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5 January 2017

Message from the Principal

Welcome back and let us make 2017 a year of great learning for everyone at NAS Dubai.
I am stimulated by a recent article in the Economist that asks us to make best use of our ‘improbable’ intelligence and that we have a human duty to do so. The article references the following discoveries:
2010 – Humans are hybrids. The genome sequence of fossilized Neanderthals reveal that many of us carry their genes as well as those of homo-sapiens.

2011 – Earths are everywhere. The first earth-size planet orbiting a sun-like star is discovered within our galaxy opening the possibility that there are billions more.

2012 – The Higgs boson particle is found to exist thus proving the theories of particle physics and explaining why objects have mass.

2013 – ‘CRISPR’  gene editing technology is invented with the potential to modify and control DNA.

2014 – Neuroscientists shine beams of coloured light on genetically modified brain cells in rats and are able to erase, restore and transform memory.

2015- Gravitational ripples are found in space that confirm Einstein’s predictions and support the black hole theory of the ‘big bang’.
Considering the astounding scientific breakthroughs of this decade and the contemporary democratisation of knowledge whereby technology, crowdsourcing platforms and online collaborations can extend learning to all, we begin to think about our individual responsibility to learn.  And the more we learn the more we can seek to find the best future solutions.
But, asks the article, how many of these breakthroughs, and how much of the transformational understanding of our time reaches us?   In 2012 the world heard about the Higgs boson discovery but by way of comparison it was dwarfed into relative insignificance by the “Gangnam style” pop video with over two billion hits on YouTube compared with the two million that ripple through for Higgs boson.
At an individual level, what a waste it is if we do not embrace the mysteries of discovery or lack the curiosity to wonder at the universe.  At a practical human level, what a tragic loss it would be if we cannot use our human intelligence to discover peaceful solutions to the multiple threats and challenges that surround us today.
Returning to NAS Dubai this week I am sure that we can all take best advantage of the learning we have available to us,  that we can share it well and that we will be able apply it for positive ends, never falling back on the simpler answers or the current media trend.
Have a great year. Keep learning.

Matthew Farthing

Message from the Head of Primary

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year to you all!

Welcome back to all our returning families and a very special welcome to all our new families.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday whether you stayed here in Dubai or flew away to see friends and relations. Starting back to school on January 2nd seemed like a very big shock straight after the New Year’s celebrations and I’m sure it wasn’t only my children who found it somewhat challenging to get out of bed on Monday morning!

Our new term begins with a recap of our last - mid-year reports will be given to your EYFS and Primary children to bring home on Monday 9th January. I hope you enjoy reading these detailed accounts of your children’s progress and achievement to date. We will subsequently be holding Parents Evenings for EYFS and Primary parents on Tuesday 10th January and Wednesday 11th January. You are welcome to make appointments to see your child’s teacher and to speak to specialist teachers too on a drop-in basis. If your child is in Years 3-6, you may also wish to make an appointment with your child’s set teacher for maths and English if appropriate. Parents’ evenings are entirely optional of course – many parents feel they already have enough information from their day-to-day contact with the teacher and from the report. It is an opportunity rather than a ‘must-do’.

On Sunday I also look forward to seeing many of you at the Year 1 & Year 2 Reading and Phonics Open Morning. This event is a lovely opportunity to hear more about how we teach reading and instill a lifelong love of books in our children. The Parent Presentation will take place at 8:15am in the Auditorium. This will be followed by 30 minutes or so of ‘open classroom’ time to allow you to see how we put the theory into practice in the classroom. Do come along and spend a little bit of time enjoying books and reading with your child here in school.

For KS2 children, it’s Sports Day week! You are encouraged to come and cheer your child and their House as they compete for the House Cup.

See you all in school!

Elizabeth Lamb
Message from the Head of Secondary

Welcome back, I hope you all had a fantastic break and managed to have plenty of family time.  It is always a pleasure to welcome our students back refreshed and recharged.  They have all returned motivated and driven, it has been a delight going into lessons and observing the learning experience.  This month will prove to be a busy one in secondary with a number of key things happening.

Over the holiday we have been shortlisting candidates for the continued staff growth in the secondary school, with over 1000 applications from within the UAE, UK and international market. We are a school with a growing reputation. A number of candidates mention Nord Anglia University as a reason for wishing to work at NAS Dubai as our CPD is excellent.  With lots of schools struggling to retain staff it is certainly a great tool to support and keep our teachers.  We will again be carrying out interviews in the UK and in school to find the right teachers to join our team.

Mock Exams
Over the next two weeks our IGCSE candidate students will be sitting their mock exams.  Mock exams are a great indicator for us as practitioners on the progress students have made and areas that require further attention.  This also supports our students at gaining an appreciation of the exam experience.  I would like to thank the parents who are supporting us as exam invigilators.

IB Visit and KHDA
Our final IB visit will take place on the 30th and 31st of January and then we hope to have our KHDA inspection.  I embrace these opportunities as they allow for us to celebrate our students, teachers, parents and school community. They do take a lot of preparation but are important in a school's growth.

PE News
We welcome three new members to the PE Department, Alex Collin, Emily Fisher and Tracy Day who have already had a positive impact on the PE team. Hopefully you have all received our trial days information via email - there is also a link in the sports news section of this newsletter.  I am very excited about this term and I have great belief in the PE department.

I think 2017 promises to be a hugely successful year and we should all embrace this success.

Liam Cullinan

    NAS News Bites   

Year 3 Inspiration Day

Year 3 celebrated ‘Inspiration Day’ today in school to kick off their new topic ‘Dare to be Different'.

The children came to school dressed as someone who has inspired them or whose actions have made a difference to others. The children engaged in a variety of activities throughout the day, learning about inspirational figures and sharing their own stories about their own characters! This led them to consider how they might also lead their own inspirational lives in the future. It was fantastic to listen to the engaging conversations that the children were having about the actions of others that have inspired them. Regardless of where you come from or who you are the children were able to identify the importance of treating everyone with fairness and equality!

A fantastic start to Term 2 for Year 3!

Michael Connor
Year 3 Team Leader
New School Catering Provider

It has been a real pleasure this week to have spent time in our three refectories each day listening to fantastic feedback from our students about the high quality and freshness of their school lunches. The response from students has been overwhelmingly positive with a steady increase in student numbers opting for school lunches day by day. This is exactly what we had hoped for. It has been an excellent start to our new relationship with our catering company who have been very responsive to the constructive feedback that students, staff and parents have provided.

As you would expect with changing contractors there have been a few ‘teething problems’, such as the lack of salads and choice of desert for primary students this week,  speed of service, getting quantities right and lack of trays. Each day we are working to resolve these issues as they arise and with the arrival of more serving staff next week day by day improvements will be put in place.

We are working closely with our new partners to plan how the service and range of food offered will develop over the next few weeks and on into the future. 

For example in the next week or two we plan to open a BBQ style grill service counter in the secondary break area. Moving forwards we are excited to develop the service areas and ‘look and feel’ of our refectories to enhance the overall lunch-time experience of our students and staff.

The weekly menu and sample pricelist can be found on the school website under ‘Parent Essentials’.  A few parents have commented on the slight increase in prices, this has been essential to improve upon the quality of food and raw ingredients used. To offset this water cartons will be provided without charge to primary students from early next week. This will mean that a Junior Meal Deal will include water and will cost DHS 15 without a desert of the day and DHS 20 with a desert of the day. Today I sampled the freshly prepared fruit salad, with delicious watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, orange and grapes as well as the home made banana muffin, both were excellent and I sadly had no room for one of the individual pizzas!

At present we are continuing with the voucher and cash payment system, before moving to an electronic point of sale system in the future. Vouchers for younger students can be purchased from our ground floor finance office. Any vouchers from our previous catering provider can still be used. Please note that there is no credit facility available, lunches must be paid for each day. If a student has accidently forgotten, or lost their lunch money they should go to the reception desk staff for help with this.

We will keep you updated as the catering service develops and I look forward to receiving constructive feedback on this as we move forward.

Have a good weekend

Heather Cooper
Head of Administration

We need your help to name our new caterer!
How: Students to submit suggestions in the drop box
Where: At the main reception desk
When: Starting Monday Jan 9th thru Thursday Jan 12th

Summer Performing Arts Camp with Juilliard

    Upcoming Events    

Sunday Jan 8 

  • Year 1 & Year 2 Parent Presentation & Open Morning - Phonics and Reading 8:15am-9:40am
  • BSME Football Trip Parents Meeting 4pm-4:30pm
Monday Jan 9
  • Hadeeth Competition
  • Paper copies of Reports go out to EYFS & Primary Parents
Tuesday Jan 10
  • EYFS Parents Evening 2:30pm-5:30pm
  • Primary Parents Evening 3:30pm-6:30pm
Wednesday Jan 11
  • EYFS Parents Evening 3:30pm-7pm
  • Primary Parents Evening 3:30pm-7pm
Thursday Jan 12
  • Year 11 to 12 Open Forum Meeting 8am-9am
  • Confirmed CCAs sent to parents

Please note holiday dates for the 2017/2018 academic year are still subject to confirmation by the KHDA.


   Parent Community  

Class Reps Meeting
for Family Fun Day
January 16 - 8am-9am

Planning for the fabulous Family Fun Day on April 14th has started!

Class Reps please save the date of Monday Jan 16th to attend the PA meeting in the Secondary library at drop off. At this meeting details of the event will be given, class activities/stalls will be presented and also assigned.
All parents are welcome to attend and for any questions please contact the PA on
Enjoy your weekend!

   Sports News  

Sports Trials Schedule

Please click here

Sunday Jan 8

  • Year 3 Sports Day 8am-10am
  • BSME U11 Football Trip Parents Meeting 4pm-4:30pm

Monday Jan 9
  • Year 4 Sports Day 8am-10am

Tuesday Jan 10
  • Year 5 Sports Day 8am-10am

Wednesday Jan 11
  • Year 6 Sports Day 8am-10am

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Nord Anglia International School Dubai |Hessa Street |Al Barsha 3 South
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Nord Anglia International School, Dubai · Hessa Street · Al Barsha South 3 · United Arab Emirates