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14 April 2016

Message from the Principal

Welcome back one and all!

I hope you and your children had a good break and have returned bright eyed and bushy tailed and, they at least, are ready to work hard for the rest of the school year.

The school year is a busy one and follows its own particular cycles and rhythms. Sometimes these are designed around exams, big overseas trips, grand productions etc. Sometimes these events are fixed on a more ad-hoc basis; sporting fixtures where schools get together every couple of months or so to create the forthcoming match list. Sometimes, as with the calendar there is input from the central authorities. 

Sometimes events, as with life arrive as a surprise and school must take them in its stride.

Dealing with unusual events and the taking of risks has been a topic of great controversy in UK schools recently. I have spoken about this topic previously but wanted to return to it here because the UK government and many others worldwide are looking at this matter at present.

Essentially a group of schools have insisted on "walking play times" in primary schools. This is literally what it sounds like. The children are not allowed to run about at all because they might fall over, bump into each other, or suffer heart attacks.

Personally I think this is ridiculous.

I do not advocate teaching lion taming in schools or bareback horse riding sans helmet for the under 5s.

However, this is a real debate and somehow the "walking play time" lobby have been taken seriously.

In a world where fitness and outdoor activity should be more and more encouraged instead of I-Pad induced torpor the idea of walking play seems purest lunacy. And yet it is being seriously considered.

I am deeply and personally aware that accidents can happen. Be they freak accidents that could not have been prevented or accidents that should have been prevented by due care and attention. But the point of a freak accident is that it is precisely that. It could not have been prevented. The idea that children should not be exposed to any risk at all is counterproductive to their own abilities as a young person and as an adult in the future.

The child who is only allowed to have walking play is the child who walks along the edge of a friable cliff blithely thinking nothing can happen. Schools have a duty to teach children about themselves and managing themselves. Not to stop them running at play time.

The other risk I wanted to talk about is the risk of missing out...but in a less serious tone (sorry for the rant above).

It would be foolish to allow your family to miss out on the Family Fun Day this weekend...they are always awesome and the children love them.

And just as would be DEEPLY FOOLISH of any man not to take his wife dancing at that Gala evening coming up on April 29th. That would be far far worse than being subjected to a year of walking play times. have been warned!

Mike Embley
Message from the Head of Secondary

Welcome back, I hope you all had a restful break.  On Sunday you will be aware that the secondary school had a late start. This is because we had a teacher training event.  These short intense sessions are a key for motivating staff as well as keeping them up to date with the latest educational training and initiatives.

There is a lot of research that highlights the importance of training, indeed the McKinsey report stated that the best schools do two things:

“get the best teachers and get the best out of teachers”
Now this may not seem like rocket science but in order to get the best out of teachers schools must show an investment in them, as they are key in ensuring that our students can succeed.

Our training focused on use of assessment, differentiation and challenge in the class room, social studies and the academic passport.  All of these are areas we have highlighted for reflection and intervention.  It was great to witness the reaction of the teachers after the session.  Whilst walking round the school I observed teachers trying out some of the practices highlighted in the sessions.  Indeed one student said to me “wow sir, the teachers are on great form”.

This is the exact reason we do a short sharp session as opposed to a long day.  The best training has impact and this is why I reinvented the teacher inset concept in my previous schools and I was delighted to see the success continue this week here at NAS Dubai.

Tomorrow is Family Fun Day and I am delighted to be on both "Beat the Goalkeeper" and "Splat the Teacher" - I hope to see many of you there.

Have a great weekend
Liam Cullinan
The Magic of Science Show in full action

NAS Dubai 2016/2017 Calendar

    NAS News Bites   

Magic of Science Show

This week saw the eagerly anticipated ‘Magic of Science Show’ as the secondary school science reps took centre stage in the auditorium to celebrate and share their passion for science and also to enthuse audiences across both the primary and secondary school.

The show opened in spectacular style with a drum solo by surprise special guest Mike Embley, alongside carefully choreographed pyrotechnics by our year 10 scientists, Mhairi and Arvana. The girls then went on to explain the similarities between the jaw-dropping Dragon’s Breath demonstration and how our bodies release energy from food.

Lydia and Nadia then demonstrated the explosive nature of hydrogen gas which was enclosed in a balloon with a small amount of copper salt. After being ignited, a colourful and very loud bang was produced. Aryan and Anshul then followed on from this with another explosive and eye-catching demonstration - the ‘Whoosh Bottle’. The audience were on the edge of their seats as Aryan dropped a lit splint into the ethanol soaked 15 litre plastic bottle resulting in ferocious whoosh of fire - similar to the after burners of a jet plane!

Less explosive, but equally as impressive was the vortex cannon led by Agasthya, Adam and Mohammad. The simple cardboard box with a hole in one end was used by the boys to shoot donut shaped smoke rings around the auditorium knocking plastic cups off the heads of various volunteers. Definitely a crowd favourite.

The show reached its finale with the elephant’s toothpaste demonstration in which brightly coloured foam erupts from the containers as a result of the rapid breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. This was ably carried out by Zoe, Shiainne, Liyana and Olivia, and was an excellent way to round off events.

Well done to all those involved in the planning and organisation of the show, in particular, all of the science reps who put a lot of their time and effort into their demonstrations and explanations. They have set the bar high so next year’s show promises to be even bigger and better. Special thanks to our MCs, Sophia and Bethany, who did a great job in maintaining the pace and excitement.

Secondary Science Department

    Upcoming Events    

Sunday April 17

  • Night under the Stars Invites on sale in the atrium
  • Bookworm Book Fair 11am-3:30pm
Monday April 18
  • Night under the Stars Invites on sale in the atrium
  • Bookworm Book Fair in the Atrium 8am-3:30pm
  • EYFS Petting Zoo visit
Tuesday April 19
  • Night under the Stars Invites on sale in the atrium
  • Bookworm Book Fair in the Atrium 8am-3:30pm
  • EYFS Petting Zoo visit
Wednesday April 20
  • Night under the Stars Invites on sale in the atrium
  • Bookworm Book Fair in the Atrium 8am-3:30pm
Thursday April 21
  • Night under the Stars Invites on sale in the atrium
  • Secondary students visit the Cultural Centre breakfast
  • Year 1 French students' trip to Cafe Vendome 8am-10amo
  • Year 3 Sleepover

   Parent Community  

Night Under the Stars

The PA Parent Gala Night Under the Stars will be held on Friday April 29th from 8pm at The Montgomerie, Address Hotel, Emirates Hills.
Invites are now on sale at NAS Dubai by main reception (only) at drop-off and pick-up times.
As many of us will be attending solo and others as couples, invites will be sold individually and seating is flexible.
For those wishing to reserve a table of 10 or 12 people, we would like to ask that the booking is made for the entire table at the time of reservation. These tables will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. 

Please note there is limited availability for the event.
We very much look forward to seeing you all beautifully dressed and elegantly suited!

Menu Details:

   Sports News  

Sunday April 17

  • U13 Cricket vs Uptown (A) 3pm-6pm
  • U12A Rounders vs DIS (A) 3pm-5pm
  • U12B Rounders vs Uptown @ NAS Dubai 3:30pm-4:30pm
  • U12 Boys Basketball vs JESS Ranches @ NAS Dubai 3:45pm-4:45pm
Monday April 18
  • U11 Cricket vs Victory Heights Primary School @ NAS Dubai 3pm-4pm
  • U13 Cricket vs WEK (A) 3pm-6pm
Tuesday April 19
  • U15 Cricket vs DIA (A) 3pm-6pm
  • U11 Rounders vs Safa Community School @ NAS Dubai 3:30pm-4:30pm
  • U14A Rounders vs Uptown @ NAS Dubai 3pm-4:30pm
  • U14B Rounders vs WEK @ NAS Dubai 3pm-4:30pm
  • U14 Boys Basketball vs GIS (A) 4pm-5pm

Wednesday April 20
  • U9 Cricket vs Victory Heights Primary School @ NAS Dubai 3pm-4pm
  • U15 Cricket vs EISM @ NAS Dubai 3pm-5pm

Thursday April 21
  • U12 Boys Basketball vs DC @ NAS Dubai 4pm-5pm

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