Admissions Policy & Guidance
Welcome to Our World
A Brief Introduction
GEMS World Academy is a truly international school providing a world-class education to a culturally diverse student community aged 3 to 18 years old. GWA offers the internationally focused, student-centered, inquiry based, International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) in the Elementary and Middle Years Program (MYP) in the Middle School. The IB Diploma Program (DP) is set for introduction into the High School September of 2010, moving GEMS World Academy into the final stages of becoming an IB World School. To learn more about the world renowned IB programs, please visit the International Baccalaureate website athttp://www.ibo.org or contact GEMS World Academy for more information at email@example.com
The Academic Year
Semester 1: September – Mid-January
Semester 2: February – June
School days 185 (assuming no emergency or unforeseen closure)
* Semesters are generally marked. For exact dates, refer to the GWA master calendar: select “general information” then “term dates”
English Language Instruction
English is the language of instruction and daily operation at GWA. We aim for all students to become fluent English speakers, able to read and write in English at an operational level for their age. However, in keeping with the IB philosophy, GWA honors and recognizes mother-tongue language, and values and supports the acquisition of additional languages.
GWA does provide limited English Language support for students in grades 1-8, and for whom English is an additional language, but we do not have intensive remedial programs for students falling more than 2 grade levels behind in English language ability. Intensive support to develop age appropriate English language skills may be offered to a limited number of students in each grade level. Parents may also be encouraged to provide additional support, at their own expense, for English language learning activities.
Arabic Language / Social Studies / Islamic Studies
All students from Grade 1 onward are required to learn Arabic as per UAE law. First language Arabic speakers and Learners of Arabic as a second language follow an enriched version of the appropriate UAE syllabus. This does not apply to English as Additional Language (EAL) learners. The UAE Social Studies syllabus is incorporated into the GWA program. GWA provides Islamic Studies for Muslim children as per UAE law.
GWA places students in age-appropriate grade levels. We do not accelerate children into higher year groups and rarely retain children into lower year groups. Parents should confirm that their choice of education is an IB – curriculum K-12 before applying.
|GEMS World Academy||National Curriculum for England||U.S.A. / Canada / Europe International||Age (by September 15th for same year)|
|Pre-K||Pre-K||—||3 (and potty trained)|
|Grade 1||Year 2||Grade 1||6|
|Grade 2||Year 3||Grade 2||7|
|Grade 3||Year 4||Grade 3||8|
|Grade 4||Year 5||Grade 4||9|
|Grade 5||Year 6||Grade 5||10|
|Grade 6||Year 7||Grade 6||11|
|Grade 7||Year 8||Grade 7||12|
|Grade 8||Year 9||Grade 8||13|
|Grade 9||Year 10||Grade 9||14|
|Grade 10||Year 11||Grade 10||15|
|Grade 11||Year 12||Grade 11||16|
|Grade 12||Year 13||Grade 12||17|
GWA offers placement to a diverse student population whose parents are seeking an international co-educational schooling for their children. However, to maintain the integrity of the curriculum and English language delivery, GWA does place limits on the percentages of English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners in each classroom. Learners who require additional EAL support beyond that provided for under standard, differentiated classroom instruction are limited to 25% of the overall class population. We conduct assessment tests for students and review applications in detail, and when appropriate, in consultation with language learning specialists before confirming a place.
The screening process is designed to ensure GWA is able to meet the needs of all enrolled students. GWA does not undertake to provide for students with severe, complex or specialized educational needs. Students with mild to moderate learning support needs may be admitted on a limited basis, if sufficient places are available and if modifications can be made within the classroom. Such places may be provided for from Nursery to Grade 8.
In High School (Grades 9-12), the courses are essentially university/college-preparatory and with a demanding academic emphasis. Support for students with learning difficulties and/or special education needs at this level is very limited.
Class Size Policy
The teacher-student ratio for instruction in Grades 1-12 will be 1:25. GEMS retains the right to increase class size to 1:30 when the situation warrants. No class operates with a teacher-student ratio in excess of 1:30. Nursery, Pre-K and Kindergarten have a teacher and a teaching assistant per classroom, and operate class sizes of 16, 18 and 20 respectively with a maximum capacity of 23 in Kindergarten.
The Admission Process
The admissions process has been designed to make certain that students are appropriately placed at Gems World Academy, while maintaining the integrity and consistency of the school programming and policies. Proper placement will ensure that those students admitted have a higher probability of a successful learning experience. The Admissions Team is committed to working together with families in determining the educational placement that is best for each student, be that at GWA or elsewhere.
Graphic Overview of the Admission Process
The Inquiry Phase (Step 1)
Prospective families are invited and encouraged to visit GEMS World Academy whenever possible to experience for themselves the programming and practices that make GWA a world-class learning community. Our Parent Relations Executives host school tours daily Sunday through Thursday at 10:00am.
When visitation is not an option, we trust that families will take the time to thoroughly review our website (as you are doing now), and/or we would be happy to send out our information packages for you to review at home. More information on the IB programs can be found at www.ibo.org
Please do contact us directly so that we may answer additional questions and help you through the application process. Our aim is to help you transition from inquiry to enrollment as efficiently as possible.
GWA Admissions Team
Tel: +971 4 373 6317 or +971 4 373 6316
Fax: +971 4 323 3176
Application, Assessment and Registration (Step 2)
Submission of Previous School Records
The 3 most important documents needed at the time of application are:
1. Previous school records (3-years as available)
2. Complete GWA application form
3. In-house GWA placement assessment
When the latter is not possible, a conditional acceptance may be issued based on available records, and pending an assessment on site. There are many documents needed before official enrollment can be confirmed, but the 3 pieces mentioned above are needed before any consideration for enrollment is possible.
All incoming GWA students are required to complete a reading, writing, and numeracy assessment from Grade 1 to grade 12. Students entering PreK through Kg2 will be invited for an observational, practical assessment to determine school readiness. The assessment tools are designed to indicate appropriate grade-level readiness. Students re-entering GWA will be exempt from re-assessment (if absent no more than one school year) with documentation of continued education during the absence.
Student acceptance is based on space availability and consideration of the following:
- Age appropriateness for the requested grade level as per GWA Placement Policy and Ministry of Education requirements
- Age entry is 3 years old as of Sept 15th in the year of application.The child should be potty trained.
- Successful completion of the previous school year, or favorable mid-term reports
- Placement assessment results
- Previous school records (transcripts, recommendation letters etc)
- Fluency level in English as an Additional Language (EAL)
- Grade level student demographics (for balanced diversity in each classroom)
Conditional Registration / Acceptance
Students not meeting minimum placement standards or those unable to arrange assessments may be granted conditional acceptance by the division level Principal or the Head of School /CEO. Students will be allowed one semester (two quarters) to meet the specific conditions of acceptance.
A conditional acceptance offer has a time limit after which point the enrolment offer will be reviewed. Unless otherwise agreed upon, this type of offer is usually limited to 6 weeks. GWA reserves the right to withdraw the child’s place if at the end of a term, and after due consideration, it is determined that GWA cannot offer sufficient or suitable support for a student and continued enrolment would be detrimental to the well-being and progress of the child or the rest of the students in the class.
Special Education Needs
The school does not offer a comprehensive special education program. Programs for students with learning difficulties are limited in terms of facilities, materials, staffing and community services.
Enrollment Phase (Step 3)
The school makes every effort to enroll qualified students who have fully completed the application process and who have met the academic acceptance requirements. However, enrollment and class size limitations are established each year by the GWA Board Members. The Board reserves the right to limit enrollment as it sees fit.
The grade Placement Policy allows students to continue in the grade in which they are enrolled or have most recently completed rather than advancing to a higher grade. A conservative placement is used in order to best serve the educational needs of the student. Subject to the MOE approval, the school reserves the right to place a student at the grade level that best serves the educational needs of the child regardless of the previous grade completed or age of the child.
The goal of the class placements is to create homogenous sections within each grade level. Each of the sections will be as balanced and diverse as possible considering the following student characteristics:
- English language fluency
- Educational needs
- Ability level
- Cultural background
- Mother tongue language
The Elementary school has a rolling admission policy. Students may be accepted as long as there is at least one month remaining in the semester, they have current school documents, and provided they are assessed at grade level. Students in Middle School or High School will not be considered for enrollment if more than 20 in-session days have expired in the semester, unless they are transferring from another school in which they were in full attendance prior to application with GWA. In any case, the division level Principal will make the final decision in consultation with the Superintendent/CEO, and after receiving recommendation from the previous Principal.
Tuition Fee Payment
Tuition fees are due at the time the acceptance letter is signed and returned by parents. Invoices will be sent out following enrollment confirmation, with first term fees payable prior to the start of classes. Students will not be permitted to start school unless the first semester tuition fees are paid.
If a student joins GWA in mid-term, the applicable tuition fee will be prorated based on the number of full weeks in the term. If parents request a reserved seat for a late arrival, the fee will be levied from the date of notice or from commencement of the academic year.
The following documents are necessary by UAE Ministry of Education requirement.
- Transfer Certificate from previous school (1 original or attested copy) – Click to download an example of a TC
- Student passport copy (2 with UAE resident visa when available)
- Sponsor/Guardian passport copy (2 with UAE visa when available)
- Student Birth Certificate copies (2 in either English or Arabic)
- Recent student passport photos (4 duplicates on photographic paper)
- Student school report for 3 previous years as applicable (1 copy)
- Student Special Education referrals or psychologist reports (1 copy)
- Immunization records (1 copy)
- Document translations (if necessary), must be attested for authenticity
- Application /administration fee (contact GWA accounting office)
It is a UAE Ministry of Education / KHDA requirement that all documentation must be submitted to the school before any child may attend as a pupil. Parents are asked to complete the GWA Document Submission Form which is a binding undertaking to provide the UAE authorities with documents as requested. All documentation must be written or translated in English before an application can be accepted. Any translated documents must also be attested.
Every student is required by UAE Ministry of Education Law to produce a transfer certificate from their last school. This is strictly enforced and failure to produce a properly completed certificate, or a legally binding undertaking to produce all the necessary documentation, will result in your child’s place being withdrawn. Please discuss your child’s transfer certificate requirements with the Registrar, as your country of origin and last school is taken into consideration. The Certificate must contain the following information:
1. Date of enrolment
2. Year group or Grade placement
3. Date the child left the school
4. School stamp and signature
If the child enters school from outside the UAE, we require a letter from the previous school stating the child is in the relevant year (from African, Asian and CIS States these documents must be authenticated). GWA will supply a sample letter for this purpose. For students transferring from schools within the UAE, a Ministry approved Transfer Certificate is issued.
Please ensure that all relevant medical information regarding your child is included.
1. Information regarding allergies, special medical conditions, etc.
2. Up to date contact details, and emergency telephone numbers for both parents
3. Most recent school report
4. Evidence received all necessary vaccinations. (Please consult your physician if in doubt.)
Withdrawal of an Offer or Place
Failure to produce a transfer certificate within one month of the date of joining may result in your child’s place at GWA being withdrawn. Any fine imposed by the ministry becomes the parent’s obligation.
Non-payment of fees will result in withdrawal of place.
GWA requires all employees, contractors, parents, children and visitors to adhere to an established code of conduct to ensure people at GWA feel happy, safe, valued and confident.
Hostile or aggressive behavior is not tolerated in GWA and such behavior will result in the withdrawal of a child’s place at GWA. Behavior and conduct of children, parents or their immediate family in or out of school likely to bring GWA into disrepute will also result in the withdrawal of a child’s place at GWA.
A verbal warning, followed up with written confirmation, will be issued in the first instance. Secondly, a formal written warning will be issued. Finally, the GWA place will be withdrawn with immediate effect and the child should be removed from the Academy. We have a “no-bullying” policy.
Application and Assessment Fee
GWA has a non-refundable application and assessment fee of 500 AED in-line with all GEMS Premium Schools. This fee isNOT transferable between GEMS schools.