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GEMS Founders Mizhar School, Al Mizhar 1
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GEMS Founders Mizhar School, Al Mizhar 1

by Jon WestleyMay 29, 2017
Strengths

• The promise of outstanding ROI
• Value fees
• GEMS credibility and backing
• Minimisation of teething issues given the experience behind the school
• GEMS has set the bar high for parental expectation and it will want to deliver
• GEMS has a proven history of delivering exceptionally good schools at this price point
• Proven Founders' model

Weaknesses

• No swimming pool
• (Very) large school role
• The risks of buying on a promise
• Compromises are made at this fee level, even if they are not clearly visible
• The devil is in the detail of a school up and running over its first year
• Some staff turnover is inevitable with a school dependent on NQTs to balance the books and make the fees stack up
• Demand likely to outstrip supply

Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
50%
In my Top 5
25%
Shortlisted
25%
A possibility
0%
Pass
0%
No way
0%

GEMS Founders Mizhar is a new all-through British school which will launch in September 2018 and, after a phased opening, will offer an all-through education for children from FS through to IGCSE and A’Level. The school is being built ground-up to replicate the original Founders School Dubai model in Al Mizhar 1 – map below.

The school is the second in GEMS’ portfolio of Founders schools – the first, GEMS Founders Dubai, in Al Barsha, was the “most successful school opening in GEMS history in terms of enrollment”, opening FS to Year 8 provision with over 1800 students on ‘Day One’ in September 2016. Our review of the first school can be found here.

As above, we expect the new school to follow the model of GEMS Founders Dubai. We already know that the fee structure for GEMS Founders Mizhar almost mirrors that of the founding school – see below.

GRADE GEMS FOUNDERS DUBAI GEMS FOUNDERS MIZHAR
FS 1 22,000 23000
FS 2 25,000 26000
YEAR 1 27,000 28000
YEAR 2 27,000 28000
YEAR 3 27,000 28000
YEAR 4 27,000 28000
YEAR 5 27,000 28000
YEAR 6 27,000 28000
YEAR 7 29,000 30000
YEAR 8 29,000 30000
YEAR 9 29,000 30000
YEAR 10 32,000 33000
YEAR 11 32,000 33000
YEAR 12 34,000 35000
YEAR 13 34,000 35000

 

GEMS distinguishes its Founders’ schools in six core respects.

First, fees, as above, which are aimed to offer very high ROI and are positioned in the value-fees segment.

Second, a focus in both school ethos and academic study around “mindfulness”, broadly a teaching and broader school approach with a strong focus on experiential learning.

Third, an emphasis on languages to leverage the broad cultural base of the Founders’ schools (generally around 90 nationalities).

Fourth a concentration on academics over “bells and whistles” to keep fees low but the quality of educational provision high.

Fifth, investment in high calibre British leadership and school Principal.

Finally, the schools focus on delivering a British, pure National Curriculum for England focused education.

Feedback to both ourselves and our sister site, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, for the Dubai school has been positive.

Facilities at the original Founders School are indicative of what parents should expect from the new school. We anticipate facilities will be of a high standard and good breadth, but basic. They should include a fully digital campus supporting wi-fi access across the campus; individual medical facilities for boys and girls; libraries targeted to phases, a multi-purpose sports/theatre auditorium with full production facilities and basketball court; multiple arts and crafts/music rooms, a medical centre; ICT labs by phase; Canteen; FS play areas; a bookshop; fully-equipped science laboratories by Science; technology rooms; sports fields; and running tracks.

 

Parents should not expect a swimming pool

The school is likely to launch, as its founding school, in phases, with initial registration from FS to Year 8. Teaching staff will, if its follows the model, be drawn equally from India and Britain, the latter mostly Newly Qualified Teachers. NQTs are actually a positive, usually arriving fresh with the latest in teaching methodologies and best practice – and usually too huge amounts of energy and passion for teaching. Certainly this was the case with Founders Dubai.

Other insights we can garner from the original school are that the largest demographic are likely to be Indian children (around 25% of the founding role); Arabic, French and (ECA) Spanish are likely to make up the core language offer of the school; there will be comprehensive provision for Special Educational Needs (SEN); and the school will be of a large capacity in excess of 3,500 children.

 

SchoolsCompared.com Bottom Line?

Our sister site, WhichSchooolAdvisor.com, captures well the likely popularity of the new school.

“The sum of the maths is this: Mid Price fees  + Premium UK Curriculum – Expensive Facilities =  an immediate 1800+ students.”

This is a school that has yet to be formally publicised by GEMS but parents seeking an education for their child(ren) in 2018 at this price point should expect to register early to guarantee a place.

For further information:

  • Our Guide to choosing the Right School can be found here.
  • Our Guide to IGCSEs can be found here.
  • Our Guide to AS Levels can be found here.
  • Our Guide to A’ Levels can be found here.
  • Our Sixth Form Guide can be found here.

Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers from our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.

Request School Information

Details to consider
2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

First Inspection expected 2020-21

2016/17 Rating Primary / Elementary

First Inspection expected 2020-21

2016/17 Rating Secondary / Middle

First Inspection expected 2020-21

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

NA

Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 23,000
FS2: 26,000
YEAR 1: 28,000
YEAR 2: 28,000
YEAR 3: 28,000
YEAR 4: 28,000
YEAR 5: 28,000
YEAR 6: 28,000
YEAR 7: 30,000
YEAR 8: 30,000
YEAR 9: 30,000
YEAR 10: 33,000
YEAR 11: 33,000
YEAR 12: 35,000
YEAR 13: 35,000

Curriculum

National Curriculum for England (NCfE)
Notes
(1) EYFS
(2) IGCSE
(3) A' Level

External Exam Boards

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)
Pearson EDEXCEL

Number of A Levels offered

TBC
Notes
(1) Phased launch 2027-28

A Levels offered

TBC
Notes
(1) Phased launch 2027-28

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

23 (Projected based on Winchester Jebel Ali)

I/GCSEs offered

Phased launch 2018-19
Notes:
(1) Projected based on Winchester Jebel Ali:
English (Core)
Islamic Education / Personal Social Health & Citizenship Education [PSHCEE] (Core)
Mathematics (Core)
Arabic (Core)
Physical Education (Core)
Biology (Option)
Travel and Tourism (Option)
Economics (Option)
Business Studies (Option)
French (Option)
Geography (Option)
Chemistry (Option)
Sociology (Option)
Physical Education (Option)
Accounting (Option)
Child Development (Option)
Environmental Management (Option)
Physics (Option)
Art (Option)
Computer Science (Option)
Global Perspectives (Option)
Information & Communications Technology [ICT] (Option)
History (Option)

Selective

Fully inclusive

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

Capacity: 3500+
Launch capacity FS - Year 8: 2000 (estimate)

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:13 - 1:30
Notes:
(1) FS1 - 2: class size capped at 25 children
(2) Years 1 - 8: class size capped at 30 children

Largest nationality teachers

50% British / 50% Indian

Year opened

September 2018

Location

Al Mizhar 1, Dubai

Student composition

Indian (largest nationality) projected

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

Yes

Owner

GEMS Education

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0 )4 347 7770

Web Address
About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Acting Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and the International Editor of WhichSchoolAdvisor.com. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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