Very Good rated GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis (WSO) has gained approval to offer its students both A’ Levels as well as the IB Diploma. It is the first school in the UAE to be approved to do so, and will kick-start dual provision for its Year 12 and 13 students from September 2019.
By offering both curricula, WSO will provide two proven, yet very different pathways to universities around the world. In the broadest terms, the IB Diploma program suits students who are academic all-rounders, while A' Levels can suit students wanting to specialise. Click here for a guide to the differences between the IB and A' Levels.
Subject orientation will initially be skewed towards business and sciences, but was made, the school says, following consultation with students. A' Level subjects to be offered at DSO, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com can reveal, will be limited to Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, English Literature, Psychology, Business Studies, and Economics.
Kevin Loft, Principal and CEO, GEMS Wellington Academy, said in a statement: “This is a first for the region and for GEMS Education, and we hope to pave the way for other schools so that there are a variety of pathways and options for academic study."
Sunmarke School in Dubai was the first school in the region announce its intention to offer both the IBDP and A' Levels, however it is still in the process of seeking accreditation to do so.
GEMS Wellington DSO also offers the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP), offering a more vocational pathway for its students.
In addition GEMS Wellington Academy DSO is also strengthening its arts provision with a partnership with ArtsEd, the highly regarded UK performing arts academy currently celebrating 100 years since its foundation.
The partnership, while not exclusive to GEMS Education, "will be the flagship for ArtsEd, with a specialist arts academy based at the school", the company said said in a statement.
At least four other GEMS Education schools will also benefit from the art group's presence in the UAE: Jumeirah College, Jumeirah Primary School, GEMS Wellington Silicon Oasis and GEMS Royal Dubai. Outside the GEMS network, Safa Community School and Dubai English Speaking College are known to have partnered with the arts education organisation.
ArtsEd will support WSO’s "already enriched" Performing Arts curriculum through the delivery of “specific programmes” and “additional opportunities” that will enrich the curriculum accessed by all students.
There will be no additional cost for students as a result of the partnership, a GEMS Education spokesperson told WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, however "there may be further opportunities for elements of the programme to run during holidays or in the UK which would require parents to opt and pay for".