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Setting foot in a brand-new school campus for the first time is an exciting experience for students as they discover and explore the new facilities. GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi (WAA), set to officially open its impressive purpose-built campus on Al Reem Island on August 16, promises to be no exception. Designed to prepare pupils for the future, the campus has a state-of-the-art innovation studio complete with robotics, along with first-class sporting and recreation facilities, culminating in a world-class school.

“Our amazing architect and construction teams have delivered a fantastic, premium, first-class facility that inspires educational transformation,” says Kelvin Hornsby, Principal and CEO of WAA and Vice President – Education at GEMS Education.

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“The new building provides agile, world-class physical resources, so along with world-class leaders and teachers, our provision will be among the best in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and even globally.”

With its up-to-date campus and pedagogy, children will be educated on all the latest subjects, including technology and future-ready courses.

“Through digitally-driven innovative provision, the blue-sky thinking staff at WAA will positively change and influence learning behaviours,” adds Hornsby.

“Our innovation studio offers students from as young as FS1 access to robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality technology. At the same time, we are embedding entrepreneurship and innovation skills into the curriculum and throughout the academy as a way of life, from Early Years to Secondary.”

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Along with this focus on exponential technologies and entrepreneurship, WAA will also offer various sports and performing arts of the highest standard.

“The amazing new sports facilities offer a world of opportunities for our learners and the wider Al Reem Island community. Sports and performing arts will include athletics, ballet, basketball, cricket, dance, football, netball, rounders, rugby, swimming, tennis and cross-country. There will be pathways from grassroots participation to elite performer level.”

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As WAA boasts an international, multicultural community, languages are also at the forefront of school life, with additional lessons available after school.

“Our dedicated language hub offers a world of connection,” says Hornsby. “French is taught in the curriculum from Year 2, and French, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin are offered as an after-school activity at no additional cost.”

Because of the high-level academic subjects on offer, you would be forgiven for thinking that the school might be selective in its approach to its intake. However, WAA – like all GEMS Education schools – is fully inclusive.

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“We are a non-selective school, and through our dynamic, diverse and inclusive approach to education, we strive to unlock the potential of all learners in our care,” explains Hornsby. “Our focus is on creating a nurturing, supportive environment that ensures all students feel safe, happy and valued, in which they are consistently engaged, challenged and inspired, allowing them to develop into responsible global citizens and critical thinkers.”

As the school provides a nurturing and supportive environment, it openly takes on board feedback from parents. “The most common request from parents was to grow the school from a primary provision to an all-through school to include the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), and International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) and beyond,” says Hornsby. “The project was planned accordingly, and now is the perfect time to deliver on our promise to learners, their parents and our staff.”

With the new campus now ready, it will open at the start of the academic year and take on learners gradually.

“We open on the new site with our new Early Years provision, for children from age three, and will enrol learners up to and including Year 8,” says Hornsby.

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“We expect to initially welcome 600 learners, but the building in its current form can accommodate up to 1,100 learners to allow us to grow the different phases. As our community expands, additional year groups will be added each year up to Year 13, with the IBDP, IBCP, BTEC and other vocational and technical pathways available for learners.”

WAA offers a unique world of pathways, and the first intake of students will immediately be able to enjoy the many benefits that this wide variety of options provides.

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“Students benefit from our unique blended model, offering a choice of International Baccalaureate, National Curriculum for England/IGCSE, vocational and technical qualifications – a real first in the emirate,” explains Hornsby. “With a trailblazing world of pathways, WAA is ready to provide learners and their families with a totally inclusive, hyper-personalised future-proofed education.

“Our premium IB British school, with High Performance Learning world-class pathway provision from FS1 to Year 8 (IB Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes), offers the best IB philosophy and international mindedness, underpinned by the National Curriculum for England. This world of pathways enables genuine personalisation with outcomes highly valued by universities and employers globally.”

Through a combination of its excellent blended curriculum and a setting that overlooks the beguiling Saadiyat Island, WAA offers a dynamic, diverse and inclusive community where students can thrive and lay the foundations for a happy and successful future.

To learn more and to book a school tour from August 16, visit