Education UAE Issue 8

Page 1




THE MUST READ REPORT FROM RENAISSANCE Find out ‘What and How Kids are Reading’ in over 13 countries, including the UAE and Qatar



Get rewarded for all your daily spending with unlimited instant cashback, including 5% cashback on school fees paid online. 5% on online payments including school fees, telecom bills, travel bookings, fashion, electronics and other services and products you buy online 5% on supermarket spending including in-store and online purchases at supermarkets and groceries 1% on all other shopping in the UAE and abroad

5242 6001 2345 6789 5242 VALID THRU



LEARN MORE AT DUBAIFIRST.COM *Terms & conditions and exclusions apply.

Dubai First is a trademark owned by First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC.




ndependent, autonomous, and critical thinking have been at the forefront of every ‘progressive’ educational system since Immanuel Kant’s landmark essay ‘What is Enlightenment?’ And critical thinking is at the heart of this year’s RewirED Global Education Summit, the international platform that aspires to drive the conversation about the future of education. In this issue of Education UAE, we look at the RewirEd Summit, the most important in-person global education gathering since the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing together Heads of State, Ministers, high-profile speakers and panellists from United Nations (UN) agencies, international NGOs, academia, youth, and representatives from the public and private sectors. The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) marked World Teachers’ Day 2021 by honouring a top trio of exceptional teachers for their dedication and contribution to the profession, as well as the launching a duo of new initiatives aimed at empowering industry professionals. With Expo in full swing, we see how Garnier is working towards ‘greener beauty’, with a series of new initiatives that were live-streamed at a panel event at Expo 2020 Dubai, including several high-profile environment experts from around the world Female excellence in engineering and computing is covered, too, with Abu Dhabi

University highlighting the outstanding performance of its female students in these highly competitive fields. In addition, we hear from Larissa Milne, Head of Teaching & Learning, Dwight School Dubai, about what it really means to have a personalised learning programme, while Monica Malhotra, founder of The Gaggler, discusses why the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing – one for our entrepreneurial readers to take note of! On the health front, Procter & Gamble (P&G) has partnered with Al Zulekha Hospital in the UAE and Choithrams for the Pink It Now campaign as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Meanwhile, pupils from the Dubai based Cognita family of schools, The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, Horizon English School and Ranches Primary School, joined more than 58,000 young people worldwide to take part in Cognita’s third annual Global Be Well Day Then, we put a call out to all filmmakers and storytellers, with Paramount Hotel Dubai having launched the ultimate filmmaking challenge, ‘We Create Drama’. And for any foodies out there, we chat to Magnus Ericsson, the owner and brainchild behind Viking Bageri, which bakes very possibly the finest baguettes in Dubai. As always, we offer you a cornucopia of features, interviews and news items covering the world of education and life in the UAE. Enjoy!

Complimentary Copy

TEAM Belinda Breeze Daniel Murad Laura Wojciechowski Rod Millington


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.


4 Contents


ADEK Issues Policy to Regulate The Implementation of the Blue Schools Initiative


Garden British School Demonstrates Active Learning Practices Are The Only Way


Probably The Youngest Diver in The World




6 SPEA Inaugurates Two New Schools 6 ADEK Celebrates World Teachers Day 9 Nurseries Must Address Covid Violations in Three Days 12 Dubai Schools Find a Way Forward in Pandemic 14 WED Movement Reaches Major Milestone 16 GESS: Pride in Excellence

72 Partnering for the Pink It Now Campaign 72 Homegrown Sustainable School Uniforms

THE NEW NORMAL 20 Keeping Generation Alpha Engaged 24 ReWired Global Education Summit

Cover Story

28 Love of Reading During Lockdown

EXCELLENCE IN Pre-School 32 Increasing Life SupportTrained Nursery Staff 32 One of the UAE’s Oldest Nurseries Reopens 33 Atticus Education Opens Blue Bird Nursery 34 Every Child Matters, Every Moment Counts


38 Brighton College Launches Sixth Form 38 Repton Schools Achieve Continued ‘Apple’ Status 38 JESS Recognised for Student Online Safety 39 Virtual Reality to Fuel Education 40 Guinness World Records Title Holders 42 New Appointments 50 Passionate About Learning 54 Teaching Students Cultural Nuances 66 Leap Learning Enrichment at Universal American School

Higher education

68 ADU Allocates More Than AED 50 Million 69 Heriot-Watt University at World Expo

SPORTS 76 Royal Grammar School Partners With ISD 76 Bright Learners Partner with Juventus Academy

PARENTS CORNER 81 No-One Is Talking About This 82 How Parents Can Ensure A Safe Online World 84 Girls Overcoming Gender Norms 88 Bitesize Shakespeare 91 Paramount Film Competition 91 Children’s City Promote Expo 2020 92 Ivy Bright Provides Additional Support

FASHION 100 Combining Style With Natural Healing

TRAVEL 102 Yas for 50 104 Studying Medicine in the Caribbean

HEALTH AND NUTRITION 106 Move for Your Mental Health 108 Covid Curves 110 The TNF Pure Fruit Bar


112 Love at First Bite 116 Myth or Truth

6 Did You Know?



The Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) has announced the licensing of two new schools in the Emirate of Sharjah during the 2020/2021 academic year: the Scientific Innovation Private School and the Masar Private School. The opening of the two schools is a translation of the distinguished educational reality being witnessed by the Emirate of Sharjah, and an enhancement of its position, as the emirate hosts around 115 private schools that provide an advanced academic environment with educational outputs of international standards.

THE EMIRATE HOSTS AROUND 115 PRIVATE SCHOOLS THAT PROVIDE AN ADVANCED EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS The Scientific Innovation Private School, which adopts the British Curriculum, is located in the Al Rahmaniyah in Sharjah, while Masar Private School, adopting the American Curriculum, is located in Al Azra, Sharjah. In this context, Ali Al Hosani, Director of the Sharjah Private Education Authority, said: “The Emirate of Sharjah is an attractive educational environment for investment in education, and a destination for those looking for educational outputs of international standards, given the long experience it has.” He added that opening these two schools is a qualitative addition to the emirate’s school system, which hosts many educational institutions of international reputation and prestige.


ADEK CELEBRATES ABU DHABI’S EDUCATORS ON WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY 2021 The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) marked World Teachers’ Day 2021 by honouring a top trio of exceptional teachers for their dedication and contribution to the profession, as well as the launch of a duo of new initiatives aimed at empowering industry professionals. • Honours a trio of exceptional teachers • Launches Teachers’ Hotline dedicated for professionals to share suggestions and opinions • Releases ‘Welcome to Your New Home’ a guide designed to help new teachers transition into their life in Abu Dhabi Principals from Private and Charter Schools were invited to submit nominations for their outstanding teachers. Submissions went through a rigorous selection process, resulting in ADEK’s judging panel selecting the top three winners. The judging criteria explored how the teachers had significantly made an impact in their classrooms and on the learning outcomes of students, what differentiates them from their peers, and how they have made an organisational

difference. The winners were surprised at their schools with student testimonials, a presentation of prizes, and a trophy. Speaking about World Teachers’ Day, H.E. Sara Musallam said: “We pay tribute to all of Abu Dhabi’s teachers; we thank you for your hard work, dedication, and passion. We recognise that to have a world-class education ecosystem, we need world-class educators, and the winning teachers we celebrate on World Teachers’ Day embody the highest standards of industry professionalism. They have made a truly life-changing impact on their students and school community, inspiring countless young minds, acting as role models and mentors.” Selected for their remarkable professionalism, dedication, contribution, and passion, this year’s winners of the World Teachers’ Day Awards


2021 are Rebecca Vasconcelos, Class Teacher at Gems World Academy; Michele Pienaar, Science Teacher at Abu Dhabi International Private School - Branch 1; and Santhi Gopinathan, Head of Faculty Subject Level and Computer Science Teacher at Abu Dhabi Indian School - Branch 1. REBECCA VASCONCELOS, Class Teacher at Gems World Academy, said: “I am incredibly honoured to have been nominated and to have won this award. It symbolises a token of appreciation and recognition for all teachers who have chosen to take on one of the hardest years in education and positively reflect it into meaningful life experiences for themselves, their students, and their learning community. It’s a phenomenal achievement that I will always consider as a highlight of my career.” MICHELE PIENAAR, Science Teacher at Abu Dhabi International Private School - Branch 1, commented, “A great teacher is someone with passion and compassion, knowing balance and how to be innovative. I would like to say thank you to my students past and present for making it easy for me to love my job.”

SANTHI GOPINATHAN, Head of Faculty Subject Level and Computer Science Teacher at Abu Dhabi Indian School - Branch 1, said: “As teachers, we should be patient and knowledgeable as no student is the same, we should always encourage our students to face the world. It is important to have a passion for this profession, and one must merely not view this as just a job. I want to thank the entire school staff and students for their support; I would not have received this award without them.” The winners’ prizes included Business Etihad return tickets to a destination of their choice, flowers, and an appreciation trophy. To further mark the occasion, ADEK launched a dedicated Teachers’ Hotline, a direct communication channel for Abu Dhabi’s Private and Charter Schools teachers to share their suggestions and opinions, have questions answered, and voice any concerns they may have.


THE WINNERS WERE SURPRISED AT THEIR SCHOOLS WITH STUDENT TESTIMONIALS, A PRESENTATION OF PRIZES, AND A TROPHY Meanwhile, ADEK released ‘Welcome to Your New Home’ - a guide designed for industry professionals joining schools in the emirate to help them navigate their new life and familiarise them with ADEK and Abu Dhabi’s education ecosystem. To further help new recruits immerse themselves in the diverse leisure and cultural attractions Abu Dhabi has to offer, the guide is complemented by an Entertainer voucher book, enabling them to explore their new home.


Did You Know?


UAE, VATICAN SIGN MOU TO STRENGTHEN COOPERATION IN EDUCATION The Ministry of Education has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Congregation for Catholic Education at the Holy See, Vatican, to strengthen their cooperation in the field of education.

The MoU was signed by Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and Cardinal Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education and President of Pontifical Foundation Gravissimum Educationis.


The MoU’s signing crowns the historic visit of Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, to the UAE in 2019 and highlights the keenness of both sides to strengthen their existing ties, in light of the signing of the Human Fraternity Document by Pope Francis and His Eminence Dr Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of AlAzhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders. The MoU will foster discourse and fraternity in the pursuit of justice and peace, as well as advance education and encourage collaboration in all phases of the educational journey. The MoU also aims to ensure the protection of human rights, enhance solidarity and respect for other cultures, as well as promote the planning of student exchange programmes between educational institutions. On the sidelines of the MoU’s signing, Al Hammadi and Versaldi held a meeting to address several educational issues and ways of reinforcing the educational cooperation between the UAE and the Vatican.




NURSERIES MUST ADDRESS COVID VIOLATIONS WITHIN THREE DAYS Inspection teams in Sharjah have given nurseries in the emirate three days to rectify Covid violations. Those who do not correct the matter within that timeframe will be reported to the board of the council for action. This came as the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) laid out a framework for monitoring violations at nurseries across the emirate. Ali Al Hosani Director of Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) said that the authority had conducted an extensive meeting with the directors of private nurseries in the emirate in order to discuss its preparations for the current academic year 2021-2022. Nurseries must adhere to all Covid-19 safety protocols, including restricting the capacity of buses transporting children to 75% and maintaining a social distance of one metre at all times.




School operators, leaders and teachers across Dubai have been working together to ensure that the return to full-time face-to-face learning has been a safe and fun experience for all students. From 3 October, all teaching and learning in Dubai’s private schools have been face-to-face. average of three visits per school, reviewing their Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA, compliance with health and safety measures. The said: “The entire education community – including overwhelming majority of schools were found government, school staff and parents – have been to comply with all precautionary guidelines. working together to make sure that students return While most students have returned to school, safely to school. While we are readjusting to fulldistance learning is still offered to students time face-to-face learning, it’s important to keep who have a valid medical certificate from Dubai wellbeing at the heart of the teaching and learning Health Authority and those who cannot return experience. We’re grateful to our community for to the UAE due to Covid-19 restrictions. everything they’ve done to support high-quality Earlier this year, nearly 75,000 parents completed education in Dubai, and we look forward to a safe the KHDA Parents’ Survey. Of these, 89% of parents academic year full of friendship, happiness and fun.” said they felt their children were safe at school. Prior to 3 October, the KHDA team has made 711 visits to schools in just over a month, with an


Did You Know?




The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has issued Abu Dhabi Private and Charter Schools a policy to regulate the implementation of the Blue Schools Initiative recently approved by the Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee for the Covid-19 pandemic. Building on the success of health and safety measures implemented in schools during the pandemic, the initiative offers Abu Dhabi schools a clear roadmap to normalcy by providing customised privileges based on student vaccination rates, supporting schools to gradually relax measures and return to normal operations. The policy, which builds upon the Private School Reopening Policies and Guidelines 2021/22 and its compliance programme, provides a comprehensive framework for the initiative, including a guide on the formula used to calculate student vaccination rates, how privileges will be applied to schools, in addition to mandates for schools on anti-discrimination policies against unvaccinated students.

H.E Amer Al Hammadi, ADEK Under-secretary commented: “Our policy is designed to enable an efficient and effective implementation of the Blue Schools Initiative and provides full transparency to our education community as we strive to see schools return to normalcy at the earliest opportunity. The policy mandates schools to establish clear antidiscrimination and anti-stigmatisation guidelines in line with the values of the UAE. Schools are strictly prohibited from requiring the mandatory vaccination of students below the age of 16.

To date, all staff and students aged 16 and above currently attending Abu Dhabi’s Private and Charter Schools have been vaccinated, leaving students under 16 as the only primarily unvaccinated group since vaccination for this category remains voluntary according to government protocols. The Blue Schools Initiative recognises vaccination as the key path to recovery and encourages immunisation of this remaining group, increasing their protection against Covid-19 and minimising the impact of possible infections.


Under the initiative, as vaccination rates increase within a school community, a school will advance through the four colour-coded tiers: Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue, and will enjoy additional privileges per tier. The school-wide incentives range from relaxation of physical distancing, gradual school closures, and mask-wearing protocols, and will allow for increases in classroom and bus capacity, the reintroduction of field trips, oncampus events, and extra-curricular activities, including team and contact sports, as well as inter and intra-school sports competitions.




Did You Know?


COMMUNITY FIRST: HOW DID DUBAI’S SCHOOLS FIND A WAY FORWARD DURING THE PANDEMIC? The lessons learned so far by Dubai’s teachers and school leaders during the pandemic have been detailed in a new report released by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Designed to be used as a reference, the report sets out what worked well for teachers, parents and students during the period of distance learning, what could have worked better, and makes recommendations for further innovations. Fatma Belrehif, CEO of Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau at KHDA said: “The education community learned a great deal in its response to the challenges presented by the pandemic, especially in areas of student and staff wellbeing; the provision of distance and blended learning; and the key role of educators working from home and school. This report applies these lessons to how we could experience teaching and learning in the future.” According to new data released in the report, 61% of parents said they were much more involved with their child’s education during the pandemic. Nine out of 10 parents (90%) were also very satisfied with the handling of the pandemic by schools, KHDA and government entities. The report also shed light on key initiatives rolled out to support parents, teachers and students during the distance learning period including #InThisTogetherDubai, WhatWorksX and positive parenting workshops.

 FATMA BELREHIF, CEO of Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau at KHDA

To read the free report in full, visit:



Did You Know?


The first edition of the World Early Childhood Development Movement (WED Movement), which was launched by the Early Childhood Authority (ECA) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), focuses on three topics. The first is about tech humanity for children. It aims to pave the way towards the 5th industrial revolution, while the second addresses the 21st-century lifestyle to encourage a better lifestyle with improved physical and mental health outcomes. Finally, the third topic aims at improving the emotional well-being and social interaction of children and those around them.

TECH HUMANITY HELPS IN DEVELOPING CHILDREN AND ENRICHES THEIR SKILLS from a wide range of world-renowned institutions such as UNICEF, World Bank, UNESCO, Harvard University and YouTube, as well as a number of global companies in technology, entertainment and other related industries that have an impact on the development of young children. His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash said: “Technology is a part of our lives and our children are already in the digital space at a very young age. We have a tremendous opportunity to drive change in technology design and media content in ways parents simply can’t do themselves that will directly benefit the healthy development of young children.”

TThe three current WED Movement breakthrough working groups operate under the guidance of Chair Cecilia Vaca Jones, Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, and CoChair His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash.

He also emphasised the importance of strengthening the private sector role in supporting human technology to meet the developmental needs of children in creating content and programmes.

Team members are globally heralded for early child development innovation and advocacy and come

Now, after nearly six months of research, market analysis, discussions, and debates that included

more than 200 sessions with experts around the world, the WED Movement Breakthrough Working Groups (BWGs) have presented their findings to the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA). Each BWG developed and presented to the ECA Executive Committee actionable outputs and innovative approaches ranging from policies to on-the-ground initiatives to help address specific challenges and opportunities to improve Abu Dhabi children’s state of wellbeing and strengthen the overall early childhood development sector. The ECA will collaboratively prioritise the proposed recommendations and refine them for piloting and activation in partnership with a broad set of government, semi-government, and private sector partners. The final set of proposed outputs will be announced in the WED Movement Forum in 2022. Her Excellency Sana Mohammad Suhail said: “The presentation of this body of work represents a major milestone for WED Movement and its mission


WED MOVEMENT DREW ON THE EXPERTISE OF A MULTIDISCIPLINARY GROUP OF 21 EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT EXPERTS The BWGs worked under the guidance of Chair Cecilia Vaca Jones and Co-Chair HE Omar Saif Ghobash. This work included 110 BWG team meetings, as well as 35 cross-BWG sessions, more than 60 formal stakeholder interviews conducted and ten knowledge transfer sessions.

to drive innovation and excellence in early childhood development. We are incredibly appreciative of the brilliant work these experts produced and so greatly value the passion and care everyone brought to this initiative to help ensure a bright future with endless opportunities for every child in Abu Dhabi. Now our work begins to bring these innovative outputs to life in ways that will have a real and measurable impact on the future of the children of Abu Dhabi.” Her Excellency pointed to a number of key findings and principles underlying the BWG insights that formed the foundation of the groups’ work, such as:  There are so many lifestyle factors today that could lead to an obesogenic society posing great risks to the child, the family, and society as a whole. These lifestyle factors and choices must be altered to help transform Abu Dhabi into an energetic, health-conscious society by influencing everyone involved in a child’s early development at every touchpoint with the child.  Abu Dhabi must commit to an ‘Everyone. Everywhere, Every Time’ early childhood development vision. Delivering effective solutions requires clear alignment on the values of an energetic lifestyle and social inclusion shared amplified across all relevant government entities, parents and caregivers, educators and health providers in an ongoing and highly visible way.  Prioritising play, too often overlooked in the home as well as in schools, is essential to a child’s ability to develop foundational social, emotional, and physical skills. Structured and unstructured play is critical to a child’s ability to learn about sharing, tolerance, and understanding, develop problem-solving, conflict resolution and language skills while also contributing greatly to healthy physical and cognitive development.

ABU DHABI MUST COMMIT TO AN ‘EVERYONE. EVERYWHERE, EVERY TIME’ EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT VISION  While monitoring children’s screen time and digital activities is important, parents need to be given the knowledge and tools to harness the positive power of technology in the learning and growth of a child while ensuring safe places for children to engage online. And companies need to play a proactive role in embracing the principles of ethical technology design for children.  This child sits at the centre of an ecosystem with so many touchpoints that can make a positive or harmful change in a child’s development and behaviour. We need to speak and advocate for the child across that entire ecosystem and help our children feel seen and heard at a very young age.

To support this initiative, WED Movement drew on the expertise of a multidisciplinary group of 21 early child development experts representing a mix of academicians and researchers, healthcare practitioners, policy influencers, children’s media and entertainment specialists, global business leaders, and technical consultants. The experts come from several world-renowned institutions such as UNICEF, World Bank, UNESCO, and Harvard University, as well as a number of global companies in technology and entertainment, such as Google, IKEA, Microsoft, Apple and Intel Labs. Cecilia Vaca Jones said: “When we formed these Breakthrough Working Groups, we had an ambitious agenda to drive innovation that can affect real change in how we help ensure a healthy and nurturing environment for all children to be raised. We are excited by the creative thinking, innovative approaches and enlightening recommendations coming out of these groups. The timely and sequenced implementation of these recommendations will determine the overall impact and efficiency for systems strengthening. We are confident that effective implementation will enable positive impact in the wellbeing of all children, their families, and the communities and societies in which they live.”



Did You Know?

GESS: PRIDE IN EXCELLENCE Education UAE is proud to be a category sponsor and media partner at this year’s GESS Dubai Exhibition, Conference and Awards. We are all very excited to support this fantastic event, and we look forward to engaging with our readers, clients and partners. This promises to be a magnificent three days for the education community, and we hope to see as many of you there as possible! SOME OF THE EDUCATION WORLD’S MOST RESPECTED NAMES The 8th annual GESS Awards, taking place on 15 November, have seen a record number of high-quality entries from educators, educational bodies and companies across the globe, all of whom provide products and solutions that meet the needs of the modern classroom and transform the way students learn.

Held Sunday 14 - Tuesday 16 November 2021in Zabeel Halls 4-6 of the Dubai World Trade Centre, the 14th edition of GESS Dubai is free to attend to anyone working in the field of education. The exhibition provides educators access to the products and solutions that meet the needs of the modern classroom and transform the way students learn. Alongside the exhibition runs an extensive conference programme and awards ceremony, highlighting the best and brightest educators, suppliers and products within the global education industry. Incorporating inspiring and creative content for all levels of educators, this is a mustattend event for those looking to expand their presence in the region and meet with over 10,000 educational professionals,

including key buyers and decision-makers, from 87 countries. The event’s internationally recognised, free-to-attend conference, which includes seminars, live case studies, workshops, and panel discussions, runs concurrently with the exhibition. This year the conference runs under the theme of ‘Innovate Today, Celebrate Tomorrow’, and will feature a range of renowned keynote speakers and educationalists, including Dr Ali Almatari, Head of Department of Educational Technology, Ministry of Education, Oman; Dr Hamed Al Suwaidi, Founder, Abu Dhabi Arts Society; Dr Helen Wright, International Education Advisor and Executive Leadership Coach; and Dr Rana Tamim, Professor of Educational Technology and Dean of the College of Education, Zayed University.

Recognising and celebrating the excellence and diversity of educational products, resources, services, and people, as well as the finest schools and universities, it is a tremendous honour just to be counted amongst the finalists, which this year include some of the biggest and most respected names in the industry. The GESS Awards encompass eight separate categories:  Ambassador for the Environment;  Best Initiative for Inclusion and Well-Being  Best Use of Digital Learning in the Classroom  Best Use of STEAM Learning in the Classroom  Community Award for Citizenship  Innovation in Education Award  Outstanding Contribution in Education Award  Lifetime Achievement Award.


Over 10,000 educational professionals, including key buyers and decision makers, from 87 countries The last category, Lifetime Achievement Award, will be selected and judged by Taaleem and their independent panel of judges. This award is announced at the ceremony, and no nominations will be given out beforehand. However, for the other seven categories, the nominations are in, and to give a taste of the quality of all of the nominations, we can reveal the following names in the Outstanding Contribution in Education Award:           

Sunita Gandhi City International School Rashmi Nandkeolyar Delhi Private School, Dubai Habeeb Quadri MCC Academy Thomas Blakemore Kent College Dubai Maria Victoria Angulo Gonzalez Ministry of National Education, Colombia Emily Hollis MBE Dominic Whelan Sandwell College Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq The Millennium Education Pakistan Mohammed Abdul Salam The Oxford School Olly Lewis and Mark Anderson LearnLiveUAE Craig Hansen University of Applied Research & Development

Entries will be evaluated according to rigorous judging criteria by an esteemed panel of judges that include some of the most respected names in the education, business and technology industries. The gala event, which will be open to anyone who wishes to attend, will include a predinner drinks reception, a three-course dinner with beverages, an awards presentation ceremony, and entertainment. It is a unique opportunity to network with the best suppliers and educators not just in the Middle East but worldwide.

This year the conference runs under the theme of ‘Innovate Today, Celebrate Tomorrow’ GESS, which stands for Global Education Supplies and Solutions, is the leading education exhibition and conference in the Middle East. Over the years, it has helped teaching and learning become more effective, helping shape the education sector to become what it is today – robust, dynamic, and forward-thinking.

Click here to view the full list of award nominees

Contact us today to appear in our GESS SHOW EDITION BACK TO SCHOOL GUIDE 2021





Exhibitors claim discount by quoting ‘Exhibit21’



14 – 16 NOVEMBER 2021


Did You Know?


Professor Deborah Eyre, the founder of High Performance Learning, kicked off the conference with an inspiring presentation on why we need to reframe the narrative around learning loss. The key message from this presentation, and one that resonated throughout the day, was to not see our learners as a lost generation but rather that we should be telling our students that they are remarkable. They have taken a crash course into how to be remarkable, how to be persistent, how to be resilient and open-minded. They have had a huge amount of new experiences, and they have, for the most part, adapted and thrived. So rather than being the lost generation they are potentially better prepared for their life ahead than any generation before them.

This was nicely followed by Professor John Hattie’s keynote presentation in which he echoed Professor Eyre’s views that we should not “presume learning loss”; specifically we should not presume that those kids that struggled in the regular classrooms are the same ones that struggled during Covid. He reminded the viewers that the most important thing, right at this moment, is to check the subtleties of every child and to not presume that what happened in the classroom will happen online, and vice-versa.

assessment for learning to impact student progress; and how to effectively equip students with the necessary skills to succeed in tomorrow’s society.

Following this inspirational start, the conference explored key discussion points in Teaching & Learning and Wellbeing & Inclusion specifically around the use of technology to remove barriers to education; how to maximise feedback and

And finally, the long-awaited keynote Professor Dylan Wiliam, established why formative assessment needs to be the priority for every school.

After a day full of interactivity and insightful discussions, Dr Debra Kidd shared her view on how we can create a curriculum of hope. Dr Kidd considered how good curriculum design can empower schools to build bridges between their pupils’ learning and the world around them.


Dr Kidd considered how good curriculum design can empower schools to build bridges between their pupils’ learning and the world around them In this presentation, Professor Dylan Wiliam argues for formative assessment as being one of the key priorities for every school in taking their schools forward. In his words: “The single most important concept in education improvement is opportunity cost. Every hour the teacher spends doing one thing is an hour they don’t have to spend on something else.” Professor Wiliam goes on to explain the high level of impact of formative assessment on student progress and therefore makes the case for formative assessment and effective feedback to be the priority for every teacher and school leader in the world.

After many thought-provoking presentations and discussions, the day concluded with a reminder from Professor John Hattie: “I think every time someone mentions the phrase ‘learning loss’, you should treat it as an insult to our profession.” FROM CRISIS TO OPPORTUNITY On day two of the conference, our esteemed panel of keynotes started the day by considering how schools can move from a state of crisis to a state of opportunity. They looked at opportunities in leadership and business transformation, as well as how to take a human-centred approach to technology to drive school improvement. One key takeaway from Sir Christopher Stone was that a one-size-fits-all approach to blended learning will not work, especially as we now have the opportunity to be far more inclusive. Indeed, through personalised learning, we have the chance to make learning fun and more centred around the child’s needs and context, while of course keeping in mind child protection and our responsibility and duty of care for the children.

Professor Payyazhi and Dr Natasha Ridge on the other hand reminded us of the importance of empathetic leadership, for the people around us and even for ourselves and acknowledged the challenges around school leadership when there is a global sense of uncertainty. The keynote panellists were supported by Lucy Spencer, who emphasised the opportunity of technology as a tool for transformation. Day two saw a number of presentations, panels and roundtable discussions around team leadership, professional learning and well-being, alongside marketing and admissions, recruitment and retention, and finance and operations. The day came to a close after Dr Andreas Schleicher delivered a keynote on learning in an interconnected world, before joining Jane Larsson, and Dr Asma Alfadala in a keynote discussion that looked at what kinds of schools we need for the future. The key takeaways were on the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion and the need to empower and welcome schools, leaders and teachers into policy discussions to ensure that all stakeholders can thrive in a complex and uncertain world.

“I think every time someone mentions the phrase ‘learning loss’, you should treat it as an insult to our profession” In the words of Dr Andreas Schleicher: “The question we need to ask ourselves is not how do we build back better but how do we move forward differently.” This conference has given participants much to consider around the learning provision they deliver and how to continue to create the conditions for every child to thrive inside and outside of the classroom.

Register now for our next event

20 The New Normal

DIGITAL BLENDED LEARNING TO TRANSFORM EDUCATION KPMG’s latest publication on education presents a digital blended learning approach as a model to transform the learning ecosystem. The study identifies technologically integrated education as an opportunity to take a significant step forward and shape the future that our children, society and the economy deserve.

KPMG’S NEW REPORT IDENTIFIES KPMG’s latest publication on TECH INTEGRATED EDUCATION AS AN education presents a digital OPPORTUNITY TO SHAPE THE FUTURE blended learning approach as a model to transform the learning ecosystem. The study identifies technologically integrated education could mean for their regions, and how we can reimagine as an opportunity to take a significant our education system and the role that digital blended step forward and shape the future that our learning has within it. And we believe adopting blended children, society and the economy deserve. learning practices that embrace digital and immersive The firm finds that digital blended learning will require approaches will provide a change for learners and governments to invest and be the facilitators and drivers educators to become more qualified and capable of change, forming and mandating an autonomous members of the workforce today and in the future. organisation to deliver a new education and learning KPMG considers digital blended learning to play a reality. This will demand public-private partnerships to wider role in education transformation programmes.” stimulate the market and drive innovation. In addition, The education system should take advantage of it will need industry and employers to collaborate the benefits of new technology tools such as Artificial with the education system to design a relevant Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (MR), Learning curriculum offer and shape the future of learning. Analytics (LA), Gamification, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), smart gadgets and wearables. The publication further highlights that blended learning allows for flexible class time and structure where students can engage content in both physical and virtual formats. Additionally, with blended learning, curricula may be personalised and customised to the specific needs of students by engaging them in activities that target their areas of development Digital blending learning as a catalyst for education identified in their individual learning plans. transformation Covid-19 has caused a rapid transition into distance and e-learning Blended learning does not restrict students from the important social interactions with each other. In other words, students may still enjoy the sense of being in a group and enjoy face-to-face team experiences, which are critical for developing life and soft skills. Whilst KPMG research clearly shows the benefits of a blended learning approach, it also argues that the curriculum and its delivery need to be reimagined. In the past 18 months, education systems worldwide KPMG in Saudi Arabia June 2021 have had to adapt to the seismic changes brought on KPMG presents seven critical success factors by the Covid-19 pandemic, causing a digital shock and for all key stakeholders that need to be realised a transition into distance and e-learning. As a result, to progress on this journey towards making the many countries, including Saudi Arabia, have quickly workforce more qualified, capable and employable. migrated to online and e-learning solutions, transitioning KPMG’s new report identifies tech integrated curricula, classes and lectures onto digital platforms. education as an opportunity to shape the future Ziad Zakaria, Senior Director at KPMG in Saudi Arabia, said: “We strongly believe that our findings will cause VIEW OR DOWNLOAD THE PUBLICATION HERE: education leaders to consider what it

Future of learning: Blended learning?


How do you keep easily PLAY distractable Generation VIDEO Alpha engaged in learning, especially in a remote learning environment? How can teachers, parents, and students look after their mental health in the current digital age? Finally, how can students prepare for a career in AI? Alef Education, a leading global education technology provider that empowers 21stcentury learning, has launched a new video series – Alef Talks – to create a global platform for the education technology industry that addresses these questions and more. Each month, Alef Talks will host a live discussion featuring global education and technology leaders to generate and shed light on new transformative ideas for the education sector. The premiere episode of Alef Talks discusses the challenges and techniques that engage Generation Alpha – those born between 2010 and 2025 – in learning. It is estimated that by 2025 there will be nearly two billion members of the Generation Alpha. Geoffrey Alphonso, CEO, Alef Education, said: “The fourth industrial revolution will dramatically transform all aspects of our lives, pushing the trend towards hyper-connectivity, automation, and AI. As such, the global education industry needs to quickly adapt and respond to these changes to ensure that they are prepared to cater to the Gen Alpha. As a leading global education technology provider, Alef Education is excited to launch the Alef Talks video series as it will create an international knowledge exchange platform that inspires such time-sensitive and transformative ideas for the education industry.” Since its inception, Alef Education has impacted the lives of more than 620,000 students from over 400 schools in the UAE, the US, and now Indonesia. The company was recently awarded the Best Use of Emerging Technology for Learning award for its Alef Platform at the prestigious SIIA CODiE Awards 2021.


The New Normal


Bold commitments and evidence-backed decisions are needed to build more resilient education systems, as Jane Mann, Managing Director, Cambridge Partnership for Education, explains.

The Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns across the globe had a significant impact on children’s education. School closures all over the world to contain the pandemic affected 91% of the global student population. [1] Education became heavily reliant on connectivity and digital technologies. These changes have endured. Most schools in the region have now adopted, or plan to move towards, a hybrid approach to overcome pandemic-posed challenges, integrating classroom learning with digital resources. The Gulf States were better prepared than most for the pivot to remote learning. The UAE’s Ministry of Education had already formed a task force in 2017 charged with implementing the ‘Transformation to Smart Education’. [2] Its experimental initiative, The Smart Education Portal, was an interactive electronic learning platform designed to bring together teachers, students and parents and apply new pedagogy. However, across low and middle-income countries, the pandemic exacerbated the digital divide. While 94% of ministries of education developed policies on remote learning based on digital and/or broadcast instruction, at least 31% of students globally could not access remote learning during school closures last year. In Eastern and Southern Africa, that rose to at least 49%. [3] At the height of the pandemic, 1.53 billion learners were out of school, with 184 country-wide school closures. Dropout rates are expected to soar on the back of economic pressures and prolonged disruptions to learning. When nearly half the children are deprived of access to learning, it can have catastrophic results for communities, countries and the world at large. Ensuring uninterrupted education for all children is the key to increased peace and prosperity.

LEARNING FOR A NEW WORLD Just like other sectors, technology is expected to play an ever-growing and essential role in education. But better connectivity or more digital solutions are insufficient to meet current challenges, especially in economically disadvantaged communities. They do not automatically ensure better learning outcomes. In fact, the amount of time teachers spend using digital devices in teaching and learning activities is often negatively associated with reading performance. [4] The context is a critical part of the equation. Most edtech products, services and research are rooted in high-income contexts. We need to consider the practical realities and challenges of the classroom in a low to middle-income community where the technology is going to be used, and how it can be best integrated to achieve results. And we also need to acknowledge where more low-tech solutions might have the greatest reach and impact.


Through our own work in the region, we have witnessed the engagement and pleasure of both teachers and students in using these textbooks. Reforming these learning resources can help us deliver the positive impact at scale that is urgently needed to counter the learning setbacks of the pandemic. There is no doubt that education systems need radical transformations to achieve education outcomes at scale and address systemic inequities. However, sustainable change also takes time. We have seen this with the precipitated rush to digital education without adequately training teachers or school leaders. [5] Increasing digital access is not enough in itself. Any plans of using more technology in teaching need to prioritise teacher development too. It is critical that teachers receive adequate training so they can integrate digital devices into teaching and learning activities effectively to benefit all. Our world has changed irreversibly and rather swiftly in many ways. As educationists, our mission must be to prepare young people for this new digital reality. To this end, it is gratifying to see the high priority accorded by the UAE and GCC states for education and upskilling in their national agendas. They are supporting education not only at home but across the world. [6] Today’s challenge is to mitigate the pandemic’s negative impact on education and accelerate improved learning for a better future. For this, the existing digital divide must be narrowed so all children have equal opportunities for good education. Access to electricity, access to affordable internet, and access to devices are first steps, but more important than the hardware, in this case, is what it is delivering. We need to design education systems that are a better fit for children and more relevant to a digital future. Education that can equip them with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required to live fulfilling lives in the 21st century.


When masses of knowledge can be easily accessed at the click of a button, we need to imbue learners with the skills to sift through ambiguity and disinformation, and critically construct and validate knowledge. In a socio-economic environment that is in constant flux, resilience and adaptability are essential career and life skills. The nature of work has fundamentally changed as well. Alongside the slew of digital skills, employers are looking to hire people with skills in creativity, communication and collaboration, empathy and emotional intelligence. Our transformed education systems should be nurturing these human qualities to better prepare students for the new reality.

WHEN NEARLY HALF THE CHILDREN ARE DEPRIVED OF ACCESS TO LEARNING, IT CAN HAVE CATASTROPHIC RESULTS FOR COMMUNITIES, COUNTRIES AND THE WORLD AT LARGE ONE FOR ALL, ALL FOR ONE The UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 ensures inclusive and equitable quality education for all and promotes lifelong opportunities for all. Therefore, inclusive education is central to education policy. At Cambridge Partnership for Education, we work closely with relevant government bodies and education entities to work towards systems where everyone receives the education they need to achieve their goals and find their place in a modern, inclusive society. We believe every country should have a quality education system to make this possible. To help maximise the investment in education, we work on evidencebased education reform from every angle - curriculum, assessment, learning materials and teacher training. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is a global fund enabling partners to chart a way forward to transform education systems in GPE partner countries. The Global Education Summit held in London recently set an ambitious objective of garnering pledges from donors to help GPE reach its target of at least $5 billion over five years, along with commitments from GPE partner countries on domestic financing for education. Such collaborations will ensure that equity and excellence in education can be achieved for the prosperity of all.


 JANE MANN, Managing Director, Cambridge Partnership for Education


The New Normal

REWIRED GLOBAL EDUCATION SUMMIT ANNOUNCES EMERGING AGENDA AND WORLD-RENOWNED SPEAKERS LINE-UP RewirED, the global platform that aspires to drive the conversation about the future of education, has unveiled the preliminary agenda and a spectacular speaker line-up for its highly anticipated RewirEd Summit, which will take place at Expo 2020 Dubai as part of Knowledge and Learning Week.

The RewirEd Summit, the most important in-person global education gathering since the Covid-19 pandemic, is set to bring together Heads of State, Ministers, high-profile speakers and panellists from United Nations (UN) agencies, international NGOs, academia, youth, and representatives from the public and private sectors from around the world to forge new connections and collaborations for a new way forward in the field of education.

Key international organisations have joined forces with the RewirEd Summit to make the event a success. These include UNICEF, UNESCO, UNHCR, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the World Food Programme (WFP), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education.

AN URGENT NEED FOR A SEISMIC SHIFT IN EDUCATION GLOBALLY Dr Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and ViceChairman at Dubai Cares, said: “The RewirEd Summit in Dubai represents a unique opportunity for the global education community to come together to jump-start and scale the positive and bold change we want to see in education. The education community is realising that now, more than ever, especially because of the large-scale disruption to education globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need for a seismic shift in education globally. We at Dubai Cares are proud to be spearheading this movement towards a global change.












“We are delighted to bring together, for the first time in one place, some of the most prolific minds in the education sector to deliver a programme that will be both thought-provoking and challenging to the way we think about education. Over the course of the three-day flagship event, we will tackle some of the most pressing issues when it comes to forging a new path forward for education, so that it puts forward a new framework for creating an innovative, prosperous, sustainable and inclusive future for all.” “Omar Shehadeh, Chief International Participants Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The world is witnessing an unprecedented disruption of educational systems. Creative thinking, innovative solutions and technology must be deployed to ensure quality education for all. The RewirEd Summit, which is the flagship event during Expo2020 Dubai’s Knowledge and Learning Week, provides a platform to spark conversation among different people in efforts to generate new ideas on how to tackle the future of education.” STELLAR SPEAKER LINE-UP AND CONTENT-RICH AGENDA Speakers include HE Jakaya Kikwete, Former



President of Tanzania; Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, the UN’s Special Envoy for Global Education and former UK Prime Minister; HE Shamma Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs; and Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Youth, Skills, and the Future of Work; Innovation in Education; and Education Financing will be the focus of the summit. Across these three pillars, there will be an emphasis on where the greatest need exists, especially in crisis-affected countries. DAY ONE – YOUTH, SKILLS AND THE FUTURE OF WORK On Day One, there will be high-level panels on topics such as the Future of Jobs and Skills and the Future of Tertiary Education, as well as key technical seminars on topics like developing

entrepreneurial mindsets among youngsters in schools and Green Skills for Green Jobs. High-level speakers include HE Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of the UAE and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai; Hon. David Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Chief Innovation Officer of Sierra Leone; Alan Jope, CEO Unilever; and Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum (WEF).


The New Normal

The RewirEd Provocations, a series of co-designed ideas to help move current thinking from the usual to the unusual and address systemic, complex, and structural challenges impacting the education system, will be unveiled as part of the global education gathering’s promise to push boundaries and disrupt systems. DAY TWO – INNOVATION IN EDUCATION The second day will focus on how the world can develop new and scalable solutions to ensure that children and youth from all walks of life may create solid foundations for lifelong learning and wellbeing. Several thought-provoking sessions will discuss practical steps on transformative change, including two masterclass sessions on Youth Digital Champions for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy; and Diversity of Diversity: The Power of Children’s Storybooks in Fostering Inclusive Communities. In addition, the African Union is hosting their Innovation in Education Africa pitch, where five of Africa’s most promising Education Innovations will be pitched to a highly experienced panel of judges.

DAY THREE – EDUCATION FINANCING The third day emphasises the importance of placing education at the centre of human growth and investment, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic’s negative impact on school finances. Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who will deliver a high-level lecture on Education – An Investment for a Sustainable and Prosperous Future for All, will set the tone. The day will also focus on high-level thematic panels. These will include Innovative Financing Mechanisms for Education, Financing of Meaningful Connectivity for Learning, and Financing of Early Childhood Development, featuring Sherrie Westin, the President of Sesame Workshop, the independent non-profit organisation that helps kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder through their Muppets. There will also be technical sessions ranging from Unblocking Impact through Islamic Philanthropy to Delivering Results for Skills through Outcome-based funding.









Dr Tariq Al Gurg, CEO and Vice-Chairman at Dubai Cares, will speak about Financing for Education in Emergencies, a session also featuring the Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, and refugee youth voices. In addition, the RewirEd Summit will unveil ‘The RewirEd Declaration on Connectivity for Education,’ which aims to foster consensus and commitment among key stakeholders by addressing key connectivity barriers and emphasising the need for an ecosystem that ensures affordability, usability, and reliability for learners and communities.

REGISTRATION OPEN TO EVERYONE Registration for the summit is now open to everyone because RewirEd strongly believes that Education is Everybody’s Business. Attendees can register by visiting:


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 Phone +44 1924 907319

28 Cover Story




Renaissance, a provider of assessment, reading and maths solutions for primary and secondary schools, recently released its international annual ‘What Kids Are Reading Report’. This reveals how reading habits for children in the UAE during the pandemic saw both an improvement in their reading skills and a marked uplift in their reading enjoyment levels. The study of over 24,000 students across the UAE also shows how many children reached out for more challenging books, in line with the UAE’s efforts to instil a love of learning into all of its citizens. It was discovered that the number of books read overall increased by 23% compared to the previous year. When choosing books to read, children tended to go for those that were longer and more comprehensive than those recommended for their age group. Primary school students, and those up to year seven, in particular, improved their reading levels by tackling more demanding texts. IT IS OUR CHOICES, HARRY, THAT SHOW WHAT WE TRULY ARE During the first lockdown, J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ topped the favourite books list for secondary and primary students. David Walliams, with totles such as ‘Mega Monster’, ‘Fing’ and ‘The Beast of Buckingham Palace’, saw his popularity rise, as did Jeff Kinney with offerings such as ‘Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories’ and ‘The Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ series. J.K. Rowling made

a significant comeback, though, with more primary school students choosing the Harry Potter series again, while Roald Dahl’s popularity held steady. The study helps to dispel concerns that screen time is replacing reading time, implying that children’s enthusiasm for actual books has not waned despite the significant increase in tech uptake and use during the Covid-19 pandemic. READING FUELS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT There is a long-established correlation between independent reading and academic achievement. Donalyn Miller, reading teacher and author of ‘The Book Whisperer’ and ‘Reading in the Wild’, states that “reading has more impact on students’ achievement than any other activity in school” (2009), and Krashen (2004) states that “the students who read the most are the best in every part of school – reading, writing, researching, content-specific knowledge, all of it.” Personal exploration is an essential part of a creative and pragmatic education. Self-study, followed by self-thinking and analysis, is required for personal discovery. It is often known as reading on one’s own accord and necessitates the development of a reading habit. Reading allows one to gain a deeper grasp of one’s own experiences and can be a thrilling journey of self-discovery. “A reading habit is best formed at a young impressionable age in school, but once formed, it can last one’s lifetime (Green, 2001).”


MORE CHOICE, MORE CHALLENGES, MORE DREAMS People are forced to adapt their lifestyles during times of crisis. How we consume media, particularly how we read, was one of the first and most visible shifts witnessed during the Covid-19 lockdown. For many people, there is solace to be found in certain books, and their reading habits and genre preferences can shift during stressful times. This explains why so much genre fiction occurs during times of tremendous social, political, or economic upheaval. Gothic literature, for instance, is, in part, a British Protestant response to the French Revolution in the late 18th century. The Industrial Revolution and Charles Darwin’s theories fuelled the development of science fiction around the time of the fin de siècle. The hardships of the Great Depression inspired the ‘Golden Age’ of the detective thriller, which first appeared in the 1930s.


Cover Story



Covid-19 will have had a similar impact on this generation, a generation that has enjoyed a benefit that was not available to most people in former ages – access to a world of books both in physical and digital formats. Chief Product Officer at Renaissance, Todd Brekhus, explains: “Lockdown was difficult for many children, especially when schools were closed and they could not access school libraries or see their friends. At Renaissance, we took steps to support teachers during the uncertainty of school closures, so it is pleasing to see this year’s report emphasise the importance and benefit of reading on academic achievement and wellbeing. “Many students were given access to myON Reader, a personalised digital library from Renaissance that enables students to choose from recommendations based on their interests and reading levels and year groups. Knowing that reading helped younger children feel better throughout the pandemic is very encouraging. It is promising that when pupils have more choice, many choose a more challenging book that perhaps allows for more escapism.



“At Renaissance, we have long advocated for dedicated time to read, and for the importance of schools to encourage a love of reading among pupils; whether it’s a favourite author recommended by peers, a nonfiction book about a hobby they enjoy or a timeless classic. This report highlights how important it is that everyone has access to books and what schools need to do to re-engage children with reading for enjoyment while giving them space and time to read more.” The ‘What Kids Are Reading Report’ was written using Renaissance data analysed by University of Dundee academic Professor Keith Topping.

32 Excellence in pre-school


A series of updated health regulations for Abu Dhabi nurseries is likely to increase the number of life support-trained educators working with young children in the emirate, nursery operators have said. In fact, early years facilities will be able to re-allocate any manpower capacity freed by this decision for direct-to-child roles, they added. The initiative, according to nursery

operators, will ensure that facilities can operate without frequent closures. “Falcon British Nursery is supportive of the new DoH nursing initiative for early years sector. Previously, even though all our staff underwent basic life support training, if the DoH clinic nurse was absent, the nursery as a whole was not allowed to function. This was particularly difficult during the Covid-19 crisis due to the ensuing

ONE OF THE UAE’S OLDEST NURSERIES REOPENS IN NEW BUILDING One of Abu Dhabi’s oldest nurseries has reopened in a new location, 18 months since it was forced to close due to Covid-19. My Nursery opened 30 years ago in a small villa in the Karamah area with just seven children. It quickly grew and was soon looking after 500 children in four connected buildings. Initially catering up to KG2, or Year One in the British system, it downsized in the early 2000s after the rules changed, permitting nurseries to only enroll children below the age of four. It was already planning to move location due to a lack of outdoor space when the pandemic struck, forcing nurseries to close in March 2020. But its new facility, in the new Sheikha Fatima Park, was not yet ready when nurseries were permitted to restart last October. Almost a year later, it has now reopened in its new building. “I wanted a location that was a little bit special and wasn’t a typical villa,” said Tala Salloum, who is the managing director of My Nursery and founder of Yellow Submarine Nurseries in Abu Dhabi. “So the fact it was in this park, had a 400sqm outdoor area, was all on one level instead of stairs for little children, it was perfect.”


cost. We are fortunate to have a government that responds to these issues appropriately and adjusts the criteria to support the industry,” said Emilia Brown, representative of Falcon British Nursery.



ATTICUS EDUCATION OPENS BLUE BIRD NURSERY IN AL QUOZ After record success with their Nad Al Hammar branch, Blue Bird Nursery is expanding with a new branch opened in Al Quoz. With the new branch, Blue Bird extends its learning-through-play principles and adherence to strict safety standards. The new Blue Bird Nursery branch is a purpose-built nursery located in Al Quoz in the vicinity of corporate offices, shops, creative and art gallery outlets and local housing. As a spacious 32,000+ square foot facility, Blue Bird’s Al Quoz branch is one of a select few premium modern childcare facilities in Dubai.


Excellence in pre-school


LAMA CHIVI, CEO of Babilou Family, Middle East and India



Education UAE: Can you talk a little about

And with the recent acquisition of the Bright

EDUAE: How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected Babilou, and how has it responded? Lama: Covid-19 hit our industry real hard. Our nurseries were closed for 10 months, but with the great support of the group and our key retail developers, we were able to protect our business and look after our employees throughout. We also worked efficiently to come up with solutions to support our families and children. We immediately launched our Blossom e-learning unit as well, ‘Inspire Me at Home’. ‘Inspire Me at Home’ was and will remain the perfect answer to families who are looking to recreate a nursery experience in their own home with the support of qualified and experienced EYFS Experts.

The Babilou/Blossom App provides families with regular news feeds, private messaging service, an events calendar, personalised photo albums and announcements

Babilou, its background and its philosophy? Lama: Babilou Family was founded in France in 2003 by entrepreneurial brothers Rodolphe and Edouard Carle to bridge the gap in childcare solutions. The group set out to support the wellbeing of children and the work-life balance of families at a time of rising birth rates and women in the workforce. And our duty is to bring quality education to the next generation. EDUAE: Can you tell us about Babilou’s expansion and the benefits for parents, children and local communities? Lama: Since 2009, Babilou Family in the UAE has been rapidly growing into the leading childcare provider in the country; we will offer 2,800 seats across 23 nurseries by the end of 2021. Babilou Family in the UAE operates the Blossom Nurseries, which offer high-quality education to every child through its unique modern British EYFS curriculum.

Kids Nurseries, counting six centres across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, we will diversify our portfolio with a strong and complementary nursery brand to meet the needs of more families with different expectations. For example, Emiratis and expatriates widely recognised and appreciated the Bright Kids Nursery for its innovative curriculum. This incorporates the Early Years Foundation Stage approach in Montessori settings, which includes STEAM subjects as part of the core learning outcomes to create the optimal 21st-century learning environment. As each family has certain expectations for their child’s development, Blossom Nursery and Bright Kids Nursery will provide them with all the requirements needed. Throughout the whole group, no matter the country, nursery name or curriculum, we will always aim to assist the development of children for the future and create a positive impact in the early lives of children.

EDUAE: The nursery segment is expanding and becoming increasingly competitive – how do you stay ahead of the curve to make Babilou the nursery of choice for parents? Lama: Our number one priority will always be to ensure exceptional high-quality childcare services to families across the globe, and when you keep the child at the heart of every decision you make as a teacher, as a manager, as an HR representative, as an operations director and so on… you know you are making the right decisions for the child and the family, and your quality will stand out. At a group level, we also have a global network and advanced research with proven best practices we tap into. This year, for example, we did an amazing collaboration called ‘Project Jumelage’. This took place between our ‘Blossom Palm Jumeirah’ and ‘Paris Saint-Denis’ nursery in France, during which the two nurseries exchanged lessons, sent cultural surprise boxes and shared a global link between managers, teachers and children. This is the kind of advanced thinking and synergies you can expect from any Babilou Family members globally. Our constant innovation guarantees a high-quality experience and continuous improvement.


Excellence in pre-school


Educational neuroscience shows us that a child’s brain develops by 35% 85% between birth and the age of five EDUAE: What activities do children do regularly, and which activities does Babilou provide that give it a point-of-difference? Lama: Educational neuroscience shows us that a child’s brain develops by 35% - 85% between birth and the age of five, depending on the ongoing relationships with their environment and the people around them. Our Early Year’s programme includes educational content planned in great detail to support a child’s mental, social and educational stability. Every activity is put in place to support a specific area of child development and allow the child to thrive in their overall development and learning. Led by our professional educators, every activity supports previous learning and allows the child to build age-appropriate skills. EDUAE: Tell us about EYFS learning objectives, the kind of activities demanded, and specific activities to Babilou? Lama: Blossom Nurseries follow the British Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS), integrated with the best practices from other educational philosophies, such as the Reggio Emilia approach. The EYFS framework focuses on the holistic development of a child and primarily on their physical, personal, social and emotional, language and communication development. When the age-appropriate objectives on these development areas have been achieved, the focus on literacy, maths, understanding the world, and expressive art and design increases. The New EYFS Framework emphasises, even more, the holistic development of a child and how educators need to reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust their practice appropriately. This requires observing the children’s interests and skills and planning playful activities for the children to learn literacy, maths and science skills on their respective age-appropriate skill levels.

Since 2009, Babilou Family in the UAE has been rapidly growing into the leading childcare provider in the country With our blended curriculum, we take it even further. At Blossom, we are continually developing our pedagogical approach in response to the realities of the modern-day world. Our modern approach to the Early Years Foundation Stage creates opportunities for teachers to foster open-ended and child-led activities, which harness the child’s intrinsic curiosities. We believe children are inherently connected to nature, and at Blossom, it is our pedagogical imperative to nurture this connection. That is why we are using an increasing number of natural resources and creating activities based on real-life events and resources that children are familiar with and able to discover and make connections with. Furthermore, in our learning experiences, we focus on activities that encourage inquiry, exploration, and discovery, allowing children to focus on critical thinking, problem-solving and inquiring about the world. We believe scientific

curiosity develops at a very young age and lays the foundation for lifelong learners. EDUAE: How do you keep parents informed of their child’s progress? Lama: Our family-friendly innovative Babilou/ Blossom App provides families with regular news feeds, private messaging service, an events calendar, personalised photo albums, announcements and so on. It allows parents to follow the day-to-day progress of their children. On a daily basis, pre-Covid-19, when parents were allowed into the nursery, it was essential for our teachers to have face-to-face contact time with parents during drop-off and pick-up to share small stories about their child during the day. Such updates can be about having their first step, for example, or feeling confident with a new friend Our teachers also record a child’s progress throughout the term, and parents are handed report cards twice a year.









‘Inspire Me at Home’ was and will remain the perfect answer to families who are looking to recreate a nursery experience in their own home EDUAE: What type of meals and snacks do you provide? Lama: The health and wellbeing of the children in our care is our number one priority. The importance of a healthy diet is emphasised in all our centres. Our food menus are designed by qualified dieticians who evaluate and control the quality of the meals. They are prepared by fully trained chefs using fresh, seasonal products and organic meals are served whenever possible. EDUAE: And what about the health and safety of the children in your care? Lama: Young children need to be able to explore their environment freely and in total security. Our centres have to adhere to the strictest health and safety rules, from the design of the space to the quality of the air inside. EDUAE: Finally, what are the qualifications of the staff, and how do you attract and retain the best people? Lama: At Babilou Family, we deeply understand the role of our educators and team, and nothing would be possible without them. We offer our employees attractive benefits and ensure each voice is heard. We implement a flat hierarchy with an all doors open policy. Last summer, during the Covid-19 lockdown, we ensured all our staff received care boxes every month, which provided them with food, and other things to relieve them during difficult times. Our staff is highly experienced in Early Years and come from an educational background of Early Years teachings. They are attested and approved by the KHDA and go through an HR matrix to ensure that they are the best of the best.



Excellence in schools

BRIGHTON COLLEGE OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES SIXTH FORM Brighton College Dubai Sixth Form is now officially open and is looking forward to providing the very best traditions of a British independent school education. Based on the PERMA Model, a scientific theory of happiness, all Sixth Form pupils will study the Brighton Charter, which has been built into the curriculum to teach pupils

about character development in areas such as leadership and resilience. It will also teach transferable skills such as; public speaking, presentation skills, problem solving, interview techniques and information and media literacy. Pupils will also learn about positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishments, and how to apply these to their lives.



Repton Al Barsha (formerly Foremarke School Dubai) and Repton Abu Dhabi are pleased to announce their reaccreditation as Apple Distinguished Schools for 2021 – 2024. This is the second and third time, respectively, that both schools have received this recognition due to the unique implementation of Apple technology in the classrooms, coupled with the schools’ continuous innovation in learning, teaching, and the overall school environment. For further information on the Apple Teacher learning programme, please visit:


JESS RECOGNISED FOR ITS COMMITMENT TO STUDENT ONLINE SAFETY To ensure JESS remains Future Ready and to continue its commitment to enhancing the digital and online skills of its students, it has been recognised as a fully accredited National Online Safety Certified School. All JESS Schools have successfully completed this comprehensive online safety training programme and has received a National Online Safety Certified School Accreditation for its

whole-school community approach to protecting children in the online world. James Southworth, a co-founder of National Online Safety, said: “Congratulations to everyone at JESS on becoming a National Online Safety Certified School. By completing our training programme, the school has shown its strong commitment to implementing an effective wholeschool approach to online safety.”



UAE NATIONAL WORLD ROBOT OLYMPIAD WINNERS ANNOUNCED Following three days of intense online competitions at the UAE World Robot Olympiad (WRO), seven winning teams have been selected to represent the UAE at the international World Robot Olympiad competition, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has announced. A total of 21 teams won the coveted top three spots in the competition’s Open, Regular, and Future Engineers categories across seven different age categories. The winning UAE teams will comprise 19 students and five coaches at the World Robot Olympiad finals under the slogan ‘Powerbots; the Future of Energy’. The UAE-WRO Open Elementary Category was won by Hassan Abdallah Hassan, Ali Humaid AlAli, and their coach, who presented Smart Farm; an innovative project that uses solar-powered robots to carry out labour at farms of the future. In the Open Junior Category, Saif Hassan Karam, Abdelaziz Faisal Al-Ali, and Sultan Abdalla Ali Bin Khalfan Alzaabi won for their Eco Stations project, which uses solar panels to operate a battery-powered delivery fleet to supply batteries to electric vehicles.


THE FIRST UAE SCHOOL TO CELEBRATE STUDENTS’ CREATIVE SKILLS AT TODA THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IMMERSIVE DIGITAL ART EXHIBITION HOSTED BY A UAE SCHOOL AT TODA Repton Al Barsha, part of the prestigious Repton family of schools in the UAE, celebrated students’ creative thinking on Saturday, 9 October 2021, in thought-provoking visual arts, music and performance arts showcased at the Theatre of Digital Arts (TODA) in Madinat Jumeirah. Themed ‘Individual Identity, Collective Identity and School Life’, the 20-minute digital art exhibition explored the creativity of Repton Al Barsha’s aspiring young artists from Year 1 to Year 9. Through observational drawings, schoollife representations in the form of self-portraits, musical contributions and poetry recitations, students were able to display their artworks in the public arena. The unique art exhibition also highlighted Repton Al Barsha’s as the first UAE school to host a digital art exhibition at TODA. For further information on students creative collaborations, please visit the Repton Al Barsha website:

Finally, in the Open Senior Category, Moza Almazrouei and Mariam Almazrouei presented a smart clean energy waste management solution that monitors garbage bins to map out the garbage truck routes; the smart system minimises the garbage collection footprint, enhancing operational efficiencies.

VIRTUAL REALITY TO FUEL EDUCATION AT VERNUS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Vernus International School recognises that in today’s world, children need a variety of skills and dispositions to succeed in future employment, higher education, and to be positive, active members of society. Consequently, this year children will be immersed in virtual reality experiences in line with the California Curriculum. Virtual Reality allows teachers to provide their students with immersive experiences of the natural world. For example, students can visit Petra in a single VR encounter and experience a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, children can see where the Nabataean people lived around the 6th century BCE. The experience is remarkable. This strategy is designed to get students to formulate questions instead of answering them. This will promote laterally thinking and curiosity.


40 Excellence in schools

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS PARTNERSHIP STUDENTS ARE GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ TITLE HOLDERS! International School Partnership students from 72 nationalities came together at The Aquila School to become official Guinness World Records™ title holders. The group of students, from The Aquila School and Nibras International School, now hold the record for The ‘Most Nationalities at a History Lesson’. “On behalf of Guinness World Records, it gives me great pleasure to announce a new Guinness World Records™ title for the Most Nationalities at a History Lesson achieved by ISP in the UAE. Congratulations. You are Officially Amazing™!” said Kanzy El Defrawy, Official Adjudicator from Guinness World Records™ – MENA. The world record event marks the ISP schools’ 50-day countdown to the UAE’s 50th National Day and The Aquila School third birthday celebrations. The history lesson, focused on the UAE’s history, paying tribute to the nation and its great visionary leaders. “We are all excited to be celebrating the Year of the 50th, and we wanted to do something memorable to start the 50-day countdown in our schools. Reminding our students of the remarkable history of this country, by bringing so many nationalities together, allowed us to truly celebrate the essence of the UAE,” said Bharat Mansukhani, CEO – Middle East, ISP. “Today, we are also marking a milestone for The Aquila School, with its third birthday. We are very happy with all that the school has achieved

THIS WORLD RECORD EVENT KICKS OFF THE 50-DAY COUNTDOWN TO UAE’S 50TH NATIONAL DAY AND CELEBRATES THE AQUILA SCHOOL’S 3RD BIRTHDAY! so far, and now together with students from Nibras International School, we are proud to say that our students are now official Guinness World Records™ title holders” he continued. The previous record of 41 different nationalities was held by Eastlea Community School in London,

UK since 2014. The 72 students who attended the history lesson at The Aquila School ranged from 6-17 years of age and were joined online by students from Aspen Heights British School and Reach British School, two ISP Schools in Abu Dhabi.



TWO STAR EDUCATION BRITISH CURRICULUM SCHOOLS IN THE PRESTIGIOUS TYCOON ENTERPRISE COMPETITION Star Education has announced its participation in the world-renowned Tycoon Enterprise Competition. In an attempt to help stimulate enterprising culture in the young minds at Star International School Al Twar and Mirdif, the schools have entered the competition led by Peter Jones CBE, a prolific British entrepreneur, businessman and reality TV personality. Each participating team of students has the opportunity to create a business plan, be lent money, and start a business, trade, and compete against other student companies through the Tycoon kickstarter style platform in a controlled environment. Over the years, Tycoon Enterprise Competition has accomplished a number of achievements through its platform; it has helped over 14,500 students pursue their business aspirations, helped over 94% of students feel more employable after participating in the competition, given 96% of students the sense of financial awareness through the program, and created businesses of which 85% have achieved profitability.

COGNITA SCHOOLS IN DUBAI TAKE PART IN THEIR FIRST EVER GLOBAL BE WELL DAY Pupils from the Dubai based Cognita family of schools, The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, Horizon English School and Ranches Primary School, joined more than 58,000 young people worldwide on Thursday 30 September to take part in Cognita’s third annual Global Be Well Day. On this day each year, all Cognita schools collapse their curriculum to focus solely on well-being, which is fundamental to a Cognita Education. Created to educate Cognita’s global community schools about the importance of looking after their

mental and physical well-being, this year’s Global Be Well Day focused on teaching pupils, parents and colleagues about empathy. Partnering with Empathy Week, a global school programme that operates in more than 40 countries, the schools used the power of film to empower pupils around the world to become empathetic and resilient leaders. Throughout Global Be Well Day, the three schools engaged in a range of exciting activities that encourage pupil well-being, such as exercise, yoga, and mindful breathing and will teach pupils about the importance of a healthy and balanced diet.



Excellence in schools




Reach British School, part of International Schools Partnership (ISP), has appointed Sarah Warncken as the Head of Secondary. Sarah, along with being a qualified teacher, holds a BA Hons Law and Sociology Degree from the University of Kent. She joins the team at Reach British School with over 10 years of experience in teaching and leadership roles in schools in the UK.

David Keating, who has worked in international education for over eight years as both a secondary school English teacher and Education Consultant, has been named new English and Theory of Knowledge Teacher at Deira International School. David is particularly interested in teacher observation culture in schools, which was the subject of his Master’s thesis for his MBA in Educational Leadership.

Al Futtaim Education Foundation has appointed Jermaine Lattimore as Athletics Director for Universal American School (UAS). Jermaine is a Florida state certified K-12 Physical Education teacher and holds a BA in Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Central Washington University. Under his leadership, the athletics department will have a clear foundation and gear for premier sports activities that UAS is known for.




Swiss International School Dubai, the emirate’s first bilingual International Baccalaureate School, has begun the academic year with a new cohort of impressive teachers. Rania Hussein is the school’s new Deputy Head, Charles Cejka the new IB Diploma Coordinator, Carolyn Siklos now heads up the school’s IB MYP section as MYP Curriculum Coordinator, and Anthony Loxston-Baker is Swiss International School Dubai’s new Theory and Knowledge and Extended Essay expert.

Star Education has appointed Neal Joseph Oates as the new Principal of Star International School Mirdif. Having vast experience in the education sector, Neal Oates has worked in schools renowned for their academic standards across the region and joined the Star Mirdif team in September 2019. Boasting a solid and successful background in education, Principal Oates has won multiple awards for work in the STEAM curriculum.

Bright Learners Private School, a bespoke American school located in Al Rashidiya, Dubai, has a newly appointed Principal, Sulaiman Akbar. “I am honoured to be joining the Bright Learners community as its new Principal. One of my biggest focuses coming into this school year is to ensure that every child’s needs are met in order for them to meet their full potential,” he commented.





Star Education, a fast-growing educational institution with a number of schools offering British and American curricula, has announced the appointment of Gill Roberts as Director of Education. She will oversee the institution’s overall direction, operations and long-term growth. She will oversee the operations of certification and credentialing programmes, further enhancing the school’s academic standards on a larger scale.

Al Salam Community School, Dubai, is delighted to announce its new Principal, Mr Kifaya Khan, a qualified British Headteacher with 20 years of experience in education. Initially graduating in Computer Engineering from Queen Mary’s, University of London, and then also reading a second bachelor’s degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Kifaya Khan’s first appointment as Principal was at the early age of 32.

Simon Corns, who has led Brighton College Abu Dhabi for almost five years, under which time the school has achieved Outstanding status from ADEK and year on year excellent GCSE and A-Level results, will be moving to Brighton College Al Ain as the new Headmaster following Dr Ken Grieg’s retirement.




Ian Thurston has been named the new Principal of DIA Emirates Hills. With a BA Economics & Mathematics PGCE from the University of Sheffield and NPQH from University College London, Ian excels in many areas, including IB education, pastoral care and safeguarding, data analysis, curriculum innovation, and staff development. Ian says he is “delighted and proud to join the amazing Innoventures Education as Principal of DIA Emirates Hills.”

A MSc. educated school leader with extensive experience within an international setting, Mark Butler was recently announced as the new Secondary Principal at Al Bateen Academy. A dynamic and energetic leader, Mark is passionate about facilitating the growth of both his team and his students, using many diverse transferable skills that assist in school improvement, behaviour management, staff development, and student achievement.

Helen Wilkinson will be joining Brighton College Abu Dhabi as the new Headmistress. She arrives from Le Régent International School, Crans Montana, in Switzerland; an independent international boarding and day school affiliated with the prestigious Institut Le Rosey. At the school, she had two key roles: Head of Secondary School and Head of Academics, and successfully supported the growth and development of the school.


Excellence in schools




Excellence in schools

as well as an enriching extra-curricular programme, allowing them to develop and express their unique skills and talents. The Primary School is divided into two Key Stages:  Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2)  Key Stage 2 (Year 3 to 6) The curriculum for the Primary School is based on the National Curriculum for England to enable children to flourish both academically and socially.


entrally located in Umm Al Sheif, the school caters to students aged three to eighteen years old. Its highly qualified UK-trained teachers and purpose-built facilities enable the school to give each and every child the opportunity to thrive. Horizon International School prides itself on providing an effective balance between academic rigour and creative and sporting pursuits. The school places a strong emphasis on its values and community spirit, which underpins its mission ‘Everyone Counts, Everyone Contributes, Everyone Succeeds’. The staff at Horizon International School strive to challenge and inspire all learners to develop their skills and nurture values through a love of learning so that they can responsibly embrace the diverse challenges of tomorrow. Early Years Foundation Stage In a safe, welcoming and happy environment where they can thrive, children are encouraged to learn through play, which helps them to develop their language skills, emotional intelligence, creativity, social and intellectual skills. The focus is on personalised learning. Teachers continue to monitor the learners in the classroom and expand on what they already know. Children are given the tools they need to build on their learning styles, which will help them gain the knowledge, skills and attributes they will need in the future. HIS follows the UK Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, and the DSIB has given it an outstanding rating for its curriculum, which is broad, balanced and diverse. The most

important objective is to ensure that every child maximises their full potential through play-based learning activities, giving them the opportunity to learn, play, and make friends. Teachers support and challenge their ideas through inquiry, allowing children to enhance and grow their thinking and learning across all areas of the curriculum. The school believes that parents should be actively involved in their children’s development throughout these critical years. Parent-Teacher meetings, term reports, Let’s Learn sessions, Online Parent Workshops, and Parent Time are all opportunities for parents to engage in their child’s learning and achievement at HIS. Primary School Providing the required skills to embrace the ever-changing world is fundamental to the Primary School’s approach in providing the most enriching, challenging and exciting learning experiences. HIS is dedicated to supporting its students to become resilient learners who understand their own unique learning needs and can independently define their own goals in order to progress in their personal or academic lives. Lessons are personalised by inspired and passionate teachers to ensure that each child makes progress and receives the required levels of stretch and challenge. Teachers employ all available strategies to achieve this, and the distinct ‘Spirit of Horizon’ is evident as you walk through the learning environments. HIS ensures that students have access to a broad, balanced and diverse curriculum

This curriculum offers a diverse range of academic, social, physical, cultural, and creative learning experiences, encompassing all major subject areas with a bespoke HIS emphasis on the skills connected with each subject, as well as activities that are are critical for holistic development. Secondary School In recent years, the HIS Secondary School’s academic results have been consistently high, placing it among the top British Curriculum schools in Dubai. While student accomplishment at GCSE and A-Level is a highlight of the HIS experience, the school’s fundamental academic strength is the progress that all students make against their starting points; to put it another way, students routinely make better than expected progress at HIS. As they progress through the school, students appreciate that teachers know them and know them well, citing individual attention as crucial to their success. Relationships between students and teachers are integral to their ongoing success, with staff regularly going above and beyond to support. Stretch and challenge students. As well as being able to support every student academically, the pastoral care and wellbeing of students of highest priority; HIS believes that students meet and exceed their potential only through a focus on the whole child. School is about more than just exam results, and the school values of Ambition, Happiness, Respect, Positivity, Kindness, Diversity, Resilience and Honesty ensure that all students have the opportunity to become the best versions of themselves. There is more to this boutique school than meets the eye. Parents are welcome to visit and find out for themselves exactly what is meant by everyone counts, everyone contributes, everyone succeeds.


The school’s facilities enable it to give every child the opportunity to thrive, with a balance between academic rigour, creative expression, and athletic endeavours.

Post-16 HIS Post-16 aspires to be a successful and caring learning community that motivates students to respond to future challenges and contribute positively to the wider community.

Lessons are tailored and personalised by the highly trained and dedicated teachers to ensure that each child makes progress and receives the appropriate amount of stretch and challenge.

A supportive and enriching learning environment is guaranteed for all Post-16 students. The pastoral and guidance structure of the school guarantees that it gets to know its students as individuals, allowing them to receive individualised personal and academic pathways. The Post-16 curriculum is gaining a reputation in Dubai for academic success. Students, supported by our teachers, tutors and parents, set and achieve challenging goals. Every Post16 student acknowledges their influential role in the life of the school and understands their responsibility to the wider local community. Post-16 students are expected to exhibit excellent attitudes and attributes. While certain students may choose to work as apprentices in competitive industries or take a gap year before continuing their education, the majority go on to study at some of the world’s most prestigious universities at the end of Year 13.

There is more to this small school than meets the eye WWW.HISDUBAI.AE

Sunday 14 – Tuesday 16 November 2021

In partnership with:

Dubai World Trade Centre, Zabeel Halls 4, 5 and 6

Unlimited Possibilities The 14th edition of GESS Dubai returns in 2021, free to attend to anyone working in the field of education. The exhibition provides educators access to the products and solutions that meet the needs of the modern classroom and transform the way students learn. Alongside the exhibition runs an extensive conference programme and awards ceremony, making GESS Dubai the complete event for the education industry. This year the conference runs under the theme of “Innovate Today, Celebrate Tomorrow”, and will feature a range of renowned keynote speakers and educationalists sharing their knowledge and passion in over 120, free of charge, CPD accredited talks and workshops. Our collaborative and innovative sessions will allow you to take home practical teaching methods, to use in your classroom immediately.

Inspiring Speakers Here are some of the confirmed speakers so far whose topics will inspire, energise and empower educators seeking new, innovative ways to take teaching and learning to the next level: • • • •

Dr. Ali Almatari, Head of Department of Educational Technology, Ministry of Education, Oman Dr. Hamed Al Suwaidi, Founder, Abu Dhabi Arts Society Dr. Helen Wright, International Education Advisor and Executive Leadership Coach Dr. Rana Tamim, Professor of Educational Technology and Dean of the College of Education, Zayed University

• • • •

Dr. Richard Churches, Lead Adviser - Education Reform and Evidence Based Practice, Education Development Trust Dr. Sarah Rogers, Founder & CEO, Early Years Educational Services & Quest Direct Prof. Deborah Eyre, Founder and Chair, High Performance Learning Simon Crane, Head Master, Brighton College Dubai

Keep Up To Date With New Products And Innovation Meet hundreds of companies showcasing the latest educational products and solutions that teachers use to make them more effective in helping their students achieve better results. With numerous country pavilions including Germany, Korea, UK, Saudi Arabia, China and India, GESS Dubai is the trusted platform for suppliers of the entire spectrum of educational products and services. If you are an education supplier looking to expand your presence in the region and meet with thousands of educational professionals including key buyers and decision makers, GESS Dubai is the event you cannot afford to miss. GESS Dubai is the meeting place for the entire education industry, with educators from early years, K-12 and higher ed institutions looking to network, discover the latest educational solutions and do business. The event also welcomes decision makers from regional government ministries as well as distributors, so whatever your objective you can achieve it under one roof at GESS Dubai.

A Conference To Engage And Inspire Alongside the exhibition runs our globally renowned, free to attend conference featuring seminars, live case studies, workshops and panel discussions. Our conferences provide the region’s educators exposure to the latest trends, best practice as well as the latest tech in the pursuit of excellence in their classrooms. •

GESS Talks Arena: Featuring an exciting range of talks from individual keynotes, to panel sessions and 1-2-1 interview style conversations. With inspirational keynotes and dynamic movers and shakers, these sessions are designed to inspire and engage to help you learn about the latest global education trends and to push your education agenda forwards. Leadership Stream: Exclusively for our Leaders in Education members, these sessions are aimed at Leaders within education from pre-school, K12 to those from HE/FE colleges and universities. Looking at the challenges that leader of schools and educational institutions face, the qualities required to make a good leader and the skills required to advance in senior positions.

Future Leaders: Following the success of the sessions in 2019 and 2020, this series of workshops are designed for those wanting to know more about stepping into leadership, and acquiring useful skills and insights into the techniques and skills essential to aspiring leaders.

Edtech in Action: Focusing on Edtech in schools and higher education, these practical and dynamic sessions will showcase the latest innovations in education. Covering all aspects of education and demonstrating best practice to improve and enhance teaching and learning. Hear from expert speakers and discover the latest trends in technology.

Global Learning: Find out about the latest innovations in education from global and regional perspectives. Find out about key International education issues, be empowered and ask the questions you've always wanted to. Experience these dynamic workshops firsthand and learn how to future proof your school.

Wellbeing Hub: We are pleased to showcase a series of talks from consultants, and educators on Wellbeing and SEN in an inclusive environment in schools and nurseries. Sessions will outline the latest international research to help educators learn how to boost, motivate and inspire both themselves and their students to achieve the very best. This room will also feature inspiring sessions pertaining to Early Years education.

As part of our safe and contactless initiatives, there will be no onsite registration please register through the website before coming to the event.




GESS Education

Free registration for educational professionals, visit: or contact for more information.

Regional Partners:

Knowledge Partner:

Research Partner:

Supported by:

Platinum Sponsor:

School Data Integration Partner:

GESS Conference Sessions:


Excellence in schools




Excellence in schools

Following the English National Curriculum, the school aims to ensure that its students 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 modern world. A private school that provides an environment where students from a wide variety of backgrounds work happily and successfully towards their ambitions, Ajyal puts the emphasis on providing a happy, caring environment. There is a family atmosphere that prevails at the school, and every student is made to feel valued and included. This benevolent philosophy is supported by a broad array of exceptional facilities, including a library, two large performance halls, science laboratories, vibrant canteens, state-of-the-art media technology suites, and a sound-proof music suite. Sports facilities include a swimming pool, a gymnasium, large outdoor playgrounds, full-size football pitches, netball, badminton and volleyball courts, and a fitness centre. The campus, one big building, is in an attractive setting to the west of the city, offering excellent access from most areas in Abu Dhabi. The site comprises separate sections for Infant, Junior, Mid Age, and Secondary Form students. Each section has architect-designed classrooms with age-appropriate facilities set around bright and colourful common areas that promote a sense of community. ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE TOGETHER The British Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum serves as the foundation for Ajyal’s EYFS curriculum. There are seven areas of learning and development that shape educational provision in Early Years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Students in Primary School (key stage 2) cover more subjects and become skill-focused. All main subjects are taught by a UK-trained class teacher (English, Maths, Science, Humanities). Specialist subjects are taught by specialised teachers (Arabic, Islamic Studies, Social Studies in Arabic, Music, Art, Technology, and PE). The Primary classes reflect the students’ ability to apply and extend the academic requirements of the curriculum. Secondary students study through dedicated subjects. The emphasis is on improving their knowledge and preparing them for the external exams in years 11, 12, and 13. These are the years in which students take O-Level, AS-Level, and/or A-Level exams..

Each section has architect-designed classrooms with age-appropriate facilities set around bright and colourful common areas that promote a sense of community


THE SCHOOL MISSION  To provide first-class, international educational opportunities to Emirati and expatriate students that meet international standards whilst being cognisant of the UAE’s history, culture, values, and tradition.  To embed technology in the school’s core curriculum.  To embrace a happy and positive lifestyle and the spreading of positive messages internally and externally to ensure the well-being of all Ajyal communities.  To promote a culture of tolerance, inclusion, and fraternity among the school community. CORE VALUES Respect  Everyone within the school treats others as they would want to be treated themselves.  The parent community is valued and encouraged to participate in school.  Ajyal is a community where everyone is valued and included. Responsibility  Ajyal seeks to act ethically and according to the principles of social and environmental responsibility.  Ajyal values teachers who learn and learners who teach.  T aking risks, learning from mistakes, expressing freely, and reflecting on life and learning are all highly valued. Purpose  The school is driven by its desire to teach students how to enjoy learning, playing, and making friends.  Ajyal allows students time and space to be who they are and discover who they might become.  Students’ personal fulfilment, achievement, and success in all that they do, in and out of school, is celebrated.

Heritage  With seven years of experience, Ajyal has a wellestablished history of excellence in education.  The school’s British-based curriculum is flexible and tailored to its location in the UAE and the Middle East. Outstanding Results  Ajyal is non-selective, yet its students achieve exceptional results.  Students go on to the world’s top universities, having achieved high scores. A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS The curriculum is designed to prepare students for life in today’s world, so transferable skills and strong character traits are given as much prominence as specific subject knowledge and academic challenge. Inspired by and based on the English National Curriculum, these traits are deeply ingrained in Ajyal’s learning and behaviour. Students think about them regularly and have a thorough understanding of each one. Ajyal has a distinctive curriculum. While the academic core is founded on the rigour of the English National Curriculum and standard assessments such as O-Levels and A-Levels, teaching and learning will frequently incorporate regional contexts, utilising the school’s geographical location in the UAE. This, along with its diverse learning community, ensures that it truly prepares the next generation of global citizens for their futures.

There is a family atmosphere that prevails at the school, and every student is made to feel valued and included



Excellence in schools


TEACHING STUDENTS CULTURAL NUANCES IN SCHOOL By Antony Koshy, Principal, Global Indian International School, Dubai


Excellence in schools


t has become vital to sensitise children to be inclusive, open-minded global citizens, and that needs to start when a young mind is learning to shape itself eagerly – at school. Picture this: your child returns home from school, and what started with discussions on how the day went quickly escalates to a point where the focus of the conversation are two new students. It has only been a week since they joined the class, and your child finds them rather amusing – where one appears to be shy and reticent, the other seems to be uninhibited and is the class clown already. These are two charming children standing on either end of the spectrum. Well, commonly, such behaviours would be attributed to nature But is that true? Could it not be that their cultural and societal differences have had a massive role in shaping their present identities? When Cultures Clash in a Classroom Let’s try to explain diversity in an appropriate way first. The visible elements are, of course, language, colour, race, religion, art, architecture, social etiquette, and more. However, these obvious differences are only the tip of the iceberg. It’s the values and belief systems – the hidden elements – that truly shape our cultural identities and may lead to conflicts in a classroom. Keeping that in mind, let’s capture a broader aspect of cultural values with the help of two examples. 

T amanna is a fifth-grader who is not as interactive as the others with her teachers. Tamanna’s lack of interaction may be perceived as incompetence, shyness, or timidity. However, the reality is that Tamanna belongs to a family where formality with elders is held on a pedestal. As a result, she may not even know that friendly conversations with teachers are not only acceptable but even necessary for academic growth.

K anika is a sharp and nimble-witted middleschooler who always seems to interrupt the teacher in class to ask doubts, conduct debates, present her ideas, etc. Plus, she does all this without first raising her hand. Kanika’s enthusiasm and interactivity may be taken as arrogance, vanity, even disrespect. However, the reality here is that Kanika was born and brought up in a more informal culture that encourages friend-like conversations with the elders.

Hence, appearances can often be deceiving. All the children mentioned above are subconsciously acting upon the cultural beliefs and values etched in their hearts.

How Teachers can Prevent the Classroom Culture from Clashing Now that we know how cultural differences play out in the classroom and lead to unfair assumptions, we can affirm that such problems can only be resolved by fostering a culturally sensitive environment. For instance, punishing a child for not interacting much in class may lead them down a destructive path of self-doubt and loss of identity. What’s worse, it may even encourage students to ridicule and judge each other simply for being different. The thing to understand about cultural clashes, both for teachers and students, is that the problem goes deeper than what’s right or wrong. Though the values are ingrained within the child, the differences they give birth to are trivial. Punishing, mocking, or disrespecting apparent differences in the classroom are not the right way to teach cultural nuances. The only way to establish harmony, cooperation, and a love for diversity is through sympathy and sensitivity. And it all starts with the captain of the ship – teachers! They are responsible for safely guiding students across the unknown, tempestuous waters of cultural differences. Being educated on the subject is crucial – The best teachers know more about student psychology and cultural diversity

than the subject they teach. Recognising and making space for cultural differences will create a safe environment for all students to learn and grow—interactive sessions on cultural background help. Teachers can have short sessions every day to encourage each student to research and speak about their family, culture, and society to stir up curiosity, among others. Such sessions also challenge existing notions and help rethink cultural assumptions while allowing students to feel heard and valued for their differences. Shifting from an instructor to a facilitator is a win-win for all. In a culturally diverse classroom, a teacher needs to become a facilitator of cultural goodwill. To encourage students, whether shy, ambitious, or spirited, to share what they find interesting, partake in classroom discussions, suggest ways to make the session more engaging, and more. Global Indian International School is committed to making every student feel equally comfortable in the class – personalised attention, assessment, and nurturing is an integral part of imparting education. Teachers and educators need to be made aware of how vital maintaining high sensitivity to language concerns is. It’s incredible how language and culture are intrinsically connected.


So, when teachers encourage students to learn different languages, they are naturally opening paths for them to comprehend cultures in a more profound and meaningful way.As a result, students will possess something more than cultural awareness. They will have cultural sensitivity! Dangers of Stereotyping It’s also very essential to understand that no cultural group is homogenous. The world today is a global village, and children are exposed to overwhelming volumes of information. Their beliefs are not restricted to what they’ve been taught via the three primary means of cultural identity: society, family, and peers. A girl child from an egalitarian gender society may seemingly have an overnight change of views regarding gender inequality simply by watching podcasts on feminism.

It’s the values and belief systems – the hidden elements – that truly shape our cultural identities and may lead to conflicts in a classroom

As social beings, our best chance at acing the school of life is to have a culturally aware and sensitive attitude towards others. And what better way to solidify necessary skills such as these than during the prime learning years. Water the seeds of cultural sensitivity in your child today!

Global Indian International School is committed to making every student feel equally comfortable in the class

Cultural beliefs and values are transmissible from one corner of the world to the other without the need to step foot outside. Thus, the only logical conclusion is to teach children that it all boils down to the individual; that mutual respect, cooperation, and sympathy are the foundation on which a strong culture or community stands.



Excellence in schools

ONE OF BRITAIN’S OLDEST INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS, THE ROYAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL GUILDFORD, CELEBRATES OPENING CEREMONY IN DUBAI One of the most prestigious independent British Curriculum schools in the UK, the Royal Grammar School Guildford (RGS Guildford), has held a ceremony to celebrate the official opening of its new school in Dubai.

 CRAIG LAMSHED, Founding Principal RGS Guildford Dubai


The school’s students, teachers and parents will get the best of two worlds – a school with a long history of excellence in education in a dynamic city that is focused on the future. We welcome RGS to Dubai and to a school community that has quality and wellbeing at its heart.”

“I think our big difference is that the curriculum is set around a really strong set of values, the same values we have at RGS Guildford”


xactly 512 years after the founding of the first Royal Grammar School in Guildford in the UK, the school’s UAE campus was officially opened with a plaque unveiling ceremony in the presence of Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Craig Lamshed, Founding Principal RGS Guildford Dubai and Dr Jon Cox, Headmaster RGS Guildford UK, as well as Clare Turnbull, RGS Guildford Dubai’s Head of Prep, Chris Jansen, CEO Cognita and David Baldwin, Managing Director, Middle East, Cognita. In his opening address, Dr Cox said: “It is our responsibility to engender in our students those skills that will be so important for the future: leadership, collaboration, creativity, critical thought, independence of thought, and tenacity. This is something we are renowned for back in the UK.

encouraged us throughout the process of establishing our new school here. And we are very appreciative of their continued assistance. We hope that they will be as proud of the school as we are.” For his part, Dr Abdullah commented: “The Royal Grammar School Guildford is joining the Dubai education community in a new academic year full of excitement and optimism.

Craig Lamshed, Founding Principal of the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD), said: “I am delighted that we have reached this momentous occasion of welcoming our first cohort of Guildfordians in Dubai. Staying true to RGS’s ethos and values, we will begin our journey of preparing our pupils for challenges of the 21st century by constantly innovating and providing a platform for our pupils to reach their full potential.”

 DR JON COX Headmaster RGS Guildford UK

The wonderful students at the end of their school careers are shining examples of the all-round education that we offer. And I know that we will be able to do something very similar here in Dubai.” Dr Cox also thanked Dr Abdullah, Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and his team, saying: “They have been wonderfully supportive of this project; they’ve advised us, they’ve

Exactly 512 years after the founding of the first Royal Grammar School in Guildford in the United Kingdom, the school’s UAE campus was officially opened


Excellence in schools

RGS Guildford Dubai benefits from over 500 years of pioneering heritage, knowledge and practice of what makes great education



And what we’ve done this week is to try and develop that relationship with our parents and our students – we need that in order to support them. We do the very best we can here in the school, and our parents help us with what they do back home. So, yes, it’s essential we have really good relationships with our parents.” Finally, we asked what RGSGD’s vision was for the next five years? “I would say that we stand true to our values. We are a representative of RGS Guilford in the UK, and what we say today is what we will still be doing in five years time: Education UAE then managed to grab a couple of minutes in Mr Lamshed’s busy schedule, first asking him what makes RGSGD different from other schools. “I think our big difference is that the curriculum is set around a really strong set of values, the same values we have at RGS Guildford. We develop students in terms of development of character, in terms of how we move students from day one to day two, or, in other words, what they have to do to move from today to tomorrow.” Of course, parents have an essential role to play too, with Mr Lamshed explaining: “The parents are part of the same community as the teachers and the students. We’re extremely happy that our parents have invested in the school, giving us ownership of looking after their children. We look forwards to our parents coming into school and working with us.

“I am delighted that we have reached this momentous occasion of welcoming our first cohort of Guildfordians in Dubai”

providing an outstanding education, character development, a rich curriculum based on values and learning habits, and happy, successful young people,” Mr Lamshed concluded. RGS Guildford Dubai benefits from over 500 years of pioneering heritage, knowledge and practice of what makes great education and maximises the learning experience for each pupil through exceptional teaching, a curriculum that maintains a balance between ‘what’ is to be learnt and ‘how’ it is learnt, and a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities. The school is located within Majid Al Futtaim’s flagship Dubai community, Tilal Al Ghaf, adjacent to Hessa Street, between Dubai Motor City and Sports City. The incredible school sits on an impressive 40,000m2 campus and will accommodate up to 2,100 pupils. The light and dynamic building includes a 25-metre competition standard swimming pool and state-of-the-art classrooms and labs that will support science, art, languages, music and more.



Excellence in schools





Excellence in schools

GCBS has a blend of the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) and the English National Curriculum (ENC). While the CAIE is primarily followed for English, Maths and Science, the English National Curriculum is followed for Art, Music, Design Technology, History and Geography and Computer Science. CAIE helps students develop an informed curiosity and a lifelong enthusiasm for learning. Its qualifications are recognised by the world’s leading universities and employers, providing students with a diverse choice of educational and career opportunities. Per the requirements of the Ministry of Education, all children learn Arabic and UAE Social Studies. In addition, Muslim children study Islamic Studies. The curriculum is divided into three sections: Early Years (KG1), Primary (KG2 to Grade 5), and Secondary (Grades 6 to 8).

UK EARLY YEARS The EYFS curriculum in KG1 directs the learning and teaching process and assists the school in creating an ideal learning environment in its classrooms. The team at GCBS believe that to engage, achieve and make positive contributions, students must be healthy, secure and safe. The school values all of these needs and understands their contribution to the development of happy students in an enjoyable, encouraging and stimulating atmosphere. The learning environment combines high standards with a broad and rich curriculum. The school uses various play-based and structured activities, striking a delicate balance between both teacher-led and student-initiated play. Play underpins all development and learning for young children. Most children play spontaneously, and it is through play that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.

Every student and parent is given a Weekly Overview, which covers the topics and content that will be covered throughout that week

Every student and parent is given a Weekly Overview, which covers the topics and content that will be covered throughout that week. PRIMARY SCHOOL Nothing brings greater joy than to see our children experiencing success and enjoying their learning whilst at school. GCBS aims to achieve this by providing opportunities through a crosscurriculum and technology-driven approach, as well as high standards of learning and teaching in a pleasant, organised, and caring environment.


GCBS’s examination results show its progress through TIMSS data, another crucial factor of the National Agenda

In both ability-based and mixed-ability classes, teaching strategies are used to ensure that children receive personalised instruction. As a result of this individualised learning approach, children frequently learn different things at different rates than their peers in the same or different classes. Gamification and active learning are two proven methods for keeping students involved in the learning process. By including a variety of resources from multiple sources, the curriculum aims to ensure breadth and balance. The school does not encourage or prescribe set textbooks. Instead, it carefully prepares topics so that continuity and progression are smooth and development is facilitated. Topics enable the school to identify skills, concepts, knowledge and ideas from individual subjects and bring them together in a cohesive way. Every student and parent in KG2 to Grade 5 receives a Weekly Letter outlining the topics and content being covered, clarifying the learning focus for that period. The primary curriculum is divided into two stages: Key Stage 1 (KG2 to Grade 1) and Key Stage 2 (Grades 2 to 5).

SECONDARY Secondary students are encouraged to be selfdirected learners who possess the skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to handle life’s challenges. This is underpinned by GCBS’s positive attitude, which encourages its students to become self-assured, productive, and caring members of the local, national, and global communities. The school provides a framework that enables teachers and students to be creative and challenged and parents to be curious yet assured, in a safe, focused and enjoyable environment. Everyone is provided with opportunities to grow and learn. Every student and parent receive a Weekly Newsletter for each subject outlining the topics and content being covered for that period. The secondary curriculum is divided into three stages: Grade 6 to 8, Grade 9 to 10, and Grade 11 to 12. Garden City British School will function only for KG1 to Grade 8 for the current academic year (2021-2022). This is an opportunity for all students to hone the skills that will help them succeed academically and personally. This is accomplished through a dynamic and rigorous curriculum that emphasises inquiry and creative problem solving through authentic tasks, resulting in students who are not afraid to fail in order to learn. Set texts are not recommended or required by GCBS. Instead, teachers will draw on a wide range of information from a variety of sources.

MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF A CONSTANTLY CHANGING WORLD GCBS’s examination results show its progress through TIMSS data, another crucial factor of the National Agenda. When a student, teacher, or member of the community joins GCBS, they take on the responsibility of maintaining and cultivating the school’s distinctive culture. This culture permeates all aspects of the school, manifesting itself in the way students think, feel, and behave. As a result, all learners are adaptable and versatile, with attributes and thinking skills to embrace the challenges of a constantly changing world. While the school produces 21st-century thinkers and independent learners, it is the skills that are difficult to measure that count. Compassion, empathy, humility, civic-mindedness, and how we treat each other every day are at the core of GCBS’s culture. These create a symbiotic relationship in which students and teachers are both challenged and inspired by one another. Positive relationships, combined with a sense of purpose and ambition, make for an irresistible combination. At GCBS, a student’s world extends far beyond the classroom. The same norms and expectations apply whether they compete in sports, perform on stage, develop their creativity, or contribute to the local and global community.



Excellence in schools

LEAP LEARNING ENRICHMENT AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMME AT UNIVERSAL AMERICAN SCHOOL AT UNIVERSAL AMERICAN SCHOOL, WE HAVE BEEN RUNNING OUR LEARNING ENRICHMENT AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMME (LEAP) FROM ELEMENTARY TO GRADE 6 SINCE SEPTEMBER 2019. WHAT IS LEAP ALL ABOUT? Learn Enrich Activate Personalise LEAP is a bespoke afterschool programme for all Elementary and Grade 6 students. Through LEAP, students can participate in sports and afterschool activities, be supported individually with academics, build relationships, and have fun!

The purpose of the LEAP programme is to create a personalised extended day for students based on their individual needs and goals. Through close collaboration with parents and homeroom teachers, the LEAP programme sets goals and designs meaningful learning experiences specifically for each student. Whether our learners need to be challenged academically or need additional support in a specific subject, LEAP has it covered! PERSONALISED LEARNING GOALS AND SUCCESS Our LEAP programme has been very successful and offers a variety of new, high-quality educational and fun activities that broaden our students’ educational experience outside of the traditional class setting. In LEAP, students in Pre K-Grade 6 learn and play together and become almost like a family in school.

The main reason behind LEAP’s success so far is the personalised aspect of the programme. LEAP has proven to be very beneficial for our students since all their learning goals are personalised. The parents share their goals for their child, and these individual goals are then developed with the students, the homeroom, and the LEAP teacher. The LEAP teachers are in close contact with the homeroom teachers, who tell them everything they need to know about each student and their individual learning needs. On the social-emotional side, LEAP also adds a lot of benefits through a strong and collaborative team of teachers. For example, the homeroom teacher can alert the LEAP colleague about students who might have had a bad day and need extra help or attention during the LEAP afterschool programme.


LEAP is a great setting for those of our students who need extra help when it comes to developing social skills and building friendships. With LEAP, we have created a learning environment that stimulates social skills for our students and makes them feel comfortable so they can communicate and play with their friends – and make new friends, too. There is also a strong physical element to LEAP. Instead of going home to sit with their iPads or TV, students can be active in a new setting and spend time with their friends while engaging in both extra sports and physical learning activities.

The main reason behind LEAP’s success so far is the personalised aspect of the programme LEAP also creates a stimulating learning environment where our students can both play with their friends and find time to work on their Passion Projects. Passion Projects are investigative activities focusing on something the child is working on or interested in. The Passion Projects are driven by students’ interests in particular topics. For instance, if the student is really interested in learning more about space, we can stimulate that interest and create a Passion Project about space. The LEAP teachers will then facilitate project-based learning around the project where the student can read, research, plan, and design their Passion Project. Over time, the students apply their research skills to develop their LEAP Passion Projects. Sometimes new friendships develop when LEAP students discover they have similar interests or Passion Projects, so these projects are also important for developing social skills. With LEAP, we enrich everything we already do through our homeroom teachers during the day through our PYP framework.

 MS. RIANNE FOX Assistant Principal of Elementary

LEAP – UNCOVERING HIDDEN TALENTS AND SKILLS LEAP offers wonderful cross-grade level bonds to be formed between younger and older students. Some of the ‘specialist’ students in Grade 12 can act as role models and instructors for certain learning activities, such as music, and thereby create a whole new social and academic connection. This way, our older students become both excellent role models and ‘leaders’ for our younger students, adding value and great experiences for both parties in this dynamic learning setting. Through LEAP, we are able to discover both hidden talents and hidden confidence in all our students. Some of our students display ‘transformed’ behaviour in the LEAP setting and reveal new skills and personality traits that are then reported to the homeroom teachers.

LEAP attracts students and parents who are looking for added flexibility both at school and at home

ADDED FLEXIBILITY FOR PARENTS LEAP attracts students and parents who are looking for added flexibility both at school and at home. For instance, if parents are working late, LEAP can be customised to solve that challenge. The LEAP programme also creates quality home time for our families rather than worrying about other things related to schoolwork. In this way, LEAP is a great service to our school that has resulted in happy students returning to the programme each academic year. Research shows that students who participate in afterschool programmes show improvement in the following areas:

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT  Social and emotional development  Overall health and wellness The LEAP programme also:  Builds stronger academic, social, and emotional foundation for students  Builds endurance for learning  Engages students in various activities that support their regular classroom learning Some examples include long-term STEAM projects, 1:1 music and language lessons, handson activities with high-school IB students, gardening activities, and supervised homework PARENT FEEDBACK The feedback we have received from both parents and teachers has been really good. We have also grown to offer the programme from Pre K-Grade 5 to also include Grade 6 due to increased demand from our students. The current retention rate for our LEAP programme is above 90%. “Both my kids are having an amazing time attending LEAP and LEAP Junior. My son is in LEAP Junior, and he is super happy and comes home every day with a big smile on his face, wanting to share how he spent his time in LEAP Jr. My older daughter is also so happy and well supported academically on a very high level while everyone treats her with so much love and care.” Our teachers also appreciate the special teaching community that LEAP has created at UAS: “What’s really special about the LEAP programme is that it is like a family. Your children will be a part of a programme that is supportive, tight-knit, and builds their confidence and social skills.”


68 Excellence in Higher Education

MBZUAI WELCOME SECOND COHORT OF STUDENTS FOR AUTUMN 2021 SEMESTER The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the graduate-level research university focused on artificial intelligence (AI), welcomed its second cohort of students with the kickoff of the 2021 autumn semester.

The 2021 intake includes students from 29 nationalities, with 14 new countries represented for the first time in the MBZUAI cohort. Ten of these are UAE nationals, with other learners from the US, India, Italy, China, Kazakhstan and many more. Among the newly represented

UAE CONTINUES TO ATTRACT SOME OF WORLD’S TOP PERFORMING STUDENTS Top universities in the UAE have continued to attract some of the world’s brightest and most promising students ahead of the upcoming academic year, with the very best being awarded significant scholarships at one of the country’s leading institutions. The University of Birmingham Dubai, one of the UAE’s only global top 100 ranked institutions, has announced that it has awarded its Provost 50% Scholarship to a selection of high performing individuals. The institution said it has enrolled “some of the world’s most outstanding students” in its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, reinforcing the emirate’s position as a prime study destination. Among the most promising students enrolled on the University of Birmingham Dubai’s undergraduate programmes is a BSc AI and Computer Science student who received five A*s in the British A-Level system, and two students enrolled on BSc Psychology who gained 99% in the CBSE Indian System.

countries are the UK, France, Hungary, Mexico, Colombia, and others as the University’s reputation continues to soar. The University received around 5,000 applications this year, highlighting the competitiveness of the admission process.

ADU ALLOCATES MORE THAN AED 50 MILLION TO ITS ACADEMIC AND HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMMES Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and President of the University’s Board of Trustees, Abu Dhabi University (ADU) continues its humanitarian aid and social responsibility efforts, which have established a culture of voluntarism among its students, faculty and staff members. ADU has invested in building strong relationships with the community by providing high-quality education, workshops, seminars, scholarships and financial aid programmes that ensure students’ access to an education regardless of their financial situation. The University’s efforts include a selection of scientific research, cultural and voluntary initiatives that aim to promote a culture of humanitarian work and social responsibility and establish the values of inclusion and generosity.

ZAYED UNIVERSITY Zayed University (ZU) and the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) have successfully marked the first year of their partnership, following a Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities to support Emirati youth along their education and early employment journeys. Within a year, the partnership produced exceptional results with the flagship initiative. ZU student engagement in the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Programme (YTP), an online education and career readiness platform provided by AGFE, recorded a strong response. The three-year agreement to formalise the partnership between the two entities and integrate YTP – which offers career exploration tools, professional and soft skills courses, and education and career information –targets 6,000 student enrolments by 2023.


HERIOT-WATT UNIVERSITY TO SHOWCASE EXPERTISE AT WORLD EXPO 2020 Global institution Heriot-Watt University is set to showcase its expertise at Expo 2020 Dubai. On December 8, 2021, the University will host a day-long Future Skills Conference with an inspiring line-up of world-renowned academics and industry professionals. It will look at future education, industries, and employment, as well as the skills, lifelong learning, and entrepreneurial attitudes that will


be required of the global workforce in order to grow future economies. Dr Gillian Murray, Deputy Principal (Enterprise and Business) at HeriotWatt University, said: “For 170 years, World Expos have provided a platform from which to showcase the greatest innovations that have shaped or will change the world we live in. That’s why Heriot-Watt University is proud to be a supporting partner of the UK at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.”

IT’S A BRAND NEW WORLD BY PROFESSOR AMITABH UPADHYA, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL BUSINESS STUDIES (GBS) DUBAI Higher Education today is a specialised commodity that is pursued in the quest of not only wisdom but also employability. Moreover, it aids young people in acquiring an accomplished and dexterous personality for coping with life challenges of the future; the unknown and exotic future - glimpses of which humanity is experiencing in the form of a pandemic that has gripped all walks of life. As regards the higher education scenario in the UAE and its progress in the last few decades, it has been a chequered path of experiments and experiences that are consolidating now in a standardised and qualitative form. The UAE is home to over 200 nationalities, who find the country safe and secure with a plethora of opportunities in all spheres of contemporary life and a modern state with excellent infrastructure. In the last couple of decades, the UAE has been encouraging global higher education institutions to establish their campuses and/or programmes in the country, making the UAE a preferred education destination for students from all over the globe, especially from Eastern Europe, South and East Asia, the Middle East and Africa, as well as locally settled residents and UAE nationals. This is because of a wide variety of programmes and a wider variety of specialisations available in one destination. The Covid-19 situation presented an opportunity in disguise, whereby many forward-looking institutions upgraded their course delivery mode to online. This was found to be very successful, mainly because the technical and internet facilities, and the motivated teachers and trainers of UAE, were very much up to the challenge. The UAE

 PROFESSOR AMITABH UPADHYA, President, Global Business Studies (GBS) Dubai

is arguably the most tech-savvy country in the world, especially the student-teacher communities, making it the right choice to continue higher education in the UAE, avoiding any risky travel and opening up a new possibility of hybrid teaching and learning with enhanced audio-visual content. The quality of higher education has hitherto been measured in terms of a few parameters that included quality of faculty and their research output, illustrious and successful alumni, location and accreditation, internationalisation and affordability, among other factors. The changing times required a lateral view to be examined and experimented with as regards the measure of excellence in higher education, especially the two above mentioned aspirations from higher education, namely employability and accomplished personality that is future-ready. The traditional teaching methodology of lecturing

is giving way to facilitation and instruction to inquisition. As such, institutions that won’t adapt to the inquisitive minds of the new generation, who are already racing in the fast lane of the information super-highway created by the internet, will gradually lose steam. Excellence is equally a pursuit rather than a destination, and those who will keep walking on the path of excellence shall maintain high standards, which is what some of the newer entrants in the domain of higher education are providing. So the tone and colour of higher education tomorrow will be decided by the realisation that the student is a consumer of knowledge rather than a disciple. We are staring at specialisations such as musiology (technology and music), philoscience (philosophy and science), mediconomy (medicine and economics), enviroculture (environmental and cultural studies) and many more such possibilities. Unlike straight-jackets, these are colourful and patterned accoutrements that are already visible in the favourite torn jeans of youngsters. The future is here – where are you! LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COURSES AND FEES

CONTACT: PAWAN BHATIA Global Business Studies (GBS Dubai) Knowledge Park, Dubai, UAE 

Our new school review package The most effective way to meet your schools admission goals

Are you opening a new school, need to fill school places or need to simply understand what makes your school unique? INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE




PARENTS Read school reviews



Contact: | T: +971 4242 3896 | M: 058 633 5225





EDUCATORS Feature your school

International Medical School

Become a doctor in the US or UK

#1 provider

of doctors into first-year US residencies for the last 12 years combined*


School of Medicine graduates * Data as of July 2021

Request information

72 Our World

P&G PARTNERS WITH AL ZULEKHA HOSPITAL AND CHOITHRAMS FOR PINK IT NOW CAMPAIGN Procter & Gamble (P&G) has partnered with Al Zulekha Hospital in the UAE and Choithrams for the Pink It Now campaign in October as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This initiative strives to increase awareness of the

disease, promote screening and early testing, and raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. On purchases of AED70 of P&G brand products such as Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel® and Herbal

Essences®®at Choithrams, customers will receive a free breast cancer consultation and mammogram. P&G’s support for Pink It Now corresponds to its vision of creating a company and a world where equality and inclusion are achievable for all.

THE ARBOR SCHOOL SIGNS PARTNERSHIP WITH HOMEGROWN SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL UNIFORMS BRAND The Arbor School, a dynamic and forward-thinking school that nurtures a core belief in environmental mindfulness, responsibility, and sustainability, has announced a partnership with a homegrown, sustainable school uniform brand, Kapes. Partnering with the only provider of sustainable uniforms in the UAE, the Arbor School will offer parents and children ethically made school uniforms free from harmful chemicals. Arbor is the first school to have a sustainable uniform in the UAE. It is also the only school in the world to adopt the EON Circular ID, also adopted by YOOX Net-a-Porter, Pangaia, Houdini Sportswear, Unspun (apart of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation Jeans Resign Program), and Nanushka. The uniforms are made entirely from high-quality, sustainable materials, including global organic textile standard (GOTs) certified organic cotton, 100% REPREVE recycled polyester, regenerated nylon, coconut shell, and use only non-toxic, non-harmful dyes.

This initiative strives to increase awareness of the disease, promote screening and early testing

The uniforms are made entirely from high-quality, sustainable materials WWW.THEARBORSCHOOL.AE


Gulf for Good Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Supporting Children Around the World

The UAE non-profit organisation helped over 35,000 children around the world through 61 projects and raised close to $4 million since it was established in 2001


ulf for Good, a UAE non-profit organisation that supports sustainable charity projects for children and promotes wellbeing through life-changing experiences, has celebrated its 20th anniversary. Throughout the last two decades, it has implemented sustainable projects in the developing world, helping make a real difference in the lives of underprivileged children. Established in March 2001 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, former Chairman, Brian Wilkie MBE, James Berry and Paul Oliver, Gulf for Good was first inspired by the requirement to raise funds to buy an ambulance for a war-torn community in Namibia. This saw 49 people climb Mount Kilimanjaro and raise enough money to buy four brand new Land Rover ambulances which were distributed to hospitals in Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya. During its 20 year legacy in the UAE, Gulf for Good has organised more than 91 challenges, with over 1,585 participants, in 27 countries, in support of 61 children’s charities; raising close to $$4 million to build schools, children’s homes, hospitals and more, changing the lives of countless

past two decades and shine a light on the charities and supporters during the journey. Chairwoman of Gulf for Good, and 18-time Gulf for Good challenger, Anne Edmondson, said: “Gulf for Good continues to empower people to make positive changes to their lives and to improve the quality of children’s lives around the world. Throughout the past 20 years, we have supported numerous sustainable charity projects which have had a significant impact on underprivileged children, providing them with access to education and improved hygiene facilities. Our 20th anniversary is not just a milestone for us as a non-profit organisation, but for our whole community, which has supported us through our international challenges, UAE day hikes and training, events and CSR activities, which have all contributed to our success in supporting projects around the world. As we look to the future, we are excited to continue enriching communities and corporations by challenging them to take action, providing opportunities to inspire people to help, and most importantly, supporting sustainable charity projects for children.”

children around the world. In 2020 alone, during the midst of the pandemic crisis, Gulf for Good still raised AED 585,000 and provided emergency relief and Covid support to its charity projects when they needed it the most. Gulf for Good has also excelled in diversifying its offering during the pandemic with the launch of its charity retail store Thrift for Good, reselling preloved items and donating profits to Gulf for Good charity projects. To mark the 20-year celebration, Gulf for Good will host an exhibition between mid-October and mid-November, which will showcase Gulf for Good’s impact during the

Aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, Gulf for Good addresses current and long-term needs in developing countries around the world related to access to basic quality education for more children where there would otherwise be none. There is a particular focus on the education of girls, basic or essential healthcare, provision of necessary medical supplies, inclusive, loving and supportive homes for vulnerable and abandoned children, and values of equality and justice.



Our World

VERTECO PARTNERS WITH THE WATER ALLIANCE ASSOCIATION’S RENEW OUR WORLD, STUDENT WATER INNOVATION CHALLENGE VERTECO, the world leader in water conservation and smart washroom technologies, has become an official sponsor of the RENEW Our World, Student Water Innovation Challenge. Founded by the Water Alliance Association, the cutting-edge school competition is designed to motivate the UAE’s next generation of leaders and decision-makers. Tasking students from across the country to come up with creative and sustainable solutions for tackling today’s water issues, including water conservation, community welfare and water quality, it aims to bring the complications surrounding water conservation to the forefront. Entries for the 2022 edition open on 14 November 2021, with the final awards ceremony planned around World Water Day in March 2022 at the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The inaugural hosting of the challenge in 2021 received 135 entries from 18 different schools across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah

For further details about the RENEW Our World Challenge, visit

MAI DUBAI STEPS UP EFFORTS TO EDUCATE YOUTH ON ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY In line with its commitment to raise sustainability awareness among the younger generation, Mai Dubai steps up its support to DGrade’s ‘Simply Bottles’ programme through sponsorship of the Simply Bottles School Recycling Challenge for the school year 20212022. Mai Dubai has been an active partner of DGrade, a manufacturer of eco-friendly clothing, for the past two years to help raise awareness on the importance of recycling plastic water bottles through engaging with teachers, students and parents across schools in Dubai. The goal of the challenge is to increase the recycling rates of plastic water bottles by encouraging students to recycle as many as they can. The initiative also provides a platform for students to create their own recycling drives by collecting plastic from the school and At the end of the competition, participating schools will be awarded a certificate of achievement indicating the amount of plastic recycled. In addition, schools can win a variety of prizes such as sustainable team t-shirts, caps and face masks made from recycled plastic bottles, as well as Mai Dubai’s bottled water supply for the school.

The goal of the challenge is to increase the recycling rates of plastic water bottles by encouraging students to recycle as many as they can

76 Sports

THE ROYAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL GUILDFORD DUBAI PARTNERS WITH INSPIRATUS SPORTS DISTRICT As part of its mission to provide each of its pupils with world-class facilities to help them grow, learn, and play, the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) has partnered with Inspiratus Sports District (ISD) Dubai Sports City to enhance its year- round sporting offering. At ISD Dubai Sports City, RGSGD pupils will get to experience the region’s best facilities, featuring both indoor and outdoor sporting grounds, brand new tennis courts, a nine-lane athletics track and five full-size FIFA approved football pitches. As a Platinum Partner of ISD Dubai Sports City, RGSGD will have access to the facilities from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm on school days, giving pupils the opportunity to play sport all year round.

BRIGHT LEARNERS PARTNERS WITH JUVENTUS ACADEMY Bright Learners Private School, a bespoke American school located in Al Rashidiya, Dubai, has announces a partnership with Juventus Academy, an award-winning football academy in the UAE. The new partnership comes in line with the mission of Bright Learners’ newly appointed Principal, Sulaiman Akbar, of further enhancing students’ physical performance and overall well-being while providing them unparalleled opportunities. “We are ecstatic to be partnered with Juventus Academy in the UAE. This is an opportunity that so many children can only dream of, and we are proud to not only be partnered with them in order to give them a chance to be selected to join Juventus Academy, but also to attend after school activities that will be led by their qualified coaches,” commented Principal Sulaiman Akbar.


REPTON SCHOOL DUBAI ANNOUNCES REMARKABLE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NUMBER ONE TENNIS ACADEMY IN THE WORLD Repton School Dubai is proud to announce its partnership with Spanish five-time Grand Slam winner, Emilio Ángel Sánchez Vicario, to launch the prestigious Emilio Sanchez Academy in the UAE. The number one tennis academy in the world will establish its presence in the Middle East at Repton Dubai, focusing on athletic and academic development. The expansive new academy, located at Repton School Dubai’s Nad Al Sheba campus, will consist of 11 state-of-the-art tennis courts, including a Centre Court, three padel tennis courts, and a multidisciplinary clinic. Set to launch at Repton Dubai in January 2022, the Emilio Sanchez Academy will strive to develop the whole child both academically and athletically, through focusing on enhancing students’ gross motor, mental and physical skills. Built on the values of Respect, Effort and Discipline, the highly acclaimed tennis academy, encapsulates a unique high-performance pyramid training system based on four pillars including Technical, Tactical, Physical and Mental. The system places equal importance on athletic and academic development to ensure students achieve their highest performance and competitive state. This proven model has consistently allowed young athletes to avail tennis scholarships from across sought-after universities globally. Reptonians will have exclusive access during the school day to participate in the academy’s Elite Programme while the after-school programme will be open to the wider UAE community. Reptonians will also be treated to insights and advice from professional players, seasonal boot camps and year-round coaching. The unique academy will feature a boarding facility at Repton Dubai and worldwide members of the academy will have access to all aspects of the Emilio Sanchez Academy at Repton Dubai. David Cook, Headmaster of Repton Dubai and Chief Education Officer of the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE say: “Our diverse curriculum encapsulates the development of the whole child across three arenas: Academic, Creative and Sport. The partnership with the Emilio Sanchez Academy will support us in enhancing our vision to formulate students to the best of their abilities and we are excited to introduce the Middle East to the world-renowned academy.”


Open to all ages from Early Years Foundation Stage to Post-16, the state-of-the-art academy strives to add further value through a multidisciplinary clinic that will house a team of highly trained doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists and chiropractors. The clinic will focus on enhancing player performances, by specialising in the treatment of amateur and professional athletes, as well as the general population; providing preventive care and injury rehabilitation to the future tennis champions. The coaching staff will consist of expert professionals trained under the Emilio Sanchez training programme. Furthermore, the main Centre Court will comprise a full-sized 40x20 metre tennis court with stadium seating capacity, enabling the academy to host prestigious tournaments such as the Association of Professional Tennis (ATP) Tour at the Nad Al Sheba campus. To further enhance player growth and performance, the academy has invested in innovative technologies such as biomechanics, which uses cameras and sensors to analyse and monitor the optimum way to hold the tennis racket, shoulder angles, wrist rotation and player stance while playing. The academy has enlisted the services of GreenSet, renowned for its top-quality, non-slip and durable surfaces for tennis courts, suitable for all types of players and game styles. GreenSet’s innovative and sustainable tennis courts have been featured in highly acclaimed Grand Slam tournaments in the Australian Open and it is also the official supplier for the ATP Finals. The leading world expert in tennis surfaces will also incorporate its Cushion System in the region, incorporating three levels of cushioning into the substructure of the tennis courts at Repton Dubai. The first-of-its-kind system in the region uses extremely low volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the build to ensure complete uniformity on the surface layers and incorporates the use of lasers to create the

perfect speed and bounce during a match. In addition, the centre court will incorporate the use of 800 Lux of illuminating lights that ensure absolute visibility during matches and are ideal for televised tournaments. “Our mission is to create opportunities through tennis and education. We’re so glad to partner with Repton Dubai for this project, and we’re sure it will be a huge success. We will deliver our system of training and expertise to support the studentathletes to achieve the best competitive version of themselves, and Repton Dubai will do the same from an educational standpoint. The Middle East has yet to witness a comprehensive programme like ours, and I’m sure that this partnership will make a huge difference on the journeys of our children,” concludes Emilio Sanchez, Founder and CEO of the Emilio Sanchez Tennis Academy. Initially launched in 1998 and formerly known as Academia Sanchez-Casal, the Emilio Sanchez Academy is recognised as the number one tennis academy in the world, with branches in Barcelona (Spain), Nanjing (China), Naples, Florida (USA) and Atlanta (USA). The academy has a long-standing pedigree in developing elite world tennis champions and some of the notable academy graduates include three-time Grand Slam winner Sir Andy Murray, the US Open and Garros Champion Sveta Kuznetsova, WTA Champion Daniela Hantuchova, former ATP singles world tennis number three Grigor Dimitrov and former world tennis number 10, Juan Monáco. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE PARTNERSHIP, PLEASE VISIT REPTON DUBAI’S WEBSITE: WWW.REPTONDUBAI.ORG







ince 2013, and the initial batch of DP and CP students, the GIS Scuba programme has gone from strength to strength, with more than 100 students now having dived or been certified. Scuba diving also represents several components of the IB learner profile, a lifetime pursuit that fosters self-responsibility, teamwork, and mindfulness. A Problem Solved with a Little Time Travel! A few months back, a local newspaper published a story on a student who wanted to be the world’s youngest scuba diver, certifying on her birthday.

That student, Sari Watson (Grade 4), was inspired to join GIS Scuba after seeing her older brother Rhys (Grade 8) complete his certification. Unfortunately, PADI regulations stipulate that you cannot complete your course until your 10th birthday. This wasn’t going to stop Sari from reaching her goal, though. She simply took a step forward through time! Sari was born at 5.15 am Toronto time, which is 1.15 pm Dubai time. After a few mathematical calculations, it was decided she could still beat the record!


Scuba diving is a lifetime pursuit that fosters selfresponsibility, teamwork, and mindfulness

A local newspaper published a story a few months back on a student who wanted to be the world’s youngest scuba diver, certifying on her birthday First, of course, Sari had to pass all the course theory sections, which she duly did by 29 June.

The team surfaced at 1.02 pm; at nine years, 364 days, 23 hours and 47 minutes, Sari unofficially became the youngest certified scuba diver in the world!

Then, on the morning of 30 June (Sari’s birthday) at 8.00 am, the GIS Scuba Team entered the pool. Under the instruction of Mr Christensen and assisted by Daniel Fisher (Grade 11, CP Student), Sari attempted to complete all the requirements of the PADI Scuba Diver by 1.15 pm (officially still being nine years old). The race was on, and the team was on the beach and had completed dive one by 10.00 am. However, with the surface interval, time was getting tight. As they entered the water for their second dive, the 1.15 pm deadline for all skills was rapidly approaching.

From September, it is hoped that the school scuba programme will return to its former glory and provide as many children as possible with the opportunity to experience the underwater world. If you can’t wait that long, contact Divers Down, who will give GIS families a 10% discount on diving and a 20% discount on courses!


80 80 Parents Corner Parents Corner


The back-to-school season has always presented unique opportunities for brands. But the return to classes this school year will be unlike any other year. Today the pandemic situation is improving across the region, and with lockdown measures easing off, students are excited to be heading back to school to see their friends and embark on a new academic year. However, that last-minute rush to upgrade wardrobes, get new hairstyles, and stock up on all the much-needed supplies is a feeling that is all too familiar. Of course, all of these things are necessities before the start of the school year, but what are back-to-school shoppers looking for? Here are some top insights to help brands better understand TikTok users as they prepare to return to their classrooms this autumn. PARENTS ARE THE GATEKEEPERS First things first: Find the parents and guardians. In 2021, TikTok has become a platform for everyone. Marketers are turning to the community to reach the gatekeepers who make the household purchasing decisions - and who have the money to spend. Likewise, parents look to TikTok to get new ideas for their kids, scouring the platform and discovering new products for their families to enjoy.

DID YOU KNOW? More than 50% of TikTok users in the region are parents. More than 58% of those parents fall in the medium to high-income segment, with the majority falling within the high-income bracket. STUDENTS SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION It’s not just the parents that turn to TikTok for new ideas - so do the mobile-first generation. From cute accessories to high-tech school supplies, TikTok makes it easy to find the biggest trends and must-have gear. Some of the students’ favourites in MENA include:  #Student –737 million views  #SchoolLife – 325 million views  #CollegeLife – 166 million views  #‫( ةساردلا‬Studying) – 66 million views  #BacktoschoolCheck – 14 million views GETTING STARTED ON TIKTOK IS EASY There is a wide range of easy-to-use solutions for businesses that want to take advantage of this year’s back-to-school season, plus all the guidance needed to create successful marketing campaigns that truly connect with parents and students on TikTok.

On TikTok, brands can find amazing creators who excel at making content geared towards families and parents

81 BEST PRACTICES ON TARGETING PARENTS - Raise awareness with TikTok Creators. Parents trust other parents. On TikTok, brands can find amazing creators who excel at making content geared towards families and parents. Leveraging their talents for a campaign can help brands break through and connect. - Inform them with personalised tips and tricks on how to get school ready this term with your brand. - Drive action through In-Feed Ads. Discounts are particularly effective for back-to-school because parents are trying to make their budgets stretch. Brands can highlight discounts and drive traffic to their websites with In-Feed Ads. Bold call-to-action buttons and visually appealing display cards help to grab attention and increase the number of clicks.

It’s not just the parents that turn to TikTok for new ideas - so do the mobile-first generation

BACK-TO-SCHOOL IS DIFFERENT WITH TIKTOK That excitement of the first day back to school after the long summer break, of seeing friends and plunging back into the swirling social dynamics, is, for kids, a level of expectation that is even more amplified than usual. TikTok helps the younger generation find where they belong by connecting them (and their parents!) with a community that shares their interests and passions. And it’s in this magic moment of connection where brands can truly shine by providing the inspiration that the TikTok community is looking for. Whether your business sells clothing, laptops, shoes, or snacks, you can reach your target audience with popular hashtags and powerful solutions. By using TikTok to transform consumers into participants and ambassadors, brands can turn back-to-school into a brilliant marketing success.

More than 50% of TikTok users in the region are parents

NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS by Patricia Lockwood No One is Talking About this defies categorisation, but at its heart is the question: “Is there life after the internet?” In her debut novel, Patricia Lockwood HARDCOVER tries to understand AED199 the new language BUY HERE of what she refers to as ‘the portal’ but finds herself increasingly overwhelmed. The New York Times Book Review describes it as “a book that reads like a prose poem, at once sublime, profane, intimate, philosophical, witty and, eventually, deeply moving.” The protagonist is suffering from irony poisoning. Her mind is a colossal memory palace, with a gold toilet placed in each of its rooms. For her, the internet, which she alludes to as “the portal,” is life itself. Are we in hell, the portal’s inhabitants ask themselves? Is this something we’re all going to do until we die? Suddenly, she receives two texts from her mother: ‘Something has gone wrong,’ and ‘How soon can you get here?’ As real-life and its stakes collide with the portal’s increasing absurdity, the woman finds herself in a realm that appears to have both an abundance of proof that the universe is full of goodness, empathy, and justice, as well

as a flood of evidence to the contrary. Lockwood is both impassioned and appalled in her views of the portal’s emotive reality and the trivial lives of its inhabitants. Her insinuations of collective consciousness frequently strike a satisfying combination of poetic fervour and analytical force. “Every day their attention must turn,” she writes, “like the shine on a school of fish, all at once, toward a new person to hate. Sometimes the subject was a war criminal, but other times it was someone who made a heinous substitution in guacamole. It was not so much the hatred she was interested in as the swift attenuation, as if their collective blood had made a decision.” We are in the company, here, of a person with full-blown ‘brain worms’ – Twitter’s definition of the ethically and cognitively damaging effects of spending too much time publishing and reading other people’s posts. Irreverent and heartfelt, emotional and gloriously PAPERBACK brash are all words that AED99 come to mind when I BUY HERE think of this book. No One Is Talking About This is a love letter to Generation Z, as well as a meditation on love, language, and human connection from one of this century’s most original voices.

We are in the company, here, of a person with full-blown ‘brain worms’


Parents Corner


nowadays, the so-called ‘digital independence’ comes at a young age, and parents need to instil in their children online etiquette and make sure they enjoy their online experiences and learn from them. If you’re struggling with how best to do so, here are some of the major things I’d recommend concentrating on. TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT ‘NETIQUETTE’ A couple of years ago, Kaspersky researched the behaviour of parents towards the online safety of their children. It found that even though many parents were concerned about the issue, on average, they spent a total of only 46 minutes talking to their kids about it throughout their entire childhood. That’s surprisingly low and means that children are left with little to no advice on what to do and how to behave on the web. This is in stark contrast with the way parents treat offline behaviour in public places, where any inappropriate actions tend to result in instant explanations on the correct way to act.

Have you ever seen the movie ‘Kids’? It was directed by Larry Clark and released back in 1995. If you haven’t and you’re not into scenes of substance abuse and violence – I would not recommend you watch it. Almost three decades after its release, the famous quasidocumentary looks even more controversial and disturbing. In a nutshell, it shows a day in the life of a group of urban kids who carouse unattended and engage in activities that no parent would ever approve of. Nevertheless, ‘Kids’ is the kind of movie worth talking about – its memorable subject matter vividly portrays some of the gruesome things that youngsters can be exposed to without realising how damaging they are. In general, children tend to experiment with independence, which helps them grow emotionally and find their place in life, but this might involve

making dubious decisions or putting themselves in risky situations. Still, kids also tend to look for guidance from older people they trust, and this is where we, as adults, must help them in defining good from bad. In the mid-90s, the majority of children did not have access to the Internet and were not exposed to online harms. But if ‘Kids’ was filmed today, the protagonists’ activities would have involved active use of gadgets and the web. Overall, an online environment gives children a lot of opportunities to learn, communicate and explore the world, but it also inevitably comes with possible risks. As a mother, I take the well-being of my child very seriously, and as a long-term employee of a global cybersecurity company, I take the online side of it to a professional level. This is because

So, to start with, you can make a daily habit of accompanying your kids while surfing the web, explaining some of the basic dos and don’ts, and discussing their online experiences. Moreover, seeing how and where your child spends time online allows you to understand how best to keep your little one secure. This will also help you have more meaningful conversations about their online activities. On top of that, you can find more about the web resources that kids currently use or what influencers they follow and learn a thing or two yourself from it. If you feel that your knowledge of the online world is limited or needs to be updated, take a course to level up your skills. Such as the one that Kaspersky has recently launched to help parents improve their cybersecurity know-how. At the end of the day, constant knowledge-building is power – the better you understand the cyberworld, the better you can help your kids navigate it.

83 They have access to the Internet like anyone else and can target children’s lack of knowledge or judgement to achieve their nefarious goals. This takes us back to an earlier point concerning talking to kids about the digital world, but we can go bigger than that. How? By creating a frank, trust-based and permanent dialogue with your children about their online contacts, topics they discuss and possible concerns they have. Also, teach them how to block suspicious users and report when they see or experience something problematic online. This will also help your kids create responsible web manners and feel in control of their digital life.

 EVGENIYA NAUMOVA, Executive Vice President for Corporate Business and Deputy CBDO for Commercial at Kaspersky

Make a daily habit of accompanying your kids while surfing the web, explaining some of the basic dos and don’ts

Survey statistics by Kaspersky showed that children in the Middle East region spend 39% of their time watching video and audio content by visiting websites such as YouTube or listening to music online TRUST, BUT VERIFY You may have seen that online safety guides recommend that screen time for kids should be limited and that reduced allowance should be done in the open. This allows adults to keep an eye on the web activities of their youngsters and may make the kids self-regulate, knowing that others are watching. However, this only works until your child gets a smart device of their own. Survey statistics by Kaspersky showed that children in the Middle East region spend 39% of their time watching video and audio content by visiting websites such as YouTube or listening to music online. Another common use of the Internet among children is social networking, as children reportedly spend 25% of their time on websites such as Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok. Not surprisingly, children spend 15% of their time playing online games. This is why it is critical to have an online safety guide that regulates how much time they spend online. To keep the potential detrimental aspects in check, I recommend using special parental control apps, like Safe Kids, that help parents regulate their children’s online activities. When it comes to digital entertainment, Minecraft is fine.

Still, some other games and apps are not appropriate for children, and parental control applications can help manage access to them and more. These apps are also as useful offline as online, acting as a GPS tracker on your kid’s device for extra peace of mind.

Children reportedly spend 25% of their time on websites such as Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok KNOW YOUR CHILD’S ONLINE FRIENDS As frustrating as it may be for some children, it is common for parents to question their kids about their real-life friends and classmates to make sure they are not spending time with the wrong crowd. The same investigative approach must always apply to web contacts because even though online dangers can seem more benign, bad associations in the digital world can be just as potent as those in the physical one. They can come in the form of trolls, cyberbullies, groomers, fraudsters, and other destructive elements.

Eventually, our social circles, including our online ones, define us as a person. And as technology and social media continue to develop, our online lives become more influential to our real ones. Certainly, this also applies to children – the better they understand the rules of behaviour and communication in both digital and online worlds, the better they will be able to enjoy both of them and avoid possible challenges. Yet, in my humble opinion, parents must be the ones to light the right path and secure the way for them.

KASPERSKY  +971 4 559 0800  instagram @kasperskylabme facebook @Kaspersky linkedin @Kaspersky Middle East twitter @Kaspersky youtube @Kaspersky Middle East


Parents Corner




he research, which surveyed nearly 7,000 parents and children aged 6-14 years old in China, Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, UK and USA highlights the need for society to rebuild perceptions, actions and words to support the creative empowerment of all children. READY FOR GIRLS The research findings show that girls are ready for the world, but society isn’t quite ready to support their growth through play. Girls feel less restrained by and are less supportive of typical gender biases than boys when it comes to creative play (74% of boys vs 62% of girls believe that some activities are just meant for girls, while others are meant for boys), and they are more open towards different types of creative play compared to what their parents and society typically encourage.

For example, 82% of girls believe it’s OK for girls to play football and boys to practice ballet, compared to only 71% of boys. However, despite the progress made in girls brushing off prejudice at an early age, general attitudes surrounding play and creative careers remain unequal and restrictive, according to this research:  For most creative professions, parents who answered the survey imagine a man, regardless of whether they have a son, daughter, or both. They are almost six times as likely to think of scientists and athletes as men than women (85% vs 15%) and over eight times as likely to think of engineers as men than women (89% vs 11%).The children surveyed in this research share these same impressions, except girls are much more likely than boys to consider a wider range of professions to be for both women and men.

 Our insights further indicate that girls are typically encouraged into activities that are more cognitive, artistic and related to performance compared to boys, who are more likely to be pushed into physical and STEM-like activities (digital, science, building, tools). Parents from this study are almost five times as likely to encourage girls over boys to engage in dance (81% vs 19%) and dress-up (83% vs 17%) activities and over three times as likely to do the same for cooking/baking (80% vs 20%). Adversely, they are almost four times as likely to encourage boys over girls to engage in programme games (80% vs 20%) and sports (76% vs 24%) and over twice as likely to do the same when it comes to coding toys (71% vs 29%)

85 celebrating inspiring and entrepreneurial girls from the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Japan, each of which is already rebuilding the world through creativity. Fatima and Shaika (18 and 8, UAE) Fatima is the UAE’s youngest inventor. Her sister Shaika loves space and wants to be the first woman on the Moon. Chelsea (11, USA) is the founder of Chelsea’s Charity, where she gives away free art supplies to children in need so they can creatively express their emotions and overcome challenging times. Mahiru (11, Japan) is a key member of SEEDS+, a school marching band that exists to bring joy through music and creativity and rebuild how her city is portrayed after the difficult time it’s been through.

REBUILDING THE WORLD On International Day of The Girl, the LEGO Group is calling on parents and children to champion inclusive play. To help, they have developed a fun 10-step guide and invite parents to share photos of their child’s LEGO creations against a pre-defined AR backdrop featuring the words ‘Get the World Ready for Me’. In addition, the LEGO Group has made short films


Informed by the research, the LEGO Group launches its ‘Ready for Girls’ campaign to celebrate girls who rebuild the story of old-fashioned gender norms

The campaign will be further amplified through local partnerships and activity in several locations. “As a Mom of three children, I have long admired the LEGO Group, and I’m heartened by their global commitment to this study to inform how we can dramatically inspire creativity in girls through play and storytelling,” said Geena Davis, Founder of Geena Davies Institute on Gender in Media. “We also know that showing girls unique and unstereotyped activities can lead to an expanded viewpoint of possibilities and opportunities.”


Parents Corner


THE ROLE OF LEGO PLAY The LEGO Group believes in the value of learning through play and that the development of 21st-century skills from LEGO play are equally relevant to all children. While many parents perceive the LEGO brand as a good example of an inclusive toy brand, LEGO play is still considered more relevant to boys than girls, with 59% of parents saying they encourage their sons to build with LEGO bricks compared to 48% who say they encourage it with their daughters. This view became more pronounced when parents were asked to complete an implicit bias assessment, and76% said they would encourage LEGO play to a son vs 24% who would recommend it to a daughter. “The benefits of creative play such as building confidence, creativity and communication skills are felt by all children, and yet we still experience age-old stereotypes that label activities as only being suitable for one specific gender. At the LEGO Group, we know we have a role to play in putting this right, and this campaign is one of several initiatives we are putting in place to raise awareness of the issue and ensure we make LEGO play as inclusive as possible. All children should be able to reach their true creative potential,” says Julia Goldin, CMO LEGO Group. The ‘Ready for Girls’ campaign aims to help girls rebuild the story and welcome more girls to LEGO building, ensuring they aren’t losing out on the benefits of LEGO play due to societal expectations. The company will

New research from the LEGO Group and Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media finds that while girls are ready to break out of gender stereotypes, their creative potential is at risk of social bias constraints ensure any child, regardless of gender identify, feels they can build anything they like, playing in a way that will help them develop and realise their unique talent. OUR COMMITMENT Ensuring more inclusive play and raising the debate around gender norms is critical, not just for girls but for any child. The LEGO Group knows that boys are also battling prejudice when it comes to creative play and playing with toys that are traditionally seen as being for the opposite sex. 71% of boys vs 42% of girls say they worry about being made fun of if they play with a toy typically associated with the other gender. The company is committed to making LEGO play more inclusive and ensuring that children’s creative ambitions – both now in the future – are not limited by gender stereotypes. We know there is work to do which is why from 2021, we will work closely with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and UNICEF to ensure LEGO products and marketing are accessible to all and free of gender bias and harmful stereotypes.

“From a young age, I found that building with LEGO bricks helped me explore different ways of expressing myself. Building the space rover with my younger sister Shaikha was a wonderful way to share our love for space. I learned that I could encourage her to apply her own creativity by building something uniquely ours that reflected our personalities. I’m excited to have been part of the ‘Girls Are Ready’ campaign and look forward to inspiring other girls to design their own creations that represent their dreams,” young Emirati inventor Fatima Alkaabi said.The ‘Girls Are Ready’ campaign calls on parents and gift-givers to help girls pursue their passions from a young age by pushing the boundaries of what they can choose to be. Underlining the broader initiative is the LEGO Group’s position that building with LEGO® bricks helps every child expand his or her creativity through play. As a global leader in the toy industry, the LEGO Group is committed to driving positive change in play experiences, ensuring both its products and marketing are free from gender stereotypes and providing a wide range of products that encourage girls and boys respectively to challenge pre-existing ideas of their play experiences and focus on fuelling their imagination and creativity to become the builders of tomorrow.


Parents Corner

BITESIZE SHAKESPEARE Many people consider Shakespeare to be the greatest British author of all time. Life, love, death, vengeance, sorrow, envy, murder, enchantment, and mystery are all themes in his works, and he wrote some of the most famous plays of his time, including Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hamlet. Even though he died over 400 years ago, his art is still celebrated around the world.

The Two Noble Kinsmen, a tragicomedy cowritten with John Fletcher in1613, three years before Shakespeare’s death, is said to be his final play. Shakespeare also produced poetry, publishing a collection of 154 sonnets in 1609. A sonnet is a 14-line poem with a specific rhyming pattern. The rhyming pattern of Shakespeare’s sonnets is known as an iambic pentameter, with the last couplet serving to summarise the previous 12 lines or surprise the reader. WORDS INVENTED BY SHAKESPEARE Shakespeare has been credited by the Oxford English Dictionary with introducing almost 3,000 words to the English language. Here are a few of the words that were first used in Shakespeare’s work: amazement, assassination, bedroom, champion, dewdrop, eyeball, fashionable, gossip, laughable, moonbeam, priceless and zany. SHAKESPEARE ON THE STAGE Shakespeare performed on stage with a company of actors known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Company, the most important in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. The group was renamed the King’s Company after James I became king in 1603. The Globe and Blackfriars, both along the River Thames in London, hosted the group’s performances. Shakespeare eventually acquired a stake in these theatres. Because women were not allowed to participate on stage during Shakespeare’s day, all-female roles were taken by boys.

FAMOUS QUOTES “To be, or not to be: that is the question” (Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1) WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT SHAKESPEARE’S LIFE AND WORKS? In the year 1564, William Shakespeare was born in the English town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Nobody knows exactly when he was born, but we do know he was baptised on 26 April. Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in 1582, and the couple had three children, Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith, the latter two being twins. He spent 25 years in London and composed the majority of his plays there. However, he died on 23 April 1616, at the age of 52, at his residence in Stratford-upon-Avon.

SHAKESPEARE THE WRITER Shakespeare penned 37 works (though some experts think it may have been more), and wrote three different types of plays:

istories about the lives of kings and other H famous figures  Comedies, which culminate in a marriage  Tragedies, which conclude with the main character’s death Henry VI Part I, a historical drama about English politics in the years leading up to the Wars of the Roses, is widely regarded as Shakespeare’s first play.

“Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art though Romeo? (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2) “If music be the food of love, play on” (Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 1) “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!” (Richard III, Act 5, Scene 4) “Beware the Ides of March” (Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2)



Re-imagines brushing from the inside out

Oral-B, the industry leader in oral care innovation, is set to launch the iO™ toothbrush in the region, ensuring a professional level clean feeling is achievable at home every day. This latest addition to the brand’s line of electric toothbrushes comes after six years of intensive product research and development and over 250 patents from around the world. The UAE will be the first market in the MENA region to launch the innovative Oral-B iO electric toothbrush which, in clinical tests, provided a deeper cleaning of teeth and gums, allowing users to easily and effectively maintain oral health. When compared to manual toothbrushes, Oral-B iO™ users experienced:  100% more plaque removal after eight weeks vs a regular manual toothbrush  100% healthier gums in just one week vs a regular manual toothbrush


GARNIER AS IT ANNOUNCES A SERIES OF NEW MILESTONES TOWARDS GREENER BEAUTY Garnier has revealed a number of new milestones to help consumers make informed, environment positive choices ‘One Green Step at a time’ and strengthen their own commitment to Green Beauty. Global Brand President Adrien Koskas announced these new initiatives as part of a global live-streamed panel event at EXPO 2020 Dubai with several high-profile environment experts from around the world including Stephanie Shepherd, Founder of Future Earth, Andrew Almack, CEO and Founder of Plastics for Change, Wawa Gatheru, Environmental Justice Activist and Imogen Napper, Marine Scientist, Researcher into Plastic Pollution, Nat Geo Explorer. The raft of new initiatives centre around the launch of a new global educational campaign dedicated to sustainable consumption, produced by National Geographic CreativeWorks and featuring National Geographic Explorers, giving the public access to expert knowledge and real-world advice with the aim of empowering 250 million people to live greener on the planet by 2025. National Geographic Explorers also helped create content to inspire the everyday changes participated in the panel discussion tackling the important question - Can Beauty Go Green? Subjects such as plastic and packaging, water scarcity and green sciences are featured in the content series, and practical advice is shared, all with the aim of making sustainability accessible and empowering people to make greener choices and take #OneGreenStep.

Empowering 250 million people to live greener on the planet by 2025


Parents Corner

COMBAT SUMMER ALLERGIES WITH LG PURICARE Additionally, the LG ThinQ app makes it easy to adjust the key features to have cleaner and fresher air in these large spaces. The purifier uses rapid and silent cleaning to extract maximum performance in not only in a short time but creates a quieter environment. The auto mode feature adjusts the handling depending on the density of fine dust particles and degree of smell in the room. The smart indicator shows real time Air Quality Levels while the unit is in operation. LG PURICARE WEARABLE AIR PURIFIER – OPTIMISE YOUR BREATHING

LG’s PuriCare Air Purifiers provide peace of by delivering clean air at home and on-the-go


esidents across the GCC are increasingly looking for solutions to relieve summer allergies from pollutants outdoors. However, what they may not know is that the air indoors is two to five times more polluted, according to a report by the US Environmental Agency. Therefore, since people spend a significant amount of time inside in the summer, the air quality is critical for overall health and well-being. Dust particles, harmful pollutants, chemical detergents and pet dander all affect the quality of air humans breathe and are major contributors to airborne illnesses. Recognizing that individuals need pure air wherever they go, LG Electronics (LG) has an innovative line of air purifiers including, the PuriCare 360°, PuriCare Commercial Air Purifier, and PuriCare Wearable, catering to life at home and on-the-go. This smart innovation integrates comprehensive filtration methods to ensure the highest and purest air quality at anywhere and anytime. LG PURICARE 360° - CLEAN AIR IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME The PuriCare 360° range includes single tower models which can cover 58m² area, while the double tower model can cater to a 91m² area. With each of these models, users benefit from a 6 step filtration system that works to eliminate various types of dust and gas.

LG’s air purifiers also come with a Clean Booster, which rises and rotates to deliver clean air as far as 7.5 meters. With the Clean Booster at hand, dust removal performance is up to 74% faster. While most air purifiers provide filtration of PM10 and PM 2.5, LG’s technology goes down to PM1.0 filtration – removing even ultra-fine particles, harmful gases and odours. To keep users in the know, LG PuriCare air purifiers simplify the process with a Smart Indicator. This feature detects the current air quality and level of odours, educating the user in real-time via a colour indicator and figure. Users can even check the level of a particular type of pollutant dust. LG PURICARE COMMERCIAL AIR PURIFIER – OPTIMISED FOR LARGE ENVIRONMENTS As the new normal begins to settle in, organizations are beginning to welcome employees back into their offices. To ease the transition, many organizations are looking for solutions to instil a confident return into physical spaces. The PuriCare Commercial Air Purifier is perfect to ensure the air is both comfortable and clean, with its ability to cover interiors of up to 158 square meters and a distance of up to 12 meters. Its two powerful fans make it ideal for environments such as workspaces, lounges, schools, and restaurants. The front filter makes it easy to replace and clean without the need of moving the air purifier.

The PuriCare Wearable is perfect for everyday wear and provides one access to clear wherever they are; the mask fits and seals to the face perfectly to minimize air leakage around the nose and chin. The medicalgrade silicone and ergonomic design makes it not only practical, but also, comfortable for all day use. HEPA filters work to remove up to 99% of harmful particles and common allergens from entering one’s system. The PuriCare Wearable Respiratory Sensor detects the cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath, while DUAL Fans adjust their speed accordingly to one of three settings.

Air quality is critical for overall health and wellbeing The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier has a built in, highcapacity battery that lasts up to 8 hours and comes with an Easy Charge USB C type cable, which enables a full recharge just in 2 hours for repeated use. There are key components such as the filters, inner cover, face guard, ear straps and strap extenders are also easy to remove and replace – extending usability.

FURTHER INFORMATION To find out more about LG’s full range of PuriCare air purifiers available in the Gulf region, please visit:


PARAMOUNT LAUNCHES FILM COMPETITION IN DUBAI Calling all filmmakers and storytellers! Paramount Hotel Dubai has launched the ultimate filmmaking challenge, ‘We Create Drama’. All you have to do is submit a three to ten-minute script of any genre with a crew, cast and equipment list. Upon the celebrity judge’s choice, the best 15 scripts will then be invited to be filmed at the Paramount Hotel Dubai. The winning team will then be selected and granted the Grand Prize of Film of the Year. Other categories include Actor of the Year, Actress of the Year, Sound Specialist of the Year, DOP of the Year, and Writer of the Year. Each team must be up to five members. You may have more people in your team; however, only five members per team will be recognised. TO QUALIFY:  Please submit a script of three to ten minutes maximum.  Scripts must strictly be standard screenplay format for consideration.  Scripts must be submitted with a tagline and synopsis.  The scripts must take place entirely at the Paramount Hotel Dubai and respect Dubai laws and restrictions.

TO ENTER THE COMPETITION, Please submit your scripts to: by 31 December.

CHILDREN’S CITY ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE EXPO 2020 Throughout October, Children’s City is organising a series of events under the slogan ‘Children City and Expo 2020’, which constitute an exceptional opportunity for its visitors to learn about the latest innovations and everything related to the global event. The activity also aims to introduce kids and school students of 6 to 12 years and their families to educational workshops and entertainment related to Expo 2020 activities. The most prominent events include UAE Adventures in Expo 2020, Young Expo Creators, Wing Shows, Music and Tolerance, Closing the Cycle of Plastic Use, Speed of Imagination, Humans in 2050, Journey into Space, and This is Our Time, in addition to a special event for People of Determination.

Submit a three to ten-minute script of any genre with a crew, cast and equipment list

The activity also aims to introduce 12 to 6 kids and school students of years and their families to educational workshops and entertainment activities 2020 related to Expo


Parents Corner

Ivy Bright to Provide Additional Educational Support to Primary School Students Ivy Bright Company has launched its state-of-the-art education support centre in Dubai, offering personalised support for students whilst simultaneously helping parents understand their child’s educational needs and learning pathway.


he newly opened education support hub, situated in Umm Suqeim, has opened its doors to Primary School students in search of further developing their knowledge in Primary Maths, English, Phonics and Arabic. Ivy Bright will provide numerous workshops to support parents and their children in a team atmosphere to understand how schools teach their students. Students can book sessions from 1.00 pm until 7.00 pm Sunday to Thursday, 9.00 am until 5.00 pm Saturdays, with special events taking place on Saturdays. Those who cannot attend the sessions are not set at a disadvantage, as sessions can be booked online, making learning accessible all across the UAE.

Ivy Bright will provide numerous workshops to support parents and their children in a team atmosphere to understand how schools teach their students  L EEANN JONES, CEO and Principal of Ivy Bright


American University of Sharjah Because tomorrow matters, AUS educates future leaders who are capable, confident and prepared to make a difference in the world.


full-time faculty leading their fields in teaching and research. 82 student clubs and 26 sports teams, allowing students to excel in extracurricular pursuits. Unmatched for student diversity, offering unique opportunities for academic and personal growth.


employability rate, evidencing excellent graduate employment prospects.*


of students receive a grant or scholarship, ensuring opportunity for all with the requisite talent and commitment. Alumni have secured acceptance into top graduate programs globally and established themselves as leaders in their fields.

Ranked within the world’s top 50 universities under 50 years of age. Ranked among the top 10 universities in the Arab world for the past five years. Ranked among the world’s top 350 universities.

Highest percentage of international students of any ranked university in the world. Ranked within the top 250 universities in the Asia region.

Rated MENA’s best performing university in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System.

*2017 AUS Graduate Survey

To discover your future at AUS, visit or talk to us at or by calling 800 ASK AUS.


Where Family and Finance Comes First Dubai First 80033  ’CASH’ to 4743 Social media DubaiFirstUAE dubaifirstuae dubaifirstuae

Returning to school is a cause for celebration because it is a new step toward a bright future! Unfortunately, however, the fun of back-to-school shopping can come with a steep price tag. But there are things you can do to make it all easier on the pocket, not least getting a credit card that offers high, unlimited and instant cashback – and there’s none better than the Dubai First Cashback Credit Card!


THE CARD THAT PAYS YOU With the Dubai First Cashback Card, you can earn 5% instant cashback on grocery spending, in-store, in-app or online, and 5% cashback on all other categories if purchases are made online, and other purchases receive 1% cashback. There is no minimum purchase requirement, and you can shop whenever and anywhere you choose. Collect rewards along the way and redeem them instantly with the Dubai First smartphone app.

TURN YOUR DAILY SPENDING INTO SAVINGS. Here’s how you can save more than AED 350 when you spend AED 10,000 per month every month. Purchase Category

Monthly Spending

Cashback Per Month

You will earn 5% cashback on transactions made online through websites or Mobile apps:





School fee paid online





Telephone/internet bills paid online





Food delivery through Mobile apps





Monthly subscriptions for streaming services





Transportation, taxis





Movie tickets booked online





Other online purchases





All in-store transactions will earn you 1% cashback: Water and electricity payments and tolls










Dining at restaurants





Recurring insurance premium





Other purchases (healthcare, furniture, retail, repair shops)






AED 10,000

AED 352

This means that when paying for everything from groceries and clothing to school fees and student consumables, you get immediate cashback on all of your purchases. In other words, spend on a Dubai First Credit Card, and it pays you! Meanwhile, budgeting has never been easier with the Dubai First Cashback Card’s 0% interest easy purchase plans, Quick Cash, and competitive balance transfer rates. There is a promotion until the end of this year where Balance Transfer and Quick Cash are available at 0% interest for 6, 12, 18 and 24 months.


Supermarket spending


You can earn 5% instant cashback on online purchases, 5% on supermarket purchases, and 1% on everything else.

Dubai First Cashback Card opens up a world of opportunities to enhance your everyday life, helping you manage your finances like a pro. You’ll receive up to 10% additional cashback on 1,500+ e-commerce sites with Shop Smart. Dubai First Cashback Card is the card that keeps on giving, no matter where you are and what you’re doing. There is, for example, a 30% discount at Lingokids, early learning app for children. Extra-curricular education opportunities are also covered, with youngsters given a chance to learn anything on their own schedule with Udemy, with up to 50% off courses. Ultimately, the kids’ going back to school is not quite as expensive as it used to be!

ICING ON THE CAKE Sign up for a Dubai First Cashback Card today and get a guaranteed bonus cashback of AED 250, including AED 200 bonus cashback when you spend AED 1,000 or more with any digital wallet, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay. Get cashback (capped at AED 50) when you use your new card to spend AED 200 or more on Netflix, Spotify, Careem, Uber, Amazon, noon and Zomato. When you use your new card in the first month, you can easily earn over AED 600.

Terms & Conditions and Exclusions apply Dubai First is a trademark owned by First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC.


Parents Corner


The founder and CEO of The Gaggler, an online publishing platform that provides regionally relevant content with diverse points of view and authentic storytelling, Monica Malhotra is a passionate entrepreneur always looking for ways to create something with a positive impact. We caught up with Monica to ask her about her first venture in Dubai, how her business life has evolved in the UAE, and the incredibly effective but sometimes misunderstood concept of content marketing. Education UAE: I understand you began your entrepreneurial journey with Kidville in Dubai in 2010; can you tell us a little about this? Monica: I’d had my first daughter, so becoming a mom for the first time, I was looking at different things to do. As a result, I went to Kidville and loved it. I fell in love with the entire concept. The timing, 2009, was perfect in that my husband and I were looking to make a move perhaps, and as a couple, we’d always wanted to live overseas. Kidville had introduced and launched

a franchise programme and were keen to expand internationally, so it all came together really well. I didn’t have an educational background, but I’ve always been passionate about education. I think I’ve been fortunate to have had the education I’ve been able to have both in Dubai and overseas, and I think it’s really defined who I am and the life I’ve been able to lead So, doing something related to education touched my heart.

So, we moved. We brought our baby and our second baby, I guess, Kidville, to Dubai, and we launched in 2010. EDUAE: That must have been a bit of a learning curve, taking a new product to a new country? Monica: Absolutely. Up until then, I’d been working for someone else – for a company, a corporate with a lot of structure. There’s a system, a routine, a way to do things. And I think, for me, making that leap into becoming an entrepreneur was a pretty steep learning curve. But I would qualify that by saying that although it was not necessarily easier, it was a different experience because I was working in a franchise system. There are some pros and cons to that. The pros would be that they’ve already done a lot of the thinking for you; there is training. So, my entrepreneurial journey, yes, there was a steep learning curve, you need to be a jack of all trades and have your hands in everything, but having the support of the franchisor, learning the business, knowing what works, learning from their strategy, that really helped me, I didn’t have to do everything from scratch.


I’m passionate about content marketing because consuming content has helped me in my own personal journey EDUAE: Now you enjoy encouraging other entrepreneurs and are particularly passionate about content marketing, which can be a little esoteric for some people? Monica: I’m passionate about content marketing because consuming content has helped me in my own personal journey; it has helped me evolve as an entrepreneur and a human being. What I particularly love about it is it’s a different approach – it’s putting your target audience’s needs first and foremost, even going so far as to put it ahead of your own emotional desires. There’s something very different about it, and I think it’s important for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes to look at content marketing seriously because there are a lot of advantages over traditional marketing and advertising, which is very much a one-way conversation. I think in the world in which we live in you can’t be the only one talking. You’ve got to engage and remember the old saying, ‘it’s a two-way street’. If you have a business and you’re looking to engage with prospective customers, you’ve got to be willing to put out something relevant to them and listen back.

Working with an influencer is not a requirement to put out good content EDUAE: Is it a cost-effective way to do marketing? Monica: I think so. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to put out a short video with a tutorial or a quick little segment on who you are, how you’re helping your customers and what you have to offer. If you have a business that specialises in something, then using content marketing to talk about important aspects of your industry and business and being a thought leader is priceless. That doesn’t cost money. I do it for my business, and it’s research and time, but if you’re passionate about it, it’s not even work; it’s just getting your perspective out there. And people are wanting to know, wanting to learn, wanting to be educated, and I think it’s a perfect match.

EDUAE: And the benefits include the fact that you’re starting a conversation instead of shouting at someone? Monica: Absolutely, and that’s what I love about it. It’s the difference between talking at someone and talking with someone. It’s a nuanced aspect, but I think it has a huge impact in the long run. EDUAE: Influencers come under this banner, don’t they? How important is it to find a good influencer to work with? Monica: I think there’s a place for influencers, but I don’t believe employing them is vital to a business’s success. When I look at small and medium-sized companies, they don’t always have the budget to pay a fairly expensive influencer. If they can find a good influencer, it can be quite a good relationship and effective. But the key thing at the end of the day is that the content has to be relevant. If you are going to go the influencer route, which is not a requirement if you’re going to get into content marketing, because you can create your own content, you want to make sure that the influencer shares your values. It’s all about authenticity. There must be a match between what you’re putting out there and the influencer or brand ambassador you connect your brand with. That’s really important. If you ignore that, it can go pretty bad, pretty fast. You need to know if they’re talking about the brand because it’s just a job and they’re getting paid, or do they really believe in it. But, like I said, working with an influencer is not a requirement to put out good content. EDUAE: What are you working on at present? Monica: We do a lot of different things. We do content campaigns for small and medium-sized businesses to try and get their story out, whether, for instance, it’s how the founders came up with the concept or perhaps what is unique about the brand. We’re working with quite a few companies, some in the beauty space, some in the wellness space, but every client is different. There is no concept fits all. We’re working on some different things that we’re looking to roll out in the coming months.

wanted to do moving forward and where I wanted to put in my efforts. I think the fragility of life became so obvious, and so I guess time became more precious, family time, even the time you spend at work and what you’re producing with that time. So, yes, the pandemic has changed my personal and business viewpoints. EDUAE: Finally, has anyone really inspired you – if you could trade places with anyone, living or dead, for a day, who would it be? Monica: That’s a tough one. There are so many great people out there. From a content perspective, when I think about creativity, if I could trade places for a day with Gary Vee, who is based in the US, an amazing content guru, that would be marvellous. He’s very creative and thinks outside of the box, and that’s so needed in this part of the world to stand out. So if I could trade places with him for one day and be part of his team and liaise with the immensely creative team around him, that would be a dream come true. There are also many female entrepreneurs that I look up to, but one, in particular, is Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx. I love her story because in her late twenties, she had five thousand dollars in her bank account, and from that, she created a billion-dollar business in undergarments. And the stuff she had to go through, the number of doors she had to knock on, just the sheer resilience she has shown is unbelievable. So, if I could walk in her shoes for even a day and gain some insight from her, that would be amazing.

Our focus is trying to create pieces around what we’re passionate about, becoming a thought leader, and being an authority – putting in the work to attain that status. It’s all about trust and credibility. So, as a business, that’s what we focus on. EDUAE: The pandemic has changed so much for so many people, as it altered the way you look at things and do things? Monica: I think from a personal perspective, yes. I believe the pandemic was quite a dark reckoning for many people; for me, it was. I think it made me pause, become reflective, and question myself as to what I

THE GAGGLER instagram @thegaggler facebook @The Gaggler UAE youtube @The Gaggler

100 Fashion




proyecto provides unique, natural gifts to discerning consumers who care about the environment, natural healing and well-being. In fact, company founder and owner Zakiya Dhiyab Hamed Al Zakwani is studying homoeopathy at the School of Homoeopathy in the UK and is a strong proponent of natural, holistic healing. The Zproyecto brand embodies her beliefs in its exquisite product range, which currently includes hand-picked, handmade products along with nature’s gifts to humanity.

At present, a gorgeous range of unique new abayas is available from Zproyecto. The subtle blend of highquality fabrics - think silk chiffon, silk satin, organza, crepe, French lace - with Japanese micro-technology abaya fabric and a healing semi-precious stone brings something different to the abaya market.

The only couture brand in the world that combines fashion with healing

Zproyecto abayas and couture designs are handmade with the finest quality materials and can be made to discerning clients’ specifications within 14 days. Each abaya comes with a healing crystal embedded; semi-precious stones chosen after a consultation designed by Zproyecto’s founder, owner and certified crystal healing practitioner, Zakiya Dhiyab Hamed Al Zakwani. Radiant, elegant, subtle yet striking, a Zproyecto abaya is the only couture brand in the world that combines fashion with healing. Zproyecto takes a holistic approach to your well-being.

Visit for a range of healing crystals, home décor, healing jewellery, Omani Hojari frankincense, handmade meditation carpets and mats, handmade women’s clothing, handmade candles and incense.

ZPROYECTO  +971 56 984 1010 instagram facebook linkedin @zproyecto twitter zproyecto_ae

102 Travel Near

‘YAS FOR 50’ CELEBRATES 50 DAYS FOR THE UAE’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY GOLDEN JUBILEE Yas Island Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s leading lifestyle and entertainment destinations, has kicked off 50 days before UAE’s Golden Jubilee by launching ‘Yas for 50’, its biggest-ever giveaway and discount offering across the Island. From 14 October until 2 December, UAE visitors and residents can enjoy special discounts and offers across dining, retail and entertainment, as well as competing to win some utterly astounding prizes, including staycation, annual passes and tickets to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021.


Yas Island launches giveaways, offers, and activations for 50 days

FOR THE FOOD-LOVERS The ‘Yas for 50’ celebrations were designed to bring the best of Yas Island together. It will take food lovers on a culinary adventure by inviting them to taste the world with a new signature dish every day for 50 days in the award-winning restaurants at the Yas Plaza Hotels or enjoy the Golden Jubilee Drink created by talented mixologists from Filini Garden, at Yas Plaza. Whether it’s free daily coffee from Crowne Plaza Yas Island or the AED 50 Set Menu at Galito’s, Yas Island will be the destination for gastronomic delight!

The ‘Yas for 50’ calendar will be updated daily at, with all competitions posted on Yas Island’s social media channels

From 14 October until 2 December, over 400 individual prizes and offers are up for grabs FOR THE LUCKY WINNERS One of the top prizes of the entire celebration is two tickets to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. For a once in a lifetime opportunity, one couple will have the chance to meet top Bollywood singer Arijit Singh after attending his spectacular concert at Etihad Arena. One lucky couple can also win a twoday, one-night holiday package on Yas Island, including a romantic Suite at the Yas Island Rotana Abu Dhabi and tickets to Yas Island’s leading theme parks, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi. FOR THE THRILL-SEEKERS Calling all thrill-seekers! There are multiple adventures to win during ‘Yas for 50’: from three Yas Theme Parks Gold Annual Passes to two Drive Yas powered by ADNOC Adrenaline Packs including the Caterham 3 Lap Experience or the exhilarating Chevrolet Drift Taxi Experience, to Karting Sessions at Kartzone powered by ADNOC and Yas Theme Parks tickets. FOR THE DISCOUNT DIVAS Catering for visitors of all tastes and ages, the ‘Yas for 50’ also features a huge range of discounts including 50% off entry to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, 50% off at eforea Spa and also special discounts at Yas Mall, restaurants and bars of Yas Marina, The Fountains at Yas Mall, Yas Plaza Hotels, W Abu Dhabi Yas Island and Hilton Abu Dhabi - Yas Island.

FOR THE EXPERIENTIAL There will also be a range of amazing events across the seven weeks of ‘Yas for 50’ including the 50 Hour Mural at W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island created by artist Lucas Beaufort, Harlem Globe Trotters Show at Etihad Arena with tickets at only AED 50 and Winterfest celebrations at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. FOR THE CULTURE VULTURES Those who enjoy a more refined experience and are seeking a mixture of fun and culture can enter to win either day passes to both Qasr Al Witan and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi or the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. FOR THE STAYCATIONERS For guests wanting to elevate their stay at Yas Island can savour a Golden Afternoon Tea at Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, or opt for 50% off the second night booked at W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island. To complete the celebrations there will also be a dazzling fireworks show for the Golden Jubilee on Yas Island at Yas Bay Waterfront. All news about the ‘Yas for 50’ calendar of prizes and promotions will be released daily at and competition hopefuls should head to Yas Island’s social media pages, @yasisland, and lookout for a chance to win these simply remarkable prizes ahead of UAE National Day – Golden Jubilee. WWW.YASISLAND.AE/EN/GOLDEN-JUBILEE

104 Travel Far

STUDYING MEDICINE IN THE CARIBBEAN By R. Duncan Kirkby, PhD, Dean of Admissions at St. George’s University (SGU)

Deciding to study medicine is the first step towards an exciting and rewarding career, but carefully choosing where you study opens a world of opportunities.


SGU’s True Blue campus lies in the southeastern Caribbean Sea about 100 miles north of the shimmering north coast of South America


here are myriad considerations involved in selecting a careerbuilding medical degree programme: the facilities, the faculty, the support services, and more. Considering international locations for studying medicine can further expand opportunities for professional success. Have you considered studying in Grenada? You’re certainly not alone in having questions about studying in an island environment. However, independently gathering information on the endeavour can be both tricky and timeconsuming. So we’ve compiled answers to some of the most common questions about living and studying in Grenada, with some comments from SGU Alumni D. Ish Saxena, a GP Partner in the North West of England. COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT LIVING N GRENADA Where is Grenada? Though you probably have a good idea of where some Caribbean islands are located, you might not be as familiar with Grenada. The island, home to SGU’s True Blue campus, lies in the south-eastern Caribbean Sea about 100 miles (160 km) north of the shimmering north coast of South America. Dr Saxena says, “My main motivation for applying was that I was keen to practice medicine in the United States at some point and saw that SGU would give me that opportunity. However, it was only when I arrived in Grenada and started my course that I realised all the other benefits of studying there.

What is the weather like in Grenada? If you’re envisioning a tropical paradise, you’re pretty much spot on! Expect year-round highs around 30 degrees Celsius. May through November is considered the rainy season, with average precipitation ranging between seven and eight inches per month. Some people worry about unpredictable weather in the Caribbean. But Grenada sits south of the Atlantic Hurricane Belt, so extreme weather conditions are rare in Grenada. Even so, St. George’s University is heavily equipped for emergencies and typically provides aid to more northerly countries that incur weatherrelated damage. What should I know about shopping in Grenada? Stocking up on groceries in Grenada is easy. There are a couple of supermarkets that are accessible by bus or your personal vehicle. Many students also take advantage of local markets for produce. There are also plenty of options for gifts and speciality goods. Many arriving students often over pack because they worry that they won’t have access to essentials. However, you can buy many of these items, including kitchen equipment and even furniture, when you arrive. It’s also pretty common to find inexpensive goods for sale from students preparing to leave Grenada.

The population is about 104,000 people. What are some fun things to do in Grenada? The list of things to do in Grenada is nearly endless. There are distillery and chocolate tours, hiking trails through the rainforests, and a slew of water activities. About 25-30% of our students get their dive certificates while they’re in Grenada. In addition to exploring the sea life, divers can also check out the fantastic underwater sculpture park. And remember that all students are surrounded by classmates who are all in the same boat. “The SGU curriculum was challenging, which gave me a vigorous educational experience, and SGU students also get to enjoy stunning beaches after their lectures,” Dr Saxena explains. Does Grenada have modern technology? Another common misconception is that you’ll be roughing it in Grenada. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You’ll have access to fast and reliable internet and cell service just like you do at home. Classes are also fully equipped with modern technology, which allows direct access to professors during classroom sessions. What is accommodation like in Grenada? At SGU, for example, the on-campus housing is clean and comfortable. Each suite has its own kitchen, and you have your own bathroom. In addition, each floor has laundry facilities, and regular maid service is included at no additional charge. Some students prefer to find off-campus accommodations. Such facilities may offer air conditioning or perhaps even pool facilities. Many such facilities are available within walking distance of the campus, and even more are situated within five miles. Start your island adventure and build your career “The best thing about it all was the sense of community. I made lifelong friendships and professional connections, and it’s been great to stay in touch and see how successful my fellow graduates have been,” Dr Saxena concludes.

ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY  +1 (631) 665-8500 ext. 1380 instagram @stgeorgesu facebook @stgeorgesu

How big is Grenada? The island is small, both in terms of population and geographic size. We’re roughly 134 square miles.

linkedin @st.-george’s-university twitter @stgeorgesu youtube @StGeorgesU


Health and Nutrition

MOVE FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH By Dr Saliha Afridi, a clinical psychologist and Managing Director of The LightHouse Arabia

It is estimated that about 30% of the global population is considered to be physically inactive. As we become more sedentary, as many of us did during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic with our days spent on Zoom, we also increase our chances of feeling ill, both physically and mentally. We all know how exercise is good for the body, but most of us don’t realise that exercise is great for mental and brain health, too. So much so that it is used to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety and even Attention Deficit Disorder.

107 Here’s what happens to your brain and your mental health when you exercise: Produces that feel-good feeling: Exercise kicks up endorphin levels, the body’s famous ‘feel good’ chemical produced by the brain and spinal cord that produces feelings of happiness and euphoria, and dulls physical pain. Exercise not only releases endorphins but also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an essential part in regulating your mood and improving your appetite and sleep cycles. Even 30 minutes of moderate exercise (or 15 minutes of intense exercise) a few times each week has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, so much so that some doctors recommend trying out an exercise regimen for these conditions before turning to medication.

derived neurotrophic factor). The BDNF’s role is to improve the functions of brain cells, encourage new brain cells to grow and protect brain cells from stress and cell death, especially in the hippocampus. For example, individuals diagnosed with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s disease have low BDNF. Lower levels of BDNF are also detected in individuals with depression and anxiety. So when you exercise or are engaging in low to moderateintensity aerobic exercise, you can stimulate

Builds and protects the brain: Exercise increases our level of the BDNF gene (brain-

So, where should you start? If you have been sedentary and don’t know where to start, begin with five minutes of walking per day and slowly build up three to four minutes every few days until you get to 20 or 30minutes. If you have been exercising for some time, make sure to get a mix of aerobic and strength training, since many of the benefits of exercise result from low to moderate levels of aerobic exercise. Avoid exercising close to bedtime and try to do it first thing in the morning while under the sun to give the most benefit to your brain and body. While I am by no means saying that exercise is a magic solution to all of life’s difficulties, I am saying that a strong body will help you maintain a strong mind and spirit.

Builds mental resilience against stress: It might seem counterintuitive that you would exert stress on the body in order for it to be less stressed; however, that is indeed what happens when you exercise. When you exercise, all the systems involved when the body’s stress or fight or flight responses are activated, and the different systems of the body, which are controlled by the sympathetic and central nervous system, are practising communicating with each other. This essentially prepares your body to be better equipped to cope with the stress response when it actually happens, making you more resilient to future stress. Improves creativity and learning: Exercise optimises your mindset, prepares the brain to learn, and helps create new brain cells, especially in the hippocampus, our learning and memory centre, so we can retain what we have learned and ensure we are alert and motivated. An increase in the hippocampus can also slow the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. It also improves your processing speed and cognitive flexibility, which is the ability to shift thinking between different tasks - all skills required in intellectually demanding jobs.

self-esteem, and self-trust while giving a sense of control, certainty and predictability in times of uncertainty.

your BDNF and create new brain cells - a process called neurogenesis - and protect your brain from stress and other neurological disorders. It also improves overall brain performance.

LIGHTHOUSE ARABIA  +971 (0) 4 380 2088  instagram @lighthousearabia facebook @LighthouseArabia

Gives a sense of control in times of uncertainty: When you commit to showing up, even if it is for just a 15-minute walk first thing in the morning, you start the day off by keeping a pledge to yourself. This improves confidence,

linkedin @the-lighthouse-arabia twitter @LightHouseDXB youtube @The LightHouse Arabia

108 Health and Nutrition


Cynthia Bou Khalil is a Nutritional Consultant with Allurion, which offers a proven programme that takes a holistic approach to losing weight through a world first - a weight loss device that requires no surgery, endoscopy or anesthesia. Based in Dubai, she has been working at Allurion since May 2019, and here explains the safe way to go about losing weight – and it’s not a fad diet!

109 Post-Covid lockdowns, behaviour change for weight loss is more important than ever. Self-compassion is step one. But for those who want to lose weight, adopting healthier habits is also key. However, remember your body survived a pandemic. Don’t punish it with fad diets. Shockingly, many of us still have misconceptions as to what is the healthy way to lose weight. As seen in the Allurion 2021 survey, physical exercise and healthy diets are the most considered weight loss methods. Yet, nearly half the UAE population (49%) believes that extreme or fad dieting is safe!

As the pandemic spread, UAE citizens were advised to isolate in order to keep healthy and protect others. For many, this meant living a more housebound life than normal. The country developed an intimate familiarity with the textures of its couches and grew deeply attached to the softest items in its wardrobes. Now, as the UAE slowly emerges from its collective hibernation, it’s unsurprising that many bodies have changed. However, with this change, if there was ever a time that one should be kind to themselves and others, that would be now.

Shockingly, nearly half the UAE population (49%) believes that extreme or fad dieting is safe!

The Covid-19 pandemic changed many from the inside and out. For lots of people, those outward changes weren’t especially welcome. However, these weight changes have come with good reason, as people’s diets, activity levels, sleep habits, and daily routines have been turned upside down by the pandemic. As cited in the Allurion 2021 survey with YouGov, the pandemic has had a direct impact on weight for half the UAE population. Besides keeping in contact with family and friends (video calls and phone calls), one of the most increased activities during the pandemic was snacking, with 53% of UAE residents snacking more frequently between meals than they used to do.

Remember, no weight loss programme is a magic bullet and an effective one is based on good healthcare and science. With this in mind, the Allurion programme takes a holistic approach to losing weight and, more importantly, reducing the risk of having diseases attributed to being overweight or obese, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

The country developed an intimate familiarity with the textures of its couches Indeed, besides being less physically active, the leading cause of weight gain in the UAE is snacking. And unfortunately, the result is now 47% of UAE residents eat more than they used to do before the pandemic. In fact, 51% of the UAE population says they have gained weight during the pandemic, with a significant increase of 8.0 Kg.

With over 40,000 patients who have sought out its help to date, the Allurion Balloon comes at a much needed time. Using a holistic method that requires no surgical insertion or even anaesthesia, it is a world-first technology that allows patients to lose an average of 10-15% of their body weight within a set timeframe and tackle their post-pandemic weight issue.



Health and Nutrition

THE TNF PURE FRUIT BAR BRAND HAS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED IN THE UAE When you think of New Zealand, you think of breathtaking Lord of the Ringesque landscapes, crisp, fresh air and a lifestyle that promotes the very best in healthy living. But, of course, you may also think of the famous All Blacks rugby team, and now we’re excited to introduce the next best thing that’s come out of this magnificent country – TNF Fruit Bars!


Low in added sugar and high in fibre, TNF Fruit Bars are made using 100% fresh fruit pulp instead of the concentrate that many dried fruit products use. The TNF fruit bars are uniquely air-dried to preserve the fruit’s natural flavour and texture, allowing a wealth of nutrients and fibre to be retained – without compromising at all on flavour.

TNF Fruit Bars are made using apple pulp, sourced from apples grown in the Nelson region of New Zealand, as the base, and combined with three other variants of real fruit pulp, namely strawberry, apricot and raspberry. They are then poured into trays and carefully air-dried to maintain a powerhouse of nutrients. That’s it – all fruit, all goodness!

The perfect addition to your little ones’ lunchboxes, ensuring they’re getting 1 of their 5 a day - meaning that’s one less thing for you to worry about!

TNF Fruit Bars are vegan and vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free (but not funfree, we promise!) and feature no preservatives, additives, or colourants, making them the perfect choice for your kids’ nursery or school lunch boxes; a quick and easy energy-boosting snack on the go, or a great alternative to a little after-dinner sweet-treat. Featuring two easyto-pull-apart layers, these little fruit beauties are easy for little fingers and teeth to manage too. TNF Fruit Bars are also a great, healthy, high-fibre alternative for when that 3.00 pm craving hits or if you need a little energy boost before your gym session or even as an easy breakfast-on-the-go.

TNF Fruit Bars are available in three variants; Strawberry, Apricot and Raspberry, and retail for between AED 5.25 – AED 5.50 per 20g bar. TNF Fruit Bars are available at leading retailers in the UAE, including Spinney’s, Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Souq Planet, Almaya Supermarkets, Choithrams and Grandiose supermarkets or can be purchased directly online at

112 The Lounge

Viking Bageri: LOVE AT FIRST BITE!

From the outside, a baguette is a simply mixture with a few ingredients. But, as you and I both know, it’s a little more complicated. Indeed, a good baguette is one of the hallmarks of a skilled baker. With this in mind, we spoke to Magnus Ericsson to find out about his artisan bakery, Viking Bageri, and his vision to bake the finest French baguettes in Dubai.

Photography by: Jennifer Bereza


This led me to understand bread in a way that I assume our ancestors first did before they could consult Google about gluten strands, humidity levels, and oven temperatures

During that period, one of our neighbours invited me over because she had been playing around a bit with a logotype and branding. That night Viking Bageri in its current form was born. Our neighbour and friend, Jen Bereza, has a Midas touch to everything she does – photography, graphical design, branding, packaging – and she presented the branding guidelines for Viking Bageri, complete with logotype, mood board and font package. So when my family came back from Sweden, I said that “…people are trying to order our bread, and I’m not sure how to handle the requests. And also, someone called Helen Farmer wants me to be on the radio next week.” So, being a very pragmatic and energetic person with excellent marketing skills, my wife immediately created a website that people could use to order our bread and prepped me for my spot on Helen Farmer’s show.

Education UAE: Can you explain how Viking came about; I understand we have the pandemic to thank for it? Magnus: Yes. In my day to day job, I work as an executive in the management team for a group of hospitals, and during the first waves of the Covid pandemic, we were, of course, crazy busy. I had little time off, and I wanted to let my mind focus on something else than just work once I was home. “When I grew up, my dad used to bake bread – almost every weekend, I would wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread (and however nice that sounds, as a kid you get spoiled with this, often complaining, “Oh no, I don’t like poppy seeds!”, or “Rye bread again?!”). So I said to myself that why don’t I give it a shot? Now, the one bread that my dad never baked was French baguettes, the kind with a crispy golden crust and an open crumb with big air bubbles. That, in combination with the fact that I think that the bread scene in Dubai is quite appalling, made me come to the (fatal) conclusion: “How hard can it be?”

I quite soon realised three things: 1. It is quite damn hard. 2. It is both rewarding and therapeutic once you get it right. 3. I wanted to perfect it – bake the best baguette Dubai has ever seen.

I started trying out different recipes, found one to my liking and then made use of my engineering skills. I began trying out all the different flours I could get my hands on, tried the different yeasts available, bought more than ten different kinds of salt, and kept a book on what the difference was from the last batch. From there, it just continued – what happens if I use water that’s 18 degrees instead of 24 degrees? What happens to the dough if I proof it for 48 hours instead of 14? Yeah, you get the picture. This led me to understand bread in a way that I assume our ancestors first did before they could consult Google about gluten strands, humidity levels, and oven temperatures. It also had me baking a lot of bread. And I mean a LOT. Soon our neighbours were being fed freshly baked baguettes every week, and then friends of neighbours and neighbours of neighbours started asking for bread. The circus had begun. During last summer, my wife (Mrs Viking) and kids left for Sweden for a short vacation (I wasn’t allowed to leave the country due to the pandemic), and I pledged myself to bake every day during their absence. I did, and I started sending bread all over Dubai to people who had heard about it.

Oh, and the name by the way – Viking Bageri – it comes from the fact that when moving into our compound, our neighbours quite quickly thought it fitting to call me ‘The Viking’, given my Swedish heritage and the fact that I’m 6” 4’ (194 cm), and ‘bageri’ means bakery in Swedish. EDUAE: Where do you now operate from? How quickly has the business grown? Magnus: We now have our bakery in Dubai Marina, where we are using facilities owned by our business partner, KRUSH brands. The business growth has so far been purely organic, and given that both myself and my wife (whose name is Maria – Maria Svedenhov, to be precise) have other daytime jobs, we’ve taken things slowly rather than trying to maximise the growth. Also, our initial thought of baking the best baguette in Dubai still stands, and any growth will have to take that into consideration. To put it another way, initially, I was baking baguettes in my home oven. I could do three baguettes per hour (long story on why – but it has to do with the fact that the baking process is in two different temperatures, and it takes time to reheat the oven between the sessions). Now we have our own three-deck oven with stone floor, steam injectors, and dough proofers, and me and our bakers are pushing out around 200+ baguettes per day when we are busy.

We use a very small amount of yeast (0.3% to be exact), and that means that our dough needs time to rise properly and develop the air pockets and the characteristic taste


The Lounge

EDUAE: Is it purely a delivery service, or do you supply selected retailers? Magnus: It’s both. Our main focus is still business to customer. We have a very committed team, and all of us founders (me, Mrs Viking and Jen, who I mentioned above) are still involved on a daily basis, which allows us to keep a personal tone in our customer relations. And many of our customers are extremely loyal – we have customers (that have become friends over time) that have been with us since day one, and they are still buying their bread every weekend. This relationship is important to nurture and continue focusing on. But we are also slowly starting to explore the retailing side. We currently have a collaboration between Viking Bageri and Freedom Pizza, where they sell our Garlic & Herb Baguette and our Chocolate & Sea Salt Baguette through their channels. And going forward during the last months of 2021, I believe we’ll be able to have a few more collaborations. But we’re picky, and we want to choose the right partners in everything we do.

We currently have a collaboration between Viking Bageri and Freedom Pizza


Our aim is that no baguette should be more than three hours’ old’ when reaching the customer to ensure that it’s still crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside EDUAE: Artisan is a term with one very clear purpose: it enables bakeries to transmit to customers that their breads are high-quality; they don’t compare with store-purchased loaves. So, your ingredients must be superior too? What makes your baguettes special – why would I choose Viking Bageri instead of the local bakery or supermarket? Magnus: I’ve been asked this question before. What do you need to bake a genuinely great baguette? Well, there are not many secrets to what we do. You need passion, time and patience. The first round of ingredients was all bought from supermarkets like Spinney’s and Carrefour, thus available for anyone. But it’s what you do with these ingredients that matter. Now we have evolved the recipe, we know exactly which salt is best for our bread, what protein level in the flour will give the dough its flexibility and ability to rise properly, and the exact number of grams of salt that’s needed to provide some taste, while at the same time not killing the yeast activity. I also mentioned time as a factor when making a great baguette. While we’re not using sourdough (I’ve found the result to be more predictable when using yeast, especially with the weather we have in this part of the world), we are mimicking the process of sourdough. We use a very small amount of yeast (0.3% to be exact), and that means that our dough needs time to rise properly and develop the air pockets and the characteristic taste, so we are cold retarding our dough for at least 14 hours before we start baking and rolling. We pride ourselves in offering our customers freshly baked bread – something we can do thanks to the fact that we bake to order. Our aim is that no baguette should be more than three hours’ old’ when reaching the customer to ensure that it’s still crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The fact that we so far have focused solely on baguettes has also allowed us to keep striving for perfection, while I believe that we otherwise would have been forced to stop at ‘good enough’.

EDUAE: How do you see the company evolving over the next two to three years? Magnus: The first step would be to open up for bread delivery during weekdays as well. A lot of the western ex-pats in Dubai are used to getting freshly baked bread throughout the day, and we’d like to be able to cater to that request as well. Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, we’re gearing up for a few carefully selected collaborations/ partnerships. It will be exciting to see them taking off during the rest of the year. Finally, we still have the same goal as before, to provide Dubai with the best baguettes. But, perhaps we will be able to expand too, offering

baguettes to the surrounding emirates, and in the future, maybe even raise the bar to look at other countries in the Middle East? One thing is for sure, though, if we do, our desire to bake the best baguettes will still be the beating heart of Viking Bageri.

VIKING BAGERI  instagram @vikingbageri

116 Myth or truth

Here are 10 more ‘urban legends’ – although some of them turn out to be true! Humans and bananas share 95% of their DNA. False: Humans share more than 95% of their DNA with some primates, but only 60% with bananas.

Bats have no vision. False: While bats can hunt in the dark using echolocation, studies show that they occasionally hunt using their eyesight rather than sound.

1% of the population controls roughly half of the world’s wealth. True: Sad, but yes.

on The number of trees mber nu the s ed ce Earth ex y Wa lky Mi the in rs of sta galaxy. are more True: On Earth, there far es, tre lion tril ee than thr Way’s outnumbering the Milky rs. sta lion 100 to 400 bil

On E than

NASA spen million de pen, wher relied so False: The created a bal work in space place an orde pencils at a


The average person spends five years waitin g in line in their lifetime. False: There’s no evidence to back this up. Professor Dick Larson believes that persons who have long commutes may spend one to two years of their lives waiting in lines, not including time spent caught in traffic.

A chicken once lived for 18 months without a head. True: Miracle Mike was a Wyandotte chicken whose head was chopped off, and he lived for another 18 months. Chicken skulls contain two wide eye holes, which allow the brain to be pushed upwards and at an angle into the skull. This means that while some of the brain may be sliced away, a significant part remains.

Earth, there are more an three trillion trees

nt more than $165 eveloping a space reas the Russians olely on pencils. Fisher Pen Company llpoint pen that could e. NASA did, however, er for 34 mechanical almost $130 apiece.

One in every 200 men on Earth is a descendant of Genghis Khan. False: According to an international team of geneticists, 16 million men in Central Asia share the same male Y chromosome as the great Mongol leader.

The Ear sun th trave in ls Fals e: Ea exactly around r the 365 t h in a b revol da hours it more th ves aroun ys. an dt , 59 m inute 365 day he sun s. F s , a more , to be nd 16 sec ive onds exact !

Miracle Mike was a Wyandotte chicken whose head was chopped off, and he lived for another 18 months

If you could fold a piece of paper 45 times, it would stretch to the moon. True: If the paper is folded 42 times, then there would be 2^42 (= 4,398,046,511,104) layers of paper. Standard office paper is 0.1 mm thick. So 2^42 / 10 = 439 billion mm, / 1000 = 439 million meters, / 1000 = 439,000 km. This approximately corresponds to the moon’s distance of 405,000 kilometres (at the farthest point in its elliptical orbit).

Jog Pants FROM AED


Hooded Jackets FROM AED


new season, amazing prices BABYSHOPSTORES.COM