United Arab Emirates / Abu Dhabi / Al Danah / GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi

GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi Q & A

Very Good rated GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi carries the name of its sister school in Dubai, but that – at least externally – is where the similarities end.
Parents' Rating
4.4 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
At a glance
School phase
Curricula taught
Availability 2019/20
radio_button_unchecked No data
Availability 2020/21
radio_button_unchecked No data
Annual fee average
AED 56,000
Annual fees
AED 41,910 - 61,360
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jul
Linda LaPine
GEMS Education
Main teacher nationality
A mix of nationalities
Main student nationality
A mix of nationalities
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Welcome to the GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi 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.

What qualities and characteristics would you say define your school?

small school with big heart! We are a small elementary only school in the heart of Abu Dhabi offering IB PYP program. Strong community spirit. Class sizes are small helping build student confidence. Our staff have mostly been with us for the long term, getting to know families as they move up through the school.

How many nationalities are represented in your school?


Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

no. very widely spread over our approx. 540 students at present

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

24 students per 1 teacher, 1 teacher assistant and in KG1, 1 other member of female support staff.

Does your school have a waiting list?


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

Students attend Physical Education classes each week and we have team activities such as football and basketball and a program of after school activities including Karate, Capoeira, tennis and football with dance expected to be introduced from next school year. Our students have also visited Bounce as an after school activity and field trip.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

We regularly run health and fitness campaigns such as HAAD's Eat Right Get Active, offering healthy lunch box presentation for parents by Health Plus, a cooking demonstration by Rotana and daily workouts on our field. We have weekly Mindefulness Mondays and Workout Wednesdays. We ran an Instagram campaign to select winners from the many families who posted photos of exercise outside of school too. As part of Parent Engagement twice each year for one month each time, we have workshops for parents to learn about nutrition, mindefulness, dental care, diabetes and many other workshops.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Our cafeteria offers a healthy balanced meal which is regularly monitored. We operate a traffic light system with any 'red' or unhealthy foods not permitted. We reduce birthday celebrations to one day each month to minimise cakes, etc. coming in to school. Again, we have regular workshops for parents as part of our parent engagement to educate parents on a healthy diet.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students?

Yes. This is provided by Slices Catering which also provides for many schools and healthcare facilities. We also provide vegetarian meals option

If yes, does it serve hot food?

Yes. We also provide vegetarian meals option

What would be the amount spent by a student for their lunchtime meal?

Approximately 15 AED per day. Lunch can also be brought in from home if desired

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

7.45am to 2.45pm.

Is there a school uniform?


Please advise on your discipline policy?

We have detailed policies outlined in our school Community Handbook issued to families at the start of each school year. These are regularly updated where needed.

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

We set goals and expectations at our Back to School nights at the start of the year and will provide progress reports each of our 3 trimesters. We will also have teacher/parent conferences and student-led conferences during the year. For KG1, they will also receive a transition report during the settling in period in the first trimester. Should parents wish to discuss any concerns, teachers are happy to arrange meetings at other times.

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

3 times per year for progress reports and 3 times a year for conferences.

What is your medium of instruction?

IB Primary Years Program. US core standards are used to measure progress in math, reading and writing. Measure of Academic Progress testing is used from Grade 2 as well as infomal quizzes and assessmnets during the year for all grades.

Is Arabic taught as both a first language and second language in your school?

Second language only

Which other languages are taught?

Not currently

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

We offer an ELL program for students. GEMS Education also run classes by our ELL trained staff during holidays.

Is Islamic Education/Studies for the Arab Muslim students delivered in Arabic for them?


Do you have a dedicated prayer room/s for the Muslim students?

We have a Mosque located on our campus

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


Do you have a learning support team in your school?


Please provide comprehensive details of how well your school did in 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?


Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

Yes. Our GWA Parent Association are a regular feature in and around school, helping to coordinate events and activities while supporting new families.

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

We offer 2 months of parent engagement workshops throughout the school year. These are organised by staff and our Parent Engagement Coordinator. We notify parents of upcoming events and activities through social media and or Parent Portal. We also have room parents who are nominated to support the rest of the parents in the class and notify of events as well as organising monthly birthday celebrations and volunteers for field trips.

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

Yes. We currently have members of our parent community on our board.

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

We have IB information sessions, open days and invite new parents to selected Parent Engagement workshops such as those presented by our Principal.
We have an open campus before school starts to meet the teacher and get to know our school. We also have bus, caterers, uniform supplier and nurse available on this day.

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3 Archived Comments
Archived 23rd Jun 2015, 20:38

Our little GEMS really is a gem between schools in Abu Dhabi. It provides a safe and happy place for our little ones to start their journey of good quality education. We have a wonderful and very active parents community that does so much for our children and school throughout the year. Our always smiling Principle, his great office team and all amazing teachers are very friendly and approachable which to a parent makes a big difference when it comes to getting feedback, asking questions, dealing with issues or just having a small pet talk on the field.
I would highly recommend it to anyone and would not change for any other school.

Archived 15th Jun 2014, 09:56

I have both my son and daughter at GWA Abu Dhabi and honestly, cannot praise the school enough! My son has been there for 2 years. At the end of last year (KG2-4) he was behaving really strangely and was having problems with me leaving him in the mornings. The school tried everything to accommodate him, held numerous meetings with us, supported us by suggesting multiple methods of dealing with his behaviour, and were really patient. Mr Jay, the school principal, is a real professional who cares about the students and shows that. I'm surprised he even remembers the names of so many children! The teachers I encountered are real professionals with experience and have a lot to offer in terms of educating our children to be good citizens and human beings, which I believe is a priority over any high academic achievement, which I believe the school is also providing. The atmosphere is nurturing and positive, supportive and encouraging. The ONLY negative comment I have to add is the cost involved. The fees are really high and it is with great sadness that I will have to move the kids to another school after the 2014/2015 academic year. If you can afford it, it's really an exemplary school, one which I would have loved to attend if I were a child myself!

Archived 14th Feb 2016, 08:46

It is now 2016, I still have my son and daughter at GWA and still feel the same about the school. Shame that our lovely principal Mr. Jay is leaving us. Amazing place!

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