School TypeAll ThroughInspection RatingOutstandingGender
StatusOpenAlso Known AsGWISYear Opened2005Annual FeesAED 43,050 - 93,658Annual Fee AverageAED 67,000School YearSep to JunBSO/BSME ReportPrincipalMrs. Ruth BurkeOwnerGEMS EducationCommunityCityMain Teacher NationalityBritishMain Student NationalityBritish
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.
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.
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