UAE residence visa
  • Original Emirate ID cards of the candidate and any one of the parents (if applying from schools outside Dubai)
  • 3 recent passport-size photographs (white background)
  • Transfer certificate/school leaving certificate (original)

Please note that the school immediately returns the original Emirate ID cards after scanning on the Emirate ID card reader.

Transfer certificate requirements

The transfer certificate guidelines set by the KHDA are:

  • For students applying from Emirates other than Dubai, they must get their transfer certificate attested by the education authority of that Emirate
  • For students applying from countries other than the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, they must get their certificate attested by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UAE Embassy of that country.
  • Those applying from Dubai does not need to get their certificate attested by any authority.

Fee Structure at The Westminster School

The fees charged by The Westminster School is as follows:

Year
First Term (AED)
Second Term (AED)
Third Term (AED)
Tuition Fee (AED)
Year
FS1
First Term (AED)
3,694
Second Term (AED)
2,358
Third Term (AED)
2,358
Tuition Fee (AED)
7,860
Year
FS2
First Term (AED)
3,694
Second Term (AED)
2,358
Third Term (AED)
2,358
Tuition Fee (AED)
7,860
Year
Year 1
First Term (AED)
4,434
Second Term (AED)
2,913
Third Term (AED)
2,913
Tuition Fee (AED)
9,709
Year
Year 2
First Term (AED)
4,434
Second Term (AED)
2,913
Third Term (AED)
2,913
Tuition Fee (AED)
9,709
Year
Year 3
First Term (AED)
4,434
Second Term (AED)
2,913
Third Term (AED)
2,913
Tuition Fee (AED)
9,709
Year
Year 4
First Term (AED)
4,434
Second Term (AED)
2,913
Third Term (AED)
2,913
Tuition Fee (AED)
9,709
Year
Year 5
First Term (AED)
4,434
Second Term (AED)
2,913
Third Term (AED)
2,913
Tuition Fee (AED)
9,709
Year
Year 6
First Term (AED)
4,434
Second Term (AED)
2,913
Third Term (AED)
2,913
Tuition Fee (AED)
9,709
Year
Year 7
First Term (AED)
4,742
Second Term (AED)
3,143
Third Term (AED)
3,143
Tuition Fee (AED)
10,478
Year
Year 8
First Term (AED)
4,742
Second Term (AED)
3,143
Third Term (AED)
3,143
Tuition Fee (AED)
10,478
Year
Year 9
First Term (AED)
5,482
Second Term (AED)
3,699
Third Term (AED)
3,698
Tuition Fee (AED)
12,329
Year
Year 10
First Term (AED)
5,482
Second Term (AED)
3,699
Third Term (AED)
3,698
Tuition Fee (AED)
12,329
Year
Year 11
First Term (AED)
6,663
Second Term (AED)
4,584
Third Term (AED)
4,584
Tuition Fee (AED)
15,831
Year
Year 12
First Term (AED)
6,663
Second Term (AED)
4,584
Third Term (AED)
4,584
Tuition Fee (AED)
15,831
Year
Year 13
First Term (AED)
6,663
Second Term (AED)
4,584
Third Term (AED)
4,584
Tuition Fee (AED)
15,831

Besides tuition fees, miscellaneous charges at The Westminster School are:

  • Annual fees – AED 350 per annum
  • Computer fees – AED 200 per annum
  • Registration fee – AED 500 at the time of admission

To know further details, view the fees structure of The Westminster School. 

Scholarships at The Westminster School

The school itself does not offer any scholarship to its students. However, as a part of GEMS Education, students are eligible for the GEMS Scholarship Award. It is a merit-based scholarship rewarding students excelling in creative and performing arts, innovation and design technology, academics, arts and Arabic studies. As a reward, the school offers a fee concession ranging from 25% to 100% of the tuition fee for an academic year. The candidates have to reapply for the scholarship in the following academic year. For further information, view the GEMS Scholarship Programme for The Winchester School.

School Facilities

Lunch Options at The Westminster School

The school offers several healthy and nutritious lunch and snack options to pupils. Slices is the official catering company for all GEMS schools. The school canteen offers food prepared in a hygienic environment with quality raw products. The school ensures that all the food items are available at a reasonable price.

The school canteen is closed because of COVID-19 restrictions.

School Transportation at The Westminster School

To provide a comfortable, safe and reliable commute to children, The Westminster School outsourced its transport service to School Transportation Service (STS) LLC. STS is a reputable transport service provider in the UAE that is trusted by numerous schools in Dubai. The school ensures the best safety and security features including video surveillance system, Global Positioning System (GPS) and electronic attendance system.

To apply for the transportation service, please contact the STS counter at The Westminster School or visit their website. Once the transport request form is submitted, the STS representative checks the available routes and timing of buses and informs the parents. The available routes and annual transportation charges are as follows:

  • Al Qusais, Muhaisnah, – AED 4,250
  • Al Warqa 1, Al Warqa 2, International City, Mirdif, Ras Al Khor, Al Rashidiya, – AED 4,500
  • Al Garhoud, Al Shaab, Al Hamriya, Deira, Hor Al Anz, – AED 4,600
  • Jumeirah 1, Jumeirah 2 and Jumeirah 3,Al Barsha 1, Al Safa – AED 5,150
  • Al Warqa 4,Bur Dubai, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jafiliya, Al Karama, Satwa, Sky Court – AED 4,950
  • Sharjah – AED 4,950
  • Ajman – AED 5,150
  • Umm Al Quwain – AED 5,250

STS has reduced its bus capacity by half to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. For further information, contact an STS care executive at +971 55 2207488 or cce-tws@stss.ae.

Boarding Facility at The Westminster School

Currently, the school does not offer any boarding facility to its students.

Holiday Camps at The Westminster School

Currently, the school does not offer any holiday camp to its students.

Sports Facilities

The following sports facilities are available At The Westminster School:

Sport 1
Athletic tracks
Sport 2
Basketball court
Sport 3
Throwball court
Sport 1
Volleyball court
Sport 2
Outdoor field
Sport 3
Indoor sports hall
Outdoor sports facility at The Westminster School
Students of The Westminster School, Dubai engaged in physical activities (Image Credits: The Westminster School Twitter Page)

The multipurpose indoor sports hall provides a large range of indoor game options such as badminton, chess, carom, gymnastics and table tennis. All the indoor and outdoor sports facilities at The Winchester School are in excellent condition. These facilities are the main source of producing athletes that compete in intra-school and national school sports competitions.

Some sports facilities and activities at the campus are currently closed.

Extra-curricular Activities at The Westminster School

The school considers non-academic activities important for the all-round development of children. Through extra-curricular activities, the school discovers students’ hidden talent. At The Westminster School, the extra-curricular activities include field trips, educational trips, projects, leadership camps, interest related clubs and sports. The specialist teachers lead most of the extra-curricular activities, providing all the necessary training to develop skills necessary to compete in the 21st century.

The extra-curricular activities at the school are not limited to:

Extra 1
Cooking
Extra 2
Creative writing
Extra 3
Arts and craft
Extra 1
Education trips
Extra 2
Drama
Extra 3
Debating
Extra 1
Public speaking
Extra 2
Gymnastics
Extra 3
Leadership camps
Extra 1
Needlework
Extra 2
Physical education
Extra 3
Music
Extra 1
Trekking
Extra 2
Team sports
Extra 3
Reading

One of the key extra-curricular activity at The Westminster School is the TEDx Youth. At TEDx Youth, the students have an opportunity to talk about different ideas. The recorded versions of these talks are available on their official website.

Students of The Westminster School on the stage during a TEDx Youth event.
TEDx Youth as one of the extra-curricular activities at The Westminster School (Image Credits: The Westminster School Twitter Page)

Some of the prominent school clubs at The Westminster School are:

Extra 1
Art and craft club
Extra 2
Environment club
Extra 3
Multimedia club
Extra 1
Cultural club
Extra 2
Literacy club

Some extra-curricular activities and school clubs are suspended to comply with COVID-19 protocols. The school will inform you about the status and resumption of these activities through social media accounts and official website. Keep an eye on these platforms for the latest developments.

Field Trips from The Westminster School

Field trips are an important part of the extra-curricular programme at The Westminster School. The school takes students to several educational, recreational and reward-based field trips. Recently, it took secondary school girls to Dubai Club on a reward field trip. Another popular field trip was the primary students’ visit to Louvre Abu Dhabi. Here students aged 9 to 12 years old visited the museum to seek inspiration from historic pieces of art.

Students of The Westminster School on a field trip to Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The Westminster School arranged a field trip to Louvre, Abu Dhabi (Image Credits: The Westminster School Twitter Page)

Field trips are currently suspended due to COVID-19 protocols.

After-school Care

Currently, the school provides after-school care in the form of extra-curricular activities. The sports club at The Westminster School usually operates after-school timing. For these activities, the school has collaborated with East Sports Management (ESM) to provide specialist sports training to its students.

After-school care is also unavailable for the current academic year because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Medical Care at The Westminster School

In cases of medical emergencies, the school has two well-equipped medical rooms within the campus. The medical staff includes 2 experienced doctors and 3 full-time nurses. The medical practices at The Westminster School align with the regulations set by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). The school clinic also works with the government of Dubai and other health-related bodies for vaccinations and other mandatory inspections.

Contact

Mode of Communication between Teachers and Parents

The Westminster Primary School considers communication between school and parent as imperative for its progress. The school follows an open-door policy allowing parents to talk with teachers and the school’s leadership.

To facilitate communication between school/teacher and parents, there are several modes of communication. One key source of communication is the 3-a-day mobile app. As the name suggests, this app contains three main features that keep parents engaged in students’ learning. These three features are:

  • Activities to share
  • Something to talk about
  • Guidance to encourage children

The app offers practical advice to help teachers and parents engage in children’s learning. This mobile application is available for Android and iPhone devices.

GEMS Parent Portal is another source of communication that is used by parents to obtain important information. These include attendance record, examination schedule, notifications for current and upcoming events, photographs and news.

The school also offers several programmes such as GEMS Reward Programme and GEMS Ambassador Programme. In addition, parents and teachers can also contact the school through the designated WhatsApp groups.

The Westminster School Contact Information

  • Address: 10th Street, Al Qusais, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Telephone: +971-4-2988333
  • Email: westmnst@emirates.net.ae

Official Website and Social Media

Note that the cover image belongs to The Westminster School.

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