GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah was founded in 1982 and currently serves 7,696 students. The school teaches the curriculum conducted by the CBSE in New Delhi, India.
This HUGE all-through girls school offers affordable fees, inspirational leadership, innovative programming and also regularly tops the UAE CBSE exam result Toppers list.
Led by the indupitable (and tireless) Asma Gilani, (one of our 2017 Educational Influencers and top five finalist in the 2018 GEMS Exceptional Head of School Awards), Gilani has worked tirelessly to bring a rigorous, modern and affordable education to Sharjah's Indian girls.
The school is vast- housing over 8,000 students, 334 teachers and managing over 50 school buses. The student body of GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah is 95.5% Indian and the male to female ratio is 17.5% to 82.50%.
Most teachers are Indian passport holders and the teacher turnover rate is at a low 11%. Class size is on average 39 students per section with the highest number of students per class capping at 41. In 2016, several teachers were recognised for their commitment to the school having spent over 10, 15 and even 20 years teaching at OOEHSS.
Although the school is located on the edge of the Industrial area and the buildings are somewhat dated, it hasn't stopped students and teachers making use of every spare metre. The school is well-maintained, bright and covered in art work. Facilities include: a junior and senior library, ICT labs, KG play area, KG play room, auditorium, innovation studio, art room, music hall, canteen and medical rooms.
The school is also home to: two basketball courts, a football field, a cricket pitch, badminton volleyball and tennis courts and a playground with synthetic track.
Alongside the outstanding CBSE results, the school aims to nurture and encourage strong, resilient and resourceful Indian women. The Personal and Universal Life Skills Education (PULSE) programme, numerous (and highly successful) co-curricular sports, arts and drama programmes, plus various initiatives to both involve and introduce students and their families (some of which have little or no education themselves), to careers outside of the traditional STEM subjects.
These include: Paper Folding, Glass Painting, Fabric Painting, Acrylic Painting, Calligraphy, Pen Sketching, Clay modelling, Pot Painting, Mask Making, Portraits, Collages, Music, Dramatics, Creative Writing, Extempore, Debate, Musical Concerts, Entrepreneurship, First Aid, Basketball, Cricket, Table Tennis, Track and Field, Badminton, Chess and Carrom.
The 2013/4 Sharjah Education Zone Report
The school, even with its high student class numbers, has been rated Highly Effective by Sharjah's Ministry of Education, across all six focus areas that are assessed.
For the girl's branch of the school, the focus and dedication of leadership to empower its female students [is] noted by the report as a strength of the school.
"The ambitious vision of the Principal and her staff was to provide all students with exceptional learning opportunities. The school empowered girls to seek out prestigious careers. Leaders were excellent role models for students. They accepted their collective responsibility to ensure every girl fulfilled her potential."
The school's community atmosphere was also found to be Highly Effective. This is in part due to the atmosphere on the campus, the care for the students the school provides and the 90 person strong parent committee which contributes to the school's self evaluation and review efforts.
Student attainment at the school is also a strength. The report finds that "attainment throughout Cycles 1 and 2 [is] high. From Grade 1 to Grade 9, students’ average marks from internal assessments for all subjects exceeded 75%... In mathematics and science, students [make] good progress between Kindergarten and Grade 3 despite their lower starting points. " Our Own English High School Sharjah has been recognized "for outstanding performance across the Gulf region in the 26th conference of the CBSE."
One area where the school is recommended for improvements is in attendance. The report recommends that the school should "continue to promote high attendance as a critical aspect of students’ learning and attainment and follow up all absences; particularly in the KG and use all forms of communications with students and parents to encourage full attendance." Attendance across the school is currently at 92%, which is considered low.
The school's facilities include a junior and senior library, ICT suites, a kindergarten play area and activity room, a 700-seat auditorium, basketball courts, a football field, a cricket pitch, badminton volleyball and tennis courts and a playground with synthetic track, and an art room and music hall.
Fees for Our Own English High School, Sharjah start at 7,030 AED for KG and increases to 13,190 AED for Grades 10-12. They are paid in 10 installments through the year from September through June.
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