Simon Herbert

Welcome Message

Mr. Simon Herbert

It is my privilege as Head of School to welcome you to GEMS International School (GIS), one of the jewels in the GEMS crown. My initial impression on my first visit to the school was how warm and caring the GIS community appears to be. As a father of three, that was crucial, and as a Head who has worked internationally for many years in Europe, Africa and Asia at the top international school in China (Hurun Report 2020), I know how special it is when a whole community of faculty, students, parents and alumni share a passion for education and similar values.

The values of respect and trust, aligned to ambition, are paramount in a large and successful international school. With over eighty nationalities in our student body, respect for others is at the heart of our school. Respect engenders confidence, kindness and trust. We trust our students and faculty to be creative, critical thinkers, to take responsibility and to work hard. This in turn fosters an atmosphere in which students are not afraid to take risks, where they can ‘fail well’ and learn from their mistakes, building resilience within a caring environment. Student leadership has been commended regularly and widely at GIS and this derives from these values of respect and trust. As for ambition, we promote the highest standards. Our students thrive when they develop strong self-esteem and try their best, whether that is in the classroom, in the orchestra, on the sports field, in the debating arena or on stage. This is the essence of a holistic education and we know that wellbeing is enhanced through the pursuit of interests and time for creativity. Our students are supported in their ambitions and wellbeing through the best pastoral care system possible, whether they are in kindergarten, primary or secondary. Our focus on the individual gives our school a family feel and reinforces the message that students come first, a message which underlies all our decision making.

Our teachers are our greatest asset and they always go the extra mile to ensure our students are happy, challenged and fulfilled in all manner of enrichment and leadership activities. This is a truly collaborative environment, which begins with the child initiated learning of the primary years, continues with the creative curriculum of the middle years, and finishes with the rigorous and fulfilling journey through the IB Diploma. This special environment is one of peer support and leads to the most extraordinary outcomes.

We are lifelong learners, keen to develop professionally and continue our own learning. This sets a fine example to students; learning does not stop after obtaining excellent IB results or brilliant university placements. As our Mission Statement makes clear, we develop ‘lifelong learners who engage in meaningful learning experiences that build compassion, resilience and understanding of their role in the community’. Beyond the headline figures, service to others and gratitude are essential. We hope that our students will show compassion to others, be grateful for their opportunities and become philanthropic leaders of the future.

At GIS, we know that education goes way beyond the school years. We genuinely want our students to seize the possibilities of tomorrow through the delivery of an excellent all-round, international education.

I look forward to welcoming you and your child to GEMS International School for a visit. You'll quickly get a sense of just how special a place this is.

Simon Herbert

Head of School/CEO

GEMS International School - Al Khail

Simon Herbert

Head of School - GEMS International School, Al Khail
A dynamic, culturally astute school leader skilled at encouraging and inspiring both students and staff, Simon has worked in the education sphere for over 30 years, having taught and held leadership roles in high-profile schools across the globe.

Simon Herbert

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