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Monday, February 18, 2019 | Gulf News

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PA R T N E R

Gulf News | Monday, February 18, 2019

CONTENT

PA R T N E R

9

CONTENT

KINGS’ EDUCATION

THE FUTURE IS NOW

● The integration of next-generation technologies into Kings’ Education schools is just one hugely significant cog in

the group’s high-achieving approach to crafting and delivering an exceptional learning journey from 3-18

Kate Fuller Principal Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba

Scott Johnson Assistant Head Teacher Kings’ School Al Barsha

Bede Higgins Principal Kings’ School Dubai

Brett Girven Deputy Head Teacher Kings’ School Al Barsha

●● Virtual reality is a part of Kings’ successful learning framework

A

focus on helping students to become discerning users of technology underpins the Kings’ approach to technology integration across its three schools. “There are fewer reasons to teach computing and ICT skills discretely as a subject and instead, this level of autonomy and student choice puts the learning focus on knowledge and skills, rather than simply the technology,” says Kate Fuller, Principal, Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba. At Kings’ School Al Barsha, advanced learning technologies range from robotic and top-drawer virtual reality (VR) kits to iPad-controlled Bluetooth-enabled electronics. Assistant Head Teacher Scott Johnson credits innovative application of these technologies as key to a successful learning framework, as he

explains: “Examples that come to mind include providing support opportunities for students outside of lessons that can’t otherwise be offered through virtual learning environments and using VR in biology to allow students to gain unique insight into the human body. “If innovation doesn’t result in significant impact for our students, then it doesn’t belong in our classrooms or curriculum. When edtech is used in our classrooms it is solely to enhance learning that otherwise falls short through traditional methods.” For the school of the future, Johnson believes that leveraging the next iteration of edtech is an imperative and shares an example: “Live student tracking applications that involve them more in the learning process and explor-

ing the concept of resources to hand through augmented reality, build in to systems where pupils can solve their own learning hurdles and select their personal journey.” Bede Higgins, Principal at

Kings’ School Dubai, agrees with the fit-for-purpose approach. “Often, a parent’s biggest fear with children using devices such as iPads is that their child will no longer be writing in school — but that’s simply not the case. A VR

ENROLMENTS ARE NOW OPEN FROM FS1 TO YR7 AT KINGS’ SCHOOL NAD AL SHEBA FOR 2019-2020

“W

e know every child is unique and we know your child is special,” says Kate Fuller, Principal, Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba. “We will nurture the interests, talents and passions of your child. Come and visit us to see how we can bring out the best in your sportsman/

woman, your scientist, your thespian, your entrepreneur, your musician, your future leader,” she explains. “Don’t miss out on our special Year 7 founders fee, which is fixed until Year 11,” she adds. For registration and more information please visit, kings-edu.com/nadalsheba

kit can be great for immersing children into an environment that generates rich discussion, which then enhances writing around it. For example, using VR learning about the First World War can really help bring the topic to life. But now, and in the future, children will still need to know how to read, write and form sentences, manipulate numbers, problem-solve, be resilient, collaborate, communicate effectively, and to think critically and not just accept the first answer that pops up on Google.” In terms of future school design, Fuller anticipates the introduction of integrated and highly flexible learning spaces that can easily be reconfigured to suit a specific learner style and type of learning. The 2019-20 school year will see Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba launch a Key Stage 3 (KS3) curriculum and its STEAM lab facilities fit this ideal perfectly as a flexible learning space able to accommodate the multifaceted requirements of design and food technology, science investigation

●● Kings’ schools have taken a range of educational initiatives to improve STEM outcomes for their students

and chemistry experiments. It’s also an important focus at Kings’ School Al Barsha with Brett Girven, Deputy Head Teacher highlighting the fact that STEM subjects feature prominently in future job demand rankings. “This is an area we analysed in depth when deciding on opportunities to teach the requisite innovation, creativity, design thinking, and problem-solving skills needed to support STEM-focused subjects. “In primary, these take the form of learning dispositions, which lead into fluencies in secondary school. For example, we have defined what it means to be curious as a primary student, which leads to solution fluency at secondary level. This provides a solid basis for teaching critical thinking.” It also marries perfectly with the Kings’ Education group’s commitment to creating dynamic learning environments that deliver on the pledge to do ‘The Best by Every Child.’ “The new KS3 curriculum at Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba will take an enquiry-based approach,

translating learning into a real-life context,” says Fuller. “This could be building a prototype Mars rover and sharing the design with the Emirates Mars Mission team, thus turning chemistry, physics, persuasive writing and design technology learning objectives into a truly tangible learning outcome.” Project-based learning and the enquiry model are also a focus within the KS3 curriculum at Kings’ School Al Barsha, and Johnson cites links with experts as essential for any forward-thinking school. “We have professional guidance from various experts including oracy for Year 10 students, top landscaping designers advising A-level students on their projects, and links with governors to look at strengthening our leadership programmes.” Outside of the classroom, all three Kings’ schools regard parental involvement as fundamental to their children and respective future-proofing strategies. “Parents can be overwhelmed as education today bears little resemblance to the schooling they had,” says

Fuller. “Many families want to help their child at home but feel deskilled and lack self-efficacy. At Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba we run monthly Parents in Partnership sessions aimed at making the curriculum accessible for them.” “Parents are understandably wary of an over-reliance on technology in the classroom and both parents and students also expect the learning to be grounded in traditional values,” adds Girven. “It’s a balance that’s difficult to strike, and so we tend to favour incremental rather than disruptive innovation.” Higgins from KHDA Outstanding rated Kings’ School Dubai paints a group-wide picture. “From Foundation Stage and Early Years, our children sit together in groups and are constantly communicating, collaborating, challenging and supporting one another. The teacher is really the last resource in the room these days. This and a constant thirst for learning as well as being open to accept change are the skills they need for the future.”

Profile for Kings' Education

Gulf News - The Future is Now  

The integration of next-generation technologies into Kings' Education schools is just one hugely significant cog in the group's high-achievi...

Gulf News - The Future is Now  

The integration of next-generation technologies into Kings' Education schools is just one hugely significant cog in the group's high-achievi...

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