GEMS The Kindergarten Starters: Preparing Students to become Leaders of Tomorrow

“We aim to orient our students’ academic experiences to become critically engaged citizens dedicated to solving problems and contributing to the public good thereby laying foundations for life”.

Pre-school is important as it acts as a transition from home to school environment. The Kindergarten Starters is one such school where children are molded by giving a number of games and activities which help them develop their fine motor skills, a love for learning and build social skills. Being a primary school, children are given opportunities in all the fields to excel that prepare them to choose their career when they transition to the middle school.

Established in the year 1990 in Dubai, UAE under the leadership of its first founding Headmistress, Ms. Bernadette Pinto. It is the only Indian Primary School in the GEMS Group and was established as a feeder school for other GEMS Schools.

The Kindergarten Starters is born of the belief that what they do for themselves fades away but what they do for others will remain as their legacy. The school engages with the wider community to optimize learner achievement by associating with Dubai Cares and WWF. Kindergarten Starters was the only educational institution which was honored by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the 10th anniversary of Dubai Cares for their continuous support of all Dubai Cares initiatives.

The mission of the school is to build a sound foundation upon which children achieve their potential. They do this by encouraging children to explore experiment and express themselves thereby stimulating thinking and learning through varied experiences. The school provides emotional stability for children to learn with confidence and nurture children through the GEMS Core Values which reflect the traditional values.

Leading Light of the School

Ms. Asha Alexander is the Principal of the school. She has made the school into a community of learners; one that sees all pupils attaining the highest possible outcomes with inclusion of all learners as a central goal. Students are valued for their individuality, culture and heritage and encouraged to develop their potential in a stimulating and caring environment. As a principal, she is accessible to students, parents and teachers and personally invested in their well-being and those of their families. She believes that the professional knowledge that teachers possess along with the skills they have acquired are of paramount importance and remains committed to developing human resources. “Parents are welcomed and encouraged to take an active part in the education of their children though the Open Doors program, where we demonstrate honesty and commitment to follow through in all interactions,” says Asha.

Lively Experiences at Campus

In order to influence student achievement KGS strictly follows a digitally transacted, enriched CBSE curriculum that draws from leading International curricula. These opportunities afford intellectual stimulation for students and help improve their work.

Problem solving and critical thinking are intrinsic to school improvement and to improve the school’s performance students have access to Robotics, Engineering, Coding and Artificial Intelligence as part of their curriculum.

A strong program of sports that include team sports like Cricket, Football and Basketball as well as Badminton, Karate and Yoga are provided for children. Students also have opportunities to learn through the expeditionary approach that takes them all across the UAE and the world to places of interest like Museums and Science centers that gives them hands-on opportunities to deepen their learning.

Diverse Academic Offerings

Globalization and technology are continually altering the views of education and offering new opportunities for learning and engagement in life. Technology such as web conferencing, the blogs/wikis, virtual worlds and online gaming and mobile devices such as iPads, mobile phones, digital cameras and voice recorders are changing the way teachers teach and students learn.

Technology enables learning to extend not only beyond the boundaries of the classroom, but beyond borders and facilitates better access to learning resources. It also supports the creation of partnerships with the wider school community, the local and global community and equips learners with contemporary skills necessary to lead a successful life.

Blended learning approaches have amplified the need for school Principals, leaders, teachers, students and the wider community to take advantage of learning opportunities provided through improved personalization, collaboration, and communication enabled by learning technologies. Blended learning has many different forms and will continue to evolve as technology continues to advance. It should therefore be viewed not as a single model but as an approach that promises better educational experiences and outcomes.

At The Kindergarten Starters, Dubai, technology is at the essence of teaching and learning. Whether it is moving from text books to digital media to utilizing smart boards in each of the 162 classrooms in the school, KGS is leaving no stones unturned to earn the recognition of being a digital school from all domains.

Leading change and innovation from the conventional text book learning to digital learning in such a large primary school was not easy and involved thorough planning and a complete change of mindsets of all stakeholders apart from changes in the infrastructure. Teacher training in blended pedagogy and parent orientations have been strategically planned and an integral part of the change management process and several teacher leaders at all levels have been change agents. The blended E-learning approach was meticulously and cautiously planned in four domains to effect positive school improvement over the period of three years.

  • E-Curriculum– Modifying and enriching the existing Curriculum supported by appropriate e resources and learning technologies so as to ensure that the Instructional design meets the needs of all learners. The learning is now done using Microsoft Notebooks, Microsoft Sway, Microsoft OneNote, and Microsoft Teams.
  • E-Tools- used to improve Assessment, Teaching and Learning. The Students in Grades 1 and 2 are also trained to develop skills to apply their learning and problem solves which is largely what is tested in the international tests. With the introduction of e-learning and relevant training in the use and exploration of e-tools, most of the staff and students are now trained in administering and answering online tests by using simple e-tools such as Microsoft Forms which are not only easy to administer and answer, but also provide instant results and feedback regarding the common errors made and the strong and weak skills of the class.

GEMS The Kindergarten Starters prides itself in providing professional development to all the teachers. 100% of teachers in the school are MIE’s (Microsoft Innovative Educators) and currently has more than 129 teachers who are MIEE’s (Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert).

Parallel Worlds of Learning

Across Both Kindergarten and Primary:

  • The curriculum is diverse, creative, personalized with accommodations, exemptions and modifications to meet the needs of all students.
  • IEPs support SEND student helping them achieve specific targets.
  • The curriculum has been enriched with features of International curricula to develop a global perspective.
  • Free morning coaching in sports especially cricket and soccer has resulted in core talent pools.
  • Expeditionary learning, Extracurricular activities like Art, Music (Piano), Cricket, Karate, Football, Basketball, Brain O brain, Robotics, TedEd Clubs, Pottery and Ceramic and Badminton, Ballet ( Dance) are the after school programs that cater to varied interests linking learning to the wider community.

In Kindergarten:

  • Circle time activities has helped develop self-esteem, friendship, recognizing emotions and in improving behavior.
  • Reggio inspired approach has led to greater enquiry based learning.
  • Integration of technology and LEGO has helped students become exploratory learners. In Primary.
  • Integration of technology, LEGO, Robotics and Engineering is Elementary has helped students become independent and exploratory learners.

Words of trust

“The best thing I like about The Kindergarten Starters is that this school has a lot of resources like, Mindspark, Math in Focus, Harcourt and Reading A-Z to improve our learning skills. It also uses manipulatives like LEGO, Mindstorm EV3, Hummingbird, KODO that help us enhance our critical thinking and problem solving skills. If I were to recommend this school, I would recommend it to all the primary school children. I definitely don’t want to leave this school and I feel really sad because I will be going to the GEMS sister school for my middle school. I don’t want to part with the first school I have ever been too!”

-Isabelle Angel James ‘5B’

“Yes, the resources have been beyond excellence, but what about the values that have made us a good human? This is where, The Kindergarten Starters has really taken a step forward to instill core values in every student at KGS. The GEMS Core values of global citizenship is a reminder of what we are, and we could become. PRIDE Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Discipline and Excellence has really helped me improve my social skills throughout the years.”

  • Naureen Naz ‘5B’

“I love learning in this school! Our school is a primary school till grade 5. I am in grade 4 and I wish this school had 2 more years’ grade 6 and 7. This is the best school I have come to!”

  • Joelle Jacob ‘4E’

“My school is a Microsoft school. We use Microsoft tools like PowerPoint, Sway and Word. We also have many extra activities like PE and library once or twice a week. We also have a program called Right to Read. Every Thursday, we go the lower classes and read an assigned story to the pupils. We use the designing process in the class. We design things in Engineering is Elementary period.

  • Ritusha grade 4J
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