By Benita Adesuyan

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…

How to plant a legacy: Asha Alexander on putting climate change on the curriculum

Asha Alexander, Principal/CEO at GEMS Legacy School is a true pioneer for sustainability education and climate literacy. Having led her school to be recognised as the first in the world to have a climate literate teacher in every class, she has recently been recognised as a One UN Climate Change Learning (UN CC:Learn) Partnership champion, and her inspirational story has been published on the UNCC website. Furthermore, last month Asha was selected to speak at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development where she was the only school principal invited to speak. Here, Asha shares with the GEMS…

Top of the pods

Listen up GEMSters, podcasts are booming in the Middle East! If your colleague has their earphones in, there’s a good chance that they’re listening to a podcast. According to 2020 data from Talkwalker social media analysts, there are 1.3 million regular podcast listeners in the UAE, and 91% of regular podcast listeners in the UAE trust podcasts more than other traditional forms of media. Producing a podcast is relatively quick and low-tech, if you have a smartphone you can get started. And since the start of the pandemic more GEMSters have been jumping on board the trend, and using the…

Three teachers, 160 kilometres, one mission

Meet the teachers at WSF who are cycling from ‘Coast to Corporate’ in a bid to raise AED10,000 toward Covid-19 relief in India GEMS Winchester School Fujairah (WSF) Vice Principal Emmanuel Keteku, Head of Secondary James McAleese, and Head of Arabic and Islamic Asif Khan are donning their Lycra shorts and helmets for a gruelling cycle challenge to help raise funds for Covid relief in India. The three WSF colleagues are fans of the sport and, inspired by our CEO’s message regarding Covid in India, they decided to make their kilometres truly count. “We have been riding together as a…

Glorious grandparenting

Michael Guzder, Vice President Education – at GEMS Education has a new job title – Granddad! Here he shares the joys of holding ‘your baby’s baby’ and why he’s still waiting for the rest of the family to admit the baby looks like him. They say that nothing prepares you for the day you become a parent – it is just an amazing, life-changing experience. Then the kids grow up, find a partner, take wing, and fly the nest. My wife and I are now proud, doting grandparents – this happened a little over two months ago – and if…

How I … save time marking by using personalised video feedback

Recording a video for every student? How can that possibly save time? Well, Penny Butterworth, Head of English at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, has an innovative solution for giving personalised feedback that better enables students to learn asynchronously. Read on to find out how. Do your students jump straight to the grade at the end of their work and not read their feedback? Do you deliver whole-class feedback sessions, frequently admitting “I know some of you did this really well”, or “this doesn’t apply to all of you”? Well, that was definitely me, and using pre-recorded videos has completely redefined how…