Welcome To Our New Teachers
GEMS officially welcomed 1,800 new teachers at GEMS Awareness Day held at Dubai’s Atlantis, The Palm
GEMS Awareness Day is an invaluable platform for information exchange, and a unique opportunity for GEMS Education’s senior leadership team and educationalists to share their expertise and experience across all subjects and curricula.
“Welcome to GEMS Education. I would like to assure you that you have made an incredibly positive decision to join the world’s greatest education company. Built on the foundations of the greatest values, the greatest teachers and the greatest school leaders in the world,” said Sunny Varkey, GEMS Education Founder and Chairman. “On a world scale, GEMS Education continually aims to raise the standards of education and the teaching profession. By joining the GEMS family, your passion for this noble profession will transform you into a master-practitioner, and that, coupled with strong partnerships with parents, will enable the children you teach to succeed,” he added.
New teachers were also addressed by senior executives, including GEMS Education’s CEO, Dino Varkey; Global Chief Education Officer, Sir Christopher Stone; Chief People Officer, Rupert Brown; Vice President – Education, David Fitzgerald; Head of School Performance and Standards, Jodh Singh Dhesi; Head of Child Safeguarding and Child Protection, Sara Hedger; and Emily Ellington, Head of Inclusion.
The event’s range of focal areas included moral education, a top priority of the UAE government, in addition to Arabic and Islamic Studies with breakout sessions offering new teachers unique insights. These sessions included ‘Critical Thinking in the Arabic Classroom’ and ‘Optimising Input and Output in Arabic Language Learning’. Sessions also covered the UAE’s culture and history.
GEMS Teams Up With KPMG to Launch Cyber Day Programme
Building a culture of cyber security
across our schools
Pledging to reach out to more than 6,000 students across 27 GEMS schools, the Cyber Day Programme aimed to raise awareness about the importance of cyber security and online safety. More than 50 KPMG professionals volunteered to carry out training, hosting cyber security sessions for GEMS students as part of this initiative.
“Given that young people are spending more time online it’s increasingly important to raise awareness amongst students to ensure they behave safely and responsibly online. With GEMS, we are taking a positive step in this direction and we look forward to empowering more students with the tools necessary to stay cyber safe,” said Tim Wood, Head of Cyber Security, KPMG Lower Gulf.
According to a Children’s Society UK report, nearly half (44 per cent) of young people spend more than three hours per day on social media and almost one in 10 (9 per cent) use social media between midnight and 6am. The same study found that young people experiencing a mental health problem are more than three times likely to have been bullied online in
the last year.
“We believe the key to being safe in the digital world is not banning or restricting technology but to educate students, parents and staff about positive online behaviours…it’s about understanding the dangers and having access to information,” said Sara Hedger, Head of Safeguarding and Child Protection at GEMS Education.
International Fitness Star Visits Two GEMS Schools
As part of Dubai Fitness Challenge, GEMS Founders School (GFS) Al Barsha won a competition for international fitness coach, author and presenter of The Body Coach Joe Wicks to visit their school in October. GEMS Wellington Academy also secured a visit from the Instagram star. Wicks hosted an outdoor High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout with 2,000 students at WSO and 450 students at GFS – even the teachers got involved! GFS presented Wicks with a GEMS Jewels of Kindness and Respect camel.
GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis Leads the Way
The school is the first in the UAE to receive the Unified Champions Schools Award
WSO is the first school in the UAE to be awarded the Unified Champion Status by Special Olympics UAE. The Academy was recognised for its inclusive culture and for specific events such as the GEMS Determination Cup, hosted last Academic year, the British Special Olympics team visit and our involvement in the Special Olympics opening ceremony in Abu Dhabi last March.
A ceremony hosted by the academy, announcing the award, was attended by Minister of State for Youth and Special Olympics Chair, Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui; Education Ministry Assistant Undersecretary for welfare and Activities Sector, Her Excellency Dr Amna Al Dahak Al Shams; Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) Director General and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr Abdulla Al Karam; GEMS CEO Dino Varkey, WSO CEO and Principal, Kevin Loft and other dignitaries and guests from the UAE Special Olympics, various schools and organisations.
The ceremony also welcomed multisport athlete and winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, guest speaker Loretta Clairborne. A Unified Champion school is a community of acceptance and inclusion, benchmarked through active participation in three core pillars; Youth Leadership, Unified Sports and Whole School Engagement.
Congratulations to GEMS Wellington International School for being rated by British Schools Overseas (BSO) as outstanding following their recent inspection, further endorsing their DSIB Outstanding rating.
Leading Academic Appointed as Official Adviser
Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, is the new official adviser for GEMS
By appointing one of Britain’s leading contemporary historians, educationalists and political authors as an adviser, GEMS Education has given its students and educators an incredible opportunity to gain valuable insights from a leader. Seldon was the 13th Master of Wellington College in the UK for a decade. He will be helping GEMS schools to develop an innovative ecosystem by adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) in coordination with the University of Buckingham.
“We are delighted to work with Sir Anthony Seldon, who brings a wealth of experience from two of the UK’s leading colleges. With several student-led innovations, GEMS Education premium schools have set benchmarks for academic excellence. He shares our belief that every learner deserves an education that not only develops them academically, but also builds their character and well-being. We place significant emphasis on values-led education throughout our network of schools. Students at our schools, will be able to gain valuable insight from Sir Anthony,” said Sunny Varkey, Founder and Chairman, GEMS Education.
With a career spanning over three decades, Sir Anthony Seldon has played a crucial role in enabling thousands of students secure positions to Ivy League schools. Among his key roles is helping GEMS leverage the power of AI for educational services across its network. “I am pleased to have joined hands with GEMS, a highly-regarded choice for quality private education across the globe. The UAE is leading the way in providing education that supports well-being, one of my key enthusiasms, as well as academic success and GEMS is at the forefront.
The partnership with the University of Buckingham is aligned with the GEMS vision and innovative approach to learning, providing all students with authentic and innovative learning experiences that will foster the development of the 21st century relevant skills for the future job market,” said Sir Anthony Seldon.
Third lady in the UAE to be granted heavy
Suja Thankachen from The Millenium School has been granted the heavy bus driving license after studying for nine months. She is only the third lady in the UAE to accomplish this feat. Suja hails from a small town in Kerala in India called Kollam. Inspired by her relative who drove a heavy duty truck in India, it was was her childhood dream to drive buses and trucks. Suja’s dream today is to inspire many women to pursue their driving ambitions and become confident drivers. Her parents and her brother supported her and she is extremely grateful to everyone who helped her achieve this dream.