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The News | Nord Anglia Education

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2 June 2016
                                                                                                 Italian Day @ Chatter Box Cafe

Message from the Principal

It is always so lovely to come back to our school after being away on other “official” business. Don’t get me wrong, the Academic Performance Board is a vital part of the work of Nord Anglia Education, no doubt. But it is not the same as our school.
 
So what does the board do?
 
Essentially they hold each Principal accountable for the results of their schools. This is right and proper, though a slightly chilling experience for the Principals concerned. So be it, I do not believe it should change.
 
The results should where possible be externally benchmarked but internal benchmarks are also used. There are no external reliable benchmarks for EYFS for example and nor would we choose to have our 4 year olds sit exams!
 
It does bring into question though the way in which schools look at their students in terms of pure statistics. Of course in general this is not the right approach but, on occasion the data is useful.
 
The school can be compared to international benchmarks such as PISA and IB averages or IGCSE averages. It can be compared to UK or International standardized benchmarks across various ages.
 
I prefer to benchmark our school against standardized tests that are published by the regulatory bodies or governments. I cannot obviously go into detail but I think it might be clear that data published by schools is sometimes liable to “spin”.
 
Or…worse…schools simply don’t allow pupils to enter exams very late in the day if they think it will negatively affect the schools ratings. This is quite immoral in my opinion. The school is about the student, not the other way around and it should never get to that stage.
 
We won’t do this.
 
We have also always been 100% transparent with our examination results. Even at this early stage our 100% A-A* record at IGCSE is remarkable. We will continue to be transparent.
 
So where did we come when brought before the academic performance board?
 
You will be delighted I hope to learn that by any external benchmark we would be well within the top 1% of schools worldwide and in the top 5% of UK independent schools.
 
Me…I’m just pleased to be here and delighted that in a few short weeks my own children will be back at NAS Dubai where they belong.
 
Have a lovely weekend.

Mike Embley


Euro Day 2016 @ NAS Dubai


Euro Day 2016 @ NAS Dubai


Euro Day 2016 @ NAS Dubai


Year 6 End of Year Celebration @ Club Rush
Message from the Head of Primary


Dear Parents,
 
It was a real pleasure for me this week to receive a few ‘thank you’ emails from parents. These are always such a joy to read, because as a parent myself I am genuinely touched that someone has made time in their busy day to do that. It is very much appreciated.
 
One of these emails was to say how much their son had enjoyed the Year 6 Celebration event at Club Rush this week; how her son hadn’t stopped dancing for three hours and how much fun it had been! The Year 6 students looked absolutely brilliant when they set off –  the theme was neon and there were bright, garish colours everywhere…even Mr Hand was a dazzling sight! By the time they returned, everyone looked a little less dazzling…but it was clear they’d all had a fantastic time. Graduating from primary school is a real milestone – you probably remember your own last few weeks of junior school. At the moment, our Year 6 children are top of the school – the oldest pupils in the school, the role models! After the summer, they will enter secondary school…no doubt we all remember what it felt like to be at the bottom of the pecking order for the first time in years. Some children (and parents) worry that they may have to leave their childhood behind when they reach secondary school, that they may have to be ‘grown up’ for the first time. I’m pleased to say this isn’t at all the case. Whilst myself, Mr Cullinan and his team of secondary teachers would certainly say that there are differing expectations in Year 7 – more emphasis on personal responsibility and organization, for example – it isn’t time to completely give up childhood just yet. This was brought home to us all when we watched the Year 7 and 8s in particular having a brilliant time on the Pirate Ship this week.
 
I totally agree with Albert Einstein, who said ‘play is the highest form of research’.  Our youngest children are therefore expert researchers, but we should never consider ourselves too old to play.
 
Wishing you a playful, fun-filled weekend!

Elizabeth Lamb
Message from the Head of Secondary

As I write this week’s newsletter I find myself invigilating the Year 8 Maths exam, the final exam at the end of what has been a challenging week for our students and indeed for our parents.  Exam week is an important week, as it allows students to celebrate what they do know and allows both teachers and students to gain a greater understanding of what they don’t know.  It also allows students to become relaxed with the exam environment.
 
Over the next four weeks the students will be focusing on strengthening the key knowledge they require for a smooth transition into next year. 
 
Exams are stressful, however, I have come to recognise that stress can be a positive experience.  I have recently been sent a link to a video of Dr Abraham Trekski who compared stress and adversity to a lobster and its shell. His analogy highlighted that lobsters continually grow and shed their shells. When their current shell gets too tight and uncomfortable, they know that it’s time to shed their old shell to make way for the new. They know they need to grow because their shell is restricting and confining, this  produces great stress and they feel uncomfortbale.
 
In education often things can become very uncomfortable, whether it is exam pressure, performing on the sports pitch, presenting to peers or completing an essay.  When you come through this uncomfortable time, and you will, it is important to look back, reflect and celebrate what you have achieved and learnt.  As this was a time when you grew as an individual.
 
In recognition of coming through the recent exam period next week will be a no homework week so please enjoy this family time.

Liam Cullinan

    NAS News Bites   

Year 6 Celebrations @ Club Rush

Club Rush was a brilliant time for both teachers and students as it allowed everyone to have a break from normal school, chill out and have a good time. The various activities ranged from dance offs, freestyle dancing, playing with balloons to playing video games. In addition there was a selection of food and drink. In the disco area, after everyone’s favourite tracks were played, a huge dance off between the classes began, even the teachers were involved. The enthusiastic children managed to pull off flips, spins and cartwheels.
 
It is not often that the children can play video games with each other in school time. At Club Rush there was an impressive array of video games that entertained everyone hugely as they enjoyed Wii’s, Xbox, PS4 and the latest Apple computers! The children shared out the electronics fairly and made sure that everyone had a fair chance to use them.

Overall everyone had an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The children are still begging to go again.

Christopher Hand
Year 6 Teacher

 
Dubai World Expo 2020 
 
On Thursday 2nd June, to support the children’s study of the UAE, Years 4 and 5 were VIPs at a presentation all about Dubai Expo 2020. The presentation was led by Hala Ghandour, Senior Vice President for strategy and content development of Dubai Expo, and it enlightened us all with fascinating facts. It took us through the Expo history, from when it originated in London in 1851 right up to Milan 2015, which was fascinating! The presentation then took us to the future and wowed us with images of what Dubai Expo 2020 will look like. Mrs Ghandour explained the themes running through the expo which will be: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability and how we can all play a part in its success and legacy! We rounded the morning up with a Q&A session, where the pupils impressed Mrs Ghandour and their teachers with some thought provoking questions!
 
The pupils (and teachers) certainly learned a lot from the presentation and it has got us all VERY excited about what is to come!

Daniel Grindrod
Year 5 Teacher

 
 
Year 4 BISAD Visit

Some of our Year 4 children were selected by the Arabic department to visit The British International School Abu Dhabi (our sister school). 

The children participated in several Arabic conversations with fellow Year 4 students. Children played games that allowed them to get to know the BISAD students. They asked, in Arabic, about their names, ages and even asked about their favourite colours.

Finally, the children enjoyed having lunch with their new friends at BISAD. All the children had a fantastic time and really enjoyed visiting Abu Dhabi.

Bobby Johal & Nada El Kais

 
Ramadan Assemblies

On Sunday the children all attended Ramadan assemblies in the Auditorium. They were led by our Islamic students and the Islamic teachers, where they delivered an informative presentation about the why, when and what of Ramadan. Many teachers were also interviewed and happily shared their understanding of what Ramadan is and what it means to them. Mr Hurley was by the far the most Knowledgeable, with Mr Cahalane needing extra homework, which Year 2 have kindly offered!

Cheryl McSweeney


 
NAS Euro 2016 Day

Today pupils in EYFS and throughout the Primary School (Years 1-6) participated in a NAS Euro 2016 Day to celebrate the European football championships which start next weekend.

I had the pleasure to visit classes throughout the morning and it was great to see pupils thoroughly enjoying themselves, dressed up in various football shirts and taking part in a series of educational activities with a specific football focus.

A great day for everyone involved and a perfect way for us to kick start Euro 2016!

Danny Thomas
PE Teacher

    Upcoming Events    

Sunday June 5 

  • Class Parties for EYFS and Primary School
  • Year 3 & Year 4 Sports Awards Assembly 8am-9am
  • Year 5 & Year 6 Sports Awards Assembly 9:30am-10:30am
  • Awards Assembly for Islamic Studies Quran Recitation 2:15pm-3pm
Monday June 6
  • Secondary Sports Awards Assembly in the Auditorium 8am-10am
  • Arabic A Coffee Morning in the IB Room 8am-8:30am
  • PA Meeting after drop off

   Holy Month of Ramadan  

The Holy Month of Ramadan will begin next week around the 6th or 7th of June.
 
When the start of Ramadan is officially announced word will spread quickly via social media, including our own school Facebook page.
 
Following the announcement, all schools in Dubai immediately switch to a shorter school day.
 
At NAS Dubai the school day for students will begin at 8:30am and finish at 1:30pm.
 

  • Children may be dropped off from 8:15am
  • They must be picked up promptly at 1:30pm
  • EYFS pickup is 12pm or 1:30pm
 
Before 8:15am, the school building will be closed and our lovely security team will politely refuse you entry.  After 1:45pm they will politely usher you out so they can close the building.

All of us at NAS Dubai look forward to wishing you Ramadan Kareem and anticipate a peaceful, yet productive end to our school year.
 

   Parent Community  

Chatter Box Cafe

Italian Day
Today, Italy celebrates its 70th anniversary as a Republic. On June 2nd 1946, following the Second World War a national referendum was held by universal suffrage. Citizens were called to the polls to decide on the form of government – people voted for a republic and for the monarchy to be sent into exile.
 
The numerous Italian community in our school came together on this special day to share the celebrations with the whole school. It was lovely to see so many people gather at Chatter Box Café to celebrate and grab a little taste of Italy. A special note goes to Brent who created the most amazing cake as a token to his love and passion for Italy.

Barbara Baschieri for Chatter Box Cafe


Parents' Association

As you’ve probably seen the PA has been busy again this week working on the decorations for Ramadan. A huge thank you to our lovely parents Angy, Layla, Layal, Faten, Joelle and Toutam for organising, sourcing and adorning our atrium so beautifully. 

Have a great weekend and don’t forget the PA Annual General Meeting on Monday after drop off in the secondary school.

Svenja & Maria 


 

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