GEMS Metropole Motor City has, without question, been one of the most successful school launches in terms of student numbers. With just over 3,440 students in the 2022-23 academic year - a number expected to grow to 3,970 for 2023-24 - it is clearly pleasing parents and students (and, increasingly, the Dubai Schools Regulator). Support of students of determination is a particular strength of the school.
Established in 2014, GEMS Metropole School Motor City (MTS) caters to students aged 3 to 18 years. Priced as a mid-range plus school, it has clearly appealed to parents on more moderate budgets who have been attracted by the purpose-designed building with excellent facilities (including the swimming pool which adds the “plus” to its designation) and the promise of a solid UK curriculum education led by UK educators, from the largest educational provider in Dubai.
According to MTS Principal, Naveed Iqbal:
"GEMS Metropole School Motor City's success stems from its dedicated focus on nurturing leadership and building student confidence. This focus on leadership truly sets us apart and serves as the cornerstone of our institution.
The school provides a stimulating learning environment and academic programmes, but its true achievement lies in developing students' essential skills, such as critical thinking, depth of subject knowledge and effective communication. MTS emphasises the importance of global awareness, cultural understanding, and empathy, fostering students' sense of social responsibility and their commitment to making a positive impact on a local and global scale.
"Teachers serve as role models, inspiring students to reach their full potential and instilling a strong moral compass that aligns with the school's values of empathy, compassion, respect, kindness and leadership. By adopting a holistic approach to education, MTS prepares students to become future leaders who possess the skills, knowledge and values necessary for effecting positive change in the world. The school's focus on leadership empowers students to become active and engaged global citizens, contributing to the advancement of society."
In a step away from the more usual Foundation Stage, Primary school, Secondary school and Sixth Form organisation, MTS has reverted closer to the historical organisation of UK public schools with the Infant School (for students from FS to Year 2), Junior School (for Years 3 to 6), Prep School for Years 7 to 9 and Senior School for Years 10 to 13.
Feedback from parents to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com this year has been positive. Typical comments have include positive feedback about facilities and updates of them, strong teaching and leadership. The provision for inclusion is highlighted by many parents as an absolute strength of the school.
If there has been a concern, the size of the school and the number of students in classes appears to be the main one. However, MTS has told WhichSchoolAdvisor.com that these concerns are being addressed through the reduction in class size to 22 (from 25) in the EYFS section, and to 28 students (from 30) per class from Year 1 to Year 13.
Recent positive comments have included:
"School strengths are the inclusion team because as a mom of a child with special need, I can definitely say that they are supporting my child towards improvement. The principal has a way of handling Metropole parents that is more engaging than in the past, and we feel that our voices and concerns are heard and discussed.
"Strength: The feel of the school, happy and humble, supportive staff, respectful values, it's a true inclusive school, they have all colors of people of determination, they really want to help, it's a kind school. We love the school and love the inclusion team.
The inclusion team is just fantastic and helpful and supportive! Teachers are challenging and encouraging children to learn and go beyond their comfort zone, yet keeping them in a safe environment, which is an amazing balance."
Set up prior to the opening of the mid-market (no pool, and therefore no plus) GEMS Founders' School in Al Barsha and later in Al Mizhar, MTS initially occupied a unique market position at the Premium level that its facilities warrant, but with fees which did not quite match those of the affordable schools for which there was clearly high demand. It seems, however, that with increasing demand for school places, the opening of sister school, GEMS Metropole School Al Waha, in August 2023, solidifies the placement of Metropole brand in this mid-market plus segment.
With an average of ten classes across each year group at MTS from FS1 to Year 11 and a growing number of students in the Senior school from Years 10 to 13, the 2022-23 roll is 3,430. This figure is expected to reach 3,970 for the 2023-24 academic year.
With the suspension of the KHDA's DSIB inspection process as a result of the Covid pandemic, in common with a number of Dubai-based schools that clearly wanted to ensure continued progress in school improvement, in November 2021, MTS was inspected by British Schools Overseas.
Not only did it achieve a solidly Good rating, but the school was awarded Outstanding for several features - including its Senior leadership - and a Very Good rating for its provision and support of Students of Determination.
However the even bigger development for 2022-23 has been the achievement of a Good rating from the KHDA's DSIB inspectors. It seems that the DISB has finally caught up with the inspectors from British Schools Overseas.
GEMS Metropole may offer the UK curriculum, but its student body is extraordinarily international, even by Dubai standards, with over 100 nationalities speaking over 50 languages. The latest inspection report indicates that the main nationality group is Arab. Some 17% of students have been registered as Students of Determination. 41 Emirati students (1%) also attend the school.
Teaching staff are native English-speaking and predominantly from the UK and Ireland. Specialist teachers have been introduced for the delivery of Music and ICT. There were close to 223 teachers in 2022-23, of whom the vast majority (97%) are UK trained, and bring with them a range of experience from teaching around the world. Most teachers have at least 4 years teaching experience in the UK. All UK trained teachers have received their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The school also has a Professional Development and Training budget to ensure ongoing training.
A further 94 teaching assistants had been employed to support classes or individual students. Teaching Assistants are in every class to support the children in their learning in the Primary section. They work with students on a 1:1 basis and in small groups under consultation with the teacher. TAs are given regular training on the latest educational research. A teacher:student ratio of 1:15 is about what would be expected for a school operating at this price-point.
Staff turnover has been something of a challenge at MTS which is approaching its tenth year of operations. With the arrival of current Principal Naveed Iqbal, it seems to have finally found stability. For 2022-23, turnover had reduced to 14% - well below the UAE average of 22-24%.
Principal Naveed Iqbal, now in his fourth year at MTS, also appears to be a stayer! He joined the school in September 2019, and came from a school with a strong track record. In addition, new, experienced Heads of Primary and Secondary, as well as key middle leadership appointments, have followed. These include a Director of Arabic, a Director of Learning, and Digital Learning Coaches - in line with changes in focus to the curriculum and future development plans.
In April 2021, the school announced the appointment of Daniella Aschettino in the role of Head Teacher of Prep and Senior School. Ms. Aschettino has a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate degree (Masters of Education) in Educational Psychology from Cambridge University. She has been within GEMS for over nine years, spending the previous five years in senior leadership at GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis. Over the years, Ms. Aschettino has held many positions and responsibilities for Teaching and Learning, Inclusion, Pastoral, Assessment, Safeguarding, and the Career Development of staff.
MTS has recently also announced the appointment of Ms. Marchella Romano as Head Teacher for Primary, who takes up her new position in September 2023.
As Head Teacher, Ms. Romano is responsible for the overall leadership of the Infants and Junior Schools. She has over 25 years of leadership experience, with her most recent role at Harrow School, Haikou.
MTS offers the National Curriculum for England, including IGCSE and GCSE at 16, and AS followed by A Levels for Years 12 and 13. The first cohort of A Level students were due to sit their exams in June 2020, but with the cancellation of exams due to Covid-19, this was postponed until 2021 - although students still received A Level grades based on the prediction process put in place by the Exam Boards.
One of the key decisions taken by the leadership, which will ensure that the school continues to improve its curriculum delivery still further, is the implementation of High Performance Learning (HPL), a methodology whereby teachers aim to optimise students' learning by focusing on their strengths and skills, enabling them to understand how they learn and developing resilience.
Introduced originally by GEMS Jumeirah College, HPL is becoming integrated into the teaching model at almost all GEMS schools. The delivery of the curriculum is a relative strength of MTS, and is fully compliant with the Early Years Foundation Stage learning goals for children in FS, and with the National Curriculum for England for students from Years 1 to 13. There is a particular focus on reading within the school which is having a positive impact on learning.
With the reorganisation of the school, MTS' Infant School students from FS1 to Year 2 embark on their journey of 'Exploring Leadership'. Through hands-on experiences in natural settings like the school's farm and forest, children build empathy, connect with nature, and unleash their imagination. This immersive approach not only enhances their vocabulary and arithmetic skills, but also fosters a deep understanding of the world around them. The forest school approach is not unique to the region but has become a core part of the Metropole model and will continue do so in its other branch.
The core academic areas of learning in Foundation Stage are English, Mathematics, Art, Music, and Personal, social and emotional development. The learning of the core concepts of knowledge is achieved through both lessons and hands-on learning, with play and activities being essential components of Foundation Stage students’ day.
Once children move on to Years 1 and 2 (Key Stage 1) subjects include English, Mathematics, Science, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Art and Design, Music, Physical Education (PE), Arabic Language, Islamic Studies, and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). At this stage, students continue to receive support, as they begin to work out how they, as individuals with unique identities, fit into the world. Building friendships and self-confidence are important areas of development, alongside the traditional and necessary academic programme.
In the Junior School (Values School), students in Years 3 to 6 thrive in a values-based environment focusing on 'Experiencing Leadership' and enhancing their confidence, critical thinking and leadership skills. Alongside core subjects, they develop etiquette, manners and a love for reading. The core purpose of the Values School is to develop the core skills in every student, from reading for pleasure, to speaking with confidence. Having developed strong manners and etiquette, students are then prepared for their secondary education.
As students move into Years 3-6, (Key Stage 2) they continue to follow the KS1 subjects with the addition of a Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish). Students begin to learn at a higher level and apply the knowledge they have gained in their earlier years. They also have a better understanding of their own identities and likes, and begin to be curious about areas they are interested in discovering. There is a particular focus on providing KS2 students with opportunities to develop their sporting skills, notably through the Metropole Mustangs squad training.
The MTS Prep School (Active School) places emphasis on 'Establishing Leadership' with a focus on sports and physical fitness. Through an active school programme, students transition from primary to secondary education, while focusing on athletics and community engagement.
The school provides state-of-the-art facilities, including a high-performance institute with strength and conditioning coaches and nutritionists, enabling students to excel in their chosen disciplines. Apart from the active school, MTS has a strong performing arts programme. Students are awarded scholarships for being active in sport, performance, through their voice and in leadership. The Active School pushes each student as an athlete, and the school has signed several MoUs with health clubs and healthy food providers to ensure the 1,000 squad students are able to flourish in their chosen sports and disciplines.
Academically, for students in Years 7 to 9, the focus is on preparing them for the public examinations that they will study for in Year 10 and 11. A greater range of subjects is available from which students can choose, in order to develop their own interests and strengths. In addition to the core KS2 subjects, new subjects include English Literature, History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages (French or Spanish), Dance, Drama, Design Technology, Art, Computer Science, and Swimming as an addition to PE.
In the Senior School, (Future School), students in Years 10 to 13 prepare for higher education and beyond by 'Embracing leadership'. With a comprehensive range of courses, including GCEs, A-levels and BTECs, GEMS Metropole aim to empower students to shape their own future and pursue their passions. The school's rigorous academic environment pushes students beyond their potential, fostering a mindset of continuous growth and success. Students are awarded scholarships for their academic success and contributions towards leading the school.
A further and very specific focus for MTS is to become a school with the broadest possible range of pathways and bespoke options. In addition to a choice of 26 IGCSE and GCSE subjects, Metropole has introduced the Level 2 iBTEC (equivalent level to IGCSE) programme in Sport, Travel and Tourism and Business Studies. 25% of MTS' Year 10 student cohort opt for the BTEC qualification.
GEMS Metropole Sixth Form aims to offer similarly personalised pathways available to students, which include around 20 International AS and A Levels. A levels are particularly well suited to students who have strengths in two or three subjects from the curriculum and wish to study them further in greater depth.
International A levels are also recognised by top universities worldwide. Although they are similar to A levels, they have a more flexible, modular structure than A level and the syllabus content is designed to have greater international relevance. Both IAS and IA are taken as examinations at the end of each academic year. The AS is half the content of the A level and counts towards the final A level result. It is taken at the end of Year 12. Unlike AS level, International AS level modules can be retaken to try to improve a student’s overall A Level score.
Options for IA/A Level at MTS include English Literature, English Language, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Sociology, History, Psychology, Business Studies, Media Studies, Information Technology, Computer Science, Economics, Art & Design, Drama, Music, Physical Education, French and Spanish. The range is constantly being expanded.
An additional vocational pathway has been added with the provision of the Level 3 iBTEC in Sports, IT, Applied Science and Business studies. The school also plans to add Engineering. Mr. Iqbal foresees students taking a blended approach to their qualifications at both KS4 (Years 10 and 11) and KS5 (Years 12 and 13).
At Key Stage 4, students who are expected to achieve strong results are likely to take IGCSE/GCSE with the more academically able scholars studying for 9 subjects, whilst those wishing to follow the standard offering will take 8 subjects. Students who wish to take a blended option may study for IGCSE and an iBTEC level 2 qualification. For students in Sixth Form, the option of one BTEC Level 3 and up to two A Levels will be available.
Provision of Career Counsellors to help in the choice of IGCSE and GCSEs, A Levels and iBTEC options ensures that students have support on the road to an easy transition to University.
MTS is registered for the Pearson Edexcel, AQA, and Oxford AQA Boards and is a registered BTEC Centre. Eventually, MTS would also like to offer the new (currently UK only-based) T Level qualifications which are designed to offer a technical equivalent to A Levels.
In addition to the academic focus at Sixth Form, Enrichment Activities include the Duke of Edinburgh International Award, the IPQ (the Extended Project Qualification), Community Service, Prefect/Student Council, Model United Nations and World Scholar's Cup.
More recent innovations in the curriculum include the Farm Fresh’ Learning space (one of a number of cross-curricular curriculum spaces at the school). This delivers a “farm” within the school in which children can grow vegetables and keep rabbits, chickens and ducks. The school’s local farmer manages the upkeep of the facility and students enjoy real, practical learning. Students across the school participate in running the Farm Shop by selling branded sustainable products and fresh produce designed to kindle an enterprise spirit in the students.
In the Secondary school, a Radio and Performance Studio enables students to produce radio and podcast shows as part of the enriched curriculum, whilst “Food Technology”, has been provided offering a kitchen lab for secondary students to learn key cooking skills in a specialist room to promote life-long learning. The latter has been a particular favourite with students, growing to three iGCSE classes in Food Technology.
MTS has clear core principles in terms of what it aims to deliver to its senior students:
MTS offers a range of extra curricular activities, many of which are offered free of charge, whilst external companies also come in to the school to offer paid activities. The school's sports teams take part in the DASSA League, GEMS' Sports Series and World School Games, as well as many other competitions through the school year. Teams include Football, Basketball, Netball, Rounders, Swimming, Water Polo, Tennis, Gymnastics, Badminton, Cross Country, Athletics (Track & Field) and Aquathon.
If there is one area in which GEMS Metropole School clearly shines, it is in the provision and outcomes for students of Determination - for which it achieved a Very Good rating from the KHDA's DSIB inspection team in the 2019-20 inspection report and retained in the 2022-23 inspection.
MTS has a sizable population of students with Gifts and Talents (G&T) and with SEN requirements who are supported by a specialist team.
The team consists of a Head of Inclusion overseeing 2 SENCOs, three counsellors, eight specialised teachers for students of determination, three English as additional language specialised teachers, the Gifted and Talented coordinator, the student and careers counsellor, the Speech and Language therapist, the school psychologist, an Occupational therapist and Lotus, the Emotional Support Animal.
The school also has a dedicated Inclusion Hub that hosts the Unity class which is supported by Neuropedia Children’s Centre and their team of DHA registered professionals who provide Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Applied Behaviour Analysis. This class supports an alternative curriculum and school readiness programme onsite with a dedicated specialised teacher in the field of special educational needs. An additional fee applies to this specialist service.
Support is also provided by the wider Neuropedia team, including a paediatric neurologist and neurodiagnostics practitioner, paediatric physiotherapist, paediatric feeding therapist, clinical geneticist and Paediatric Orthopaedist. All practitioners work closely together to support individual student programmes as required.
The adapted strength-based curriculum embraces specialist therapy in which students are effectively included in all aspects of the school journey through a play-based and child-led learning environment. They can also participate in all facets of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, with access to farm and gardening activities, physical education and phonics, as well as social behaviour development via outdoor playtime, and exposure to diversity and language improvement.
A highlight for students is the opportunity to engage with the school’s pet canine, Lotus, who plays an important role within the school as an ‘emotional support animal’.
GEMS Metropole also offers a curriculum which incorporate elements from ASDAN in which 21 students are currently involved with training in Food Preparation and Hygiene.
ASDAN is an education charity and awarding organisation whose courses foster personal, social and work-related skills. ASDAN programmes are widely recognised by educators for providing an engaging curriculum that empowers students through personalised learning and choice. Courses are designed to motivate and enhance learners' confidence, self-esteem and resilience. In addition, learners develop core skills in teamwork, communication, problem solving, research and self-management. The programmes are designed for young people and adults aged seven to 19 and over.
MTS further supports relevant students through a blended approach to ASDAN and BTEC studies.
The MTS School Inclusion Team offers individualised assessments to cater for students with additional needs. These assessments inform the development of Individualised Education Plans (IEPs) which are written in partnership with the student, parents/guardians, teachers, any external therapy agencies and Learning Support Assistants. MTS has a range of working partnerships with external therapy agencies as well as its in-house Inclusion team which works closely with a Counselling Team, the English Additional Language Team. MTS is also connecting with universities offering SEN support with a view to assisting SEN students in their tertiary education ambitions.
Support for students with Gifts and Talents is provided through the Futures Programme which provides a monthly newsletter, workshops on various careers and topics as well as individual coaching sessions.
Whilst there are no additional fees for the provision of learning support in general, the school does make a charge of AED 750 for English Language Learner support depending on the degree required. In addition, if a student requires a Learning Support assistant, this can be arranged either through the provision of an LSA by the school for which a monthly fee is payable, or the Inclusion team will assist in supporting parents recruit their own LSA.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com is particularly pleased to see that MTS is one of an increasing number of schools that publish their exam results. Whilst we fully recognise that exam success is not the be-all and end-all of education, it is inevitably an important factor in parent school choice. The school publishes its results on its website.
In 2022, MTS achieved its best ever results, being among the top three schools within the GEMS network. 61 students sat a total of 177 A Levels examinations. 7% of exam entries were awarded A*, whilst 37% were awarded A*-A and 65% A*-B.
At I/GCSE, MTS came among the top 8 GEMS schools with a sizable 2022 cohort of 147 students who sat a total of 1,061 examinations. 10% of all entries were awarded Grade 9 at GCSE, 24% Grades 9-8 (A*), 39% Grades 9-7 (A*-A), and 83% Grades 9 -4 (A*-C).
With the Covid 19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of examinations for the second year in 2021, students at MTS were awarded results based on Centre Assessed Grades which were determined by staff at the school on the basis of internal assessments and predicted grades.
A small cohort of 42 students were entered for a total of 123 A Level examinations. 20% of awards were at A*, 41% at A*-A, 89% at A*-C and 98% A*-E (this being the overall pass rate).
A much larger cohort of 137 students were entered for 1,000 I/GCSE examinations. 8.6% of entries were awarded the highest Grade 9, 21.2% were awarded grade A* (9-8), 37.8% achieved A*-A grades (9-7), and 75.5% were awarded A*-C. The overall pass rate was 88.9%
The school revealed very limited details of I/GCSE results in the first year of the pandemic in 2020, advising only that 34% of awards were at A*-A, 53% at A*-B and 88% at A*-C.
Two very large new extensions have been built since the opening of the school in 2014 – one at the front of the school which houses predominantly younger students, and a further block at the end and rear of the original building which houses older students. Now fully open to Year 13, this second extension has made space for the Sixth Form and includes all the additional specialist rooms associated with the senior school.
Innovation is an essential part of the way in which the curriculum is delivered at MTS and the school offers Wi-Fi throughout the school buildings, iMac Computer Suites and a Portable Windows Computer Suite - the use of technology is based on a ‘Bring your own Device’ programme. All classrooms are equipped with either an interactive whiteboard or a large LCD television, all connected with Apple TV. There are three libraries - Foundation Stage, Primary and Secondary - seven Secondary Science Labs - 'offering spacious, excellent facilities in which students can study Biology, Chemistry and Physics'. Primary students have access to a Primary Discovery Lab.
The school also features Innovation Rooms, two Music Rooms, a drama room, Art Rooms, Performing Arts Rooms, the Inclusion Centre for Students of Determination, a Parent Café, Secondary Café and Student Canteen. A Sixth Form Common Room & Study Room within the Sixth Form centre is equipped with Wi-Fi and technology, as well as leisure activities such as pool. The kitchen lab is used for home economics sessions. The school has a Studio and Radio room for students who run a weekly radio show or practice debates during their Metropole Talk sessions. The school is registered as an IELTS testing Centre.
Outdoor facilities include fully equipped playgrounds in both FS and Key Stage 1, a Peace Garden, and Student Gardens.
Read our Experience visit report here to find out more about the facilities at GEMS Metropole.
Sports facilities include a Foundation Stage PE Hall, two Multi-purpose Sports Halls, a multi-purpose Astroturf field with markings for a football pitch, athletics track and rounders pitch, a trainer pool and main Swimming Pool, two multi-use games areas with markings for tennis, basketball and netball courts, and a Dance Studio. MTS has recently introduced the Stable gym, which provides a fitness gym, dance studio and calisthenics area for secondary students and staff, probably one of the largest assigned fitness spaces in any school in Dubai.
MTS received its fourth Acceptable rating from the KHDA's DSIB inspection team in 2019-20 just ahead of the halt to inspection as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
It was clear that substantial improvements had been made and these were further evidenced by the award of a Good overall rating with Outstanding features by British Schools Overseas in late 2021.
BSO contracts inspections on behalf of the British Department of Education to accredit international schools offering the National Curriculum for England.
In the first post-Covid 2022-23 KHDA inspection round, MTS finally received the Good rating that it clearly deserved. It should be added that MTS did not simply achieve sufficient improvements to 'just' be awarded the Good rating - rather they smashed it!
The school achieved Very Good ratings across all areas of Students' Personal development; the relationship between the school, parents and the community; Governance; Management, staffing, facilities and resources; and leadership.
With the exception of Arabic and Islamic Studies which remain a mixture of Good and Acceptable ratings eight of these ratings were improvements from Weak in 2020), in terms of Student Achievement, every measure for English, maths and science is rated Good, as are students' Learning Skills. Within the Secondary and post-16 phases, 13 of the 14 ratings had improved.
For Teaching and Assessment, and the Curriculum, the two standards which fundamentally drive Student Achievement, every measure is now rated Good. Students' personal development is rated Very Good across the board, whilst students' Understanding of Islamic values and awareness of Emirati and world cultures, together with their Social responsibility and innovation skills are all rated Good - with the exception of the latter for Primary students where it is rated Very Good.
Health and Safety, including Child Protection and safeguarding were again rated Outstanding, whilst Care and support was rated Very Good.
The final key performance standard - that of Leadership and Management - was awarded a mix of Good and Very Good ratings.
Commenting on their findings in the introduction to the report, the inspection team said "The school has made significant improvements to all core subjects since the previous inspection, notably in Arabic as both a first and an additional language. Secondary and post-16 students’ achievement in English, mathematics, and science has improved. Students' learning skills have also improved in Secondary and Post-16, contributing to very good results in external examinations. Students of determination make very good progress towards their learning goals."
In terms of provision for learners, the inspectors also noted that "The quality of teaching and assessment has improved across all phases. Teachers effectively engage students in purposeful activities, using skillful questioning to promote critical thinking and meaningful dialogue. In the Foundation Stage (FS) the curriculum is guided by children's interests. The thematic approach extends and develops in Primary. In the upper phases, students experience an increasing range of choices and pathways to match their differing needs. The curriculum is interesting and offers many opportunities for the development of students` innovation, entrepreneurial and creativity skills. The school's well-organised extra-curricular provision enhances students’ development and motivation.
Particularly positive words were reserved for the Leadership and Management of MTS. "The principal with a strong senior leadership team, has established a purposeful learning community that provides a caring environment which values inclusivity and wellbeing. The wider leadership group is committed to improvement and understands the importance of judging the effectiveness of teaching through its impact upon students’ learning outcomes. Leaders have secured a consistently good quality of teaching and assessment across phases and subjects."
In terms of the strengths of GEMS Metropole School, the inspection team noted:
As far as areas of improvement are concerned, MTS should:
If you would like to read the full KHDA inspection report - and we strongly advise you to do so in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings - you will find it here.
The WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Parent Survey has received a substantial number (close to 200) of responses. Parents give the school an extremely positive score of 4.4/5 - a positivity rating of 88%. The majority of responses in terms of students' sense of belonging and enjoyment of school, satisfaction levels with feedback from the school and its disciplinary policy were well ahead of UAE averages.
40% of respondents had moved their child from another school in the UAE to join MTS - thus making a positive decision to choose the school. 16% of respondents had considered moving their child to another school (but had not done so) - well below the average of 25%. 77% of parents were fully satisfied with the quality of education (above the UAE average of 75%), although 26% considered it necessary to organise outside tuition for their children (below the seemlingly ever-growing trend among UAE parents, where the average is 29%) .
Close to 9 in 10 parents (86%) would recommend MTS to others (compared with 68% in 2021), although 7% each were equally not sure or would not - these numbers are half those of two years ago. Even the often contentious issue of fees, and whether they represent value for money, seems to be one where MTS parents are going against the grain. 61% totally agreed that they represented value for money (a full 10 points higher then the UAE average) whilst 30% partially agreed with this statement, with only 9% disagreeing. Compared with two years ago, there has clearly been a significant turnaround in opinion among parents.
At that time, we commented "at the moment, it seems that a substantial proportion of parents are not yet entirely convinced that GEMS Metropole is meeting their aspirations for their children". The latest data shows much more satisfied feedback from parents and this is clearly supported by the views of the KHDA.
If you are a parent, teacher or student at GEMS Metropole, please share your experiences and opinions with potential members of your school community by completing our survey here.
At the time of its opening, GEMS Metropole was ahead of the field in terms of its aim to provide a mid-range education in a school with mid-range plus facilities and a staff predominantly from the UK. With the award of a Good rating from both the KHDA and BSO, it is clear that the school is now delivering the quality of education that went with those aims.
Clearly word about GEMS Metropole has spread and the school is in heavy demand. No wonder, then, that GEMS Education has decided to build on the success of the Metropole brand by opening a sister school in Al Waha in time for the 2023-24 academic year. With a lack of other schools in the same price bracket with a similar quality of facilities in this geographic area, it has the advantage.
When we asked the Principal of GEMS Metropole Motor City what makes the school special, Mr. Iqbal told us:
"At GEMS Metropole, our sense of community is a fundamental strength that sets us apart. We take great pride in fostering an inclusive environment, and it's no surprise that our inclusive programmes are in high demand due to the exceptional care and services we provide. Our overarching goal is to enrich the lives of our young students, empowering them to become resilient leaders, preparing them for their future. However, what truly sets us apart and serves as the cornerstone of our institution is our unwavering focus on leadership.
"Leadership is not just a buzzword here at GEMS Metropole; it's a value that is deeply ingrained in our school's DNA. Our motto is ‘discover leadership’ and the school aims to stay true to this at every stage of a student's learning journey. From academics to sports, from arts to community service, we aim to instil the spirit of leadership in every aspect of our students' lives.
"Our students are encouraged to embrace leadership opportunities, take initiative, and inspire others through their actions. Whether it's leading a team project, organising events, or simply demonstrating kindness and empathy, we nurture and celebrate leadership qualities in each and every student.
"We are dedicated to further embedding the golden thread of leadership throughout our school. It is an integral part of our identity, guiding our curriculum, extracurricular activities and overall educational experience. By cultivating leaders at a young age, we are confident that our students will go on to make a positive impact in their chosen fields and contribute meaningfully to society.
"At GEMS Metropole, we are not just shaping the minds of our students; we are shaping future leaders who will make a difference in the world. Our commitment to fostering leadership sets us apart and makes our school truly exceptional."
Fees for 2023-24 are at the mid-range plus level: for FS1, AED 36,560, for FS2 AED 39,885, AED 43,209 from Year 1 to Year 6, and AED 48,748 from Years 7 to 13. This flat rate structure across Primary and Secondary is unusual and especially reasonable compared with many schools in the city.
Sibling discounts are also available with 25% on the fourth child, and 50% on the fifth child.
MTS has also introduced scholarships for some students. Recipients are required to show strong and ongoing contribution to the life of the school in their particular field, to work hard and to set a good example. Scholarships are awarded for excellence in one or more fields of the life of the School. The awarding of a Scholarship requires good conduct and achievement in the school
Scholarships may be awarded for high achieving students who show excellence or outstanding potential in one or more of the following areas: Academic (for students in Year 6 onwards), Sports (for students in Year 3 onwards), or Quran (from Year 1 onwards).
GEMS Metropole School Motor City 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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