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United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Mirdif / GEMS Royal Dubai School

GEMS Royal Dubai School Q&A

A mixed gender GEMS owned KG to Year 6 school following the English National Curriculum, GEMS Royal Dubai School takes children from 3 to 11 years of age and, as of May 2016, is Mirdiff's first and currently only Outstanding rated school.
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Welcome to the GEMS Royal Dubai School official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.

What qualities and characteristics would you say define your school?

GEMS Royal Dubai School is a British Schools Overseas accredited primary school which offers the New National Curriculum for England. GEMS Royal Dubai School offers a high standard of education and is the only Outstanding school in the Mirdiff area.

How many nationalities are represented in your school?

RDS has 1208 students representing 78 nationalities.

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

Our highest nationality of student is British.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?


Does your school have a waiting list?

Currently many of our year groups have a waiting list, for more information on places at RDS please contact our Admissions Department.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Students benefit from opportunities to learn about nutrition, health lifestyle choices and mindfulness as part of the curriculum. Students are encouraged to make healthy eating choices when visiting the cafeteria, this is supported by the voice of the school Canteen Committee.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?

All students have two hours of physical education on their timetable during the school week; one PE lesson and one swimming lesson. During the winter months the students have two PE lessons. We are currently introducing a Wake up Shake up morning routine.The school offers a wealth of ECAs and squads which are well attended.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Healthy lifestyles are promoted through the Science, PE, PSHCE and Social Studies curriculum components. Teachers monitor school lunch boxes and work with families to promote a healthy balanced diet.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students?

PH7 offer a packed lunch service to students in FS1 to Year 1, whilst those in Year 2 and above can buy the hot food available in the Student Canteen.

If yes, does it serve hot food?

Hot food is available to students in Year 2 to Year 6 at both break times during the school day (Sunday to Wednesday) and on Thursday (one snack and play time only due to the early finish).

What would be the amount spent by a student for their lunchtime meal?

The Meal Deal is available for students where they can purchase a portion of hot food (veg or non-veg), water and carrot/cucumber sticks or apple slices for Dhs 15. A slightly larger portion is available for those children that are a little hungrier for Dhs 17.

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?

All students begin their day at 7.35am, our youngest students in FS1 finish at 12.15pm (Sunday to Thursday) whilst those in FS2 to Year 6 finish at 2.30pm (Sunday to Wednesday) and at 1.15pm each Thursday.

Is there a school uniform?

We believe that smartness of dress transfers to the children's work and we encourage all our students to wear full RDS uniform at all times. THREADS uniform shop is conveniently located in the school Reception for parents convenience.

Please advise on your discipline policy?

School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support is a systematic whole school approach to create a safe and productive learning environment that focuses on teaching and supporting positive behaviour for all students in our school. The procedures and processes are intended for all students and staff in all settings across the school. As part of School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support in our school we have developed
several clear rules for the behaviour we expect in all areas of the school. These are:

• Be Respectful

• Be Responsible

• Be Safe

Throughout the year we explicitly teach students what these expectations look like in different areas of the school and reward them frequently with descriptive praise, house points, certificates and other celebrations.

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?

We use 2simple in Foundation Stage and Learning Ladders in Primary to support our formative assessment progress. Parents receive regular updates on their child’s learning; this particularly supports the target sharing process.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?

Formal feedback is shared every 6 weeks. This appears in a variety of formats including: formal written reports, regular assessment data captures, open afternoons, learning walks and 3 way learning conferences.

What is your medium of instruction?


Is Arabic taught as both a first language and second language in your school?

Arabic is available to our FS1 students with Arab passports once a week, whilst all students in FS2 have two 30 minute lessons exposing them to the language. Formal lessons of Arabic begin from Year 1 wen Arabic A is offered to our students with Arab passports and Arabic B lesson are available for all other students.

Which other languages are taught?

French is offered from Y3 as part of the curriculum and can accessed through an extracurricular activity in Y2.

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?

RDS offer a comprehensive ELL (English Language Learning) programme to children across the school. For more information please contact the Achievement Centre.

Is Islamic Education/Studies for the Arab Muslim students delivered in Arabic for them?

Islamic Studies is offered to all our Muslim students from Year 1 in English and Arabic. We also have a well established Islamic Academy which runs as part of our extra-curricular programme.

Do you have a dedicated prayer room/s for the Muslim students?

A Prayer room is available on the ground floor for our visiting parents and guests whilst students may make use of the Prayer room on the upper level of the school.

If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?

The school uses a suite of external assessments to ensure students are making good progress and to ensure they are on track to meet end of phase expectations. These include BASE, ASPECTS, GL Primary English, Maths and Science online tests, UK End of phase test in Y2 and Y6, CAT4 and the PASS.

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?

At GEMS Royal Dubai School we appreciate the valuable contribution of parents in supporting and enhancing their child’s learning at home. Each Year group has specific guidelines regarding time expectations which is relevant to the child’s age. A home learning grid provides children with an element of choice to complete fun, engaging and purposeful tasks at home.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

Our Achievement Centre can extend children who are gifted and talented in areas of the curriculum by setting work applicable to their ability. Enrichment events take place throughout the year across a variety of subjects, both in and out of school. Children also have the opportunity to take part in tailored ECA’s each term. In class provision ensures a high level of challenge for these children, covering mastery of the curriculum and problem solving/critical thinking activities.

What percentage of your sixth form that take exams at 18 go to university, and where, in general, do they go?

As a primary school educating children form the age of 3 years to 11 years, this is not applicable.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

Our Achievement Centre can support children who may have gaps in their learning, having come from a different curriculum or country, those with more specific learning barriers such as dyslexia or for those that require ELL (English as a learning language) lessons. The learning support team from the Achievement Centre works closely alongside class teachers to ensure that lessons offer very effective and personalised support and challenge according to a child’s needs. We take a holistic approach to student wellbeing and personal development.

Not all schools are staffed or resourced to offer learning support to those children with either moderate or significant learning needs. To what level can you offer support for those with learning differences?

GRDS offer a comprehensive programme to meet the varying needs of the children in our care this ranges from in class, small groups, one to one support and external agencies. For more information please contact the Achievement Centre.

Please provide comprehensive details of how well your school did in external exams for students at 16 and at 18 years of age? Please provide sufficient detail to allow parents to have a view on how academic your school is?

As a primary school educating children form the age of 3 years to 11 years, this is not applicable.

Does your school have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers syndrome and so forth?

GRDS has an educational psychologist on site who has had extensive training in evidence based practices to support children with a wide variety of specific learning needs such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, autistic spectrum disorder, dyspraxia etc. Staff also have training and experience in supporting children with specific learning difficulties. Support is strengths-based, and personalised through the Individual Education Plan process where the student is at the centre of the process and a team approach is used with full involvement from parents, teachers and other support staff. The school places high importance on using evidence based programmes and practices to effectively support children with specific learning needs. Where appropriate, the school will refer parents to external sources for diagnosis, therapy and/or advice.

Does your school have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support those youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?

GRDS has an education psychologist on staff. Where appropriate, the school will refer parents to external sources for diagnosis, therapy and/or advice.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

FORDS (Friends of Royal Dubai School) is run by parents for parents, families and members of the local community to meet socially, in and out school and to organize events to support RDS and license charities. Everyone is welcome to participate and new ideas are always welcome.

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?

Parents are welcome in school to engage in their child’s learning. This is encouraged through parent support workshops, language classes, community days (such as International day, National day and Happiness day).

Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?

Yes the school has a board comprising of business leaders, parents, leaders and staff.

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?

Each new school year begins with a Meet the Teacher session in the evening, outlining the classroom procedure. Parent Engagement workshops are available throughout the year to support parents when it comes to homework and assessments. All parents, old and new, are encouraged to attend these events and others, offered during the school year. Workshops and information sessions are held during the school day and in the evening so working parents can attend. All information is uploaded on our online portal, MYLEARNING, so parents can refer at their convenience.

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3 Archived Comments
Syed Irfan Ali
Archived 13th May 2015, 10:58

My daughter Areesha studied in this school in FS2 under Mrs. Laura Palmer and teaching assistant Ms. Una. Focus of the school is more on other activities than core learning. At the end of the year she couldn't count from 1 to 20. She didn't learn to read simple two or three letter words. In deed, the whole year was just a waste as she was not given admission in grade 1 in Choueifat DIP Branch. They assessed her twice and found her suitable for KG2 only. So, now she is repeating KG2 thanks to GRDS. I hold GRDS responsible for the waste of my daughter's one year of school.

Archived 20th Nov 2015, 17:36

In addition to what I'm basil said.... she probably learned many more skills which children need at such a young age. The fs stage focuses on developing their love for learning and do an amazing job. I have children that come to me who write pages once in year one. Please remember in fs1 they are only 3-4 years old. If you expect her to be reading at that age then I would have to say you have unrealistic expectations.

Om Basil
Archived 22nd Jun 2015, 01:35

Fs2 is equal to kg1 so she is doing good and year one is equal to kg2