United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Al Barsha / GEMS Al Barsha National School

GEMS Al Barsha National School Q & A

Located in Al Barsha South, in close proximity to GEMS Founders school and GEMS World Academy, the GEMS Al Barsha National School is the first school aimed at attracting Emirati and expat Arab families offering a mixture of the English National Curriculum and the UAE Ministry of Education Arabic and Islamic Studies programmes in a bi-lingual English/Arabic environment.
Parents' Rating
3.7 out of 5 based on 19 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Availability 2022/23
Availability 2023/24
Annual fee average
AED 55,000
Annual fees
AED 42,000–62,000
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Aug to Jul
Teacher turnover help
Karim Murcia
GEMS Education
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
Main student nationality
United Arab Emirates
Does your child attend this school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.

Welcome to the GEMS Al Barsha National 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.

Does your school have a waiting list? In which years?


What are qualities and characteristics that define your school and its students?

GEMS Al Barsha National School aims to be one of the leading national schools producing future leaders of character who are confident, resilient, adaptable and ethical global citizens.

We offer a world class education founded on the National Curriculum for England. This educational programme, from Foundation through to A-Levels, is internationally recognised and will provide our students with the opportunity to access some of the finest universities in the UAE as well as overseas.

We place specific emphasis on developing literacy and numeracy skills in both Arabic and English through equal bilingual language instruction in the Foundation years.

Our teaching and learning programs will develop your children’ critical thinking, leadership, creativity and problem solving skills through a variety of engaging and innovative student centred activities.

In FS1 and FS2 girls and boys will be taught co-educationally with girls and boys taught together in every class. From Y1 onwards girls and boys will be taught separately.

How many nationalities are represented in your school? How international would you say your school is?

25 Nationality

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?


What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

1 to 8

Does your school measure Value Added data? Please provide details of how you measure, and current Value Added benchmark scores.

Our focus on consistently high quality teaching ensures that students make better than expected progress from their different starting points during their time at the school. Qualifications and assessments such as CAT4 and GL Progress Tests measure the successes enjoyed by our students. Students are challenged to work hard to achieve very ambitious targets. Analysis using the ALPS programme indicates that students are in the top 10% in terms of progress made against target. The Quality Indicator was outstanding (QI tells you about the progress made across all examination entries at the school or college and contains every grade taken by each subject and gives you a clear view of how your overall curriculum performed this year).

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

IGCSE, AS , A level

Please provide details of how well your school did in its previous 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?

Not yet applicable

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

GEMS Al Barsha National School aims to be one of the leading national schools producing future leaders of character who are confident, resilient, adaptable and ethical global citizens.

We offer a world class education founded on the National Curriculum for England. This educational programme, from Foundation through to A-Levels, is internationally recognized and will provide our students with the opportunity to access some of the finest universities in the UAE as well as overseas.

We place specific emphasis on developing literacy and numeracy skills in both Arabic and English through equal bilingual language instruction in the Foundation years.Al Barsha National School will deliver an international curriculum that is sensitive and respectful of Arabic culture and local traditions. Our enhanced National Curriculum for England will integrate 21st century skills and competencies to develop confident, resilient and adaptable students for an ever-changing world.

The curriculum is imaginatively designed to provide a wealth of opportunities where students can take intelligent risks, ask questions to satisfy their intellectual curiosity and explore ideas to deepen their understanding while promoting critical thinking skills. Everything we do will allow students to develop their knowledge, understanding and creativity through a curriculum underpinned by enterprise and innovation. In turn, this will foster our students’ readiness for some of the finest universities both in the UAE and overseas and their employability. Enterprise capability includes innovation, creativity, risk-management and risk taking, a can-do attitude and the drive to make ideas happen. This concept embraces future employment as well as future entrepreneurs.

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

Our Primary Homework policy is focused on the consolidation of basic skills including reading, comprehension, spelling, times tables and numeracy. As well as consolidating new learning, homework enables parents to support and develop students’ key learning skills such as time management and the ability to prioritise. In the secondary phase, students receive one hour per week in the core subjects at Key Stage 3; one hour per week for all subjects at Key Stage 4 and 2 hours per subject per week in Key Stage 5. Students are also encouraged to complete project based tasks and engage in community initiatives to develop their independent learning skills.

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

Benefiting from superb facilities, which include two swimming pools, a full-size floodlit sports pitch, 4 Multi Use Games Areas and large indoor sports halls, we offer an exciting array of activities and sports for all students. Physical Education and Swimming are an integral part of our curriculum from FS1 and a primary vehicle for fostering important school values such as leadership, teamwork and ambition. In addition to our curriculum provision, a rich programme of opportunities are provided before and after school, with additional clubs and activities that ensure that all students can access a range of activities. Students have the opportunity to join our school teams and compete against other schools in a variety of local and regional competitions. All sports and physical education activities are undertaken and reviewed regularly in line with health and safety advice and regulations

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

We promote healthy lifestyles to all our students throughout every department of the school. Learning related to healthy living is mapped across the curriculum and is a regular focus of class discussions, assemblies run by students, teachers and outside speakers and whole school projects.

Our cafeteria serves a wide range of healthy options and our menu is shared with our parents and published on our webpage. We have a wide variety of sports clubs and activities that take place before, during and after school. Sports offered at school include football, tennis, netball, cricket, rugby, swimming, rounders and basketball. Our teams compete in local, regional and national competitions. Our school is very well resourced and all aspects of physical education are supported by high quality teaching and superbly equipped environments. Our clinic, comprising of a full time doctor and two nurses, promotes healthy practices through workshops and advice to parents.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Offering a wide range of healthy options through the students canteen , educational sessions on how to make a healthy choices,

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students? How does it promote a balanced diet?


What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?


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

FS 7:40 – 1:00 FS2-Y2, 7:40-2:10 Y3-Y13 7:40 – 02:40.

Friday FS-Y2 finishes at 11:00 From Y3-Y13 Finish at 11:30

Is there a school uniform?


Please advise on your discipline policy?

Our behavior policy is rooted in a belief that positive reinforcement and strong teacher-student relationships area at the heart of the development of excellent character and conduct. Our positive behavior management system promotes good behavior amongst our students who receive regular rewards and praise for their efforts. Where students do not meet the school’s high expectations there is a clear system that is followed across the school and parents are informed about any incidents that require there intervention and support.

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

The curriculum is mapped and shared with parents with half-termly assessments providing pupils, parents and teachers with up-to-date information on students’ attainment and progress. Half-termly report cards and a full written report are sent to parents each year and parents have the opportunity to discuss all issues related to achievement at our termly Parent Teacher Conferences. In addition, the school’s open door policy means that parents are able to discuss their child's academic progress at any point throughout the year with the teacher. Staff maintain contact with parents as necessary through direct email and information relating to academic and pastoral matters are also published on GEMS Connect (our school communicator app).

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

Formal reports by the end of each term during the academic year . Formal parent /Teacher meeting once every term .

Which languages are taught at your school - please detail any as a first as well as second language?

We have the bilingual programme from FS1 to Year 2 Students are learning English and Arabic from the beginning and Arabic continues throughout the school up to Year 13, Spanish is introduced from Year 6

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

All students’ level of English is supported through a range of programmes from Foundation Stage to aid and assist students in their development. Highly effective and differentiated teaching ensures rapid progress with reading and comprehension support prioritised to assure success for all students. A dedicated English Language Learning Teacher leads interventions to support students in making accelerated progress where language gaps are identified. The development of students’ reading skills is enhanced by their engagement with the Accelerated Reader programme.

Do you offer a dedicated prayer room/s for students? For which faiths?

Yes dedicated Prayer room in each floor for students

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

Star of the week , HAWIATEE Awards

Do you have a learning support team in your school?


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?

All students are assessed before coming in to school and if any needs are identified, they meet with our Inclusion leader to assess what provision they may need. We offer in class support from the teacher, ELL and also a Learning support assistant (at an extra cost) if necessary. We have a two-week trial option before acceptance in cases where the student needs more time to settle in to the school, to ensure that the child is given a real chance .

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

The school has two dedicated Special Educational Needs Coordinators who provide expertise in the primary and secondary phases respectively. They are supported by a team of specialist Special Educational Needs and Language Learning Teachers and Learning Support Assistants. The team have a breadth of experience in the full range of special educational needs. Students’ progress is monitored using Individual Education Plans and our student tracking programme, Provision Map. We work closely with local specialist centres to ensure that our students have access to all the help and support they may need.

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

Yes School counselor

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

Yes GNS friends and helping hands

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


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

Yes ,committed to establishing sound, purposeful governance through the establishment of a Local Advisory Board (LAB)

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

Parental engagement programme , parent Workshops,Meet the teacher ,Principal newsletter,coffee Morning ,Reading workshops ,welcome back booklets Parent cafe ,Principal presentation , Meet the principal weekly event , School tour .

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

GEMS Al Barsha National School is a Best of school, a ranking determined by parent surveys on the site. It can be found in the following Best of rankings:

If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any inaccuracies, or would like to update data, you can now open an account with us. You will also be able to add admissions availability per year group, and advertise current job vacancies. This is a free service. Please help us keep prospective parents up to date with your latest information.

Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers. Request Information

Latest UAE articles

Ministry Refutes Claims of Shortened Week for Federal Staff

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources has refuted claims that employees wil…


Third of UAE Parents Say Kids Need Extra Tutoring

According to data from EdStatica.com ’s Parent School Survey , 34% of parents of sec…


Supporting A Child's Stress and Exam Concerns

With their online school available to families in Singapore , KSA , the UK and the UAE , W…


Inspiring Women in Education, Mary Donnelly

At WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, we actively seek out those in the education sector driving posi…

Choosing A School

Inside Brighton College Dubai's Foundation Stage

WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Senior Editor, Susan Roberts, spent a morning in the Early Years se…

School Performance

Sharjah School Inspection Results - Complete List

Earlier in the week we were able to provide details of the outcomes of the first published…


Have US Universities Lost Their Appeal in the UAE?

As the world has returned to a post-pandemic 'normal' , so too have many university destin…

School Performance

SPEA Announces School Inspection Results

Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) has published details of the Itqan inspection r…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All