The Gems Winchester School, Abu Dhabi (WSA) as the name suggests is part of the Gems Education Group and has been operational since 2013. The school was designed along the same lines as the highly successful GEMS Winchester School, Dubai. The curriculum offered is the National Curriculum of England from FS 2 to Year 9. Ideally located in Al Danah, the school’s location is a huge convenience for the vast majority living in the city’s centre.
Currently, the school has over 1,300 students enrolled with them. In terms of the teaching and non-teaching staff, there are 78 teachers and 22 teaching assistants. The teacher to student ratio is 1:30 and in the foundation stage, it is 1: 25. ADEK has rated the school ‘Good’ for its overall performance.
The school aims to provide a safe, caring, personalised learning environment and is open to regular constructive communication with parents to ensure the child can be the best they can. The school places importance on developing a deep understanding of the skills necessary for the 21st century.
This guide by Bayut helps you discover more about the education and facilities of GEMS Winchester School, Abu Dhabi.
Residential Communities near GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi
The school is located in the centre of Abu Dhabi City and is easily accessible from the following areas:
Parents can consider these apartments for rent if they are looking to move closer to WSA:
Campus of Gems Winchester School Abu Dhabi
The school campus comprises of two adjacent buildings, one for primary and one for secondary students.
All the classrooms are equipped with overhead projectors. Some have Promethean interactive whiteboards whilst others have pull-down screens. Internet connection is available in all the classrooms.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a key component in lesson delivery. Other facilities include a fully air-conditioned multi-purpose sports hall, a spacious auditorium, a small sports field, a large shaded quad area, Music and Art & Craft Rooms, well-equipped Science Laboratories and Computer Laboratories with an internet connection and multimedia facilities. In addition to the lab, there are many shared laptops and iPads that are available for student’s use.
There are two shaded outdoor play areas specially designed for the foundation stage students providing a safe environment to exercise throughout the year. A fully equipped clinic with two full-time nurses also ensures the safety of children at all times.
The school has a spacious Students Learning Lounge which is designed to promote students to learn in different ways. This lounge is furnished in a unique manner so that students can make use of skills such as collaboration and critical thinking. The lounge area has a variety of technology including laptops, iPads and a fully interactive 72 inch LCD screen.
The WSA Library is well stocked, with a recent increase in the number of titles from 4,000 to 10,000 and 2,000 new Arabic titles. The school promotes initiatives such as the Summer Reading Challenge where students have to read 50 books during the summer vacation and produce a portfolio with book summaries. Other initiatives include celebrating famous authors such as ‘Roald Dahl’, and the DEAR Time: Drop Everything And Read where students are encouraged to read during their free time and are requested to bring an appropriate reading book to school every day.
Location of Gems Winchester School Abu Dhabi
GEMS Winchester School’s location is in Al Danah, Abu Dhabi along 9th St. / Al Falah St. and Sultan Bin Zayed the First St.
Why Gems Winchester School?
The GEMS Winchester school is a relatively new school in Abu Dhabi and has been running successfully over the past six years. The location of the school, curriculum, friendly approachable staff and management are the key highlights of the school.
The school, being a part of GEMS Education, enjoys the multiple benefits that they offer including the GEMS rewards program and the GEMS ambassador programs for parents. Students can apply for GEMS scholarships. Apart from these benefits, all teachers at GEMS schools are provided with periodic training and professional development for their teachers.
Each year the GEMS Winchester Abu Dhabi school makes a lot of changes owing to the strong parent partnership approach. Special care and attention is given to bring new ways to engage both parents and children and these include the celebration of international day where parents volunteer to bring food to share representing their respective countries, Mothers day, Science festival, Sports day, and so on.
Students are given ample resources to be innovative, develop leadership skills, and to take responsibility for learning. The Students Involvement Program (SIP) promotes leadership opportunities with students leading morning assemblies, and older students supporting younger children. Students use ‘success criteria’ to support self- and peer-evaluation and students engage more frequently in discussions, dialogue and reflection of their learning.
As the school follows a British curriculum supported by a clear rationale, the teachers are able to ensure a students learning requirements are met for all key subjects. The access to a wide range of options provides older students with opportunities to develop their interests and talents.
Years Offered at GEMS Winchester School
GEMS Winchester School provides education from Foundation Stage 2 to Year 9. The educational system is composed of the following sections:
- The first phase of education at this school is the foundation stage. It consists of Foundation Stage 2 (FS2) for children aged 4 to 5 years old.
- The next phase of education is the primary section that consists of Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2). KS1 encompasses Years 1 and 2, while KS2 has Year 3 to Year 6. It caters to children aged 6 to 11 years old.
- The secondary section consists of Key Stage 3 (KS3) classes. KS3 encompasses Year 7 to Year 9
GEMS Winchester School Curriculum
The foundation stage is the most crucial stage of education for every child. At this stage, the basic concepts are established to help young learners to understand the world and develop requisite skills for future education. To ensure the best possible start, the school adopts the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework.
EYFS is a reputable early years’ education programme practised all over the world. It focuses on seven key areas of learning for the first two years of school. The areas of learning in the EYFS framework are:
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and language
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and designs
The school covers all seven areas of learning in its syllabus by adopting a play and learn strategy. They follow a well-structured set of activities designed to cultivate the skills mentioned above.
In the primary stage, the school follows the National Curriculum of the UK.
For KS1, students are gradually introduced to formal learning methods. Cross-curricular links and practical examples are extensively used to help students build their understanding of concepts. The subjects taught at KS1 are:
- Social Studies
- Moral Education/Islamic education
- Physical education
Please note that social studies is introduced from Year 2 onwards. Islamic education is mandatory for Muslims whereas non-Muslims study Moral Education.
In KS2, the concepts learned in Year 1 and Year 2 are further strengthened by introducing new depths to the curriculum. Subjects in KS2 are:
- Islamic education
- Social studies
- Moral education
- Physical Education
Geography, music, history, arts and physical education are taught thematically. By the end of the KS2, students have exceptional self-confidence and critical thinking skills. These skills allow them to adjust easily to the secondary phase.
In terms of language requirements, while English is mandatory and modern European languages are also taught in the school, learning Arabic is also compulsory. Native Arabic speakers are taught the Arabic A curriculum of the Ministry of Education, while non-native speakers learn the more basic Arabic B syllabus.
In the secondary phase, the students go through Key Stage 3 (KS3) and Key Stage 4 (KS4). These stages are also based on the British Curriculum.
It allows the learners to build the necessary skills to successfully complete external examinations. The subjects involved in this stage are:
- Islamic education
- Moral education
- Social studies
- Physical education
The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is a government entity that is responsible for licensing all private education institutes and monitoring their commitment to providing high-quality service in accordance with regulations. Through the Irtiqaa Programme, ADEK carries out periodic evaluations of all schools and are based on six basic criteria as listed below:
- Quality of students’ work
- Quality of personal and social development as well as innovation skills of the students
- Quality of teaching and assessment
- Quality of curriculum
- Quality of student safety and wellbeing, as well as the guidance and support provided to them
- Quality of school leadership and management.
The GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi rating has been ‘Good’ for their overall performance since opening. The ADEK’s report highlights that strong leadership and management are the key strengths of the school along with good teaching, assessment and curriculum.
The school has significantly improved its attainment in Arabic as a second language, English, Mathematics and Science. There is good progress in all groups of students, including SEN students. The school has a good partnership with parents and a very good communication system in place. The facilities are all high quality and spacious and the school has a highly organized and effective day to day management.
ADEK has recommended that the school increase the opportunities for students to develop their skills in innovation and creativity in the classroom.
Academic Calendar at GEMS Winchester School
The academic year at GEMS Winchester starts in September and ends in July.
- The first-term starts in the first week of September and ends in the second week of December. The expected holidays for students include a mid-term break in the last week of October.
- After a 3-week winter holiday, the second term commences in the first week of January and ends in the last week of March. Students go on a mid-term break in the third week of February.
- After a 2-week spring break, the students return to school for the third term in the third week of April. The term concludes in the first week of July.
Admission and Fees
How to Apply to GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi
The admission process is on a first-come-first-served basis. The applicants have to register on the online webpage and upload the required documents, after which parents are provided with an enquiry number, this number is important for further communication and enquiries. Students entering Year 1 to Year 9 may be asked to complete a placement test. Students entering Foundation Stage 2 will meet in groups with a member of the Educational team.
The following documents must be uploaded with this form:
- Passport with a valid UAE residence visa of the candidate (1 copy)
- Passports of both parents (1 copy)
- Recent passport-size photographs (4 photos)
- Birth certificate of the candidate (1 copy, in Arabic or English)
- Emirates ID of the candidate (1 copy, both sides)
- Emirates ID of the parents (1 copy each, both sides)
- Latest academic record
- Immunisation record (1 copy)
- Original transfer certificate (if applicable)
- Records indicating special needs (1 copy, if applicable)
Parents also need to submit AED 500 as registration fee if the school places the candidate’s name in the waiting list.
After applying, the school calls the parents to bring their child for an assessment. For different years, it has different assessment plans with different targets. The main outlook of the assessment plans for each year is as follows:
FS1 and FS2
In this stage, the school conducts a play-based interview session with the child to gauge the following aspects:
- The readiness of the candidate to join the school
- Language and communication skills
The outcome of the interview session is typically shared with parents via email within 3 working days.
Year 3 to Year 9
To obtain admission ins GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi from Year 3 onwards, the candidate needs to clear the assessment test that is based on questions in English and mathematics. They will also look into the students’ previous academic records while making a decision.
Enquiries can also be made to the following address:
- Admissions Secretary:
- Maria Sairee, email@example.com
- School Registrar,
- Fyresa Govender, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fee Structure at GEMS Winchester School
The GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi fees for the academic year 2019-2020 are as follows:
- First term – AED 7,160
- Second term – AED 5,370
- Third term – AED 5,370
- Annual tuition fee – AED 17,900
Year 1 – 6
- First term – AED 8,024
- Second term – AED 6,018
- Third term – AED 6,018
- Annual tuition fee – AED 20,060
Year 7 – 9
- First term – AED 9,796
- Second term – AED 7,347
- Third term – AED 7,347
- Annual tuition fee – AED 24,490
Scholarships at GEMS Winchester School
As part of the GEMS Education system, students can apply for a GEMS scholarship. GEMS Education offers merit-based scholarships for students excelling in Academics, Creative and Performing Arts, Sports, Innovation and Digital Technology or Arabic Studies.
Lunch Options at WSA
The school canteen is very clean and special care is taken to provide healthy snacks and drinks during break time. The WSA has teamed with Slices which is an external company based in the UAE. They provide healthy and balanced food options in schools. Parents can sign up for a Slices card through the GEMS Connect app and students can use this card to pay for the food instead of carrying money. Additionally, the card also allows parents to track what their children have eaten and set up limits on how much they can buy in a day.
School Transportation at GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi
School Transport is managed by Bright Bus Transport which is one of the leading providers of student transport services in the UAE. Each child travelling by bus has to scan their ID cards which also lets the parents know when they have got on the bus and leave the bus through the Gems Connect app.
Parents can contact Bus Transport directly on 02 552 7235 or email email@example.com for further information.
Boarding Facility at WSA
It is a day-only school that does not offer any boarding facility to students.
Holiday Camps at GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi
Currently, the school does not offer any holiday camps but may offer them in the future.
A limited range of sports facilities ae available in GEM Winchester School Abu Dhabi. These facilities cover some of the sports-related needs of students. The campus has a multi-purpose hall that is used for physical education and indoor sports. There is also a small grass-covered football field on campus.
Extra-curricular Activities at GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi
WSA runs support classes after school with ADEK approval. These classes are voluntary and incur additional charges. WSA has collaborated with East Sports Management (ESM) who is an international Sports Management Company governing all sports provision in schools and ensuring delivery of programs are at a level of quality expected from the developed international norms.
The ESM provides sports activities at WSA from the following reputed organizations over the past few years. This has enabled parents to support children in extracurricular activities straight after school making use of the available facilities at school.
- Clark Francis for Tennis
- Eurosport for Karate
- Evolve Football Academy for Football
Field Trips at GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi
The school organises a number of educational and social trips for each year group throughout the year. Some of the past field trips include visits to places like Emirates Park and Zoo, Warner Brothers and Ferrari World.
After-school Care at WSA
The school does not provide any after school care. However, there are several after school activities available for children to enrol in, as mentioned above. This includes sports activities, music, drama, dance and more. Students usually stay back for an hour after regular classes end for after school activities. Those in squads also have to stay back for such after school practise sessions.
Medical Care at GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi
The school has a small clinic that serves as the facility to treat sick children and provide immunisation. The school clinic is managed by a qualified school nurse. Medicines are available for students. The school also maintains the immunisation and medical forms that parents have to submit at the time of enrolment.
Mode of Communication between Teachers and Parents
The school maintains good communication channels with parents. Parents are updated weekly through newsletters sent to their email. The official website is also a primary communicator. The GEMS Parent Portal is available, wherein parents can check on their child’s personal information.
Apart from these, the school also holds a parent and teacher meeting where parents can sit down with the respective teachers and discuss their child’s progress. Parents can also request and book to see the teacher in order to discuss any concerns that they might have. Additionally, there is a year specific WhatsApp group that parents use to communicate with one another and the teacher.
GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi Contact Information
Note that the cover image belongs to GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi.