United Arab Emirates / Sharjah / Muweilah / GEMS Millennium School Sharjah

GEMS Millennium School Sharjah Review

GEMS Millennium School (GMS) is an all-through day-boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18. A member of the GEMS Education Group, GMS follows the Central Board of Secondary Education curriculum from New Delhi, India.
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4.3 out of 5 based on 284 reviews
At a glance
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
AED 18,000
Annual fees
AED 10,800–20,700
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
2010
School year
Apr to Mar
Principal
Teresa Varman
Owner
GEMS Education
Community
Main teacher nationality
India
Main student nationality
India
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GEMS Millennium School Sharjah
School type
International
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
AED 18,000
Annual fees
AED 10,800–20,700
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
2010
School year
Apr to Mar
Principal
Teresa Varman
Owner
GEMS Education
Community
Main teacher nationality
India
Main student nationality
India
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GEMS Millennium School (GMS) is an all-through day-boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18. A member of the GEMS Education Group, GMS follows the Central Board of Secondary Education curriculum from New Delhi, India.

The story so far . . .

When asking the community for opinions on the most-loved schools in Sharjah, you are sure to receive a wide range of answers from parents, teachers, and students alike. But rarely will you find a school that is so highly spoken of, and by so many, as GEMS Millennium School Sharjah (GMS Sharjah).

These comments may come from parents:

"Every student is given an equal opportunity to develop their talents. The school focuses on the overall development of every student." – July 2021

"[GMS Sharjah] provides a congenial environment for students, with friendly teachers who are encouraging, supportive and provide prompt feedback.” – July 2021

Or teachers:

"Key Strengths: Excellent environment. Provides great support to teachers; irrespective of the background they come from. Key Weakness[es]: None." – June 2021

"[GMS Sharjah] provides the stability to nurture and value our own growth and development. Teachers are guided at each step by the line managers and applauded for their talents. Professional development is carried out in the most effective way. Aspiring teachers are valued and encouraged to take up higher positions that may help them to become leaders in their job. Every teacher is given an opportunity to do what she/he can according to her ability/talent." – June 2021

Or students:

"Strength: Guidance and support from the school in every aspect and it's welcoming atmosphere. Rewarding commendable performance in every field multiple times a year. Weakness: I cannot find any weakness." – June 2021

"Strengths of my school are that the faculty is really friendly and helpful towards students. Everyone is encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities and develop other skills." – June 2021

Opened in 2010 in the popular Muweilah district of Sharjah, GEMS Millennium School Sharjah (GMS Sharjah) is a well-known Indian curriculum school affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in New Delhi, India. GMS Sharjah describes itself as school which aims to “nurture well-rounded personalities with the skills they need to excel in the world they will inherit”, by cultivating a high standard of academic excellence alongside a colourful program of extra-curricular activities.

GEMS Millennium School is an inclusive school that believes in inspiring a passion for learning, encouraging emotional and intellectual vitality, and empowering students with the confidence and courage to achieve their dreams. To support this, GMS offers an enriched curriculum that is engaging, challenging and robust.

Aspiring to be a school which students “love to visit each day, a place where they can gain in stature, confidence and academic ability from a very young age”, GMS Sharjah encourages children to pursue a variety of interests and engage in holistic personal development – to achieve this, GMS Sharjah has established itself as a ‘Day Boarding School’, an arrangement which offers a longer school day so that after-school activities are included within the timetable. (This model has been similarly made use of in GMS Sharjah’s sister school, GEMS Millennium School Dubai.)

At the heart of GMS Sharjah is its Vision, Mission, and Core Values, which direct every aspect of the school’s approach to education:

Our Vision:

GEMS Millennium School will provide a happy and inspiring learning environment that helps all students to realize their full potential, succeed in their chosen field, and make valuable contributions to the community.

Our Mission: 

  • Appreciate and respect the culture and traditions of the United Arab Emirates.
  • Cultivate important values like tolerance, integrity, and benevolence.
  • Create opportunities to instil a responsible global outlook.
  • Educate and foster each child’s well-being.
  • Pique students' interests and expand their potential to the fullest by means of varying challenges.
  • Train future leaders through innovation in education and treasuring of cultural heritage.

Our Core Values: 

  • ONE TEAM – I am a team player. I work with the bigger picture in mind. I put the team’s needs ahead of my own.
  • EXCELLENCE – I dream big, setting ambitious goals, delivering the highest quality and aiming to the best at what I do.
  • CARE – I respect the needs of my stakeholders. I ensure they feel listened to and cared for.
  • ALWAYS LEARNING – My open minded curiosity fuels my love for learning. I ask question and listen so that I continuously learn and improve.

Much of this educational methodology comes from the GEMS Education Group, the body which governs not only GMS Sharjah but a host of schools throughout the Middle East. GEMS Education is one of the world's largest private education providers, with 44 schools in the UAE and Qatar alone, as well as schools in KSA, Egypt, Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and North America. GEMS Education instils a strong sense of identity in every one of their schools by pursuing the same unwavering mission: to put a quality education within the reach of every learner no matter where they are.

The person responsible for carrying out this vision day-to-day is Principal Teresa Varman, an educator who highlights the importance of pastoral care alongside academic achievement. In her view, students should not just learn but be encouraged to imagine and build, engineer and design, model and create – by helping students balance a rigorous program of study with extracurricular activities, Ms. Varman believes students benefit from an interactive and interdisciplinary approach which “fosters critical thinking, active collaboration, creative exploration, and effective communication – skills, competencies, and attitudes integral to future success”.

Of course, any school aspiring to success knows that this cannot be achieved without the teachers who work tirelessly in and out of the classroom to support students. Ms. Varman identifies the GMS Sharjah staff’s primary goal as helping students balance the rigorous programmes of study with extracurricular activities, so that they develop their individual interests, passions, and talents. As Ms. Varman explains, the GMS Sharjah team “of highly qualified and experienced teachers is committed to knowing, understanding and celebrating every child” – by cultivating an environment of inclusivity and encouragement, staff ensure that students feel their voices and opinions are valued, allowing them to freely express their curiosity and creativity, and therefore grow in confidence as learners.

This is not always an easy task in Indian curriculum schools, which tend to have larger class sizes than average. GMS Sharjah for example, has an average class size of 27, with 33 students in its largest class. In classes of this size it can be difficult to provide students with any kind of individual attention and support, so GMS employs multiple teachers in each class, including support teachers, to ensure a teacher–student ratio of 1:16. Even so, with over 2,000 students currently enrolled, and between 400 and 600 students in each school phase, parents can expect to see their children learning in busy, full class environments.

The majority of students at GMS Sharjah are Indian, although there is a recorded total of 11 different nationalities currently present. Similarly, the majority of staff are Indian as well, although the school also boasts staff from countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.

GMS Sharjah is a school with no shortage of achievements and accreditations, some of which can be found below:

  • GMS Sharjah has been approved as a Common Sense Certified School since 2016, acknowledging the school’s commitment to creating a culture of digital learning and citizenship.
  • GMS Sharjah is also recognised as a Microsoft Showcase School, part of a global community of schools engaged in innovative change to improve teaching and learning using Microsoft’s K-12 Education Transformation Framework.
  • For initiatives promoting sustainable development and awareness, GMS Sharjah was one of twenty-five schools to be awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag in recognition of excellence in environmental action and learning.
  • GMS Sharjah has been chosen as the Beacon School to lead the ‘Celebrating Tolerance in our Nation’s Schools’ exchange program. Jointly led by the Ministry of Tolerance and the Ministry of Education, this initiatives features partnerships between public and private schools designed to foster “greater understanding, trust, and inclusion of others through activities, events, and extracurricular experiences”.

On Wednesday 29 September 2021, it was announced that GMS Sharjah would be opening a new pre-Kindergarten provision, to meet a growing demand for places for students aged three or below. It was said that each class would have two teachers experienced in Early Years learning and an assistant, for a 1:8 adult–child ratio, and that these classes would be house within a purpose-built section of the school equipped with colourful, soft play areas and a large variety of stimulating learning spaces”.  

Starting on Sunday 03 October, the school opened three new classes in its Early Learning section, to offer places for a total of 75 children – it is the first GEMS Education Indian curriculum school in Sharjah to offer this opportunity. GMS Sharjah believes that allowing children early exposure to STREAM-integrated classes will give them a head-start in their education, and enable a seamless transition into the main school:

“When it comes to ensuring that your child has the greatest possible chance at succeeding and in preparing your child for a future of achievement, there is a growing acceptance that the pre-KG experience might well be at the heart of the equation . . . Children who have this opportunity are more socially, emotionally and mentally mature, and consequently learn more, achieve more and succeed more. Pre-KG is a critical period for teaching a whole host of life skills important for school readiness including focusing, emotional regulation, critical thinking, problem-solving and communication. The pre-KG experience at GEMS Millennium School, Sharjah is thoughtfully designed to give students this early advantage.”

What about the Curriculum?

GMS Sharjah follows the curriculum of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), based in New Dehli, India. As with all schools in the UAE, GMS Sharjah also follows the Ministry of Education (MOE) curriculum, so that Arabic Language, Islamic Studies (for Muslim students), and Moral Education classes are compulsory for all students from Grade 1 to Grade 12. Additionally, Social Studies is compulsory for all students from Grade 1 to Grade 9.

With English as the medium of instruction, the CBSE curriculum is said to value understanding over memorisation, balancing teacher-led activities with student-engineered activities. As a result, GMS has moved away from the older, more traditional methods, such as rote memorisation, teacher lectures, and pen and paper exams. Instead, as the school website explains, a “vast range of teaching methods prevents boredom and children are encouraged to learn at their own pace”, while emphasis is placed on evaluating student success “in a way that boosts the morale of a child and pushes him/her to further achievement”:

Although examinations are an indispensible [sic] part of the education system, care is taken to see that the teaching learning process is effective and learning is internalized. Continuous and comprehensive evaluation does not exclude traditional examinations but merely de-emphasizes them.”

Other methods of assessment include self-assessment, peer assessment, parental assessment, and informal daily anecdotal reporting by teachers. GMS Sharjah believes that report cards should be ‘demystified’ for students, so that they can receive constructive feedback in clear and simple language that the student can then act upon for improved performance.

Of course, academic success isn’t everything in school – GMS Sharjah states that it conducts holistic assessment of the scholastic and co-scholastic progress of all students, to ensure a well-rounded development and to encourage interests. In addition, personality development and social behaviour are said to be scrutinised daily.

A GMS Sharjah education starts in their Early Years Program, which covers both Pre-KG and Kindergarten. Staff at GMS Sharjah believe that a “child's first experiences of school are instrumental in shaping how they view learning. The curriculum is designed to allow your child to discover interests and talents as well as equip them to become life-long learners”. Children are encouraged to explore, learn, interact, and have fun, as a means of gaining confidence, growing in independence, and developing cognitive, affective, and motor capabilities.

Activities are theme-based and emphasise multi-sensory modes of learning in order to strengthen what GMS Sharjah considers ‘the core areas’: Language and Communication; Numeracy; Gross and Fine Motor Skills; and Emotional, Social, and Creative Skills. These areas are explored through the following subjects:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Environmental Studies
  • Art and Craft
  • Music  
  • Physical Education

There are no formal assessments in the Kindergarten, but records of individual student attainment and progress are maintained for each thematic unit through an ongoing system of oral activities, written activities, and video recordings.

After successfully completing the Early Years Program, students move on to the Primary School, where GMS Sharjah seeks to nurture the Language, Cognitive, Personal, Social, Emotional, Physical, Inquiry, Spiritual, Creative, and Imaginative skills of every child. The curriculum at this stage is child-centred, activity-based, and experiential in nature, with ample opportunities provided “to encourage children to become active and independent learners, taking responsibility for their own learning”.

At this stage, periodic tests are described as an integral part of the evaluation system, and are implemented to ascertain the knowledge, understanding, and skills of students. A home-school partnership is also emphasised at this point, which the school believes goes a long way in contributing to the success of each child.

Students in Grades 1 to 4 will take the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Environmental Studies
  • Moral Education
  • Arabic
  • Islamic Education/Moral Instruction
  • Second Language (Hindi, Malayalam, or French)
  • ICT
  • Performing and Visual Arts
  • Physical Education and Swimming (for Grades 3 and 4)

Second languages are introduced in Grade 1 and continue up to Grade 10 (so the school advises students to make their choice carefully). Requests from students to change their selected second language will be considered up until Grade 2 only – from Grade 3 onwards, students who wish to change their second language must take an entry level test in both Grammar and Comprehension to determine proficiency in the language. Changing subjects will only be allowed if the student gets a minimum of 50% on the entry test, and if there are seats available in the desired class. Beyond Grade 6, no changes can be made.

Grades 5 to 8 at GMS Sharjah are called Middle School, and are identified as a time when students are moulded into reflective learners and critical thinkers, with an emphasis on being visually creative and enterprising, developing the right study habits, and acquiring in-depth conceptual knowledge.

The CBSE curriculum at this stage is research-orientated and based on teamwork via discussions, group project work, discovery, and exploration. GMS Sharjah plans this curriculum “with the aim of providing a broad, balanced and relevant course of study”, especially promoting the Moral, Cultural, Social, and Physical development of all students – this, the school believes, will begin to prepare them for the responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

Students in Grades 5 to 8 will take the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Moral Education
  • Arabic
  • Islamic Education/Moral Instruction
  • Second Language (Hindi, Malayalam, or French)
  • ICT
  • Performing and Visual Arts
  • Physical Education and Swimming

Secondary School at GMS Sharjah covers Grades 9 and 10, where students enhance their skills and develop an aptitude towards certain learning areas, which will then help them choose what subjects to pursue. The school expects that by this stage “most students will be responsible for their own learning and will take an active interest in developing and setting academic goals for themselves”. In addition to continuing the same subjects studied in Grades 5 to 8, students will also undertake a Work Experience unit, before completing the All India Secondary School Certificate Examination at the end of Grade 10.

A GMS Sharjah education culminates in the completion of Grades 11 and 12, also known as Senior Secondary School. Students at this stage become more focused on their career choices, and the academic focus is on equipping students for research-based higher education. While students work towards the All India Senior School Certificate Examination at the end of Grade 12, they also have the opportunity to “exhibit their leadership qualities and emerge as responsible citizens of the world”.

As is common in CBSE curriculum schools, Grade 11 and 12 students have a choice between the Science Stream or the Commerce Stream. While students can still pursue more creative interests in extra-curriculars, parents should keep in mind that options in both available streams are limited to more traditional subjects:

Science Stream 

  • English Core
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Psychology


Commerce Stream

  • English Core
  • Business Studies
  • Marketing
  • Informatics Practices
  • Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Psychology
  • Arabic
  • Moral Education 
  • Physical Education

As can be seen, CBSE schools like GMS Sharjah place a lot of emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects, and seek to ensure their students have access to meaningful opportunities within the curriculum framework. However, to ensure that students are receiving a well-rounded education, GMS Sharjah has invested in Lego Education and PITSCO education in order to offer students engaging, hands-on STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) experiences as well.

It is GMS Sharjah’s hope that, through such STREAM programs, students will learn to investigate problems and find possible solutions; build collaboration and communication skills as they share their learning processes with their peers; learn to see failure as a form of information gathering; and develop an understanding of how parts work together to create a whole.

To offer students as many chances to excel as possible, GMS Sharjah runs a number competitions and awards, to recognise and inspire high achievement. The Academic Laureate, for example, awards badges and certificates twice a year to the top-achieving students in Grades 1 to 12. Meanwhile, the Gold Ribbon Awards are dispensed in a number of categories, and celebrate student achievement in specific areas, be it sports, the arts, or other talents.

GMS Sharjah also chooses a ‘Star Student’ from each grade every month, and takes part in the Sharjah Award for Education Excellence. While the Star Student program is run by GMS Sharjah, the Sharjah Award for Educational Excellence is a national competition run by the Sharjah Education Council. Designed to recognise outstanding achievers who strive for leadership and innovation, the Award is open to students in Grades 4 to 12, attending both public or private schools in the UAE. To be eligible, students must have achieved 90% or above in each of the past three years, as well as the first semester of the nomination year.

So, as far as academics go, GMS Sharjah obviously seeks to provide its students with a broad, thorough education that will prepare them for university and beyond, and makes sure to reward achievement. But what about the students who don’t achieve so highly, or who are simply less competitive?

GMS Sharjah has that covered as well, and in fact says that the “hallmark of a quality school is its ability to develop happy, creative and mindful students”; to this end, the school tries to offer students as many experiences both inside and outside of the classroom as possible. All students are placed within one of the four school houses: Autumn House, Spring House, Summer House, and Winter House. The house system allows for the organisation of inter-house competitions in a variety of areas, and teaches students about teamwork and leadership.

GMS Sharjah runs a number of whole school programs for everyone to get involved in: the Olympiad helps to build students’ skills in Mathematics, Science, Spelling, and General Knowledge, while the Just a Minute (JAM) initiative is aimed at improving public speaking and communication skills. Kindergarten and Primary School students put on Sports and Drill displays every year, as well as participating in the Primary Concert, and the whole school comes together to celebrate events like National Day and Annual Prize Day.

Most notable perhaps are the K-SEP and SEP programs, which start in KG1 and Grade 3 respectively. These after-school programs are facilitated and supported by suitably qualified staff and allow students to explore their innate interests. For younger students, the K-SEP program offers activities such as Roller Skating; Football; Cricket; Fun with Coding; Eurhythmics; Art & Craft; Story Time; Drama and Theatre; Free Play; Imaginarium; Music and Yoga for Little Chefs; and STEAM-based activities such as Spelling Bees.

The SEP program meanwhile, which runs from Grade 3 to Grade 8, includes activities such as Creative Writing; Elocution; Painting; Debate; Choral Singing; Performing Arts; Robotics; Art and Clay Modelling; Calligraphy; Music; Dance; Drama and Theatre; Robotics; Microsoft Academy; Tech Club; Photography & Film Making; Badminton; Football; Swimming; Roller Skating; Basketball; Cricket; Chess; Model United Nations; and Quiz and Scrabble. In addition, as a school that is conscious of its unique location and environment, GMS Sharjah seeks to teach students “the value of protecting the environment locally and globally” through clubs like the Environment Club, Green Thumb Club, and Waste Warriors.

It should be noted that from Grade 9, students are expected to attend academic support and reinforcement sessions in all core subjects, so they can only participate in one game/activity of their choice. It is further expected that students in Grades 10, 11, and 12 will focus on their subject practicals rather than extra-curricular activities.

What about Inclusion?

GMS Sharjah describes itself as an inclusive school:

The GEMS vision for Inclusive Education is that we achieve excellence together by all students receiving the support they need to meaningfully belong to their school and wider community, feel valued for their contributions, engage purposefully in learning and experience academic, cultural, social and emotional success in a common learning environment”.

GMS Sharjah was kind enough to share with WhichSchoolAdvisor.com current information about their Special Education Needs (SEN) students for the academic year 2021-22. There are currently 160 students who are defined as ‘Students of Determination’, and the school uses three levels of intervention to delineate the severity of a student’s need and the amount of support needed.

At Level 1, for example, the lowest level of intervention, there are 72 students who benefit from extra attention to ensure they do not fall behind their peers. At Level 2, there are 44 students working with the SEN team, and at Level 3, for those students most in need, there are 44 individuals currently identified.

SEN provision is free at GMS Sharjah, and there are 3 Special Educators and 2 Counsellors who make up the SEN support team. The counsellors collaborate with staff, families, and outside providers to support the wellbeing of all children, not just SEN students. For example, GMS Sharjah also provides extension work for Gifted and Talented students, and any student can see the school counsellors, either through self-referral, staff referral, or parent referral.

We are determined to make a change in the lives of these students by guaranteeing the right to receive quality education. They will be actively supported to participate in the process of learning with appropriate education plans, accommodations and curriculum modifications and Learning Support Assistants, if needed.

It is heartening to see that GMS Sharjah is firm on its stance that no student should be refused admission based only on their special educational need or disability. Instead, GMS Sharjah asks that parents share educational histories and full details of any potential special needs prior to being offered a place at the school, so that staff can ensure an appropriate assessment of educational need, educational plans, and resourcing are all in place.

In terms of what parents can actually expect in terms of identification and support for their children, GMS Sharjah offers a detailed Inclusion Policy on its website, in both English and Arabic. Some highlights though are included below:

  • Students are identified through baseline checklists, internal assessments, and external examination scores like CAT 4, ASSET, and PASS; teacher and parent referrals are also considered to triangulate and conclude.
  • Students are supported even when parents delay external assessments for any reason.
  • Specialised classes include Push-In Sessions, Pull-Out Sessions, and Movement Therapy; students who require individualised support are also provided with Shadow Teachers (who are guided and trained by Special Educators and Counsellors).
  • Modified curriculums and subject exemptions are provided according to the individual needs of the student and CBSE requirements.
  • Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and accommodations are provided for all Students of Determination.
  • All GMS Sharjah teachers take part in workshop modules designed to train them to support Students of Determination.
  • Parents can also attend Parent Support Groups, which provide a platform to meet people going through similar challenges and take part in ‘awareness sessions’ organised by the school (often run by invited experts in the field).

It’s not only students who need extra support or extension who can benefit from GMS Sharjah’s inclusion practices, though. The school also offers a department of Career Counselling, which helps students determine their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and aptitudes, as well as discuss any concerns they may have about careers or educational choices. To do this, students take part in individual and group sessions where they undergo “a personal analysis of their ideas, feelings, and choices”.

Students also have access to Mindler, an independent careers service which offers comprehensive testing to determine students’ aptitudes and help them and their parents learn about new and diverse career options. A new ‘career corner’ has also been added to the virtual classroom interface, which all students in Grades 9 to 12 have access to – here they can find information related to careers, newsfeeds, and upcoming workshops.

Once students have decided on their path, a School Counsellor guides them through the university application process and helps them connect with university representatives and subject experts through events like Career Fairs and workshops. The school also organises Virtual Career Fairs, so that students are not limited to just local universities, but can explore the possibility of attending university anywhere in the world.

What about Academic Achievement?

Unlike many schools in Sharjah, which do not publish any of their exam results, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com is thrilled to see that GMS Sharjah does in fact publish its CBSE results on the school website. While results are certainly not the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to choosing a school, it can certainly be an important factor for prospective parents (which is why GEMS generally only publishes the results of its highest performing schools).

GMS Sharjah currently has the results for the 2020-21 academic year available, and notes that the results are “well above the national averages across all subjects, and are a testament of the hard work and commitment of our students and staff”. A full breakdown of achievements from the last four years is available on the school website, which includes the number of students in each exam batch, the average mark achieved by each batch, and individual ‘school toppers’. Some highlights from the latest CBSE exams report are below:

GRADE 10 CBSE EXAM:

108 students took part in the CBSE Grade 10 Exams.
The Grade 10 batch average for 2021-21 was an impressive 85.9%.
45.3% of students scored 90% or above.
88% of students scored 75% or above.
100% of students scored 65% or above.

GRADE 12 CBSE EXAM:

79 students took part in the CBSE Grade 12 Exams.
The Grade 12 batch average for 2021-21 was an impressive 86.47%.
31.64% of students scored 90% or above.
82.27% of students scored 80% or above.
97.46% of students scored 75% or above.
100% of students scored 72% or above.
The batch average for the Science Stream was 88.41%.
The batch average for the Commerce Stream was 84.56%.

Other results published by GMS Sharjah include the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test scores. Administered to 15-year-olds, the PISA exams were recently undertaken by 69 students in the areas of Reading, Mathematics, and Science. In both Reading and Mathematics, the mean performance was 514, significantly higher than the national average of 434 and 427 respectively. Similarly, the mean performance in Science was 513, compared with the UAE average of 437.

It certainly seems that GMS Sharjah is focused on giving its students everything they need to achieve, both within school and beyond to university. Two students, one in Grade 3 and one in Grade 9, were recently awarded Sheikh Hamdan Awards for Distinguished Academic Performance, and the school website states that GMS Sharjah students have been accepted in 1,050 universities in 53 countries. The majority of students go to university in India, but many also attend university in countries like Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Italy, the UAE, and the UK.

What the Inspectors Say

Unlike schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Sharjah schools have not participated in regulatory inspections on a regular basis; while there were a few instances of inspections being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, schools did not generally publish the outcomes. With the initiation of SPEA (Sharjah Private Education Authority), the intention is that schools will be inspected using the common framework already in place in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

However, SPEA has decided to seek a collaborative approach with the schools for this process, and although we understand that initial inspections did take place prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, results of these inspections have not been published.

To the credit of GMS Sharjah, the School Accreditations page on their website includes information about the Sharjah Education Zone inspection from 2014-15 (when the school was rated 'Effective with Accreditation'), as well as all of the Summary Reports from 2016 onwards. GEMS does its own internal inspections, and in 2018-19, GMS Sharjah was rated as ‘Acceptable’.

As a result of the pandemic, Sharjah schools have participated in Distance Learning Evaluations (DLE), implemented by the Ministry of Education throughout the UAE (these results have been published). In its most recent Distance Learning Review Report (2020), GMS Sharjah’s implementation of distance learning was rated as Developed. 

Impressively, GMS Sharjah achieved the ‘Developed’ rating across every theme. Inspectors reported that students were engaged in learning activities regularly, and that the variety of academic and non-academic learning opportunities were promoting their education and wellbeing. Inspectors further noted that students seemed safe and confident on various digital platforms, and commended the way students supported each other through collaborative online lessons and activities.

Teachers were similarly praised, with the evaluation commending their incorporation of digital resources to meet the learning needs of different students. As well as ensuring efficient access to distance learning, the report praised GMS Sharjah’s approach to teaching these lessons:

[Teachers] share their expectations clearly and facilitate student-led learning. Teachers scaffold concept development through modifications in lessons and provide challenge to students to further their understanding and application skills.

School leaders were also evaluated, and inspectors were pleased to report that they were both regularly reviewing learning provisions and ensuring best practices were being incorporated with the support of school Governors. The evaluation noted that GMS Sharjah was “taking the necessary steps to meet the requirements of its longer-term plans, which plan for various possible future scenarios”. In addition, the school was found to be providing guidance to teachers and parents in their changed roles, and providing channels for open communication so that parents’ concerns were responded to quickly.

All DLE reports include potential areas for improvement, and GMS Sharjah was given two suggestions. Firstly, inspectors suggested the school work to further enhance younger children’s IT skills, so that they could access digital learning more independently. And secondly, inspectors advised the school to consistently promote parents’ support networks, “to encourage participation of a greater number of parents, to add value to the school’s programs and initiatives”. 

If you would like to read the full inspection report – which we strongly advise you to do in order to understand the reasons behind the ratings – you will find it here.

What about Facilities?

GMS Sharjah describes its facilities as ‘state-of-the-art’, and students are certainly not lacking when it comes to resources and environment. Classrooms and learning spaces are vibrant, as well as equipped with extensive IT infrastructure, such as interactive whiteboards, designed to assist teachers and enhance students’ learning experiences.

The Kindergarten has specially-built and imaginatively-planned free flow areas, and from their earliest years students begin to get involved with STEM through the school’s seven futuristic innovation spaces: FabLab; Imaginarium; MakerSpace; TinkerLab; Collaboratory; iLab; and Infinity Lab.

These exploration-oriented spaces inspire students’ creativity and supports enthusiasm, experimentation and collaboration. They are equipped with the latest in drones, 3D printers, laser cutters, LEGO, LEGO WeDo, electronic invention kits, microcomputers and microprocessors, robots and robotics kits, construction and assembly kits, and coding, invention and creation kits.

The school also boasts modern science laboratories, three ICT suites, and over 15,000 books held across three libraries. Other facilities include a large auditorium for theatre events and productions; two soundproof music rooms; large art spaces and creative design areas; a contemporary cafeteria with indoor seating (which serves a variety of healthy food options); outdoor seating for meal breaks; four specially-designed prayer rooms; two comfortable student lounges; and two well-equipped clinics which are manned by two qualified doctors and three nurses.

Sports facilities are a particular specialty of GMS Sharjah, and students have access to a large sports field with a 4-lane, 200m synthetic running track (with spectator seating areas). Other sports facilities include courts for basketball, volleyball, football, and badminton; cricket nets; athletics spaces such as long jump pits and shotput arenas; a swimming pool (with changing rooms for both boys and girls); and a multi-purpose hall. Because of their facilities, GMS Sharjah can offer on-campus training in activities like table tennis, roller skating, yoga, aerobics, Zumba, and chess.

The Buzz

Our WhichSchoolAdvisor.com parent surveys record a rating for the school of an impressive 4.3 out of 5, based on 284 reviews.

The impression our survey gives is that GMS Sharjah is a school filled with happy, confident students. 92% of all reviewers reported their child feeling a strong sense of belonging at GMS Sharjah, and 95% believed their children enjoyed going to school. Similarly, 85% of parent reviewers felt GMS Sharjah had improved their child’s confidence, and 74% felt that activities at the school like sports were inclusive rather than competitive, encouraging everyone to take part.

This sense of contentment extends to parents as well, who reported high levels of satisfaction with the school on many fronts. For example, 66% totally agree that the school fees represent good value for money, given the quality of schooling offered, compared to only 4% who disagree. Furthermore, there is an impressive 90% satisfaction rate with the level of academic performance at the school, an 89% satisfaction rate with the level of feedback from the school, and a 92% satisfaction rate with the disciplinary policy at the school and its implementation. 

A particularly well-reviewed area is teaching, both the development of skills within the classroom and without. 77% of parents do not feel the need to give their child additional tutoring to supplement their learning, and 91% are confident in the school’s abilities to meet their child’s specific learning needs. And though not a formal part of the curriculum, 78% feel the school develops students’ presentation and public performance abilities, enabling them to engage/speak in all situations.

Perhaps the easiest way to assess a school is to look at the two most crucial questions: Have you thought about moving your child from their current school? and Would you recommend your school to another parent? Well, GMS Sharjah makes this very easy, because only 10% of all reviewers have thought about their child from the school, and 94% would recommend the school to another parent. It is certainly clear that GMS Sharjah has earned itself a dedicated, strongly-supportive parent community, and that places in this school will always be in demand.

If you are a parent, teacher, or senior student at GMS please share your experience with other potential members of your school community by taking part in our survey.

GMS Sharjah is a school which clearly values the input of its parent community, and encourages parents of children in any grade to get involved:

We recognize that our ability to continue to flourish as a school depends on a solid partnership among students, staff and parents. It will always be our endeavour to build positive, trusting and long lasting relationships to support our students to be confident and highly successful individuals.

To this end, GMS Sharjah runs the Parent Forum, an “active parent-school partnership whose mandate is to work collaboratively for the realization of the school’s vision”. Started in 2016, the group’s aim is “to promote and develop effective and positive participation by parents in education at the school level”. Parents of children in any grade, from Kindergarten through to Grade 12, can get involved and attend periodic meetings where key issues are discussed and parent suggestions are sought after.

GMS Sharjah also runs a number of ‘Parent Engagement’ activities, to ensure all parents can get involved in their child’s education in one way or another. These events may be orientations, open houses, special assemblies, or school events; previously well-received activities have include talk shows, debates, the Art Extravaganza, storytelling events, quizzes, public speaking occasions, and STEM workshops.

What about Fees?

Education of this calibre doesn’t come cheap, and the fees at GMS Sharjah are significantly higher than many other schools in Sharjah. However, the trade-off is that students benefit from bigger, better, and more modern facilities, as well as the potential for stronger academic achievement:

Fee Structure for 2021/22 

Grades

MOE Approved Fees

Yearly Fee 2021- 2022

(AED)

Per Month

(AED)

Pre-KG

16000

10800

1080

KG I

16000

10800

1080

KG II

16000

14400

1440

Grade I

18000

16200

1620

Grade 2

18000

16200

1620

Grade 3

20000

18000

1800

Grade 4

20000

18000

1800

Grade 5

21000

18900

1890

Grade 6

21000

18900

1890

Grade 7

21000

18900

1890

Grade 8

21000

18900

1890

Grade 9

22000

19800

1980

Grade 10

22000

19800

1980

Grade 11

23000

20700

2070

Grade 12

23000

20700

2070

For new admissions, a fee of AED 500 will be due upon acceptance of the Offer Letter and confirmation of enrolment in the applicable academic year (this fee is non-refundable/non-transferable, but adjustable against the first term tuition fee once the student joins the school). Other fees include AED 250 in medical expenses, and AED 10 for a school ID card.

Applications and enrolment can be completed online, through the school website. The school website also provides a detailed uniform guide, and a link to the bus company that GMS Sharjah uses for its transportation, where parents can find information on fees and areas covered: www.brightbustransport.com.

One of the hallmarks of the GEMS group is their Rewards Program, which offers parents multiple ways to save on school fees, such as the use of credit cards or air miles. GMS Sharjah also offers fee concession to needy students, as part of its service to the community (the percentage of concession offered varies, depending on the situation). Students can apply for scholarships, such as The Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Scholarship for Academic Excellence, and a sibling discount of 25% is available for the 4th child of each family (provided all the four children are studying in GEMS Millennium School, Sharjah). For more information, explore https://www.gemsmillenniumschool-sharjah.com/Admissions/Save-on-your-school-fees

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

GEMS Millennium School Sharjah 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.

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