GEMS Education Inaugurates Blended Learning Plaza at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis

Press release
Published February 2nd, 2015 - 10:27 GMT

GEMS Education, the world’s leading provider of quality education, has embarked on a new milestone with the launch of its Blended Learning Plaza at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis.

The Plaza will also serve as a hub for training teachers, as well as facilitating collaborative, online and blended learning opportunities for students and supports the Academy in being one of the 7 schools in the world that are part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Open World Schools Pilot Programme.

The Blended Learning Plaza will give students access to a range of digital devices and software tools that allow them to create and shape technologically-based outcomes and learning experiences. It will provide teachers and students with a stunning environment in which they can become active authors of content and collaborate with teachers and learners across the world in real-time.

Teachers will also use the Plaza as the base for action-research programmes focused on improving pedagogy, self-directed learning, targeted intervention, and producing a range of online content.

Coinciding with the launch of the Blended Learning Plaza, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis has now officially been awarded IB Open World School status, enabling it to offer IB courses to non-IB partner schools and extend the reach and access of the IB Diploma to those who do not currently attend an IB school. Students will be able to connect through the Academy to first-rate approved IB online courses

“At GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, we pride ourselves on our innovation and quality of education we provides. Having a genuine C21st learning facility in the Blended Learning Plaza, we are providing a truly unique environment for our teachers and students not found in any other school. The work undertaken in the Plaza will impact across the GEMS network and help to support developments in all our schools” said (Michael Gernon, CEO and Principal at the Academy).

Representing the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Shahla Ahmed Abdulrazak, Deputy CEO, and Eng. Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri, Executive Vice President of Engineering Management, were in attendance.

Commenting on the IB Open World Status, (Michael Gernon said: “Being one of just 7 schools in the world to be granted IB Open World School Status is a tremendous honour. Our approaches to online and blended learning will help to support other schools in accessing a high quality IB education. We will be working very closely with our partners at Pamoja Education to ensure we are able to widen access to IB Diploma courses to those areas not currently served by IB schools.”

Open World Schools maintains a close relationship with their partner schools, ensuring that all the needs of the student are met and that expectations are clearly defined.

Students who have enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to access an online course that adheres to the same rigorous IB standards as face-to-face courses, attend weekly online classes via computer and taught by experienced IB teachers are specially trained in online education, Students are closely monitored on the programmes and have a mentor allocated to them. In addition, their online teacher will liaise with the Co-ordinator at Silicon Oasis to ensure that students are making the progress expected.

Students and parents who are interested in finding out more about the IB programme and offers, as well as our wider secondary and Post 16 offer, and other provision at are requested to contact the school for further information.  

Background Information

GEMS Education

In 1959, two teachers, KS Varkey and his wife Mariamma, arrived in Dubai. 

At the time, Dubai was a burgeoning trade centre on the Arabian Gulf. The Varkey family had left Kerala, India to seek a better life for their family. What they found was a real need to educate children arriving in the city from around the world.

Their son, Sunny, added a visionary’s ambition to a practitioner's experience. From simple roots in a family of teachers, GEMS Education, is today an international company with schools and education services across the Middle East. We still share the same mission - to provide a quality education to everyone.

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