GEMS Westminster School, Sharjah

GEMS Westminster School, Sharjah

Overview

Owned by the largest education provider in the UAE, GEMS Westminster School (WSS) is a private, international and co-educational school in Sharjah. The school opened its doors in 2012 after the success of its sister school – The Westminster School in Dubai. The school has another sister branch – GEMS Westminster School RAK.

The GEMS Westminster School Sharjah follows the international educational programme based on the National Curriculum of England. It prepares students to sit in the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations in the secondary stage and AS and A-Levels examinations in Higher Secondary Stage.

Students at this school belong to over 70 nationalities that are taught by a team of experienced teachers, predominantly Indian. The teacher to student ratio at this school is 1:16, ensuring a considerable level of individual attention and care.

Besides top-notch education, the school has a plethora of extracurricular activities for the holistic development of students. Students at this school feel welcomed and live a well-balanced academic life. Read this guide by Bayut on this school to learn more about its educational programmes. Admission and fee details, school facilities and much more.

Residential Communities near GEMS Westminster School Sharjah

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah is located in Muwaileh – a community known for top-notch schools in Sharjah. In terms of residential options, once can find several low-rise apartment buildings with studios to 3-bed units at an affordable price. Other communities that are close to the school are:

Al Noaf 3 is nearest to GEMS Westminster School. Families that enjoy a quiet and calm lifestyle prefer this community. Here, one can find most lifestyle amenities, such as schools, health clinics, restaurants and supermarkets, all at short-driving distances. Those interested in moving close to the GEMS Westminster School can also opt for other sub-communities of Al Noaf. Additionally, Al Gharayen is located close to the school.

Campus of GEMS WSS

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah has outstanding school facilities that fully support the academic and non-academic provisions of the school. Outside the building lies a small parking space for faculty members. Inside the school building, there are administration and reception areas for enquiry. 

Classrooms at the campus are bright and spacious. The school equips classrooms with age-appropriate technology features and furniture to aid in students learning. Music, science, computers, arts and other laboratory facilities are also available at the campus. Other noteworthy academic facilities at the campus include a library, ICT labs and Electronic labs.

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah also has a wide range of sports-related facilities. These facilities include:

  • Cricket nets
  • Outdoor basketball court
  • Outdoor football field
  • Four indoor court-based sports hall
  • Four outdoor multi-purpose courts (two on the ground storey and two on the roof)
  • A multi-purpose sports hall
  • Indoor and outdoor play areas

Location of GEMS Westminster School Sharjah

GEMS Westminster School is located close to the India International School on Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road in the Muweilah area, Sharjah. Those living in the nearby residential communities can access the school via Maliha Road, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road and Sharjah Ring Road.

Why GEMS Westminster School Sharjah?

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah (WSS) is a private school in Sharjah following an internationally recognised education programme that is based on the National Curriculum of England. It is a renowned curricular framework that is internationally accepted for its readiness and academic rigour. Students completing their education from this school receive the Cambridge A-Levels Certificate. Thus, prestigious universities and colleges throughout the world accept students from this school.

Another outstanding feature of this school is its child-centred programmes. All the academic and non-academic programmes at this school are made considering the requirements of students. The school facilities coupled with value-based education make GEMS WSS a school of choice for parents. 

The school also has a comprehensive extracurricular programme that prepares students for modern-day challenges. GEMS WSS has the facilities to support the provisions of non-academic activities at the campus. The school aims to develop the personality and character of students with its enrichment programme. The enrichment programme at the school revolves around sports, arts, languages, music, mathematics and science clubs. 

GEMS WSS offers a friendly and happy atmosphere for its students. It is a highly inclusive school, as students from over 70 nationalities co-exist. Students at this school embrace people from all backgrounds and behave to the best of their behaviour. All this results in a warm and nurturing environment where children thrive and prosper.

The school has a house system that promotes healthy competition among students. There are four houses at the school: 

  • Scorpion
  • Falcon
  • Arabian Horse
  • Dolphin

Students are classified into these groups at the time of admission. Students represent their houses in different academic and non-academic activities. As a result, students compete with other students in a friendly manner.

As a part of the GEMS Education Group, students and parents enjoy a multitude of benefits. The school follows the core values of GEMS Education that include growing by learning, pursuing excellence, leading through innovation and global citizenship. With thousands of schools in its network, they share the best teaching practices and strategies to help other GEMS Schools in attaining academic excellence. Additionally, programmes such as GEMS Reward Programme and GEMS Ambassador Programme reward parents that are loyal to the GEMS Education.

School Details

COVID-19 Protocols

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has collaborated with schools, educational groups, parents and other stakeholders to come up with robust COVID-19 protocols for a safer reopening of schools. All the schools in the UAE, including those managed by GEMS Education, follow stringent COVID-19 protocols, which are as follows:

  • GEMS Education School including GEMS Westminster School Sharjah is periodically cleaning its campus and its facilities with hospital-grade antiviral disinfectant. Also, the school regularly cleans its AC vents and hand sanitiser dispensers are installed throughout the campus.
  • The school staff is required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and follow a strict process of handwashing, maintaining social distancing and disposing of items. GEMS WSS also checks the temperature of students and staff entering the campus.
  • Seats will be placed 1.5 metres apart in classrooms. Buses will operate between 30% to 50% capacity. Also, gatherings will be limited, while any and all international events, extracurricular activities, sports events, after-school clubs, holiday camps and various school events have been suspended until further notice.
  • Physical education will continue; however, swimming pools will be closed. Students can either attend classes in person or opt for distance or E-learning; schools can and should provide 100% distance learning provisions.
  • COVID-19 PCR testing is not mandatory for students without travel history. Only those who show symptoms of COVID-19 are required to take the PCR test. The Ministry of Education, KHDA and other educational reform bodies recommend schools to provide virtual tours. If parents do visit the campus, they MUST follow all the safety measures. This includes wearing facemasks and maintaining a 1.5 metres distance.

Years Offered at GEMS Westminster School Sharjah

GEMS WSS is a foundation stage tosixth-form school that caters to the educational needs of students aged 4 to 18 years old. The phases of education at this school are:

Stage
Grade
Stage
Key Stage 1
Grade
KG1 to Grade 1
Stage
Key Stage 2
Grade
Grade 2 to Grade 5
Stage
Key Stage 3
Grade
Grade 6 to Grade 8
Stage
Key Stage 4
Grade
Grade 9 and Grade 10
Stage
Key Stage 5
Grade
Grade 11 and Grade 12

GEMS WSS Curriculum

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah follows the National Curriculum of the UK and Wales for its educational programme. The British curriculum has gained a reputation for quality and is internationally recognised for its readiness. The curriculum at GEMS WSS is split into five key stages. 

  • Key Stage 1 (KS1)
  • Key Stage 2 (KS2)
  • Key Stage 3 (KS3)
  • Key Stage 4 (KS$)
  • Key Stage 5 (KS5)

The curriculum followed by the school fosters a keen interest in learning and striving for academic excellence. The specifics for each phase of education are as follows:

Key Stage 1 (KG1 to Grade 1) Curriculum

In KS1, the school follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. It is a popular educational model for introducing children to the school’s environment. The school understands that students learn through different means. Therefore, it follows a non-formal teaching method based on ‘play and learn’ strategies. Teachers focus on developing students’ skills in the following seven key areas of learning:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, social and Emotional Development
  • Literacy
  • Expressive Arts and Design
  • Mathematics 
  • Understanding the world

All these seven areas of learning are interconnected and play a pivotal role in a child’s development.

From KG2 onwards, the school follows a more formal teaching approach based on the National Curriculum of England and Wales. It provides an introduction to the essential knowledge and skills that are necessary for the subsequent phases of education. It also prepares students for responsibilities, opportunities, experiences that will be helpful in the future. Once students clear Grade 1, they are ready to tackle the next academic endeavour – Key Stage 2 (KS2).

Key Stage 2 (Grade 2 to Grade 5) Curriculum

In the primary stage, GEMS WSS continues to follow the National Curriculum of England along with a few subjects as specified by the Ministry of Education (MOE). The school offers a vibrant and rich learning experience in the primary stage that allows students to be creative and expressive.
The syllabus is child-centric, experiential and applications-oriented. As a result, students can better understand the phenomena going around them. 

The relaxed and caring environment along with the academics and non-academic provisions helps in the holistic development of students. 

Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 (Grade 6 to Grade 10) Curriculum

Key Stage 3 is one of the crucial stages in the academic life of students. In this stage, the school introduces students to subjects and concepts that prepare them for secondary and high school education. GEMS Westminster School Sharjah offers an academically productive environment where students have opportunities to reach their full potential. The school focuses on building confidence and independent learning skills of students by catering to the individual needs of students and expanding academic expectations.

In Key Stage 4, the school prepares students to sit for the IGCSE examinations, GEMS WSS has a unique dual pathway of education that offers a great opportunity for students to hone their academic skills. Students in Grade 9 can either opt for the two-year IGCSE pathway or the three-year IGCSE pathway. Students completing their IGCSE certification in three years will study for the AS Level in Grade 12.

The subjects available to students for the IGCSE stage are:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Combined Sciences
  • Business Studies
  • Geography
  • Information Technology
  • Art and Design
  • Arabic as First and Second Language
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Food and Nutrition

Key Stage 5 (Grade 11 and Grade 12) Curriculum

Key Stage 5 (KS5) is the last stage of education at GEMS WSS. In this stage, the school challenges students to find their identity as artists, scholars, scientists or athletes. The KS5 stage revolves around the AS Level programme by Cambridge International.

The subjects that are available at this stage are limited. The subjects include:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Information and Communication Technology

Besides the aforementioned, the school also includes the following subjects as per the guidelines set by the MOE:

  • Special Arabic (for native speakers)
  • Regular Arabic (for non-native students)
  • Islamic Studies (for Muslims)
  • Social Studies

Distance Learning

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah has a distance learning programme that is catering to the educational needs of students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The distance learning programme allows the school to follow blended learning and fully remote learning models at different stages of the academic year 2020-2021. The school uses Microsoft Teams and Phoenix Classrooms for lectures and assessments. For more information, contact the school’s administration.

Academic Calendar for GEMS Westminster School Sharjah

The academic year at GEMS WSS starts in late August and ends in early July. The activities are split into three academic terms:

  • The first term starts in the last week of August (as staggered because of the COVID-19 pandemic) and ends in the second week of December. This is followed by a three-week winter break that ends in the last week of December.
  • The second term starts in the first week of January and ends in the fourth week of March. Students then go on a two-week winter break that ends in the first week of March.
  • The last term starts in the second week of April and ends in the first week of July.

For more information, check out the academic calendar of GEMS Westminster School Sharjah.

Admission and Fees

How to Apply to GEMS Westminster School Sharjah (WSS)?

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah follows an inclusive admission policy that allows students from different backgrounds to be a part of the school. The school uses screening or assessment to determine the appropriate grade of the candidate.

To apply, parents can register their child by submitting the GEMS online student registration form. Before applying, the school prefers parents to visit the school and see the facilities by themselves. To book a tour, parents can fill out the school tour form or reach out to the parent relationship executive on aiysha.k_wss@gemsedu.com. Currently, the school is following strict guidelines for parents visiting the school. The school tours are usually arranged every Sunday to Thursday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Parents need to show a negative PCR COVID-19 test (results valid for only three days) or show two doses of COVID-19 vaccine before entering the premises.

After submitting the form, parents will receive the receipt at the provided email address. Parents are advised to print out the receipt and save the enquiry number. They will come in handy in future processes. The school uses the following age-grade guideline to grant admission to their educational institute:

Grade/Year
Minimum Entry Age
Maximum Entry Age
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade/Year
Pre-KG/Foundation Stage 1
Minimum Entry Age
3
Maximum Entry Age
4
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade/Year
Kindergarten 1/Foundation Stage 2
Minimum Entry Age
4
Maximum Entry Age
5
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade/Year
Kindergarten 2/Year 1
Minimum Entry Age
5
Maximum Entry Age
6
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade/Year
Grade 1/Year 2
Minimum Entry Age
6
Maximum Entry Age
8
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade/Year
Grade 2/Year 3
Minimum Entry Age
7
Maximum Entry Age
9
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
6

This is based on the age of the students on 31st July (for schools beginning in April). Source: GEMS WSS

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

Afterwards, parents will be invited to bring the candidate for the assessment. The assessment may include an admission test or an interview. Successful candidates will be granted admission. Parents can pay AED 500 (exclusive of VAT) within 24 hours of the offer to reserve the seat. Parents are also requested to submit any documents left. Failure to do so can result in the cancellation of admission.

For more information, read the admission process at GEMS Westminster School Sharjah.

Fee Structure at GEMS Westminster School Sharjah

The GEMS Westminster School Sharjah fee for the academic year 2020-2021 is as follows:

Grade
First Term (AED)
Second Term (AED)
Third Term (AED)
Total (AED)
Grade
KG1
First Term (AED)
5,040
Second Term (AED)
3,780
Third Term (AED)
3,780
Total (AED)
12,600
Grade
KG2
First Term (AED)
5,040
Second Term (AED)
3,780
Third Term (AED)
3,780
Total (AED)
12,600
Grade
Grade 1
First Term (AED)
5,880
Second Term (AED)
4,410
Third Term (AED)
4,410
Total (AED)
14,700
Grade
Grade 2
First Term (AED)
5,880
Second Term (AED)
4,410
Third Term (AED)
4,410
Total (AED)
14,700
Grade
Grade 3
First Term (AED)
5,880
Second Term (AED)
4,410
Third Term (AED)
4,410
Total (AED)
14,700
Grade
Grade 4
First Term (AED)
5,880
Second Term (AED)
4,410
Third Term (AED)
4,410
Total (AED)
14,700
Grade
Grade 5
First Term (AED)
5,880
Second Term (AED)
4,410
Third Term (AED)
4,410
Total (AED)
14,700
Grade
Grade 6
First Term (AED)
5,880
Second Term (AED)
4,410
Third Term (AED)
4,410
Total (AED)
14,700
Grade
Grade 7
First Term (AED)
6,720
Second Term (AED)
5,040
Third Term (AED)
5,040
Total (AED)
16,800
Grade
Grade 8
First Term (AED)
6,720
Second Term (AED)
5,040
Third Term (AED)
5,040
Total (AED)
16,800
Grade
Grade 9
First Term (AED)
7,560
Second Term (AED)
5,670
Third Term (AED)
5,670
Total (AED)
18,900
Grade
Grade 10
First Term (AED)
8,400
Second Term (AED)
6,630
Third Term (AED)
6,630
Total (AED)
21,000
Grade
Grade 11
First Term (AED)
8,400
Second Term (AED)
6,630
Third Term (AED)
6,630
Total (AED)
21,000
Grade
Grade 12
First Term (AED)
9,680
Second Term (AED)
7,260
Third Term (AED)
7,260
Total (AED)
21,000

New admissions have to pay a non-refundable fee of AED 500 that is adjustable in the tuition fee for the first term. Please note that the tuition fee is approved by SPEA and is exclusive of charges for uniform, extracurricular events and other activities at the campus. For more information, check out the fee structure of GEMS Westminster School.

Scholarships at GEMS WSS

Currently, GEMS Westminster School does not have a scholarship programme for its students. The tuition fee charged by the school is less than many international schools following the same curriculum.

School Facilities

Lunch Options at GEMS Westminster School Sharjah

There is a canteen where students can buy hot and cold food items at affordable prices. All the food items are prepared in a hygienic environment using fresh raw materials. Certain foods, such as fizzy drinks, junk food, candies and cakes, are not allowed. Students in the kindergarten stage need to bring home-packed lunch boxes.

Currently, the school canteen is operational as per the specific guidelines of the ministry. Social distancing is followed at the canteen. Sharing of food is prohibited. Parents are encouraged to send their kids with a home-packed lunch box and a water bottle.

School Transportation at GEMS WSS

It is difficult for parents to pick up and drop off their child to and from the school on time regularly. The school eases parents by offering a safe and efficient transport service. GEMS WSS has outsourced its transport operations to School Transport Service (STS) – a reputable name in providing transportation services to schools and other educational institutions. 

The transportation staff is experienced and well trained. The school buses are equipped with modern safety features, including a Global Positioning System (GPS), video surveillance, scanners for attendance.

Currently, the school has reduced its school bus capacity to comply with the COVID-19 regulations and protocols. This step is taken to ensure that students practice social distancing on the bus. For more information, contact the school’s administration.

Boarding Facility at GEMS Westminster School Sharjah

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah is a day-only school. It does not offer any boarding or hostelling facility to students. Students can opt for the school transport service offered by the school. Parents that are interested in moving close to the school should read the residential communities near GEMS Westminster School Sharjah at the beginning of the guide.

Holiday Camps at GEMS WSS

Currently, the school does not offer any holiday camps to its students. Parents can enrol their children on the holiday camps organised by the external camp agencies.

Sports Facilities

Sport is an integral part of the enrichment programme at GEMS Westminster School Sharjah. Participation in physical activities results in self-confidence, positive self-esteem, fitness and coordination. GEMS Westminster School Sharjah balances the academics and non-academic aspects of students’ lives through its outstanding range of sports facilities. The campus has:

Sport 1
Sport 2
Sport 3
Sport 1
Four indoor court sports hall
Sport 2
Football pitch
Sport 3
Outdoor basketball court
Sport 1
Cricket nets
Sport 2
Four outdoor multi-games courts
Sport 3
Multipurpose sports hall
Football field at GEMS Westminster School Sharjah
Outdoor football field at the campus (Image Credit: GEMS WSS Facebook Page)

Two of the outdoor multi-games courts are on the ground storey and the rest of them are on the roof. The school also arranges an annual sports competition in which students showcase their athletic skills.

Currently, the school is following a staggered schedule for its sports activities. Physical education is continued; however, sports activities are reduced for the current school year. This step is taken to comply with the COVID-19 protocols issued by the Ministry of Education.

Extra-curricular Activities at GEMS Westminster School (WSS) Sharjah

GEMs Westminster School Sharjah offers a plethora of extracurricular activities dedicated to the holistic development of students. The enrichment programme is designed in a way to ensure that each student can take part in his or her favourite activities. 

The co-curricular activities offered to students include field trips, cultural events, campaigns and environmental and social service projects. Other optional extracurricular activities available to students are broadly classified into sports, music, art, language and maths and science clubs.

Some popular extracurricular programmes at the campus are:

WSS Physical Education (PE) Programme

The WSS PE programme serves as an opportunity for all students to be physically, mentally, psychologically and socially active. Students of GEMS WSS channel their motivation, energy and strength in a positive and structured way using the school’s facilities. 

Extracurricular activities at GEMS Westminster School Sharjah
Students in KG2 participated in a school event where they demonstrated their performance art skills(Image Credit: GEMS WSS Facebook Page)

Regular PE lessons are conducted at the campus that focuses on the development of general motor skills. As students grow older, they work on their agility, flexibility, coordination, balance and power skills. Students that show exceptional talents represent the school in various tournaments. Besides traditional sports, such as football, cricket and basketball, students also take part in running, jumping, galloping, hopping and other sports based on locomotor skills. Students also represent their houses in annual sports competitions held at the campus. 

Students’ Leadership Programme

Students of GEMS WSS are exposed to many opportunities where they showcase their leadership skills. About 40% of students at the campus are engaged in leadership roles. These students are responsible for organising events that raise awareness on social problems, create community spirit and support peers and parents through creative actions.

WSS Music Programme

Students that are interested in performance arts, especially music, can participate in the WSS music Programme. Students learn to play guitar, piano and other musical instruments. They are given opportunities to showcase their skills in talent shows and concerts. Students of GEMS WSS are also given theoretical and practical lessons in Western Classical Music.

WSS Club Programme

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah also has exciting clubs for students. For more information, contact the school’s administration.

Currently, the school has put a hold on some extracurricular activities because of the COVID-19 protocols. These activities usually result in gathering a large crowd that can speed up the spread of the contagious virus. The school will inform parents about the resumption of its enrichment programme to its full effect on official platforms.

Field Trips from GEMS WSS

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah arranges field trips throughout the year to expose students to the outdoor environment. Field trips allow students to explore and better understand the world around them. Most field trips arranged by the school are recreational.

One of the popular field trips that were arranged by GEMS WSS was the visit to Sharjah Aquarium. It is an outstanding educational centre in the UAE that is ideal for children. Here, students explored a plethora of sea creatures in 20 different aquariums spanning across two storeys.

Field trip to Sharjah Aquarium arranged by GEMS Westminster School
Students of GEMS WSS visited Sharjah Aquarium (Image Credit: GEMS WSS Facebook Page)

Another popular field trip was the visit to the Sharjah Art Museum. Students explored the artwork depicting the rich history of the UAE.

Field trips are currently suspended until further notice. For more information, contact the school’s administration.

After-school Care at GEMS WSS

The school has an after-school care programme consisting of school clubs and extracurricular activities to hone the non-academic skills of students. These activities are offered after regular school hours. Activities such as WSS Music Programme and WSS Club Programme are offered as after-school programmes.

The after-school care programme is currently suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The school will inform parents regarding the resumption of the programme on official platforms.

Medical Care at GEMS Westminster School Sharjah

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah has a medical facility that caters to medical emergencies to students and staff. The facility is equipped with resources and experienced professionals to deal with minor to moderate injuries and illnesses.

Contact

Mode of Communication between Teachers and Parents

Communication between the school and parents is vital for GEMS Education. Therefore, all the GEMS Schools, including GEMS WSS, have several modes of communication to facilitate the process.

GEMS Westminster School arranges parent-teacher meetings throughout the year in which parents and teachers discuss the progress made by students. They share their feedback and strategies to assist each other in the students’ academic journey. The school has a parent portal that allows access to attendance records, academic progress, teachers’ feedback, examination schedules, news, notifications and much more. 

GEMS WSS rewards parents that are loyal to the school and GEMS Education. GEMS Rewards is an initiative by GEMS Education through which parents can save money on tuition fees. Also, parents that refer to any GEMS schools to their friends and family earn a special discount through GEMS Ambassador Programme. There also exists the GEMS Parent Experience Centre that answers parents’ questions and queries. The GEMS Parent Experience Centre is open every Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The school has an official website where visitors can access information on curriculum, admission and fee details and school facilities. Other modes of communication at this school are social media pages, newsletter on the official website and school designated WhatsApp groups. Also, the school has a feedback and suggestion form on its official website.

GEMS WSS Contact Information

Note that the cover image belongs to GEMS Westminster School Sharjah

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