Battle of the Waistbands

A parent at GEMS FirstPoint School has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged Principal Matt Tompkins to a unique competition – to see who can lose the most weight!  What started as friendly banter at the school gates has turned into a slimming showdown, with Matt Tompkins, Principal of GEMS FirstPoint, and FPS parent Bader Obeidat both taking to the scales for a “Battle of the Waistbands” weight loss challenge.  Matt says it all began with a casual post-winter break catch up: “I talk to Bader every day when he drops off and picks up his children in Years 1…

My first term: New job, new normal

The first term in a new school is tough enough, so when you’re not just starting a new role but also moving to a new country, and all at the height of a pandemic, the challenges are especially great. From rescheduled weddings and family separations to overcoming rejections, read on to hear from three new staff members on how they navigated unparalleled challenges to join GEMS.  Mairead McManamon Year 4 teacher, GEMS Wellington Primary School Pull Quote: “Nothing in my training or prior experience had prepared me for this” “When I signed up to move to Dubai, I never imagined…

Wheels of Steel

Looking for “Fitspiration”? Then look no further than WSO teachers Lara Bates and Tom Keggin. The sporty pair have challenged themselves to cycle 20km every day for a year, and they’ve already clocked up over 2,360km since 3 October 2020. Read on as Lara shares why their cycle challenge means so much. How did the challenge come about?“Tom and I both love keeping active. I’m a PE teacher, I also do triathlons and play netball, and Tom used to play amateur football, so sport is a constant part of our lives. During lockdown when we were teaching from home we…

How the pandemic transformed my life… for the better!

When life gives you lockdown: Meet three GEMSters who discovered new passions, improved relationships and created new teaching methods through the challenges of the pandemic. “I became a YouTuber”Rehna Pavithran, KG Teaching Assistant, Our Own English High School, Sharjah – Girls “Cooking is ultimately about sharing, but I never thought of sharing my love for food online until the lockdown. Like many people, I cooked at home more last year and had the time to indulge my passion for simple, hearty food. I was encouraged to create my YouTube channel by friends and family, and so Rehna’s Cook Book was…

How I … brought augmented reality into every classroom

Ever heard of a Merge Cube? We hadn’t either. But take note, because it’s about to take your science classes to a new digital level. Hajarah Hamdani, Senior School Supervisor (Grades 11 and 12) and Chief Innovation & Digital Officer at GEMS Millennium School – Sharjah, gives us the high-tech lowdown on the AR app. So, what exactly is a Merge Cube?“The Merge Cube, on its own, is a black and silver physical cube that has inlaid designs, like a QR code.When the cube interacts with the Merge Cube app on a mobile device, the app transforms that solid square…

Hey big saver!

The GEMS Rewards app is full of great offers, from eating out to days out, and as you spend you save. GEMS in 10 quizzed our current (Sep 2020-Dec 2020) set of top savers to find out how they stretch their dirhams using the app. The Upgrader: Geraldine Roxas, Grade 3 teacher, GEMS Winchester School – Fujairah “I was so surprised to find out that I was one of the top savers! I love to plan staycation weekends with my friends and dine out in local restaurants in Fujairah, so the app fits my lifestyle perfectly and that’s how I…

Inspirational Indian village teacher Ranjitsinh Disale wins US $1million Global Teacher Prize and gives half to fellow finalists

Indian village teacher Ranjitsinh Disale, who transformed the life chances of young girls at the Zilla Parishad Primary School, Paritewadi, Solapur, Maharashtra, India, has been named the winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2020, in partnership with UNESCO.  Mr Disale announced during the live virtual ceremony that he would share half of his prize award with the other exceptional top 10 finalists, resulting in the other nine finalists receiving just over US$55,000 each. This is the first time in the Global Teacher Prize’s six-year history that the overall winner has shared the prize money with other finalists. The US$1 million award…

GEMS alumni cousins draw inspiration from COVID crisis

Cousins Shania and Sagarika Dias were looking forward to a 2020 full of new experiences, varsity life abroad and embarking on chosen careers and like so many GEMS alums this year the effects of the pandemic thwarted their plans – that is until they decided to create a stationery and fashion brand, Dela by Dias. The pair both have a love of the arts, which is rooted in their schooling with GEMS. Twenty year-old Shania attended Wellington International School (WIS) and then Jumeirah College, while 23 year-old Sagarika, went to Our Own Girls Sharjah (OOS) before heading to American University…

Why your Pulse response times matter

The data you share in Pulse helps us to keep our families happy and retaining ourcurrent students is our top priority. One of the ways we can keep our families within the network is by understanding their concerns and resolving them quickly. Here’s how you can do your bit to keep families engaged. So what should I do if I log red or amber comments in my reports? Principals, continue to look at amber and red comments logged by teachers daily. Teachers, connect with parents or escalate within the school using ‘Follow-ups’ in the system seeking a resolution. Once a…

GEMS Alumni

Staying Connected with GEMS Alumni

Claire O’Neill – Manager, Alumi Relations shares the latest information about the brand new GEMS Alumni application Download the app now When students graduate from GEMS, they enter the big world of business, whether their paths lead them to university, employment, travel, a gap year or a combination of any of these. GEMS Alumni go…

Secret lives

A brief peek into our colleagues’ interests and hobbies outside school During the summer, my daughter and her husband, who are avid birders, convinced me to join them in birdwatching. My home in Kerala is surrounded by trees and a variety of birds. On my first day, it was a pleasure to observe five birds…

Creating communities of compassion

One teacher is taking Jewels of Kindness & Respect forward with plans to introduce a compassionate training programme for students “Compassionate integrity is one of the most important skills we need to instill in our students. Therefore, we need to nurture and grow this value. GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis (WSO) initiated this programme in…

In case you missed it

FORMER UN SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON BECOMES AN AMBASSADOR OF GWA The co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens will provide practical advice to GEMS World Academy students to demonstrate how they can make change Former secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon has teamed up with GEMS Education to become an ambassador…

Top 10 lunchbox swaps

Dietitian Jordana Smith shares 10 simple ways to transform your lunch into a healthier meal Full fat Greek yoghurt pot for Fruit yoghurt Greek yoghurt has a higher protein content so will make you feel fuller for longer. Add some chopped fresh fruit, nuts and seeds to the pot to mix in once you are…

Strengthen the building blocks

The purpose of Technology Disruption Office is to challenge the “status quo” by disrupting from within to create agile, scalable and future-ready technology capabilities for the education needs of today and tomorrow Atechnology disruption roadmap is being executed in a phased manner over the next three years – Fix the Fundamentals (FY18-19), Strengthen the Building…