One of Dubai's oldest primary schools will begin expanding to secondary classes next month.
The Kindergarten Starters, an Indian curriculum school in Garhoud, has received the approval to become an all-through school, which changes beginning in April, said education provider Gems.
It will be renamed Gems Legacy School.
The school was established in 1990 and welcomed pupils from kindergarten until Grade 5. From April, the school will accept sixth-graders, with grade 7 classes planned to be added next year as the oldest pupils enter the next tier of learning.
Additional grades will be added incrementally as the top year of pupils move on to the next tier of education.
Annual fees at the school range from Dh7,888 for kindergarten to Dh10,292 for Grade 6.
“I took over around 10 years ago, and ever since parents have been requesting me to expand the school,” said Asha Alexander, principal of Gems Legacy School.
“The pupils have become accustomed to the school and they feel extremely sad to leave after primary.
“I wanted to respond to the requirements of parents so that they do not have to move once children finish fifth grade.”
The school is also set to launch a mental health curriculum for pupils in Grades 3 to 6. It will focus on strengthening pupil’s personal, social, mental and emotional abilities.
Ms Alexander said the mental health curriculum would help children who had dealt with loss and change during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Some children have moved schools and some have sadly lost parents," Ms Alexander said.
"In order to address this in a structured way, we are implementing a curriculum which will teach children how to deal with loss and anxiety."
The school also plans to launch space and astronomy afternoon enhancement classes created by Nasa.
Ms Alexander said there was demand for affordable schools in Dubai.
“We are a forward-looking school and in this price range, few schools have devoted to giving all these (options) in their curriculum.”
The school is working to embed robotics, artificial-intelligence, financial literacy and entrepreneurial projects in its curriculum.
Children will also be offered the choice of learning Indian languages, such as Urdu and Tamil.