Unification of GEMS WPS and GEMS WEK

Parent Q & A

Why are you uniting GEMS Wellington Primary School with GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail?

Over the years, we have received consistent feedback from our parents asking whether the great education that our school offers can be extended through to secondary-age children. While our current circumstances and limited space have not allowed us this opportunity, we have closely listened to your comments, with the promise to take the most appropriate action when the time is right.

Having carefully explored all possible options and now received approval from the regulator, the time has come to take the necessary steps to provide our students with a full through-school offering. As such, we have made the decision to unite our school with a sister school in the Wellington family, namely GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail in Dubai Hills – a move that will allow your children to make a seamless, uninterrupted journey through primary and secondary education, while taking advantage of the Academy’s exceptional facilities and offerings.

When will the move take place and why are you informing us only now?

Our aim is to begin this transition without delay and to complete the transfer of our students and their teachers to GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail in time for the start of the next academic year in September, with operations at GEMS Wellington Primary School coming to an end in July. We are informing parents at the very earliest opportunity, having now received approval from the relevant authorities.

What does this mean for students?

GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, rated ‘Outstanding’ by BSO and ‘Very Good’ by KHDA, offers some of the best facilities of any school in Dubai – and with a similar fee structure to that of WPS. The move will enable us to expand the activities available to your children considerably, both during the normal school day and in terms of extra-curricular options.\The Academy is the GEMS Swimming Centre of Excellence, with two 25-metre swimming pools as well as a pool just for Foundation Stage students. Other sporting facilities include a three-level gymnasium, two large indoor sports halls, full football and rugby pitches, tennis and netball courts, and individual outdoor covered play areas for all Key Stages.

The Academy’s academic record is outstanding, as is its array of activities, which include the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and Model United Nations. Performing arts spaces comprise a 580-seat auditorium, black box studio theatre, recording studio and TV studio. Visual arts and design areas include design and manufacturing workshops, a food technology kitchen, a textiles suite as well as studios for fine arts and other creative subjects. Please visit the website for further details.

GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail may be larger than our school, yet our firm promise is that we will continue your child’s experience of the close family atmosphere and sense of belonging that has made GEMS Wellington Primary School such a successful and happy community over the years. In addition, as a fellow member of the GEMS Wellington family, the Academy shares the same ethos, vision and approach to teaching and learning, which is why we are confident that the upcoming transition will be smooth and seamless for all involved.

What will happen to WPS staff?

All GEMS Wellington Primary School staff members will be fully supported during the upcoming transition and we will endeavour to find suitable positions at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail for as many teachers and support staff as possible.

How does this affect tuition fees?

Tuition fees for all GEMS Wellington Primary School families will remain unchanged, with students having their fees protected until they graduate from Year 6, at which point the GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail fee structure will apply. In addition, all application and transfer certificate charges will be waived.

Will this affect class sizes?

In the immediate term, until the end of the current academic year, GEMS Wellington Primary School students can expect their class sizes to remain the same. From September 2021, class sizes will be aligned with the rest of the GEMS Wellington family of schools.

Is there sufficient space at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail to accommodate the WPS student body?

The expansive campus at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail has more than enough space to accommodate a larger student body – even in light of the present COVID-19 restrictions. This was a key consideration for both GEMS Education and the regulator, whose approval we have now received. We have already carefully planned how to make optimal use of the space available, ensuring all students have equal access to the school’s large classrooms and exceptional facilities.

What plans are in place to support WPS families with potentially longer journey times to and from GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail?

STS is the transport provider for all GEMS schools, arranging pickup and drop-off services across the GEMS network, including GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail. Our parent relations team will contact all families directly, so we can understand your needs and preferences with regard to school transportation. We will be offering bus services to and from the Academy for all families. In addition, depending on demand, we may also be able to offer a shuttle service between GEMS Wellington Primary School and GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail in Term 3, enabling parents to drop off and collect their children as they do now.

What support is available to those WPS parents who do not wish to enrol their children at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail?

We do understand that other schools may be a better fit for some families, and we will of course do our utmost to help them find the right choice and support them in every possible way to ensure the upcoming transition is smooth and seamless. As an immediate first step, our dedicated parent relations team will contact all parents directly to assist them in finding the best solution for their family. Alternatively, please contact the GEMS Parent Experience Centre by calling 600-567771 or emailing [email protected].

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