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19 May 2016
                                                                                                                                       Year 2 Sleepover - Water Fight

Message from the Principal

The parent survey results are always useful.
So firstly I would like to thank everyone who took the time to fill it in and give us your feedback.
The most important results (My child receives a very high quality of education, My Child is happy at school, My child feels safe at school) were all in the 97-98% range.
The next most important result (I would recommend the school to my friends) was 96%.
The top three chief reasons stated for not wanting to recommend the school were (in order); School meals, Arabic provision, Bus provision.
The other points from the survey are that 92% of parents are very happy with our communication. But the ones who are not, very much dislike it (going by the comments) and suggest that we send too much information home for their requirements. The daily email was very much liked by the vast majority but felt too impersonal by some.
Homework was judged “the right amount” by 73% of families. We had equal numbers of suggestions for more homework and less homework.
The largest “failing” of the school that I did not anticipate was that only some 57% of you felt we contacted to inform you about your child’s successes outside of academia or sports.
I would like to address these main points here.
In terms of school meal provision I am very much aware of this. We have been working with the caterers for some time and in some depth. I cannot go into more detail at this time but suffice to say that at the time of writing no options have been ruled out regarding our provision for the following school year. While, as I often observe, no school meal system suits everyone, it is clear that this year our caterers have not met our standards. Many of the comments were regarding their organization not just the food. This will be further addressed and all required actions are being taken.
The provision of Arabic language is constantly being strengthened and I actually think we have a good team. Arabic, along with Mandarin, Spanish, French and German forms a key part of our language offer. The issue being that many families are rightly passionate about the delivery of their mother tongue. And for families coming to Arabic anew it is also a key consideration. I do not feel, having looked in detail, that the school is failing in its provision of Arabic but I do agree that a constant focus on improvement is always merited. Where additional resource is required, we will move to ensure it is in place.
Bus provision. Here again we have worked hard with our providers. The simple fact is that we have a very low number of families taking the bus. We did (as in school) pay to add 2 buses to our pool of buses on the routes which alleviated the main delay issues. I would add that STSS are in general considered the most reliable and safe of the providers within the UAE and we have no concerns there. Although not a hugely satisfactory answer I know, I would say that our bus provision has improved greatly but is now “satisfactory” rather than “outstanding”.
In terms of our communications. I do not intend to change what we do but we will look at the “app” that was recommended by some parents.
We do send home quite a lot of information and as I mentioned most people are very happy with it. I do see (having 5 children) that sometimes it can be overwhelming and perhaps in an ideal world an integrated software platform might be developed that could collate it all but the main input would still be from the teachers. I would (in general) rather we send home too much information than too little and would also add that much of it is sent so that parents can engage with their children's education. The daily email is meant for exactly that reason and is a general tool. For a teacher to write individually to each family would be too much of a burden for them after a long day (when they will still have planning and marking to complete). I must also add here though that I do expect teachers to respond quickly to individual concerns raised with them and our score of 92% in that area was not good enough and is an area we will address with staff.
With homework a “satisfied” score of 73% is actually far above what most schools would receive and, although low compared to our other scores, is not one I will be addressing in detail. We constantly review our homework and do not always get it right. One comment was that at times too many projects were set at once. This was absolutely true. In general though we do feel as a school that homework should increase in amount and difficulty as the students mature. We would want young children to concentrate on being children. Older children do have examinations to prepare for and that can indeed be stressful. Our duty is to help them manage stress at that age not to remove it all together and create a false environment which would not serve them well when they come to sit their test papers. We will not be complacent, the comment regarding projects was quite correct, but a whole scale change of our policy is not merited at this time.
And now onto the one which caught me out. Only 57% of you felt the school contacted you regarding other success measures. Unfortunately although this was our lowest score very few of the comments actually mentioned the issue and hence it was not immediately apparent what need was not being met. I stress again this is a failing of mine as I did not anticipate the matter nor was I aware of it. In this regard I will be working with Mrs Lamb and Mr Cullinan to see how we move forward. I would be against adding to the teachers' general work load as at present our staff report themselves very happy at their school and the feedback on individual teachers was overwhelmingly glowing. I want to keep it that way. There are however I’m sure ways in which we can modify our communications procedures rather than add to them to address this matter which the parents raised with us. We will find them.
I realize this is a rather personal meander through a statistical exercise. While useful I dislike statistics presented blandly as numbers because in a school they don’t tell the whole story. And this school is personal.
Please do rest assured that I read every single comment and poured over every single number. None were ignored.
Where I feel we need to act, we will act.
And for the glowing comments about our teachers…I agree.
Have a lovely weekend
Mike Embley

NAS Dubai's Young Innovators @ Pearl FM Radio

Year 4 Italian Day
Year 2 Sleepover
Message from the Head of Primary

Dear Parents,
We are hurtling towards the end of the school year but there is still so much going on in the Primary school! Here is a brief round-up for the week.
On Wednesday we had the pleasure of watching an excellent class assembly presented by 5C, entitled:  ‘5C Down Under’. This was related to the current Yr5 topic of Islands, which is always popular.  I enjoyed watching 5C learning about Captain Cook in a lesson recently as part of the same topic. Miss Mamelok was rightly proud of her class, who worked extremely hard to learn not only their lines, but also the challenging dance moves!
We are all very pleased with how well the Yr2 sleepover went last night, giving Yr2 children a chance to experience a night away from mum and dad!  Thankfully there were not too many tears or tantrums and Mr Woodhall even managed to get his group to sleep by 9.05pm!  But saying this, there were some very tired teachers and children this morning, so after a ‘restful’ night and a good breakfast they all went home early for a much-needed nap…
Today Yr4 held their ‘Italian Day’ with children dressing up in the colours of the Italian flag. Or in Mr Johal’s case, in full-on Roman Emperor costume…Activities included cooking (and eating) spaghetti, making a Leaning Tower of Pisa, playground games and learning Italian phrases.  The children learnt a great deal about Italy and had a lot of fun in the process.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to our Primary Competitive Swim Squad.  Today they headed to the Hamdan Swimming Complex for the finals of the Inter-school Swimming Gala. I am so proud of the Primary Development and Competitive Swim Squads.  Not only have they won every swim gala they have entered this year, but as I write this, NAS Dubai are winning every age group (Yr3-6) in this final gala!  We will definitely be moving up in the league next year, maybe even by two places.  Well done to all our swimmers and a big thank you to our amazing, dedicated coaches too.
Have a lovely weekend,

Elizabeth Lamb
Year 2 Sleepover - Water Fight
Message from the Head of Secondary

This week Miss Qureshi and I have been in Bratislava with our new Principal Mr Farthing and his dynamic leadership team. It has been a fantastic visit and allowed me to further recognise the strength we have across our group. We met visionary leaders, amazing teachers and inspirational students. In moving forward we will be embracing the skills we have across our dynamic community.

The visit also allowed us to secure the strategic vision of the school now and beyond, ensuring we can meet the needs of our students as we move into the IB. 

Miss Qureshi and I reviewed the key learning  principles and processes required for the students of NAS Dubai as they enter the next phase in their learning. It is when you see an IB school in action that you appreciate its true potential for students (we went to visit three schools, all well above world average). The teachers in these schools are amazing and the independence and attitude to learning of the students equally impressive. It allowed me to recognise that our students, from early years to primary to secondary, have all the attributes required to be able to adapt and succeed at IB. 

Not only does the breadth of our GCSE curriculum give them the knowledge base but as they grow in our school they are developing the necessary learning skills. Our students are displaying the skill set defined as the IB learner profile every day. 

Our NAS students are caring and balanced and they aren't afraid to take risks. When we have visitors, assemblies or debates in class I recognise how skilled they are in communicating. We are encouraging them always to reflect, a skill that leads to continued success. Our students have a thirst for knowledge they think about and question everything, this leads to them developing their skills as an inquirer.  Finally they have integrity and principles.  All of these are the profile of an IB learner, or as I describe them, the gifts of a NAS Dubai student.

Liam Cullinan
Year 2 Sleepover
Year 2 Sleepover - Water Fight
Year 2 Sleepover
Year 4 Italian Day
Year 4 Italian Day
Year 4 Italian Day

    NAS News Bites   

Year 2 Sleepover

On Wednesday 18th May the children in Year 2 enjoyed a wonderful sleepover together at school. After a quick afternoon snack we set up our new bedrooms in the classrooms making sure our beds were neat and tidy. When the weather had cooled we enjoyed a year group water fight outside and even got to squirt the teachers! Afterwards we changed into pajamas and tucked into some delicious pizza. Finally we settled down to watch a movie and ‘sleepily’ crept into our new bedrooms for the night. In the morning we packed away our sleeping gear and went up to the refectory for a hearty breakfast before starting our school day.

Ruth Jena
Year 2 Leader

Year 4 Italian Day

The children had a fantastic time learning about their new topic - Italy. All the teachers were impressed with the children’s efforts to come to school dressed in green, red and white. There were also a few Roman Soldiers amongst our ranks.
The children enjoyed learning numbers 1-10 in Italian, first through a video, and then by our own Italian speakers in Year 4.  We used our numbers to play Regina, Regina Bella, where the Queen or King (Regina) called out a number in Italian and the name of an animal.  The children had to then move forward the amount of steps called out and act out the animal.  The first person to reach the Regina, became the next ruler.  The children also learnt how to read the colours in Italian.  The teachers became the Witches and called out a colour in Italian, and the children had 5 seconds to find that colour otherwise they had to join the Witches! We were lucky to have Mrs Gilpin pop in and tell us about her childhood in Italy!
The children also learnt how to cook Italian food. They had to chop and roast vegetables along with boiling pasta and adding some cheese - making a cheesy pasta bake! The children did this in groups of five under the strict supervision of an adult. The children enjoyed eating their food at break time and at the end of the day.

Along with cooking food, the children learnt a traditional Italian folk dance called the Tarantella. The dance was characterized by a fast upbeat tempo, accompanied by tambourines. It is among the most recognized forms of traditional southern Italian music.
The final activity of Italian Day was to create the leaning Tower of Pisa. The children were given several resources to create their own version. The children worked really well in teams and created some fantastic designs.
Year 4 Team


Practical Radio Experience for the NAS Young Innovators 

When Pearl FM heard about our Year 9 & Year 10 students learning about health innovation and entrepreneurship, they couldn't wait to invite some of the Young Innovators onto their Kidstalk Show to share the findings of Wakiza, their teenage health survey. 

Emil Robberstad, Anjana Iyer and Livia Lemgruber joined their Innovation Mentor, Jennifer Proctor and Mr Cullinan, at Pearl FM at the Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children, to discuss their initiative which aims to support young people in Dubai to live healthier and happier lifestyles. 

The interest around the NAS Young Innovators and Wakiza is growing week by week in the build up to their presentation to Dubai Health Authority at the end of May. Listen out for the Young Innovators on Dubai Eye’s, ‘Eye on Health’ show this Tuesday morning at 11am. 


Quran Recitation Competition


    Upcoming Events    

Sunday May 22

  • 4E Class Assembly 10:30am-11:15am
Monday May 23
  • Canada Day @ Chatter Box Café 8am-11am
  • Ski Trip Presentation for Parents 8am-8:30am
  • 1F Class Assembly 10:30am-11:15am
  • Dubai Scouts Awards Evening 5:30pm-8pm
Tuesday May 24
  • Music Box Recital 2:15pm-3:30pm
Wednesday May 25
  • Year 3 Viking Day
  • Nursery Little Explorer Trip 9am-11:30am
  • 1D Class Assembly 9:30am-10am
  • 4F Class Assembly 2pm-2:30pm

2015 –16 NAS Dubai Yearbook 

Our annual colorful yearbook filled with individual and class photos, plus photos collected all year from trips, events, in classrooms and at sporting fixtures will be on sale as of next week.  The yearbooks are a wonderful keepsake and all the students delight in getting their copies personally signed by all their teachers and friends during the last days of the school year. 

Order Your Yearbook from Sunday May 22 through Tuesday May 31st

From 7:30am - 8am & 2:45pm - 3:15pm
@ the Finance office and Main Reception

Cost per copy is 100aed  
Delivery of the yearbook will be the week of June 12th 2016

A 2014-15 yearbook is available for viewing at reception.

   Parent Community  

Chatter Box Cafe

We’re so delighted that Chatter Box Café was buzzing all morning with happy parents and their new purchases from our parent vendors.  Then lunchtime came and the extremely popular Paloma’s Kitchen served their delicious gourmet sandwiches, salads and cakes to eagerly anticipating parents, teachers and staff.   After finally closing down after the pick-up rush, we can say without doubt that the first Market Day was a great success and we look forward to doing another next term. 

A big thank you to our supportive parent customers and a special big thanks to Reema from Paloma’s Kitchen and all the lovely parent vendors who participated today.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget Canada Day on Monday May 23rd.

Marie, Heather & Liz

Parents' Association

PA Reminders

May 20th - Email deadline for PA Committee and PA Committee elected positions 

June 6th – Annual General Meeting, Secondary Library 8am

   Sports News  

Sunday May 22

  • U11 Rounders Final @ JPS 2:15pm-5:15pm
  • U12A Rounders vs DESC (Away) 3pm-5pm

Monday May 23
  • U11 Inter-school Cricket Friendly @ NAS Dubai 3pm-4pm

Performing Arts News

Acclaimed Artists to Teach at Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard

We are extremely excited to announce the two acclaimed artists, Annaliesa Place and Hilary Easton, who will lead music and dance at Performing Arts with Juilliard this summer in Geneva. Our students will gain invaluable experience from these two experts in dance and music.

Read more here

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Nord Anglia International School Dubai |Hessa Street |Al Barsha 3 South
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