Staff Stanzas

Last month, GEMS Education launched a campaign for World Poetry Day inviting our students to share their creative works about the UAE and the Mission to Mars. Although the campaign was for students, these two inspired GEMSsters were inspired to pen a poem too.  Hope Probe – A Poem of Appreciation By Raed Ibrahim Taleb, Middle School English Teacher, Al Khaleej National School For the love of humanity, and for the love of good, A leader’s vision, developed and firmly stood, For the love of hope, and for the love of space, For the future ahead, a one full of…

Ramadan Stories: Meet the teacher walking 15km every day during Ramadan

PE teacher Ian Galas at GEMS Royal Dubai School was so inspired by the discipline and commitment of Ramadan, that he decided to honour the season by walking 15km every day. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing that comes into my mind is to thank God for the blessing of a new day. I also ask myself every day – what can I do today to help others and make them happy? I do not have many material things to give but I have plenty of patience, determination, commitment, happiness and drive to inspire others. When…

How to…support students when they are fasting

Rima Wehbi, Head of Arabic B – Primary, at GEMS Metropole School, shares her tips on supporting students and colleagues during the month of fasting.  Ramadan presents an opportunity for renewal, charity and spiritual cleansing. For many, it can also be a difficult month to get through. For Muslim students, Ramadan is already always a month when life is different, especially now that some are spending the school day online without eating or drinking. To help your students stay engaged and alert, consider these simple pointers: Revisit deadlines and screen time and be mindful when scheduling assignments, deadlines and video calls. Staring at a screen all day…

OOB star Annamma Lucy wins regional ‘Dedicated Teacher’ award

And with your help, we can make her the global winner! Annamma Lucy, Social Studies Teacher at GEMS Our Own English High School – Sharjah Boys (OOB), has won the ‘2021 Dedicated Teacher Awards’ by Cambridge University Press for the Middle East and North Africa region. This prestigious award recognises teachers from around the world that have gone the extra mile in providing care and support for their students, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Annamma is one of only six winners of the newly-launched regional categories of the global award, chosen from a record-breaking 13,000 nominations from…

OIS turns 30

GEMS Our Own Indian School welcomes back its Founding Principal and first Head Boy and Head Girl to celebrates its 30th anniversary Allow us to take you back to a time when Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves was in every cinema and its soundtrack, Everything I do by Bryan Adams, was topping the charts globally (it will be in your head all day now… Sorry!), the Gulf War came to an end, and apartheid was dismantled in South Africa. The year is 1991, and in that same year GEMS Our Own Indian School in Dubai, which was known…

Three reasons why your graduating seniors need to join our Alumni Programme

The programme isn’t just about the GEMS Alumni app – it’s a gateway to future prospects, explains GEMS Alumni Relations Coordinator Tara Haddad The GEMS Alumni Programme embodies our lifelong commitment to our students. Its aim is to connect and support the global community of GEMS alumni. With a legacy of over 60 years in the Middle East, GEMS Education’s alumni include CEOs, celebrities, scientists who are driving humanity forward, and writers who are moving the world with their words. Whatever path our students choose after school, and wherever they may be in the world, the programme will enable them…

New virtual networking events for alumni

GEMS Alumni are organising a series of new events this month hosted by former GEMS Students. The events are an opportunity for graduating students and alumni to network, learn, and share their knowledge. Unfortunately, staff can’t attend the events, but please do spread the word to your graduating students and school alumni network.   The role of new technologies in designWednesday 21 April, 5pm This World Creativity and Innovation day, join GEMS Dubai American Academy alumna (2008), Patricia de Guzman for our fourth GEMS Alumni Webinar on the role of new technologies in design. Patricia works with Dubai Design Academy…

Can features of remote learning help our Students of Determination now we’re back in school?

Emily Ellington, Head of Inclusion, examines what schools have learned from Covid’s impact on teaching and asks what can we expect schools to bring back to on-site education for the benefit of Students of Determination?   Students of Determination are often plagued by low expectations and so it was perhaps unsurprising that much of the narrative surrounding the transition to remote-learning feared the worse for this cohort of students. Whilst many concerns were valid and almost all were well-meaning, yet again these students have proved people wrong. A testament to their title as the ‘determined ones’, a significant proportion of Students…

How social media helped me get in shape

It’s been just over a year since the UAE went into its first lock down, and for many of us, we’re looking back and reflecting on how things have changed in a year. For Dhivya Bhola, French teacher at GEMS Modern Academy, she embarked on a fitness journey that has changed her body, and her mind. When I look back at the last year, it taught me to be resilient, patient, but most importantly to stay healthy. I start my day at 4.30am. By the end of the day I used to feel tired and exhausted. I’d make my New…

GEMS teachers referee historic rugby match between the UAE and Israel

When Israel and the UAE took to the field on Friday 19 March for a rugby match, the scoreline was immaterial as the event marked a much more auspicious moment in history. This was a ground-breaking point in relationships between the two nations as it was the first time they had met in the sport. The friendly match was set up to extend the hands of friendship as the UAE and Israel normalise ties and tensions have thawed since a peaceful pact in August last year. And the men in the middle of the matches were two GEMS maths teachers.…

GEMS remembers the remarkable life of Madam Mariamma Varkey

On Wednesday March 31 2021, Madam Mariamma Varkey sadly passed away. Our Chairman, Sunny Varkey, and his family lost a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. For so many alumni, teachers past and present, they lost a leading light in education and pioneering mentor. The virtual funeral service held on Monday 5 April, was watched live by thousands, and has since received over 20,000 views online.  Here, three staff members share their special memories of the visionary leader, mother and teacher, fondly known as ‘Ammachi’ who touched the lives of so many people and helped make GEMS Education what is today. Asha…

Ramadan: More than fasting

Ramadan, is the month of fasting, right? But what if you can’t fast? Here, Alex Gabriel, Year 4 teacher at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, shares how for him and his family the observance of Ramadan goes beyond than fasting. Asalamu alaikum and Ramadan Mubarak! When I converted to Islam in 2014, whilst teaching in Egypt, I was looking forward to taking part in my very first Ramadan. As a new member of the faith I was keen to fully observe the fast, but I discovered that I could not take part in the fasting due to my having…

The Principals’ reading list

Looking for some literary inspiration? We asked some of our principals what books they’d recommend. Teresa Varman, Principal/CEO, GEMS Millennium School – SharjahRecommended book: The Power of Moments (Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact) by Chip and Dan Heath “I enjoy the Heath brothers’ writing style. I like the way they weave stories in and out of what they are trying to communicate. One of these stories, ‘Made to Stick’ which focused on why some ideas stick while most are quickly forgotten, was particularly brilliant and engaging. The focus is on the power of ‘moments’ (read: experiences) to raise one’s brand…

GEMS staff get 10% staff discount on professional courses at British University in Dubai

GEMS Staff and their families can now get a 10% discount on selected professional courses at the British University in Dubai.The university, based in Academic City, offers a vast range of courses and qualifications from risk management to Certified Design and writing reports.The exclusive offer gives GEMS staff and families discount on 30 courses, with 15% off the Digital Marketing training, and 10% off all other courses. Full list of courses on offer to GEMS staff and families at BUiD Certified Water Efficiency Professional (CWEP) Construction Law and Arbitration – CLDR Certified Innovation Professional – CInP Certified Design Thinking Professional Certified Innovation Strategist – CInS Certified Chief…

KGS teacher Nisha Mohsin tops UAE CENTA scores

The Kindergarten Starters School has topped the scoreboard for UAE schools participating in the Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA) Teaching Professional’s Olympiad (TPO) as one of only 10 schools worldwide to register seven finalists.  CENTA’s teaching practice competition attracted around 25,000 individual entrants from all over the world, of which 500 were shortlisted as finalists on March 5, 2021. The organisation aims to elevate the teaching profession by assessing and certifying competencies, connecting teachers to great opportunities and supporting their professional development. Sixty-six teachers from KGS participated in the competition, and Nisha Mohsin, a Middle School English teacher at KGS,…