Rising to the challenge

PE Teacher and seasoned hiker Mike Tetley from GEMS World Academy – Dubai took on a gruelling seven-night trek to summit Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro When I was a child, I was always looking towards the next adventure and challenge – from climbing a tall oak tree, to seeking out new places on my bike with friends. I grew up living close to the Lake District in the north of England, and we would often go hiking and climbing. It was here that I first developed a love for the outdoors and the tranquility it offers.  This curiosity to…

No mountain high enough

When Helen Al Uzaizi, Director of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Impact at GEMS World Academy – Dubai, read the book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers, she didn’t think she’d find herself hiking Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus. Here, she explains how she overcame her fears and embraced life on the up. Since 2014, I have been doing running races, triathlons, hikes and climbs for different charities ranging from the King Hussein Cancer Foundation in Jordan, to PACES Charity working with refugees, and Gaza Relief. I have always dreamed of conquering the Seven Summits of the…

Teacher opens bank account, wins brand new BMW

Charlotte Hugill, a Foundation Stage teacher at GEMS Cambridge International Private School – Sharjah (GCS), got considerably more than she bargained for when she opened a bank account with Emirates NBD at her school. Charlotte, who moved to the UAE from the UK in December, was selected at random as the winner of a brand-new BMW X2, thanks to a long-term partnership between GEMS and Emirates NBD. Charlotte was out shopping when her principal informed her of the win. She initially thought it was a joke because “I’ve never won anything more than the occasional £10 on a scratch card…

Meet the ‘World’s Best Librarian’

GEMS Modern Academy’s Raghunathan MO, was recognised as the 2021 Global Librarian. Here, he shares why it takes more than books and the Dewy Decimal system to create a wonderful library Librarians don’t tend to get a great deal of praise or recognition for the work we do, which makes receiving an award like this all the more special. It was a total surprise, but I’m also incredibly proud and delighted to have been nominated and chosen as the winner over thousands of contenders from more than 20 countries. The Global Librarians’ Award aims to actively reach out to all corners…

CEO Dino Varkey joins GEMS student-author to record audiobook for International Literacy Day

GEMS Metropole School student Diaco Taaeb may only be 11 years old, but he’s already a published author, having written a children’s book last year during the lockdown period. The colourful picture book, titled Little Bird – A Book for Toddlers, has now also been turned into an audiobook, thanks to a collaboration between Diaco and GEMS Group CEO Dino Varkey. Both got together recently to lend their voices for a recording of the book, which was subsequently uploaded to charitable book-share platform Kupepo.com to mark International Literacy Day on 8 September. The audiobook is now available to disadvantaged school…

New faces: Meet three of our new GEMSters from across the network

We caught up with some of our new joiners at GEMS Awareness Day, and they told us how they feel about joining GEMS and what they’re looking forward to as they embark on their careers with us. Craig William Temple, GEMS Modern Academy What’s your role at GEMS? I teach English at GEMS Modern Academy – the Middle School level. I am also involved in compiling, editing student’s article contributions and giving my own contributions as well. Are you new to the UAE? If so where have you joined us from? I have been to the UAE in the past…

In pictures: GEMS Awareness Day 2021

GEMS Awareness Day 2021 welcomed 1,600 new teachers to the GEMS Education family, with a full introduction to the organisation, inspirational speeches from our senior leadership and a chance to meet other educators. Swipe through the gallery below for a recap of some of the highlight moments from GAD 2021, and see if our snappers…

Take two: ‘GEMS in 10’ chats with two of our newbies!

We caught up with some of our new joiners at GEMS Awareness Day, and they told us how they feel about joining GEMS and what they’re looking forward to as they embark on their careers with us. Daisy Biggins, GEMS Founders School – Al Mizhar What’s your role at GEMS? My role at GEMS is as an English teacher and a GCSE drama teacher. I also am lucky enough to have a brilliant year 7 form group! Are you new to the UAE? If so where have you joined us from? I am new to the UAE and am originally…

Get to know GAD host Deema Alalamy

You saw her on stage, now find out more about GAD 2021 host and MC, Deema Alalamy, VP – Arabic and Islamic at GEMS. Deema has the all-important job of ensuring that our schools are teaching Arabic and Islamic in-line with the UAE National Agenda, and this was her seventh GAD, here she shares some of her past experiences of GAD. Tell us about your first GAD – What’s your most vivid memory of it? “My first GAD experience was actually only a few weeks after I joined GEMS in 2015. It was held at Atlantis, as it was this…

GEMS Alumni: Where did your school finish on the sign-up chart?

With immense support and dedication from the schools, OOD, GMS and MTS were able to join the top of the league table with 100% of their seniors registered on the GEMS Alumni platform. Over the past couple of weeks, we have witnessed schools pushing boundaries and jumping through all sorts of hoops to register as many of their seniors as they can. And many schools have stood out in the strides they have made.  Even though they did not make the list this week, a big congratulations also goes to CIS, whose team, through their systematic efforts, onboarded 73% of their…

Find out who will be featured on the ‘SSC People Wall’

The nominations have been made and the votes are in, and now we can reveal who has been chosen by their colleagues to go on the ‘SSC People Wall’. This summer the GEMS corporate office is undergoing a refresh and putting its people at the heart of the organisation – where they belong. SSC staff were asked to nominate the colleagues that they felt best embodied the four GEMS core values of Care, Excellence, One Team and Always Learning. Jennifer Asimus from HR Ganaphati Bhat from Finance Pablo Cazar from Marketing Alexandra Dagher from Legal Amani Dayya from Enrolments Neil…

How to run a winning debate club

Sujatha Nair, English teacher at Our Own English High School, Sharjah – Boys’ Branch (OOB) shares her tips for setting up and running a debate society. Students at Our Own English High School, Sharjah – Boys’ Branch (OOB) are actively encouraged to participate and practice public speaking and debating. For many students, debate club is a staple of high school. Just like football, basketball, and other sports, debate teams give students a chance to challenge themselves and refine valuable skills for their future. Debate has been noted as an important skill for careers in everything from business management to law…

To travel, or not to travel?

Michael Guzder, VP Education on why he’s escaping the wish lists and green lists this summer. “Last year, I came away from the vacation thoroughly bloated and ten pounds heavier, convinced I’d blocked an artery and possibly shortened my lifespan by a few months. But I was also deliriously contented, which is surely what it’s all about.” – Cash Peters There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming summer vacation. With 2020 being a total washout where vacations were concerned, any and everyone has been looking to 2021 to make up for lost time, and I don’t blame…

Divani Gedara’s onto a shore thing! This GMA teacher is making waves in the wonderful world of sand art

Visual art teacher Divani Srimali Gedara is making a splash on the international art scene with her stunning sand sculptures. Representing her home country of Sri Lanka, Divani has been racking up the medals since 2013 – and most recently won first place, by public vote, in the virtually-held III Encuentro Nacional De Escultores En Arena 2021, Peru. Here, she shares how she turns shores into sculpture. How did you get involved in sand art? I have always been passionate about art since childhood. I never gave it a second thought when it came to choosing a discipline to study…

Well said! How to win at elocution

At Our Own English High School, Sharjah – Boys’ Branch (OOB), students are actively encouraged to participate in and practice public speaking – and their efforts appear to be paying off, because they’re winning inter-school competitions for elocution. Following their latest win at an elocution competition hosted by Crescent English School, Dubai, we caught up with one of the teachers leading the school’s Literary Club to find out if it takes more than just words to win at elocution. Last month, Samford Sebin, a Grade 8 student at OOB, clinched the winner’s title in the Juniors category of an inter-school…