Early Years & the IB Primary Years Programme

Child-centred Learning

In the Early Years at GEMS World Academy, our EYFS and IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) ensure a child-centred learning environment and a rich curriculum where all children are valued and championed. With a focus on the EYFS characteristics of learning and the central features of the Early Years in the PYP, we value play, positive relationships and engaging learning environments in contributing to all areas of learning.

Our continuous provision reflects our focus on all areas of learning, with children always having the opportunity to explore, play and engage with Communication, Language Literacy, Numbers and Understanding the World.


An inquiry-based approach offers many significant benefits

In a rapidly changing world, we know that the acquisition of knowledge forms only one part of a much bigger learning journey. Inquiry as an approach promotes curiosity, critical thinking, and effective communication.

Students are involved in asking and answering their own questions, developing problem-solving skills, and articulating their ideas and thoughts clearly.

"In inquiry classrooms, we consistently see students who are actively engaged in the process of learning, this leads to deeper levels of understanding as opposed to passively receiving information from teachers. They are taught explicit skills which empower them to take ownership and become more self-directed in their learning."


An integral part of the Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Action is an opportunity for students to seek the opportunity to make a significant contribution to their local and global communities. It is a core component of agency and offers learners the ability to see that they can not only make a meaningful contribution to the world around them but also be change-makers. In the PYP, 'Taking Action' is broken into five essential elements: Participation, Advocacy, Social Justice, Social Entrepreneurship and Lifestyle Choices. These ideas have been put together to support these elements of action, and to encourage learners to take meaningful action to make a difference in the world.


The PYP Exhibition is the culminating event in a learner’s journey through the Primary Years Programme.

The exhibition process takes place during Year 6 and is designed to showcase the knowledge, skills and understanding they have acquired throughout their years in the PYP whilst demonstrating the attributes of the Learner Profile.

The exhibition aims to encourage responsibility for learning, the application of skills and knowledge in real world contexts highlighting issues of personal relevance to the learners.


    Read Write Inc

    Reading is the passport to the world and ability to communicate effectively. Reading enables children to acquire a richer vocabulary and develop an understanding of their world. The core of our reading curriculum is the National Curriculum for England which is supported by Read, Write Inc. This is a systematic, synthetic phonics scheme that is validated by the Department for Education to ensure that children are able to learn the phonics code required for them to become fluent, confident readers. The curriculum has been specifically sequenced in a logical progression to ensure that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before.

    We aim for all of our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading. Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! Reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners. 

    Read Write Inc supports the IB Primary Years Programme by helping students to be able to inquire and access material that develops knowledge, conceptual understanding, skills and the attributes that enable students to be the agents of their own learning.


    White Rose Maths Approach

    Our internally developed mathematics scheme (aligned to the White Rose Maths approach) promotes deep understanding of number value and real-life maths skills. Children are able to use a variety of resources and strategies to solve problems and investigate independently. All children have access to a high-quality mathematics curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable and raises their aspirations. We widen their horizons through a context rich curriculum, that gives purpose to their learning, through high expectations for every child to succeed.

    The IB framework provides authentic conceptual inquiry based learning that is engaging, significant, challenging and relevant for PYP students. Our children are provided with a variety of mathematical opportunities, enabling them to become more fluent and apply knowledge rapidly. Throughout school, we develop resilience that enables all children to reason and problem solve with increased confidence. A high focus on reading fluency throughout school enables our children to read, comprehend and solve mathematical problems with a clear understanding of vocabulary. Our IB students develop agency, self-efficacy and action while building a sense of awareness for the opinions, values, and needs of others.


    Embedded throughout our curriculum

    Critical thinking skills are embedded throughout our curriculum, and our children know that the key to mastery is understanding how we learn and being able to take ownership of the learning process in order to achieve their very best and be high performing. Children receive diverse and exciting curriculum opportunities that immerse them in the learning process, deepening their connections in learning and applying them in other contexts. Students are empowered to use their literacy, oracy and digital communication skills to share their learning with others.


Placing Learners at the Heart of Social Enterprise

Through our collaboration with globally recognised partners including 8billionideas - an entrepreneurial framework that supports creativity, excellence and success. Our inspirational provision enables learners to not only learn about their world, but also accomplish the unthinkable by being prepared for jobs that may not yet exist today.

The IB approaches to learning skills (ATL) ensure learners know how to learn as their thinking, communication, research, self management and social skills are developed through different programmes of inquiry. In this way, children are empowered to become internationally minded global citizens and critical thinkers with adaptability and empathy. They will be able to lead future generations with autonomy, mastery and purpose, equipped to thrive in all walks of life.


Connecting With UAE Traditions and Culture

Our curriculum is highly considerate of the local context of the UAE ensuring full immersion in UAE traditions and culture as well as ensuring full coverage of the UAE Social Studies and Moral Education curriculum. Our school meets Ministry of Education expectations for the delivery of Islamic Studies and the Arabic language for native and non-native speakers, while also ensuring enhanced links between English and Arabic to develop students’ acquisition and love of languages. This is supported through our World of Connection pillar where our IB programmes unite a worldwide community of learners who believe the education can help to connect and build a better, more peaceful world. 

Vicky Martin


Vicky's successful career in education spans over 23 years, 16 of which have been at senior leadership level within the GEMS Education group of schools. Vicky first joined GEMS in 2005, when she took up the position as one of the founding members of the senior leadership team at GEMS Royal Dubai School – a primary school that she later went on to lead as Principal.

During her time at GEMS Royal Dubai School, Vicky successfully supported the school’s growth from an initial 60 students to over 1,000. Under her leadership, the school went on to achieve a wealth of accolades, including ‘Outstanding’ KHDA inspection status, COBIS Membership, High Performance Learning World Class Award and Optimus awards for Wellbeing and Leading Parental Partnership.



Explore Our Curriculum