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17 March 2016
The NAS Young Innovators and Jennifer Proctor, who developed the Young Innovator Programme in partnership with Liam Cullinan.

Message from the Principal

How did we get here?
For many of us as parents we are at an odd stage in our lives where we are first and foremost carers and providers.
But it’s not only “down” a generation, we are also increasingly finding ourselves caring “up” a generation, for our own parents.
Not all of us of course - I’m scarily aware that some of the parents in school could be my children. Personally I think that people as young as that should not be allowed!
In any event many of us find ourselves either caring down, caring up or both.
It is, therefore, a funny time of life and one in which we are laden with responsibilities. I do hope this is not some kind of very dull mid-life crisis on my part but I am always, always, always aware of my responsibilities as husband, father and principal.
This is not a complaint but it is a fact for all of us.
There are ways in which we can approach these responsibilities. They can be a joy, they can be a weight, they can be a source of meaning, they can be an obligation. What they will never do though is go away, unless we are wildly irresponsible and abandon those who we are supposed to care for. I have no time for people who do that.
Our children have responsibilities too, as well as rights.
I am not, I hope, one to decry the idea of children’s rights “going too far” as has occurred in some sectors of the education debate. I don’t think in general schools get this wrong. Children have the right to be safe, to be heard, to be educated and, at home, to be loved.
I am conscious though that sometimes they are not being taught about personal responsibility. I think this is a shame.
There are few nursemaids that would create a dependent, non-functioning addict. TV and the Internet, on the other hand, are precisely such nursemaids though.
My point here, if I have made it well, is that we are the adults. We are not as parents supposed to be “peerents” we are not children. We might from time to time want to relinquish our responsibilities and I also think everyone is entitled to a night out every now and again. I am not of the “hair shirt” school of parenting. After a night out, the next day we take those responsibilities back and this is right and proper.
Between parents and schools we have a duty, a responsibility, to teach our children about taking on board their own responsibilities, personal, social, educational. For them, like us, they will sometimes be a joy, sometimes be a burden, but so be it. For little ones it might even just be “don’t lose your shoes”, for older children it might be about being safe online.
After all, in a few short years they will be caring for us.
Mike Embley
Year 9 & Year 10 Innovation Week

Message from the Head of Primary

Dear Parents,
This week your Primary Newsletter is jointly authored by Mrs Lamb and Mrs Lambert (how confusing…) For those of you who don’t know, Mrs Lambert is Assistant Head for Early Years. If you are the parent of an Early Years child, or you have ever had the pleasure of visiting our fantastic unit, you will know all about the play-based, child-initiated learning that happens there on a daily basis. So Early Years teachers had wry smiles on their faces this week during staff training for the IB Diploma Programme.  The philosophy of Early Years education is totally in tune with the ethos of the Diploma Programme and the IB Learner Profile so primary teachers are very happy to be a part of the school’s IB journey.
As teachers here we frequently notice the benefits of working as a through-school and you as parents will already know that NAS Dubai feels like one big family school. Therefore when it’s time to move to a new phase of learning, the transition for our children is relatively straightforward. For example, we don’t need our Year 6 students to adapt to a whole new building when moving on to Secondary school and the teachers are already familiar to them from events such as our recent Science Week.
The NFER transition report from 2005 states that ‘the process of transition may be viewed as one of adaptation. Studies show that the best adaptation takes place where conditions are similar, communication is encouraged and the process of change takes place gradually over time’.  We therefore work particularly hard when preparing children for the move from Early Years into the ‘big school’ as this step is actually far more daunting than the move from Yr6 to Yr7.
This year the children in Reception will spend time in Year 1 classrooms, the ‘big’ refectory, the sports facilities and the Pirate Ship playground to become familiar with some of the different locations they will visit next year. We also spend time getting the children used to a new style of learning environment; they will receive more direct taught time from the teacher and start to work independently for longer periods of time on a task directed by an adult.  Of course in Year 1 we still have plenty of time for play – not just as a break from the ‘real’ learning, but still as a learning activity in its own right. Parents familiar with Year 1 will know there is still plenty of fun to be had in a Year 1 classroom with lots of play equipment on offer.
Our experiences this year suggest that although we prepare our children very well for transition, we could have done a better job preparing our parents! With that in mind we will be offering special ‘Getting Ready for Big School’ workshops for Reception parents after the spring break. These will cover everything from logistics such as pick-up and drop-off arrangements to getting used to a new uniform! Parents often ask for ‘holiday homework’ to prepare their children for the next phase of school and our Year 1 team have asked me to say – teach your child to button everything that possibly can be buttoned!!
For some of you, transition will be an even simpler matter, just a trip to a new primary classroom up the corridor. For others, you may be returning home or relocating to a whole new country. Although the actual logistics of the move might not be tackled until May or June, please be assured that whichever transition your child needs to make, we will do our best to make it a smooth one.
Elizabeth Lamb & Tara Lambert
Year 6 Masdar Trip

Message from the Head of Secondary

Over the last week there has been a lot of focus on the secondary curriculum, with specific focus on the GCSE options and the IB.  I would like to thank everyone for their feedback regarding the event, I feel blessed to work alongside so many supportive parents who, like I, are very excited about the education journey our students experience at NAS Dubai.  We are very proud of the personalised curriculum we offer at NAS Dubai, it takes the hard work of a lot of dedicated practitioners to ensure this curriculum model can run.  However, you all know my phrase, when it comes to supporting my students – No Excuses!
During the IB presentation we were asked a question about how we were going to embed the IB curriculum throughout the school and particularly the IB learner profile?
This was an excellent question and allowed me to discuss the outstanding work in our primary and early years setting.  So this week I have decided to focus on the amazing team in early years and how we can learn from our skilled colleagues and younger learners.
One of the most recent talks I listened to was by Sir Ken Robinson who recognises that our most divergent thinkers are actually early years students who have many possible ideas to a solution.  As we progress through schools (with the rise of standardised testing) we stop that creativity, and instead come to believe that there is only one answer.  In early years our students take risks, refuse to accept one possible solution, they communicate with everyone and they are genuinely caring and thoughtful individuals who display no prejudice, all this facilitated by the early years staff.  The early years area is the hub of creativity and the IB Diploma curriculum recognises this as one of the keys to success beyond education.
I have learnt a lot by observing their practice and it is an honour to work alongside such a dynamic team.  The fact that the practice of our early years team is used across our 42 schools and beyond as an example of best practice is no surprise. 

This is an exciting time in education, the best schools recognise in a changing world that we have to equip our students with skills beyond the classroom and we have to encourage them to own and drive the learning process, to have an open mind and to continually strive for being better.  

Below is the presentation from Sir Ken Robinson as I think it has questions we all can reflect on and ask.

Click here for the presentation

Liam Cullinan
Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard

The two-week immersive performing arts programme will be held at Collège du Léman, our prestigious boarding school situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Your child will be inspired to explore and cultivate their creative talent through a unique programme designed by The Juilliard School and taught by Juilliard-affiliated artists.

Students from all over the world will choose a focus of music (instrumental or vocal), dance, or drama, culminating in a final performance to celebrate what they’ve learned and created over the two week experience. During the programme, your child will be encouraged to grow as an artist and will be surrounded by students who share their enthusiasm for the performing arts.

In addition to the performing arts programme, your child will also have the opportunity to participate in variety of activities and excursions such as visits to the Montreux Jazz festival.


  • Dates: 9th – 22nd July 2016
  • Age: 10 – 18
  • Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Places: 200
  • Day & Boarding options (the day option will be at a reduced rate)
  • Nord Anglia Education families will be eligible for discounted fees

A representative from Collège du Léman will be visiting NAS Dubai on April 13th at 8am to give a presentation and answer questions.

Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard Brochure

St Patrick's Day @ NAS Dubai

    NAS News Bites   

NAS Young Innovators

NAS Health Innovation puts young people at the centre of their own health improvement

At the end of last year, Innovation Week saw over 80 NAS Dubai students from Year 9 and Year 10 come together with the sole purpose to make a difference to how health improvement is communicated to young people in Dubai. It was all about innovation and the challenge was set to the Young Innovators. They learned how to develop ideas, test different approaches and pitch their innovations. 

The 8 teams were each supported by a mentor - a role model and innovation ambassador who has first hand experience of turning a necessity into an opportunity. They even got to hear from a fellow student who is Type 1 Diabetic to fully understand the difference between the 2 different types of diabetes. 

The winning teams are now half way through the Idea Acceleration Programme - a 5 week intensive programme designed to fast track their winning ideas into a live project which they will present to key influencers in Government Health. 

The students have designed a health innovation campaign called Wakiza, Beat the Risk, to determine how 11-15 year olds in Dubai want to receive health information. The Young Innovators will relay the findings to those tasked with designing health campaigns for young people in Dubai. 

Be prepared to see the Young Innovators, pictured above, armed with iPads offering all 11 to 15 year olds the opportunity to have their say. And guess what? You may even win a prize for doing so. 

Jennifer Proctor

Year 6 Masdar Trip

On Tuesday 8th of March a group of year 6 children went to Masdar. The children who went were the children in Mrs Healy's English class.
These people were Polly, Isabelle, Alex, Abby, Zack, Clement, Doug, Heidi, Ned and Alessandro.
First let me tell you what Masdar actually is. Masdar is a sustainable city located in Abu Dhabi. A sustainable city is a city that is run completely on renewable energy. For instance, Masdar has wind turbines and solar panels to create electricity. And Masdar has FIVE ways in which make this city 10° C cooler than any other city in the UAE!
The five ways in which the city is cooled are: they have traditional style wind towers inside Masdar, the city is elevated, the building design is unusual and original and the special building materials are used, the orientation of the buildings redirects the suns and the buildings have solar panels on the roof.
Now let me tell you why we all went to Masdar. 
We went to Masdar because we had been learning about sustainable cities in English. We got to go to Masdar as a reward for researching and then writing an excellent informative piece about Sustainable cities that was presented to the rest of Y6.
My favourite part of the Masdar trip was when we got to eat two ice-creams each in the rain. I chose chocolate and so did most of the other people but one person chose a rather unusual flavour. That was Clement. He chose rose flavoured ice-cream!?! 
Another rather interesting thing was the water filler. It was electronic and the water tasted so fresh!
In conclusion we all had an AMAZING time and learnt a lot! I will always remember this school trip!

Polly Wells 6D

    Upcoming Events    

Friday March 18

  • Bugsy Malone Rehearsal 10am-2pm

Sunday March 20
  • Year 8 Sri Lanka Trip

Monday March 21
  • UAE Mothers' Day
  • Year 8 Sri Lanka Trip
  • Family Fun Day Meeting, Secondary Library 8am-9am
  • HSK Meeting for Years 3-10, IB Room 8am-9am
  • Junior Mathematics Cup for Year 5 8:30am-2pm

Tuesday March 22
  • Year 8 Sri Lanka Trip

Wednesday March 23
  • Year 1 Dubai Drums 1pm-2:30pm
  • Year 8 Sri Lanka Trip Returns

Thursday March 24
  • Last day of Term 2

Spring Holidays - School Closed
Friday 25th March - Saturday 9th April

   Parent Community  

Chatter Box Cafe

We joined efforts this week with the PA and had lots of fun surprising the children with a treat and shamrock stickers as they walked in the door for St Patrick's Day.  The smiles and delight on their faces were contagious and reminded us of how fortunate we are to celebrate the many different cultures and traditions of our NAS Dubai families.

Parents' Association

The Family Fun Day on April 15th is fast approaching so the PA and all the helpful Class Reps have been working together to ensure there are lots of fun activities for all our children to participate in.

There many ways for everyone to volunteer starting from setting up the event, helping run the activities and of course cleaning up. If you would like to get involved please contact your Class Rep or email us at

Please note: 
PA/Class Rep meeting for FFD will be held on Monday 21st of March at 8am in the Secondary Library

Parents Gala - April 29th
On April 29th the PA will host the annual parent gala so please save the date as it is sure to be a memorable night. Final negotiations are being made with The Address Montgomerie in Emirates Hills and more details will be communicated next week.

   Sports News  

Swim Demos &
Inter-House Swim Galas

Sunday March 20

  • 1A & 1B Swim Demo 8am-8:45am
  • 1C & 1D Swim Demo 8:45am-9:30am
  • 1E & 1F Swim Demo 9:30am-10:15am

Monday March 21
  • 2A & 2B Swim Demo 8am-8:45am
  • 2C & 2D Swim Demo 8:45am-9:30am
  • 2E & 2F Swim Demo 9:30am-10:15am

Tuesday March 22
  • 3A & 3B Swim Gala 8am-8:45am
  • 3C & 3D Swim Gala 8:45am-9:30am
  • 3E & 3F Swim Gala 9:30am-10:15am

Wednesday March 23
  • 4A, 4B & 4C Swim Gala 8am-9am
  • 4D, 4E & 4F Swim Gala 9am-10am

Thursday March 24
  • Year 5 Swim Gala 8am-10am

Upcoming Matches

Sunday March 20

  • U12A Netball vs Kings @ NAS Dubai 3pm-5pm

Monday March 21
  • U12A Boys Rugby vs WIS (Away) 3pm-6pm
  • U11 Boys Basketball @ GEMS Wellington 3:30pm-5pm
  • U8 & U9 Cricket Trials 3pm-4pm

Tuesday March 22
  • Year 5 & Year 6 Netball vs DIA (Away) 3pm-5pm
  • U12A Netball vs Dubai College (Away) 3pm-5pm
  • U14 Netball vs GEMS @ NAS Dubai 3pm-4:30pm
  • U10 & U11 Cricket Trials 3pm-4pm

Wednesday March 23
  • U11 Tennis - Dubai Primary Tennis Championships 9am-2:30pm
  • U14A Boys Rugby vs WEK @ NAS Dubai 3pm-5pm
  • Year 7A & Year 7B Netball vs DESC (Away)

Thursday March 24
  • U11 Contact Rugby Tournament @ DESS 8am-4pm

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