GEMS students celebrate record-breaking GCSE results to top off ‘exceptional’ school exam season

12 August 2021

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Students at GEMS Education’s British curriculum schools, together with their teachers, principals and parents, today celebrated another record year of GCSE results.

A total of 2,971 students from 20 GEMS schools took over 22,100 IGCSE/GCSEs this year. Across the GEMS network, 1,733 students achieved top grades of 9-8 (equivalent to A*), 50% of entries attained grades 9-7 (A*-A) compared to 30% in England, and 89% of entries were awarded grades 9-4 (A*-C) compared to 79% in England.

Dino Varkey, Group CEO, GEMS Education, said: “Congratulations to all our GCSE students, who have yet again performed spectacularly well and above all expectations given the context of their achievements. Their excellent set of results will stand them in good stead as they move on to the next stage of their exciting education journeys filled with opportunity and promise.

“These GCSE results now bring to a close what has been an exceptional school exam season that has seen pupils from across different curricula meet the challenges of the pandemic head on – and then rise above them with distinction.”

Highlights from across the GEMS family of schools include:

  • Jumeirah College Dubai saw 81% of all grades at 9-7 (A*-A) and 56% at 9-8 (A*), with 93% of students receiving at least one grade at 9-8 (A*).
  • GEMS Wellington International School saw 70% of all grades at 9-7 (A*-A) and 52% at 9-8 (A*).
  • GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail saw 43% of all grades at 9-8 (A*) and 61% at 9-7 (A*-A).
  • GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis saw 57% of all grades at 9-7 (A*A).
  • GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa saw 98% of all grades at 9-4 (A*-C) and 50% at 9-7 (A*-A).

Maryssa O’Connor, Principal/CEO, GEMS Wellington International School and Vice President – Education, GEMS Education, said: “We are all incredibly proud of what our students and teachers have achieved this year. The determination and resilience shown by our students, coupled with our world-class provision, have ensured our continued upward trend for a four-year period.

“As an inclusive school community, we are especially proud of our record headline measures, with 70% of all grades awarded at 9-7 and 52% awarded at 9/8 or A*. Remarkably, 36% of all grades were awarded the maximum grade 9 or A*, which is an incredible achievement. Integrity and rigour have been at the heart of our processes this year, and we’re confident that our students will transition to their post-16 studies with the very best possible preparation.”

Marc Morris, Principal, Jumeirah College Dubai: “Congratulations to all our Year 11 students on their outstanding IGCSE results – very well done. I should like to pay tribute to the support and hard work of our teachers and families that has allowed students to give their best during this challenge time. We wish each and every one of you success with your next choice of study.”

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Matthew Tompkins, Principal/CEO, GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa, said: “All at GEMS FirstPoint School are so proud of the exceptional results our Year 11 students have achieved this year. For the third year in a row, the school has broken all records. With over 58% of students achieving an A*, the FirstPoint family is elated by these results and the progress each and every child has attained. Congratulations to the class of 2021, we are looking forward to working with you again next year as you start your Sixth Form study.”

Top-performing students include:

  • George Moussa from GEMS Wellington International School, who achieved seven A*s and six grade 9s.
  • Melisa Avci from GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, who obtained grade 9s in a total of 11 subjects.
  • Vadim Rikunov from The Winchester School – Jebel Ali, who scored 11 A*s and an A.


George Moussa said: “I’m so happy with the results I got today. I took English Language and Literature, Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry as triple science, Information Communication Technology and Arabic, and for my 2 BTEC Diplomas, I took Business and Media. I’m so happy to say I got grade 9s for six subjects, A*s for two subjects, Distinction Stars for two subjects and an A. I’m really happy with my results and I would like to say a really big thank you to all my teachers who’ve supported me continuously over the past two years and helped me become the person I am today.”

George Moussa’s father said: “I am so happy and proud. George has proven to me that he is the person he wants to be, he set goals for himself and he was able to achieve them. Two years ago he came from a school in Egypt and was able to catch up in all the subjects and came ahead of his colleagues, achieving an outstanding result. I am really proud and happy, and thank you to GEMS Wellington International School and the staff for helping him achieve his goals.”

Vadim Rikunov said: “The Winchester School has helped me to not only maintain my passion for learning, but increase it as well. The school has equipped me with all the skills and experience to now continue on with my college education. I have become an independent, flexible and knowledge-seeking individual who is inspired to look beyond challenges and convert every problem into an opportunity. I would like to thank The Winchester School for the journey I have shared with the institution.”