GEMS Wesgreen recognised for leadership and student wellbeing in Tes Award shortlisting
GEMS Wesgreen International School – Sharjah has been shortlisted for two prestigious Tes Awards: Principal/Headteacher of the Year and Student Mental Health Initiative of the Year. These nominations highlight the outstanding work and remarkable achievements at Wesgreen, showcasing the school's dedication to excellence.
The leadership of our Principal, James McDonald’s, was acknowledged as truly inspirational. Under his guidance, Wesgreen has become one of the fastest improving schools in the UAE, demonstrating advancements in academic outcomes and introducing unique additions such as a farm and a forest school. His commitment to staff development, wellbeing, academic excellence, and community engagement also distinguishes him as a visionary leader.
As the Chairman of the Association of British Schools Overseas (AoBSO), James played a pivotal role in driving global growth. His dedication to internal succession and staff development is evident in the creation of a progression pathway for every teaching staff member, from teacher to Principal. Initiatives like the National Professional Qualifications (NPQs), in-house development, and a bespoke professional development pathway have empowered the staff, with an overwhelming 90% expressing that wellbeing is a top priority at the school.
The school's excellence is further recognised in the Student Mental Health Initiative of the Year category. Wesgreen's commitment to student wellbeing is evident through their mental health projects, particularly focusing on peer-to-peer wellbeing campaigns. The success of the teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) programme has led to a marked decrease in bullying incidents and increased willingness among students to seek help.
Wesgreen's holistic approach to mental health also includes the PERMAH model, promoting positive mental health among students, parents, and staff. The counseling team, renowned for its expertise, delivers resources, training, and workshops based on monthly themes addressing global wellbeing trends.
Today, GEMS Wesgreen International School – Sharjah stands proud, knowing that its journey toward excellence in leadership and student wellbeing has been recognised on the global stage.