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12 November 2015

Message from the Principal

This week one of our football teams lost. It wasn't a close game. It wasn't a "near thing".
So why am I writing about it?
Well...two reasons come immediately to mind;
Number one I would like to congratulate our team on meeting our expectations and displaying exemplary behaviour and sportsmanship.  In fact, this was remarked upon by the opposition team.
The second reason, and the one that we believe is important but often difficult for young people, is the ability to pick oneself up, dust oneself off and get back at it.
This resilience is hard. It is hard to develop, hard to believe in and hard to appreciate until you need it.
It is though...a great thing.
In later life it is a gift beyond compare.
And so I am writing about this match.
We lost, badly in fact.
But what made me smile, made me genuinely proud, was overhearing two boys talking the next day.
Let me paraphrase;  "Yes we lost, but we worked really hard and we'll win eventually, we just need to train harder".
That made my week.
All the best
Mike Embley

Message from the Head of Primary

Dear Parents,
Over the last couple of weeks, two or three parents have come into school to talk to myself or Mike about homework here at NAS Dubai.  Over the years I have found that if you ask twenty parents about their homework preferences, you will probably receive twenty different answers.  Interestingly, this tends to be the case amongst professional educators too – there is no consensus as to what constitues best practice when it comes to homework.  Most educators agree that some form of home study can be beneficial to children of primary age, but opinions differ widely as to what the content of that homework should be and how long children should spend on it.  My own personal opinion tends to vary according to the local context of the school, the academic needs of the students and even the time of year!  I’m sure many of you have noticed that we have a longer school day here at NAS than many other schools in Dubai (and indeed the UK).  This means that your child receives more taught time than children in comparable settings.  In Years 1-6 we provide Prep sessions so that children have time to complete homework tasks and personal study independently, but with a supportive adult on hand if required.  My own children and many others then take full advantage of our fantastic CCA programme to broaden and enrich their education.  Speaking as a parent, by the time my children arrive home, we aren’t especially keen to spend hours of family time on more school work.  Myself and my husband do ensure that my children understand both the obligations and the benefits of homework and ensure that our boys complete the work required.  This isn’t always an easy task!  Broadly speaking though, I feel that we have the homework schedule about right in primary school.  Families need time to play and relax after a busy day and at the weekend.  I would be interested to know how our homework schedule works for you.  Is there too much or too little?  Is it easy to understand and complete at home? If you have suggestions, please do feel you can raise them via email or in person.  Do bear in mind that if you have specific concerns, your child’s teachers are the first point of call.  They can help personalize homework, for example if your child is preparing for an entrance test.  Whilst we all want our children to succeed and progress to the highest academic levels, let’s also aim to maintain the work/play balance for their sakes and our own.
Wishing all our families a balanced weekend!

Elizabeth Lamb

Message from the Head of Secondary

This week our form tutors have been meeting with their students to discuss attainment, goal setting and reflection.  Reflection is a key tool that students need to develop in order to take ownership of their learning.
When highlighting attainment the form tutors will be informing our students where they have achieved key success and discuss how they can improve further.  I have been delighted with the results to date, all students have achieved some key areas of personal success this term.
Goal setting is an opportunity for our students to set their aspiration of what they want to achieve and the form tutor will discuss with them strategies to ensure they get there.  This includes speaking to the subject teacher to ensure they are confident in the skills they require to progress to the next level.
Finally reflection, one of my favourite quotes about reflection states ‘reflection is looking back so that the view looking forward is even clearer.’ Our form tutors act as the guide to support our students in truly focusing on how they can achieve great things.  My new favourite phrase is ‘at NAS Dubai our students not only succeed but exceed.’
You can also support our students in reflection, prior to parents evening on the 22nd November please have a dialogue with your children about where they feel they are succeeding and how we can work together to support their journey to excellence. 
Have a lovely weekend.

Liam Cullinan

School Uniform Shop

Opening hours:

Sunday & Thursday 7:45am to 8:30am
Wednesday 2:30pm-3:30pm

The School Uniform Shop is located opposite the NAS Dubai main reception. Swim caps, house shirts and language cards are in stock now.  
With the cool weather setting in, don't forget to get your NAS Dubai hoodies. Sizes range from child 3/4 to adult XXL.

The newly designed boys swim trunks and girls swimming costumes are on route to Dubai.  In the meantime, the old designs can be purchased at a discounted price and still be used for swim lessons (not for the squad).  

Year 6 Wadi Adventure Residential

The Year 6 students had a fantastic time on their Residential trip to Wild Wadi in Al Ain this week. Together the students and teachers spent four action packed days challenging themselves to face varying obstacles individually, or in teams, on land, in the water and at tall heights.  

    NAS News Bites   

A Nail Biting Performance by NAS Dubai's Secondary School Swim Team
Sunday saw the first of the away galas for NAS Dubai’s Secondary School Swim Squad at Greenfield Community School.  The NAS swimmers have been working hard to prepare even after a huge 57 point win at the last home gala, knowing full well that the other school would now be hungry to beat them! 
That said the NAS team was quietly confident and super excited with everyone looking forward to the event without the added pressure of hosting this time.  Little did they know that hosting the event was probably far easier than trying to get to another school!!  After various technical problems, transport and traffic issues they finally arrived at Greenfield Community School a little behind schedule and with a few nerves starting to show.  
Once the gala was on the way, the pressure was on and as suspected the other school went out fighting leaving NAS with some work to do!! Greenfield swimmers were strong and took an early lead forcing NAS to dig deep, but Greenfield was not going to give up easily!
The NAS team spirit was rising high though with swimmers being extra supportive and encouraging of each other and really making the few new swimmers feel part of the team.  Parents had also come to support the team, which was fantastic and very welcomed, with the tension rising as NAS tried hard to pull things back.
NAS was trailing slightly behind throughout the whole gala but things were neck to neck as we moved into the final relay events.  The atmosphere was tense but electric with parents,  fellow swimmers and coaches cheering as loudly as they could all knowing that the NAS swimmers had to produce their very best performances to stand a chance of winning!
AND … in true NAS Dubai style, they DID!!! Finally winning by a clear 5 points and producing some outstanding performances!!  AWESOME!! 
Congratulation NAS Dubai Team, you ROCK!! 



JESTER's BUZZCUITS - The alternative Year 6 residential:
A brave band of spirited students bucked the trend of outward bound and remained in the safer confines of classroom 6B…or so they thought!
The moment they entered the class in their depleted numbers, they were spatula’d into a week of business. The children gave a profile of themselves to the class and we interviewed each for a specific corporate role at our newly formed biscuit company. The jobs given suited their personality and interests and we were soon into our first board meeting…
Along the way there were some important decisions. We needed to agree on a brand, a logo, some slogans and a biscuit name. The identity of the biscuit emerged as:
Jester’s Buzzcuits – “The biscuit that boosts your day”. The concept was a delicious, yet healthy honey biscuit, crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle…
We had specialist teams research: recipes, competitor pricing, box design, suitable personalities to represent us, advertising and sourcing ingredients at the best price.
We made an advertisement to appeal to our target audience (kids that play hard and like their biscuits).
We (the music team) made jingles to accompany our corporate advertising.
We designed a fantastic box which will stand out from the crowd.
We approached Gordon Ramsay to endorse our product and wrote him a letter to persuade him.
We designed marketing materials that all but forced you to buy Buzzcuits…
We sourced the finest recipe and ingredients. 
AND…we finally BAKED!!
We did all this to bake biscuits to distribute to our adventurous colleagues as they return from the residential…
If demand is high enough – the second batch will cost…!
PS – we also encountered Cookie Maths puzzles and researching the origin of the word “biscuit” took us into a great look at etymology… (there was a good splash of work in the mix).

Mark Walters
Year 6B TA

    Upcoming Events    

Sunday Nov 15 

  • Anti-Bullying Week
  • NAS Xmas Tree PA Bauble Sale @ Drop-off & Pick-up
Monday Nov 16
  • Year 5 Trip to Sharjah Wildlife Park (5A, 5E and 5F)
  • RAK Year 7 Celebration Assembly 8am
  • NAS Xmas Tree PA Bauble Sale @ Drop-off & Pick-up
Tuesday Nov 17
  • EYFS Parent Workshop on Assessment 7:45am-8:30am
  • Heritage Village Visit (4A, 4B and 4D) 8:45am-12:45pm
  • NAS Xmas Tree PA Bauble Sale @ Drop-off & Pick-up
Wednesday Nov 18
  • Year 5 Trip to Sharjah Wildlife Park (5B, 5C and 5D)
  • Years 5 & 6 Parent Workshop on Calculation Policy 7:45am-8:30am
  • NAS Xmas Tree PA Bauble Sale @ Drop-off & Pick-up
Thursday Nov 19
  • Years 3 & 4 Parent Workshop on Calculation Policy 7:45am-8:30am
  • Heritage Village Visit (4C, 4E and 4F) 8:45am-12:45pm
  • U11 Chess Competition 3:30pm-5:30pm
  • NAS Xmas Tree PA Bauble Sale @ Drop-off & Pick-up

   Parent Community  

Parents' Association

After the momentum of the Autumn events the Parents’ Association was eager and excited to start organising for the next season.  No time has been wasted and our dedicated parents have already been busy cutting stars while they enjoy their Chatter Box Café coffee.  Please do stop by in the mornings and join in!   
In preparation for the arrival of the NAS Dubai Xmas Tree, baubles will be sold in the reception area starting on Sunday through Thursday at drop-off and pick-up.  The baubles will come in an assortment of colours and for 10aed each they can be taken home to decorate and then returned to the main reception by Monday Nov 30th.  Like last year, the decorated baubles will be hung on the school tree for all to see and enjoy. 
The lighting of the tree will take place at the Christmas Tree Lighting & Carol Sing-a-Long on December 6th from 5:30pm - 7pm. We look forward to telling you more about that event next week. 
Have a great weekend
Svenja & Maria    

Chatter Box Cafe

What a busy week it has been at Chatter Box Cafe - we commemorated Remembrance Day and celebrated Diwali. As always our wonderful parents and unrelenting volunteers allow us to host these events and make our NAS Dubai community so unique.

We would like to send out a special thank you to our Hindu and Sikh parents who donated both their time and the huge array of delicacies as well as the Bindi team who apparently can turn mere mortals into warriors (see Mr Embley's photo...)

   Sports News  

16 Nov

  • U8 Boys Football vs. Foremarke School (A) 3pm-4pm
  • U9 Boys Football vs. Horizon School (A) 3:30pm-4pm

17 Nov
  • U10 B & U11B Boys Football vs. Horizon School @ NAS Dubai 3pm-4pm
  • U14 Girls Football vs. EIS Meadows (A) 3pm-4pm

18 Nov
  • Primary Competitive Swim Squad DASSA League Gala 1 @ NAS Dubai 2:30pm-4pm
  • U11 Girls Football vs. JESS Ranches (A) 3pm-4pm
  • U12 Girls Football vs. Deira International School (A) 3pm-5pm

19 Nov
  • U8 & U9 Football Tournament at Repton (A) 12pm-3:30pm
  • Years 5 & 6 Cross Country Competition @ Wellington International School 2:45pm-4pm

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