UAE: Some schools welcome only new students on day 1 to stagger entry

All private institutions have reopened after a two-month summer break

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Gems Founders, Al Barsha. Photo: Nandini Sircar
Gems Founders, Al Barsha. Photo: Nandini Sircar

Nandini Sircar

Published: Mon 29 Aug 2022, 5:55 PM

Last updated: Mon 29 Aug 2022, 10:10 PM

Some schools in Dubai have welcomed only new students on day one of the new academic year (2022/23) as all private institutions have reopened after a two-month summer break on Monday. The campus mood seemed euphoric as the school staff greeted new entrants, parents, and colleagues with visible enthusiasm after the long vacation.

While some schools have organised staggered entry over the next few days for different year groups and categories, others witnessed more or less full attendance.

Leah Quadros, who joined Gems Founders School Dubai in Year 10, said, “I am really excited but also nervous about making new friends. My excitement has doubled as we start a new term today after a two-month break because I am going to learn new subjects here."

New students and parents had to undergo an orientation programme led by the senior management of the schools, where they were also introduced to various section heads.

Orientation programme. Photo: Nandini Sircar
Orientation programme. Photo: Nandini Sircar

Parent Fiona Fernandes, whose son has joined FS 2 at Gems Founders, said, “Shey was very fine and excited and happy to be here. I have no apprehensions about him joining a new school because my elder son has already been here.”

Her husband, Chris Fernandes, added, “As far as I know, the school is doing pretty good. I work in the school, so it’s easy for me to decide as I know the management and the senior management here. They really do a great job.”

Year 5 students Hussain Salama is excited about making new friends in his new school, and his father, Ahmed Salama, said, “I don’t think he was very happy about waking up early this morning, but he was definitely excited about joining a new school. We wish the best for him. We’ve been preparing our children for a week now about going back to school.”

Ella, a new student at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, said, "I loved it when I came to school today to meet my new teachers and see my classroom. I didn’t feel nervous after a point and was looking forward to meeting other students.”

Meanwhile, head teachers said a staggered entry for newcomers ensure a smooth transition to a new school and the next academic year that is imperative for good learning.

Becky Lewis, Vice Principal, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, said, “This helps form stronger connections with our inspirational teachers and their classmates. The privilege of a staggered start ensures that new children feel comfortable and relaxed, thus increasing their confidence for when their classmates join them. Social and emotional well-being is the heartbeat of what we do. We endeavour to ensure that all students feel positive and enthusiastic as they begin their WSO journey. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting our new students today, and we cannot wait to share in their future success stories.”


Principals underline staggered entries also help forge new routines more effectively.

Matthew Burfield, Executive Principal/CEO at GEMS Founders School - Dubai and Vice President – Education, GEMS Education, said, “We are so excited to welcome our new families to GEMS Founders School, Dubai (GFS) for the new academic year. We welcomed all our families on Wednesday after giving them a chance to settle into the wonderful community that is GFS.

"It feels like this year is a chance to recover and reset after the challenging last few years and we are so thankful to the UAE authorities for continuing to support our full return to school. Thanks to all our staff who over the last two weeks have been making sure that our school is ready to receive all our children back this week and our teachers cannot wait to meet them all.”

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