From Uncategorized

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…

Which school is leading the Alumni Programme ‘sign up’ chart this week?

With the end of the academic year in sight, schools are running their final laps to register 100% of their graduating cohorts on the GEMS Alumni platform. As of now, OOB has joined FPS and WSD at the top of the league table with all their graduating seniors registered on the platform. This week’s table is a testimony that anything is possible as some schools that are on the list today were nowhere close to the top just ten days ago: Though we are halfway to our target, it’s always the last push that takes the most effort. We are…

Demystifying Dyslexia

GEMS Founders School – Al Barsha has become the only school in Dubai to successfully train all its teachers in how to spot and support students with dyslexia. Helen Molloy, Assistant Principal – Research, Development and Innovation at GFS, tells us why this training was so valuable to staff and students Lewis Hamilton, Orlando Bloom, Agatha Christie and Richard Branson. All incredibly successful in their own fields, all have Dyslexia. Dyslexic minds see the world differently. They think creatively, laterally, often solving problems others can’t. But 80% are never spotted at school. So they never truly understand their full potential.…

OOB’s Annamma Lucy wins Cambridge University Press Education ‘2021 dedicated teacher award’

GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah – Boys teacher Annamma Lucy has been awarded the global dedicated teacher prize for 2021, seeing off worthy competition from six international finalists. Last month she was announced as a regional winner, much to her surprise and delight, but the announcement of being overall winner stunned the humble social studies teacher. On winning the award, she said: “I feel overwhelmed with joy after winning this prestigious award and it will motivate me for years to come. I truly believe that this success is because of ‘we’, not because of ‘me’.” The prize, from…

GEMS Education moves to become the first school group in the world to partner with safer social media platform GoBubble

This exciting new agreement not only aims to make the digital world safer for our students, but it will also involve GEMS teachers and students as they create exclusive UAE-focused content that will eventually be shared with schools in 70 countries worldwide. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), announced on UN Anti-Bullying Day on 4 May, marks the initial step in the first ever content partnership between GoBubble and a school group. GoBubbleSchool offers a safer alternative to mainstream social media by checking all content (chat, video, photos) before it appears on the platform. It ensures easy communication…

Are you top of the Alumni charts?

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for the alumni programme as you’ve set out to register your graduating cohort onto the platform. We’re pleased to say that we’ve seen the numbers continue to climb week after week, and we were all holding our breaths to see which school would come out on top. And the results are in … Congratulations to FPS and WSD, who within a short span have managed to secure their spot at the top of the table with 100% of their graduating seniors registered on the platform. We’re still a long way from reaching our…

How I … used ‘Escape Rooms’ to improve innovation at GEMS WSR

Harley Golder, Assistant Head of Primary at GEMS Westminster School Ras Al Khaimah, is using digital escape rooms to help his school think outside the box and deliver on teaching observation frameworks. Read on to find out more. Teaching observations have a long history of causing a high level of stress, anxiety and nerves among school teachers, and this is only amplified when the observation is online. In GEMS Westminster School Ras Al Khaimah’s most recent round of observations, the following two areas of the Ministry of Education Framework stood out as areas to improve upon: Teaching to develop critical thinking,…

Care to share

The world has been rocked by the news and tragic scenes of the overwhelming surge in COVID–19 cases in India, and with so many of our families, friends and colleagues directly or indirectly impacted it’s bound to take an emotional toll. If you’re experiencing difficulties, the GEMS Care to Share programme is here to help. Read on to find out how Care to Share can support you through an emotionally challenging time and learn how to support yourself and others during a crisis. GEMS Care to Share was created last year during the stay-at-home order to meet the wellbeing needs…

Helping hands: How this teacher juggles teaching with supporting the local community

Saisha Fatima is a mother of two, a dedicated teacher, a philanthropist and a committed member of a family business. Here she shares her experience of juggling her busy life and giving back to her community through the pandemic. Keeping an eye on the family business and staying on top of work certainly is challenging, especially with two small children. With family businesses the work hardly stops and the lines can get blurred, so finding a balance is a continuous challenge. Nevertheless, the upside is that we always work as a team, and that makes everything easier. I started teaching…

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…