United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Al Barsha South / GEMS Founders School Al Barsha

GEMS Founders School Al Barsha Q & A

Originally to be part of the GEMS Winchester brand, the decision to create a completely new brand has certainly worked for the GEMS Founders school - if a measure of a new school's success is the number of students joining it. On this measure alone, Founders has been without doubt one of the most successful schools to have opened in Dubai, reaching 4,200 students from over 100 countries in its fifth year of operation.
Parents' Rating
3.5 out of 5 based on 95 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
AED 29,000
Annual fees
AED 22,455 - 33,683
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
Matthew Burfield
GEMS Education
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
Main student nationality
A mix of nationalities
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Welcome to the GEMS Founders School Al Barsha 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?

Quality, affordable British Education with a clear focus on building character and supporting the UAE’s 2021 National Agenda for Education.

How many nationalities are represented in your school?

So far, 107

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

Not really, we have a real mix, very representative of Dubai.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

25:1 for FS
30:1 for Year 1 and above

Does your school have a waiting list?

Yes, FS1 to Year 11. Limited seats are available in Year 12. Kindly contact our admission team via admission_gfs@gemsedu.com for more information.

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

Our holistic approach to education develops fully rounded individuals through our personal, social and moral approaches; as well as fostering academic excellence and lifelong employability skills

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

Students will have Physical Education as part of the weekly lessons in line with the National Curriculum for England. In addition we will offer an Enrichment Programme that will allow students to participate in a wider range of physical activities. We hope to participate in inter-school competitions and in local events. There will also be an after school sports programme provided by our teachers and outside specialists.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Whenever possible GEMS Founders School will participate in local campaigns that promote healthy lifestyles and our medical and pastoral teams will carefully monitor the health and well-being of our students.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Healthy eating, as part of a healthy lifestyle, is priority for growing children. At GFS we believe there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ food, just that there can often be better, healthier choices and that some food items are ‘treats’ that should be eaten less often. In choosing our school caterer we were very clear that the provision should include healthier choices that our students would still enjoy. Snacks that students bring from home will be monitored and workshops are planned for parents to encourage them to provide food and drinks that will sustain their children through the day.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students?

Yes, it will cost approximately 15 AED for a hot meal.

If yes, does it serve hot food?


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

Approximately 15 AED

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

The school day will begin at 7.40 a.m. The Foundation Stage students will leave school at 12.15 p.m. while the last lesson for the rest of the school finishes at 2.20 p.m. Most after-school activities will finish by 3.45 p.m.

Is there a school uniform?

Yes, please see: http://www.threadsme.com/

Please advise on your discipline policy?

We will have a policy of ‘positive reinforcement’ when respectful, appropriate behaviour is practiced. A reward scheme will followed through our House System. Children will be given an opportunity to immediately stop any anti-social behavior and be encouraged to make a better choice. There will be zero-tolerance of bullying of any description. There will inevitably be sanctions that will be in line with the MoE recommendations.

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

Through working with their teachers, students will know their targets for the year and will regularly have opportunity to review these. Lessons will be planned with clear learning objectives and success criteria that will be shared with students and will take account of individual needs. We will be utilising a range of strategies that will keep parents informed of their child’s progress in school. Parents are also encouraged to contact their child’s teacher should they have any concerns, to set up individual meetings.

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

Parents will have the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher in person, during terms one and two. During term three, parents will be given a written report of their child’s progress and achievements during the year. End of year assessment data will also be included where relevant.

What is your medium of instruction?


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

We have Arabic A for native speakers and Arabic B for non-native speakers. Both groups have five Arabic classes per week.

Which other languages are taught?

French is taught within the curriculum from Year 4

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

GFS will have EAL teachers as part of our inclusion team. They will support in class and work with individuals and small groups of students who are new to the English language or who need to improve their English to be able to access the curriculum along with their peers.

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


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


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

GEMS Founders School is proud to offer a range of International AS / A Level subjects and IGCSE subjects accredited by Oxford International AQA Examinations and Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE).

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

Home learning instead of Homework to ensure our students enjoy quality time at home and develop independence.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

Our faculty and inclusion team will be responsible for ensuring that all abilities are challenged and supported. When gifts or talents are identified they will be celebrated and encouraged whether in or out of school. Advanced learning plans for our highest achievers will ensure they are supported and challenged so that their accelerated rate of progress is maintained.

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

At this stage, we have no data for this question. However, we predict that 100% of our current Year 12 will pursue university education based upon our conversations with them.

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?

Students are identified on entry or once in the school to ascertain any barriers to learning students may face. This includes our more able student who would require more challenge in the classroom. The curriculum allows for adaptation in the classroom to support students to reach their full potential. The student will also have access to interventions and specialist lessons if required. On admission, if a student presents with more complex needs then they will be referred to Small Steps which is a specialist Centre within our school.

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

No such specialization yet. Our inclusion team will consist of a SEND co-ordinator supported by SEN and EAL teachers, LSA and a school counselor. Individual learning and education.

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

Our school has counselor to assist students with their emotional and learning challenges

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

We will have opportunities for parental engagement and a Parents Association.

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

Reading in class, sharing experience, chaperones for trips and activities, helping to organize festivals and celebrations. Variety of Parent Workshops are organised throughout the year such as First Aid and Family Safeguarding workshop; Separation Anxiety Workshop; Super Granny Workshop; Communication Workshop and Curriculum Evenings for different Key Stages

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

Yes. GFS Local Advisory Board

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

All parents are new to our school and a regular set of activities has already been enacted which have given parents an opportunity to Meet the Principal on two separate evenings and two evenings to meet the Executive Leadership Team have also already occurred. More are in place to assist the new parents and answer all the questions they may have about GFS.

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

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

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