GEMS Winchester School, Oud Metha
• The Principal has set a clear vision for school development and it is shared by staff throughout the school
• At Secondary stage children do have a good appreciation of personal, community and environmental responsibility
• The school meets a good standard of provision in meeting KHDA guideline health and safety requirements for children. Students do feel safe and well cared for - the well-being of all students is considered “very important by the school”
• Children’s understanding of Islamic values, and their awareness of Emirati and world cultures, is good in the secondary phase
• A good range of extra-curricular activities is available for primary and secondary students
• Staffing is unstable damaging both the quality of teaching and the attainment of children at the school. Staff turnover is running above 24%
• Children at all levels, but particularly at lower primary levels, are not being taught effectively. Children are being taught by rote and not being given the freedom to think and investigate for themselves. In some cases, children are not understanding what they are learning
• Whilst the curriculum does meet UK curriculum requirements, not all teachers teach in a way able to motivate students to learn
• Teachers do plan changes to the curriculum to meet the needs of all students but in many cases then do not deliver them
• School leaders are unsuccessful in ensuring consistently acceptable teaching and there are on-going failures in Governance
• Academic Special Educational Needs provision is often unsatisfactory
• Only 10% of students engage with the extra-curricular activities made available by the school
Established in 2011, GEMS Winchester School is a K9 school based in Oud Metha, Dubai. The school offers the English National Curriculum to more than 80 nationalities of which the largest, 26%, is Indian. 82.82% of students do not have English as their first language and for some, English is the third or fourth language.
Following very rapid growth, Winchester is the poorest performing school in the GEMS group. Scoring only an “Acceptable” rating by the KHDA for each of its first three years since opening, the school has grown 700% from 500 students in October 2011 on opening to educating 3425 children in 2015. There is concern at the resulting quality of its current educational provision.
The school is currently suffering from “unstable staffing” with turnover approaching 1:4. The impact both on the quality of teaching and on students’ progress are noted by Inspectors.
Concerns about the school led, in 2015, to KHDA blocking planned expansion of GEMS Winchester to offer Grade 10 schooling. Existing children have been offered an alternative choice by GEMS of a school mooted for closure or a school outside Dubai. In 2013 “Inspectors highlighted the need for Winchester to “improve teachers’ spoken and written English so they can communicate effectively with their students”. In 2014 Inspectors highlighted that some teachers “have a poor concept of educational concepts.”
In 2015 Inspectors noted that, amongst a catalogue of concerns, “most teachers” at Foundation Stage do not take the available opportunities to develop children’s English language skills; in mathematics teachers sometimes taught children in a way that they did not understand what they were learning; and attendance at all levels of schooling is of concern.
It is hoped that in 2015-16, the highly regarded leadership of the school will be able to bed-in change, stabilise staffing and create a school better reflecting GEMS excellence elsewhere in the sector.Go to the FULL REVIEW on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
FS 2: 9819
YEAR 1: 12273
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YEAR 6: 13091
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YEAR 9: 15545
National Curriculum of England
Oud Metha, Dubai
Indian (Largest nationality)
971-4-337 41 12