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GEMS NEW MILLENNIUM SCHOOL, AL KHAIL – THE REVIEW EXCLUSIVE
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Review

GEMS NEW MILLENNIUM SCHOOL, AL KHAIL – THE REVIEW EXCLUSIVE

by January 14, 2020

“GEMS New Millennium School has been established to educate the next generation of leaders.

Our programme extends through core academics to music, sports, arts and computing.  To further nurture the talent of our students, we offer 30 different clubs during the extended day programme – and without any extra charges.

We welcome students from more than 37 different nationalities.

Change my environment, activate my potential.’

This saying, I believe, holds true for any student who joins us at GEMS New Millennium School.

We deliver an outstanding education for every child.”

Fatima Martin, Principal and CEO, GEMS New Millennium School

 

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GEMS_INARTICLE

“Relationships thrive in this vibrant school. School leadership at GEMS New Millennium School is strong and visionary.”

Comments by Inspectors. KHDA School Inspection. GEMS New Millennium School. 2019.

 

“Ever since I joined this amazing school, it has helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses.

At GEMS New Millennium,  I have, without a doubt, become the better version of myself.

In my academics, in sports, extra-curricula’s and leadership traits I am so grateful  to the whole team here who have encourage all of us to excel.”

Ameesha Gireesh, Grade 12, GEMS New Millennium School 

 

Background and location

GEMS New Millennium School is an enriched CBSE Indian curriculum school Indian based on a circa 6 acre site located at the edge of the Dubai Hills development. The school provides near doorstep access for parents in Dubai Hills and Mohammed Bin Rashid City – although in practice the school attracts families from across Dubai. GEMS New Millennium School is a short drive from the Al Khail Residential Community, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Barsha Residential Areas, Discovery Gardens, Bur Dubai/Karama and developments around areas of both the Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall.

Map showing the location of and directions to GEMS Millennium School in Dubai

A relatively new school (GEMS New Millennium opened in 2013), it has swiftly secured a “Very Good School with Outstanding features” rating from the Dubai Inspectorate of Schools. Performance at KG phase is a stand-out feature of the school and delivery for children here is of an extremely high standard. The first Grade 12 students will graduate from GEMS New Millennium School in March 2020.

The school remains the only CBSE school in Dubai to have secured a Good rating from the KHDA after only its first inspection.

 

Unique Features

Photograph of male and female students engaged in LEGO Robotics as part of the technology curriculum and enhanced ECA Programme at GEMS New Millennium School in Dubai

GEMS New Millennium Schools sets itself apart in four key ways:

  • It delivers a complete, English National Curriculum based Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for children at KG. This is recognised as the benchmark preparatory curriculum to establish the foundations for later learning in CBSE schools;
  • The school’s unique Extended Day programme (PACT) offers the type and quality of “Day Boarding” ECA programmes you naturally associate with premium British public schooling. The costs for this are included within the fees. More on this below.
  • Inclusion in academics, leadership, the Performing Arts and Sport is meaningful, inspiring and impressive. This is a school in which every child is educated to excel – and given the opportunity to lead in multiple aspect of school life. There is no “in crowd” and “outsiders” here. There are no forgotten children. Every child matters – and is given the responsibility and credit to make this real. Around 40% of students at GEMS New Millennium School have represented the school in one or more sports to Grade 12. This is a very significant achievement and puts many other schools to shame. This is not a school that restricts teams to an elite group of sporting students, in doing so these schools creating an underclass of those who do not ever make the grade in sport to represent their school. This is a school in which there is a very strong commitment to ensuring that every child is given the opportunity to shine and feel valued. All Grade 11 students have leadership roles in the school. All children lead. All children have the opportunity to represent their school in at least one way.
  • Pioneering, innovative and creative curriculum investment is hugely evident here. This is not an average CBSE school. The curriculum evolves to meet the needs of students. GEMS is committed here to doing as much as is needed by students and more, rather than meeting the basics of the CBSE. A powerful example of this is the establishment of Artificial
    Intelligence as a sixth optional subject in Grade 9 – a development that required extensive discussion with the CBSE. Lesser schools would not even have thought of doing this – let alone going the extra mile to make it happen.

 

Day Boarding (PACT)

We are not a fan of acronyms. We think that the school should remove the PACT acronym entirely as it just confuses. Bottom line here is that Day Boarding translates into dividing the school day into two distinct programmes:

  • 7:30AM to 1:30PM – English National Curriculum KG / CBSE curriculum schooling for KG2 – 12 students (7:30AM to 11:30AM for Pre-KG to KG1 April to June and 7:30AM to 1:30PM September to March)
  • 1:30PM to 3:30PM – Day Boarding programme offering an enhanced ECA programme – free of cost – across more than 50 areas of whole child development

95% of students remain at school for day Boarding.

Five core areas are included in this afternoon whole child development programme:

  • Prep (Homework) & remedial/catch-up programmes to ensure no child is left behind academically
  • ECAs in Sport
  • ECAs in the Performing and Visual Arts
  • ECAs in Technology
  • ECAs in “Value-add” – see below

 

Performing & Visual Arts Sport
Dance (Indian/Western)

Stringed instruments

Art

Public speaking

Ballet

Choir

Oil painting

Keyboard

Drums

Vocal (Indian/Western)

Music

 

Swimming

Skating

Table tennis

Lawn tennis

Football

Cricket

Basketball

Athletics

Badminton

Karate

Chess

Judo

Technology Value Add
Robotics

Graphic Design

CISCO

 

Financial Literacy

Global Futures

“Awecademy” (on-line learning)

 

The current ECA programme can be found below:

Day Boarding at GEMS New Milennium School Dubai_1_Images-min

 

A key driver of the school is to ensure that when children return home at 3:30PM, they do so to a home life where school is left behind.

There are far too many other activities to list – and the activities seem to multiply. Most recently, for example, GEMS New Millennium Academy has introduced TEDx.

From career guidance programmes, IIT JEE coaching, painting, chess and robotics to swimming, football, basketball, roller skating and badminton it is hard to find anything missing. Music classes are held on campus and students may study for formal qualifications with the Trinity School of Music.

 

Other features and achievements

  • Independent award centre (IAC) for the Duke of Edinburgh international award.
  • School trip programme has included visits to the Wagah Border for the Indian Republic Day Parade, a Ganga River Expedition, the football finals in Barcelona and a Thai-MUN trip.
  • The Kindergarten at NMS is ranked in the top 9 of the 185 private schools in Dubai.
  • Use of Emilio Regio method of learning in Early Years.
  • Students are introduced to Coding in KG2.
  • Consistent support through catch-up lessons and bridging programs (see above).
  • Career Guidance from Grade 8 .
  • Free subscriptions for students for e-learning apps including ‘iExcel’ for Mathematics and ‘Gizmos’ to provide students with a virtual lab experience.
  • Broad Curriculum, with 10 subject options in Secondary- English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Psychology, Business Studies, Economics, Accountancy, Mass Media and Physical Education.
  • External speaker programme “The Knowledge Hour” providing a 1 hour seminar by industry experts, every term.
  • Internship opportunities for senior students.
  • Global Futures and “Awecademy” on-line learning (see above).

 

Facilities

Photograph of child swiming at GEMS New Millennium School in Dubai

The quality and breadth of facilities we rate outstanding at this fee point. They include:

  • Swimming Pool
  • Multi-Sport Games Area / Hall
  • Indoor and Outdoor KG Play Areas
  • Shaded Play Area
  • Soccer Field
  • Basket Ball Court
  • Tennis Court
  • Rooftop Play Area
  • Cricket Pitches
  • SEND: well-equipped Achievement Centre and Skills Development Room, visiting external specialists
  • Science Laboratories for Biology, Physics, and Chemistry
  • Mathematics Lab
  • Robotics Lab/Maker Space
  • Black Box Drama studio
  • Dance Studios
  • Music Technology suite
  • Recording Studio

  • ICT Suite – MAC Lab
  • Arts & Creative Crafts Studio
  • Specialist Teaching/Language Rooms
  • 500 seat Auditorium
  • Shaded play areas
  • Rooftop play areas
  • 2 Medical Clinics
  • Cafeteria

 

School Leadership

Ms. Fatima Martin, Principal, GEMS New Millennium School, has been an educationalist in the Middle East for some 25 years, with 12 years invested directly leading schools in Dubai.  A chemist by training, her love for literature and administration led her to earn a Master’s degree in both these fields.

Ms Martin began her career with Merryland International School in the UAE in 1995 teaching Chemistry and Physics. This was followed by postings at the Arab Unity School-Dubai (as Head of Secondary), Al Diyafah School Dubai and Al Ameen Private School Dubai, in both schools as Principal.

Ms Martin joined GEMS Education in 2013 with the opening of GEMS New Millennium School since 2013.

During our school visit we noted her considerable rapport with students, her genuine belief in the capacity of GEMS New Millennium to provide an outstanding education and her ambition for students.

 

2020 Subject Options – Year 11

ENGLISH CORE (301) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
MATHEMATICS (041) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
PHYSICS (042) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
CHEMISTRY (043) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
BIOLOGY (044) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
COMPUTER SCIENCE NEW (083) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
ACCOUNTANCY (055) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
BUSINESS STUDIES (054) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
ECONOMICS (030) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
PSYCHOLOGY (037) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
POLITICAL SCIENCE  (028) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
SOCIOLOGY (039) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
ENGG. GRAPHICS (046) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
PHYSICAL EDUCATION  (048) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
PAINTING (049) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
ODISSI  DANCE  (059) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
HOME SCIENCE (064) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
INFORMATICS PRAC. (NEW) (065) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
ENTREPRENEURSHIP (066) ACADEMIC SUBJECTS
TOURISM (806) SKILL SUBJECTS
MARKETING  (812) SKILL SUBJECTS
MEDIA  (821) SKILL SUBJECTS
MASS MEDIA STUDIES (835) SKILL SUBJECTS

 

Our view on core strengths of GEMS New Millennium School

In our view, GEMS New Millennium School offers stand-out performance in the following key areas:

  • Very high levels of attainment in English across every phase
  • Socially responsible, well rounded students who are confident and articulate. Students have a strong sense of personal and social responsibility with reasoned understanding of global issues.
  • Standout teaching at KG phase
  • Highly effective school leadership
  • Happy school dynamics
  • Outstanding levels of community engagement
  • Outstanding school communication with parents
  • Exceptional student attainment against recognised benchmarks
  • Innovation and creativity is deeply embedded within the curriculum and school life
  • Excellent programmes for Gifted and Talented students
  • High levels of on-going investment

 

Bottom line? The SchoolsCompared.com Verdict on GEMS New Millennium School 2020

GEMS New Millennium School is an interesting school to review. This is a school which has established itself as a very high performing school extremely quickly. We rate school leadership here as outstanding. For many parents, it is the extensive, very high quality extended ECA enrichment programme – one that comes at absolutely no extra cost, that will be the most immediate draw. At other schools you would expect to pay very dearly indeed for this. At GEMS, the concept of Day Boarding to describe this approach – one that seeks to replicate the sort of enrichment programmes you typically only find at the most expensive British public schools, is actually meaningful. Very impressive.

But the bigger picture for us here goes much deeper. GEMS New Millennium School has, and by a long way, the most powerfully implemented inclusion programme we have seen in a school in the UAE. Many schools talk the talk with claims to be inclusive. That is usually true at the point a child enters a school. But in other schools it is very easy to see how children get lost in, or fall through, the gaps as teachers naturally concentrate on the very brightest, or the most talented athletes, or, conversely, those students who struggle most and need dedicated and specialised help.

At GEMS New Millennium School, the commitment to ensure every child is successful runs very deep – and consistently. Around 40% of students represent the school in teams in Sport – and every single child holds leadership positions in the school at Grade 11. Few schools come anywhere near this. It’s both an inspiring achievement here – and one that matters. Students here are confident and talented in equal measure – no one is left behind. When Ms Fatima Martin, Principal, GEMS New Millennium School, describes it as a school to educate the leaders of tomorrow she means it – every single student, male and female, at the school is being educated to be a leader and not just an elite few as in other schools.

Of course, this is a school that is relatively early in its development. It is not quite yet an Outstanding one across the board. Weaknesses are, in the majority, technical and process based. Teaching faculty need time to settle and embed their skills. Systems need fine tuning to properly evaluate child progress and so be able to respond to child needs at the speed we see in the very best schools.  There are the inevitable struggles with the Arabic language and Arabic subjects more broadly. At the very practical level, paring and drop-offs at the school have been accurately described by parents as a “nightmare”, but these are continuously being addressed within the constraints of the school’s location. But these issues pretty much come with the territory in new schools – and should in no way impair views on the overall fabulous achievement here.

This is a genuinely outstanding school in the making. GEMS is investing here – and it shows.

GEMS New Millennium School will, eventually, be a much larger school with a capacity that will see it more than doubling its student role. Generally that would be a worry – and particularly so because the communication with parents here, care of children and community dynamics are so exceptional. GEMS should not want to do anything to upset the balance it has found. Hopefully the strengths that have been established here in the school’s founding will not do anything to dilute the (extremely) successful formula it delivers for students currently.

Inspiring, impressive and groundbreaking in equal measure, GEMS New Millennium is a very special school – and GEMS Education, school leadership, teaching faculty – and more importantly, its students, should be exceptionally proud of what they have achieved together.

The publication of our review has fallen on the same day that GEMS New Millennium School learns that it has secured its first “Very Good with Outstanding features” rating from the KHDA. It could not be more deserved.

Very highly recommended.

© SchoolsCompared.com 2020. All rights reserved.

Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

2018/19 Good with Very Good and Outstanding features
2019-20: Very Good with Outstanding features

2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Good with Very Good and Outstanding features

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Good with Very Good and Outstanding features

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

Good with Very Good features

Rating FS

Very Good

Rating Primary / Elementary

Good

Rating Secondary / Middle

Good

Rating Post 16 / High

Good

Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

Pre-KG: 18,188
KG1: 21,397
KG2: 21,397
Grade 1: 21,397
Grade 2: 21,397
Grade 3: 23,536
Grade 4: 23,536
Grade 5: 28,886
Grade 6: 28,886
Grade 7: 28,886
Grade 8: 28,886
Grade 9: 29,955
Grade 10: 29,955
Grade 11: 31,025
Grade 12: 31,025

Curriculum

CBSE

External Exam Boards

CBSE

Selective

No, fully inclusive

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

1450 (January 2020)
Notes:
(1) Capacity: 3380
(2) Indian: 75%
(3) 38 other nationalities: 25%

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:17

Largest nationality teachers

Indian

Teacher turnover

16%

Year opened

2013

Location

Al Khail

Student composition

Indian (largest nationality)
Notes:
(1) 38 plus natonalities

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

Yes

Owner

GEMS Education

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0)4 445 2900.

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

80%

Attainment Pri SEM

66.6%

Attainment Sec SEM

80%

Attainment Post-16 SEM

73.3%

Progress Nur SEM

80%

Progress Pri SEM

73.3%

Progress Sec SEM

80%

Progress Post-16 SEM

73.3%

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

40%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

40%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

40%

Islamic St. Primary Results

50%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

50%

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

60%

Leadership

80%

Community

100%

Facilities

100%

Quality of teaching

65%

Student personal responsibility

100%

Quality of curriculum

80%

School Governance

80%

SEN Provision

60%

Strengths

• Outstanding school leadership
• Very Good with Outstanding features KHDA accreditation.
• Significant school investment.
• One of the most inclusive schools in the UAE.
• Outstanding Day Boarding model of education providing exceptional enrichment programmes within the school fees.
• Developing, pioneering curriculum.
• Happy school dynamics.
• Powerful relationships with parents founded on outstanding levels of communication and investment in children.

Weaknesses

• Parking and access remain difficult, although much improved.
• We would like to see an increase in the number of teachers to lower the teacher:student ratio.

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Academic
A-
B
Value
A
A
ExtraCurricula
A+
A
Languages
A-
B+
Sports
A-
A
Arts & Drama
A-
A
Teaching
B+
B+
Communications
A+
A+
Warmth
A+
A-
Differentiation
A+
A
SEND Provision
A-
A+
Scl Community
A+
A+
Scl Facilities
A
A
Opportunities

• Fabulous, hugely impressive school forging a new way of delivering a CBSE education deeply founded on a care for the whole child and enriching their education. Highly recommended.

A-
Our Rating
A-
User Rating
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About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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