United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Mirdif / GEMS Royal Dubai School

GEMS Royal Dubai School Q & A

A mixed gender GEMS owned Foundation Stage to Year 6 school following the English National Curriculum, GEMS Royal Dubai School takes children from 3 to 11 years of age. The school is currently rated Very Good by the KHDA and Outstanding in all categories by British Schools Overseas.
Parents' Rating
4.2 out of 5 based on 40 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
Inspection rating
Very good
Curricula taught
Availability 2022/23
Availability 2023/24
Annual fee average
AED 47,000
Annual fees
AED 38,331–48,331
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jul
Teacher turnover help
Ms Jan Steel
GEMS Education
Main student nationality
United Arab Emirates
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
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Welcome to the GEMS Royal Dubai School official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.

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

Currently many of our year groups have limited spaces, for more information on places at GRDS please contact our Admissions Department.

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

GEMS Royal Dubai School is part of a High Performance Learning network in association with Professor Deborah Eyre and a COBIS member recognising British International Schools of global quality. GEMS Royal Dubai School offers a high standard of education and is the only Outstanding school in the Mirdiff area, rated as Outstanding since 2015.

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

GRDS has close to 900 students representing 63 nationalities.

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

Our highest nationalities of student are Emirati, Indian and British.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?


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

The school uses a suite of external assessments to ensure students are making good progress and to ensure they are on track to meet end of phase expectations. These include BASE, ASPECTS, GL Primary English, Maths and Science online tests, UK End of phase test in Y2 and Y6, CAT4 and the PASS.

Please provide details of how well your school did in its previous external exams for students at 16 and at 18 years of age? Please provide sufficient detail to allow parents to have a view on how academic your school is?

As a primary school educating children from the age of 3 years to 11 years, this is not applicable.

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

As a primary school educating children from the age of 3 years to 11 years, this is not applicable.

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

At GEMS Royal Dubai School we appreciate the valuable contribution of parents in supporting and enhancing their child’s learning at home. Each Year group has specific guidelines regarding time expectations which is relevant to the child’s age. A home learning grid provides children with an element of choice to complete fun, engaging and purposeful tasks at home.

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

All students have two hours of physical education on their timetable during the school week; one PE lesson and one swimming lesson. During the winter months the students have two PE lessons. We are currently introducing a Wake up Shake up morning routine.The school offers a wealth of ECAs and squads which are well attended.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Students benefit from opportunities to learn about nutrition, health lifestyle choices and mindfulness as part of the curriculum. Students are encouraged to make healthy eating choices when visiting the canteen, this is supported by the voice of the school Canteen Committee.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Healthy lifestyles are promoted through the Science, PE, PSHCE and Social Studies curriculum components. Teachers monitor school lunch boxes and work with families to promote a healthy balanced diet and our School Nurse offers Healthy Lunchbox talks each term.

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

Slices offer a packed lunch service to students in FS1 to Year 1, whilst those in Year 2 and above can buy the hot food available in the Student Canteen.

What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?

The Meal Deal is available for students where they can purchase a portion of hot food (non-veg) for Dhs 15.75 (including VAT). The vegetarian option costs Dhs 12.75 (including VAT).

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

All students begin their day at 7.35am, our youngest students in FS1 finish at 12.15pm (Sunday to Thursday) whilst those in FS2 to Year 6 finish at 2.30pm (Sunday to Wednesday) and at 1.15pm each Thursday.

Is there a school uniform?

We believe that smartness of dress transfers to the children's work and we encourage all our students to wear full RDS uniform at all times. THREADS uniform shop provide our school uniform, sold from their store in Cityland Mall close to Global Village.

Please advise on your discipline policy?

School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support is a systematic whole school approach to create a safe and productive learning environment that focuses on teaching and supporting positive behaviour for all students in our school. The procedures and processes are intended for all students and staff in all settings across the school. As part of School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support in our school we have developed

several clear rules for the behaviour we expect in all areas of the school. These are:

• Be Respectful

• Be Responsible

• Be Safe

Throughout the year we explicitly teach students what these expectations look like in different areas of the school and reward them frequently with descriptive praise, house points, certificates and other celebrations.

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

We use 2simple in Foundation Stage and Learning Ladders in Primary to support our formative assessment progress. Parents receive regular updates on their child’s learning; this particularly supports the target sharing process. Children who access additional support receive termly personalised education plans which discuss strengths and next steps.

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

Formal feedback is shared every 6 weeks. This appears in a variety of formats including: formal written reports, regular assessment data captures, open afternoons, learning walks and 3 way learning conferences. ACe meets with our parents every term to share individual education plans.

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

French is offered from Y3 as part of the curriculum and can accessed through an extracurricular activity in Year 1 and Year 2.

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

GRDS offer a comprehensive ELL (English Language Learning) programme to children across the school. For more information please contact the Achievement Centre.

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

A Prayer room is available on the ground floor for our visiting parents and guests whilst students may make use of the Prayer room on the upper level of the school.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

In class provision ensures a high level of challenge for who are gifted and talented, covering mastery of the curriculum and problem solving/critical thinking activities. The Achievement Centre offers enrichment opportunities through interventions as well as events through the Dubai Enrichment League.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

The Achievement Centre (ACe) can support children who are experiencing barriers to their learning across all 4 categories of need; cognition and learning, communication and interaction, social, emotional and mental health as well as physical and sensory. We have a full time counsellor as well as offer ELL and Gifted and Talented support.

We take a holistic approach to student wellbeing and personal development which is a clear partnership with the class teacher to ensure a child makes progress in their learning.

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?

GRDS offer a comprehensive programme to meet the varying needs of the children in our care this ranges from in class, small groups, one to one support and external agencies. For more information please contact the Achievement Centre.

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

Our Inclusion team is led by an experienced inclusion practitioner with over 11 years as a SENCo and a Masters in Education. She is also the Inclusion Network Leader for the GEMs network in Dubai.

Support is strengths-based, and personalised through the Individual Education Plan process where the student is at the centre of the process and a team approach is used with full involvement from parents, teachers and other support staff. The school places high importance on using evidence based programmes and practices to effectively support children with specific learning needs. Where appropriate, the school will refer parents to external sources for diagnosis, therapy and/or advice.

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

Where appropriate, the school will refer parents to external sources for diagnosis, therapy and/or advice.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

FORDS (Friends of Royal Dubai School) is run by parents for parents, families and members of the local community to meet socially, in and out school and to organize events to support RDS and licensed charities. Everyone is welcome to participate and new ideas are always welcome.

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

Parents are welcome in school to engage in their child’s learning. This is encouraged through parent support workshops, language classes, community days (such as International day, National day and Happiness day).

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

Yes the school has a board comprising of business leaders, parents, leaders and staff.

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

Each new school year begins with a Meet the Teacher session in the evening, outlining the classroom procedure. Parent Engagement workshops are available throughout the year to support parents when it comes to homework and assessments. All parents, old and new, are encouraged to attend these events and others, offered during the school year. Workshops and information sessions are held during the school day and in the evening so working parents can attend. All information is uploaded on our online portal, GEMS Connect, so parents can refer at their convenience.

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

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

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