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The Millennium School, Al Qusais 1 – THE REVIEW

The Millennium School, Al Qusais 1 – THE REVIEW

by August 3, 2019

Updated January 2020 – The Millennium School Dubai KHDA 2019 and verdict 2019

As of 2020, the Millennium School is classified as a “Very Good” school with Outstanding features, a rating the school has held consecutively for three years – and following 6 years consistent annual scoring by the KHDA Inspectorate in the “Good” class of schools.

Founded in 2000, the Millennium School is an FS1 to Year 12 through school offering a CBSE Indian national curriculum educating Indian children from 4 to 17 years of age. The Millennium School is one of GEMS flagship Indian CBSE curriculum schools and differentiates itself in part on its claimed delivery of a “day-boarding school”, this on the basis, we believe, of its having enhanced extra and co-curricular programmes compared to standard day schools.

We view the school’s use of “day boarding” in this context and meaning as somewhat unhelpful and confusing to prospective parents. In an international context “day boarding schools” are traditional boarding schools that integrate day students within boarding life to a lesser or greater degree. At The Millennium School it is marketing speak for enhanced investment in holistic, whole child education.

The Millennium School is not a boarding school and has no boarders. Parents are advised to treat the concept, as used by The Millennium School, as a marketing tool to indicate it invests in more than a restrictively academic education for its students.

Outside this confusion, there is no question that the Millennium School is an extremely high performing Indian curriculum school.

Whilst described as “sufficient” by the KHDA inspectors, facilities at the Millennium School offer very significant breadth for a school operating at this value fee level. They include a fully digital, Wi-Fi equipped campus; science laboratories by phase and specialism including separate facilities for mathematics, physics, chemistry, food technology and biology; a dedicated robotics lab (which plays a central role in afternoon enrichment programmes); voice lab, laptop pools; three independent ICT labs; music rooms; dedicated dance and movement room; library with ICT and meeting areas, “rumpus room” for Kindergarten students; prayer rooms; Primary “Leaning Corridor” for breakout learning; performing arts centre and studios; school cafeteria; multiple shaded play areas and grounds; a medical centre; and a multi-use theatre and auditorium.

Sporting provision at the Millennium School includes an indoor sports hall; two basketball courts, Primary covered play and sports area; a tennis court, turfed football field and two swimming pools.


Don’t expect ‘bells and whistle’, but, this notwithstanding, the foundations are all in place for a very good level of educational provision.

The Millennium School operates a very successful House System, dividing children into one of four season-based houses on entering the school: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each house has a House Captain appointed annually with further appointments cascaded down to around 300 students who take on various leadership roles in school life.

The new School Principal, Ms. Ambika Gulati, took up the reins from Michael Guzder, in April 2017. Mr Guzder remains Eexecutive Principal of the Millennium School and GEMS Vice President of Indian Schools. Principal at Millennium for 15 years since 2001, he is one of GEMS most long-standing Principals and his appointment followed two decade’s experience at the CISCE curriculum Bishops School Pune, a school established in the 1860s to educate the sons of non-commissioned British Indian Army officers, latterly as its Head and Superintendent of Boarding. Ms Gulati moved from DPS Academy where she spent just over 1 year as Principal. This followed more than 15 years at the Sanskriti School and early career experience in banking. Ms Gulati is Cambridge University educated with a Masters in Economics.

KHDA Inspectors in 2018 portray a school operating at the top of its game. Particularly praise goes to the Millennium School for:

  • the high work ethic of students and their “passionate commitment” across the spectrum of educational opportunities at the school
  • the broad range of curricular and extra-curricular choices across science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • separate post-16 Science, commerce and humanity subject streams – a strength compared with many other Indian schools which limit senior school provision to business and science subjects only
  • outstanding levels of care, safety and attention to the welfare of students with “the well-being and personal development of students underpinning everything the school did to ensure students were success and enjoyment of their time at school”
  • exceptional support for students with special educational Needs and Disabilities [SEND] from across the spectrum including those identified as Gifted and Talented [G&T]
  • the inspiring empathy and compassion shown by all children across phases with those who have severe learning difficulties and disabilities

On the latter, the Millennium School l runs an extremely impressive “Best Buddies” programme which envisions a world where people with intellectual disabilities are so successfully integrated into our schools, our workplaces and our general communities that our current efforts and services will be unnecessary.” This sees children from various institutions including the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre, Manzil Centre for Challenged Individuals and SAATHI attending classes with children from the school each Wednesday.

The Millennium School divides education between five phases: KG (FS1-2); Junior School (Grades 1-4); Middle School (Grades 5-8); lower Secondary School (Grades 9-10); and upper secondary school (Grades 11-12).

KG provision is experiential-play based and gains an unqualified “Outstanding” rating from KHDA inspectors. Thereafter the school follows the international variant of the CBSE syllabus – which arguably has a more investigative, academic edge than the standard CBSE.

Junior School provision at the Millennium School sets up academic foundations, but combines with the ECA programme to provide a holistic edge to early stage learning. Subject provision has “stretch” including a choice of French; Malayam; or Hindi; English; Mathematics; Science; Environment; Science; UAE Social Studies; Arabic; Islamic Education; Life Skills; Performing Arts; Visual Arts; Computer Studies; and Physical Education [PE].

Middle School at the Millennium School builds capacity and pace in the same subjects, but with enhanced options for Extra Curricular Activity.

Lower secondary school focuses on preparing children for the All India Secondary School Examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi at the end of Grade 10. A further programme, Social Empowerment through Work and Action and research (SEWA), is introduced into the curriculum.

Senior Secondary School provision at the Millennium School, as above, differentiates itself from the majority of other Indian schools in providing three streams, rarely including a Humanities option as well as the usual Business and Science geared streams. The whole approach at this level is career focused, but also geared towards extending research capability for students seeking to progress to University. Subjects align with the Plus Two stage in the 10+2 pattern of education leading to the All India Senior School Certificate Examination.

Science stream subjects include Mathematics; Physical Education or Home Science and Fine Arts; Physics; Chemistry; and a choice of Biology, Computer Science or Economics.

Commerce Stream subject provision includes Mathematics; Physical Education or Home Science; Accountancy or Entrepreneurship; Business Studies; and Economics.

Finally, humanities provision includes Mathematics; Physical Education or Home Science; Art; Psychology; Entrepreneurship; and economics.

Somewhat archaically only boys can study Physical Education and only girls can study Home Science and Fine Arts, although this is balanced, for the school at least, by ECA and co-curricular weaving of Physical & Health Education, Art Education and Music into the broader curriculum.

English is taught as a core subject – impressively, unlike a significant number of Indian schools, English remains part of the curriculum rather than being dropped at post-16 phases.

Throughout the school, musical ability is nurtured. Specialised education, for example, is provided for students who opt for electronic keyboard and theory of music, this taught under the syllabus of Trinity College of Music, London.

Extra-curricular activities [ECAs] at the Millennium School include Aerobics; Athletics; Gymnastics; Karate; Volleyball; Basketball; Throwball; Cricket; Table Tennis; Tennis; Badminton; Swimming; Aerobics; Yoga; Art & Craft Club, Clay Modelling Club, Design Appreciation Club, “Computronix” Club; Robotics Club; Modern Dance Club; Science Club; Elocution; Quiz Club; Creative Writing Club; Debating Society; Dramatics; French Club; Instrumental Music; and a broad spectrum of community engagement programmes and school events.

The Millennium School’s “Afternoon Self Enhancement Programme” and dedicated “Prep Sessions” provide a focus for ECA enrichment and the foundations of the “day-boarding” feel the school aims for – see above.

Whilst scholarship provision is not directly advertised by the the Millennium School, GEMS has now committed to provide its support to the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Dubai Awqaf & Endowment vision by offering four percent of all school seats to students who are unable to pay fees. In a school the size of Millennium School this amounts to places for over 100 children and prospective parents facing financial difficulty are encouraged to approach the school at the time of their application.

The Millennium School bottom line? The verdict 2019

The Millennium School is a very high performing school that scores at the highest “Outstanding” level of KHDA assessment in 63% of its scoring areas covering the school as a whole and 50% of its core child-focused academic and whole child learning area categories. In all these areas it is achieving in the same class as the best schools in the emirates.

The only weaker “Acceptable” areas identified by the KHDA lie in Arabic language provision, a very difficult subject area for all Non-Arabic schools (and many Arabic schools too).

The elephant in the room – something has to give, is class size. These stretch to 34 children. This is simply too many and above KHDA expectation of 26 children. Teacher-student ratios run to 1:17. It’s unclear what GEMS can do about this given the need for the school, intense demand and the bigger picture that it is delivering at an outstanding level for children. But it does need to do something.….

Independent feedback to our sister site, has been uniformly positive and outstanding for teaching staff.

That the Millennium School is achieving all that it does within a value fee structure – and in a school that is wholly inclusive, and celebratory of children of all abilities and disabilities is a real achievement.

Highly recommended.

© 2020. All rights reserved.

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Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

Very Good with Outstanding features

2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Very Good with Outstanding features

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Very Good with Outstanding features

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

Very Good with outstanding features

Rating FS


Rating Primary / Elementary

Very Good

Rating Secondary / Middle

Very Good

Rating Post 16 / High

Very Good - Outstanding

Type of school

Private, for-profit

WSA Good School

Under consideration 2019-20

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 16,555
FS2: 16,555
YEAR 1: 19,185
YEAR 2: 19,185
YEAR 3: 20,352
YEAR 4: 20,352
YEAR 5: 21,910
YEAR 6: 21,910
YEAR 7: 21,910
YEAR 8: 21,910
YEAR 9: 22,884
YEAR 10: 22,884
YEAR 11: 24,345
YEAR 12: 24,345


Grades 1 - 10: International curriculum CBSE
Grades 11 - 12: Regular curriculum CBSE

External Exam Boards

Central Board of Secondary Education New Delhi


Yes (partial, mainly used as a way of fairly deciding who will gain admittance to the school given that demand outstrips supply)
(1) School conducts tests in English, Mathematics and languages, dependent on Grade of entrance.
(2) Clear and informative descriptions of, and guidelines for, the tests are provided transparently for prospective parents prior to application
(3) There are no Admissions test for KG1 but no places are usually available as they are taken by siblings
(4) School has an inclusive policy to Special Educational Needs and Disability admissions and 10% of the school population is identified with SEND

Waiting list

(1) KG1 admissions are generally not open to the public as places are filled by siblings
(2) Places across all other phases are limited to where existing children leave the school. Places are filled by merit on the basis of scoring on the admissions test.
(3) Admissions are not available in Grades 10, 11 or 12

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

2761 (2018)

Teacher to Student Ratio


Largest nationality teachers


Teacher turnover

8% (Very low)

Year opened



Al Qusais 1, Al Ghusais, Dubai

Student composition

Indian(largest and predominant nationality)
Special Educational Needs & Disabilities [SEND]: 60
Emirati: 0
Arabic: 0


Mixed, co-educational

School canteen



GEMS Education

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0) 4 298 8567

Web Address


Attainment Nur SEM


Attainment Pri SEM


Attainment Sec SEM


Attainment Post-16 SEM


Progress Nur SEM


Progress Pri SEM


Progress Sec SEM


Progress Post-16 SEM


Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

(1) No Arabic children attend the school

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

(1) No Arabic children attend the school

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

(1) No Arabic children attend the school

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)


Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)


Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)


Islamic St. Primary Results


Islamic St. Secondary Results


Islamic St. Post-16 Results








Quality of teaching


Student personal responsibility


Quality of curriculum


School Governance


SEN Provision



• Value fee structure
• Very high ROI
• Outstanding Special Educational Needs and Disability [SEND] provision
• Long-serving, high profile and visionary school Head
• Whole child curriculum
• Broad and impressive post-16 provision for its sector
• KHDA borderline Outstanding school punching well above its value fees
• GEMS new commitment to scholarships for children from financially disadvantaged families
• High levels of personal responsibility within a very caring school


• Some outdated division into male and female only subjects
• School oversubscribed with very limited places
• Some parents will prefer a greater mix of cultures than that provided by an all-Indian school
• Marketing as a day boarding school adds unnecessary confusion
• Class sizes are too big. Over-crowding is too strong a word, but GEMS needs to address this.

Our Rating
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Arts & Drama
SEND Provision
Scl Community
Scl Facilities

• A school that has genuine human impacts on its children, academically and whole child, that offers a fabulously rich education and context well beyond that which might reasonably be expected from its fees. Highly recommended.

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About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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