English as an Additional Language (EAL)

The medium of instruction at GPS is English and children are expected to be able to access all areas of the curriculum in English. Parents are required to inform the school, at the time of application, of all languages spoken by their child and at home. A child whose first language is not English will be admitted to school if the child is successful in the assessment and it is felt that he/she can access the curriculum and make academic progress.

On commencement, GPS will accommodate and offer support to children who do not have English as their first language. Children will be able to access this support in school according to their level of proficiency determined through assessments speaking and listening skills and age-appropriate reading and writing skills. The school uses age-appropriate assessment linked to the CEFR/ALTE scale, Bonnie Campbell Hill continuum and WIDA model to determine proficiency and tailor support. Our aim is for students to become increasingly confident in communicating in English so that pull-out EAL support is tapered off at the earliest opportunity.

Parental support and involvement will be key in this process and may require an LSA for 1:1 EAL support to accelerate progress at the beginning. The school will provide parents with detailed guidelines in this regard as soon as needs are assessed.

Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

At GPS, our SEND admissions policy is in accordance with Federal Law 29 (2006) regarding the education and outcomes of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

GPS is an inclusive school committed to identifying and meeting the needs of each and every student. We start from the premise that each child is unique and that all students have varying degrees of exceptionality and need. This is why is very important for our teachers to get to know the children in their care. We differentiate and personalise learning plans, adapting and modifying the curriculum and providing appropriate challenge and support, working in cooperation with parents and, where appropriate, specialist agencies and providers. We are committed to implementing the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework (2017) and meeting the Directives and Guidelines for Inclusive Education (2019).

KHDA Education Policy: https://www.khda.gov.ae/cms/webparts/texteditor/documents/Education_Policy_En.pdf

We see ourselves as a learning community where all children are valued, because of their different learning needs and abilities. The school’s Inclusion Unit meets the needs of children requiring additional support including those who are identified as being High Achievers (HA) and Gifted and Talented (GT). Just as every teacher receives training to support English Language Learners (ELLs), they also receive training to ensure that the needs of all students are met as far as possible in the mainstream classroom, including those registered as students of determination (SEND) and/or gifted and talented (GT).

More information may be requested from the Head of Inclusion in order to determine the best assistance for student learners.

Guidance and Counselling Services

Counselling at GPS is designed to offer services that promote the personal, social, emotional and educational development of students. The Head of Inclusion works closely with students, parents, administration and teachers to create a school experience for all students that is engaging, holistic and achievement-focused. Counselling and guidance are often preventative, seeking to address the developmental needs of students before problems arise.

Approaches to teaching, learning and assessment can be adapted to take into account multiple intelligences and different learning styles, drafting and Individual Learning Plan (ILP, aka IEP), which looks closely at how planning and curriculum can be aligned to meet the needs of the child. When students experience periods of difficulty or if on-going behavioural support is required, the Head of Inclusion and team will develop strategies to assist the student, teachers and parents in addressing the need together in partnership.

Morning Arrival

Students must not arrive at school before 7.40 a.m. as there is no guaranteed supervision before this time. GPS staff are on duty for morning arrival from 7.40 - 8.00 a.m. in designated areas. The doors are opened to enable access to the classrooms from 7.40 a.m for a 7:50-8:00 registration. Prior to that time, students are to wait in designated areas before going to the classrooms. Students arriving by bus in EYFS years are taken directly to their classrooms, while bus students in Years 3 – 7 are dropped off in designated, supervised areas. Any student who arrives after 8:10 will  be marked as late.

Afternoon Dismissal

Students are expected to leave the school at their designated gate. By doing this you are helping the school safeguard your child as no unauthorised adult will be permitted to enter the school building. Parents and visitors will only be permitted into the school building once they have shown their Parent ID to security. If a parent does not have the ID, they will be asked to leave their Emirates ID at the security gates in exchange for a GPS Visitor’s ID. On Sunday to Thursday, Foundation dismissal is at 1 p.m. and Year 1 to Year 7 at 2.30 p.m. All students must be promptly picked up from their designated areas or be brought by GPS Staff to their assigned bus or pick-up area (e.g. front playground). Students who are not picked up will be brought to the library until parents or guardians arrive.

Students in Year 5, 6 and 7 may be dismissed on their own after the introduction of a signed waiver (which will happen shortly after the school year starts). It is an expectation that all students should have left the school site by 3.00 p.m. unless they are involved with an ECA or supervised academic activity. Please send a note prior to the start of the school day to the classroom teacher if your child is going home in any way different from their normal routine. If changes occur during the school day and a student is leaving in some way other than their usual means, please inform Reception. Any student involved in an ECA, must be met promptly at the completion of the activity, usually 3.35 p.m. Parents will be contacted if late pick-up from school becomes habitual, as this is unfair to both the child and the staff. There may be an additional charge for child care.

Students who are not registered with the bus provider to ride the bus are not allowed to use the bus. Although they are inviting spaces, the Foundation learning areas are not to be used outside of classroom hours as these are organised teaching and learning spaces. If directly supervised by a parent or guardian, students may use the playground in front of the school after hours if they are not already in use. Parents or guardians MUST be in the playground in close proximity to their children. Inappropriate supervision or misuse of the playground will result in removal of after school playground privileges. The school is closed on Saturday and Sunday except for special events, and only with the approval of the Ministry of Education.

FRIDAY Early Dismissal

Every Friday school ends at 12:00 pm as we follow the directive of the KHDA. GPS shares this same practice with most other international schools in Dubai.

Break and Lunchtime Procedures

Students will take their first break snack in their classrooms. Teachers will encourage students to eat their snacks and check that they are drinking enough water and doing so in a socially acceptable manner. Snack time takes place during the first 5 to 10 minutes of the break and teachers with classroom assistants remain with their class during this time. Once students have finished eating, they can go outside for supervised play.

School caps (available from the uniform shop) and sunscreen are strongly recommended for all students whilst outside during break and lunchtimes.

Clean Up Time - “ o-soji ”

Another feature of an eastern approach to education is that both students in Year 1 and above and teachers are encouraged to cooperate together to ensure that the classrooms and all learning spaces are kept clean and free of litter and particles of food dropped when eating snacks. In Japan, this shared responsibility is embedded from an early age and forms part of day-to-day life in school. We consider it to be part of our “Black Belt Principles of Life”. It also helps teach our students respect for those whose task it is to keep our environment clean and free of waste.

The school provides environmentally safe cleaning materials for use in classrooms and protective aprons. Students are encouraged to wash their hands before and after eating food and cleaning up.

Extreme weather arrangements

If extreme weather conditions are forecast and/or the temperature/humidity reaches an unacceptable level, the Principal will exercise professional judgement and declare a "red" break time. The students will be required to remain inside during breaks and staff will be designated to supervise.


Students are expected to be in class on time for lessons to start. Punctuality shows respect for others, classmates and teachers. Tardiness affects not only the student who is late but disrupts the entire group. Parents are requested to emphasise the importance of being on time with their child. Repeated lateness can result in detention or loss of free time at school as a consequence.


Attendance and absences

Students are expected to be present regularly throughout the year to fully participate in the academic programme. Extended holidays and vacations interrupt and impact the students’ educational progress and routine. If your child is absent due to sickness or any other reason, please phone Reception to report their absence.

KHDA ratings for attendance:

Less than 92%92 – 95%96 – 97%98 – 100%
14 days or more absent9 – 14 days absent5 – 8 days absent4 days or less absent

Planned Absences Other Than School Holidays

It is the school’s philosophy that attendance at school is of primary importance. However, there are times when an absence is unavoidable. In such cases, the parent is to complete a ‘Student Absence Request Form’ (available from Reception) and have this signed by the teacher. Once this has been passed to the Headteacher or Principal by the teacher the parent will receive an email confirmation from the school that they are aware of the planned absence. School assignments and examinations may not always be available in advance, but the class teacher will upload the work on ClassDojo for students to complete. Students are responsible for missed assignments when out of school for non-holiday reasons. If a student misses more than 10 days in a Term or 20 days in a year, the school reserves the right to retain a student if the absences have affected his/her progress. This is supported by the KHDA, which checks school attendance and absence records.

When taking your child out of school during the term:

  1. Contact the teacher via ClassDojo informing them of your request. They will email you the Student Absence Request Form.
  2. Fill in, sign and send the form back to the teacher.
  3. Your child will be marked as “Time Away from School” for the duration and not marked as absent.
  4. You can also come to the office and fill in the form.


When a student is ill please message the class teacher via ClassDojo or contact Reception via phone call or email the evening before/the morning of school. If the days exceed two days, then a doctor’s report must be handed to Reception when the student returns to school.

Private tutoring

If a parents hire an external private Tutor or Learning Support Assistant (LSA), it is a courtesy and common sense for the school to be informed, so that it can take steps to improve its own in-school provision and, where this is not practical, for the teacher and Tutor/LSA to liaise collaboratively so that progress can be monitored. It is the school’s duty to provide the learning necessary for a student to progress.

Where the school recommends an LSA to support a student of determination in mainstream classes and to assist the Inclusion Unit in pull-out, push-in classes, the school will include the LSA in continuous professional development (CPD) and training, if appropriate to improving the quality of provision for the child.