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GEMS Vertus School, Al Waha, Dubailand
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GEMS Vertus School, Al Waha, Dubailand

by Jon WestleyMay 27, 2017
Strengths

• GEMS brand and reputation
• Mid-tier fees offering high ROI for a pure British all-through
• Dedicated Sixth Form
• Phased launch

Weaknesses

• Early days still for a considered view of eventual school provision and market.

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GEMS Vertus is a new British, English National Curriculum school in planning phase. The school will launch in September 2018 in Al Waha, Dubailand and will offer a pure, all-through UK curriculum and Sixth Form from EYFS to IGCSE and A’ Level. Map below:

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.

The school will offer a mixed, co-educational education and is expected to open in phases, initially to Year 6, although we are awaiting clarification on exact plans.

The defining feature of the school, however, at this stage, for us, is scale.

This is going to be a large school by any standards with a role at capacity of around 4,260 students.

Although final fee levels have yet to be confirmed, the provisional banding of the school, which has set KHDA/GEMS fees to fall in a range between 40,000 AED at FS phases and 55,000 AED at Sixth Form, is mid-tier and suggestive that GEMS is looking at scale to deliver “affordability” (relatively, of course).

GEMS Vertus is certainly not, on the basis of current planning at least, a Premium Plus, “bells and whistles” school. Obviously, however, it’s early days. Vertus is a new brand for GEMS and it will be very interesting to see how it develops the particular focus, ethos and positioning for the school. GEMS does tend to give a degree of autonomy to its Founding CEOs in developing these and we are awaiting confirmation on the name of the school’s Founding Head.

GEMS has promised “state of the art” facilities, however, these including:

  • Foundation Stage specialist learning areas
  • Foundation Stage indoor and outdoor play areas
  • A multi-sport games outdoor area
  • Full-sized football pitch
  • Dedicated Junior School multi-purpose Sports Hall
  • Dedicated Senior School multi-purpose Sport Hall
  • Technology rich classrooms
  • Art rooms by phase
  • ICT Labs by phase
  • Science Labs by subject and phase
  • Dedicated Junior and Senior School libraries
  • Specialist music rooms

Interestingly, missing from its advertised facilities is a reference to either swimming facilities or specialist Robotics Labs. This is again suggestive of a school that will be firmly targeted to be affordable with a focus on delivering core academics.”

GEMS has also confirmed the school will offer extensive ECA provision, although understandably it is too early for the detailed programme to be released. The same holds true of the breadth of IGCSE and A’ Level offer. We also have no clarification yet whether the school will offer a technical stream, whether BTEC or T Level – something we believe is critical for all British schools – and particularly for those schools, like GEMS Vertus, which are committed to fully academically inclusive school entry.

 

SchoolsCompared.com Bottom Line?

It is very difficult, at this early stage, to provide any more of a steer on the likely positioning of GEMS Vertus. However, there are a number of points to draw together for prospective parents seeking a Dubailand education in 2018.

First, GEMS is an organisation that almost invariably delivers for children. There are always trade-offs in “bells and whistles”, breadth of subject offer and the nationality of faculty dependent on the fee levels – but, within the context of the segment in which its schools are positioned, with very few exceptions, it is usually bankable to do what it says it will do.

Second, a large school like Vertus will not fit the needs of all children. However, it is likely that the economies of scale such a large capacity role offers, will result in a much higher standard of facility provision and faculty investment than that available from smaller schools operating at this level of comparative frees.

Third, GEMS now commit to all parents and families of children at its schools that “no child will be left behind or held back from their potential” and “no effort will be too great to protect, inform and prepare every child for the future.”

These are quite some commitments, and we look forward to exploring how they will be met. Details… to follow.

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

NA
Notes:
(1) KHDA First Inspection due 2019-20
(2) New GEMS school in planning phase

2016/17 Rating Primary / Elementary

NA
Notes:
(1) KHDA First Inspection due 2019-20
(2) New GEMS school in planning phase

2016/17 Rating Secondary / Middle

NA
Notes:
(1) KHDA First Inspection due 2019-20
(2) New GEMS school in planning phase

2016/17 Post 16 / High

NA
Notes:
(1) KHDA First Inspection due 2019-20
(2) New GEMS school in planning phase

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

NA

Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 40,000
FS2: 40,000
YEAR 1: 45,000
YEAR 2: 45,000
YEAR 3: 45,000
YEAR 4: 45,000
YEAR 5: 45,000
YEAR 6: 45,000
YEAR 7: 50,000
YEAR 8: 50,000
YEAR 9: 50,000
YEAR 10: 50,000
YEAR 11: 50,000
YEAR 12: 50,000
YEAR 13: 50,000
Note:
(1) These fees are provisional and reflect the basic structure/positioning of the school by GEMS/KHDA
(2) Founding discounts have not been published

Curriculum

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

External Exam Boards

Cambridge

A Levels offered

TBC

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

TBC

I/GCSEs offered

TBC

Selective

Inclusive

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

Capacity: 4,260

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:12 - 1:30

Largest nationality teachers

TBC

Teacher turnover

NA

Year opened

September 2018

Location

Al Waha, Dubai

Student composition

TBC (projected Indian)

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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