Teachers, students and parents participated in special car parades, drive-throughs and surprise home visits to mark the end of the 2019-20 academic year and send off graduating students in style
GEMS Education schools have been busy finding creative ways to mark the end of the academic year while maintaining social distancing. Four GEMS schools – Cambridge International School – Dubai, GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa, GEMS Metropole School – Motor City, and GEMS Wellington Primary School – were all recently involved in a variety of events over the past few days, taking part in a total of nine car parades, almost 100 surprise home visits and seven hours of virtual graduation ceremonies.
Always following strict safety protocols, a total of 150 school staff, including teachers and principals, waved goodbye to students and parents in 1,540 cars decorated with banners and balloons. Around 600 students, including 232 Year 13 graduates, attended the car parades held at the schools.
Lachlan MacKinnon, CEO and Principal of Cambridge International School – Dubai, said: “What a fabulous turnout! Emerging as if out of a mist, we suddenly had over 100 cars with students, parents and friends ready to celebrate. The cars paraded past teachers and the senior leadership team wishing every student a fantastic and bright future.”
Students at GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa had the chance to interact with their teachers in a safe setting, while teachers also had the opportunity to thank parents for their support during the remote learning period.
Danny Doyle, Head of School at GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa, said: “Our families are our school and the children are the reason we all came into teaching. So, the wave-byes are as much for us as they are for the children. For us, it is important to keep that contact, to see them, to let them know we miss them, we still think about them and we still care so much about them. It has been wonderful to see our families, to be able to talk to them, ask how they are and keep the connections ready for our return in September.”
GEMS FirstPoint School students were delighted to take part in the school’s colourful parades, with Phoebe Roberts, a Year 5 student, stating, “The drive-through was amazing. I loved seeing my teacher and teaching assistant again after so many weeks apart. We have seen them every day through distance learning, but it hasn’t been the same, and we all enjoy each other’s company so much when we are in school. It was also nice to be able to enter through the school gates and remember my school that I love. I can’t wait to be back there in September to see all my friends.”
GEMS Wellington Primary School, meanwhile, employed another creative tactic by taking the school to Year 6 students. More than 100 teachers secretly made plans together with parents to arrange home visits to congratulate graduating students in person and gift them a graduation goodie bag – all in accordance with social distancing and safety protocols.
About GEMS Education
GEMS Education is one of the world’s oldest and largest K-12 private education providers. It is a highly regarded choice for quality private education in the Middle East and North Africa region. As a company founded in the UAE in 1959, it holds an unparalleled track record of providing diverse curricula and educational choices to all socio-economic means. GEMS Education now owns and operates 66 schools and educates over 130,000 students in the MENA region; and through its growing network of schools as well as charitable contributions is fulfilling the founder’s vision of putting a quality education within the reach of every child.
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