Education UAE back to School Guide 2021

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Complimentary Copy

Are you setting your alarm? Packing a lunch?


Thinking about getting the kids out of the door while trying to remember where they left their school bag? Yes? Then the school year has begun!

Belinda Breeze Daniel Murad Eddie Rayner Laura Wojciechowski Rod Millington

Once again, though, the start of a new academic year is different to what we’ve been used to. Lockdown has had a significant impact on the lives of children and young people. Therefore, as we begin the new school year, we must provide our children and teenagers with the necessary support, structure, and tools to help them manage their emotions and adjust to the ongoing changes in daily life.


With this in mind, we take a quick look at how to get ready for the big day, simplifying everything so that it all runs as smoothly as possible. We also take a peek at the latest school essentials and, once again, to keep it simple, how you can acquire them all under ‘one roof’.

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The future begins here!

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.

@educationuaemag @educationuaemag @education-uae

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BACK 2 SCHOOL ildren are soon to be Finally, after a traumatic year, our ch boxes, and attending ch lun ing rry ca s, ck pa ck ba ng ari we e, calls for celebration, urs co of is, Th . ek we a ys da five ol scho , which is why but it also calls for a bit of preparation urse on getting ready! co sh cra a u yo ers off E UA on ati uc Ed

CAR All passengers should wear a seat belt or use an age and size-appropriate car seat or booster seat. All youngsters under the age of 13 should be seated in the back seat of a vehicle. However, if you need to transport more children than can fit in the back seat (for example, when carpooling), move the front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as practicable and have the child ride in a booster seat if the seat belts do not fit properly.

Makes the First Day Easier Parents should keep in mind that they do not have to wait until the first day of class to seek assistance. Over


the summer, schools are available to discuss any issues

Before the first day of school, please have your child

a parent or youngster may have, including a child’s

practice the bike route to school to ensure that they can

specific needs. Therefore, one to two weeks before the

handle it and always make sure they wear a helmet, no

start of school may be the best time to seek assistance.

matter how long or short the range.

If your child appears anxious, practising entering the

Have them use appropriate hand signals and respect

new setting can be beneficial. Before the big day, take them to see the new school or classroom. Remind them that the first day of school is likely to be stressful for many pupils. If your child is nervous, find out what they’re concerned about and work with them to figure out how to handle the new situation. To build positive anticipation for the first day of class, highlight the good aspects of starting school. They’ll see old pals and make new acquaintances. Talk to them about wonderful experiences they’ve had at school or

Backpack Safety Choose a backpack with a padded back and large, padded shoulder straps. Pack light. Organise the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the centre of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10% to 20% of your child’s body weight. Go through the pack with your child weekly, and remove unneeded items to keep it light.

traffic lights and stop signs. Know the ‘rules of the road’. Increase their visibility by wearing brightly coloured apparel. After dark, wearing white or light-coloured clothing and wearing luminous gear is especially important. WALKING At 9 to 11 years old, most children are ready to begin walking to school, where feasible. But be honest

with other groups of kids in the past.

Travelling to and from School

with yourself about your child’s pedestrian skills.

Drive your child (or walk with them) to school and pick


them up on the first day if you believe it is necessary,

Children should always board and exit the bus at

without adult supervision because small children are

and arrive early on the first day to avoid undue stress.

locations that allow them to reach the bus or the school

And make an effort to communicate with your child’s

premises safely. On the bus, your child should not

new teacher at the start or end of the day so that the

move around, and they should wear lap or shoulder

teacher understands how committed you are to your

seat belts at all times.

child’s education.

If your child has a chronic condition that could cause

Finally, begin your child’s school sleep/wake schedule

an emergency on the bus, make sure you engage with

a week or two ahead of time so that the time change

the school nurse or other school health officials to

does not affect their first few days at school.

develop a bus emergency plan before the first day of school, if possible.

Consider whether your child is ready to walk to school impulsive and less cautious near traffic. Have an adult, older friend, or sibling accompany your child home if the path home necessitates crossing busier streets than your child can safely manage. If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them or have another adult walk with them for the first week or until you are confident that they understand the route and can safely complete it. If your child will need to cross a roadway on their way to school, have them practice safe street crossing before the start of the school year.

Eating During the School Day Children who eat a nutritious breakfast have been shown to perform better in school. They also have more energy and have greater concentration. Some schools provide breakfast for students; if yours does not, make sure they have a protein-rich meal before setting out. Most schools send home cafeteria menu schedules or put them on the school’s website. With this knowledge, you can plan on packing lunch on days when the main meal is something your child dislikes.

Develop a Sleep Routine For a youngster to succeed in school, they must get adequate sleep. Children who do not get enough sleep struggle to concentrate and study as effectively as they should. Establish a bedtime routine for your child and stick to it every night. A consistent bedtime routine will assist your youngster in settling down and falling asleep. Make sure your child turns off all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.

Developing Good Homework & Study Habits


Starting at a young age, create an environment that encourages students to finish their assignments. For example, children require a regular workplace in their bedroom or another section of the house that is calm, free of distractions, and conducive to learning. Allow plenty of time for homework and factor in this time when deciding whether your child participates in after-school activities. Also, make it a household rule to turn off the television and other technological distractions during homework time. Always be there to answer questions and offer help, but never complete a child’s homework. If your child has trouble with a specific subject, talk to their teacher about how you or another person may assist your child at home or at school. Also, speak with your child’s teacher if you have any issues regarding the assignments they are receiving. Some children require additional assistance in organising their assignments. Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can all aid in the resolution of homework issues.

Get your child back on track with their sleep and plan two weeks ahead of time to ensure consistency Stick to the morning routine, assist your children in getting ready for the day ahead, and begin the day well organised Encourage independence because the early rush can be stressful; begin reinforcing independence with the simplest daily duties Acknowledge feelings there is fear in the unknown; share your own thoughts and feelings, assist your children in recognising theirs, and allow them space to express themselves

Not Sure, Ask! Finally, if you are a parent worried about your child returning to school, please reach out. While most children and teens find back-to-school difficult in a regular year, in 2021, our children and their families are dealing with unique conditions due to the pandemic and infection control measures. So, if you have any worries or queries, contact your school, which will be more than pleased to put your mind at rest. No problem is too big or small.

Your child can assist in purchasing new school materials or in the organisation of these at home.

22 Aug to 14 Sept 2021 | Main Atrium Featuring: . A Fun Upside-down Classroom Photo Opportunity . . Retail Partner Set Ups . . Back to School Collections Across Brands . . Spend & Win Promotion You Can’t Miss! .

Retail Partners:




Annual Fee Range Minimum Annual Fee:

AED 25,100

Maximum Annual Fee:


AED 45,800

Ajyal International School has been at the heart of the local community for over 5 years providing an excellent education for all young people that join our thriving institution. We are ambitious for our students, setting high aspirations in all that they do.

We aim to ensure that they achieve the best exam results possible, have opportunities to develop their talents and aptitudes, and become confident young people who will step out to meet the challenges of the world today.

Want to know more about Ajyal International School, watch our video:


For more information about Ajyal International School please contact Phone +971 (0)2 6968500

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HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR SCHOOL FOR THE FIRST TIME Abigail Fishbourne has over 27 years of experience in education. She has taught in various schools in the UK and UAE and is currently the School Improvement Partner at International Schools Partnership – Middle East. Here, she provides parents with a few tips on preparing their children for that first, all-important day at school.

Starting school is both an exciting and daunting time for many families. For many children, it is the first time they have been cared for by people other than family members; for some, it is their first step of independence, and for others, it is a step from the small preschool groups of nurseries into the big world of school. Over the years, many families have asked me what they should do to prepare their children for their first day at school. Of course, many have expected me to answer with a list of educational objectives or memorised facts, e.g. teach them the alphabet and how to write their name or count to 10, but this couldn’t be further from my response.


SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR THESE FIRST DAYS?  Take every opportunity to talk about school with positivity - visit the school gates and talk about how exciting it will be to put on the school uniform and step through them when school starts.  You may want to build up the excitement with a countdown of the number of sleeps until school starts.  Talk about the new friends they will meet, the exciting activities they will participate in, and the kind teachers who are waiting to meet them.  If you have some lovely memories about your school days, share these with them.  There are some great books about starting school that you could share together.  If they voice that they will miss you or be upset when you go, acknowledge this. Let them know that you will also miss them, but at the end of the day, you will be there to hear about the wonderful and exciting day they have had.

For many children, it is the first time they have been cared for by people other than family members

For more information, please visit:


HORIZON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS We welcome prospective students and their families to learn about what we do that makes us stand out. You are invited to meet our leadership team and have a tour of the school. We look forward to extending you a warm HIS welcome!

For more information please visit our website: email us at or give us a call anytime on +971 4 3483 314

Alternatively, register your interest here:

OUR LOCATION Street 9A, Off Al Wasl Road, Umm Al Sheif Dubai, UAE



and How

Discover ‘What Kids Are Reading’ in over 13 countries, including the UAE and Qatar

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 2019-20 academic year Download the report for FREE:


ready or not?

As I know from having heard from many of you over the past few weeks, people are feeling very excited to see the students again and are perhaps also feeling apprehensive or overwhelmed. If you are feeling a bit of both sides of the spectrum

And for administrators looking to provide wellness

rest assured that you are not alone. And, we can also

opportunities for your faculty, Northshore Coaching &

remember, the families and students who are jumping

Consulting is offering a webinar series on cultivating

into the deep end of school with you are feeling many of

resiliency during the year ahead. It can start anytime.

the same emotions. It’s a crazy time we are living in.

We have already begun facilitation with schools and you

As you head back in, remember to take time for YOU. You

can read about what people are saying below.

have got to keep well mentally and physically to be able

Everyone stay safe and healthy. Thanks for all you do for

to show up for your students. Below is an invitation to

our children!

our Thriving Teachers course, which can be done on your own time anytime for 1 CEU. Consider it to be a little gift to give yourself.


WORKSHOP higlights Cultivating Resilience: Taking what we learned from COVID to improve our practices

After a year unlike any other, this

strategies they can use to enhance

workshop is perfect for the 2021-

their ability to cultivate resilience,

2022 school year. The focus of this

which will in turn promote teacher

training is on positivity and growth

satisfaction and wellbeing. Each

and will provide educators with

strategy provided in the training

a toolbox of easily implemented

can be implemented in the


from teachers Thank you for creating a wonderful space for us to reflect. Look forward to spending more time and learning from you this year! I loved the daily vision statement and reminder to make short goals with the kids. One big takeaway I had is that I need to consistently “take the temperature” of our students and us and to model the initiation of those kinds of conversations. Thank you for the ideas!

classroom setting, with students as well. *This workshop can also be delivered throughout the year as a six-part webinar series. Check out the workshop handout here, or forward this email to your admin to see if Cultivating Resilience might be a good fit for your school.

To find out more, visit or contact Jessica direct at

It was so nice to be reminded that we are not alone in this. We can do this.


That’s how it feels when the kids’ new school year begins, doesn’t it? Like the parents are going back to school. Keeping in mind the current pandemic scenario, Babyshop has launched its back-to-school campaign, to make life easy for parents & fun for students. With more than 100 brands and 1,000+ styles, Babyshop is here to help mommy and daddy prep for school. That too without breaking the bank. Take for instance the 3-piece and 5-piece trolley backpack sets, starting at just AED 79. Sturdy, trendy, easy on the eyes and wallet. All their backpacks come with a 1-year warranty. That’s value for money right there! Babyshop also offers some exclusive love. Parents can now shop brands like Ryan’s World, Cocomelon, Love Diana, Na! Na! Na! Surprise, Paw Patrol, and U.S. Polo, that are not available anywhere else. Plus, there’s Juniors, their in-house brand that ranks high on quality and is surprisingly affordable. Kids grow up faster than we think, don’t they? And they need new uniforms almost every year. Babyshop makes uniform-shopping effortless; parents can get trousers and shirts for boys, or pinafores/ skirts and shirts for girls. Shop online

or through the Babyshop application, it takes only a few clicks to get them delivered right at your doorstep. It’s not easy for parents to send their children off to school, given the ongoing condition. Babyshop’s wide array of safety products can help in easing their tense minds.

Face masks, hand sanitisers, antibacterial pocket hand wipes, and immunity-boosting supplements, can ensure their protection to an extent. Obviously, parents and teachers will provide a list of protocols that they should follow to stay safe.






79 Explore the biggest range of Back-to-School gear at Babyshop or Babyshop at Centrepoint stores, or shop online at: For parents who are not entirely convinced that their kids are safe in school, Babyshop has excellent home-schooling products, like writing desks, headphones, easel stands, and chalkboards. In these trying times, we have to be here for one another like never before. Babyshop understands the gravity of the situation, and is there for every parent and child, in the best way possible.

EDUCATION PERFECT: A STRIKING NEW APPROACH TO SUPPORTING SCHOOLS ACROSS THE UAE? Founded in New Zealand and developed by and with teachers over a 10-year period, Education Perfect (EP) is a complete digital teaching and learning toolkit for schools, helping teachers redefine teaching and learning experiences in line with the requirements of the 21st- century. The EP platform offers a world-class set of learning, revision, and assessment tools, enabling 21st-century practices for years 5 to 12 across all subject areas.

Data is at the heart of EP. Its rich user data report and insight capabilities enable the use of machine learning and AI, while also providing insights to teachers, parents, principals, administrators and students. The EP difference is that teachers can streamline multifaceted aspects of their work through the platform in order to free up time to focus on personalised learning pathways, well-being and relationship building with their students. Personalisation, inclusivity of every learner, actionable data and insights, and interoperability are the defining requirements of the digital teaching and learning platforms of the future. EP meets all of these requirements, sitting well ahead of its largely subject-specific competitors. EPConnect - The Event EPConnect’s first in-person gathering in over 15 months was a wonderful meeting of minds and a welcomed opportunity for re-connection. In collaboration with Education UAE, and Evo Hannan from EDTalks Live as the keynote speaker, EPConnect was an opportunity to reflect on the highs and lows of the past year and discuss effective blended learning practices before the new academic year begins.

With repeated school closures and ongoing disruptions, 2020 and 2021 have been described as the most challenging years in education. However, it was also a time that highlighted the extraordinary strength and resilience UAE teachers and students can have in the face of adversity. Throughout 2020/2021, the majority of UAE students did not undertake normal schooling. Yet, the conversation that took place on Wednesday, 26 June, between teachers and school leaders reminded everyone of both the fantastic successes achieved and the perseverance that the whole community has demonstrated. During the evening, the discussion revolved around how technology can enhance learning, incorporating the importance of using technology to consolidate, refocus, and allow greater flexibility in the delivery. Beyond technology, the conversation also explored how to prioritise building relationships and provide vital emotional support if blended learning was to continue into the New Year.

What was your biggest success and challenge from the past year?

Explain a change that was implemented in your school that you will keep moving forward?

Do you feel blended learning hinders any students

What functionalities exist within platforms like EP that can resolve the issues discussed today?

(academically, socially, emotionally)

and how we can address this?


Meeting the Demands of a Challenging Sector As in all sectors, the challenge of the future demands an urgent rethink. As far as education is concerned, that rethink involves a revamp of what is taught, how it is taught, and the framework in which learning takes place. With this in mind, a number of schools attending the EP Connect event commented on technology, blended learned and online tools like EP. “The biggest challenge was teaching the students alongside the parents and getting the parents on board and involved. After this, however, blended learning has been really successful, especially for our Primary school students.” (Wellington International School)

“From now on, for many people, the fear of adapting to a digital platform and using technology is gone. People can adapt quickly and are now more open to embracing the different digital technologies schools throw at them.” (Rashid School for Boys)

“Pre-Covid, we never had the time to explore the technology, but the pandemic has given us the time and push to use it in our lessons. And it has massively reduced my marking and allows me to give feedback straight away, which is a huge benefit for the students.” (Australian International School)

“We do not just have technology for the sake of having it; technology needs to enhance learning and allow us to use adaptive tools that cater for the individual.” (Next Generation School)

“I love online tools like EP for languages, as students can work at their own pace and it allows them to record their answers for speaking, which right now is really hard to practice because they all have their masks on, or they are not able to get close enough to speak with each other.” (English College Dubai)

Uniquely Positioned With offices in Australia, NZ, Singapore, and Dubai, and already used by one million+ students, 50,000+ teachers, in 3,000+ schools across 50+ countries, EP is uniquely positioned to be the total digital teaching and learning toolkit for schools globally.


One million+




In 3,000+


across 50+ countries

Technology needs to enhance learning and allow us to use adaptive tools that cater for the individual


BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING GUIDE from BurJuman Excited about your new school year? Let’s make it fun and safe with BurJuman. Get all your Back to School essentials from pocket sanitizers, stationary, uniforms, apparel, skincare and latest must-have backpacks to much more, all under one roof.

day basics at It all starts with the foundation. Find your every stylish start a for H&M at BurJuman. We’ve got you covered packs, shoes, from trendy jeans, starting from AED 99 to back and much more.

can shop for Excited about your sports session at school, you ng from starti man activewear apparel from Splash at BurJu from AED 59 (Tops) and AED 99 (Pants) for men and en. AED 25 (Tops) and AED 69 (Pants) for wom

a stylish yet Looking for the perfect footwear to help you get comfortable head start into your new school year? out! Athlete’s Co at BurJuman is the place to check at AED 299 ones little for s You can shop for 2 pairs of shoe and 2 pairs for adults at AED 549.


Worried about safety? How about pocket sanitizers that protect yet smell great? Get yours from Bath & Body Works at BurJuman for AED 3 each. You can also get your body and hand care sorted with travel size products at AED 12 each.

If you are looking for uniforms for schools across Dubai, you’ve got to visit Threads at BurJuman. They’ve got everything you are looking for. You can also check out Hush Puppies at the mall to shop for school lace up or ballerina shoes for AED 199 and AED 169 each, respectively. They redefine comfort and style to help you be on top of your school game.

Now let’s get back to the basics. You need stationery, lunch boxes and water bottles, amongst other things. We’ve got a wide range of retailers, including Typo, Hema, Miniso, Ximi Vogue and Daiso, you could check out. How about this pencil case or water bottle starting from just AED 49 from Typo?

And when you talk about basics, you cannot forget backpacks, can you? Herschel Supply Co. at BurJuman has designs to suit every style and taste, The Children’s Place Arabia and Jashanmal Department Store also offer a wide range of backpacks.

And finally, you need a space at home to work out your assignments and achieve those goals you have outlined for this school year. You can visit JYSK and Pan Emirates at BurJuman as both present amazing offers to help set up your study station. Pan Emirates has launched a special Mickey & Minnie, Princess, Avenger and other collections as well to help make your space magical.

JYSK at BurJuman With great offers and the latest collections from an extensive list of brands, we look forward to kicking off another year of learning together, all with the peace of mind of BurJuman’s And whether classes are now virtual or offline, you do need to have the latest in tech to help tackle assignments easier. With electronic retailers at BurJuman, including Sharaf DG, Samsung, Eros Digital Home and JBL providing a wide range of products, you know where to be! The JBL Tune 120 TWS which retails for AED 299 is a must-have for audio assignments and when you want to cancel out the world and focus.

new shopping normal.

To find out more, visit or follow us @itsBurJuman on Instagram, and @BurJuman on Facebook.

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