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GEMS Winchester School, Oud Metha
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Review

GEMS Winchester School, Oud Metha

by December 2, 2015
Strengths

• 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

Weaknesses

• 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

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

• GEMS Winchester School, Oud Metha, does not meet the standards of a traditional GEMS school.
• Elsewhere GEMS has consistently set benchmarks for best practice in education across the UAE.
• One potential explanation hinted at by GEMS is that they stepped in to assist in a major shortfall of educational provision at short notice and have simply been overwhelmed.
• Whatever the cause, we believe that the KHDA were correct in stopping any future expansion to Year 10 until current failings are resolved by the school. This was a difficult decision because it has left existing students facing unsatisfactory choices for GCSE level progression.
• It is hard to believe that GEMS will not, given it reputation, in due course, turn this failing school around.
• But it has now been three years of an Acceptable rating.

D+
Our Rating
C-
User Rating
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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
Details to consider
Type of school

Private

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: NA
FS 2: 9819
YEAR 1: 12273
YEAR 2: 12273
YEAR 3: 12273
YEAR 4: 12273
YEAR 5: 12273
YEAR 6: 13091
YEAR 7: 13091
YEAR 8: 13091
YEAR 9: 15545
YEAR-10: NA
YEAR-11: NA
YEAR-12: NA
YEAR-13: NA

Curriculum

National Curriculum of England

Selective

Not selective

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

3425

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:17

Teacher turnover

24%

Year opened

2011

Location

Oud Metha, Dubai

Student composition

Indian (Largest nationality)

Gender

Mixed

Owner

GEMS Education

Admissions Telephone

971-4-337 41 12

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

50%

Attainment Pri SEM

50%

Attainment Sec SEM

50%

Attainment Post-16 SEM

NA

Progress Nur SEM

50%

Progress Pri SEM

50%

Progress Sec SEM

50%

Progress Post-16 SEM

NA

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

25%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

25%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

25%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

25%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

NA

Islamic St. Primary Results

50%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

50%

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

NA

Leadership

50%

Community

75%

Facilities

50%

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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Academic
Value
ExtraCurricula
Languages
Sports
Arts & Drama
Teaching
Communications
Warmth
Differentiation
SEND Provision
Scl Community
Scl Facilities
Curricula Global Rating