Discover what makes an 'Outstanding' early years education in Dubai with GEMS Wellington schools
26 June 2023| Last updated on 7 July 2023
GEMS Wellington unleashes the brilliance of every young student.
Across all GEMS Wellington schools, outstanding learning is dependent on excellent relationships between young children and the Early Years staff.
Dubai’s education regulator, KHDA, rated the Foundation Stage at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, and GEMS Wellington International School as ‘Outstanding’ across the key segments of health and safety, support, teaching, learning and attainment in English, Maths and Science, and wellbeing.
These outcomes for Dubai's youngest learners are borne out of GEMS Education's focus on developing happy learners in a safe and stimulating environment. Here’s what GEMS Wellington schools in the emirate do differently:
"At the beginning of every school year, we have a strong focus on building a sense of belonging and trust," said Rebecca.
During this time, the classrooms are setup with familiar items linked to the children’s personal interests. They use natural, open-ended resources and aim to create a homely environment where the children feel safe and settled.
2.) Specialist Early Years Teaching
"As premium education providers, we pride ourselves on hiring and retaining highly skilled, fully qualified teachers, who are specialists in early years education," said Paula Phinn, Primary Vice Principal, GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail.
This includes their nurseries at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail and GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis. GEMS also draw on their expertise to devise bespoke professional development programmes for our teaching assistants, many of whom are qualified to teach in standalone Foundation Stage settings.
3.) Learning Through Supported Play
GEMS' Foundation Stage team know that young children learn best through self-led play during this stage of early childhood development.
Research shows that between the ages of two and seven, children develop symbolic thinking in preparation for more abstract learning later.
"Our Reggio-inspired classroom environments become the ‘third teacher’, providing opportunities for consolidation of skills and retrieval of previous learning," Paula added.
"Across our Foundation Stage classes, we provide a careful balance of child-led play, adult-supported objective-driven play, and adult-led small-group learning to maximise children’s attainment and progress."
4.) A Curated Early Years Curriculum for a Head Start
GEMS Wellington schools carefully design their Early Years curriculum to ensure the best possible start for children.
They implement age-appropriate and bespoke physical development programmes ensuring children develop the pre-skills required for writing.
"We place a high emphasis on early language and communication development, with targeted intervention to support and encourage young children," said Paula Phinn, Primary Vice Principal, GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail.
Our schools also provide excellent opportunities for children who are new to English, supporting them within the classroom to build their language skills.
Our purpose-built outdoor classrooms provide a wealth of opportunities for gross-motor play and an exploration of the natural world, including the Forest School at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis.
Through their GEMS Wellington Early Years provision, the school provides a seamless journey for early learners into primary school, with carefully designed programmes to build children’s literacy and mathematics skills over time.
"Our specialist opportunities, including swimming, sports, Arabic and music, support transition into primary, building prerequisite learning from a young age," noted Rebecca.
Paula added: "This ensures our children enter Year 1 as confident and independent learners armed with the building blocks to excel in the next stage of their school lives."
"The best decision we took was registering our child at WEK. As a parent, I am trusting the school with the most precious gift I have, and they take care of her so well, for that I am forever grateful. The best thing is how she has evolved in all aspects - social, academic, physical and emotional. We are thankful to everyone at WEK for the amazing experience, especially to her teacher for all the wonderful memories in the making and the ongoing care and support." - Hanaa Osseiran
With Rebecca Howells, Director of Early Years, and Paula Phinn, Primary Vice Principal, GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail