Our Guiding Statements
A school’s Guiding Statements comprise of its Motto, Mission, Vision, Goals, Values and Philosophy. These develop and evolve through consultation with all stakeholders in the community which the school serves. We have started out on this process and this will continue over the next 3 years as the school develops its unique identity.

What do we mean by
21st Century Life Skills?

Thinking Skills

Thinking critically
Thinking creatively
Asking essential questions
Making informed choices
Linking concepts

Emotional Intelligence

Communicating effectively
Confidence and self-esteem
Motivation and resilience
Coping with emotions
Empathy and compassion

Personal Responsibilities

Healthy life style
‘Stranger Danger’
Hands-on domestic skills
Digital skills and safety
Swimming and pool safety
Managing money

Our Approaches to Learning

GPS aims to provide our students with the steppingstones to learning.
We want students to learn by doing, ‘hands-on’, through play, interaction, and collaboration with each other and with their teachers. Learning is student-centred and inquiry-led. Teachers facilitate learning and lead students into experience and present them with ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what if….’ Questions which may have more than one answer or inquiry pathway.

We want our students to grow and develop in a safe and stimulating environment, where they are listened to and supported, whatever their needs and abilities. We want our students to embrace challenge, to understand what they ‘can do,’ to know clearly what their next steps are to reach their objectives.

We want to motivate them and for them to persevere when facing difficulties. We teach that mistakes are opportunities to learn better. We spend time ensuring that misconceptions are revealed and gaps in understanding closed. We encourage our students to assess their own learning and the learning of others collaboratively. We develop questioning, encouraging students to probe deeper, checking their understanding and opening up new pathways for inquiry. We want our students to be confident about sharing their learning, being creative in the use language and communication to explain, to persuade and take pride in their efforts. We believe that it is our role as teachers to design and reveal learning opportunities, to promote and celebrate discovery, to foster a love of learning that endures throughout life

Digital learning and innovation are important tools that support teaching and learning and also enable to support students’ learning at home. This allows us to ensure learning is creative through using age appropriate apps and games. It also allows parents to see first-hand how our teachers interact with their children and also communicate with parents, so that ‘home-learning’ (rather than homework) is always a task to be enjoyed and not a chore.
Ghaf Primary School - Learning Spaces

Learning Spaces

The architecture of GPS lends itself to being light, spacious, open, and stimulating. At its centre a spacious indoor gym and multi-purpose space, a small theatre/presentation space, IT suite and Library/Resources Centre. Flexible classrooms, including those dedicated to STREAM (Science, Technology/Robotics, Reading/Research, Engineering problems, i.e. using materials to ‘engineer’ solutions, Art & Design and Mathematics), to DART (Directed Activities Related to Text), and Music and an Inclusion (SEND) Unit to allow 1:1 and small group support for those with identified needs, There are small group rooms to support EAL (English as an Additional Language) and a Clinic. Classrooms have access to outside learning areas (OLAs) with sandpit, play equipment and garden. GPS also enjoys access to the sports and leisure facilities at the Muntazah complex.

Our Purpose – developing Mind, Body and Spirit

Through making the learning journey at GPS, parents will feel confident that their children will not only learn to achieve their own personalised, age-appropriate outcome objectives, following a curriculum that is both broad and deep, but that our teachers will track their performance closely against international benchmarks approved by the KHDA, identifying gaps and designing interventions to close them.

Ghaf Primary School - Jebel Ali Dubai, Mind, Body & Spirit Development

We also want our students to voice their own understanding and perspectives with growing confidence and certainty. We also want their learning to be underpinned by a set of learner attitudes and attributes that will make a positive difference to the world they will inherit. The development of character as well as personality is also critical to this purpose.

In addition to academic education, we seek to focus on physical, moral and personal, social and emotional development. Holistic education of the whole child develops Mind, Body and Spirit to be in harmonious balance. Mindfulness will be a feature of students preparing for each day of inquiry and reflection, of being in the right frame of mind to embrace the learning opportunities and challenges they will meet on their learning journey.

Our Values and Learner Attributes

At GPS, our values and learner attributes underpin our Code of Behaviour. These are integrated into the curriculum and are reinforced in the daily life of the school through the care and example displayed by our teachers and support staff. We expect parents to help us embed these values through an active partnership with us in supporting their child’s education, not only academically, but in terms of their child’s personal development.

GPS Values

Honesty & integrity
Courage and reliability
Courtesy and respect for others
Tolerance and inclusion
Fairness and equality
Care and compassion
Empathy and service
Global citizenship

GPS Learner Attributes

Confidence – in working with ideas
Responsible – for oneself and others
Reflective – learning from mistakes
Innovative – adapting knowledge and skills
Engaged – curious, eager to find our more
Open-minded – receptive to new thinking
Balanced – in mind, body and spirit
‘Can Do, Will Do’ – positivity

GPS also embraces eastern as well as western approaches to learning and cultivation and nurture of character. This is reflected in the importance of mindfulness and integral to the mental and spiritual wellbeing of students and staff.

GPS refers to the “Black Belt Principles of Life” having its origins in the martial arts of Japan, the Samurai or Bushido code:

Seven principles of Bushido:
  • Righteousness – or Justice, striving to do the right thing and protect the vulnerable
  • Courage – the decision to remain determined, even if the way is difficult or unpopular
  • Compassion – “With great power comes great responsibility.” It is good to show acts of kindness
  • Respect – for family, cultural roots, diversity, tradition, for others, for the Earth we share
  • Integrity – the cornerstone of being honest about one’s own actions and being
  • Honour – behaving in ways that demonstrate courtesy, courage, principle, reliability, and respect
  • Loyalty – demonstrating consistent support to family, friends and community

We have added an 8th which features strongly in the martial arts:

  • Self-control – avoiding negative feelings like anger, jealousy, arrogance and making poor choices

Our Philosophy and Beliefs

We believe that:

  • Student wellbeing and the academic, personal, social and moral development of each child is at the heart of our decision-making, policies and procedures.
  • Teachers are facilitators of learning, whose passion for student-centred inquiry inspires young minds to take and own the next steps in their own learning journey of discovery
  • Parents are our partners and effective communication with parents is essential for the development of GPS as community of learners. We need parents to support:
      • Parent-teacher conferences
      • Information sessions
      • School events
      • Building parent voice through the parents’ association
      • Contributing to school development as members of the Advisory Council to the Board

    We would like our parent community to celebrate their children’s teamwork, collaboration, competition and performance. We value parent involvement in the community life of GPS as a cornerstone of our development strategy. Contact us to find out more.

Our Learning Environment

Learning Environments are places in which the pursuit of understanding and the construction of meaning are balanced with the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Our classrooms are busy and characterised by purposeful inquiry.

Students are empowered to do their best and are supported by teachers, support staff and each other in achieving this. GPS is a well-resourced, but we are not textbook driven. We use textbooks and online sources from vetted websites, use digital apps, encourage hands-on use of manipulatives and tools and a variety of media to enrich the learning process.

We encourage the development of international-mindedness in our teachers and students, showing respect, tolerance and empathy towards others of different gender, nationality, culture and levels of academic, linguistic and intellectual development. We model being lifelong learners and support students as contributing thinkers and doers with developing ideas of the world.

The Life Skills programme is evident in every classroom and guides us in our daily practice as we celebrate individual and collaborative achievements, ongoing learning and thinking in progress.

Ghaf Primary School - Students Learning EnvironmentGhaf Primary School - Learning Environment