United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Al Sufouh / GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai

GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai Review

Wellington International School, a mixed private school owned and run by GEMS Education, has been ranked Outstanding for the past seven years, one of a highly select few to have achieved that level of consistency.
GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai
First Published: Thursday 11 October, 2012
Updated: Tuesday 2 January, 2018

Wellington International School, a mixed private school owned and run by GEMS Education, has been ranked Outstanding for the past seven years, one of a highly select few to have achieved that level of consistency.

First Published: Thursday 11 October, 2012
Updated: Tuesday 2 January, 2018

NOTE: As GEMS Wellington International School received an Outstanding rating in 2015/2016, there is no new KHDA report for the 2016/2017 inspection cycle.

Wellington International School takes children from 3 years (FS1) to 18 years of age (Year 13). The 2400 plus students (from over 80 nationalities with the biggest groupings from the UK) are taught by 184 full-time teachers. Teachers are predominantly British and almost all have relevant teaching qualifications.  Of these teachers, 22 percent were new in the last academic year, down from a 29 per cent turnover. The teachers are supported by 66 teaching assistants.

The student to teacher ratio is currently at approximately 13:1, with classroom sizes between 25 and 27. This has remained fairly constant at the school.

The school's current principal Ruth Burke was formerly head teacher at JESS Jumeirah - another Outstanding school. Her predecessor, Keith Miller, moved to GEMS Wellington Academy in Al Khail. Since coming on board this year, Mrs Burke has proved adept at bringing order into a bustling, happy environment - and has already made the corridors her own - more on this below.

The school follows the English National Curriculum from Foundation Stage to Year 11. At the end of the secondary phase, students are entered for IGCSE and GCSE. In the post-16 phase, students follow the increasingly sought after International Baccalaureate programme.

The school’s latest KHDA report notes the very strong commitment to developing each individual “academically and also as a person". The school used to publicly posts its academic achievements (a big tick as far as WSA is concerned) on its Web site. However GEMS Education as a group no longer does this - a shame and very much a step backwards as far as we are concerned.

For GCSE results in 2017, the school did particularly well with 50% A* to A grades this year. In 2013, the last results data we have from the school, 93% of its students achieved 5 x A* - C and 89% achieved 5 x A* - C  including English and Maths. The results were broadly similar to 2012 when 93% of students achieved 5 or more A* to C grades including English and Maths. These results constituted a 13% increase from 2011 and were “the best ever achieved at the school”.

In the same year 96% of its post-16 students were awarded the IB Diploma, with results 18% above the World IB Average (WIS fails however to give the average score). This was a step up from 2012 when 80% of the school’s students passed the IB Diploma, and achieved results 1.5% above the IB Average pass rate of 78.5%.  At the time the average IB grade at Wellington was 30.4 out of 45. While there is no rule 34 is generally considered the benchmark for acceptance into 'Redbrick' UK universities. Tier one universities (such as Oxford) look for 38 or above.

Many schools do not like the focus parents give to academic results, because doing so fails to recognize the value addition a school provides. Clearly a selective school taking on more academic students, will ultimately post better academic results. Wellington International School is not selective, but an inclusive, mixed ability school. However this has not stopped the likes of JESS Arabian Ranches, another non-selective IB school from posting its results.

Students with Special Educational Needs are supported by a SEN team of teachers and teaching assistants. More information on this may be found in our Q and A with the school. (Note: GEMS has ramped up its SEN provision across its schools in recent years. Parents should note, however, the individual attention students receive may come at an additional cost).

Strengths of WIS according to the KHDA include its "established record of students' outstanding academic progress, attainment and learning skills in English, mathematics and science; Students' personal and social development ("Outstanding"), especially their understanding of Islamic values and local, cultural and global awareness; the confident, high quality teaching supported by accurate assessments; the curriculum quality and design ("Outstanding"); the school's protection and support for its students, and its Outstanding leadership and management.

The school needs to improve further student attainment, progress and learning skills in Islamic Education and Arabic.

Facilities at Wellington are as you would expect for a “premium” GEMS school – impressive. There is an indoor, air-conditioned swimming pool, soccer fields, a state-of-the-art gym, three science laboratories, a library, and four computer laboratories with over 120 computers.

Fees at Wellington are as impressive: Tuition starts at 41,078 AED for FS 2. Year 13 students pay 89,368 AED per annum. There is a non-refundable registration fee of AED 500 is due at the time of application. When an offer of a place in the school is made, an admission fee of AED 10,000 is required to secure the place. This admission fee is non-refundable and adjustable against the first term's fees.

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

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

19 Archived Comments
Archived 14th Dec 2015, 14:40


I found the comments very useful for the parents and the children. I have three kids, 5,9 and 10 years. I am bringing my family in June 2016. Can anyone advise me how and when to apply for the vacancies in the school. My interest is to bring them in GWI. Is it possible for the three kids?


Lyn Soppelsa
Archived 17th Dec 2015, 12:35

Hi Imran,

Wellington International is a very popular school and you would need to apply as soon as possible for places via their school website. They will only be able to offer if they have families leaving, so we would strongly advise that you also apply to other schools offering the UK curriculum. GEMS has numerous schools in Dubai - www.gemseducation.com and if you check the Whichschooladvisor Dubai Primary Schools from the Home Page, you will also find out about the many other school options. Newer schools tend to be in a better position to cater to families with siblings as they are expanding and can usually have greater flexibility on places.

wasim shora
Archived 21st Oct 2015, 21:57

Hi, my son is 4yrs 6 month old and is moving from India to Dubai. he has finished his KG1 & we are looking to admit him in KG1 mid semister. Is there a vacancy in your prestigous school or any sister school of GEMS in the proximity of Media City. I am looking for IB or UK.

Archived 2nd Jul 2015, 22:54

i want enroll my 2 kids. kg1-gead1.this year.is it posible???
they was at universal american shool.

Ehsan Rahman
Archived 17th Apr 2015, 15:23

I want to enroll my 2 kids (6 and 10) in yr 2 and 6 next year. GEMS Wellington, Sufouh is my preference. However, as places are booked up, GEMS refer to their Al Khada site instead. What is the relationship, is it as good?

Lyn Soppelsa
Archived 19th Apr 2015, 22:33

GEMS Wellington Academy - Al Khail is a sister school to Wellington International that opened in September 2013. As such it is relatively new, but has strong ambitions academically. We understand that the current Head of Wellington International will take over at Wellington Academy-Al Khail in September, so there is clear evidence that GEMS wants it to be as successful as its older sister. You can read our review via the following link:

Archived 19th Mar 2015, 16:39

"The 2376 students (from over 80 nationalities with the biggest groupings from India, Pakistan and the U.S.)"

Interesting that the largest group isn't students from the UK, but also the third largest group are from the US? Wow.

John Cena
Archived 31st Oct 2014, 17:44

The only problem i have this school is the tution fees. Is there any discount?

Archived 9th Nov 2014, 10:59

Hi John, this is a very established and popular school, so highly unlikely. Early bird discounts are increasingly being used to entice students to new schools - often by the same education providers, often with first class facilities - but without the bedding in time for policies and procedures...

Archived 20th Oct 2014, 08:24

Appreciate feedback on following..

Does this school enroll international student whose parents are not resident of UAE? How is the facility.. any feedback?

Does it have boarding facility for 11 & 12 grade students?

Archived 9th Nov 2014, 10:57

Hi Milan. No boarding facilities (a relatively new concept in the UAE).

Ashish Vyawahare
Archived 7th Aug 2014, 16:07

I want to enroll/take admission for my two kids in Gems Welington International school for yr 8 & yr12. They are currently following the IGCSE EDXCEL pattern in Colombo.
How should i go about it and is it possible to get admission from 2nd Term i.e. from 1st Jan'15?

Archived 9th Aug 2014, 10:58

Hi Ashish, kindly contact the school to discuss this with them. Contact details may be found at the top of the review.

Archived 3rd Aug 2014, 22:55

I would like my 4 years old son and 3 years old start in September 2014 the school in Gems Wellington International School. What do I need to do to it?


Archived 4th Aug 2014, 09:14

Hi, you need to contact the school in the first instance and submit the correct forms. You will find a link and the telephone number to the school at the top of the review.

Archived 29th Apr 2014, 17:57

Please let me know...Is it possible to get admission in grade 12 , for a student pursuing full IB diploma from another school, in the start of or middle of the session for graduation yr 2015 ?

Archived 24th Dec 2013, 19:15

which language in your school is the medium of instruction followed?

Archived 29th Dec 2013, 16:46

Hi Priya - English...

Archived 17th Apr 2016, 01:08

Hi, I have a son who will be in year 10 next year. Are there after school activities and trips at GEMS Wellington School, or is it only academically focused?