Jumeirah College, Al Safa – The Review
• Outstanding, visionary College leadership
• Focused, ‘whole child’ holistic educational approach
• Tier 1 academic attainment
• Outstanding KHDA personal development scoring
• Developing alumni network
• Courageous and transparent parental engagement, prospective and existing
• Passionate, committed, professional and highly effective teaching
• Tier 1 facilities
• Best-in-class subject choice at A Level
• High fees – though high value return
• Relatively weak Arabic subject area provision
Updated July 2017 – Jumeirah College 2017-18 fees and Sixth Form
“Our students’ success cannot be defined by qualifications alone.”
Simon O’Connor, Principal and CEO – Jumeirah College
GEMS Jumeirah College, founded in 1999, sets itself apart with an holistic, whole-child focused approach to the English National Curriculum. The school, under its current principal, Simon O’Connor, has forged a reputation for the outstanding personal development of its students, this recognised in class-best KHDA scoring for the College’s whole child provision.
College Principal since July 2015, Mr O’Connor, completed his professional PCGE training at Cambridge and forged a reputation within the UK education system for skills in student assessment, school development, Academy conversion and curriculum design.
According to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, he has a strong presence at the College. Jumeirah College is currently the only GEMS institution to publish examination performance in full, uniquely in GEMS enabling existing and prospective parents the ability to properly benchmark attainment. A Principal proud of enough to “shout” about the attainment of his student’s is recommendation in itself and scores Jumeirah College highly in our transparency rating.Jumeirah College Examination Results 2016
Facilities are good, including video conferencing room suite; communication and resource centre; design and technology centres; a drama studio with spring floors for dance; extensive library, excellent music suites (with adjacent) practice rooms; dedicated art room; science laboratories; indoor/outdoor bistro; multi-purpose gymnasium; swimming pool; tennis courts; netball courts; medical centre; grass playing fields and recreational areas. The school’s focus is very much on creating an environment fit for each student, whatever their gift.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com records extremely positive feedback from parents on its whole child approach but inevitably some parents also want even more attainment academically. The College, however, despite scoring academically above UK benchmarks and within the top tier of UAE exam attainment, is resolutely not a hot house school, and refuses to be one. Nor is it academically selective.
A graduating class of well-adjusted, happy men and women, armed with a network of peers and friendships that will stand the test of time, with the examination grades to attend their University (or performing arts college) of choice, is the College’s bigger picture focus. Telling is the College’s increasing focus on developing its alumni network.
In the 2014-15 WhichSchoolAdvisor.com independent walk-in, inspectors made particular note of College staff who “could not have been any more passionate about the quality of their College and its students.”
In an otherwise near faultless inspection, KHDA Inspectors identified weaknesses in Arabic area subject attainment and provision, these a common failing within British schools across the sector. Governance was downgraded on this basis as the KHDA seek to drive improvements sector wide by making school governors structurally responsible for driving improvements in Arabic teaching and attainment within schools.
Sixth Form subject choice at A’ Level is outstanding. 27 subject options include Photography; Art; Government and Politics; Psychology (also impressively offered at O’ Level – a critical bridge subject between the Arts and Sciences and one with considerable draw for top tier university Admissions); sociology, music technology; Drama and Theatre Design – all subjects that get lost by the wayside in lesser schools that do not invest in the teaching staff to deliver choice. For us, this is a stand-out feature of the school.
We do think, however, the school is missing a trick in not offering technical stream BTEC options, particularly given the launch of T Levels in 2019. T level will best address, in a British Education context, the strengths of the alternative (and outstanding) IB Career Related Programme offered by the International Baccalaureate – but BTEC is, in our view, undervalued. The depth of subject choice at Jumeirah College does compensate, but technical stream education is offered only in A Level Product Design. BTEC Engineering, for example, would provide a good balance to the (outstanding) richness of the Arts and Humanities offer.
Jumeirah College Sixth Form Prospectus
“Our curriculum model is based upon the English National Curriculum, but goes significantly beyond the minimum expectations, covering a diverse range of subjects. In fact, at A Level, Jumeirah College offers the most extensive range of subject choices in the UAE.”
Simon O’Connor, Principal, Jumeirah College
School fees are top end, although you cannot fault its value proposition. In the UK the College has exactly the type of dynamic that would embrace the provision of bursaries for less financially privileged children and it is hoped that in the future that GEMS, across all its schools, will begin to embrace too the many opportunities for student culture and child development that bursaries provide. It’s worth noting that GEMS is increasingly isolated in not providing the investment in bursaries we are admirably seeing across a swathe of Dubai and Abu Dhabi alternative Tier 1 schools.
It’s worth noting that Jumeirah College garnered unexpected criticism from the KHDA at the time of its last inspection(2015) for its SEN provision which to be fair to the school must be quoted in full:
“Policies and plans indicated that a fully inclusive ethos was not promoted in the school. Identification of students with SEND had become less robust and as a result less secure. Assessments from within the school and from external services were not interpreted appropriately to identify or to
categorise students’ SEND accurately.”
The result was a just Acceptable rating, this below the standard of care expected for any school within Dubai. We understand that this has been addressed by the school in full.
GEMS Jumeirah College was awarded whichschooladvisor Good School status, the bodies highest award, in 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 – its fifth consecutive year.
FS 2: NA
Year 1: N/A
Year 2: N/A
Year 3: N/A
Year 4: N/A
Year 5. N/A
Year 6. N/A
Year 7. 71,508
Year 8. 71,508
Year 9. 71,508
Year 10, 80,447
Year 11. 80,447
Year 12. 89,385
Year 13. 89,385
The National Curriculum of England
Arabic (2018 New A’ Level)
Art and Design (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Biology (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Business Studies (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Chemistry (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Computing (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Design and Technology (2017-2018 New A’ Level)
Drama (2016 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Economics (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
English Literature (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
English Language (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
French (2016 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Geography (2016 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Government and Politics (2017-2018 New A’ Level)
History (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
ICT (2017-2018 New A’ Level)
Mathematics (2017-2018 New A’ Level)
Further Mathematics (2017-2018 New A’ Level)
Media Studies (2017-2018 New A’ Level)
Music (2016 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Music Technology (2017-2018 New A’ Level)
Photography (2018 New A’ Level)
Physical Education (2016 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Physics (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Psychology (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Sociology (2015 – 2018 New A’ Level)
Spanish (2016 – 2018 New A’ Level)
31% (8% A*)
93% (66% A*B)
Art & Design
GCSE Physical Education
(1) The school has asked us to emphasise to prospective parents that it is resolutely committed to being fully inclusive and does not cherry pick students. It promises a world class education for all students and will put in place whatever measures are required to ensure that all children meet their potential.
(2) Admissions Policy does give priority to students from JPS and siblings of JC students.
24% (Medium high)
Al Safa, Dubai
British (largest nationality)
+971 4 395 5524