Awash with red this Thursday, School opened to celebrate the forthcoming lunar New Year and Spring Festival. An amazing morning of festivity that reached the whole School with lions dancing, Szechuan face changers and Fujian dancers; with jiaozi and other Chinese snacks that our parents prepared so well; then the array of games and other hints of Chinese culture. What a great morning and a pleasure to host embassy representatives and the Director of the Confucius Institute who had never seen anything like this in other schools in Dubai. ‘So much more than a language programme’ they said. Thank you to all in the Mandarin department, students and other colleagues who pulled together to make this such a special event.
For our students in Year 11 and Year 13 it has been an auspicious day as they received the results of the ‘mock examinations’ they had taken at the start of term. Reactions varied as students opened their results and for those who are disappointed with their results at this point in time, please remember that ‘unrealised strengths represent deep wells of potential that lie within’ – but do not leave it too late to bring them out!
For our students in Years 4, 5 and 12, all returned from their expeditions and residential experiences with healthy tales to tell, strong and aware of how they grow from these out of school learning experiences. Next week is the turn of Year 3 who go off to Ras Al Khaimah.
On Wednesday this week our Advisory Council met. We shared some discussion concerning the complexity of communication in a complex organisation such as NAS Dubai following which it may be useful to refer to the document that outlines the various channels of communication deployed at NAS and provides the constitutions for both the Advisory Council and Parent Association. With regard to the Parent Association, the key positions of Chairperson and Secretary remain open. Any interested parents are encouraged to come forward and discuss the opportunity.
It is understood that our school app is increasingly important and that we would all like to find ways to streamline communication in a world where we live with digital overload. There are no simple answers here but it is useful to think through the different purposes of the different channels, being able to separate news from entertainment and identify the different information sources available. Finally, when there is uncertainty, please be encouraged to ask the main class teacher or personal tutor directly.
There have been incidents in other schools in Dubai where students have brought the new Juul smoking devices into school , some which can easily be mistaken for a USB memory stick. Please let me reinforce the understanding that smoking, traditional vaping and the use of the new Juul device is illegal in the UAE for those under the age of eighteen. NAS Dubai will uphold the law of the Emirates and for any student found in possession of cigarettes or any smoking device, the consequences are most serious. Please may we encourage parents to be mindful of the Juul fashion that is reaching some of our teenage communities in Dubai.
Finally, thank you to all parents who completed the annual parent survey. We look forward to processing the results and acting on the understanding we receive as we plan for the next years.
P.S. Today is the final day for to complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey, please find the link below.
This early morning the traffic jam to school was massive! I think this speaks for itself: the celebration of the Spring Festival at NAS Dubai is one of the most anticipated and attended events of the year. From the performances, to the food, from the cultural stations to the great community feel!
As hongbaos were handed out by the language leaders at the main entrance, one could immediately see the vibrant dress of all the students, the buzzing atmosphere, the excitement on everyone’s faces. The show in the morning was a highlight, the lion dance with the acrobatics was a hit, especially with younger years. Personally, my favourite part of the day had to be all the varied and delicious food: dumplings, baozi, charsiew, fried rice and more.
The cultural display on the terrace meant there was something for everyone to engage with. The sugar painting was very popular, the calligraphy, the small figurine making, the writing competition and the amazing games with bamboo sticks and elastic bands. I think students not only had a lot of good fun together but learnt games and aspects of such a rich and diverse culture as the Chinese one.
The amazing day wouldn’t have been possible without our Asian families, who so generously provided all of the delicious food, and the teaching staff, who worked hard to organize a day that everyone could remember.
春节快乐！Chunjie Kuaile! Happy Spring Festival!
Grace Rodsjo 10 CYE
It is hard to describe through words the feeling that getting together and sharing an experience produces. This feeling is amplified when one lives abroad far away from their home country and families. The spring Festival is traditionally a time when the family gathers, but not everyone has the luxury to be able to travel miles away. Therefore, the event is not only an opportunity for our Mandarin students to learn and display their knowledge of Chinese language and culture, but it is also an occasion for our Mandarin families to come together and share. Over 10,000 dumplings and an incredible number of delicious dishes were prepared with patience, laughs and generosity. The ones who didn’t cook, helped in any possible way with decorations, setting up the venue and by supporting our teaching staff throughout the day.
The Spring Festival here is a family affair, our great and unique NAS Dubai family.
A sincere thank you goes also to all the Chinese Language Schools who supported the event, the dumplings Chefs, the IT and Facilities staff for working so hard.
We liked the Early Years performance because the Lions were cuddly, funny and jumped really high.
NC and ND children
My favourite part was where we tried all of the new food upstairs – it was delicious! Malak Gabr RH
I like the ballerinas they had beautiful shoes.
Christopher Mielenz RB
I liked the dragons because they have glitteries.
Ryan Du RB
This is the best day I have ever had…EVER!
My favourite bit was the dancers dancing because I like ballet!
The dragons and the ladies were beautiful and I love the Chinese because they celebrate.
The dragons were so soft and I liked the ladies when they danced. It was beautiful.
*All photos from Chinese New Year can be found on the NAS Dubai App next week.
Communication at NAS Dubai
In all people based service organisations successful, open, and effective communication is essential. At NAS Dubai we do our best to extend the most efficient ways of communicating with parents and endeavour to maintain a culture of transparency and honesty as school and parents partner to serve the best interests of the students in our care.
The following structures and organs of the institution all combine in this common endeavor.
Relationships with teachers
There is regular communication from the teacher or personal tutor directly with home and parents should always regard their daughter’s/son’s as the main point of contact.
When there is a concern that requires further authority of understanding the Head of Year or Head of Department may be involved and then the Assistant or Deputy Head before meeting with the Heads of School or Principal.
Information and news sources
The website is a repository for general information about the school and serves as a window for the outside as much as for the NAS community
The school app is an essential point of contact for the most up-to-date information about what is taking place in school and also the portal for signing up for parent consultations, co-curricular activities, absence registration, sports fixtures and photos galleries.
The weekly newsletter provides regular news bulletins covering the range of activities across the whole school.
The school Facebook page regularly updates with snapshot information of school news.
The school Instagram and school sports Instagram provide continuing further updates.
The various whats app groups that parents share but which are not serving official news from the school.
The school will send direct correspondence specific to particular sections of the school. Seesaw is the app that is used to monitor development in Early Years and Primary. In Primary a further daily class email is sent and in Secondary there is a weekly class email.
Further correspondence is issued by email according to need and reports are also available through the school portal.
Regular and ad-hoc meetings with the class teacher, personal tutor and subject teachers take place throughout the year and there are meetings that are specific to the needs of particular years such as the transition from Primary into Secondary, or briefings about school trips or how to make decisions at options at GCSE or IB level.
There are ‘Town Hall’ meetings that are held throughout the year serving as the occasion when parents can direct specific questions to year leaders, the Heads of School and the Principal.
Records of the ‘Town Hall’ meetings are sent to the School Advisory Council for review, ensuring that the school follows up on action points that have been raised. The Council meets twice per term and is made up of parents; serving as an organ of the school that is consulted with regard to strategic planning as it reminds the school of its mission and supports annual inspection. A copy of the constitution that was drafted in 2019 is given below.
The School enjoys a positive Parents' Association that supports school community social events and brings together parents through the class representatives. The association and the class representatives tend to be more active in the Early Years and Primary phases of the school. The Chairperson of the Association has a seat on the Advisory Council.
Last week we watched our younger students perform in their sports day. It was a wonderful two days with a lovely atmosphere and perfect weather. There was a big turn out from the parents that really added to the atmosphere.
The activities were non-competitive but this didn’t stop some amazing performances. It was wonderful to see all our students active throughout the morning. When taking part in the stations, everyone gave it their all with so much effort and so many smiles.
There was a sense of happiness in the air throughout the days and I would like to express how proud I was of every single student. NAS is incredibly lucky to have such delightful students in Years 1 and 2.
Thank you to everyone involved.
Head of PE Department
*The full selection of photographs taken on Sports Day will be on the NAS Dubai App next week.
Message from the Head of Primary
This is our fifth year of celebrating the Lunar New Year here at NAS Dubai and it is always something to look forward to at NAS. The school was a sea of red today with the vast majority of students, staff and even parents dressing in a variety of Chinese costumes or a splash of red for luck. I enjoy watching the students come into school, where they were greeted with a hongbao gift which caused great excitement among the smaller children in particular! We were also delighted to have a ‘real, live’ panda in school this morning, who proved extremely popular for photo opportunities. I couldn’t help noticing he was somewhat thinner than most pandas, but maybe he was just very healthy…big thanks to our Yr7 Secondary Mandarin students for taking care of him!
It was a wonderful sight to see the atrium balconies full of students watching our annual show. As always, the dragons were extremely exciting and highly energetic. The dancers were very graceful although Miss Wards class were particularly taken by their ballet shoes! I know the face-changer is Mr. Cullinan’s favourite and I’m pretty sure he is considering acquiring this skill…watch this space!
As I write I have a lovely view of the terrace from my desk, where hundreds of people are gathered to enjoy the cultural stalls and entertainment. However, the biggest draw is always the food and I can see plenty of staff with their plates piled high! The parent volunteers have been so supportive of this event every year, but this year they have really outdone themselves with an incredible quantity of dumplings and other treats! Since I can’t resist any longer, I will soon head out to sample some of the delicious food on offer.
In school, our celebrations focus on China, as part of our Mandarin language and cultural programme. However, I’d also like to say Happy Lunar New Year to parents with links to those other countries and cultures who will also be celebrating over the coming week.
Have a wonderful weekend and may your new year be filled with happiness and prosperity.
Message from the Head of Secondary
It has been great to return to school after a week recruiting in the UK. I thoroughly enjoy the interview process, the opportunity to listen to teachers get so passionate when they talk about the children they teach and the impact they want to make on young people’s lives is a rewarding part of the process.
One of the questions we ask is “Why NAS Dubai?” The responses always relate to reputation, the opportunity to work with a forward thinking education institution as well as people highlighting our links with Juilliard, MIT and UNICEF. This year we have had a huge number of applications and I am delighted at the calibre of the candidates we interviewed and I am confident we have recruited great teachers to continue the journey to success.
I have also spent time with some of the Year 12 students today who have been discussing their trip to Thailand. The trip allowed our Year 12s to collect key data for their Biology and Geography IAs as well as gain experience for their CAS. It is always interesting to watch the journey of Year 12 as they move from the world of GCSEs to IB. I am very quickly seeing the growth in our IB students, they are now taking ownership of their learning as well as driving areas of change. This is where the work really starts as we are about to launch the Extended eEssay and I can see they are up for the challenge.
You will also be aware that our Year 11 and Year 13 mock results came out today and students faced the reality of results for the first time. Mock exams are an opportunity for students and staff to get a greater understanding of where our students are right now four months before exams. Time really does fly and the cogs are in motion as we reach the home stretch with the exams.
Last week the NAS Dubai science leaders went on an exciting trip to the MBRSC science event, which took place in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. They had a chance to explore take part in a variety of activities, as well as attend presentations of fascinating researchers and engineers, sharing their experiences in the space sector and their roles in the UAE space programme.
Some of the more interactive exhibits included the space jump where the students had to jump as high as they could and find out how high it equated to on other planets, the escape room was a teamwork exercise to unlock boxes by figuring out codes and get the final task done in the shortest time possible. Other activities varied in the astronaut corner, where we had the opportunity to try astronaut food in the form of paste and look at the two types of astronaut uniform. In addition to this, two workshops took place at the event, along with the presentations from scientists and engineers, communicating their career backgrounds and ambitions for space travel in the future, as well as their achievements and their proudest moments.
This journey has left the students with a smile on each of their faces, and an understanding of space and the MBRSC’s ambitions. However, we couldn't have done it without our amazing teachers Mr. Fleming and Mrs. Airey.
By Farida Al Tahtawy
Parents Pink Power Marathon
On Friday January 25th, we participated in the 4km, 10km and 42km races of the Dubai Marathon as part of the PINK POWER Breast Cancer Support Group.
The group was initiated by NAS parents to support the silent heroes amongst us who are living with cancer on a daily basis and still find the strength to sign up to run for the race competition.
Our motto is “giving up is not an option”. We aim to raise awareness that as part of a group you can face any challenge, whether physical or mental, once you put the right mindset and positive attitude towards it.
We were around 45 PINK POWER participants from NAS parents, family members and close friends, split between 3 group races: Marathon 42km (7am), 10km (8:30am), and 4km (10:30am).
We stood out with our bright pink shirts, we run together as mini-groups, and we successfully all finished our races.
Barbara & Rocco Fruggi, parents of Emma 1D
Rima Fallaha-Friedrich & Soubhi Fallaha, mother and grandfather of Flynn 1C and Leia NF
Louma Bardawil, mother of Noor 1D
Heike & Thorsten Lutz, parents of Finn 1C
Eileen Chong Stecyk, mother of Taevan 6A and Maya 4F
Proshat Sarabloo Lehmann, mother of Leo 1D
Nina and Juergen Weissenfeld, parents of Lara RA
Edit Szentirmai, mother of Leonard 8BCU & Benjamin 1B
Talah & Omar Aljindi, parents of Nafez 3B, Tamara 1D and Sariya NB
"Giving up is not an option”
New External Providers
My Sports Nursery Swim
These session will run in our brand new teaching pool. We are also looking to introduce a ‘ Born to swim’ programme, child and parent class. Interested please contact Karen at:
My Sports Netball
We are pleased to now offer you a professional provider in Netball with fully qualified staff and the chance to participate in a Free Holiday Camp here at NAS in the February Half Term. email@example.com 0505841993
Barrelhouse Rugby Club
NAS are pleased to welcome Barrelhouse Rugby into the school, They have a great programme on offer and are also running a 3 day Half Term Camp. Check them out on their website or contact Taylor directly on the number below. www.barrelhouserugby.club Taylor - 0505045198
IB Trip to Othello @ Dubai Opera
Many IB students attended Othello at Dubai Opera on 29th January, a tragedy that captivated the audience and left the students inspired by Shakespeare’s works.
Reem Ghanem Y13 IB students stated “I thoroughly enjoyed the modern interpretation of this particular play and thought the minimalist set and use of simple effective lighting added to the tension of this story of love and jealousy. I loved how the actor portrayed the character of Desdemona and like how the use of the handkerchief was so symbolic throughout the play”.
As a sixth form cohort, we were given the exciting opportunity to watch one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies Othelloat the Dubai Opera House on Tuesday night. The play revolves around the sinister antagonist Iago who, driven by jealousy, is determined to destroy Othello’s happiness through a series of planned events. Firstly, he enlists help in his quest from a friend of his named Roderigo, however, when that initial plan backfires he begins to deploy a range of ruthless tactics to achieve his goal. The play centres around the universal themes of infidelity, prejudice, gender, betrayal and envy - all of which are still applicable to modern day society. However, the fundamental message to be taken away from the play is about being careful with who you put your trust in and seeking truth before action.
We feel so privileged that, due to our partnership with the Dubai Opera House, we were given the opportunity to watch such a mesmerising and fantastic version of the play; from the set to the acting, everything was incredible. Although the play was presumed written in 1603 during the Elizabethan era, the modern, minimalist twist to this version made it more relatable and besides, the opulence of the period would have taken away from the acting. Overall the play was absolutely incredible and, on behalf of the Y12 and 13 students lucky enough to attend, we are grateful for the opportunity that we were given.
Razan Kawaja 13A
Applications are now open for our wonderful summer performing arts programme with The Juilliard School in Geneva, Switzerland, Shanghai, China and Florida, USA.
For more information and the opportunity to have a truly life-changing summer please follow thislink.
NAS Dubai students receive a 15% discount.
The Family Car Boot Sale is almost here!
If you would still like to participate as a seller at The Family Car Boot Sale this Saturday Feb 2 from 8:30am to 1:30pm please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event is open to the public, please do feel free to invite your family, friends and neighbors to stop by.
On a final note, it's still not too late to support our Year 11 students in their fundraising by donating used school uniforms. These can be dropped off at anytime before the event in the designated tub at Chatter Box Cafe and also on the day itself at their table.
See you all Saturday!
(Luckily the Chatter Box Cafe will be open too ensuring all our sellers and shoppers can enjoy some nice refreshments)
• Year 3 Ras Al Khaimah Residential • Secondary Musical 'Oliver' Performance 6pm - 8pm
Thursday Feb 7
• Year 3 Ras Al Khaimah Residential • Year 1 Town Hall Meeting, IC Hub 8am - 9:30am
• Secondary Desert Dance @ Dubai College 12pm - 9pm
• Year 12 & Year 13 Peer Mentor Training 1:30pm - 3:30pm
• Silver Duke of Edinburgh Training 2:30pm - 5pm
Friday Feb 8
• Primary Desert Dance @ Dubai College 12pm - 9pm
Sport News & Fixtures
Sunday Feb 3
• U8 Fun Netball Festival @ Kings Al Barsha 2:30pm-5:30pm • DAPSA Primary Aquathon @ Rashid School 3pm - 6pm
• U14 Boys Rugby vs JESS Ranches (Away) 3:30pm-5:30pm • U16A Netball vs WSO (Away) 3:30pm-5:30pm • U16B Netball vs JESS Ranches B (Away) 3:30pm-5:30pm • U16C Netball vs DESC C @ NAS Dubai 3:30pm-5:30pm
Monday Feb 4
• U9 and U11 Tennis Squads Dubai Duty Free Tennis Schools Partner Visit @ NAS Dubai 3pm - 4pm • DASSA Secondary Aquathon @ Rashid School 3pm - 6pm • U15 Girls Touch Rugby vs Kings Al Barsha (Away) 3:30pm-5pm • U19 Netball vs Repton School (Away) 3:30pm-5:30pm
Tuesday Feb 5
• U12 & U14 Boys Rugby vs English College (Away) 3:30pm-5:30pm • U19 Girls Touch Rugby vs GEMS WSO (Away) 3;30pm - 5:30pm
Wednesday Feb 6
• U13A Netball vs JESS Ranches A (Away) 3:30pm-5:30pm
• U13B Netball vs SRS @ NAS Dubai 3:30pm-5:30pm
Thursday Feb 7
• U11 NAS Cup 2019 @ NAS Dubai 12pm - 4pm
Friday Feb 8
• MEUC Swim Cup Day 1 of 2 @ Hamdan Sports Complex 8am - 5pm
Saturday Feb 9
• MEUC Swim Cup Day 2 of 2 @ Hamdan Sports Complex 8am - 5pm