SCHOOL’S OUT 2022
KHDA - DUBAI PRIVATE SCHOOLS SECTOR RECORDS HIGHEST EVER ENROLMENT
A NEW EDUCATIONAL VISION AT CITIZENS SCHOOL
TRAVEL TO KENYA WITH KAPES
Providing sustainable uniforms in the UAE, changing children’s lives in Kenya
SHARJAH PRIVATE EDUCATION AUTHORITY LAUNCHES ITS STRATEGY 2022-2024
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THE BIG GAME ISSUE!
or the visitor nurtured by the writings of Rider Haggard and Ernest Hemingway, Kenya has always exerted a magical spell, with its beautiful landscapes and the abundance of wildlife that fill its national parks. Education UAE, though, travelled to this magical land with Kapes, the sustainable clothing manufacturer, to discover how buying sustainable school uniforms in the Emirates helps children to attend school in Kenya, where having a school uniform is a legal requirement but is not always affordable. We speak to Matthew Benjamin, founder and CEO of Kapes, and Principal Brett Girven, who represented The Arbor School in Kenya, which is switching to sustainable uniforms for all of its students. In addition, we look at Wildlife Works, a Kenyan community organisation where part of any profit goes to projects in the local community, such as building schools and educating farmers on how to farm crops that are going to provide a better yield. It was a trip that was an education for everyone and you can read all about it in this issue. And of course, big game was spotted too, including, lions, cheetahs, elephants and rhinos.
Back home, we have a wide range of news and features, including interviews with several ‘big hitters’ in the education world, including Kephren Sherry, Head of Primary at Citizens School; Simon Crane, Head Master at Brighton College Dubai; and David Turner, College and Career Counsellor at Dwight School Dubai. Junk Kouture, the world’s largest sustainable youth fashion programme, is on our radar too, as is Miracles, a hub for wellness and self-development that offers a unique environment that promotes a healthy mind, body and spirit. And if you are looking for the last word in luxury, you simply have to read about The Nine, a one-of-a-kind villa nestled into the hillside of Mirissa in Sri Lanka, with spectacular views across the cove, and only a five-minute walk to the unblemished beauty of the Indian Ocean’s white, sandy beaches. You’ll want to read about The Els Club too, one of the finest golfing and social destinations in the Middle East. As usual, there is so much more besides and we hope you enjoy it all. So, welcome, or as they say in Kenya, karibu!
TEAM Belinda Breeze Daniel Murad Laura Wojciechowski Leah De La Hunty Rod Millington
CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org www.education-uae.com
SOCIAL MEDIA @educationuaemag @educationuaemag @education-uae
Rod Millington Editor-in-Chief
Rod Millington has been active in the commercial writing sector for over 30 years, with work published throughout Europe, North America, the Far East, and the Middle East. During this time, he has had the privilege to speak to a wide range of fascinating and entrepreneurial people, from captains of industry through to pop icons such as Sir Paul McCartney. In total, Rod has had over 25 million words committed to print across more than 35 publications for clients as diverse as FIFA, Cunard, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and Dubai Municipality.
All our publications are printed using recycled paper.
BECAUSE WE CARE
Is My Child Ready for School?
Bloom World Academy: Daring to be Different
How to Choose a University
THE FEATURES IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE… DID YOU KNOW?
KHDA 8 Making Wellbeing Count in Dubai’s Schools 11 School Fees Fact Sheets
96 School Sports Clothing 98 Interview with Tom Rourke 100 ADEK Sports Cup
ADEK 12 Library on Wheels
EXCELLENCE IN Pre-School 24 New Revolutionary Nursery 25 Orange Wheels Campus Launches in Dubai 30 Ladybird Nursery to Open
36 Environmental Anxiety in Children 38 Learners Becoming Model Citizens: Kephren Sherry 40 Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast: Simon O’Connor 42 Being a Head Master is the Best Job in the World: Simon Crane 46 The English College Dubai: Empowering Students to Become Scholars 48 Repton: A Partnership in Discovery 62 The Arbor School: Uniforms as Unique as the Kids who Wear Them
Higher Education 70 82
Dean of the Year Award Preparing for Medical School
KNOW IT ALL 102 Empowering Female Leaders PARENTS CORNER 104 Promoting Bedtime Stories 108 Becoming a Child Author 110 Screen Time in Children OUR WORLD 112 From Survival to Abundance
THE LOUNGE 116 New Book – Decision Street 118 Win a Year’s Worth of School Fees
TRAVEL NEAR 128 Family Summer Fun 130 Teachers Night out
TRAVEL FAR 120 The Nine – a New Level of Luxury
HEALTH AND NUTRITION
124 Miracles: A Natural Way
An App Built by Teachers BENQ Product Review
LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD
ASUS – Pinnacle of Performance
130 Junk Kouture
Did You Know
Dubai currently has: 215
DUBAI PRIVATE SCHOOLS SECTOR RECORDS HIGHEST EVER ENROLMENT The number of students attending Dubai private schools has topped 300,000 for the first time. A total of 303,262 students are enrolled in Dubai’s private schools, up from 289,019 in September 2021, representing a growth of 4.9%. Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA said: “Dubai’s private schools have consistently focused on improvement and growth, even during challenging times. The record number of students reflects the trust and confidence that families place in schools. School leaders and teachers have come together and collaborated to work towards Dubai’s aspiration to provide every student with a high-quality education grounded in wellbeing. We’re grateful to educators, parents and students for being part of Dubai’s education community and for creating the future of education together.” The rise in school enrolment also reflects Dubai’s growing attractiveness as a lifestyle, business and investment destination, which has encouraged families from across the world to relocate to the city. According to newly released data, UK curriculum schools (35%) remain the top choice for students followed by the Indian curriculum (26%) and US curriculum schools (16%). Students studying in private schools represent a total of 187 nationalities, which shows the vast cultural diversity of the emirate’s student community.
The record number of students reflects the trust and confidence that families place in schools For the latest school data, please visit the KHDA website at www.web.khda.gov.ae/en/ Resources/Publications
Did You Know
MAKING WELLBEING COUNT IN DUBAI’S SCHOOLS
OF PRINCIPALS & DEPUTIES
towards better wellbeing and now is the time to look towards the future.” The new report calls on schools to further collaborate, learn and engage in finding solutions that support the wellbeing of students and staff. According to the OECD report: “KHDA is a strong advocate for student wellbeing, raising awareness of its importance, introducing data collection tools and encouraging stakeholder collaboration platforms. School-level initiatives have also been introduced across the sector. The goal now is to ensure that policies and practices have a more significant impact in supporting students’ wellbeing.”
Because wellbeing is not just for education; wellbeing is for life.
Taking a closer look at how Dubai’s schools have adopted wellbeing, a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has outlined the impact of initiatives and programmes rolled out by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in recent years. The report was released to educators in Dubai during a special session hosted as part of KHDA’s Wellbeing Festival. According to the OECD review of wellbeing policies and practices: “In recent years, KHDA and Dubai’s private schools have pursued a number of initiatives to increase levels of happiness and wellbeing across the sector. Such efforts have helped raise awareness of the importance of wellbeing across the sector. More importantly, they have encouraged school leaders, teachers, parents, and students to better understand the concept of wellbeing, not only in the form of daily habits but also as a long-term commitment for themselves and the system as a whole.” Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the OECD said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that it is insufficient to assume that student wellbeing and strong social and
Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness and Innovation at KHDA said, “The focus on wellbeing represents a big shift in how we’ve traditionally viewed the purpose of education. For us, wellbeing is a way of life. It’s not only important at school, but also at work and at home. We’ll be working closely with our community to put in place the recommendations of the OECD report” In addition to initiatives such as the Dubai Adults@School Wellbeing Survey and the Teachers of Dubai campaign, KHDA has also provided several opportunities for teachers’ professional collaboration and development. “Inspired by KHDA’s efforts, private schools are increasingly providing teachers with tools and information to encourage them to adhere to healthy habits that support their physical and mental well-being, and to help them cope with the challenges that arise from work,” read the report. School leaders, governors, wellbeing champions and teachers also heard from OECD experts to further understand the review at a webinar hosted recently. The sessions are designed to provide practical recommendations and insights on wellbeing in education. The three online sessions focus on different aspects of the review, ranging from creating a whole-school approach to wellbeing to effectively improving teacher wellbeing.
OF TEACHING ASSISTANTS
OF TEACHERS …Say they are living well and thriving
Many Dubai students, regardless of age, say they don’t sleep enough emotional skills come as an automatic result of a good academic education. They need to be part of an intentional design of learning environments and the organisation of schools. Following recommendations from the ‘OECD Review of Well-being Policies and Practices in Dubai’s Private School Sector’, KHDA is leading that charge.” The new report provides an overview of Dubai’s wellbeing journey and offers considerations on how to strengthen policies and practices. Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, DirectorGeneral of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said: “The pandemic has made us think about the true purpose of education, and the real value of wellbeing. There’s been so much progress in recent years when it comes to wellbeing research and wellbeing data, and we’re very happy that our private school sector is now part of that. We’ve learned a lot in this journey
73.5% of adults say that they have stronger relationships with students this academic year
5 YEARS OF THE DUBAI STUDENT WELLBEING CENSUS
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FINAL YEAR OF A -YEA
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Who took part? 108,224
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2018 - 23.6% 2019 - 22.6% 2020 - 19.4% 2021 - 21.2%
What is students’ wellbeing like? G ADE Y...
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2018 - 42.9% 2019 - 44.1% 2020 - 43.4% 2021 - 33.1%
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Did You Know
MAJOR EDUCATION OVERHAUL WILL DEVELOP THE SECTOR Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, have announced a major restructure of the UAE’s education system. This includes the establishment of the UAE Cabinet-affiliated Federal Authority for Quality and Standards of Education. It will be in charge of assessing educational results, student performance, and educational process efficiency. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi will become Minister of Education. He will scrutinize all laws and policies pertaining to the UAE’s educational system. The Ministry of Education will be responsible for formulating policies, initiatives, and legislation relating to public and higher education. Sarah Al Amiri will be appointed as Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, as well as Chairwoman of the Emirates Schools Establishment. She has been tasked with developing a comprehensive plan to advance the country’s public schools. Sara Musallam has been named Minister of State for Early Education, and she will be in charge of the newly formed Federal Authority for Early Education. She’ll also
be in charge of creating thorough plans to track children’s progress from infancy until fourth grade. “The correct development of our children is the guarantee of our education’s success,” Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid said. The establishment of the Education and Human Resources Council, which will be chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International
the sector’s performance. The Federal Authority for Education Quality and Standards will be responsible for assessing educational quality and auditing educational outputs in the areas of education, early childhood education, kindergarten, public education, and higher education. The Federal Authority for Early Childhood Education is a newly established entity that will focus on early childhood education and develop and implement comprehensive plans to track children’s development from birth through fourth grade. The Emirates Schools Establishment will report to the UAE Cabinet and will be responsible for improving the efficiency of government schools and nurseries, supervising public schools throughout the country, and implementing policies, strategies, and standards related to the education sector’s development. The new structure will also focus on designing student care programmes, activities, and events in public schools, overseeing their execution and proposing innovative and new methods for operating public schools to improve their efficiency.
Several new appointments have been announced, as well as the establishment of a federal body for education quality and standards Cooperation, will be responsible for overseeing the project of the Future of Education in the UAE, is one example of the widespread restructuring. Setting the education sector’s vision and objectives, preparing the overall framework for education and submitting it to the UAE Cabinet for approval, and developing educational policies and regulations will be among the Council’s responsibilities. The Council will also monitor
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director-General of KHDA
KHDA SCHOOL FEES FACT SHEET ALLOWS PARENTS TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS A new resource for parents in Dubai will provide them with comprehensive and reliable information regarding their children’s school expenses. The School Fees Fact Sheet is a one-page reference that lists all of the fees that a school may charge during the school year. It will include information on additional verifiable expenses that parents may pay during the academic year, such as transportation, extracurricular activities, school trips, and books, to name a few. Every private school in Dubai will have a School Fees Fact Sheet available to parents. The fact sheets will be deployed in the first phase by schools beginning their academic year in April of this year, encompassing parents of over 81,000 students across 35 schools in Dubai. Before the end of the current academic year, schools that begin their academic year in September 2022 will have access to the programme. The fact sheet will also include information on discounts and scholarships offered by each school, if applicable. Parents can access each school’s
The School Fees Fact Sheet is a onepage reference that includes all fees that a school may charge during an academic year. School Fees Fact Sheet through the KHDA directory. It is also available online with the Parent/School Contract. In addition, each school will post its own fact sheet on its website. The School Fees Fact Sheet is valid for one academic year and can be verified by scanning the QR code on the document. The Director-General of KHDA, Dr Abdulla Al Karam, said: “Dubai is committed to supporting an environment that enables parents, students, and schools to engage with each other and make choices based on clear information. Through the School Fees Fact Sheet, parents can understand a school’s complete fee structure at a glance.
This will help them make better decisions about their children’s schooling. “When there’s transparency on fees, both parents and schools can better focus on children’s growth. We’re grateful to private schools in Dubai for their support in making the fact sheets accessible to their parent communities.”
Every private school in Dubai will have a School Fees Fact Sheet available to parents
Further information can be found on the School Fees Fact Sheet FAQs page on the KHDA website: web.khda.gov.ae/en/Guides/Parents/Schools-Fees-Fact-Sheet-FAQs
Did You Know
ADEK’S LIBRARY ON WHEELS TO CONTINUE AS ‘ABU DHABI READS’ DRIVES UP LITERATURE DEMAND
The unique, community-centric ‘Library on Wheels’ initiative operated by Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is on a year-long tour of the emirate following a series of immensely successful pop-ups at schools and key locations in Abu Dhabi city during March as part of the ‘Abu Dhabi Reads’ programme. Part of the fifth national ‘UAE Reads’ campaign, ‘Abu Dhabi Reads 2022’ directly engaged more than 30,000 readers across the Abu Dhabi community, with over 27,000 attending weekend literature-themed events at Umm Al Emarat Park, and over 3,000 readers swapping old books for new ones at the month-long schedule of ‘Library on Wheels’ pop-ups.
“In perfect alignment with ADEK’s strategy of promoting a daily reading culture and contributing to the UAE National Reading Agenda, the excellent response to this year’s Abu Dhabi Reads initiative has unearthed a healthy and highly encouraging appetite for more communitywide opportunities to engage with literature,” said His Excellency Amer Al Hammadi, ADEK Undersecretary.
The month-long campaign engaged over 30,000 as ADEK promotes reading culture
The extended ‘Library on Wheels’ tour details will be shared on the www.ad.adek.gov.ae/reads website.
NEW VISA SPONSORSHIP RULES AN ENORMOUS RELIEF FOR PARENTS New rules in the UAE have delighted parents by allowing them to sponsor male children until they reach the age of 25. Whether travelling as students or tourists, the UAE’s new visa policy allows parents to cut costs and relieve stress. Unmarried daughters are unaffected by the new rule because they can continue to be sponsored by their parents indefinitely. The amendment was one of several new visa rules authorised by the UAE Cabinet. Previously, parents could only sponsor their sons until they turned 18, after which they could renew for another three years if they were enrolled in a university. Students used to have to purchase a university’s visa sponsorship if they wanted to study in the UAE, whilst students studying overseas would return on visit visas to see their families. Because it provides flexibility, this new visa rule will have a considerable influence on parents and students. Students won’t have to worry about obtaining a student visa once they graduate, and they’ll be able to enrol in university without undue worry. Parents will save money and time by not having to apply for student visas. For all three stakeholders – parents, students, and universities – it’s a win-win situation.
Students used to have to purchase a university’s visa sponsorship if they wanted to study in the UAE
THE DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM BOOK LAUNCH structures that runs through her For many educators, digital learning book. Philippa and guest speakers and all that it encompasses has will be sharing ideas on digital been a pandemic-driven need, strategy, safeguarding, leadership something that pre-pandemic was and pedagogy. As educators we a luxury and not a necessity. empower one another, which For Philippa Wraithmell, an is exactly what The Digital author and educator in the Ecosystem is designed to do, Middle East, who specialises in support everyone to understand digital education strategy, this the deep need to effectively embed has been something that has digital systems into our schools. been a long time in the making. Join Philippa and others Currently, some schools are to discuss the bigger picture developing and designing a vast of education and how you array of structural needs that are can sustainably help your detailed and intricate. A number of school to get there. others have been ad-hoc grasping at individual elements, which have some benefit to the outcomes of the learning environment, but Date and time: very few have truly embraced the 3 June detail that is needed to develop 4pm – 6pm sustainable digital ecosystems. The Arbor School, Dubai But where should educators and leaders start? This problem was Attendees will get; identified by Philippa over the a signed book past six years as she embraced networking the support of educators globally, opportunities (marketing drawing on a range of experiences free – there won’t be across many schools to support sponsors or anything the development of the schools she like this so it really is worked in and with. No school has educator to educator ) it 100% right and one reflection five high-level of her book is the awareness of speakers from the there being no one size fits all. UK and the Middle The Digital Ecosystem takes East presenting focus the broad sections of education’s areas from the book digital needs and breaks them food and soft beverages down, supporting leaders to pinpoint their next steps. Philippa’s book will be launching on 3 June 2022, at The Arbor School in Dubai, based within the geodesic domes, SIGN UP FOR THE BOOK LAUNCH HERE a metaphor of education
Did You Know
SHARJAH PRIVATE EDUCATION AUTHORITY LAUNCHES ITS STRATEGY 2022-2024 The Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) has launched its Strategy 2022-2024 in line with its ongoing commitment to improve the quality, efficiency, and excellence of the private education system in the Emirate of Sharjah. The new strategy aims to enhance the teaching environment in the emirate and drive effective educational outcomes. This is in line with the latest global trends and the vision of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah concerning education and human development, as well as the direction of Sharjah. The comprehensive strategy focuses on various elements of the private education system in the emirate, including educational institutions, schools, kindergartens, training institutes, teachers, parents, and all recipients and beneficiaries of private education. It also outlines a roadmap for educational institutions and other entities associated with the SPEA - joining hands with strategic partners and stakeholders to develop an integrated vision to improve the governance and efficiency of education. Furthermore, the strategy seeks to lay the foundations for a more stimulating and engaging learning environment, establish a culture of innovation in teaching, develop a new generation of institutional leaders, and equip students with more competitive skills to meet the needs and requirements of the modern workforce.
A panel of 25 government and educational leaders, along with 11 educational experts from government, private, and international institutions, participated in designing the new strategy
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Develop personal, human and cognitive skills for learners
Develop learning capabilities to deliver an exceptional learning experience
Attract new investors to the educational sector in the emirate.
Excellence in Education
Develop agile educational environment that fosters future needs
Pro mo te a
cult ure of
Promote partnerships to enhance proactive educational system.
inn ova tion , cre ativ ity a nd c ont inu ous
Governance, sustainability, and efficiency of private education
Construct learning paths for all categories including, the gifted and people of determination
lear nin g
Optimal data utilization
om ec nit
Continuous improvement culture
Achieve wellbeing standards for the educational community in private educational institution in Sharjah
Improvement in performance level of educational institutions according to the approved evaluation framework
The educational community’s trust in the services provided in educational institutions in Sharjah
Digital and proactive services
Qualified and trained educational cadres to equate future requirements
Rise in investments educational sector
Effective annual partnerships aimed at developing skills and closing the gaps between general, university education and the labor market
Improvement in international test results
DOWNLOAD STRATEGY PDF
KAPES: Changing Children’s Lives in Kenya THE TERM ‘SUSTAINABLE’ HAS BEEN BANDIED ABOUT CONSIDERABLY IN RECENT YEARS, PARTICULARLY IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY. BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SUSTAINABLE AND HOW CAN SUSTAINABILITY BENEFIT OUR CHILDREN? TO FIND OUT MORE, EDUCATION UAE TRAVELLED TO KENYA WITH MATTHEW BENJAMIN, FOUNDER AND CEO OF KAPES, A COMPANY EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION TO TELL ITS SUSTAINABLE STORY EACH TIME THEY PUT THEIR SCHOOL UNIFORMS ON.
Matthew Benjamin, Founder and CEO of Kapes
M atthew with some of the students who have already benefitted from the scheme
atthew’s background is in fashion and textiles and, having gained extensive experience working for one of the world’s largest clothing companies in both Dubai and London, set up his own bespoke menswear enterprise, with sustainability
S tudents being taught about sustainability at WildLife Works
being at the heart of its business ethos. “But as I became more passionate about sustainability and how fashion can be used to help fight the climate crisis, it just wasn’t enough,” Matthew explains. “When you’re dealing with bespoke menswear, which is pretty highly-priced, you’re working with only the top 5% of customers. And it’s only men. So whatever you do with sustainability,
Brett Girven, Principal and A at Arbor School with Matthew
the impact is going to be limited.” Nevertheless, this was a great introduction to eco-friendly clothing, with Matthew looking at materials such as organic cotton, organic wool and organic silk, which ultimately led him to launch Kapes. “Then I started to look at school uniforms, which are inherently poor at the moment, including many issues that are commonplace in the
The Sustainability Accelerator will be like a business accelerator, taking schools from A to Z as quickly as possible
TREATING WORKERS FAIRLY The vision at Kapes has continued to grow and expand in many aspects. “Firstly, the company uses materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester,” Matthew says, “although we continue to look at improving that side of things, as recycled polyester, for us, is still too impactful. “We also work with ethical workshops and ensure that the workers are paid and treated fairly. To ensure this, they are audited by ethical organisations. We also work with a 3rd party that calculates the impact that producing our products has, allowing us to determine what we have to do to offset that impact. “Last but not least, for every child that we sell a uniform to, we provide a free uniform to a child in need. What’s more, we make those uniforms in a developing community to support that community.”
Kapes is seeking schools to work in the UAE that align with its own values Kapes is also soon to be involved in Impact Auditing and Reporting, which can be extremely educational for students, as Matthew explains: “Impact Auditing and Reporting is where we’ll go into a school and work with students to calculate the impact of school uniforms. And then that leads on to carbon offsetting.
Andres Floden, Head of Operations w at Wildlife Works, Kenya
S eedlings are grown in the nursery and given to the local communities free to plant.
fashion industry, which is responsible for substantial global emissions and use tonnes of toxic chemicals.” It is, indeed, not a pretty picture, exacerbated by the fact that kids grow so quickly and, because most school uniforms are made of polyester or other synthetics, they are not recycled and end up in landfill.
Moreover, the consumer has no idea whether workers are being paid or treated fairly. “So you had all of these issues,” Matthew continues, “and this was the kind of problem that I wanted to solve. Consequently, what we now do at Kapes is to help schools not only reduce their environmental impact but have a positive environmental and social impact too.”
However, we also realise that it’s difficult in some instances for schools to offset their impact, mainly because the offset market is a very challenging one. There are lots of offset projects that don’t actually have a real positive impact. They sort of exist in name only. So it’s fraught with problems. So what we want to do is allow and enable schools to offset their impact, but do it in a way that verifies where carbon credits are going to have a positive impact. That’s why we are creating a Carbon Offset Fund for schools and work with Wildlife Works REDD+ projects.”
Most school uniforms are not recycled and end up in landfill
Matthew looking out over the vast expanse of the Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary
REDD+ projects help to protect trees, forests and wildlife by providing sustainable job opportunities and education. This means that the local community does not have to resort to poaching animals or cutting down trees to make charcoal in order to make a living. And to join all of the dots, from September 2022 Kapes will be providing eco trips for schools so that students can see carbon offset projects for themselves. “This gives students a real connection,” Matthew says, “allowing them to see how school uniforms can have a positive environmental and social impact.” There are virtual workshops too, which empower children to be change-makers. Kirigu Primary School is the first school that Kapes is working with in Kenya, though it will work with many others. “In Kenya, you can’t go to school without a school uniform, it’s a legal requirement,” Matthew begins. “So for students or families that cannot afford uniforms, they don’t receive an education, and for those that do have uniforms, there is a necessity to wear them for several years. Therefore uniforms become too small and uncomfortable. They’re in tatters. That doesn’t do anything for children in terms of their confidence, their self-esteem or focus in class. “So the benefits of providing these uniforms are that they reduce absenteeism and give children more confidence, lets them know that they’re valued. It makes them stand up a bit taller and therefore helps them to learn.” “We’ve spoken to many children and their parents who say that it really does have a positive impact,” Matthew says. “And that’s the connection between a parent in the UAE, who purchases a uniform for their child and, in effect, gifts a uniform that then impacts a child thousands of miles away.
We also work with ethical workshops and ensure that the workers are paid and treated fairly”
“The additional impact comes from making these uniforms at Wildlife Works and offsetting the carbon footprint of each product we sell by purchasing carbon credits, with part of the profit going towards projects in the local community, such as building schools, maintaining schools, educating farmers on how to farm crops that are
going to provide a better yield, and crops that don’t attract elephants, for example, thus reducing animal-human conflict.” LAUNCH OF THE SUSTAINABILITY ACCELERATOR Kapes is seeking schools to work with globally that align with its own values; schools that do not see this as just another commercial opportunity. Of course, it does have a commercial aspect, as it can improve the schools brand and hopefully, it attracts more parents to the school, but primarily it’s about sustainable practices and processes that support environmental, ethical and economic wellbeing. It’s also about the size of the school. “It’s important that we work with larger schools,” Matthew says. “We’re
talking at least 500 students, but typically more than that. We want to work with schools over a long period and see it as a partnership. Importantly, we want to work with schools that are really committed to that sustainability journey, so that they can then impart these values to their students. Currently, we are working with The Arbor School and Fairgreen International, where it’s not just about selling uniforms. It’s about educating the students and the community about the impact that these actions have.” With this in mind, Kapes will be launching a ‘School Uniforms Sustainability Accelerator’ in September of this year. Matthew explains: “The reason we’ve launched this is that we realised over the past year that
W ildlife Works makes the uniforms for students in Kenya in a sustainable way whilst also offering Carbon Offset initiatives and supporting the local community and environment
All schools interested are encouraged to pre-register now by emailing email@example.com.
this is a massive education gap, with schools not really knowing what the environmental impact is when it comes to uniforms, and we have a very limited time to address climate change. “So to enable schools to speed through that process, the accelerator program will be like a business accelerator, taking schools from A to Z as quickly as possible. For those accepted into the program, this does not only mean sustainable school uniforms – we want sustainability integrated across the whole school community, and will provide virtual workshops for staff and students, webinars with sustainability experts, impact auditing and reporting, enrolment in the Carbon Offset Fund, and benefits with our partners. “From September, we’ll be accepting applications, we will start interviewing schools in November and then in January 2023, the programme will start. From the applications that we expect to receive, we will be choosing roughly 10% of schools. It will mean the school setting up a Sustainability Committee that we work with in partnership to master 4 fundamentals that include Materials and Manufacturing, Impact and Offsetting, Circularity, and Education (MICE). We will evaluate the materials that they’ve used in the past and look at the materials that we’re going to use in the future. We next calculate the savings and determine how the impact can be offset, develop ways to encourage the reuse and recycling of used uniforms, and collaborate with the committee to communicate this information to the school community. “But then, for schools that do not necessarily fit into those requirements or are unable to change suppliers because of contractual reasons, we have a range of other services and products that we offer to start the sustainability journey for that school.” KAPES
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Excellence in Pre School
JINS Ghoroob Nursery has been designed by JINS’ master educators and world-renowned architects
DR ABDULLA KARAM INAUGURATES REVOLUTIONARY NURSERY His Excellency Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of Knowledge, and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and Mrs Mankani, Founder of Fortes Education, have officially opened Jumeirah International Nurseries’ (JINS) brand-new nursery concept in Ghoroob, Mirdif. The fifth branch from the family of award-winning nurseries located across Dubai, JINS Ghoroob Nursery has been designed by JINS’ master educators and world-renowned architects and provides children aged 0 to 5 years old with an unparalleled learning experience. The brand new ‘Learning Pod’ concept is the first of its kind in the Middle East and places JINS at the
forefront of Early Years education by transforming the way children learn. Dr Karam, who led the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Nursery, went on a guided tour of the unique Learning Pod environments, consisting of the seven areas of development in the British Early Years Curriculum. JINS’ unique ‘Learning Pod’ approach stimulates and allows children to explore in a completely transformational and future-ready way. The learning spaces are further supplemented with a focus on wellbeing, especially in the ‘Wellbeing Pod’ and exploratory concepts of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).
Families who are interested in learning more about this forward-thinking and state-of-the-art nursery, the admissions process, and to book a tour, can contact the JINS team on +971 4 28 29 0 or apply at www. applynow.jinspire.com JUMERIAH INTERNATIONAL NURSERIES +971 4 282 2890
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IDEACRATE OPENS NEW ORANGE WHEELS CAMPUS AT DUBAI SILICON OASIS It is an ideal place for children to build confidence and express their individuality. The play centre also hosts themed events from coffee mornings to play dates that allow moms and dads to meet and bond with a community of parents in a friendly, informal setting,” explained Ms Shifa. With a space for the children to express their talents in their own way, Orange Wheels encourages children to play and learn in an activity-oriented environment guided by trainers from around the world.
Orange Wheels seeks to create memorable experiences for children and parents Orange Wheels, a flagship brand of IdeaCrate Edutainment Company, opened its latest edutainment centre at Dubai Silicon Oasis. This is the second location of Orange Wheels in Dubai and the fourth in the UAE. Orange Wheels is a unique one-stop edutainment destination for children, aged six months to eight years, and is set up in a creative, nature-centric and innovative environment. Speaking at the launch, Ms Shifa Yusuffali, CEO of IdeaCrate Edutainment Company, said: “This is yet another step to provide wholesome education to the young and curious minds. With the motto ‘Play, Discover, Create’, Orange Wheels offers a safe, clean, fun, and nurturing environment for children to enjoy unrestrained playtime with immersive activities.
The play centre also hosts themed events from coffee mornings to play dates
“The evolutionary concept aims at the overall development of kids through a series of activities like games, music, dance, arts and craft. Our focus is on providing a stimulating space for children to explore their creative and fun side.” Orange Wheels seeks to create memorable experiences for children and parents in their preferred happy place. From themed arts and crafts, a thrilling soft play area, interactive cooking stations and an outdoor waterplay space, Orange Wheels’ hands-on activity programmes are designed to promote development, excellence, and entertainment in a thoroughly safe environment. The play centre offers a wide range of stimulating sensory activities, arts, and craft stations as well as pretend play areas.
Founded in 2015, IdeaCrate Edutainment Company is the brainchild of Ms Shifa Yusuffali. Through its edutainment brands Orange Wheels, Orange Hub, and Orange Seeds Nursery, IdeaCrate offers unparalleled experiences facilitated by active sensory learning and state-of-the-art indoor family entertainment centres in the UAE. The vision of IdeaCrate is to achieve excellence and set a benchmark in the global edutainment and early years education space.
“We also offer themed parties at our dedicated private party room allowing our guests to choose their desired themes and packages. The team is experienced in planning and hosting birthday parties, with creative themes and flexible packages. We make the children’s party a seamless event, filled with fun and memories to treasure forever.
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OVER 2,000 LITTLE HEARTS FROM BRITISH ORCHARD NURSERY DONATE 1000 KGS OF RICE!
Upholding the spirit of giving during the holy month of Ramadan and spreading the #Bonlove, over 2,000 little children and staff of British Orchard Nursery (BON) across the UAE came together in full force to donate more than 1,000kgs of rice for needy families, in association with Emirates Red Crescent. British Orchard Nursery participated in the ‘Feed People this Ramadan’ campaign as the institute supports the mission to fight food insecurity in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. As part of its CSR vision, BON has adopted three goals - quality education, good health and wellbeing, and gender equality. The drive will run for the whole month aiming to feed 5,000 families. Dr Vandana Gandhi, Founder and CEO of British Orchard Nursery, said:
Give and Gain 2022 ‘Feed People this Ramadan’ charity initiative organised in collaboration with Emirates Red Crescent
with our CSR mission and values. Our goal is to align the staff and children of BON towards eliminating community issues and I am overwhelmed with the response received by families in just two days after announcing participation in this drive. It’s quite heartwarming to see these young children come forward enthusiastically and contribute to the cause.”
“We decided to support this initiative as food insecurity is one of the major issues we are facing today and it’s also among the top UN development goals. Rice is a basic staple and there are many families for whom it’s not available. Ramadan is the month that teaches us to share and we have always channelled our CSR initiatives in line
Rice Collection Drive aims to fight food insecurity and feed 5,000 families
Help your kids by helping yourself. Miracles Wellness Center is a hub for wellness and self-development. We offer a variety of therapies for you and your children. Develop your child’s emotional intelligence and wellbeing.
+971 4 363 9307 +971 58 232 7840 miraclesworldwide.com facebook linkedin miraclesdubai 306 Icon Tower, Barsha Heights (Tecom), Dubai, UAE
Excellence in Pre School
IS MY CHILD READYFOR SCHOOL? SCHOOL READINESS IS A TERM THAT IS OFTEN USED BY EDUCATIONALISTS AND PARENTS TO DESCRIBE A CHILD’S MOVE INTO ‘BIG SCHOOL’. IT IS CENTRED ON ENSURING THAT THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP THE APPROPRIATE SKILLS NEEDED TO SUPPORT THEM IN THEIR LEARNING.
ccording to research undertaken by YouGov 2021, 50% of children within the UK had not reached their developmental milestones before entering school. This can affect the child’s motivation to learn, dictating that they may struggle in the classroom, require additional support, and find it difficult to keep up. It may also mean that the child becomes disheartened and develops a negative attitude to school life and education.
Charlotte Rayner has over 10 years experience of teaching within the UAE and over thirty years experience working with children of all ages. Having completing a degree and a master’s in Professional Play in Childhood Studies. Her current role is working for a UK government authority supporting early years providers to meet the aims and objectives of the Early Years Foundation Stage as well as working alongside partners to develop programmes and initiatives that support children’s holistic development.
Although school readiness is associated with academics, such as children knowing their colours, and being able to write their names or count to a specified number, in reality, it refers to a much broader range of skills. And if children have these skills it makes the transition into school less anxious for both themselves and their parents, supporting everyone once the youngsters are in the more formal school environment. The emphasis, then, should not be on children knowing their ABCs, but should focus on ensuring they have some of the following skills: Children should be able to go to the toilet themselves They should be able to get undressed and dressed for PE (Velcro shoes are a lot easier for young children than lace-up or buckle shoes) Be able to open their lunch box and put it away - you may want to practice this before school starts and find a suitable lunch box Be able to eat independently Be able to socialise, play with others and ask questions Children should know how to manage their behaviour, understand the concept of boundaries and rules, have manners and respect other people
Preparing for school does not start within the few months before the child enters the classroom for the first time; it is a process that is developed gradually and is often misunderstood. Children cultivate language, literacy, physical development, and social and communication skills over time, while also learning how to manage their emotions and understand what is expected of them in terms of behaviour. They also learn about other children, adults and different cultures, so it is important that parents or carers give their children experiences that provide opportunities for them to develop a range of skills that will help them prepare for school. Parents can sometimes, perhaps through lack of understanding, expect teachers to instruct their children on basic needs such as going to the toilet independently. However, such skills cannot start to be learnt on the first day of school or in the few weeks before. Instead, it is a steady progression, with parents or carers working with their child to advance through the expected milestones of child development, which will support the preschooler in all the areas needed to be a confident, independent little learner.
Preparing for school does not start within the few months before the child enters the classroom
Excellence in Pre School
LADYBIRD NURSERY TO OPEN WORLD’S LARGEST DEDICATED EARLY YEARS LEED GOLD FACILITY IN AL BARSHA
LADYBIRD NURSERY IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF ITS LATEST DUBAI CAMPUS, WITH THE STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY IN AL BARSHA 3, SET TO OPEN IN AUGUST 2022 AT THE START OF THE 2022 – 2023 ACADEMIC YEAR. LADYBIRD NURSERY AL BARSHA MARKS THE THIRD CAMPUS IN THE CITY AND IS SET TO BE THE WORLD’S LARGEST STANDALONE LEED GOLD CERTIFIED NURSERY.
Excellence in Pre School
Located near Saudi German Hospitality, the 64,000ft2 campus encapsulates sustainable best practice teaching methodologies woven into the infrastructure of Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha. The campus will consist of a sensory and organic garden where children will explore the impact of environmental conservation through planting seeds and learning about the life cycle of plants. The Splash Pad, which offers enriching water play activities, will teach children about the benefits of water conservation within the mini-water park.
mbedding sustainability within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, Ladybird Al Barsha will offer students aged six months to four years a series of environmentally friendly learning opportunities woven into the new campus’ facilities, which spans 15 classrooms up to FS1. It will be headed up by Louisa McCormack as Principal, who joins after a fiveyear tenure at Ladybird JVC. With one of the lowest child to staff ratios in the industry, the Al Barsha 3 campus will welcome more teachers into the Ladybird family in the coming months. Monica Valrani, Montessori Directress and CEO of Ladybird Nursery said: “We are delighted to grow our family in the UAE and very excited to welcome children and parents to our new Al Barsha campus from the 2022 – 2023 academic year. Al Barsha is a diverse community consisting of families from various backgrounds and we look forward to supporting the development of every child within the community.” Designed under the theme of Sustainability, Ladybird Nursery acquired the services of award-winning architects, Godwin Austen Johnson to build the state-ofthe-art campus with large open spaces, attaining the LEED Gold Certification by the US Green Building Council.
Children will develop their motor skills as they ride their cycles down the customised cycle track on campus or dance to their favourite songs and nursery rhymes in the indoor music room. The little explorers can connect with nature and explore their creative imaginations at the Mud Kitchen through sensory play. The Al Barsha 3 campus will also include a language room, offering both Arabic and French language subjects that will support students’ speech development. Other amenities include an indoor soft play area; a skills area, an indoor reading garden, and a sandpit play area.
Approximately 64,000ft in size, the Al Barsha campus will welcome children aged six months to four years, from the 2022 – 2023 academic year 2
Ladybird Nursery was first established in Jumeirah in 1996 and opened its second nursery in JVC in 2016. The Al Barsha 3 campus will encapsulate Ladybird’s vision to create inclusive early childhood learning experiences, and the EYFS curriculum-based nursery incorporates the Montessori Approach that innovatively combines real-world learning outcomes - including hands-on learning with collaborative play in a classroom setting. The individualised teaching methodology focuses on the learning needs of every child, showcasing collaborative skills and self-confidence. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore the knowledge of the world to develop their maximum potential. Preparing for school does not start within the few months before the child enters the classroom for the first time; it is a process that is developed gradually and is often misunderstood. Children cultivate language, literacy, physical development, and social and communication skills over time, while also learning how to manage their emotions and understand what is expected of them in terms of behaviour. They also learn about other children, adults and different cultures, so it is important that parents or carers give their children experiences that provide opportunities for them to develop a range of skills that will help them prepare for school. Parents can sometimes, perhaps through lack of understanding, expect teachers to instruct their children on basic needs such as going to the toilet independently. However, such skills cannot start to be learnt on the first day of school or in the few weeks before. Instead, it is a steady progression, with parents or carers working with their child to advance through the expected milestones of child development, which will support the preschooler in all the areas needed to be a confident, independent little learner.
Registrations open from May 2022 and parents can address Enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org For more information, visit: www.ladybirdnursery.ae
e or at com m s ol. w e l o e Vi mp sch a r ex you e ot om r p
Bring your school’s walls to life ®
Instantly add wow factor to your school’s visual environment with zero maintenance Wall Art
• Corridor Wraps
• Values Boards
• Subject Zones
• External Facelifts
• Sports Wraps
• Window Vinyls
• Stairwell Makeovers
• Teaching Rooms
• Welcome Walls
• Table Tops
• Library Wraps
• Steps & Floor Vinyl
• Canteen Revamps
• Ceiling Tiles
Excellence in Schools
ENVIRONMENTAL ANXIETY IN CHILDREN ENVIRONMENTAL ANXIETY IS AFFECTING OUR PUPILS’ MENTAL HEALTH. LUCKILY, THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO ADDRESS ENVIRONMENTAL ANXIETY IN CHILDREN. AND, SOME SCHOOLS ARE LEADING THE CHARGE ON THIS BY USING WALL ART TO GIVE INFORMATION AND ADVICE TO STUDENTS. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! If young people understand the issues and know how they can make a difference, they’ll feel less afraid and more empowered to take action. ENVIRONMENTAL ANXIETY IN CHILDREN A recent survey of child psychiatrists in England showed that more than half are seeing children and young people distressed about the climate crisis. Alongside anxiety from the Covid-19 pandemic, our children are facing unprecedented uncertainty and stress. But all is not lost. In fact, many schools are making wellbeing their utmost priority, and taking steps to help pupils manage environmental anxiety. VISUAL SUPPORT One of the ways in which schools are helping pupils manage environmental anxiety is through visual Wall Art. For example, many schools have approached us recently and requested ‘environmental awareness Wall Art’. This type of Wall Art provides simple information about environmental issues in a way that pupils can understand. It’s designed to give advice about tangible action children can take – so they feel more in control and less fearful.
WE TYPICALLY INCLUDE INFORMATION LIKE: The importance of the natural world and sustainability What is a carbon footprint and why does it matter? How to understand climate change using straightforward (but not scary!) terms Simple changes you can make to become more sustainable The strength of community and the fact that small changes DO make a difference! REAL IMPACT We’ve had feedback from schools we’ve worked with that environmental awareness Wall Art has a positive impact on pupils. It creates a sense of understanding in a complicated world. And can reduce fear by giving pupils the confidence to make changes and influence those around them to follow suit. The reality is that sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. And, while we can’t change everything, we can all change something!
We’ll be happy to visit your school, free of charge and Covid-safe, to discuss your goals. From there, we’ll guide you through the design process and then print and install your Wall Art.
CHECK OUT OUR CASE STUDIES AT WWW. PROMOTEYOURSCHOOL.CO.UK TO SEE SOME RECENTLY COMPLETED PROJECTS. A FEW RECENT PROJECTS FOCUSING ON ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS INCLUDE: The Grove Academy environmental awareness map Colmers Farm Primary School environmental awareness stairwell Brentfield Primary School Wonders of the world The Willows Primary School Rainforest stairwell
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WHERE LEARNERS BECOME MODEL CITIZENS KEPHREN SHERRY, HEAD OF PRIMARY AT CITIZENS SCHOOL, TALKS TO EDUCATION UAE ABOUT SUCH IMPORTANT AND FASCINATING SUBJECTS AS THE 21ST-CENTURY APPROACH TO ENGAGING CHILDREN, DRIVING AND IMPROVING TEACHING TEAMS THROUGH COLLABORATIVE LEARNING, MENTORING AND COACHING, AND WHY TEACHERS AT CITIZENS SCHOOL WILL BE KNOWN AS ‘MENTORS’ AND STUDENTS AS ‘LEARNERS’.
EDUAE: Offering young people a more interactive, modern and engaging way to learn. sounds like an exciting way forwards, but what will this look like on an average day in the classroom? Kephren: Children must be central to their own learning and consideration should be given to the individuality of learners. This is done through providing opportunities in the learning environments that enable learners to investigate, self-direct and also have access to mentor-guided activities. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage have access to an enabling environment that exposes them to the Tapestry threads throughout the day and for the primary aged children, learning is based on a thematic approach, where the strands are explored in more depth and for longer periods of time. Learners are empowered to develop their ideas and reflect on their learning, making adaptations where necessary. We also deliver the core and regional subjects, so all learners have access to a full and robust curriculum. EDUAE: The Citizens School approach has six key threads – Mindset; Entrepreneur; Health & Wellbeing; Sustainable Leadership; Global; and Digital Literacy. How different an approach is this in relation to other schools you have been at?
Kephren Sherry oversees the Primary department at Citizens School. With over 20 years of rich experience and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, she has worked in leadership positions around the world including the UK, UAE, and Malaysia, now adding strong value to Citizens School.
Kephren: The key threads of Tapestry have been carefully designed, based on current research, with consideration given to the Sustainable Development Goals. At Citizens, we focus on the skills that will enable students to become successful lifelong learners, whatever their chosen pathway. Rather than being an add-on to an existing curriculum, the Tapestry is central to all learning, and this is a key difference to my previous experience. The bespoke approach is a refreshing update on existing systems and offers learners a purposeful experience to fully equip them for their future life choices.
EDUAE: Dr Adil Alzarooni said, “We believe in learning rather than educating.” How would you explain this concept to parents? Students will very much be central to their own learning. Instead of a didactic approach, with teachers lecturing at students, we adopt a collaborative learning approach, with mentors guiding and supporting learning. Mentors observe learning and encourage questioning asked by and of the students to ascertain what they already know, what they need to know, and what they would like to know. That way, the mentor knows how to plan for learning in a meaningful and contextual way EDUAE: You have stated that you hold a keen interest in driving and improving teaching teams through collaborative learning, mentoring and coaching. Am I right in saying that this will be a totally new experience for teachers (mentors) too? What is the biggest difference they will experience do you think? Kephren: Effective teams learn from each other, and our mentors bring a wide range of skills with them. It’s important that mentors are given opportunities to share their best practice to enable effective change, and that they are given time to carry out research to inform their own learning. Mentors will be supported in their professional development in many ways at Citizens School, and our Wellbeing Centre will offer professional learning to the community too. EDUAE: How involved will parents be with the education of their children? How will the school communicate with them? Kephren: Parent partnerships are vital and we firmly believe in clear and transparent communication with all our families. Parents will have regular communication with the school through newsletters, the parent portal, telephone calls, and conversations. In the future,
Children must be central to their own learning and consideration should be given to the individuality of learners
we will have parent groups to get involved in school life on all levels. There will be many opportunities for parents to fully participate in school life and thus be central to their child’s learning journey. EDUAE: Discovering local cultures, visiting bookshops, hiking nature trails and spending time at home with your cat sounds pretty idyllic. Is this a glimpse of what Citizen School’s children can look forward to – not only learning for the future but being happy, no doubt the biggest life success of all? Kephren: My own interests make me happy and that’s why it’s so important that we make ourselves aware of what the students’ interests are and what makes them happy. The wellbeing care of students is central to their happiness and the Wellbeing and Mindset threads of the Tapestry focus on this aspect. Other Tapestry threads may open new interests for the students, so it’s important to offer them a wide range and utilise the variety of learning experiences that living in Dubai offers.
type of opportunity straightaway? Kephren: I was thrilled to become the Head of Primary at Citizens School as I knew from the outset that this was going to be something special. The school has an ethos of children being central to everything it does and the Tapestry is based on renowned research by education giants such as Professor Carol Dweck, Sir Ken Robinson, and Matthew Syed. The building creates spaces that consider the way in which children learn and the furniture has been thoughtfully curated. Every decision has been made to benefit learning which really resonates with me. It’s such a privilege to be part of this incredible journey. EDUAE: How would you describe the school to parents in 20 words or less? Kephren: An innovative school that considers learner happiness and uniqueness, to provide children with the skills needed for their future.
EDUAE: Teachers at Citizens School will be known as ‘mentors’ and students as ‘learners’ – do you think on a subtle level calling young people ‘learners’ will affect their approach? What benefits do you see in changing these designations? Kephren: I do think how we use language can have a profound effect on us. Calling students ‘learners’ shifts focus onto them being involved in their own learning journey and similarly, teachers becoming ‘mentors’ enables a mindset of supporting and guiding the learning journey. Children have so many creative ideas and an innate curiosity that should be harnessed and not overlooked. The benefit of the change in designation means children will be allowed to explore learning in a meaningful and tangible way, and that mentors understand their roles in the process. EDUAE: What were your initial thoughts when you were approached to become Head of Primary – did it seem like a completely different
Admissions Open for September 2022-2023 CITIZENS SCHOOL +971 4 458 1063
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A NEW EDUCATIONAL VISION AT CITIZENS SCHOOL AN EXCITING AND INNOVATIVE NEW SCHOOL IS SET TO WELCOME ITS FIRST STUDENTS IN SEPTEMBER … AND IT IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST ‘ANOTHER’ EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION.
NEW SCHOOL OPENING SEPTEMBER 22 FOR FS1 - YEAR 6
Excellence in Schools
t Citizens School, they believe that it’s important to reset education and learning to meet 21st-century needs, preparing students for jobs that haven’t yet been created and teaching them to become entrepreneurs. As Sir Ken Robinson said, “The educational system today is archaic, it is cohort based and emerged in the time of the Victorian Industrial Revolution and was designed to cater for that time in history not today’s social reality.” That is why Citizens School has been designed with a fresh and unique perspective; one that is suited to the individual needs of each child, giving them the freedom to
explore themes, widen their interests, and choose the paths that will allow them to attain their full potential. A visionary school at the heart of a new education hub that encompasses a teacher training foundation, wellbeing centre and a EYFS to Key Stage 5 school, all conceived, designed and developed in the UAE by Al Zarooni Emirates Investments, Citizens School is set to do things a little differently. This means getting away from ‘an educational system built on the idea that everybody’s mind works in a similar way and the objective is to retain information and use it. There are, for instance, no ‘teachers,’ only ‘mentors.’ The reasoning is straightforward: a teacher’s job,
traditionally, is to impart knowledge through teaching and explanation in formal subject classes. However, at Citizens, they realise that the days of learning from a single source are long gone. Nowadays, children have instant access to knowledge. Therefore, Citizens School teachers will be fittingly referred to as ‘mentors,’ because, in addition to providing instruction and sharing knowledge, they focus on putting that knowledge into practice, nurturing creativity, and fostering personal development to motivate students to improve their abilities. In the same way, students are to be referred to as ‘learners’. This approach gives learners significantly more options in the classroom, affording
Around 60% of future jobs haven’t been developed yet. 40% of nursery-age children in schools today will need to be selfemployed to have any form of income (Source: WEF Future of Jobs Report)
them greater flexibility and autonomy and, as a result, more engaged learning. Citizens School understands, too, that to be genuinely effective, choice must be embedded in the curriculum from the start. Giving children choices from an early age can help them develop a sense of belonging, independence, and ownership over their education - the classroom becomes their domain.
thinking, and cutting-edge research, and is dedicated to providing a fuller and more gratifying experience for the younger generation. It will be a wide-ranging sort of education that caters to learners with various learning styles and interests. Citizens School’s main goal is to provide a more participatory, modern, and interesting learning experience for young people.
THE POWER OF CHOICE Citizens School will re-structure and re-imagine the standard approach to education, with students being encouraged to explore their passions, interests and curiosities, in an environment of teamwork, inclusivity and mutual respect. The school believes in the power of choice, innovative
Equipping children with a rich, connected bank of knowledge and skills relevant to the 21st-century, Citizens School has partnered with Blenheim Schools, part of the Chatsworth Schools group – one of the leading school groups in the UK – to provide an experience-based, inclusive curriculum bespoke to each child’s strengths and
approach to learning. The curriculum, called the Citizens’ Tapestry, will be unique to Citizens School pupils. Using the UK National Curriculum as its standard, the Citizens’ Tapestry is a first-of-its-kind, custom-built curriculum that builds upon the blueprint with six key threads – Mindset; Entrepreneur; Health & Wellbeing; Sustainable Leadership; Global; and Digital Literacy – forming the pattern of its comprehensive, holistic, inclusive, and fun education system. The engaging and demanding curriculum will successfully educate and create aspirational, confident, resilient young people who will give back to their community and make major contributions to the future success of the world at large.
Excellence in Schools
arts and activity hall; six-lane semienclosed swimming pool and learning pool, football and rugby pitches adhering to FIFA and World Rugby standards; as well as a dedicated dining area for primary school students.
The curriculum has been co-developed and influenced by some of the world’s leading researchers on education, motivation and mindsets, as well as cognitive scientists, including Dr Carol Dweck, Matthew Syed, John Hattie, Guy Claxton, and Graham Powell. AN OUTSTANDING TRACK RECORD Having an extraordinary school leadership team is important because education in the 21st -century is a new frontier, and its learners are a new breed. That is why Citizens School has sought to attract the very best people; something it has achieved with considerable aplomb. Dr Adil Alzarooni, Hisham Hodroge, Ciaran Cunningham-Watson, and Kephren Sherry are all visionaries with vast experience, and approach their work with curiosity, persistence, resilience, flexibility and determination, helping to create a culture that encourages learners to do the same. Dr Adil Alzarooni, Founder of Citizens School, explained: “At Citizens School, we are striving to empower our students to craft their own futures by celebrating and nurturing what makes them unique and providing them with choices alongside the right set of life skills to thrive in the communities of tomorrow. We believe in learning rather than educating because learning is a lifelong pursuit that creates limitless possibilities. As a school born out of Dubai and based in the heart of the city, we share its innate spirit, energy, and optimism for what is possible today and tomorrow, as we play our part in positioning Dubai as a global hub of learning excellence in a diversified knowledge economy.”
Hisham Hodroge, CEO of Citizens School, added: “Dubai is a catalyst for innovation and from Dubai, we aim to disrupt the way education is provided in the region by capitalising on a unique offering that centres on the child. Through engagement with our partners, regulators and key stakeholders, we aim to achieve an ambitious school for the benefit of our future generations.” “Blenheim Schools is delighted to be partnering with Al Zarooni Emirates Investments to support the launch of the groundbreaking Citizens Education Hub project. The Blenheim Schools team has a proven track record of outstanding educational leadership with real integrity, a passion for schools as learning communities and a commitment to excellence. Citizens School will nurture and promote the learning and welfare of all students and enable outstanding futures for the children of today and tomorrow,” Anita Gleave, Founder and CEO of Blenheim Schools, concluded. UNRIVALLED FACILITIES The Citizens’ 43,000m2 school campus, programme and approach have been thoughtfully curated to re-shape learning, enabling students to thrive as citizens of the future, by focusing on wellbeing, imagination and enabling outstanding outcomes for everyone. The groundbreaking Citizens School site is double the size of other schools in the same catchment area, with a capacity for 2,600 children between ages 3-18; a 2,900m2 open playing and recreation area; ample parking; a 1,250m2 multi-purpose performing
PAYING WITH CRYPTOCURRENCY Underlining its visionary nature, Citizens School has announced that it will accept cryptocurrency as a mode of payment, making it the first of its kind in the Middle East to let parents pay tuition fees using digital currency. It will accept payments from the two major cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), providing parents with flexible payment options. This is in addition to traditional forms of payments and interest-free monthly payment options that Citizens School will offer. Payments using cryptocurrencies are accepted through a tie-up with a digital currency platform that processes cryptocurrency payments and automatically converts them to dirhams. Hisham Hodroge commented: “Introducing the ability to pay tuition fees through cryptocurrencies goes beyond just providing another payment option. It is aimed at creating an interest in growing trends and breakthrough technologies that will have a profound effect on the lives of young generations. It is also a means to further drive interest in the applications of blockchain – a technology that Citizens School intends to deploy, in time, across several aspects of its academic and administrative operations.” 8BILLIONIDEAS Citizens School has also announced that it will be joining forces with leading global education platform 8billionideas to build a unique programme centred around developing the entrepreneurial skillset for children, providing them with the opportunity to create and develop new ideas. Students will get to work on an invention every week, have access to an entrepreneurial mentor, experience world-class lessons and experiences in the field, as well as take advantage of a Citizens Ventures funding programme. Children will be able to share their learning among a close-knit community, giving them real-time insight on future
ways of working and equipping them with the necessary skill sets to emerge successful in their adult lives. Having announced the launch of cryptocurrency as an accepted payment option at Citizens School,
this latest development is an example of how Citizens School is committed to reimagining education and helping to position Dubai as a global hub of learning excellence in a diversified knowledge economy.
Only 55% of students attending school feel prepared to enter the real world (Source: AACU)
There are four events planned with 8billionideas over the next few months, each with three sessions (11.00 am to 12.30 pm, 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm, and 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm): 1. Public Speaking Demystified (21 May), where participants can learn the fundamentals of communication, pitching and public speaking. Learners will sink their teeth into an hour and an hour workshop in which they will practice their public speaking skills and learn the importance of sharing ideas. 1. Lightbulb Moments: Coming Up with Business Ideas (18 June), allowing learners to understand the power of coming up with amazing business ideas. In this session, learners will create a variety of business ideas across many industries. 1. Brand a City (2 July), during which students will put their thinking caps on and try to innovate on Dubai’s tourism industry sustainably.
Underlining its visionary nature, Citizens School has announced that it will accept cryptocurrency as a mode of payment
1. Your Future Dream Job (20 August), where learners get to understand their personality power and how combining their skills and passion can help them to come up with not just a single future dream job, but a variety of dream jobs they might want to pursue in the future. Citizens School will continue to develop unique partnerships, accreditations and collaborations with sector leading organisations to position Dubai as a global hub of learning excellence. This is a school whose time has come, and it will revolutionise the lives of all of the learners that are lucky enough to call it ‘home’.
CITIZENS SCHOOL +971 04 458 1063 +971 50 237 7273
Admissions Open for September 2022 from FS1 to Year 6. Email: email@example.com to arrange a school visit.
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Excellence in Schools
CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR BREAKFAST I SUSPECT MY BACKGROUND IN TEACHING IS A VERY COMMON ONE. I MOVED FROM TEACHER THROUGH A SERIES OF MIDDLE AND SENIOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS UNTIL I WAS A DEPUTY HEAD. AS A RESULT, WHEN I FIRST BECAME A SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, I FOCUSED ON WHAT I KNEW; NAMELY THE PROCESSES AND STRATEGIES WHICH I’D SEEN TO BE EFFECTIVE. THIS INCLUDED A FOCUS ON TEACHING AND LEARNING, PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES, QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCEDURES AS WELL AS ASSESSMENT ROUTINES AND SO FORTH. BUT LOOKING BACK IT IS NOW CLEAR THAT, WHILST THESE WERE INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL, TO A LARGE EXTENT THEY WERE ALL INDIVIDUAL STRATEGIES AND INSTRUMENTS, RATHER THAN AN HOLISTIC APPROACH.
uring that first term, with new learning protocols in place and staff offering both on site and remote learning, the focus became staff wellbeing. Teachers across the world were being asked to teach in a totally new way, using unfamiliar technology, yet being asked to perform at previous levels of success. As a school we recognised that if this was going to be sustainable (and there was significant doubt about this) we needed to ensure staff were properly supported in this new context. Very rapidly, this focus extended to looking at the culture of the school. As well as putting well-being strategies in place we wanted to identify how the school could be led from an holistic perspective. Over the last 18 months this has become an increasing topic of fascination. There is significant writing on the impact of organisational culture within a school and, whilst there is inevitable disagreement about many aspects of this, that this is a powerful force for school improvement is rarely challenged.
Simon O’Connor, MA NPQH, the Director at Deira International School and Director of COBIS- addresses why school culture eats strategy for breakfast.
The concept of organisational culture is a familiar one in the corporate world and many will know the observation of Peter Drucker that ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’. Furthermore, one of the key authors on organisational culture, Edgar Schein, wrote ‘the only thing of real importance that leaders need to do is to create and manage culture. If you do not manage culture, it manages you
The unique talent of leaders is their ability to understand and work with culture; and that it is an act of leadership to destroy culture when it is viewed as dysfunctional’. Toby Greany and Peter Earley even went as far as warning: ‘To neglect a considered and structured response to culture is perilous to the point of being foolhardy’. In a school context, with the enormous array of responsibilities within the headteacher’s job description, it would seem
something of a challenging statement that their only real responsibility is to manage the culture of the school. Organisations such as Credit Suisse and HSBC have worked to construct cultural models against which all actions can be judged. However, this is far less common or known in an education sector which has traditionally rejected such initiatives for exactly the reason of being ‘too corporate’. However, as I hope to show, this is an approach which can fundamentally impact the leadership of a school.
To accept this, there needs to be an understanding of what is meant by the term culture. Again, previous authors provide a number of answers. ‘Culture is the values, norms, beliefs and customs that an individual holds in common with members of their group’. Or that ‘Culture is to the organisation what personality is to the individual – a hidden yet unifying theme that provides meaning, direction and mobilization.’ Certainly, one of the challenges of dealing with organisational culture is that it is difficult to precisely measure, but when one considers it in terms of both values and personality, I believe its potential power becomes clearer. Culture is also recognised to exist in an organisation at various levels. Edward Hall referenced this as a Cultural Iceberg. At its most obvious and visible, culture manifests in the behaviours and practices that exist across an organisation. Within a school context this can be the more obvious elements such as school events, policies, calendar of events but also lies in the less formal practices. For example, it could be in the way in which members of the SLT interact with staff. Are they visible around the school? Do they have open door policies in terms of meeting with staff, students and parents? How transparent are the school policies? But beneath this lie the less visible, less tangible elements which underpin the observable behaviours. This could include the vision and mission statements of the school. It also includes the assumptions upon which these statements have been made. For example, does the school value inclusion,
equity and diversity? Is the school selective or non-selective? Does the school exist as a for profit organization or not for profit? These values, and the extent to which they are prioritised, will inevitably impact the behaviours which go to make the culture visible to others. In addition, if an organisation’s culture is to be managed and effectively embedded, then these elements must be identified and considered if to be successful. Drucker’s suggestion is that management of organisational culture is more impactful that any strategic interventions. This has certainly been our experience over the last two years. Simon Sinek, the bestselling author of ‘Start with Why’, ‘Leaders Eat Last’, ‘Together is Better’ and ‘The Infinite Game’, has helped and inspired organisations worldwide to reach new heights. In the second article in this series I will outline Sinek’s perspectives and explain how they are equally appropriate, and impactful, for the leadership of a school culture.
Excellence in Schools
“BEING A HEAD MASTER IS THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD” – AN INTERVIEW WITH SIMON CRANE, HEAD MASTER OF BRIGHTON COLLEGE DUBAI.
Simon Crane has a wealth of educational best practice through his eight years working alongside Brighton College in the UK, and his role as a highly regarded, qualified team inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate.
THERE IS A PALPABLE SENSE OF COMMUNITY AT BRIGHTON COLLEGE DUBAI, WITH VISITORS REGULARLY COMMENTING ON THE WARM AND HAPPY ATMOSPHERE. THIS SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE, FOR THIS IS A SCHOOL THAT FOCUSES ON KINDNESS AND RESPECT, THE THINGS THAT MATTER MOST IN ANY ENVIRONMENT. TO FIND OUT MORE, EDUCATION UAE SPOKE TO HEAD MASTER SIMON CRANE ABOUT HIS COMMITMENT TO ENSURING THAT EVERY PUPIL RECEIVES AN EDUCATION THAT VALUES PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND INDIVIDUAL WORTH WITHIN A COMPASSIONATE MULTI-CULTURAL COMMUNITY.
EDUAE: As Head Master of Brighton College Dubai, what do you view as your most important contribution to the daily operations of your school? Simon: I have a presence in all aspects of the school, such as seeing the parents at drop-off and pick-up, talking to the children during break-time and lunchtime, and checking in with colleagues, which is really essential for a good school. That then sets the tone for high standards of learning; for open, honest communication, and support for the whole community. EDUAE: How would you describe your leadership style? Simon: Leadership must be flexible. My default position is one that is open, calm, enthusiastic, approachable, but certain situations require a very different type of leadership, and sometimes you have to make difficult decisions and be dictatorial where necessary, and therefore I would describe my leadership style as being flexible
EDUAE: Do you think you can learn leadership or are you born with it? Simon: It’s a combination of both. I very much believe there is a leader in everybody, and that then can be harnessed through life experiences, upbringing and education. EDUAE: What/who inspired you to join the world of education? Simon: Being a Head Master is the best job in the world! You get to wear so many different hats, including working with young people and making a difference in society. My love of the job stems from my own experience of school, where I was inspired by good teaching, good teachers and good leaders, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. My mother was a teacher and my sister is a teacher, so I come from a family of educationalists, and saw the benefits of working in an environment where every day is different, where you are working with enthusiastic young people that have so many new ideas – it’s absolutely fascinating!
EDUAE: You clearly love your work, but how do you ensure that your teachers are motivated and happy? Simon: You need to develop an ethos where everyone is supported at all levels. So well-being is really important. I’ve introduced, for instance, an email curfew where we don’t allow any emails after 6.00 pm or before 6.00 am to ensure there is a sensible work/life balance. We keep our teachers hungry by offering lots of continuous professional development to make sure that education tomorrow is better than today. Education should never stand still so we make sure we feed our teachers with the latest and greatest information, ideas and practices. Also, I’m a great fan of internal promotion and harnessing talent and we have the opportunity to do that being part of the Brighton College family of schools.
One of our core values is a culture of kindness, along with curiosity and confidence
Excellence in Schools
EDUAE: What role do you feel assessment has in raising achievement in schools? Simon: We should never fear assessment because ultimately assessment in any form is a part of our society and our world, whether going for a job interview or when you assess a purchase in a shop or online. So I don’t think we should ever fear it; in fact, we should embrace and see it as an opportunity to showcase one’s talents and abilities. Ultimately, we all learn when we fail, so assessment is not a problem. I would certainly say that forms of assessment should be reviewed in the future and modernised. I believe we’re heading for a time when the traditional exam is historic, and we should embrace a modern way of looking at assessment where we have information at our fingertips. In the corporate world, you have that tool of the Internet available, so why not allow Internet usage in examinations? EDUAE: Do you think in the future that exams will die away in favour of assessing the whole year’s work? Simon: That would be a very sensible step forward. I believe there will be more combinations of assessments rather than relying on a final two-hour exam, so you can continuously assess young people and make sure their journey is on the correct trajectory at all times. EDUAE: What do you do to make sure that pupils have high expectations of their work and themselves? Simon: I say quite often to all of our stakeholders – parents, staff and pupils – that I make no apologies for setting the very highest standards. It starts with the basics, such as how we dress, making sure we look smart, have the correct materials and equipment. We ensure that we have a traditional set of good manners too.
Once you get the foundations right that really makes a difference for how pupils will have high expectations of themselves and each other.
EDUAE: One of the things parents always bring up is the bullying issue – what is your approach to student discipline?
Creating that love of learning also makes a difference, encouraging everyone to succeed.
Simon: One of our core values is a culture of kindness, along with curiosity and confidence, so we ensure we see those values at all levels. That goes a long way to allaying parental fears of bullying, which is rare, if ever, at Brighton College Dubai, and that’s also down to a fair and consistent rewards and sanctions policy that is communicated regularly to all our stakeholders and is displayed in an around the College.
EDUAE: How do you create that love of learning? Simon: We have to recruit first-class teachers who are inspirational, highly qualified, experienced and can act as very positive role models to engage our young people in their learning – that is what makes the difference. EDUAE: How important is it to be a risk-taker as a Head Master? Are you a risk-taker by nature? Simon: I’m from a sporting background; I played competitive sport at quite a high level in the UK and was also a PE teacher. I could use any number of sporting analogies, but undoubtedly to be a winner you have to take certain risks, but I think those risks need to be calculated, well thought out and evaluated. EDUAE: What do you see as your greatest accomplishment in education to date? Simon: More recently, I’m delighted with the growth of pupil numbers and high parental satisfaction rates at Brighton College Dubai, as we’ve established ourselves as a competitive school in what is an incredibly competitive city. I’m very proud of what we’ve done to date, and also very proud of our wonderful examination achievements when I was at Brighton College Abu Dhabi, where we got the highest A-level results in the city.
EDUAE: You mentioned the school culture – what would you say that is and how have you developed it? Simon: Brighton College Dubai is a friendly, happy, dynamic school for pupils aged 3-18; we develop a lifelong love of learning and treat every child as an individual, and that then embraces those values of curiosity, confidence and kindness. EDUAE: Finally, you obviously enjoyed your schooldays, as you mentioned earlier, but were there any teachers that particularly inspired you? Simon: Yes, I always remember my PE teacher when I was in senior school, who said to me when I was running a cross-country race in the middle of February in the snow, thinking this is horrendous and saying to my PE teacher, “I can’t carry on.” She turned round to me and said, “There’s no such word as can’t,” and I always remember that moment and I think that instilled a natural sense of resilience into me, which I carried forward into my university life and my career.
BRIGHTON COLLEGE DUBAI +971 4 387 1111
To find out more please contact the Admissions department by calling 800 274448 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a visit.
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Excellence in Schools
THE ENGLISH COLLEGE, DUBAI: EMPOWERING STUDENTS TO BECOME SCHOLARS A SMALL COMMUNITY SCHOOL WITH A PROUD AND LONG HISTORY IN DUBAI, THE ENGLISH COLLEGE PRIMARY SCHOOL OFFERS SMALL CLASS SIZES, A RIGOROUS AND INNOVATIVE CURRICULUM, AND A PERSONAL TOUCH THAT MAKES EVERY STUDENT FEEL VALUED AND RESPECTED. David Wilcock With teaching and leadership experience in the UK, New Zealand and Dubai, David Wilcock took the position as Head of Primary at The English College in 2019.
“As a small school, we get to know the children and their families very well, ensuring we have a united approach to nurturing our young people academically and holistically,” explains David Wilcock, Head of Primary School (FS 1 to Year 6). “We hope every person entering The English College is made to feel a part of friendly, warm, learning environment that radiates ‘Excellence and Enjoyment’ – our school mantra!” This ‘Excellence’ is seen in personalised learning, targeted teaching and the constantly evolving curriculum, which is designed to meet the children’s needs. The ‘Enjoyment’ is seen in the quality of teacher-student relationships, the use of flexible learning environments – particularly the outdoors – and the variety of curricular and extracurricular experiences that are provided by the school every day.
“In essence, our curriculum reflects the children’s interests and passions,” David says. “Our inquiry-based approach allows for student exploration, creativity and the key skills of problemsolving and critical thinking. We are superbly resourced in all curriculum areas and teachers are specifically recruited for their ability to use resources creatively. Their unique talents and strengths are utilised to ensure our students have the very best educators in classrooms each day.” CREATING A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS The English College is genuinely close to parents and the wider community too, holding severalevents during the year, ranging from festive fairs to curriculum workshops and well-being sessions. An active parent council (ECPC) provides feedback, support and advice, and parent voice surveys
are utilised to gain valuable feedback. “We have several student progress meetings each year and parents are encouraged to make extra appointments whenever they need support with their child’s learning,” David says. Each Thursday morning in June, the Head of Primary, will be giving a short presentation, followed by a personal tour of FS and Primary facilities. These sessions start at 9.30 am and are limited in numbers. To book visit Englishcollegedubai.com/ campus-tour and choose one of the June 2022 Primary Presentation & Tour options.ERY STUDENT MATTERS,
Excellence and Enjoyment – our school mantra!
Excellence in Schools
EVERY MOMENT COUNTS When asked what he viewed as his most important contribution to the daily operations of the school, David replied: “Undoubtedly the connections each day with the parents and students. I am outside every day at drop off and pick up to welcome everyone, answer any questions, give reminders, provide reassurance, and just be there! Then I ensure I visit classrooms – this helps me stay in tune with our children’s learning and understand any day to day needs that I can support our teachers with.”
Indeed, as a school with an ‘Outstanding’ KHDA rating for pastoral care, The English College has repeatedly been recognised for its values, which permeate through everything from assemblies to PSHE programmes and onto nurture groups. Its specific curriculum ‘whole school’ themes are designed to allow the integration of soft skills throughout. Term 3 theme is connecting minds, creating the future in line with the EXPO theme.
This enlightened approach is at the heart of the school’s whole ethos, with people working together to achieve common goals. “Our vision of ‘Moving Forward Together’ is designed around our collective responsibility to develop every child and every adult to reach their full potential as part of The English College. I have a passion for coaching and developing people, and the key to this is developing a school climate that revolves around positive relationships.”
As a school with an ‘Outstanding’ KHDA rating for pastoral care, English College has repeatedly been recognised for its values
In essence, our curriculum reflects the children’s interests and passions
The English College prepares its students for secondary education in a completely holistic manner
THE FUTURE BEGINS HERE! This very personal, caring approach is supported by some pretty nifty technology too, as David explains: “We were fortunate pre-Covid that we made the decision to put digital platforms and a BYOD (bring your own device) system in place. This allowed us to provide an excellent distance learning experience, an experience we have now built on to develop a greater capacity to support a wide range of technology resources in school. These range from drones and robots to app and game development, with several teachers specifically employed to enhance this capacity for new technologies in the classroom.” The English College prepares its students for secondary education in a completely holistic manner, incorporating a progressive curriculum that runs fluidly between the key stages and a gradual transition programme, whereby Year 6 students are exposed to specialist secondary teaching in the secondary building in Terms 2 and 3. Year 6 also has increased access to secondary facilities, and opportunities to meet Year 7 form teachers regularly rather than on a single transition day. “We are one school and Primary and Secondary staff work closely together to ensure that student data and information move seamlessly between the key stages. This allows the immediacy of meeting the personal learning needs of each and every student,” David concludes.
For further information on The English College, Dubai visit: www.englishcollegedubai.com.
Excellence in Schools
REPTON: A PARTNERSHIP IN DISCOVERY WANT TO LEARN ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON IN EDUCATION TODAY – AND WHAT EDUCATION MIGHT LOOK LIKE TOMORROW? WE DID! SO, WE JOINED AN INFORMATIVE ROUNDTABLE HOSTED BY THE REPTON FAMILY OF SCHOOLS IN THE UAE
D avid Cook, Headmaster at Repton Dubai and Chief Education Officer for the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE
he future of education was very much on the agenda from the beginning, with David Cook, Headmaster at Repton Dubai and Chief Education Officer for the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE, focusing on eco-literacy and sustainability. “To help build awareness, good schools must ensure they take the ‘pupil voice’ and the ‘student council’ seriously,” David begins. “These councils have real opportunities to initiate and contribute to sustainability and conservation activities. Good schools do not allow these councils to pay just lip service. Good school councils are leading their schools and this is particularly true at Repton – this important topic of sustainability and conservation is a standing item at every school council meeting.”
We want to make sure we are at the cutting-edge and that our students and staff can use technology to build real-world learning
Gillian Hammond, Principal at Repton School Abu Dhabi, added: “At Repton Abu Dhabi, we now have hydroponics; we are growing our own fruit and vegetables at the front of the building. For parents and children, it’s created a great conversation about where our food comes from? What is our food footprint? And what are the things that we can do even just together as families when we visit the supermarket?”
Chandini Misra, Head of Senior School at Repton Al Barsha
There are many initiatives for Repton students to get involved with, including Junk Kouture Abu Dhabi 2022, which is a creative design competition for 13-18-year-olds in fashion and design with a key focus on recycling. So, lots of fun and creativity but with a key message on recycling. Not content to be left behind, some of the parent groups in Repton Abu Dhabi have initiated their own community eco-activities of cleaning up litter in the mangrove swamps. Furthermore, Repton has been approached by Dubai Municipality to support ‘Go Wild Dubai’, which is a sustainability art and short story competition, based on protecting the wild areas in Dubai. One example that stands out over the last year is the annual Digital Summit which, hosted by Repton Abu Dhabi, was open to students and teachers throughout the UAE. “The event invited UAE teachers and students from Year 5 and Year 6 to collaborate on environmental awareness initiatives,” says David. “It was part of a digital conference and students had a great deal of fun designing and then presenting conceptual computer games and applications on sustainable issues such as ocean pollution, litter on our beaches, and air pollution.”
Good school councils are leading their schools and this is particularly true at Repton
Excellence in Schools
DIGITAL LITERACY Gillian then continued speaking, as she discussed the implications and benefits of AI and new technology. “Digital literacy is critical in all schools,” she began. “At the Repton Family of Schools, we have two that are ‘Apple Distinguished’ schools. We’ve been reaccredited three times out of recognition of how we embed digital technology across all of the subject areas and all age groups. For example, in the Early Years, we have our STEAM gardens where students explore habitats and the weather; they also look at coding, but do it in a physical, practical way, even in PE lessons.
“We want to make sure we are at the cutting-edge and that our students and staff can use technology to build realworld learning.” So our children take part in earning a digital passport as they move through the ages, from three to 18, and our digital teams, our digital leaders, have helped us to create what we call our software workflow. This ensures that it gets increasingly technical as students get older, dictating that they receive more and more knowledge and skills as they move through their education journey with us.” Naturally, the schools have to take parents on this journey too, so that they can support their children.
A strong sense of community, ensuring that there is wraparound support for each student’s inspiration
Gillian Hammond, Principal at Repton School Abu Dhabi
“We provide lots of workshops and webinars for parents because children must be engaged in school in the same way as they are engaged with technology at home.” Chandini Misra, Head of Senior School at Repton Al Barsha, added: “The UAE is already a global centre of smart technology. Our students think it’s normal. It’s dinosaurs like me, who didn’t grow up with mobile phones, who are probably a bit scared about it; it’s actually keeping up with our young people!”
USING DATA TO FOSTER BETTER LEARNING Chandini proved that she was far from a dinosaur when she began talking about using data to foster better learning, explaining: “As a family of schools, we are data-rich. That’s not just the kind of formal data that we have on numeracy and literacy, but also the extensive amounts of data that we have on social and emotional development, and wellbeing. And it’s the triangulation of that data that’s very powerful when we think about the individual learning experiences for our students.” There has been a misconception in education that it was the teaching that
brought through the data, but that has now been completely turned on its head. “It is the data that should inform the teaching in the classroom and across the schools,” Chandini says. “When we do collect data, and we arm our teachers with that data, they’re often very excited to get it at the start of the year - the new classes in front of them are waiting to get their hands on this data to tailor the learning experiences for the students. We want to make sure that they have all of that. So we look at different ways to triangulate it. GL assessments are very powerful in this. But it’s also about educating the students and the parents about what that data means. “It all comes down to a really thorough understanding of the data that we have for our students and how we put that into practice in the classroom to ensure that each student is appropriately challenged.
The Dubai Student Wellbeing Census asks one fundamental question: what does it need for a human being to thrive? When students are in the struggle zone, the area where they may make mistakes, that’s fantastic because they’re learning and failure isn’t perceived as a negative thing because it allows them to move forward.” MENTAL HEALTH Good mental health is as important to a child’s safety and wellbeing as their physical health. It can impact all aspects of their life, including their educational attainment, relationships and physical wellbeing. “It’s true that, historically, we probably haven’t thought about promoting positive mental health the same way as positive physical health,” David says. “Now, though, schools are taking mental health very seriously; Dubai has even got the Dubai Student Wellbeing Census, which I now understand is going to be rolled out right across the Emirates.
“The Dubai Student Wellbeing Census asks one fundamental question: what does it means for a human being to thrive? What it needs is to look after your physical health, get enough sleep, eat some breakfast, have good friendship groups, have good hobbies, make sure you have an inner life, do challenging stuff that occasionally you’re going to get badly wrong. Schools have got to provide an environment where all those things happen.” Gillian agrees, adding: “I think something else that is important for wellbeing and good mental health is that people feel they’re contributing. With performances, sporting competitions, charity work in their communities, charity work abroad, I think it helps not only our students but the parents too, who’ve also gone through a very troubling and tough time of late. “We’re very privileged, and I think our young people recognise this. We have a lot of children who want to fundraise for different causes, and we always support them in their research to make sure that they know what is the best way to do that.” Finally, Gillian was asked if now that schooling is back in the classroom, has it had a positive effect on students’ mental health? “Yes, 100%. We’ve never heard so many children say they couldn’t wait to get back into school and that they missed school. Our children really wanted to see their peers and teachers in person. They missed the interaction. So yes, I think it’s had a huge impact on mental health.” REPTON AL BARSHA +971 4 818 8600 EMAIL REPTON AL BARSHA REPTON DUBAI 800 REPTON (737866) EMAIL REPTON DUBAI REPTON ABU DHABI +971 02 507 4888 EMAIL REPTON ABU DHABI
Excellence in Schools
BLOOM WORLD ACADEMY: DARING TO BE DIFFERENT A CREATIVE, FAMILY-FIRST IB CURRICULUM SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS AGED 3 TO 18 YEARS OLD, BLOOM WORLD ACADEMY WILL OPEN THE DOORS FOR PRE-KG TO GRADE 9 STUDENTS AT ITS STATE-OF-THE-ART CAMPUS IN AL BARSHA DUBAI IN AUGUST 2022. OFFERING A DYNAMIC, CREATIVE AND CONSTANTLY EVOLVING EDUCATION, THIS IS A SCHOOL THAT DARES TO BE DIFFERENT. IDEAS DON’T STAND STILL AND NEITHER DOES BLOOM WORLD ACADEMY.
NEW SCHOOL OPENING AUGUST 22
Excellence in Schools
where it is common for parents to drop their children off in the morning at a time to suit them. It seems to me that that is a civilised approach. Of course, we would be worried if a child was regularly dropped off at 7.00 am and picked up at 7.00 pm, but it does allow parents to customise the school day to suit their individual needs and requirements.”
“What we’re doing is taking different approaches to education and combining them to provide a holistic and unique style, and much of it is based on my own experience. I’ve been a Head since 1996 and have had the privilege to have seen and worked with a lot of schools and school groups; that’s where many of the ideas come from,” John begins. “We will, for instance, have a school start time of 9.00 am, which may not be revolutionary, particularly if you come from other parts of the world where this is the norm. What is revolutionary is that, although the official school day is 9.00 am to 4.00 pm, the school will be open from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm.
A PASSPORT TO SUCCESS Bloom World Academy is also launching a Learning Achievement Passport, which every child will have. It is designed to enhance both life and curriculum learning in a fun, engaging and quantifiable way. “This will be a summary of a student’s educational journey; their strengths and challenges will be recorded. We will stretch targets, hopefully stretching children to achieve a target above age-related expectations, which will be reviewed monthly with the student and parents,” John explains. “Often, assessments are a part of parents’ evenings, but we will broaden this out so that every teacher will see one or two parents every day for around 30 minutes on a rolling basis.”
e caught up with John Bell, the Founding Principal, and asked him about what makes the school stand out in a fiercely competitive sector, beginning with the school’s customised approach and how this education pathway will benefit students at Bloom World Academy?
John Bell, Bloom World Academy’s Founding Principal, talks about how they will be doing things differently, beginning with the school’s customised approach and how this education pathway will benefit students.”
“What this means is that if parents work in another part of town, for example, and they want to drop their children off early, they can do so. Similarly, if they are working late, there will be a variety of clubs – themed around well-being (arts and sports), for children to attend. At the bookends of the day, there will always be something for youngsters to do, including a homework club so that they don’t have to do it all at home. It’s all designed to take the pressure off the family and is an idea I have taken from my time working in Spain
The school realises that parents are paying not inconsiderable sums of money for their child’s education and they want to become involved. “There are many nooks and crannies and seating spots around the school; lovely environments where parents and teachers will meet. Learning Achievement Passport will build up to nine sessions a year and a summative document will be given to parents every term in the form of a dashboard of achievements, as well as an annual review.
This information will be utilised to the full, with Bloom World Academy having invested heavily in an analytics database, with an Information Services Manger whose job it is to digest all of the information and feed it back to teachers in a way they can use most effectively with each individual student and family. There is another aspect of customisation that the school has developed too, ‘stage not age’. How reassuring it is to begin to see a genuine dialogue beginning to push for us to understand that children learn differently, in their own way. “We’re talking about attributes as well as ability,” John says. “If your languages are at a certain level and you’re keen enough to push on, there are opportunities. A five-year-old and an eight-year-old might be in the same room doing the same work if their languages are at the same level. Another subject that lends itself to stage not age very easily is music. If you’re learning to play an instrument you’ll be given the opportunity to do that regularly.
You go to the Science Learning Zone to learn science, even the younger children, in fact all of junior school will do this. In the Language Zone, for instance, all of the languages will be there, such as Spanish, French and Arabic. The other aspect of the customised offer is Learning Zones. Students will move around the school to specific Learning Zones to become fully immersed in a learning experience. John explains: “You go to the Science Learning Zone to learn science, even the younger children, in fact all of junior school will do this. In the Language Zone, for instance, all of the languages will be there, such as Spanish, French and Arabic. “Those are the four big constructs, and the fifth and final customised element is not really customised at all, it’s a spiral curriculum of social and emotional skills development, with a major
aspect being empathy, being kind and understanding of other people’s feelings. So in a way, that’s not customised to the child, it’s customised to the school.” FORUM ROMANUM Bloom World Academy is also committed to having a valid and open students’ voice, which will be based on the Roman Forum, where people used to meet to listen and debate. “We’re going to have our own forum with raised seating on three sides,” John explains. “Every morning, children can sit wherever they like with whomever they like, and that’s where we will set the tone for the day.” A new school with an exciting new philosophy, but did John need to think twice when offered this opportunity? “Not really. I’ve been a director of schools and school groups for the past 10 plus years. I was Director of Education in England, Director of Education for Cognita, the worldwide schools’ group, and I was the Director of Learning for a school’s group in Dubai. So perhaps coming back into the classroom was my biggest fear – could I work effectively with parents – that closeness and intimacy again? But it’s the aspect I’ve enjoyed the most so far! Consequently, I didn’t have to think twice.” Finally, we asked John what his ultimate vision is for the school, and he didn’t have to think twice again, replying: “I want Bloom World Academy to be known for its quality rather than its quantity. I want it to be a school of its time for a generation of young people that are more socially sensitive and environmentally aware than in the past. They are creative, innovative and entrepreneurial and we really we want to provide the very best opportunities and education for them”. BLOOM WORLD ACADEMY +971 4 371 4774 VISIT WEBSITE
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THE ARBOR SCHOOL: UNIFORMS AS UNIQUE AS THE KIDS WHO WEAR THEM THE ARBOR SCHOOL, WITH A CONTEMPORARY ETHIC BASED ON COMPASSION AND RESPONSIBILITY, OFFERS YOUNG PEOPLE A TRANSFORMATIONAL LEARNING JOURNEY THAT COMBINES PROFOUND INTELLECTUAL THOUGHT WITH ENGAGING AND RELEVANT ACTIVITIES TO ENSURE STUDENTS LINK THEIR LEARNING TO REALWORLD CHALLENGES. THE SCHOOL’S DECISION TO SWITCH TO SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL UNIFORMS, FREE FROM HARMFUL CHEMICALS AND PRODUCED IN CERTIFIED WORKING CONDITIONS, IS TYPICAL OF ITS APPROACH TO EDUCATION, AND WE CAUGHT UP WITH PRINCIPAL BRETT GIRVEN IN KENYA, WHERE ARBOR’S ETHICAL STANCE IS ALSO HAVING A POSITIVE EFFECT ON KENYAN SCHOOLCHILDREN. EDUAE: How did you get on this path, where you combine education with your passion for the environment? Brett: I probably didn’t realise it as a kid, but I had lots of informative experiences. I grew up on the New Zealand coast, so there was a lot of nature and being in the water. Abundant wildlife was natural to me. But I think it was reading fiction that got me excited about being a marine biologist, so I went to university and studied marine biology, which morphed into zoology and then environmental science. What I liked about environmental science was the fact that the environment is important and that humans are a part of it; they are not separate things.
Brett Girven, Principal, The Arbor School
This led to teaching, which began in New Zealand, went to the UK for a bit, then back to New Zealand, and saw an opportunity in the Middle East and just followed my nose really and just rose through the ranks to Principal and I was working in Dubai, really happy at a high achieving school, and then the opportunity came when I was called to be told there was an eco-school in Dubai – it was like this amazing twist of fate that just came full circle.
I made a lot of personal choices too. I stopped eating meat a while back, for instance, just because I didn’t like what was on offer, and then went plant-based, fundamentally vegan, because of the sustainability issues. So I’d made some pretty significant life choices anyway. So, the opportunity to lead at Arbor was an unbelievable opportunity at that point. EDUAE: Explain how Arbor came about? Brett: Arbor was started with a vision to be a sustainable school, and there weren’t three years of development to get there. It is a school grounded in the English National Curriculum, but the whole sustainability thing was developed as we went along. We’re tweaking and adjusting, but I think we’ve made significant advancements over the past few years. EDUAE: The CEO is an interesting character isn’t he, because his beliefs are at the heart of the school? Brett: Our CEO, Dr Sa’ad Al-Omari, is a really intelligent, caring guy who has a background in palaeontology. He’s an animal lover, he’s inclusive, and he’s a businessman, so he cares
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as an educationalist about what we are delivering in the maths class, as well as how we are providing the welfare for the turtles in our pond and the business aspect. EDUAE: How does the Arbor School deliver on those principles and values? Brett: It all starts with careful recruitment. So we search very clearly for the attributes we want – they have to be great teachers first, but we’re also looking for teachers and a certain mindset. Some of the people who join us are green to the bone. Then there is the curriculum, which is much more than paint by number because you have a really good thought out framework that has been developing for about a thousand years. The ecoliteracy part is the hardest because it’s not just the ‘what’, it’s the ‘how’ and ‘why’, so we work hard to develop our eco-literacy principles, and that gives
Our Early Years make fantastic progress because our eco-principles are age-appropriate and are things that they are emotionally, cognitively able to connect with us a performance criteria. Now we’re looking at external experts to see how eco-literacy is affecting the kids. Are they really buying in or just paying lip service. And we’ve got people coming and asking us to be involved in that; two or three researchers at the moment are ready to come and look at what we are doing. EDUAE: What about practical examples of things in the school you’re done to deliver these principles? Brett: We’ve always thought of it as a kind of a triangle, where it’s more experiential, more practical, and more hands-on at the bottom end of the school, with the younger kids. As it goes up, it becomes more nuanced and
sophisticated because then you start talking about being good at science, good at maths, and good at English, and when you apply that mastery to a question you’re more equipped to answer it. So that triangle at the moment looks like what we call the curiosity approach. It’s leading through questions in the Early Years, defining thoughtfully and carefully the learning experience for children – it’s all learning through play, but you’ve got to think about the materials you use, the context, the ‘where’ as much as the ‘why’. Our Early Years make fantastic progress because our eco-principles are age-appropriate and are things that they are emotionally, and cognitively able to connect with.
What I liked about environmental science was the fact that the environment is important and that humans are a part of it; they are not separate things You don’t throw eco-systems at them; you talk about connections and things to do with nature. As you go up and the kids get older, things become more problem-based with students working in groups. It becomes more than just doing a project, it’s driven by a big question, perhaps historical or science-based, and we theme it with a green approach, and that works really well. EDUAE: What about the physical aspects of what you are doing? Brett: Even throughout Covid, we managed to get the little one out playing in nature, getting muddy, getting dirty, having a blast, and the community loved that. In Primary, they are in the biodomes and they’re planting food and interacting with animals and all those things that help them connect with nature; helping them to care about nature. The next step is how do you impact and make change? And that’s through curiosity, connection, passion and purpose. The aim is to sustain the child’s journey of curiosity so that they are still asking great questions as an 18-year-old. EDUAE: What is a biodome? Brett: There are six biodomes in all, including three large ones. The larger domes are themed ‘untouched nature’, ‘the relationship between nature and man’, and a ‘maker space’, where students can take the inspiration from the former two biodomes and create, experiment and innovate with state of the art resources, such as a bank of 3D printers. EDUAE: Tell me about some of the initiatives the school undertakes? Brett: A school can only handle so much change, so when we had our current uniform supplier contract coming to an end, we needed to look at whether we were going to renew, and then an opportunity came up. The reason we took that challenge on
more than anything else was our core mission. We try to take on one big initiative and year and uniforms were one of those, food has been another. What we wear can have a lot to say about who we are. It’s a powerful experience when we wear clothes that tell a story or make a statement. The school uniform brand, Kapes, is leading the way, offering schools, parents and children ethically made and sustainable school uniforms. They are made in their entirety from quality sustainable materials, including GOTs certified organic cotton, recycled polyester, regenerated nylon, and recycled ocean plastics,
The aim is to sustain the child’s journey of curiosity so that they are still asking great questions as an 18-year-old Kapes came with that idea and there’s a real story to be told. It becomes something you become interested in through storytelling and other elements such as carbon offsetting – it has a virtuous cycle that we can get behind. And, of course, the fact for every school uniform purchased by Arbor, another is donated free of charge to a child in Kenya is a huge thing – it kind of squares the circle. EDUAE: There will be more opportunities like this going forwards? Brett: Yes, and like all of these opportunities they are slow burners. And there are opportunities to leverage off Kapes as a project-based learning experience because the children can see it as a working example of business for good. They can see how things connect and how an ecosystem is resilient in its links. Also, through Kapes, we’ve found other partners. We have new sports teams developing, for example,
so we’re going to need all sorts of kits, and then there are things like aprons for when kids are outside getting mucky. The other thing to think about is organic better than local? Because we’re bringing all the stuff in we’ve got carbon miles occurring, so is it better to have it organic, grown in India, or is it better to have it sourced locally but not organic. We haven’t come to a conclusion on that, that’s the journey. But all ecology is a trade-off – you cannot maximise everything, and that is vital to understand. You cannot maximise profit and maximise purpose. So you have to accept that you’re going to optimise. And it won’t be constant, but if we can agree as a network that we’re optimising not maximising, it’s a win-win. EDUAE: Finally, is there any message you would like to give to parents? Brett: I think if there’s a message to parents, it would be that I want you to join us for the right reasons, as much as I want us to be the right school for you. We’re not a biodome school, nor are we a green school, we are a purpose-driven school and our purpose is sustainability. So come with that mindset. Your child might not be in a biodome every day, but they will have a transformative learning experience. So if you’re interested in that, visit our social media pages to find out what we’re doing and then book a tour.
And, of course, the fact for every school uniform purchased by Arbor, another is donated free of charge to a child in Kenya is a huge thing – it kind of squares the circle THE ARBOR SCHOOL +971 4 581 4100
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RENOWNED PROFESSORS CHOOSE THE ARBOR SCHOOL TO CONDUCT CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH
The Arbor School has welcomed Professor Geoffrey Beattie and Dr Laura McGuire, professors from the UK-based Edge Hill University, who chose The Arbor School over other top ecological schools due to its commitment to delivering a curriculum focused on sustainability and eco-literacy. During their visit, Professor Beattie and Dr McGuire will conduct innovative and significant cross-cultural research on sustainability and will present the psychology of climate change in a special presentation. A large group of parents, who themselves said they were stepping up and taking steps to change environmental behaviours, were present at a presentation by the professors. Professor Beattie is an internationally acclaimed psychologist, author and broadcaster. He is a Professor of Psychology at Edge Hill University and, in recent years, a Master’s supervisor in the Sustainability Leadership Programme at the University of Cambridge. Dr Laura McGuire works as a lecturer in the Department of Psychology. She currently sits on the steering group committee for the new UN Interdisciplinary and Intergovernmental Panel of Behaviour Change for Sustainable Development (IPBC) and for the first report for this committee she
will be leading the chapter ‘Education for Sustainable Development’. The professors conducted an implicit-association test (IAT) which is a state-of-the-art event that has never been conducted before and will place the Arbor Year 6 to Year 9 pupils at the forefront of science. The results will eventually be compared to ten primary schools in the UK. Brett Girven, Principal at The Arbor School, said: “Professor Beatty and Dr Maguire have brought a level of academic expertise that we could only dream to achieve in a school setting. It is an incredibly exciting opportunity to uncover the implicit attitudes of our children towards pro-environmental behaviours, as opposed to the usual
surface-level self-reported attitudes. I am incredibly optimistic that this will help us to gain a measure of our impact as a school, and to continue to improve what we do here at Arbor.”
During their visit, Professor Beattie and Dr McGuire will conduct innovative and significant crosscultural research on sustainability and will present the psychology of climate change in a special presentation
THE ARBOR SCHOOL +971 4 581 4100
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Discover ‘What Kids Are Reading’ in over 13 countries
This annual report from Renaissance combines data from Star Reading, myON and Accelerated Reader with insights from the National Literacy Trust to provide a comprehensive overview of the books read and enjoyed by students of all ages and abilities during the 2021-22 academic year Download the report for FREE: intl.renaissance.com/what-kids-are-reading-report-2022
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MANAGING THE STRESS OF EXAMINATIONS STUDENTS WORK AND STUDY HARD ALL YEAR, AND EXAMINATIONS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW THEIR SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE. WHILE A LITTLE EXAM STRESS AND NERVOUSNESS ARE CONSIDERED NORMAL AND CAN EVEN HELP TO SHARPEN A STUDENT’S MIND OR FOCUS THEIR ATTENTION, TOO MUCH ANXIETY CAN PREVENT THIS. SO, HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT YOUR CHILD THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT TIME?
Amena Saleem joined Nibras International School as the School Counselor, in 2020. She brings over 14 years of experience from Kuwait and Dubai, where she has worked in Educational Psychology and Organisational Psychology. During her tenure, Amena has overseen and conducted over 3000+ psychometric assessments, provided training, counselling and consultations to enterprises, across the Middle East and North African region.
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Ms Amena Saleem, the student counsellor at Nibras International School Dubai, has some helpful advice and tips for parents on overcoming exam stress and protecting the well-being of their children. It is natural for students to experience exam anxiety. This may be a slow gradual buildup of concerns, alternatively, it may a feeling of fear and panic before and during the exam or assessment.
In many cases, a student diagnosed with a learning disability is entitled to assistance with test-taking
THIS CONCERN CAN BE CATEGORISED IN TWO WAYS: Low Anxiety, is when the student feels nervous but can focus their attention on their studies. High Anxiety, is when the student feels extremely fearful of the exam situation and may avoid it by not showing up for the exam. Either way, here are some strategies that may help reduce student test anxiety.
1. ESTABLISH A CONSISTENT PRETEST ROUTINE Although it may be easier to have students study continuously for an exam and cram during examination week, we need to be mindful that effective study schedules do not deviate too much from a regular “pre-existing” study schedule. Ensure that your child gets time to move after every 45 minutes of study time and that they exercise during the day or go for a walk. Proper sleep and healthy eating will also help them to stay focused while revising and during examination week.
2. TIME MANAGEMENT Students must keep track of time during their examinations. It is recommended that students read the questions through twice to assess what is being asked before they begin to answer. Then plan how they will use their time. This will help them to attempt all questions and allow them sufficient time to revise their answers before the exam ends. 3. TEST-TAKING STRATEGIES Many examinations begin with multiple choices then progress on to short answers and finish with long answer questions. It is recommended that students remain aware of the points that will be awarded in each section so they can plan how to use their time effectively. If a question is multiple choice, and a student really doesn’t know the answer, they should guess on an option rather than leaving it blank. Who knows they may get it correct? 4. STUDY EARLY AND REVISE It is always recommended to study over time, rather than cramming studying in all at once. Students should prepare for examinations one or two weeks before the exam dates, this will ensure they have sufficient study and revision time. Always break down big chunks of text material into smaller texts. Should your child be a visual learner, they should try drawing out what they understand from their notes. These notes could be written on cue cards or posters and whiteboards to display around their room. This will help with revision later. 5. TALK TO THE TEACHER Make sure your child understands what content is being covered in each test and that they know how to prepare accordingly. In addition, encourage them to speak to their teachers before an exam, and let them know that they feel anxious about a specific subject or study material. A few words of reassurance from the teacher or suggestions of strategies may help your child overcome his/her anxiety.
6. LEARN RELAXATION TECHNIQUES To help your child stay calm and confident right before and during an exam, encourage them to try different relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, relaxing their muscles one at a time, or closing their eyes and imagining a positive outcome. Breathing exercises may help calm your child’s nerves and increase focus and concentration. 7. DON’T FORGET TO EAT AND DRINK A brain needs fuel to function. Your child should try to eat and drink plenty of water on the day of their exams. Ask them to try to avoid sugary drinks or sweets, which can cause their blood sugar to peak and then drop. They should probably stay away from caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks or coffee, as they may elevate or increase anxiety.
It is natural for students to experience exam anxiety
8. GET SOME EXERCISE For many students, regular aerobic exercise even exercising on exam day, can help release tension. Exercise helps to oxygenate the brain, and release tension, this may help your child to feel calmer, be mentally relaxed and study more efficiently.
to assistance with test-taking, such as extra time to complete a test, testing in a less distracting room, or having questions read aloud. If you think your child may have an additional need, make an appointment to speak to your child’s teacher as soon as possible.
9. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP Sleep is directly related to academic performance. Students need to get the necessary sleep for optimal work performance. Sleeping helps your brain both process and retain information, and inconsistent amounts of sleep may hurt student examination scores. Keep sleep patterns regular. It is important for students to avoid staying up all night studying.
11. SEE A PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR Talk therapy (psychotherapy) with a counsellor or other mental health professionals can help students work through feelings, thoughts, and behaviours that cause or worsen anxiety.
10. DON’T IGNORE A LEARNING DISABILITY Test anxiety may improve by addressing an underlying condition that interferes with the ability to learn, focus or concentrate — for example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or dyslexia. In many cases, a student diagnosed with a learning disability is entitled
Finally, make sure your child knows that you will be proud of them for trying their hardest, whatever the grade.
NIBRAS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL +971 4 885 3330
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ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN GRENADA APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR OF TRANSNATIONAL EDUCATION St. George’s University (SGU), Grenada, has appointed Jade Pearson as the Director of Transnational Education (TNE). TNE encompasses a broad spectrum of collaborations between universities, ranging from exchange programmes for staff and students, to study abroad opportunities, through to pathways or dual degrees.
To expand SGU’s efforts of recruiting international students and enhance its global presence as a school of medicine, Jade Pearson’s higher education experience is a perfect match to the School of Medicine’s goals to further expand its collaboration efforts with universities around the world.
SGU’s use of TNE is not limited to student mobility, but also extends to faculty exchange and programme development
NYU ABU DHABI LAUNCHES FOUR NEW RESEARCH CENTRES NYU Abu Dhabi Research Institute has announced the establishment of four new research centres – the Arabian Centre for Climate and Environmental Sciences (ACCESS), the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), the Centre for Smart Engineering Materials (CSEM), and the Centre for Quantum and Topological Systems – which will support global efforts to provide solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. Provost of NYU Abu Dhabi Arlie Peters commented: “As a global liberal arts and research university in and of Abu Dhabi,
the drive to address global challenges serves as the guiding force in our mission to be a hub of development, innovation, engagement, and positive change for the UAE, the region, and the world. We follow a multidisciplinary approach to the discovery of new knowledge, and the establishment of four new research centres is a meaningful addition to our existing efforts to contribute to the development of a diversified knowledge economy and society in Abu Dhabi, help to advance NYU’s global mission, and carve a new model for higher education for the betterment of humanity.”
Areas of research include climate and the environment
DUBAI COLLEGE STUDENT GETS ACCEPTED INTO 23 UNIVERSITIES A Dubai College science student, who recently survived a life-threatening kidney transplant, has received acceptance offers from 23 prestigious universities in the UK and US. A young researcher and author, 17-year-old Pritvik Sinhadc is now going to choose between his three top picks, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Stanford, and Princeton, commenting: “I applied
to all these universities because my parents were unsure where I’d get in.” He goes on to explain: “Caltech has always been my dream school, as it is a STEM research hub. However, I never expected to get in as it’s extremely selective and admits only around 25 to 50 international students. Most of my family members and friends told me that it would be a waste of time if I applied to Caltech. However, I applied and got in!”
ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY, GRENADA, ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FROM ASPIRING MEDICAL STUDENTS St. George’s University, Grenada, in association with the Ramaiah Group of Institutions, Bengaluru, has announced it is accepting applications for entry to its September 2022 class from prospective medical students. SGU, in association with Ramaiah, offers a Five-Year Medical Degree Pathway where students can complete their first year of the pathway in India, the second year either at Northumbria University in the UK, or at SGU’s True
Blue campus in Grenada, the third year in Grenada, and the last two years doing their clinical rotations either in the US or in the UK. This gives students a chance to begin their journey into the professional medical field in a familiar environment and build strong and lasting relationships with other students before moving abroad together for their second year.
This is a great opportunity and pathway for students who aspire to become a doctor in the US or UK STUDENTS TO BENEFIT FROM BIOTECHNOLOGY INTERNSHIPS
BITS PILANI DUBAI CAMPUS OPENS ADMISSIONS FOR ENGINEERING ASPIRANTS AED 7 million worth of scholarships covering 75% of fees
BITS Pilani Dubai Campus (BPDC) is offering an exclusive internship programme for high school students that will place interns in a meaningful training experience in diverse areas of biotechnology. The on-campus internship programme will spread over five working days during the summer break (22-26 August 2022) with the fee being completely waived for the interns. Students from grades 11 and 12 will be shortlisted for the internship based on their academic merit, including class scores, their research interest in biotechnology, and recommendation from their school.
For more details on the admission process, fees, and criteria visit www.bits-dubai. ac.ae/admissions/ or call +971 4 275 3700.
BITS Pilani Dubai Campus (BPDC) has opened its admission to the first and higher degree engineering programmes, B.E. and M.E. / M.B.A., in various fields for the academic year 20222023. Supporting talent and making it easy for the students, BPDC has also announced scholarships of up to AED 7 million covering up to 75% of tuition and 25% of hostel fees. One of the significant features of the university is the 30 weeks of industry internship offered as a part of the curriculum through a programme called Practice School (PS). Working in the industry even before graduation, the PS gives students the vital experience needed to get jobs in MNCs and top corporates of the world.
For more details on the admission process, fees, and criteria visit www.bits-dubai.ac.ae/admissions/ or call +971 4 275 3700.
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ABU DHABI UNIVERSITY PARTNERS WITH UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN Abu Dhabi University (ADU) is offering students the opportunity to pursue their academic degrees in one of Ireland’s most prestigious educational institutes, University College Dublin (UCD). The joint programme will allow students to study at ADU for the first
two years and relocate to Ireland for the last two years of their educational journey to earn a degree from UCD. The joint programme will provide students with a personalised study plan in addition to the opportunity of enrolling in an internship
programme anywhere in Europe. Furthermore, Ireland offers poststudy work visas to international graduates, allowing them to attain valuable international work experience that will broaden their skillset.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER AND DUBAI CARES UNVEIL NEW SCHOOL FOR NEPAL The University of Manchester Middle East Centre and Dubai Cares have unveiled plans for a new school in Nepal as part of Dubai Cares’ ‘Adopt a School’ initiative. The project, which was selected for special support by the University as it marks the 15th anniversary of its Middle East Centre in Dubai, has involved the University’s regional community of students and alumni in fundraising to support the project. A 3-D visualisation of the new school was unveiled at a special event at the Dubai Cares Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai by His Excellency Dr Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, and the University’s Middle East Director, Randa Bessiso, in the presence of a number of high-level guests, including
senior alumni and corporate and social responsibility partners. The school adopted by the University of Manchester Middle East Centre in Nepal will include three classrooms that can accommodate up to 90 students, which in turn, will provide thousands of children with easy access to quality education.
A 3-D visualisation of the new school was unveiled at a special event at the Dubai Cares Pavilion at Expo 2020
ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY SECURE US RESIDENCIES FOR MENA STUDENTS ON MATCH DAY 2022 For St. George’s University (SGU) students and graduates, the emotions from Match Day 2022 won’t soon be forgotten. This monumental occasion for aspiring doctors is when they discover if they have secured a US residency to practice within a speciality under the supervision of a senior medical clinician. To date, more than 950 soon-to-be practising physicians, from countries such as Jordan, Egypt and Turkey have secured first-year residencies in the US. They will bring with them the knowledge and skills they have learned at the School of Medicine and the practical training they get during their residency in the MENA region. This year, SGU students matched into first-year residency positions come from a variety of specialities and are spread throughout respected hospitals across the US. They will begin residency programs in a range of highly competitive specialities, including neurology, emergency medicine, surgery, and more. More students are expected to obtain residencies in the days and weeks to come. “Match Day is one of the most important days of a medical student’s career,” said Dr G. Richard Olds,
75% of St. George’s University graduates enter primary care specialities president of St. George’s University. “On behalf of the entire SGU community, I extend my sincere congratulations to this outstanding
group of students. I wish them the best as they begin their careers.” With these residencies, SGU graduates will play a critical role in addressing the most pressing healthcare needs. 75% of St. George’s University graduates enter primary care specialities, such as internal medicine, paediatrics, and family medicine. One in five works in medically unserved areas, and many have served on the frontlines throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, SGU is the largest source of practising doctors in the US healthcare system according to the Federation of State Medical Boards. “SGU alumni have a long history of rising to meet the medical challenges facing their communities,” Dr Olds said. “We’re confident that our newest class of doctors will make equally meaningful contributions and improve access to care for vulnerable patients and communities.” St. George’s University has over 19,000 School of Medicine graduates in the US and around the world - including 279 from MENA. They are all part of the SGU global community with the same goal of helping people with a better life.
STUDENTS OFFERED A 50% DISCOUNT ON ADMISSION FEES As the American University in the Emirates (AUE) prepares to welcome students for the summer term of 2022, it has taken the unusual decision to offer applicants a generous 50% admissions waiver. Traditionally, students have a choice about whether to be physically present on campus during summer, with many students commonly deciding to take a break from their studies and prospective students waiting until the fall semester before putting in their applications. However, according to AUE’s Vice President for Enrolment Management & Student Services Ms Nisrine Rannak, the summer term is the best time to begin. “I understand why students think it makes more sense to wait until the fall before applying to university, but I think the opposite is true. In summer, the campus
is quiet, there are no distractions, and it is by far the easiest time of year to make progress with your coursework before the hoards arrive. “Of course, the main idea is to incentivise students to apply now - but
“Starting in summer also allows students to shorten the period of their study programme and remain completely zoned into their studies.”
in my opinion, the waiver is the least of the benefits. The real unspoken benefit of beginning your degree in summer is that you get a head start on everybody else starting in the fall, and you have the entire campus and all of its incredible facilities basically to yourself.”
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Professor Barry O’Mahony, Dean of Abu Dhabi University’s (ADU) College of Business and Dr. Fauzia Jabeen, Professor of Management, at Abu Dhabi University’s College of Business, and Advisor for Abu Dhabi University’s Beta Gamma Sigma chapter
ADU COLLEGE OF BUSINESS DEAN PROFESSOR BARRY O’MAHONY RECEIVES ‘DEAN OF THE YEAR AWARD’ PROFESSOR BARRY O’MAHONY, DEAN OF ABU DHABI UNIVERSITY’S (ADU) COLLEGE OF BUSINESS (COB) RECEIVED THE ESTEEMED ‘DEAN OF THE YEAR AWARD’ AS PART OF THE 2022 BETA GAMMA SIGMA AWARDS (BGS). BGS IS THE INTERNATIONAL HONOUR SOCIETY OF THE ASSOCIATION OF ADVANCED COLLEGIATE SCHOOLS OF BUSINESS (AACSB). NOMINATED BY THE ABU DHABI UNIVERSITY BETA GAMMA SIGMA CHAPTER, PROFESSOR O’MAHONY WAS RECOGNISED FROM A POOL OF OVER 615 DEANS FROM LEADING UNIVERSITIES IN 38 COUNTRIES.
rofessor Barry O’Mahony was awarded the ‘Dean of the Year Award’ in recognition of his commitment to providing students with an exemplary educational journey and continuous support in building a world-class curriculum. The Beta Gamma Sigma Dean of the Year Award is a merit recognition awarded to one outstanding Dean who both made significant contributions to the success of their Chapter and supported the Beta Gamma Sigma mission throughout the academic year. Dean of the Year Award recipients have demonstrated extraordinary chapter leadership and have exemplified the highest honour and integrity, in line with the values of Beta Gamma Sigma. Professor Barry O’Mahony, Dean of the College of Business (CoB), said: “It’s a great honour to receive this prestigious international award. The award recognises our continuous commitment to our students and acknowledges Abu Dhabi University’s College of Business as one of the leading business schools, not only in the United Arab Emirates and the region but also internationally. The award adds to our outstanding international accreditations including EQUIS and AACSB, which place us in the 1% of business schools worldwide. These accreditations ensure that our
Professor O’Mahony was recognised from a pool of over 615 Deans from leading universities in 38 countries curriculum, which is also informed by local and international business leaders, is cutting edge and prepares our students to excel in the job market.” The Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University, Professor Waqar Ahmad, congratulated Professor O’Mahony on this prestigious accolade: “Professor O’Mahony’s award recognises the tremendous achievements of our students and faculty. Professor Barry is an exceptional leader, leading with some style, one of the most highly respected colleges of business in the region. On behalf of the University’s students, faculty and staff, I congratulate Professor Barry and look forward to the College of Business continuing to prosper under his leadership.” The College of Business (CoB) offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes geared toward building and enhancing its students’ business, management, and leadership careers. The College also provides students with the opportunity for exchange programmes
with the Queensland University of Technology and Monash University in Australia. Additionally, the College offers short-term study abroad programmes in France, the UK, South Korea, Brazil, and Ireland. Before joining Abu Dhabi University in 2020, Professor Barry O’Mahony served as Chief Academic Officer at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland and Dean of the Faculty of Business at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. He has also held leadership and faculty positions at Swinburne University of Technology and Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. In his capacity as Dean of the College of Business, Prof. O’Mahony works closely with the College’s faculty and staff to ensure the continuous development of the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula, and the introduction of new programmes compatible with market needs and student interests.
Professor O’Mahony’s award recognises the tremendous achievements of our students and faculty
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HOW TO CHOOSE A UNIVERSITY... AND A CAREER CHOOSING A UNIVERSITY NEEDS A LOT OF THOUGHT AND RESEARCH. NO UNIVERSITY, WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS OF HARVARD AND OXBRIDGE, IS A WORLD LEADER IN EVERY FIELD. MOST UNIVERSITIES HAVE DISTINCT STRENGTHS, AND IF YOU WANT TO STUDY LAW, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T GO TO AN INSTITUTION WITH A STRONG REPUTATION IN ENGINEERING. BUT THAT’S JUST THE FIRST STEP THROUGH A VERITABLE MINEFIELD OF CONSIDERATIONS. WITH THIS IN MIND, EDUCATION UAE SPOKE TO DAVID TURNER, COLLEGE AND CAREER COUNSELLOR AT DWIGHT SCHOOL DUBAI, TAPPING INTO HIS 25+ YEARS OF EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE OF POINTING YOUNG PEOPLE ‘IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION’.
EDUAE: It seems a bit of an ‘ask’ sometimes for young people to have to choose a career at such an early stage of life – how can parents help their children to choose the best path?
David Turner, is dedicated to creating new opportunities and to collaborating with others who, during global uncertainty, are open to reexamining best practices and increased collaboration.
David: You’re right. It’s a lot for a young academic to process. That’s not to say that counsellors don’t occasionally have a young person emphatic to be a Cardiothoracic Surgeon; admittedly, such clarity is decidedly less common. Nevertheless, regardless of how far along students may be on a potential career decision, it will be important to develop a greater understanding of what’s going on in the world in order for them to find their places in it.
To start, help young people populate a future universe with greater career/study interests and possibilities. Get your children engaged. Work and discover together. There is no shortage of low and no cost courses for students to further their pursuits both personally and academically. We are developing young minds here. Be mindful that it is just as relevant to remember to learn skills. A good investment is to gain life skills and improve your writing or interpersonal skills. A young person, who has a better situational awareness of the world and his /her place in it, is more likely to be clear on a future direction. EDUAE: So many young people nowadays want to take up ‘different’ careers, such as those in the arts – how important is
collaboration. Working together with our children to create a better, informed internal dialogue ensures proper due diligence and betters a candidate’s growth as well as trajectory. It is a boon to the transition process as those in our care progress from high school to college and career – we are, after all, playing the long game here! The mutual growth experienced between parents and their children during this process cannot be understated. It is a parental imperative and a fundamental to support growth and confidence!
Without fail, parents and students who curate a shared vision come out on top EDUAE: Whatever the chosen career path, how can parents support their children at home?
it for parents to fully support these ambitions instead of pushing their children to be doctors or lawyers? David: This can be a very delicate situation. As a counsellor, I am an advocate for my students. However, it is inevitable that preferred outcomes may not be equitable amongst all stakeholders. What with individual preferences, social or cultural norms, even financial considerations, whatever the case may be, managing expectations poses a challenge to academic and career planning. Without fail, parents and students who curate a shared vision come out on top. It is a better hand-to-glove
David: Parents are important stakeholders in this process and should take an interest early on. Pay attention to any natural gravitational forces that seem to draw your child in; further, do what you can to perpetuate the same. Start with helping your child to develop directional awareness: what general career or study pathways does your child naturally align with? Does your child have any natural tether(s) to any of the six larger study/career captures - Medicine, Law, Business, Science and Engineering, Design and Arts, and the Social Sciences and Humanities? Though these are the greater, more general buckets, within each of these, students, parents and counsellors can begin to explore more specific and relevant pathways and begin to establish greater patterns and overlaps in preferences and possibilities. Your college counsellor, too, can be very helpful with this. Also, many of our schools use online counselling platforms, such as BridgeU. Here students can engage with practical lessons and engaging content to further a better, more informed internal dialogue. These platforms are replete with information, online webinars, and university fairs where students can begin to formulate
future strategies. These platforms help not only with greater career/ study understanding and potential, but also neatly overlap with study programs and preferred destinations. By working with high school counsellors, as well as with their children, parents can learn quite a lot here. It’s a great way to create better collaboration and bolster thought partnership. It is the stuff communities are made of. EDUAE: What do parents and students need to think about when choosing a university? How important is it to research not only the university but also the town or city before making a decision? David: Too often young academics put the university first, buying into the ‘branding narrative’. Preferred thinking, however, is to ensure that the horse goes before the cart. Following that, one would want to curate carefully considered ‘yardsticks’ - the important non-negotiables. Yardsticks can also serve as standouts for why a preferred choice is better. Let’s start with the former. The ideal for the best fit is to consider the following. What purpose does your university education serve? What do you need to do? What outcomes do you hope to achieve? Be specific. This is where we start; as such considerations are the fundamentals of a strategic internal dialogue, as well as all the ancillary feed-ins for course selection, extra and super curricular for pretty much everything. It is not as banal as I want to study at ‘X’ university because it is well established or that it has a famous college of Business. Is that really what you are leading with? Sharpen your pencil and be critical! What specific attributes can said university bring to your future vision? Yes. That’s better. With that established, we then move to the yardsticks – any non-negotiables or deal-breakers or makers. Having just gone through a similar experience with my own graduating daughter, it was amazing to have her roll out some of her important deciding factors. I remember she wanted a BIG university – 50,000 or more students – and felt that she would benefit more from
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starting in Europe, rather than her dad’s home state of California. Business, Media and Communications were all her lead choice study options. What’s important to you and your family? Don’t forget budget! Play that card early to better manage expectations. EDUAE: As well as choosing the right course at university is it equally as important to find out which sports and societies are on offer? David: This question speaks to the importance of community. YES. Community engagement and membership will be vital to help lifeline someone away from home. Whether one plays a sport, or enjoys a more casual affinity for cycling, tennis or even yoga, university communities are fabulous tethers allowing young academics to come together to create lasting bonds and networks.
A good investment is to gain life skills and improve your writing or interpersonal skills as well
Some months ago, I interviewed a group of students in their first year of university. All felt that the best way to alleviate homesickness and bolster confidence in their social networks was to simply create greater community outreach. The notion of ‘fitting in’ is at the essence of many universities as well. Over the years, I have heard many of my admissions colleagues hawking the grand numbers of groups, clubs and activities available to students. There’s no doubt that they, too, recognise the value. Students will find a variable surfeit of school-sponsored ways to engage – across many social, ethnic, athletic, musical, and gender-specific clubs. EDUAE: How much notice do you think parents and students should take of university rankings? We all know that Harvard, Oxford and the Sorbonne are top universities, but what is perhaps less well known, for instance, is that Edinburgh is brilliant for linguistics. So should parents and students ‘dig deep’? David: When rankings are the only tool in the application toolbelt, the admission process is much less effective, sometimes being a house of cards. Where is the greater internal dialogue? If an applicant has come to view a highly-ranked university as a best fit destination, based upon proper engagement and due diligence,
it can be argued that the likelihood of success would be greater – so long as aspirations and academics align.
Start with helping your child to develop directional awareness: what general career or study pathways does your child naturally align with? Here would be a more productive use of ranking: let it make you a better consumer. Recently, I had a session with an outstanding 9th-grade student. Academically, she’s fabulous. Directionally, she is looking at the field of Medicine – nothing overly specific. She hopes to study in the United States. Okay. All important factors to get us started. Of course, I asked her which universities she was considering and heard all of the names one would expect. Then we went to Edurank.org. As expected her dream schools lead the list for Medicine in North America. No surprises. However, I did take the time to impress upon her the requirements. The two or three schools she mentioned
were incredibly competitive - she knew that, but she needed to see ACTUAL numbers! Okay. “Keep scrolling,” I said to her. The look on her face was priceless when she noted that the 4th ranked university (in the world, might I add) had an acceptance rate 12X greater than her choice university. And the 6th ranked university (yes, in the world) is 10X! Each had a minimum SAT score that was 200-250 points less than her top choice. Here’s what you need to remember about rankings. Firstly they can be highly contentious, so be wary of making them your go-to. That said, let them help you to be a better consumer! Not unlike my student above, we used rankings to find greater variety, to help with better due diligence and research. We flipped a common narrative to better inform our decision-making process. There are some incredible, lesser-known programmes and destinations in the world.
EDUAE: What would be your top five tips when it comes to parents supporting their children in their educational and professional goals?
David: 1. Do what you can to encourage a better internal dialogue: promote critical thinking with why or what purpose? Remember not to go all-in with ranking and branding bias. 2. Know individual requirements and be vigilant for timelines and deadlines: proper research and good time management will be extremely important. 3. Create buy-in authentically: Create investment through engagement. Get involved in academic, extracurricular and super curricular activities which dovetail not only with your future ambitions, but also provide personal growth and skill opportunities. 4. Create good buy-in with Universities, as well: When your application is submitted, ensure that you have authentically engaged – attended workshops and webinars, and be sure to take advantage of UniBuddy. 5. Parents and students achieve greater outcomes with the collaboration which comes from a mutually understood and shared set of expectations.
DWIGHT SCHOOL DUBAI 800-DWIGHT (394448)
When rankings are the only tool in the application tool belt, the admission process is much less effective, sometimes being a house of cards
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IUK ACADEMY STUDY REVEALS POSITIVE SENTIMENT FROM GREAT BRITAIN RESIDENTS TOWARDS UAE AND KSA ENTREPRENEURS Watch Video
INVESTUK (IUK), A SPECIALIST BUSINESS CONSULTANCY CONNECTING FOREIGN ENTREPRENEURS AND INVESTORS WITH BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, TODAY ANNOUNCED THE RESULTS OF ITS RECENT STUDY CONDUCTED WITH YOUGOV.
he survey polled adults over the age of 18, based in Great Britain, to examine public sentiment towards, and the degree of awareness regarding entrepreneurs from UAE and KSA. With 31% of residents in support, the survey revealed a positive sentiment among UK citizens towards a policy that grants residence status to international entrepreneurs who set up a successful business in the UK. As it pertains to the GCC, further findings indicated that 12% of the participants viewed entrepreneurs from the UAE and KSA as hardworking, 13% as educated, 5%as family-oriented, 2% as honest, and 6% as well-intentioned. Moreover, 45% of all participants, of those who submitted an opinion on the matter, believed entrepreneurs from the UAE and KSA would benefit the wider UK economy. While the survey indicated a positive sentiment, it also highlighted a lack of knowledge on the skill and qualifications of entrepreneurs from
the UAE and KSA in the UK, with 47% of all participants unsure of the overall impact of such inward investment. This highlights the importance of InvestUK’s initiatives and the specific work of the iUK Academy to support entrepreneurial talent from the region.
iUK Academy anticipates a 50% increase in enrolment in the from the GCC market in the coming months As an approved IOEE Enterprise Academy, iUK Academy is dedicated to providing world-class education and training to entrepreneurs from around the world seeking to transform innovative ideas into viable and scalable businesses in the UK. Through the launch of its innovative Entrepreneur Experience programme in the GCC, iUK Academy aims to eliminate any lingering uncertainty by attracting ambitious entrepreneurs from the Middle East and equipping them with the essential knowledge and skills to establish innovative, viable and scalable businesses in the UK. This spring, the iUK Academy will host a series of webinars and roadshows at several of the UAE’s premier educational institutions, including Zayed University, INSEAD and Heriot-Watt. The campaign will aid in iUK Academy’s efforts of raising awareness around their unique programmes, specifically their ‘Entrepreneur Experience’ programme, which teaches highly practical business skills and key information required to successfully launch businesses in the UK. Rupert Gather, Chairman of InvestUK and iUK Academy, said: “At this precise moment, strong relations between the UAE, KSA and the UK have never been more important. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Dubai to attend the history-making event of Expo 2020, and his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in Riyadh, to establish a strategic partnership council reinforces the importance of developing robust bilateral cooperation in various fields.
Having said that, it all starts with education, exchanging ideas, and continuously finding ways to innovate – which is something the iUK Academy is adamant on ensuring. However, as a result of the recent visits by the UK’s prime minister, we have already seen a significant increase in interest in our Entrepreneur Experience programme from GCC graduates and anticipate a 50% increase in enrolment from the GCC in the coming months.” According to fundsquire, Britain’s startup scene has grown exponentially over recent years with 672,890 new companies having been founded as of 2022. The Entrepreneurship Experience looks to further contribute to this development as it offers international final-year students or graduates with an ideal path to setting up innovative businesses under either its Start-up or Innovator visa programmes. Rupert Gather added: “Entrepreneurs are vital to market economies as their ability to serve as wheels of economic growth offers vast potential for any country looking to accelerate its development. Since InvestUK’s establishment in 2013, hundreds of highly skilled individuals have successfully achieved their objectives in the UK and the British economy has equally benefitted in return. With Dubai having established itself as a prominent business hub and destination for emerging talent, the iUK Academy views the UAE as a primary target market, and we believe partnering with the country’s local education institutes will be of mutual benefit for the multiple parties involved.”
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POWER OF HUMANITY CELEBRATED AT SPECTRUM 2022! LAUGHS AND CHUCKLES OF LITTLE HEARTS FROM SEVEN SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOLS FILLED THE AIR OF BITS PILANI DUBAI CAMPUS (BPDC) AS SPECTRUM 22. ORGANISED SUCCESSFULLY BY THE ENGINEERING STUDENTS AND MAKING A COMEBACK AFTER TWO YEARS, THE EVENT BROUGHT SMILES TO THE FACES OF 150 DETERMINED CHILDREN FROM RASHID CENTRE FOR PEOPLE OF DETERMINATION, SNF SPECIAL NEEDS FUTURE DEVELOPMENT CENTRE, MANZIL CENTRE – SHARJAH, SHARJAH AUTISM CENTRE, AWLADOUNA CENTRE, SENSES RESIDENTIAL AND DAY CARE FOR SPECIAL NEEDS, AND TENDER HEARTS ARENA.
he event, organised by the Social and Environment Club of BPDC, aims to bring awareness about People of Determination and create an environment of inclusivity and empathy amongst students Commenting on the event, Professor Dr Srinivasan, Director of BPDC, said: “Spectrum 2022 has been an immensely successful and inspirational event as it helped achieve our purpose of bringing smiles on the faces of specially-abled students. We consider Spectrum 2022 to be the pinnacle and the embodiment of the values that we at BITS strive to instil in our community - the spirit of empathy, inclusiveness, a celebration of diversity and giving back to the society. We will continue to host Spectrum in coming years as it provides us with an opportunity to interact with people of determination and experience the atmosphere of kindness and acceptance.” The music club of BPDC opened the gala series of performances with a song. The spotlight shone brightly on the talent of students from Rashid School as they performed an entertaining dance number which was followed by a soulful recitation of a poem by children of Awladouna School.
150 students from seven special needs centres attend the event organised by engineering students The little kids of Senses School hopped onto the stage with their musical instruments and got everyone swaying to their tunes and foot-tapping on the beats of the bongo. The event housed fun corners for guests such as balloon pits, face painting, indoor sports and much more. Smiles erupted on the faces of the youngsters as medals, goodie bags and certificates of appreciation were handed out. The entire crowd burst into spontaneous applause as children from Manzil School, SNF School and Senses School started dancing. The event culminated with Groove, the dance club of BPDC, which got everyone up on the floor. “It was truly an extraordinary atmosphere, where each one of us appreciated our differences as human beings and celebrated the power of humanity. These little kids have inspired us through their perseverance and courage.”
We are grateful to everyone who participated and made this event a reality. We thank all the schools who participated and put up excellent performances,” concluded Dr Geetha, Social and Environment Club, BPDC.
We consider Spectrum 2022 to be the pinnacle and the embodiment of the values that we at BITS strive to instil in our community
For more information visit: www.bits-pilani.ac.in/dubai
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FIVE WAYS MENA’S FUTURE DOCTORS CAN PREPARE FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL IN 2022
THERE IS NO DENYING THAT THE HARD WORK UNDERTAKEN BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS THROUGHOUT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS INSPIRED MANY STUDENTS TO ENTER A CAREER IN MEDICINE. BUT WITH HEIGHTENED INTEREST, ALSO COMES HEIGHTENED COMPETITION. ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY (SGU) SCHOOL OF MEDICINE HIGHLIGHTS HOW OUR FUTURE DOCTORS’ CAN EMBARK ON THE JOURNEY BEFORE THEY EVEN START MEDICAL SCHOOL. 1. DOCTOR SHADOWING One method to improve their knowledge is through doctor shadowing, where a student will ‘shadow’ the work of a practising doctor to introduce themselves into day-today life as a medical professional. Not only is this vital for creating a network of contacts that could be useful in the future, but it is also a great way to gain exposure and show medical school admissions teams that the student is dedicated to the field.
hold virtual doctor shadowing sessions for our students as an opportunity to interact with our diverse faculty and alumni and learn about different medical specialities such as anatomy, emergency medicine and psychology.
2. ONLINE WEBINARS Although life is getting back to normality in this pandemic era, there may not be the opportunity to access doctor shadowing in person at some hospitals or clinics. Instead, students could explore virtual experience opportunities.
There are countless organisations that are dedicated to assisting disadvantaged individuals that students could reach out to. There are nonprofits that serve free meals, source amenities, and deliver supplies to families in need. While most opportunities in this arena fall firmly under the nonmedical category, they’re fantastic ways to get involved in causes that the student is passionate about.
Today, there are many online webinars that include doctor shadowing and at St. George’s University (SGU), we
3. VOLUNTEERING Community service is an achievable way for students to show their commitment to a group of people or service that aligns with the student’s interest in medicine.
One method to improve their knowledge is through doctor shadowing
Whether the work experience placements are related to the medical field or not, the time spent is valuable for gaining exposure to real-life situations. Students can empathise and become strong communicators while being more confident to work as part of a team.
Volunteering activities will go a long way when becoming a doctor later in their life. Hence why some universities take extra-curricular activities into account along with academic achievements and reference letters from professors.
4. SUMMER PROGRAMMES Researching summer programmes available locally, which might include time spent with doctors as part of a health professions programme, could also be a great time to obtain experience. They could even reach out to other students who are interested in medicine, to share experiences of local opportunities. 5. CONNECTING WITH PRACTICING DOCTORS Many of our 19,000 alumni at SGU are volunteering in a programme called ‘Speak to a Graduate’, which connects prospective students to SGU graduates over the phone, video call or email. These connections provide a great chance for aspiring medics to engage directly with a healthcare professional while hearing about their personal experiences with doctor shadowing.
Volunteering activities will go a long way when becoming a doctor later in their life
This article has been provided by St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies
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BYJU’S ANNOUNCED AS OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022TM BYJU’S, A WORLD-LEADING EDTECH COMPANY, HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED AS AN OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF THE FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022TM.
Through this partnership, BYJU’S will leverage its rights to the FIFA World Cup 2022TM marks, emblem and assets, and run unique promotions to connect with passionate football fans around the world. It will also create engaging and creative content with educational messages as part of a multifaceted activation plan. Byju Raveendran, BYJU’S founder and CEO, said: “We are excited to be sponsoring the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the biggest single-sport event in the world. It is a matter of pride for us to represent India on such a prestigious global stage and champion the integration of education and sport. Sport is a big part of life and brings together people across the world. Just as football inspires billions, we at BYJU’S hope to inspire the love of learning in every child’s life through this partnership.” The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM will take place from 21 November to 18 December 2022.
For more information, visit FIFA.com
KNOWLEDGE HUB AND RENAISSANCE COLLABORATE WITH UAE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Knowledge Hub, a leading provider of learning solutions in the UAE and throughout the Middle East, and Renaissance, the creator of the myON digital reading platform, has announced the successful launch of an ongoing project with the UAE Ministry of Education to improve English reading standards for the 380,000 students in primary and secondary Emirati schools. The Ministry of Education endorses myON as a cross-curricular literacy tool to ensure students have access to rich reading content across all subjects, which will ultimately have a positive impact on reading standards across the country. The myON platform gives students access to a personalised digital library of over 2,400 books that can be used across the curriculum, promoting cross-curricular literacy development. All myON books include natural voice audio
narration to model reading fluency in English, as well as additional support for English language learners. myON is well suited to blended learning environments, allowing students to read both in school and at home. Students can access myON on laptops, tablets, and other devices, and offline reading is supported as well. Chris Bauleke, CEO of Renaissance, said: “Renaissance is excited to be working with Knowledge Hub to support the UAE Ministry of Education in developing a strong reading culture in its public schools. Renaissance has experience in successfully implementing wholecountry projects. By providing myON to students in every UAE primary and secondary school, we are one step closer to achieving our 35-year mission to accelerate learning for all.”
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FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE LAB AND SMART MONEY MANAGEMENT APP BUILT BY TEACHERS TWO UAE-BASED TEACHERS HAVE FUSED EDTECH WITH FINTECH TO CREATE THE FIRST FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE HUB, COMPLETE WITH A LEARNING RESOURCE AND A SMART MONEY MANAGEMENT APP BUILT BY EDUCATORS TO NURTURE MONEY MANAGEMENT SKILLS AMONG KIDS AND TEENS.
he purpose-built learning resource – the Edfundo Learning Lab – comprises a mix of face-to-face and micro online, free, and paid-for educational programmes.
It is designed by Simon Wing and Andrew Toward, cofounders of the Edfundo app and pre-paid debit card aimed at empowering youngsters to learn, earn, spend, and save in the impending cashless society. Wing, Edfundo’s CEO, says financial illiteracy is rife in children and many adults making the Learning Lab an essential adjunct to Edfundo’s core product ensuring financial education underpins the transformative neo banking business model. “Throughout our teaching careers in the UK and UAE, my fellow co-founder Andrew Toward and I have found that commitments to tutoring kids in money management in schools are often hampered by the lack of appropriate teaching tools.
S imon Wing and Andrew Toward, co-founders of the Edfundo app
“The Edfundo Learning Lab will help plug the gap at home, online and in the classroom. In tandem, the smart money management app and pre-paid debit card will allow youngsters to put their learning into immediate practice,” Wing said. Meanwhile, Dubai-based The Aquila School, part of the International Schools Partnership (ISP), is the first to join the Edfundo for Schools initiative as an Edfundo Education Partner. Head of Secondary, Benjamin Atkins said The Aquila School is committed to teaching children pressing life issues, including money management. “The Aquila School ensures learning is engaging, relevant, and based on real life. Partnering with Edfundo supports this and develops an area of our curriculum that is vital to ensuring
lifelong skills and good money management. We are excited that our pupils will be the first in the region to take part in the Edfundo Learning Lab, and practise taking responsibility for their own spending and saving habits with the app and pre-paid debit card, knowing parents will have full oversight and control. The Edfundo Learning Lab will also encourage our families to have deeper conversations about the important things in life, as our students nurture positive financial independence.”
The Aquila School onboards as an anchor education partner Edfundo’s COO Toward confirmed that parents can also take part in Edfundo’s online and in-classroom microlearning tips, lessons, and scenarios. Extra-subscriptionbased, step-by-step modules will also provide full-family access to the virtual community environment where learning follows the ‘share, show, do’ model, with storytelling content. “Our many years of teaching mean Simon and I know children learn by hearing life stories and hands-on experience,” explained Toward, Edfundo’s COO. “To ensure this content is safe, relevant, and exciting we are co-creating and curating the financial education content with the Edfundo programme team and specialist mentors.” The Learning Lab’s content is co-created by a group of multi-national specialists led by Wing and Toward and featuring Bahraini-British GenZ Montessori teacher, Tariq Nasser; Saudi FinTech and business development expert, Saleh Al Hammad; and children’s learning author and former finance executive, Will Rainey.
The Edfundo Learning Lab went live in early March with smart money management tips and facts for public access via social media platforms and the Edfundo website at: www.edfundo.com.
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BENQ EX800ST PROJECTOR REVIEW WITH THE EX800ST SMART PROJECTOR’S INTEGRATED BENQ SYSTEM, ONE HAS EASY ACCESS TO USEFUL BUSINESS APPLICATIONS IN MEETINGS AND CLASSROOMS. BEGIN A VIDEO CONFERENCE OR VIRTUAL CLASS EASILY WITH BLIZZ. IT PROFESSIONALS HAVE IT EASIER TOO, AS THEY CAN REMOTELY ACCESS ANOTHER COMPUTER TO HELP TROUBLESHOOT FASTER VIA TEAMVIEWER. WITH WPS OFFICE, USERS CAN COLLABORATE ON DOCUMENTS WITH THEIR COWORKERS AND CLASSMATES; OR SEARCH THE FIREFOX BROWSER FOR IDEAS. START A VIDEO CONFERENCE AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE WITH THE EX800ST. WITH JUST ONE CLICK, YOU CAN CONNECT WITH THE PROJECTOR.
INTERACTIVE AND PRODUCTIVITYENHANCING FEATURES The WPS Office app enables users to display Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the EX800ST using USB or built-in storage. It has a unique X-Sign Broadcast for Instant Message Delivery - use any laptop, smartphone, or tablet to send texts, images, and video links to the EX800ST Smart Projector easily. This way, everyone in the meeting room or classroom can see the message as soon as it is broadcasted on the projection screen. It also provides efficient account management with BenQ Account Management System (AMS), which makes it seamless for IT personnel to manage all the accounts through the EX800ST Smart Projector itself. Users can log into their AMS account to access and manage their files and customised settings with ease. There’s also DMS, which is a Device Management Solution that allows you to manage multiple digital projectors over a local network. It makes life super-simple for IT managers and they can remotely monitor, control and configure individual or groups of projectors at once.
CONVENIENCE AND CONNECTIVITY GALORE The EX800ST’s USB Type-A connection allows you to quickly project images or documents directly without the need of a PC, supporting a wide range of file formats, including JPEG, PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more. We loved the BenQ Smart Control app that turns a user’s smartphone into a keypad cum trackpad to provide better navigation while using the projector and its built-in business apps. It comes with a short-throw ratio of 0.49, which means it is easy for users to project an 80-inch image from a distance of less than three feet. This allows for saving precious space in classrooms and meeting rooms. The EX800ST wireless projector from BenQ is compatible with PCs, Macs/iPads, and Android devices using the supplied software-free, step-by-step instructions on the projector’s on-screen menu. Instead of unplugging your computer and all of its cables, you may simply use a USB drive to present on the EX800ST. It will be able to read any file in JPEG, PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint format.
It is easy for users to project an 80-inch image from a distance of less than three feet
Over-the-air firmware update helps keep your EX800ST upgraded. IT administrators can simply apply an over-the-air update to the EX800ST’s firmware whenever a new version is available. It comes with a short-throw ratio of 0.49, which means it is easy for users to project an 80-inch image from a distance of less than three feet. This allows for saving precious space in classrooms and meeting rooms. The EX800ST wireless projector from BenQ is compatible with PCs, Macs/iPads, and Android devices using the supplied software-free, stepby-step instructions on the projector’s on-screen menu. Instead of unplugging your computer and all of its cables, you may simply use a USB drive to present on the EX800ST. It will be able to read any file in JPEG, PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint format. Over-theair firmware update helps keep your EX800ST upgraded. IT administrators can simply apply an over-the-air update to the EX800ST’s firmware whenever a new version is available. CRYSTAL CLEAR IMAGE QUALITY BenQ uses an all-glass lens array to minimise chromatic aberration, ensuring long-term picture quality with wonderful clarity.
It has an exclusive Infographic Mode that is specifically made for showcasing texts and graphics in detail with brilliant brightness and enhanced colour gradation. Moreover, by preventing colour decay, BenQs DLP projectors like this one retain absolute picture quality for many years. The EX800ST features a high brightness of 3300 Lumens and XGA native resolution for smooth details and excellent readability, making it ideal for both meeting rooms and classrooms. It also comes with a unique Wall Colour Correction feature that corrects the projected picture’s colour so that even when the projection surface is not white, the image is still as accurate as possible. CONCLUSION The EX800ST is different from other projectors as it allows you to control it remotely. Other than that, it has several features most other projectors do not have, making it a must-have for any homeowner, educator, or businessperson. This wireless projection solution eliminates cable clutter and the need to locate the proper dongle for your device, allowing you to save time and simplify operations as one can connect using the USB provided in the box for maximum benefits.
The WPS Office app enables users to display Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the EX800ST using USB or built-in storage
To find out more, visit: www.benq.com/ar-me/business/campaign/ wireless-smart-projector.html VISIT WEBSITE
HORIZON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL – IN IT TO WIN IT! Given a chance to win a state-of-theart Benq Smart Projector EX800ST, valued at over AED 3,000, Horizon International School went for it immediately but was still pleasantly surprised when they actually won it. “We were thrilled to find out that we were the winners of the projector,” said a school spokesperson, “We really did not expect to win but when we received the news, we knew that it would be a great resource for our school.” The competition, organised by Education UAE to celebrate 5,000 followers on Instagram, will allow the school to use the projector in its library to create a learning hub to support its reading lessons. “Children will benefit from a change in their learning environment, by being surrounded by books to inspire their learning.” It was so easy to enter too; simply like the Education UAE post, share the post, tag @educationuaemag @benqmiddleeast, and leave a comment. Straightforward, but you have to be in it to win it, and Horizon International School were. The students are already asking about going to the library to complete their reading lessons. It is the perfect opportunity to allow children to become completely immersed in a literacy setting whilst teaching a lesson at the same time.
Organised by Education UAE to celebrate 5,000 followers on Instagram
ASUS – THE PINNACLE OF PERFORMANCE PASSIONATE ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND DRIVEN BY INNOVATION, ASUS IS ALWAYS IN SEARCH OF INCREDIBLE IDEAS AND EXPERIENCES. THIS COMMITMENT TO SURPASSING EXPECTATIONS WITH DIGITAL SOLUTIONS THAT DEFINE THE AGE INCLUDES A RANGE OF TOPOF-THE-LINE LAPTOPS FOR THE EDUCATION SECTOR, AND AT PRICE POINTS THAT PUT THEM WITHIN THE REACH OF EVERYONE.
THE EXPERTBOOK B3 FLIP ASUS has put a lot of thought into the ExpertBook B3 Flip’s (B3402) design to ensure that it is safe and functional even in the harshest conditions, which makes it the ideal solution for the education sector! The ExpertBook B3 Flip’s lid and base panel are made of aluminium alloy, allowing it to achieve lighter weight and higher durability. While these laptops are rightly recognised for their robustness and adaptability, look ‘under the hood’ and you discover a cornucopia of high-tech delights. It is, for instance, packed full of ports, with two USB Type-A ports (one 2.0 and one 3.2 Gen. 1), two Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI 2.0a, a MicroSD card reader, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5 mm audio jack. It also has two cameras. The ExpertBook B3 Flip (B3402) is a convertible too, which allows you to use it as a tablet, as well as offering
stylus support, with the Pen garaged inside the base of the device. The ASUS ExpertBook B3 Flip is also equipped with ASUS WiFi Master technology, which not only has builtin WiFi 6 wireless network for faster wireless transmission performance, but also adds ASUS exclusive WiFi SmartConnect and WiFi Stabiliser, providing greater distance, stability, and a seamless wireless network experiences for students and teachers. With a 14-inch 16:9 4K touchscreen that supports 1920 x 1080 resolution and offers up to 100% sRGB colour gamut, the ASUS ExpertBook B3 Flip also has TÜV Rheinland certification for low blue light and flicker-free visuals, giving greater care for your eyes.
The ExpertBook B3 Flip (B3402) is a convertible, which allows you to use it as a tablet too
ASUS BR1100FKA Compact and ideal for multimedia learning, the BR1100FKA provides a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, wide 178° viewing angles, 11.6-inch display and comes with 360 hinges that let you flip the screen, allowing you to turn it into a tablet. The display also features Low Blue Light mode and Anti-Flicker technology (Direct Current mode) and has passed TÜV Rheinland Eye Care certification. Furthermore, there are two cameras, one right above the keyboard, which you can use to take photos or videos when it is in tablet mode.
Overall, the ASUS BR1100FKA is ideal for students and teachers and is just the thing for a broad array of academic and creative challenges. Essentially, you’re getting a military-grade drop-proof laptop for the price of an entry-level device. That’s quite a bargain in anyone’s book. ASUS EXPERTBOOK B5402F The ASUS Expertbook B5402F is a thin and light laptop with lots of features and incredible versatility. It has a sturdy construction and comes with a good number of I/O ports, a powerful processor, a fantastic keyboard, and much more, including a genuine price advantage for students, teachers and educational establishments.
Other features include a 360-flip mode with touch-screen and garaged stylus (for creator mode), AI noise cancellation technology, a bacteria guard for the backlit and spill-resistant keyboard, a webcam privacy shield, fingerprint sensor/power button combo with SSO, and a Kensington security lock.
To push the limits of lightness and meet the robust US Military MIL-STD 810H standard for durability, the 14-inch display laptop is crafted from pure aluminium and magnesiumaluminium alloy. The BR1100FKA also houses a garaged stylus with an impressive number of ports, including a USB2.0 Type-A port, a USB3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, a USB3.2 Gen 2 Type C port, and an HDMI 1.4 port. There’s also a 3.5mm combo audio jack, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port and a DC-in jack for the power adapter, together with an M.2 2280 PCIe 3.0x4 expansion slot for a tad more storage if you need it to augment the existing 128GB SSD. In terms of technical specifications, the BR1100FKA is equipped with an Intel Celeron N4500 processor and 4GB of RAM, which proves to be a powerful combo. There’s no doubt that it’s the perfect laptop for work, and not only for students – we would suggest it’s the best laptop for teachers too.
Powered by an Intel Core i7 and Intel Iris Xe graphics and supporting up to 48GB of memory, the B5402F offers a much better screen than many of its competitors, a terrific keyboard, exceptional battery life, and Wi-Fi-6 for all-time connectivity. The anti-glare screen reduces blue light emissions and features a 14-inch Full HD IPS panel with 400 nits max brightness and 100% sRGB coverage. Its I/O coverage is just as impressive, with one USB 2.0 port, one USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, an Ethernet connector, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.
Connect with the ASUS BUSINESS team for more information and quotation click here.
ASUS 800-ASUS-ME (800-2787-63)
LET US GIVE YOU A SCHOOLING ON SPORTSWEAR Let us take the headache out of ordering your sportswear… and in half the time PREMIUM QUALITY, AFFORDABLE RATES. FOUNDED ON 35 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN THE BESPOKE SPORTS AND LEISUREWEAR INDUSTRY WHERE THE CUSTOMER COMES FIRST. 8 WEEKS TO SCHOOLS FROM ORDER. INCLUDES, DESIGN, MANUFACTURE, SHIPPING AND DELIVERY. LOCAL STOCK, FITTING AND DELIVERY. SUSTAINABLE. WE CAN SUPPLY GARMENTS MADE FROM 100% RECYCLED MATERIALS.
Email or call us now to discuss how we can help your school be at the forefront of sports apparel:
email@example.com +971 4 336 7010 +971 56 199 8104
A SCHOOL SPORTS KITS BRAND BUILT ON QUALITY, VALUE AND TRANSPARENCY High-quality school sports clothing promotes unity and pride, motivating players to do well for the team. Just as in sports, being motivated at work is crucial for performance, and this rings especially true at OG Classic, a rapidly emerging company that offers a wide range of bespoke sports clothing that inspires athletes and delights accountants!
his motivation has seen OG Classic quickly becoming one of the industry’s most sought after manufacturers and suppliers, thanks not only to its quality and pricing policies, but also to the philosophy of its founder, Gwillym Poole (CEO) and his Partner Simon Lewis (Managing Director), of treating people the way they would like to be treated themselves. Based in the UAE and the UK and founded on 35 years of experience in design, manufacture and delivery, OG Classic first opened its doors for business in 2021, with a stated mission to operate effectively and efficiently, overcoming customer service challenges, unnecessary costs, lack of brand flexibility, and the extended delivery times many organisations experience today when procuring uniforms or club kits. A lot of care has been taken to develop a brand that reflects the quality of the sportswear the company produce and the performance they envisage for its wearers. At OG Classic, they focus on on inspiring athletes by delivering sustainable sportswear that creates a sense of teamwork and camaraderie at an affordable price.
Let’s be honest, the world is full of gobbledygook-filled mission statements, conjured up by marketing professionals with the only aim being not to offend anyone
SIMPLIFYING THE WHOLE PROCESS This fresh approach has already seen OG Classic pick up work from 20 schools, and the company is now fielding six or seven new enquiries every day. “In my last job I was quite constrained in what I could offer, so what I’ve done now is try and make life easier for Teachers and parents, “Gwill explains. “We’ve simplified the whole process and can tailor it to the needs and desires of the school. For instance, if a school doesn’t want to collect all the money upfront, parents can go to our online shop, pay, and have it delivered directly to their homes.” Using advanced technology, materials and manufacturing techniques to produce off-the-shelf or bespoke designs, primarily for schools and clubs, OG Classics provides customers with a whole range of benefits, including: n online shop that provides a wide variety A of ready to wear garments currently in stock, with delivery within 24 hours to anywhere in the UAE OG Classic’s bespoke facility will design, manufacture and deliver a branded design in as little as two week to an eight-week window Once a customer’s profile is in the system, bespoke designs can be reordered and delivered within four weeks
“I thought, hang on a minute, if my wife can fight cancer, I can build a new brand” LESS GOBBLEDYGOOK, MORE TRANSPARENCY Let’s be honest, the world is full of gobbledygookfilled mission statements, conjured up by marketing professionals with the only aim being not to offend anyone. But Gwill and Simon looked at their industry and decided the best way to fix what was often a rather dishonest, uncaring approach was to do it themselves.
“It is astonishing what you can achieve if you have a strong purpose. For us, that purpose is supplying high quality at cost-effective prices, simplifying the process, and improving lives. This is the driving force behind all we do and the fuel that has propelled us to where we are today. And this is only the beginning,” Gwill concludes.
This has resulted, initially, in the business growing exclusively through networking and word-of-mouth, which marketers will tell you is quite impossible. Not if you’ve got good products and service it isn’t!
One of the other things that attract people to OG Classic is its transparency, for while it is committed to supplying sustainable sports clothing, it admits that it is almost impossible to buy 100% sustainable products. Nevertheless, that is its goal and you can rest assured that no one tries harder to achieve this. So, if you are seeking a new classic or bespoke design for your team, school, or organisation, OG Classic will deliver on time and to a pre-agreed budget.
OG CLASSIC +971 56 199 8104
+971 56 199 8104
SWINGING INTO ACTION WITH TOM ROURKE AT THE ELS CLUB Renowned as one of the finest golfing destinations in the Middle East, the unique experience of The Els Club is one that creates everlasting memories and should be on every golfer’s must-play list. Impressive, but there’s also a lot more going on at The Els Club, which has made it incredibly popular with families and those who don’t know their birdies from their eagles. To gain more insight, Education UAE spoke to General Manager Tom Rourke, who discussed everything from his beginnings in golf and how he juggles family and work-life through to the ever-expanding facilities at The Els Club, his dream of playing Tiger Woods, and one of his other big passions, Newcastle United. EDUAE: What is your background in golf? Tom Rourke: I started playing golf at the age of 13 and my first handicap was 14 at the age of 14. I completed my work experience placement at my local golf course in Birmingham and realised how much I enjoyed being around golf and working in the hospitality industry. I joined The Belfry at the age of 18, turned professional and completed the PGA qualification before leaving Birmingham in 2005 to work in the Middle East. I thoroughly enjoy working in the golf industry and feel very fortunate to have worked in golf all of my life. EDUAE: When did you join The Els Club? Tom: I joined The Els Club in July 2020. I always appreciated The Els Club, the incredible playing conditions, the spectacular clubhouse, and its reputation as one of the very best golf courses in the UAE. It was designed by the legendary
Ernie Els and is one of the International Flagship properties for Troon Golf International. After meeting with the owner and senior management our vision for The Els Club aligned and it was an immediate yes from me to join the very talented team at The Els Club and Dubai Sports City. EDUAE: Is it important for a club like The Els Club to be more than ‘just’ a golf club? Tom: We at The Els Club prioritise members and we must continue to keep our members at the top of the agenda to enhance the club for their enjoyment and benefit. We are seeing members spending more time at the golf club playing golf, having meetings, and socialising than ever before. We continue to develop the offering with this in mind, giving multiple options for dining, meetings, relaxation and entertainment. We are also at the centre of the Victory Heights residential
community and are embracing and engaging with family-friendly initiatives to make the club accessible for all. EDUAE: With so much happening at The Els Club over the past few months, what are the latest updates? Tom: We’ve been developing The Els Club as a destination with some fantastic additions, which include padel courts, new artificial surfaces and shading at our practice facilities, new golf carts, a Wellputt Studio at our CH3 Academy, spa facilities, ladies salon, barbers shop, and Country Club facilities, incorporating a resort swimming pool, restaurant, gym and studio. We are working closely with fitness professionals VITA, developing personal training sessions, group exercise classes, boot camps and transformations that have been very successful and well-received.
P ool, Country Club
Gym, Country Club
B ig Easy Bar & Grill
Tom Rourke, General Manager, The Els Club
EDUAE: Tell me more about the Country Club? Tom: The Country Club has been a fantastic addition to The Els Club and a huge enhancement to the members’ offering. The state-of-the-art facility is the best in class, creating a familyfriendly, safe environment for all of our members and guests to enjoy the club beyond the golf course. We have received great support from the surrounding communities with non-golfers choosing to join The Country Club to train and relax. The membership has been fast-growing and this has helped generate considerably more new golf membership sales on the basis of having The Country Club facilities included as part of the golf membership. EDUAE: What can golfers expect now when they play The Els Club Dubai? Tom: The Covid-19 pandemic meant the golf course did not undergo its normal annual summer maintenance in 2020. Due to this, we have been catching up, removing thatch and compaction from the golf course and feel that it is now in its best condition and health for a very long time. The greens are rolling incredibly well and we are bringing back the inland links conditions with the golf course playing firmer and faster. We feel the golf course is tournament-ready on a daily basis and we pride ourselves on the quality and consistency of the playing surfaces, utilising Troon Golf agronomic best practices.
EDUAE: How do you juggle family and managing a top golf resort such as The Els Club? Tom: It’s all about teamwork at home and at work! We have an incredibly talented team at The Els Club, from the front of house associates to the supervisors and managers, supported by Troon Golf International all working in the same direction to create extraordinary guest and member experiences through personalised service, consistency, and uncompromising attention to detail. Having a very supportive wife and the joy that our two boys Oliver and William bring help to keep everything in perspective. Both of my sons enjoy practising on the driving range and learning golf. The facilities at The Els Club are superb and it’s very accessible to all. The team at the practice facilities are always very welcoming and there are clubs available for guests to hire to allow them to get into golf. We have the Claude Harmon III Performance Golf Academy at The Els Club which caters to all levels of golfer and the team does an incredible job with the junior golfers. I would highly recommend anyone looking to get into golf or to improve their ability to reach out to the Claude Harmon III team and take a golf lesson.
EdUAE: If you could play just one world-class golfer, purely for the experience, who would it be and where would you play (not including The Els Club)? Tom: I would love to play a round with Tiger Woods and to play Augusta National together. My passion for golf came a lot from watching Tiger Woods on TV and the highlight was watching The Masters tournament with the incredible layout and scenery. EdUAE: One of your other passions is Newcastle United – it’s been an interesting year? Tom: It has been a roller coaster of a season for Newcastle, having a horrendous start to the season and being in a state of limbo, with the takeover of the club dragging out for over a year. It seemed destined the team would be relegated. Fortunately, the takeover went through midseason, a new manager and backroom team were assembled and a positive environment was created on and off the field. I am looking forward to the summer, with Newcastle bringing in new players and improving the foundation and infrastructure of the club. Next season we should be challenging to be in the top six places in the Premier League and hopefully have a good run in the cup competitions. My family are all looking forward to next season and hope to attend some of the matches with travel now getting back to normal. EdUAE: Finally, back in Dubai, what do our readers have to look forward to at The Els Club in the near future? Tom: We’re extremely excited to be opening the first two hotel rooms at The Els Club and with that our first Stay & Play packages. We will also be conducting restaurant upgrades and refurbishments at 261 along with updated menus and multiple social events open to everyone. We have some great daily offerings to try, with my personal favourite being our Saturday Carvery at The Big Easy Bar & Grill from 12 – 4 pm.
THE ELS CLUB +971 4 425 1001
VISIT WEBSITE EMAIL US
Check out the website and socials to always stay updated on the latest offerings. And if you’d like to bring the family to experience The Country Club and be a member for a day, book your free trial at www.elsclubdubai.com/country_club
ADEK SPORTS CUP CROWNS WINNING TEAMS Family, friends, and spectators flocked to Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium to witness impressive displays of rising football talent, teamwork, and sportsmanship at the inaugural ADEK Sports Cup finals. Following two action-packed final matches for the girls’ and boys’ teams, Brighton College was crowned girl’s champions following a strongly contested final against The British School - Al Khubairat (BSAK), while International School of Choueifat - Abu Dhabi came out on top against Repton School Abu Dhabi in the boys’ final. The matches were attended by many Abu Dhabi government officials and dignitaries, including His Excellency Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Department of Community Development Chairman; Her Excellency Sara Musallam, ADEK Chairman; His Excellency Amer Al Hammadi, ADEK Undersecretary; Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate & Human Capital Officer in Mubadala Investment Company; and Ali Al Hammadi, Al Jazira Chief Executive Officer showcasing Abu Dhabi’s and ADEK’s commitment to encouraging healthy and active lifestyles among students and the wider community.
“We have seen promising sporting talents displaying true sportsmanship,” said HE Sara Musallam. “We are delighted with the success of the first ADEK Sports Cup and would like to congratulate all the participating teams who have shown great dedication throughout the qualifiers and the final stages – and of course a special mention for our first-place winners. Our thanks go to Abu Dhabi Cricket and Al Jazira Club for their support throughout the tournament, and their generous hosting of the qualifiers and finals matches respectively.” “We launched the ADEK Sports Cup to accelerate students’ return to a healthy and active lifestyle and provide a platform to instil a culture of wellbeing and inspire a continued passion of sports among upcoming talents. We are certain that such activities will have a positive impact on students’ psychological, physical, and social well-being, hence improving their academic performance.
Future editions of the ADEK Sports Cup will feature other sports disciplines as well as football
ADEK Winners - Brighton College Abu Dhabi - Girls Champions
On the other hand, the enthusiasm and excitement we have seen from the schools throughout the tournament reinforce our determination to expand this initiative to other sports in future editions,” Her Excellency added. After a closely contested 0 - 0 opening half in the girl’s game, Brighton snuck two skilful goals past the BSAK defence to be the very first team to be crowned ADEK Sports Cup Champion following a 2 – 0 result. For the boy’s final it was the International School of Choueifat – Abu Dhabi whose attack was on top form netting five impressive goals against the talented Repton team for a 5 - 0 result.
The first edition saw more than 45 schools, 56 teams compete Passionate sports spectators of family, friends, and Abu Dhabi community cheered on their teams and were treated to a spectacle throughout the evening with an opening ceremony to rival professional football events and a mid-way pause to enjoy a talent show featuring future stars from the Mawhibaty programme – a talent
development programme for visual and performing arts empowered by ADEK and the Department of Culture & Tourism - Abu Dhabi. Following the matches, ADEK held an awards ceremony to present the winning teams with the ADEK Sports Cup trophy. HE Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khailiand HE Sara Musallam presented the cup to the winners and awarded the gold, silver, and bronze medals to all the players of the first, second and third place holders, in both the boys and girls categories.
While the inaugural edition of the ADEK Sports Cup featured more than 50 male and female teams competing across more than 100 football matches, future editions will expand into additional sports to attract the largest number of students to play the sports they love in a safe, fun, and friendly competition. As an integrated initiative, the ADEK Sports Cup aims to support the development of a physically active generation through enhanced physical education and school sports with lifelong participation opportunities
that nurture talent and inspire students to achieve their full potential. It also instils positive values among students, including sportsmanship, cooperation, flexibility, and teamwork, in addition to empowering them with practical and leadership skills.
For more information on the ADEK Sports Cup visit ad.adek.gov.ae/sportscup/
Know It All
EMPOWERING FEMALE LEADERS IN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION changing the shape of education in their schools. Indeed, everyone is welcome to share ideas and support their colleagues, regardless of their school, role, or specialisation.
Linda Parsons, WiiEDu& Al Futtaim Education, Neelam Bhatti, Head Teacher of Primary, School of Creative Science Sharjah, Christine Naserghoshi, Mirai, Sorcha Coyle, Empowering Expat teachers, Zen Khan, Zen Khan, Zen PD and Education Perfect, Victoria James WiiEdu & Edpuzzle, Laura Wojciechowski, Education UAE, Harmeet Khaur, Incluzun, Phillipa Wraithmell, WiiEdu& ADEK, Catherine O’Farrell, Incluzun.
omen who Innovate and Integrate in Education (WiiEdu) is a supportive network that brings women together to share experiences and stories, exchange ideas and learn from and with their peers. Whatever your role and background in the MENA region’s educational sector, WiiEdu believes that by working together, members will always have a secure and pivotal space to harness wisdom, experience and support. WiiEdu was set in motion by cofounders Victoria James, Linda Parsons, Philippa Wraithmell and Shazia Saeed. It is designed to cultivate peer-topeer learning, inspiration and mutual encouragement in managing your career or personal well-being amid the unique challenges facing women today. This month, WiiEdu joined forces with Incluzun to host a networking event bringing female leaders in the Inclusion sphere together to connect and share the wonderful innovations that are happening in Inclusive Education across the UAE. Incluzun is a sustainable organisation working under the umbrella of Global Sustainability Goal 8 driving inclusive practice across the region - supporting schools, families and people of determination. Incluzun works toward connecting practitioners and building
on shared knowledge and expertise through a range of non-profit events, forums and educational summits.
Empowered, Inspired and Connected There is strength in numbers, as the proverb goes. Only by joining forces will women be able to make a genuine difference in the education world. That’s why WiiEdu and Incluzun are committed to establishing a community that is open to anybody who wants to participate. As a result, WiiEdu has no membership fees and only requires like-mindedness while Incluzun hosts a monthly Inclusion & Wellbeing Forum that is free and open to all with an audience of over 2,000 practitioners. So, join the WiiEdu network or the Incluzun Forum today and become a part of a community of educators who are working together to make a difference by linking up regularly, with the focus always being on leaving you empowered, inspired and connected.
Giving Female Leaders a Voice WiiEdu and Incluzun came together to champion women in pioneering and innovative roles within education, focusing on supporting those people who are leading the integration of transformative, inclusive pedagogical thinking and EdTech into their schools, as these women are the inspirational role models for their female students. Linda Parsons explains: “Our network recognises that everyone has the potential to succeed as equals through education and access to future skills, which opens the door to a truly egalitarian future. This network gives all members a voice, allowing them to exchange advice, support and information, encouraging them to pursue their specialities and drive school reforms.” Events are inclusive and supportive, giving a voice to all females who are
Events are inclusive and supportive, giving a voice to all females who are changing the shape of education in their schools INCLUZUN
Outstanding HR software for school leaders Holistic HR management system – bespoke to schools and Trusts SAMpeople has been developed by HR and education specialists as a complete HR system for schools and Trusts. It builds on the successful Staff Absence Management (SAM) system, operational in 100’s of schools over the last 5 years. With SAMpeople you can monitor and manage employee data, HR casework, appraisals, performance management and staff development, setting goals and targets and tracking progress. SAMpeople also makes managing compliance easy with the ability to track processes and set due date reminders. All your data is kept in one place and an extensive reporting suite allows you to empower your leadership team, trustees, board or governors to make decisions. As a Trust, you can see an overview across all schools allowing you to support where needed and share best practice. If you choose to, you can add on a Recruitment module FACE-Ed which provides applicant tracking software and a talent pool which can be shared across your schools. “The customer service has far excelled our previous experiences and their willingness to work with us as the customer is second to none.” The DeFerrers Trust, UK
Save time & money by integrating your HR systems Customisable for your school or Trust Bespoke to Education Expert HR resources and templates Built by education HR specialists Personalised account management and support Links with existing school data systems
Go to www.sampeople.co.uk Phone +44 1924 907319
Ministry of Culture and Youth Promotes Bedtime Stories As part of its Reading Month initiatives, the Ministry of Culture and Youth hosted a talk session on its YouTube channel. The conversation about the importance of bedtime stories with Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Ibtesam Al Bayati, children’s book author, was moderated by Youssef Abdel Bari. The speakers discussed the impact of reading to children and how it can be made a part of daily routine.
he speakers praised the UAE’s efforts in fostering a culture of reading at a young age and involving families in making reading a part of their daily routine. “It’s a huge endeavour on the part of the UAE to encourage reading by dedicating a whole month to various reading initiatives. The various book fairs in the country are a testimony to our leadership’s commitment to promoting reading among communities. It is important to introduce children to books at a young age. Parents should start reading to their children and continue to read even when the children are old enough to read on their own. Reading is a great way to bond as a family,” said Isobel Abulhoul. She added that children should be encouraged to choose the topics they like, not all children like the same books or have the same interests and a diversity in books should be encouraged. It has been scientifically proven that reading is a relaxing activity and it’s a great way to engage your mind before sleeping. Ibtesam Al Bayati agreed that the love of reading should be inculcated at a young age and the onus lies on parents to introduce books to their children. “You can achieve so much at home in terms of learning. The UAE is on the right track by the way it has made reading a part of the school curricula. There are so many activities that we design around children’s storybooks which makes early learning fun,” she added.
By 2026, reading would become an integral part of the community’s behaviour with 50% of Emirati adults and 80% of schoolchildren reading books as an everyday activity. It also aims for students to read an average of 20 books annually and stipulates that at least 50% of Emirati parents read to their children. She spoke about her how she fondly remembers her father who used to read to her when she was little, adding that she still cherishes those memories to this day. Reading together fosters bonding and makes irreplaceable memories. Al Bayati added that being a role model to children is very important. Teach the kids how books make excellent friends. Children learn empathy and social skills by reading about others’ experiences in their favourite books. Storybooks also aid special children to express themselves even if they cannot speak. The moderator then asked how books could be used to foster openness and tolerance. Abulhoul quoted an Emirati author who said that books should be a mirror and a window to a child. Books help readers have a deep understanding of other people’s lives and give them a new perspective. Through various fictional characters children learn about what others are experiencing and develop empathy for them and learn a great deal about how to tackle challenges in their life.
The moderator asked about ways to keep children from using phone and iPad. It’s an easy way to calm a child to allow them to play on the phone, he said but what is the way out of this?
When asked about how characters in storybooks inspire young readers, Al Bayati gave the example of books about the UAE’s leaders. Children see them as heroes in these books. Such stories are inspiring and also fascinating for young readers.
Abulhoul pointed out: “Start reading a story and the child will crawl up to listen. Do not allow children under the age of two to watch content on phone or iPad. The best way to engage a child is to read to them. Just curl up in bed with your children and read together.”
Abulhoul added: “Reading books is the best way to hone your language skills. Reading the Holy Koran helps to master the Arabic language. There is a life lesson for young people out there who want to do something in life. Find what you truly like
to do and work hard, invest your time and energy in it to master it. There is no shortcut to success.” Al Bayati continued that one should not give a timeline to achieve goals. “Go with flow and give yourself time to achieve your goals,” she said. The moderator then asked the panellists about the challenges on the ground if one was to publish and distribute a book. Abulhoul said that while the UAE has excellent printers and publishers, the distribution of books is still a challenge. “We have well-stocked book shops and libraries, but books don’t travel in the Arab world, we need a strong distribution network for local authors to help circulate their books throughout the region.” Al Bayati added that the UAE offers numerous workshops and children’s events to foster reading and inculcate a love for books. “There are a lot of opportunities out there to read and explore new books, all we need is to discover these opportunities and tap into them. Parents should proactively engage in these workshops along with their children to encourage the habit of reading.”
It has been scientifically proven that reading is a relaxing activity and it’s a great way to engage your mind in before sleeping
It has been scientifically proven that reading is a relaxing activity and it’s a great way to engage your mind in before sleeping When asked whether books need to have age-appropriate ratings, Abulhoul said that it’s always a good practice to read what your children will be reading and it’s easier to monitor that for physical books as compared to digital content. “You should know what your child is reading, this allows you as parents to monitor the content and also gives you an opportunity to have a conversation about the story with your children, it can be a topic of discussion at mealtimes.”
The UAE offers numerous workshops and children’s events to foster reading Al Bayati added that she makes it a point to read every book before she reads it out to her class. “This helps me prepare and plan activities around it and get the kids excited about the story. It’s more interactive and fun to discuss these stories when I have already read them.” Books are not just one’s best friends but also teachers and give a broader perspective on life. Cultivating a habit of reading from childhood will help raise a more aware and informed generation. The Reading Month is an annual event during which various government and private entities along with educational and cultural institutions participate in a roster of programmes to build a readers’ society armed with science and knowledge and capable of leading the development of the country, as the most important national goals of this initiative.
BECOMING A CHILD AUTHOR Voices of Future Generations, the inspiring global writing competition for children, is offering a webinar series for youngsters to drill down into some of the Sustainable Development Goals and clear tips and tricks for how they can pursue this research to elevate their creative writing to the highest standard. Students, parents, and teachers can sign up for free on the website at https://vofg.vofgarabia. org/webinars. This unique writing initiative, launched under the patronage of UNESCO in 2015 and brought to the Middle East in 2019, was created to promote sustainability awareness and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The regional competition is organised by the Emirates Literature Foundation on behalf of HH Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Goodwill Ambassador for
the initiative for the Middle East region. The series of webinars, entitled ‘The SDG Story Drill,’ will focus on SDGs 6-9, and SDGs 11-12. Each webinar will drill deep into one of these SDGs and ensure young writers gain a good understanding of the issues, and then explore how they can use this research in their writing. Attending the webinars will help students hone their craft and write gripping, edge-of-the-seat stories. The advice offered during these sessions will greatly benefit students entering the Voices of Future Generations competition, which is open to children aged 8-12, writing for children aged 6 and above. All entries must be between 600 and 1,500 words long, in Arabic or English. The stories should feature one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the writer’s hopes, dreams or aspirations for a sustainable future. Entries are open to all children resident in the Gulf region and in full-time education, including those home-schooling. Registrations for the third year are now open and the
competition will close in the first half of 2022. Following the conclusion of the SDG Story Drill series, there will be a series of workshops for schools. Any school in the GCC can apply for a dedicated workshop provided they have registered a minimum of 20 students to enter the competition.
The webinars offer a deep dive into selected SDGs and how children can use them in creative writing VOICES OF ARABIA
ABU DHABI ARABIC LANGUAGE CENTRE LAUNCHES ‘ELOQUENT CHILD’ PROJECT
The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, has launched its landmark cultural project, ‘Eloquent Child’, which aims to promote the values and aesthetics of the Arabic language to new generations, invest in their abilities and innovations, and strengthen their cultural and national identity. The project is a continuation of the Centre’s vision and objectives to enhance younger generations’ knowledge and culture, in addition to strengthening their connection to the Arabic language. Under the supervision of prominent Arab intellectuals, it presents all 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet as songs with video clips that take aesthetic values into account in terms of the poetry, melody and performance. His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The project reflects the Centre’s vision to advance the Arabic language and promote it with the younger generations. These objectives are in line with the UAE’s ambitious plans and strategies for the education system, which is a national priority and a key contributor to our efforts to build a robust civilisation. “This project is a significant and
promising step we are taking, bringing us closer to creating highly educated generations with a strong connection to their Arabic mother tongue – the cornerstone of their national identity,” HE bin Tamim added. “With that in mind, we sought to empower the younger generation to master their language in an innovative and unconventional way.
The project aims to underline the values and aesthetics of the Arabic language We strive to create a generation that is knowledgeable of the aesthetics of their language and capable of making a positive impact in their environment and community.” The ALC released the first song of the series, beginning with ‘Alef’, ‘Baa’, ‘Taa’, ‘Thaa’, Jeem’, Haa’ (the first letters of the Arabic alphabet), with others to follow covering all letters of the Arabic alphabet. The songs were written by poets Amal AlSahlawi from the UAE and Abdul Ghani Tlais from Lebanon, under the musical
The new and improved website is open to all visitors at www.alc.ae, offering access to valuable information and books. supervision of veteran Lebanese singer and music composer Ahmad Kaabour. Meanwhile, composer Hani Siblini managed the musical arrangement, with singers Ahmad Kaabour, Nadine Hassan, Rasha Al-Rifai, and Elie Khayat, performing the songs. As part of its strategy to support children’s and young adult literature, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre dedicated a special section to the project on its new website to display an integrated collection of books and stories under these categories, in addition to educational songs made especially for them. The innovative style and design of the ALC website addresses visitors in both Arabic and English and aims to ensure seamless browsing and a smooth transition between the various sections and content, which cover a wide variety of topics.
Screen Time in Children – a Modern Day Pandemic. Children have easy access to televisions, tablets, phones and gaming devices. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers are now growing up in an environment saturated with technologies and digital gizmos. Screens are clearly a part of our everyday lives like never before. It’s absolutely essential for a number of daily routines like social media, online food shopping, connecting with loved ones, listening to music and sharing messages.
T Dr. Arif Khan is founder of NEUROPEDIA, the first comprehensive children’s neuroscience center in the region. He has extensive experience in the management of various childhood neurological conditions such as epilepsy and seizure disorders, headaches and migraines, sleep disorders, neuromuscular conditions, movement disorders, neonatal neurology, cerebrovascular stroke, cerebral palsy, neurometabolic conditions, neurogenetic conditions, neurobehavioural conditions, autism and ADHD.
he American Academy of Pediatrics has issued guidelines for screen usage in children. For children under two years of age, the only screen interaction should be in presence of an adult and making sure that the content is carefully selected. For children between two and five years of age, not more than one hour per day of independent screen time is advocated. No specific limit for older children has been stated, provided it doesn’t interfere with their sleep, physical activities and other healthy habits.
Adverse effects of screen usage are very well known but still more research is needed to fully understand them. However, these have to be emphasised and reiterated even more as this new-age obsession encroaches on our life. Excessive screen usage leads to reduced physical activity, increased weight gain, poor social interaction, reduced family time, less sleep, hyperactivity, headaches and eyesight problems. There are some other negative implications which might come to our knowledge in the coming years.
These recommendations are useful but obviously difficult to implement in a child who is fixated on a screen behaviour to keep himself or herself engaged and entertained.
Our screens are pervasive and addictive. We know it from our personal experience with them. It is not a surprise that our kids are fascinated by this activity and jump on to it quickly, easily and intuitively. Screens and its content shapes our children’s minds and we need to make sure that it’s in the right direction.
We can keep listing these alarming numbers. But the fact of the matter is that we are dependent on these new-age technologies for essentially everything and we consume an excessive amount of these harmful ‘blue-light’ along with the barrage of information that we intend to consume.
I have always advocated the 4’M’ rule for all my patients and parents.
THERE ARE MANY ALARMING FACTS WHICH ARE WORTH NOTING. ACCORDING TO A SURVEY, Children aged 0 to 2 years engage in more than 3 hours of screen time per day. School aged children 49% spend more than 2 hours on screen in a day 16% spend more than 4 hours per day. In the US 95% of teens have access to smartphones
For children between two and five years of age, not more than one hour per day of independent screen time is advocated MINIMISE your kids’ screen time. I understand that this is the major hurdle. As a parent, keep set times for your toddlers to enjoy screens. It should be something they look forward to during the day rather than having uncontrolled access to screens throughout the day. If your children are spending a lot of leisure time on screens, start by setting smaller and more attainable goals. Reduce their screen time to half and then slowly reduce it to reach close to the recommended allowance. MITIGATE and curate their content to include educational content. Joining them during their screen time and understanding their current choices helps in curating the right content for them. BE MINDFUL of dependence on screens and think of alternative activities to keep them engaged. The best way to do this is to keep hand-held devices away from their reach and visibility. Outdoor activities are a good distraction from the screens and children tend to enjoy it more than indoor activities. Finally, be a MODEL for your child by maintaining good screen time behaviour yourself. Establish no screen zones at home like dining space and bedrooms.
Excessive screen usage leads to reduced physical activity, increased weight gain, poor social interaction, reduced family time, less sleep, hyperactivity, headaches and eyesight problems
PROOF AND PRACTICE IN KENYA – FROM SURVIVAL TO ABUNDANCE By Brett Girven, Principal, The Arbor School THE LANDSCAPES OF KENYA ARE VAST, AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE THERE IS A CANOPY OF GREY-GREEN ACACIA THORN TREES AND SCRUB. ABOVE, THE BLUE IS VIVID AND JUXTAPOSED WITH THE CUMULUS CLOUDS WHICH SEEM FIXED TO THE CANVAS LIKE A FAKE SCENE CREATED FOR A SCHOOL PLAY. AWAY FROM THE SUMMER HAZE OF DUBAI WHERE MY VISION OF THE HORIZON IS ALWAYS SEPIA-TONED, EVERYTHING SEEMS UNBELIEVABLY CLEAR, WITH THE COLOUR SATURATION TUNED TO MAXIMUM. THE NIGHTTIME QUIET AT KIVULI CAMP IS ALMOST PAINFUL. I FEEL MYSELF NEEDING TO FILL THE VOID WITH SOMETHING - TALK, MUSIC, ACTION...IT TAKES A FULL DAY TO APPRECIATE HOW TO SIT WITH THE SILENCE. KIVULI ENCOURAGES INTROSPECTION.
Meeting some of the local students who have received free uniform through the Arbor - Kapes partnership
Brett taking part in a lesson
A typical classroom in Kenya with approx. 90 students per class, sharing desks but looking and feeling smart
For each uniform set Arbor, students purchase, a child in need SOMEWHERE in the world would receive a uniform which allowed them to go to school well clothed
FROM DUBAI TO KENYA Arbor School is a sustainable school based in the United Arab Emirates, in the urgent and fast-paced city of Dubai. As an ‘Ecological School grounded in the British Curriculum’, we take sustainability seriously and believe that the route to a future where there is enough for all, forever, requires a transformational learning experience which engages head, heart and mind. As a part of the drive to contribute to a culture of sustainability, Arbor took the decision to partner with Kapes for the production of a sustainable school uniform just as the global Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world. The decision had many moving parts but in hindsight was a ‘no-brainer’, a partnership where both parties are tightly aligned in terms of purpose and passion. Not only would Kapes provide uniforms produced in the most sustainable way possible, with the founder standing behind his commitment to source organic and sustainably grown raw materials, but Kapes also ensured they were produced by workers receiving fair pay and fair work conditions, with a preplanned circular flow of resources as used uniforms would enter a carefully designed pre-loved sales cycle. The icing on the cake was the philanthropic element. For each uniform set Arbor, students purchase, a child in need SOMEWHERE in the world would receive a uniform which allowed them to go to school well clothed.
school Principal well versed in pedagogy and impact cycles, I quickly had to school myself on the organic cotton picking challenges faced under Covid restrictions, and procurement times for organic cloth from India. Topics I can confidently say my teacher training did not prepare me for. Fast forward a year, and Matthew Benjamin, the founder and CEO of Kapes emailed and asked, “Would you like to come and visit the school where your students are providing uniforms to children in need?” Needless to say…next stop Kenya. Whilst I could dwell on the incredible experience of visiting Kirigu Primary school in Nairobi, where smiling students proudly wore their new uniforms without which they would be excluded from attending school, the more transformational experience occurred at a much quieter and less-heralded partner of Kapes, approximately five hours on a quietly rocking train to the East.
Change is never easy, and the launch of a new uniform was certainly not without heartache and drama. As a
RUKINGA RANCH Kivuli camp sits in the middle of Rukinga Ranch in the Eastern region
of Kenya, a collection of thatched huts that range from dormitory to family huts to outdoor classrooms. Comfy and homely but not glamorous. Baboons bark beyond the fence, and whilst stories of bull elephants rampaging towards the camp exist, these are fading into distant memory like the hillocks which fade into the creeping darkness. The camp is well maintained, and the rangers patrol the perimeter. Stoic, smiling men, shining with purpose, and radiating confidence. This is their garden. Rukinga Ranch forms a part of the Kasigau Wildlife Corridor between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, and in association with Wildlife Works, has been going through a communitybased conservation effort to conserve and preserve the natural environment. Wildlife Works is situated on the Rukinga Ranch, but its impact can be felt far beyond the ranch as it reaches out into the community of this area. The local Kenyan staff are the teachers, the scientists, the chefs and the experts. Ms Rahel gently detailed the soap making process - the hard science of acids, bases and neutralization supplemented by the aromatic sensuous sounding cinnamon, lime and jojoba. Mr George is a gardener, mad scientist and passionate conservator rolled into one. He keeps the audience enthralled despite the heat, mixing Kiswahili with English, his knowledge of place and community mixed with the heart-science of companion planting and permaculture. Messieurs Bernard, Daniel and Alan all brought their passion to our visit, illustrating at each step how their part of the picture bought sustainability, enterprise and community to the fore. A trilogy of powerful forces for sustainable change. The story of Kivuli, Rukinga and Wildlife Works is told in all the small enterprises taking place at their headquarters, with a garment factory; a greenhouse and nursery; a seamstress academy and various supporting workshops and offices. In reality, this is a much more important story, for which these separate enterprises are only minor part actors to the main player - conservation. Or more precisely, community-based conservation. The garment factory provides work for the local community, so they may feed their families and don’t need to hunt for bushmeat or burn forest for
Wildlife Works is situated on the Rukinga Ranch, but its impact can be felt far beyond the ranch as it reaches out into the community of this area
L-R. Brett Girven, Principal - Arbor, Matthew Benjamin, Founder and CEO Kapes, Andres Foden, operations Manager - Arbor at Wildlife Works where the uniforms are made.
charcoal...conservation is the whispered undertone. The nursery garden employs gardeners, purchases seedlings from local individuals and gives those seedlings back to the community for free...more work, more self-supporting families...conservation goes from whisper to murmur. The rangers are locally employed, educated, trained, and unarmed. They educate their community, monitor and protect the environment, and minimise human-wildlife conflict... conservation begins to resonate loudly
throughout the community. Natural selection favours those communities in which individuals act for the benefit of the whole community. As humans, we call this ethical behaviour. Ethics always has to do with community; it is behaviour for the common good. This visit to Kenya is to find an exemplar of social enterprise - business for common good. It would be next to useless, of course, to talk about the possibility of good solutions to wicked problems if none existed in proof and in practice.
PROOF AND PRACTICE As a teacher, if you wish a student to know what an appropriate analysis of Othello might contain, you show them a previous example to critique. If you are teaching a multistep equation in a chemistry classroom, students need a worked example to see the process from start to finish. In the teacher world, these exemplars are called a WAGOLL - ‘what a good one looks like’. At Arbor, we are attempting to teach a programme of eco-literacy that moves from the obvious, practical and connected to the sophisticated and complex. Moving from muddy play experiential learning to social enterprise and environmental justice. What is missing at the highest level, for me at least, has been a tangible and successful WAGOLL of this nuanced approach. My visit to Rukinga and Wildlife Works has provided that WAGOLL, the proof and practice. In 1998 this success story kicked off as Wildlife Works opened with a vision of an ecological economy, an economy that had cooperation as a fundamental principle, where competition is subordinate, and where solidarity and compassion lead to a better outcome for everyone. With a dash of external expertise, these small but powerful community-based enterprises kicked off. Communities benefitted and began to own the solutions to the intractable problems that existed. But the major leap forward came when Wildlife Works and the local community monetized their number one asset... the trees. By monetizing the carbon-absorbing capacity (known as ‘carbon sequestration’) of shrubs, trees and soil, the impetus was created. Communities were encouraged and importantly resourced to start or restart
The new ready to go
what is not new knowledge or new skills but refocused on a community that had for some time focused on egocentric, destructive, extractive and consumptive behaviours. The behaviours of survival. FROM SURVIVAL TO ABUNDANCE The father of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman, uses a term, ‘north of neutral’. Positive Psychology is the science of helping individual human beings to flourish. The ‘north of neutral’ environmental equivalent could be termed ‘abundance’. Paradoxically, abundance is best achieved not through an approach of ‘more’, but an approach of accepting a measure of sufficiency - accepting that ‘enough is enough’ leads to ‘enough for all’. And the social equivalent, i.e. collective flourishing, could be ‘harmony’. Here in Kenya, I have seen a community which has begun to flourish, with teams of locally employed and empowered researchers measuring individual and community wellbeing. Although I can only observe from the outside, everything I saw and heard would lead me to believe that the direction of travel is certainly northward - towards flourishing. In an environment that the founder of Wildlife Works himself described as “a bruised, balding land, barren of wildlife”, we saw ample wildlife - elephant and buffalo, warthogs and baboons, cheetah and lion. Whilst it was a dry time of year in a drought-prone region, tree cover was everywhere, and dams both natural and man-made provided lifesustaining water for all animals. It is an environment that whilst under threat, is beginning to be the abundant landscape that we see in our mind’s eye when we imagine the plains of Africa. And most importantly, as envisaged by the founder
uniforms being made, o out to students
Brett at Wildlife Works learning about their approach to conservation and educating the local communities
This expedition proffered the proof and practice of a social enterprise in action Mike Korchinsky, the human world and the natural world are moving towards harmony. Human-wildlife conflict is reducing, animals are returning, and plant life is sprouting. Mike’s premise was that if you want wildlife, you have to make sure it works for local communities. Whilst this may sound a bit utilitarian, it seems to be working. WHY AM I HERE? So, what brought a school Principal to the middle of Kenya in the middle of term time when he should be running assemblies and checking on classrooms? Arbor has been on a journey of self-discovery to deliver an education that delivers on its vision of ‘enough for all forever’. That journey includes an up-levelled ambition of our original pillars - sustainability, eco-literacy and global environmental justice become the far more ambitious Flourishing, Abundance and Harmony. This expedition proffered the proof and practice of a social enterprise in action. I witnessed the positive impact of the energy we have expended at Arbor making a real difference, and envisaged new ways to bring experiential learning to the students of Arbor. Through the window of the gently rocking train, Mount Kilimanjaro slides by, shrouded in cloud. Tsavo National Park stretches
endlessly out of sight on my other side, and the announcer describes how this section of railway was where the maneaters of Tsavo, a pair of hungry lions, ravaged the railway construction team during the era of colonial expansion and construction. The landscape is ever-changing, yet endlessly the same. As I return to Nairobi and onwards to the shiny but sepia-toned Dubai, I feel education is much the same. Transformation is slow, the process rocks from side to side with the buffeting of changing educational ideas, politics and personalities. Yet the journey is as important as the destination, the where, why and what having equal importance. Everyone needs a bit of inspiration, and this has been just the dose I needed. Kwaheri – Goodbye!
THE ARBOR SCHOOL +971 4 581 4100
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New Book Reminds Pupils of the Importance of Judicious, Individual, Decision Making CHARLIE CRISP, A RECEPTIONIST AT THE AQUILA SCHOOL, HAS PUBLISHED HIS FIRST BOOK, TITLED ‘DECISION STREET, WHICH WAS LAUNCHED AT THE SHARJAH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL. INSPIRED BY THE PUPILS HE SEES EVERY DAY, THE STORY BEGAN AS A PERSONAL PROJECT FOR CRISP DURING THE SCHOOL’S SUMMER BREAK.
Charl at The
lie Crisp, A receptionist Aquila School
Aimed primarily at students below the age of eight, the book presents them with experiences in different scenarios According to Crisp: “Working in a school, you are constantly surrounded by children and, for the past three years, I’ve seen a lot of them flourish academically and socially. It’s quite inspiring. Not being a teacher, I can’t really help from an academic point of view, but I wanted to see if I could help from the social side. As a young child, I had a computer game that, when you got to certain stages, asked me how to continue - ‘To go left press the space bar, to go right press F5’. As a child, I found that incredible. “It was me making the choice and not a grown-up. This has stuck with me through the years. The idea of writing a children’s picture book to guide them in certain situations but, ultimately, leaving the children to make the choice, stemmed from these two situations.” Aimed primarily at students below the age of eight, the book presents them with experiences in different scenarios, where they have to make decisions based on two possible options. They will then be transported to different pages based on their choice. If it is the ‘right decision’ they will be told what the outcome is. When asked about how long he had been thinking about writing, Crisp replied: “It has been something I have thought about for the past few years. As a parent, I would read bedtime stories to my children and always found the Julia Donaldson books very clever. The stories are fun, but I have been particularly impressed with her rhyming. I personally find rhyming books more fun to read so, after deciding to give this a go, I was determined to make it a rhyming picture book.” ‘Decision Street’ has a unique rhythm. Crisp makes rhymes from different scenarios in the book and has also named two characters after his children.
You can purchase your copy of the book here: www.sanadbooks.com/decision-street.html
STAND A CHANCE TO WIN A YEARS WORTH OF SCHOOL FEES THE PAINTING WIZARD INVITES YOU TO THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS INTER-SCHOOL PAINTING COMPETITION FOR ALL STUDENTS ACROSS THE UAE. THIS HYBRID COMPETITION AIMS TO BRING BACK NORMALCY IN THE LIVES OF CHILDREN POSTCOVID. THE IDEA IS TO ENGAGE AND CREATE INTERACTION WITH OTHER STUDENTS, AND LEARN AND EXPLORE THEIR OWN CREATIVE SIDE. AND WHAT’S BEST IS THAT THERE IS A LOT TO WIN, ALONG WITH THE JOY OF PAINTING AND DISCOVERY.
Spread across three weeks, The Painting Wizard is split into different stages of competition to finally reveal the top four students/young artists from the UAE. The initial registration is completely online. The students will have to fill in a pre-set artwork with colours of their imagination and submit it to the website. 40 finalists will then undergo a FREE workshop by our esteemed jury and on the event finale. These 40 will battle it out with a LIVE painting competition followed by a gala dinner and awards ceremony to emerge winners.
CATEGORIES 1. 2. 3. 4.
Class Class Class Class
1–3 4-6 7&8 9 & 10
DATES TO REMEMBER: Submission Deadline 15th August 2022
WORKSHOP 21st August 2022
There is a lot to win, along with the joy of painting and discovery
EVENT FINALE 28th August 2022, Legoland Dubai
WHAT CAN YOU WIN? One winner from each category will win a full year’s school fees as a scholarship FREE online coding courses FREE training ART workshop Gift Hampers and much more We thank all our partners – BrightChamps, Byju’s, Skechers, The Paintbrush Community, Education UAE, NABD, Kidzapp and Khaleej Times - for all the support they have given to make this initiative a memorable one. Hurry up and send in your entries to win amazing prizes.
Hurry up and send in your entries to win amazing prizes. REGISTER NOW at: www.thepaintingwizard.com
THE PAINTING WIZARD
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SEASIDE BRUNCH BRINGING THE SEASIDE TO THE VILLAGE!
WHAT: It goes without saying – brunching is a vital weekend activity in Dubai, and it isn’t just reserved for the wild party animals! An exciting, eclectic new family brunch is arriving at the Village Bistro located inside The First Collection, Jumeirah Village Circle, and it’s perfect for parents and children alike. Welcoming guests of all ages, even infants, the nautical themed Seaside Brunch will proudly present a host of seaside pier-inspired activities for families to enjoy both indoors and outdoors, whilst indulging in an impressive selection of food and drinks, every Saturday, from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Alongside access to splashing fun at the pristine pool at The First Collection, parents and little ones can compete in fun seaside stall games such as bucket throw and tin can ally, make sand architecture in the sand pit which is nestled in a real boat, be a canvas for colourful face painting, and get imaginative with arts and crafts. The entertainment doesn’t end there – stand in awe of the regal Seaside Princess, get a tentactular visit from Oscar Octopus, dance with our superstar Sandy the Starfish, get creative with Mini-Chef and have a talented balloon artist bend the balloons into impossible shapes and tap toes to tunes with an incredible playlist. The feast of food and drinks will include classics such as British roast dinner, and Fish & Chips with mushy peas and tartar sauce, inspiring the feeling of an afternoon spent on the British shore by the sea. ENTERTAINMENT: Magic Phil (Lost at Sea Show) Seaside Princess Oscar The Octopus Sandy The Starfish Balloon Bending ACTIVITIES: Complimentary Pool Access Seaside Stall Games Mini Chef Seaside Sand Boat Face Painting Seaside Arts and Crafts
WHERE: The Seaside Brunch, Village Bistro, The First Collection Hotel, Jumeirah Village Circle
WHEN: Every Saturday, 12:30pm to 4:30pm
PRICING: Free for infants (0-3) AED 125 for children (ages 4 – 11) AED 175 including soft drinks A ED 275 including house beverages and selected cocktails AED 375 Premium Beverages
For reservations call: +971 50 836 1513 or www.familybrunchdubai.com
MOTIONGATE™ DUBAI IS THE PLACE TO BE THIS SUMMER! The Hollywood-inspired themed park steps up its summer holidays game with the launch of the Coolest Summer package!
John Wick Open Contract
WHAT: With the school summer holidays just around the corner, parents are eagerly looking for exciting ways to keep their kids engaged. MOTIONGATE™ Dubai has stepped up to the challenge and is ready to deliver with the launch of its Coolest Summer offer! Starting 6th June 2022, the Middle East’s largest Hollywood-inspired theme park has launched a special offer for visitors that will keep them cool when enjoying the unforgettable rides and attractions inside one of the UAE’s most popular hotspots. This summer, from June through to August, MOTIONGATE™ Dubai belongs at the top of your list for a fantastic day out, as more than 70% of rides and attractions are situated indoors in comfy air conditioning. Most of the park’s ride waiting areas, restaurants and retail stores are also air conditioned and there are free buggy services taking visitors from Riverland to MOTIONGATE™ Dubai. Now You See Me High Roller Now You See Me High Roller
Visitors to MOTIONGATE™ Dubai who purchase The Coolest Summer ticket online in advance will receive a 10% discount, a complimentary branded cap and a mouthwatering ice cream that will bring a smile to one and all. The unique park features 29 thrilling rides and attractions and exciting entertainment experiences, including character meet-and-greets, dance performances, photo opportunities and more. MOTIONGATE™ Dubai has five distinct zones: T he Lionsgate Zone features The Hunger Games-inspired Capitol Bullet Train roller The Studio Central, at the park’s entry coaster, the Panem Aerial Tour, 4D hovercraft boulevard, replicates ‘real’ working movie motion simulator, as well as two new roller sets and has services and shops to prepare coasters: Now You See Me: High Roller and guests for the day. John Wick: Open Contract T he Columbia Pictures Zone features seven T he Smurfs Village Zone includes rides, film-themed rides and attractions including attractions and play area for young children Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Hotel and families, all inspired by the popular Transylvania, Ghostbusters, The Green cartoon franchise Hornet, Underworld, and Zombieland. T he DreamWorks Zone is entirely indoors, featuring rides and attractions inspired by animated hits How to Train your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and Shrek. WHEN: For the first time ever MOTIONGATE™ Dubai has extended its opening hours by two hours during summer and is now open from 12pm to 10pm from Sunday to Thursday, and from 12pm to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
For more information, please call: 800-AMAZING (2629464) or visit: www.motiongatedubai.com/en
KIDS GO FREE ALL SUMMER ON YAS ISLAND
Access to the UAE’s best playground awaits, including theme parks, hotels, restaurants and more.
WHEN: Offer lasts until 04 September 2022 PRICING*** Children below the age of 12, when accompanied by a paying adult*, can enjoy three world-class theme parks - Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, and Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi – for free alongside staying and eating for free while booking a package including the Island’s top hotels starting at AED478 per adult**. Families staying for one, two and three nights can experience extraordinary prices starting at AED631 and AED784, respectively, per adult, with 2D Unlimited Tickets included. *One free child per one paying adult. ** Starting from price is per adult sharing double/twin room, and is inclusive of breakfast & Unlimited Park Access tickets for up to 2 adults and 2 children below 12 staying in same room *** Terms and Conditions apply
The ‘Kids Go Free’ summer packages give families access to more than 100 thrilling rides and attractions at the three one-of-kind theme parks nestled on the Island, including coveted Unlimited Park Access ticket, there’s a wealth of fun and adventure for the whole family to enjoy for a summer like no other. WHAT: Yas Island Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s leading leisure and entertainment destinations, is announcing its fantastic Kids Go Free offer for children to have a summer to remember this year. With access to the UAE’s best playground absolutely free, kids can stay, eat, play and even kart for free! For more thrills, parents can book 15-minute go-kart sessions at Yas Marina Circuit, home to the FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX™, which allows their kids to also enjoy the driving experience for free, when booked with one of the amazing hotel stay packages. With these packages, families can also upgrade their dining experience with the destination’s Half-Board Flex offers, kids will dine for free as well if booked on parent’s meal plan. For parents looking to relax while staying on the Island, guests will receive a 20% discount (tentative) for spa services as part of the Kid’s Go Free offer at any of the destination’s leading hotels: W Abu Dhabi - Yas Island, Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, The WB™ Abu Dhabi, Crowne Plaza Yas Island Abu Dhabi, Yas Island Rotana, Centro Yas Island by Rotana, Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Park Inn by Radisson Hotel
Abu Dhabi Yas Island and Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi Yas Island. Guests staying at DoubleTree by Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island Residences can enjoy the spa discount at The WB™ Abu Dhabi spa. What’s more, all packages booked through www. yasisland.com not only provide access to Yas Island’s incredible range of attractions, but guests can also book tickets to renowned landmarks around Abu Dhabi, including Louvre Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit, Qasr Al Watan and Qasr Al Hosn.
For more information, bookings, and terms and condition, please visit: www.yasisland.com
TEACHERS’ NIGHT OUT!
Whether you want to let off some steam after your shift or simply gather with people in the same industry, our list of restaurants and bars offer a range of discounts and special deals for teaching staff designed to help you unwind after a long day in class!
Winner of Time Out Dubai Nightlife Awards 2021 Best Party Brunch. Winner of What’s On Awards - Best Ladies Night. TEACHERS OFFER: 6 guests with their teacher’s ID will receive 1 ladies night offer complimentary. All members must present their physical Teacher’s ID on the day and opt for the same package. WHERE: FIVE, The Palm Jumeirah WHEN: Every Wednesday from 7pm
MAIDEN SHANGHAI’S T CRAZY RICH LADIES NIGH Dine with one of Dubai’s most famous chefs, award-winning Chef Luo Bing at trendy Dubai dining hotspot Maiden Shanghai. Get your girls and get glammed up for Maiden Shanghai, every Wednesday from 7pm.
Start the weekend early at ‘Crazy Rich Ladies Night’, with our gourmet and award-winning food and sips along with the best of live entertainment by our DJ! Winner of the BBC Good Food Awards 2021 - Fine Dining Brunch.
PRICING: 3 courses, 3 drinks, Ladies AED200 Gents AED300 3 courses, unlimited house drinks AED450 / unlimited sparkling AED500 (Ladies & Gents) FOR RESERVATIONS CALL:
04 455 99 89 EMAIL US
WHEN: Saturday Brunch: 1pm – 4:30pm, Afterparty: 4:30pm – 8pm TEACHERS OFFER: AED 349 for Teachers. Applicable to House Package only. Valid ID/card must be provided on entry. Valid for the the cardholders package only (Multi-buy with one card will NOT be accepted) PRICING: Brunch AED 299 – Soft AED 349 – Wine (Ladies Only) AED 399 – House AED 499 – Sparkling AED 699 – Champagne Afterparty AED 150 – 4 x selected House beverages
SECRET CIRCUS BRUNCH Perched on the 44th floor of the five-star Taj Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Nonya unveils an experience influenced by a rich melting pot of mixed Asian cultural influences, with outstanding views of Dubai’s beautiful landmarks. Music from International DJ’s. Lavish 4 course contemporary Asian brunch menu.
MIXED ENTERTAINMENT INCLUDING: Circus Performers Asian Dancers Saxophonist
FOR BOOKINGS: VISIT WEBSITE
WHERE: Nonya, TAJ, Jumeirah Lake Towers
for the the cardholders package only (multi-buy with one card will NOT be accepted). Special Offers & Complimentary Birthday packages can NOT be availed in the same booking. PRICING: Brunch AED 299 – Soft Drinks AED 425 – House AED 525 – Sparkling & Premium Wine AED 745 – Champagne AED 600 – Extended House Package (1pm – 6:30pm) Brunch & unlimited house beverages Afterparty AED 150 – 4 house beverages Applicable for brunch guests only due to current covid restrictions
SECRET JUNGLE BRUNCH
FOR BOOKINGS: A Secret Jungle has been found in the stunning Mama Zonia, located on the 2nd Floor of Pier 7, in the heart of Dubai Marina. Lavish International cuisine, premium 4 course sharing menu. Music from International DJ’s Mixed Entertainment including: Tribal Drummers Samba Dancers Mischief Monkeys
WHERE: Mama Zonia, Pier 7, Dubai Marina WHEN: Saturday Brunch: 1pm – 4:30pm, Afterparty: 4:30pm – 6:30pm TEACHERS OFFER: AED 375 for Teachers. Applicable to House Package only. Valid ID/card must be provided on entry. Valid
THE NINE, TAKING LUXURY TO NEW HEIGHTS Located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, with rolling saffron sands leading out to the crystal-clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean beyond, Mirissa is the perfect location for any type of holiday you’re after. This impeccably designed ninestoreyed villa is set seamlessly into the hillside above Mirissa beach. Coming with its own top-notch private chef, it is also conveniently placed near to several excellent restaurants for you to try the best food that the region has to offer.
An impeccably designed nine-storeyed villa, it takes luxury to new heights A BESPOKE EXPERIENCE
he Nine is an elegant, contemporary designed villa, with modern industrial features, that has somehow managed to perfect the art of barefoot luxury. - a private, peaceful sanctuary in which to unwind and be truly pampered. Upon arrival, for instance, guests are taken by elevator to the open skywalk, which overlooks the spectacular 25-metre infinity pool, for a Champagne reception supplied by a personal butler.
The concierge staff at The Nine will gladly arrange for visitors to explore the local area, with a tuctuc and driver on hand at all times to assist guests in finding the best spots that Mirissa has to offer. All activities during the stay are carefully arranged so that they are tailored exclusively for the guests, whether it’s a yoga instructor each morning for yoga on the sundeck overlooking the Indian Ocean or to sample the best food that the region as to offer. Pampering sessions, snorkelling, whale watching, fishing trips, surfing and catering a private yacht are all actives that our concierge staff are able to arrange for you during your stay. And if you catch a marlin or tuna fish during one of the fishing trips, the Villa’s private chef will cook it upon your return. The private in-house chef, butler service, housekeeping and concierge services are provided with the emphasis to be on the experience of the villa itself and the surroundings, to be able to enjoy some unspoilt quality time with your loved ones.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN MIRISSA
Guests can lay around the infinity pool on luxury sun-loungers and bean bags for the kids, as monkeys swing from nearby trees
Whale watching Mirissa is one of the best places in the world to see blue whales, with sightings on around 95% of trips during whale-watching season. Palm Tree Grove The best place to watch the sunset, a hidden gem that few people venture to, so you may even have the place to yourself! Surfing A fantastic spot for beginner and intermediate surfers, with friendly locals always keen to show you the ropes. Mirissa Beach A perfect spot to relax, enjoy the sun and cool off in the waters of Mirissa beach. Parrot Rock The perfect spot to climb up and see the Mirissa area, just a short walk from Mirissa Beach.
Polhena Beach A great place for a day trip, where you can snorkel and even spot some turtles!
6 en-suite bedrooms with en-suite and rain shower 1 kids room with 4 bunk beds and en-suite shower room and separate bathroom Open living room with a full library Mezzanine TV room In-door and out-door Dining area’s BBQ area 25 metre Infinity pool Bar with a large outdoor lounge and sundeck
Coconut Grove Just a short walk from Mirissa Beach is a quaint coconut farm on a hilltop with the most perfect view to catch the sunset.
Watch Video A DREAM DESTINATION Designed by Sri Lankan/Dubai based architect Tim Dean, with floor to ceiling glass windows and walkways, wooden furniture, local stone, polished concrete floors, two cane hanging lights inspired by bird’s nests, and sliding doors that open to the balcony, the villa is made entirely of natural materials. With muted taupe linens and contemporary designs, the décor is effortlessly elegant, enlivening the serene white and wood interiors. The pool area is at the heart of this laidback sanctuary. Guests can lay around the infinity pool on luxury sun-loungers and bean bags for the kids, as monkeys swing from nearby trees. With the terraced spaces to relax and the waterfall from the pool, this really is the place to relax and unwind.
THE NINE +971 50 451 1249
The Nine is perfect for all types of people, including adult groups, families and couples. It is a dream destination that sits only 500 steps from the beach and marina and offers unlimited luxury for mind, body and soul.
VISIT WEBSITE EMAIL US
Health and Nutrition
MIRACLES: A NATURAL WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING Miracles is a hub for wellness and self-development, a unique environment that promotes a healthy mind, body and spirit. Education UAE spoke to several members of its highly qualified and passionate team to find out how our own little miracles, our children, can benefit from a number of the classes and workshops on offer, and why parents can help their kids by helping themselves.
Amrit Schmidt is the founder and CEO of Miracles Wellbeing Centre, Dubai. Born in the Middle East, Educated and qualified in the U.S. with over 15 years of holistic therapy experience, leading to an unrivalled experience for Miracle patrons.
Health and Nutrition
EDUAE: Children pick up on and are undoubtedly affected by their parents’ moods. How important is it, therefore, to have a daily practice, such as mediation, for parents to remain ‘centred’?
GET TO KNOW US
Hiba Mehanna (General Manager): When we are aware that our energy affects those around us, we begin to see the importance of taking time out to recharge. We are constantly contributing energetically to our surroundings and when we are not in the right headspace, we see that reflected in not just ourselves but, the people close to us, often the ones we love the most. This is why meditation is so important to help us relax and stay calm. It helps to centre and ground us amidst the constant daily stresses. When our positive energy flows out into our environment and onto those around us it has the ability to help our loved ones, so they feel calm and happy too.
Hiba Mehanna, General Manager
EDUAE: Emotionally healthy parents tend to parent more effectively - do you think this can have a direct influence on the lifestyle and choices a child will make as an adult? Helen Najar (Clinical Hypnotherapist and Guidance Counsellor): The way we raise our children has a direct impact on how they develop their identity and the way they operate in the world. Children do not have the ability to decipher the behaviours of their parents the way they would as an adult and therefore will absorb and often suppress anything that is said or done to them. When the adult self is put under hypnosis to address an issue in their current life it is often stemming from an issue the child self has faced that remains unresolved. When we go back and address the issue as the child self the root cause is addressed and resolved, and the issue no longer presents itself in the adult self’s life, as it no longer subconsciously influences their lifestyle and choices.
Helen Najar, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Guidance Counsellor
Jane Elizabeth, Transformational Coach and Energy Healer
EDUAE: We teach our children all kinds of things, but are we failing our children if we do not teach them how to sense and maintain their energy and emotional health?
and perspectives without the interference of our own so they feel comfortable processing their emotions in a healthy and supported way.
Helen Najar: As parents, we often instil in our children the ways and beliefs we were taught by our parents. This means we are passing on the ways others sense and maintain their energy and emotions, without questioning what may be better for our children. We need to help our children understand their energy and emotions by focusing on them as individuals, and addressing their specific needs
Rreema Aidasahnni, Emotion and Body Code Practitioner and Energy Healer
Children need guidance, love and understanding to have a good sense of self, and when operating from this environment they learn to sense their own energy and have trust in themselves to make positive choices in their own lives. This allows their state of being to be built on a solid foundation that will maintain and balance their energy and emotional health.
When we are aware that our energy affects those around us, we begin to see the importance of taking time out to recharge
energy field. Tantrums, fears and phobias, anxiety and sleep problems can also be relieved. For older children, both reiki and meditation are brilliant tools to be used to help reduce the stress of exams and promote a clear and focused mindset. EDUAE: Teaching children emotional intelligence is an ongoing process integrated into their everyday activities, but it can also be boosted by individual activities such as art therapy. How important are activities such as these and what do Miracles offer? Hiba Najar: To understand and manage our emotions positively, we must be able to have a sound awareness of what is happening in the mind that may not be being outwardly expressed. The importance of integrating activities such as art therapy into your child’s life is not only important, it is sometimes essential, in order to have a deeper understanding of what is happening inside the mind. Through art therapy, we can explore the child’s mind in a creative and expressive way to bring about a level of self-awareness and self-esteem, while also encouraging social skills. These are some of the primary characteristics of having emotional intelligence. At Miracles, we offer art therapy for children to improve mental wellbeing and bring to light what the child is truly feeling, which they may be unable to vocally express. This form of therapy can be very insightful to parents as they can see on paper areas they need to address that they may have not been able to identify before. EDUAE: There is a strong belief system in the adult world that modern medicine is the only way and this can set itself in stone in the child’s mind. Parents surely have an obligation to widen their child’s worldview beyond ego and intellectualism to include ‘alternative’ therapies that help to combat potential illness before it arises rather than simply cure it?
EDUAE: One of the most common ways of maintaining a good emotional balance is meditation, and for children, this can set the stage for infinite healthy habits to take root. Do you encourage parents and children to meditate together, and at what age is it good to introduce young ones to mediation?
strengthen the bond between the parent and child while giving them a tool they can use for the rest of their lives. Children can start meditating at the age of two, which is around the time they start paying attention to the stories you read to them. Meditation can bring a greater connection and bond between parent and child.
Jane Elizabeth (Transformational Coach and Energy Healer): A powerful way of lowering stress and anxiety for both ourselves and our children is to practise a little bit of meditation together. Doing the meditation together helps to
It is also a wonderful way for parents to help their child release any negative thoughts and behaviours while building self-confidence and focus. Reiki can also help children with ADHD and learning disabilities by rebalancing the
Rreema Aidasahnni (Emotion and Body Code Practitioner and Energy Healer): Absolutely! As parents, we must teach our children to be aware and open at a very young age - to trust their intuition and to process emotional experiences in a healthy manner without suppressing them. There is extensive scientific research done on how our emotions contribute to our physical and mental illnesses. When we take care of the emotional and energetic aspects, we are less likely to manifest illness.
Health and Nutrition
The way we raise our children has a direct impact on how they develop their identity and the way they operate in the world
Working together by participating in classes is not only very insightful, but it also creates a beautiful family dynamic, bond and synergy. EDUAE: We all have bouts of anxiety and ‘the blues’, no matter what our ages. You must see many adults and children who become much calmer, happier and well-balanced after several classes? Jane Elizabeth: We see that clients are much calmer and happier after the first session of either reiki or meditation. The most common feedback I get as a reiki practitioner from parents/children is that, after a session, they see an immediate release of stress and anxiety followed by a feeling of deep relaxation. Both reiki and meditation help you to release any negative energy and get the positive energy flowing, with a beautiful feeling of inner peace. Reiki is a great way to heal the parent and relax the child.
It is so important that we raise children to be aware and accepting of who they truly are, and teach them that emotions are normal and healthy when processed correctly. This can be done through a range of alternative therapies such as meditation, mindfulness, art therapy, breathwork therapy and much more. EDUAE: What forms of energy healing classes are available for children at Miracles – do these include reiki, crystal therapy and yoga? Do children take to these modalities enthusiastically? Hiba Najar: At Miracles, we work with parents to address issues they are facing with their child, or that their child is facing at home and at school, and we find that children are very receptive and enthusiastic about the services we offer. Meditation is one of the most popular as it takes the child’s imagination on a relaxing, thoughtful journey with positive affirmations. This allows the child to explore their subconscious in a safe and peaceful way. Crystal therapy is great for children to explore their thoughts and feelings in a fun way. This also provides insight into how the child is feeling based on the crystal they are drawn to. Crystals are also a great take-home therapy for children as they can keep their chosen crystal close by and hold it whenever they feel they need healing. Fun fact: Amethyst is a great crystal for kids because of its calming effects.
Reiki for kids is such a wonderful way for children to overcome feelings of stress, hyperactivity and anxiety while clearing and balancing their energy centres in the body. Children tend to really enjoy this experience as they just have to relax and enjoy the session. We offer parents strategies to use at home with their children such as sleep talk therapy, which is a tool taught by our hypnotherapist and another fantastic way for parents to implement change by addressing the child’s thought patterns and behaviours in a non-invasive way by reprogramming their thoughts to be more positive before bedtime. EDUAE: Can parents and children do classes together, and is this a good idea? Rreema Aidasahnni: Yes, this is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Our children are our mirrors; they are here to show us our triggers and pain points. Every time we get triggered with our children, it is an opportunity to go within and look into what aspects of our lives need balancing and healing. For example, if you feel disrespected by your child, look within to see where in your life you disrespect yourself and your needs. When we heal ourselves, we heal our children and break patterns. If we don’t release these patterns, we pass them on to future generations.
Amethyst is a great crystal for kids because of its calming effect.
The journey to discover the authentic self is a journey that requires guidance, support, mindfulness, self-love and self-awareness After receiving reiki or meditation you can expect to feel: Lighter Happier Energised More relaxed Freer in your body and space EDUAE: For those people completely new to the world of Miracles and the therapies, classes and courses offered, where would you suggest they start in what is often a journey to discover the authentic self? Hiba Mehanna: The journey to discover the authentic self is a journey that requires guidance, support, mindfulness, self-love and self-awareness. It is about being open to discovering and healing the parts of yourself that you may not even know are there.
Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start, so I would suggest picking up the phone and getting in contact with us at Miracles. This way you will be able to speak with a qualified member of our team who will be able to guide you on the best and most appropriate alternative therapy path for you and your family. It is important to remember we are all unique in our being, and no one size fits all. Whether you begin with meditations or private sessions, you will be in a safe space, a home away from home, in an environment that is completely confidential and offers only unconditional positive regard. The experience at Miracles in itself can be a form of therapy and definitely a positive step on the journey toward discovering the authentic self. A recent testimonial of a child’s experience at Miracles after experiencing reiki with our practitioner Jane Elizabeth: “I have a feeling that my son, who is five years old, is very emotional and sometimes he doesn’t know how to deal with it. I decided to give Jane the opportunity to work with him with some reiki and meditation. The experience was amazing and he just loved it. We also got some healing crystals, which are now part of our daily routine.”
When we heal ourselves, we heal our children and break patterns. If we don’t release these patterns, we pass them on to future generations.
If you are interested in joining one of our classes with your child or Miracles doing a workshop in your school, please contact us on: +971 4 363 9307 +971 58 232 7840
VISIT WEBSITE EMAIL US LOCATION
Look Good, Feel Good
The star-studded judging panel, featuring Fatema Aref Almulla from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Syrianborn fashion designer Rami Al Ali, YouTuber and presenter Haifa Beseisso and Co-Founder of CTZN Cosmetics, Aleena Khan.
CELEBRATING CREATIVITY, SELF-EXPRESSION AND SUSTAINABILITY AT THE UAE GRAND FINAL OF JUNK KOUTURE Junk Kouture, the world’s largest sustainable youth fashion programme, is delighted to unveil the date, location and celebrity judging panel for its much-anticipated UAE Final. Open to the public, the vibrant and exciting event will take place at the stunning Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, on Friday 24 June.
Look Good, Feel Good
urated to shine a light on the importance of climate change through creativity, Junk Kouture challenges young people to make striking and imaginative outfits out of 100% recyclable materials and items that are often unfairly labelled as waste. Over the past few months, dozens of schools across the nation have been working hard to create mesmerising and awe-inspiring looks, and now over 40 of the most incredible submissions have been selected to progress through to the Abu Dhabi City Final.
Giving students the chance to model and showcase their sensational outfits on the stage at the glamorous and glittering catwalk event, each participant will be trying their utmost to impress the judging panel and secure a place at the World Final of Junk Kouture. Taking place later this year, the World Final will see 10 UAE talents compete against international participants from Milan, Paris, London, New York, Dublin and beyond.
Dubai American Academy’s entry T-Wave which is a representation of a sea turtle, which symbolises the polluted environment in which they live. Made from old fabric and white plastic bags.
Over 40 of the most incredible submissions have been selected to progress through to the Abu Dhabi City Final
The Desert Bloom Inspired by the royalty and the futuristic ruler fabric scraps, plastic gr wrap, dry leaves and dr
m, JSS Private School y of the Victorian Era, golden sands of the UAE rs of this nation. 50 newspapers, bottlecaps, rocery bags, veg net, scraps of jewellery, bubble ry flowers.
145 The Desert Wanderer, Dubai American Academy This garment is made to explore, to wander, to gather. Used different plastics, fabrics, and canvas.
Adding an extra element of prestige and excitement, the star-studded judging panel, featuring Fatema Aref Almulla from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Syrian-born fashion designer Rami Al Ali, YouTuber and presenter Haifa Beseisso and Co-Founder of CTZN Cosmetics, Aleena Khan, will also be present to judge each entry live on stage.
Anyone with an interest in fashion, sustainability or art is encouraged not to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the fashion designers and circular engineers of tomorrow present their incredible Junk Kouture creations live and on the catwalk in Abu Dhabi.
Tickets for the innovative and thrilling Grand Final spectacle are now on sale priced AED 100 from abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net Check out the full list of UAE finalists on the Junk Kouture Instagram page, and visit: www.junkkouture.com for more updates and information. A second Dubai American Academy entry – Madame Mystique Inspired by Vivienne Westwood’s portrayal of the Steampunk movement. Old curtains, old mini skirt, book pages, lace, old tights, old headband, card box, wire, fabric wastes & a net bag.
Covid in Style The English Modern School Inspired by the Filipiniana Dress, a traditional dress worn by women in the Philippines, which symbolizes pride, strength, and the willingness of a Filipina to fight for her own freedom and right.
The World Final will see 10 UAE talents compete against international participants from Milan, Paris, London, New York, Dublin and beyond
calling all teachers! GRAB THE GIRLS FOR OUR AWARD-WINNING LADIES NIGHT! FOR GROUPS OF 6, 1 GUEST DINES ON US. WEDNESDAY'S FROM 7PM 3 COURSES & 3 DRINKS FOR AED200