Education UAE Magazine

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Where Learning and Life Come Together JUNE 2019

EXCLUSIVE: SCHOOL INSPECTIONS MAGNIFIED

EDUCATORS IN THE UAE TALK FUN MATHEMATICS

ARE CARROTS REALLY GOOD FOR YOUR EYES?



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DELIVERING EXCELLENCE

elcome to the latest bumper issue of Education UAE, with a whole series of feature articles concerning various aspects of excellence in schools. An excellent education unlocks opportunity, encouraging children from all walks of life to shape their own personal destinies. Whatever their background, ability, or requirements, every child in the UAE deserves a world-class education that allows them to reach their full potential and prepares them to succeed in adult life. The concept of excellence, of course, can be difficult to define. In many cases we know it when we see it, but have trouble articulating how it may be accomplished. As a parent, it is important be able to define and recognise excellence when selecting a school for a child. That is why we cover a whole raft of topics on this subject, from how

to make maths fun through to centres of excellence and skills for the future. We also take a peek at the latest news and views on health and nutrition, the importance of reading, and how KHDA school inspections work. Plus, we have some intriguing ideas for your next vacation, and even take a look at whether carrots really are good for your eyesight! And that is just the tip of the iceberg; this issue is packed with stories that challenge, educate, and entertain. For now, though, let us leave the last word to Plato, widely considered to be the pivotal figure in the history of ancient Greek and Western philosophy: “Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to do it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.� Rod Millington Editor-in-Chief

Complimentary Copy

TEAM Belinda Breeze Daniel Murad Eddie Rayner Hollie Akehurst Jane Muff Laarni Aninion Laura Wojciechowski Marjan Mirkabiri Rod Millington Roshan Anthony Sudasha Sannah Aga Shabnam Bashiri Nezhad Sheetal Khullar Adhvaryu Stefan Beswick Varsha Raja

CONTACT

educationuae@tpg.media www.education-uae.com +971 4 223 6578

SOCIAL MEDIA

Rod Millington has been active in the commercial writing sector for over 30 years, with work published throughout Europe, North America, the Far East, and the Middle East. During this time, he has had the privilege to speak to a wide range of fascinating and entrepreneurial people, from captains of industry through to pop icons such as Sir Paul McCartney. In total, Rod has had over 25 million words committed to print across more than 35 publications for clients as diverse as FIFA, Cunard, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and Dubai Municipality.

@educationuaemag @educationuaemag

This magazine is published by TPG Publishing LLC. All material is the copyright of TPG Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. This magazine is the property of TPG Publishing LLC. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form whole or part without written permission of the Managing Director of TPG Publishing LLC. While every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any consequence arising from it. In the case of company or product reviews or comments, these have been based upon the true and honest opinion of the Editor at the time of going to press.


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Contents

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A Green School in Dubai

80

Families, Stay Fit Together

88

Monster Movie Time


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Contents

THE FEATURES IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE... DID YOU KNOW?

KNOW IT ALL!

inistry of Education M 6M inistry of Education and Microsoft Join Forces

Debatable

Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge

68 Let’s Play … Concentration

54 Silence or Nagging?

PARENT’S CORNER

7 Register at Birth

BON VOYAGE

Sharjah Education Council 9 Growth Through Nurture

Travel Far

Knowledge and Human Development Authority 11 Fee Freeze Lifted 12 Inspection: A Retrospect

Travel Near

EXCELLENCE IN Pre-school

14 A Gathering of Friends 16 D on’t Panic!

Schools

72 Sweet Land of Liberty

77 A Thrilling Blend of Old Arabia and the Modern World

HEALTH AND NUTRITION What’s Good For Me?

82 Not So Yummy For Your Tummy

Myth or Truth? 84 Eye Know

26 N ew Schools on the Block 32 Daring to be a Force of Nature

What’s Cooking?

Higher Education

THE LOUNGE

46 G raduate GPA Not Linked to Employability

86 Welcome to the Snack Society Kitchen

90 Summer Movie Releases!


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Did You Know?

NEWS SECTION

Bringing you the latest education data, achievements, and development plans from local authorities, including Ministry of Education (MOE), Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), and Sharjah Education Council (SEC).

ADEK

ADEK CREATES TRANSPARENCY IN PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES The profiles of all 24,471 private school employees in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are now available on the Private Schools Abu Dhabi Staff System (PASS), an electronic portal managed by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).

The education sector regulator said the system aims to record verified profile information and documents for each individual employee in the private schooling sector. It will also function as a staff appointment system, and will ease the process of obtaining approvals from ADEK for staff contract creation, renewals, and amendments.

oneinchpunch/shutterstock.com

Majeda Al Kait, Manager of Facilitation and Support at ADEK’s licensing sector explained: “Apart from creating transparency in details regarding all individuals working at a particular school, PASS will facilitate the shifting, employment, or renewal process for all employees working in private schools, and capture all their information in one platform.”

MOE

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND MICROSOFT JOIN FORCES The UAE Ministry of Education has announced that it will join forces with Microsoft to up-skill its employees in the fields of data and AI. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will support the Ministry in its vision for up-skilling its workforce in accordance with the most up-todate technological trends through its Microsoft Learning Partners Programme. The Ministry engineers will undergo various training paths selected from the areas of data science, artificial intelligence, big data, and others.

The Microsoft Professional Programme was designed to help IT professionals acquire job-ready, futureready skills, and real-world experience through online courses, hands-on labs, and expert mentoring. The programme concentrates on skills that are currently in demand, including artificial intelligence, data science, Internet of Things, and cyber security.

“Our work in the field of education is part of our ongoing efforts to skill up the sector’s workforce in order to ensure they can achieve more,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President Worldwide Education at Microsoft. “This partnership with the Ministry of Education will bolster the talents of its employees, empowering them to make a difference and deliver real value across the UAE education sector for years to come.”


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TOUCHING LIVES FOREVER Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has announced the third Mohammed bin Rashid Distinguished Students Programme, which offers over 100 scholarships for Emirati students throughout their academic life. So far, the programme has provided scholarships for 314 students.

BUILDING A BETTER WORLD Dubai Cares announced its ‘Adopt a School’ initiative’ for 2019, inviting UAE-based individuals and organisations to adopt one or more schools in Cambodia, Malawi, Nepal, and/or Senegal.

The programme aims to prepare young Emiratis and equip them with the skills needed to achieve success and excellence through innovative, smart, and positive educational methods. Fatma Al Marri, CEO for Development of Emirati Student Education Programmes at KHDA, explained: “The scholarship programme provides a stepping-stone to better opportunities in life. Our Emirati students thrive and flourish in environments that enable them to widen their horizons. Together with strategic partnerships, we want to make every effort to provide the best quality education for young learners in Dubai.”

It can cost as little as AED132,000 to adopt a two-classroom primary school benefitting 100 students in Malawi. The funds not only cover the construction of a new community-based school, but also the provision of books, supplies, gender-specific latrines, teacher training, and adult literacy courses. Benefactors also have the opportunity to travel alongside colleagues, friends, and family on a week-long volunteering mission to immerse themselves in the local community that will host the new school.

Cambodia

Adopt 200 students

3-classroom primary and secondary school AED162,500

Malawi

Adopt 100 students

2-classroom primary and secondary school AED132,000

Nepal

Adopt 90 students

3-classroom primary and secondary school AED152,500

Senegal

Adopt 60 students

2-classroom primary and secondary school AED142,000

KHDA

Kdonmuang/shutterstock.com

Al Marri called on Emirati parents to benefit from the scholarships and enroll their children in schools rated ‘good’ or better by KHDA. She also lauded the efforts of public and private sector partners supporting the programme.

Over 100 scholarships for Emirati students now available ADEK

REGISTER AT BIRTH

DUBAI CARES paulaphoto/shutterstock.com

Benefitting from continuing efforts to provide easier access to key government services, local parents will now be able to access the ‘Pre-Registration for Schools’ service upon completion of their child’s birth registration process with the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge announces.



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SEC

GROWTH THROUGH NURTURING It may be tricky understanding the difference in pre-school or nursery models. Sharjah Education Council (SEC) recently released some details about what nurseries in the Emirate look like. There are three main models of nursery in the UAE: the first model represents independent nurseries designed to accommodate up to 140 children, with around five nurseries adopting this model in Sharjah. The second model also features independent nurseries, designed with a capacity ranging from 60 to 80 children; this model is adopted by four nurseries in the Emirate. The third model accommodates around 35 children; this model is mostly attached to a government department and school buildings in Sharjah, and is currently adopted by 16 nurseries. SEC is the authority responsible for government nurseries and they accommodate around 1,500 children under the direction of talented individuals, who have been cherry-picked for their outstanding qualifications, vast

The current number of staff in these settings is 225, including 37 Arabic language teachers, around 34 English language teachers, and 108 supervisors. experience, and all-round knowledge in the field of children’s care and education. The current number of staff in these settings is 225, including 37 Arabic language teachers, around 34 English language teachers, and 108 supervisors. Sharjah’s government nurseries provide a fertile environment to educate and rehabilitate children,

shape their characters, develop their identity, and teach them noble Islamic values, authentic Arab customs, and a patriotic spirit. The nurseries work within an integrated matrix of educational and teaching programmes in order to enhance various learning skills and provide a comprehensive development for the children.

MICROSOFT

NEW IDEAS FOR INNOVATIVE EDUCATORS Microsoft has reinforced its commitment to the regional education sector by bringing the world-renowned education-technology conference BETT to the Middle East and Africa (MEA) for the fourth consecutive year. The theme this year was ‘Building a Successful Change Culture to Meet the Evolving Needs of 21st Century Citizens’, with the conference, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, featuring two days of collaboration and debate between educators and technologists. Microsoft showcased a range of technologies being applied in the classroom by innovative educators; an example being the

Minecraft: Education Edition, which offers more than 500 free lesson plans and 30 tutorials to help educators teach subjects such as chemistry and computer programming in more intuitive forms. Microsoft also demonstrated its free, interactive Hacking STEM Lessons, which empower educators to build affordable, project-based activities to visualise data across STEM curriculums.



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KHDA

FEE FREEZE LIFTED Private schools in Dubai have begun handing out fee hike circulars to parents for the next academic year as fee freeze imposed by the Dubai Government for the year 2018/2019 ends. An approximate 150 schools are eligible to increase tuition fees, upon approval by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). The hike is based on the current Education Cost Index (ECI) set by the Dubai Statistics Centre, following the latest School Inspection Report by the KHDA that showed that 141 schools maintained their rating from last year.

ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE TOGETHER iCademy Middle East has announced the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding with the US-based Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to further boost the comprehensive range of educational and training opportunities available to students in the UAE. General Manager of iCademy Middle East, Cody Claver said: “The scholarship programme will allow students who reach the necessary standard to discover an advanced level of learning. With scholarships of up to 50% available, this means the economic burden of fees will be lifted, allowing even more students to experience higher education at a globally renowned university.� For more details on what this means for students please visit www.education-uae.com

Trum Ronnarong/shutterstock.com

150

schools are eligible to increase tuition fees

141

schools maintained their rating


12 Did You Know?

KHDA

INSPECTION:

A RETROSPECT THE DUBAI SCHOOL INSPECTION BUREAU (DSIB), WAS CREATED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF DUBAI TO SET-UP QUALITY STANDARDS THAT WOULD BE USED AS AN EVALUATION AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEMS FOR SCHOOLS TO BE MEASURED AGAINST.

Fatma Belrehif is the Chief Executive Officer at Dubai School Inspection Bureau, which is a part of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. (KHDA)

FuzzBones/shutterstock.com


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An exclusive interview with the CEO of DSIB

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 School governors, leaders, and

atma Belrehif talks to Education UAE about the organisation’s accomplishments, what inspectors look for, how inspections have helped parents, and how the schools themselves view the inspections. “Dubai private schools have made significant improvements since inspections started in 2008,” Fatma says. “Over the past 11 years, the percentage of students that are in schools that have achieved an inspection rating of ‘good’ or better has risen from 30% to 70%. Furthermore, the capacity of school leaders to review and improve their schools has improved significantly over the years, with 68% of schools achieving a ‘good’ or better rating in self-evaluations in 2019, compared to just 32% in 2008.” “DSIB inspection reports offer parents comprehensive information regarding the quality of education provided by these schools,” Fatma continues. “Whether looking for a new school that fits their child’s needs and interests, or learning how the present school compares with similar schools, the inspection report can be a valuable resource for parents. “The inspection process also takes the views of parents, gathered from meetings and surveys, into account when making inspection judgments. This inclusion of parents in the process has helped build a level of trust and transparency between the KHDA and the community.”

The role of school inspectors is to help DSIB ensure that:

Initially, some schools were not that keen on the idea of inspections, but all that has now changed, as Fatma explains: “DSIB shares the same overarching objective, that of improving outcomes for students with all of the schools it inspects. Over the years, almost all schools have come to appreciate the benefits of the inspection process, in particular the opportunity for the school to benefit from an external and objective appraisal of the quality of provision in the school, intentional developmental conversations between inspectors and staff, and a validation of the school’s internal self-evaluation.”

staff remain accountable for performance and improvement  Interactions with school leaders and

staff facilitate the improvement of schools, particularly the outcomes for all students attending  Students receive their entitlement

and are ensured access to a good quality education In order to achieve this, inspectors evaluate each school’s performance against the standards found in the ‘UAE School Inspection Framework’, helping to assess the quality of:  Students’ academic, personal, and

social development outcomes  Teaching and the use of

students’ assessments  The implementation of the curriculum

and how well it is adapted to meet the needs of different groups of students  The health, safety, care, and

support of all students  The schools’ inclusive

approach and practices  The quality of leadership and

governance, including how well the school realistically evaluates its own strengths and strategically plans and carries out actions for improvement, and the school’s relationship with parents and the community


14 14 Excellence in Pre-school

A GATHERING OF FRIENDS Little Land Montessori Nursery opened its famous red door to the children and parents of Dubai in 1994, and this year’s 25th birthday party was attended by over 400 children and parents, past and present. “I must say it was a very humbling experience,” explains Founding Partner Siog Moore.

“I put out a personal request on Facebook for videos from past students two weeks before the party and received over 80 from former students and some parents sharing their memories and letting us know what they are doing now. There were dancers and actors, doctors, engineers and pilots, and students. Some were married. They were from Texas to New South Wales and everywhere in between.” As the cherry on the cake of the celebrations, Little Land Nursery was voted one of the top five nurseries in the UAE in 2019 by education sector peers at Schools Compared. “The Little Land team is honoured by the recognition of their commitment and track record in the delivery of early years education to the children and parents of Dubai,” Siog concludes.


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WHERE LEARNING IS FUN International nursery and preschool group Quantum Education, which operates more than 20 centres in six countries, has recently expanded in Dubai.

After the successful launch of Safari Kid Sheikh Zayed Road in 2015, a new centre, Safari Kid Jumeirah Beach Residence, was established in October 2018. Based on the overwhelming interest from parents, Safari Kid opened its third centre, Safari Kid Meydan District One, in February 2019. Safari Kid takes best practices from Reggio, Montessori, and Steiner, and overlays them with the latest

neuro-scientific backed approaches to deliver the highest quality 21st century learning experience. Quantum Education CEO, Aniruddh Gupta, says: “Parents appreciate our individually tailored programmes for children, our commitment to the highest standards of quality, and our emphasis on parent communication. We are really excited that we have opened more Safari Kid nurseries in Dubai and beyond.”

There is also a selection of some of the world’s leading educational toys. Inspired by the Montessori philosophy, Orange Seeds Nursery is designed to nurture young minds through rich, holistic early years learning

experiences, playing a vital role in these formative years of growth. Arabic and French are a part of the curriculum, along with music, mindfulness, and yoga.

LITTLE EINSTEINS NURTURED HERE! Ideacrate Edutainment is launching a new venture, Orange Seeds Nursery, for children aged between six months and four years, following the acquisition and conversion of Kidz Venture Nursery in Mangrove Village, Abu Dhabi. Orange Seeds Nursery is designed with the look and feel of a mini village, with innovative wooden huts, fascinating indoor and outdoor play areas, a jungle gym, slide, trampoline, hobbit hut, and a library with a rooftop experience.


16 Excellence in Pre-school

DON’T PANIC THERE HAS BEEN A TREND LATELY FOR NURSERIES TO ADD FOUNDATION STAGE 1 AND 2 TO THEIR CURRICULUM IN AN EFFORT TO ALLOW PARENTS THE OPTION OF NOT SENDING THEIR CHILDREN TO ‘BIG SCHOOL’ TOO EARLY.

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Nouhad Doughan is the owner and Managing Director at Kids Spot Nursery.

ouhad Doughan says parents often panic and put their kids on school waiting lists early because they are afraid of losing the spot and having their child miss out. “I have seen parents send a 2 year 8 month old child to kindergarten,” she says, “and that’s just ridiculous.” Here, she explains why parents need to think long and hard before sending their young ones off on the next stage of their educational journey. Parents think the kids are ready, and it turns out they are not. It’s the parents that want the youngster to be ready, but that does not necessarily mean the child is ready. If you keep her in the nursery, she’s the eldest; if she goes to school she’s suddenly the youngest in a very big world. At nurseries like ours it is home - our nursery is for big people in small spaces, instead of small people in big places. Parents feel that, especially with their first born, they need to get them into school fast. There are waiting lists; put your name down, or you’re going to lose the space. That is not the system anymore, it doesn’t exist. That was 10 years ago when there were only 10 schools with thousands and thousands of kids needing space. Today it’s the opposite. For me, I cannot comment on Foundation Stage 2 because we don’t have it. I see the growth a child goes through in a nursery in comparison to schools; there’s much more detailed attention on

that child here. They’re still at home. When deciding whether to send their child to school early, parents may think, ‘they’re gonna have to grow up anyways, why not do it now?’ That one year in their three years is larger than life. It’s a lot. It’s a quarter of their life. In that one year they learn so much. They need a place that is comfortable for them, that gives them that love and space. At a nursery, we know what kind of space and what kind of love each child needs to help them build their character. At nurseries in general, these children, they’re souls, they’re characters, and kids. They’re not numbers in a classroom. “Parents of course only want the best for their child. That’s their baby, it’s a very sensitive topic. My advice to parents is, don’t panic. Don’t go with the hype of trying to get your child into school as soon as possible. What does your heart tell you? Look at your child, what do you feel? If I tell you that next year, 100%, you’ll find that space in a school, would you still send your child to school now? If I tell you your child’s education will not be affected in a nursery, but that it will be enhanced here, would you still go? Parents generally think nurseries don’t help in development and academics. What some parents don’t understand is that what we do in nurseries is, if not the same, better. Nurseries have curriculums. We’ve got everything a school does and more.


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Join the discussion on preschools using the hashtag #PreschoolBeforeSchool and #NurseryBeforeSchool

NadyaEugene/shutterstock.com

“Our nursery is for big people in small spaces, instead of small people in big places.�


18 18 Excellence In Schools

The Victoria International School of Sharjah (VISS), a premium school offering the Australian Curriculum and IB diploma, has collaborated with Sharjah Government Nurseries for the third consecutive year.

Reshma Kudrolli, Director of the Early Learning Centre at VISS said: “We are delighted to have partnered with the Sharjah Government Nurseries for another successful year. During the six weeks that the programme has been running, we have been able to share and exchange knowledge, create dialogue, and take a deep dive into building a positive learning environment that will support and enhance the educational development in early years’ students.”

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council, visited the school together with members of the Sharjah Education Council in order to award certificates to a select group of nursery teachers from the Emirate who took part in a six week programme at VISS.

Dr Saeed AlKaabi, Chairman of Sharjah Education Council, said: “We aim to establish a strong and useful environment for our children, the future leaders. We ensure the developing performance of our team of teachers supervisors at the nurseries remain up to standard.”

ROYAL RECOGNITION OF A QUEST FOR EXCELLENCE

AUTHORISATION IN RECORD TIME! Esol Education’s new flagship US school, Dunecrest American School in Dubai, which provides a standardsbased American curriculum, has received authorisation to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in record time. The authorisation process, which typically takes between two and three years, was received by Dunecrest just eight months into the school’s first year, reflecting the deep expertise within the school’s leadership team, and Esol Education’s longstanding experience of delivering the IBDP for over 25 years.

FIRST TALK, FIRST AID

Rawpixel.com/shutterstock.com

Dubai British Foundation (DBF) school has started a new initiative under the banner of ‘Parent Talk’, a series of monthly talks covering a range of topics, all of which are free and open to the community. The initial topic was ‘First Aid’ and covered such vital aspects such as responding to emergency situations and treating nosebleeds, cuts, and other common childhood injuries. A basic first aid workshop was also provided, in both English and Tagalog. Feedback from parents and caregivers was positive.

EXCELLENCE IN GARDENING Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, awarded the three winners of the school gardening competition. The People of Determination Care and Rehabilitation Center in Ajman took first place, while Umm Al Arab School in Abu Dhabi came in second, and the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai finished third.


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EXPO 2020 UNVEILS SCHOOL JOURNEY EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS The Expo School Programme has unveiled four dedicated school tours of Expo 2020 Dubai, priced at AED50 per student per journey. ‘The World of Opportunities’, ‘The Universe in Motion’, ‘The Sustainable Planet’, and ‘The Legacy of the UAE’ will each take students on a voyage of discovery, from exploring how their choices today can impact their world tomorrow through to revealing the nation’s rich culture and bright future. Alya Al Ali, Vice President of the Expo School Programme (pictured above), said: “As the innovators and thought leaders of tomorrow, school students have a central role to play in creating a better world for generations to come. Expo 2020 Dubai offers an unparalleled learning opportunity that will broaden their horizons and spark their curiosity. “Our four dedicated thematic journeys will take students on a unique and meaningful experience. We aim to inspire them in an immersive and engaging environment where they can explore key drivers of future progress and discover the cultures and innovations of 192 participating countries. With so many fascinating learning opportunities, we encourage schools to include visits to Expo 2020 when planning their academic itineraries.” Each journey has been designed with the needs of people of determination in mind, allowing all students to fully experience Expo 2020. Tickets include entry, one guided journey, and an identification band. Expo 2020 will provide complimentary access for one accompanying adult per five, 10, or 15 students, dependent upon the age of the children.

CREATING A COMMUNITY OF LIFELONG LEARNERS Horizon Private School – Branch, Abu Dhabi is committed to building bridges to connect its students with prestigious universities, both within the UAE and abroad. One such effort culminated in a partnership agreement with the University of Balamand Dubai (UOBD). A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed that includes offering several scholarships for distinguished students and mutual academic activities. A spokesperson for UOBD said that the university is looking forward to mutual future cooperation with Horizon Private School and the promotion of a high quality of education.


20 Excellence In Schools

JESS ALUMNI DEBUT AS STARS Former JESS students are making a global name for themselves in Music and the Performing Arts. Harrison Wilde, a Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) alumnus, has just landed his debut role in the West End production of Mamma Mia! at the Theatre Royal in London. “I have been a performer for as long as I can remember,” Harrison explains. “From my early school days at JESS in Dubai, performing has always been at the centre of who I am, although I didn’t start dancing properly and learning about musical theatre until I was 13, which then made me realise this is the career I wanted.” Harrison is set to play cover for Eddie and Pepper, as well as play an ensemble role. “Mamma Mia! has a long and wonderful history on the West End and I am extremely proud and privileged to have been selected after many rounds of auditions,” said Harrison. “I am delighted to be doing this show with an incredibly talented cast of performers, so it is going to be fabulous fun on stage every night!”

Stepping into the music industry Arista Records, an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, has announced that it has signed 21-year-old synth-pop artist and former Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) Dubai student Julian Lamadrid. “He has the potential to have worldwide success. He’s a complete artist,” David Massey, CEO of Arista Records, explained. Talking about Julian’s musical journey, Matt Price, Head of JESS Music, added: “As part of his IB Programme, Julian was making his own electronic compositions and using the JESS recording studios to record his own music.” “To go from sitting alone in my bedroom writing these songs to all of a sudden getting attention from labels was somewhat ridiculous,” says Julian. “In the course of only two weeks, I met with various industry executives and was flown out to L.A. for the first time in my life. I couldn’t believe it.”


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SUPPORTING STEM Dubai Science Park (DSP), a holistic science-focused business community, hosted a Science Fun Day in partnership with Foremarke School, a British preparatory school in Dubai. The event aligned with DSP’s mission to raise public awareness about the importance of science and enhance its appeal among young people. Promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is also a key priority for the UAE government, which has stepped up its support for STEM and innovation education across the country in recent years. STEM education encourages children to think in a more integrated and holistic way, whilst building enthusiasm and exposing them to some of the most in-demand industries of the future. Zoe Woolley, Headmistress at

Foremarke School, said: “The event was all about families coming together to have fun by engaging in a range of interactive sports activities, while experiencing science-focused demonstrations. Our teaching staff were delighted to showcase some entertaining

experiments which both children and parents loved. We are a school dedicated to progressing the STEM agenda encouraging enthusiasm amongst children for science and STEM subjects was the aim of the day, as well as motivating families to get fit and healthy.”

Students at Hartland International School shared a burst of creativity for their school’s end-of-year Art & Design Exhibition.

HARTLAND HALLS SPECKLED WITH ART

The displays included canvas doors and pots covered with papier-mâché to reflect old architecture, a reimagining of popular brand advertisements, and even painting inspired by the works of renowned artist.

CRICKETING LEGEND LENDS HIS NAME Global Indian International School (GIIS), UAE, has unveiled the ‘Chandu Borde Cricket Academy’, with the president of the Global Schools Foundation and former Indian cricketer, Chandu Borde. He was on-hand to inaugurate the academy at both of its campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Amol Vaidya, Senior Director of Operations at GIIS said: “We are delighted to kick-start the Chandu Borde Cricket Academy in both our campuses, in association with Maxtalent Global Sports. They share our belief of providing young minds with the best opportunities and exposure under expert guidance in order to equip them better for the future. We believe that this association will bear fruit in the form of developing special cricketing talent in our children and we are thrilled to see them play and learn.”


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DISCOUNT BULLETIN

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS ECONOMIC GLOBALISATION HAS PLACED HIGH DEMANDS ON THE CURRENT EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, REQUIRING STUDENTS TO BECOME COMPETENT INDIVIDUALS IN A CONSTANTLY CHANGING WORLD. TODAY, STUDENTS NEED TO BE INDEPENDENT AND ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR OWN LEARNING. Teachers are only facilitators, motivating the students to reflect on their learning and grooming them to become ‘leaders in their own learning’. To assist students, teachers should explicitly teach them what reflection is all about and allow them to practice during class time. Teachers should be trained by the school leadership team on the impact of effective reflection and on how well it engages students in stretching their thinking and learning process. At ASPAM Indian International

School, Sharjah, we ensure that our students reflect on all areas of learning, from morning special assemblies through to scholastic work and co-scholastic work. When students are asked to reflect on their learning after an assessment, they are able to identify their strong areas and areas that need improvement. It is very important to develop meta-cognitive awareness among students, so that they are clear about what they know and where they need to ask for help.

Sheela George is the principal at ASPAM Indian International School, Sharjah, with 29 years of experience as an educator and academic supervisor.

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15% discount for all pupils starting upcoming academic year for the rest of that pupil’s academic career  Scholarships of up to 50% for academic year 2019/2020

admissions@brightoncollegedubai.ae

For more information visit www.brightoncollegedubai.ae

BEACONHOUSE PRIVATE SCHOOL IN AL AIN  The Founding Parents discount offers 10% off

tuition fees for every child enrolling in year 2019-2020

info@beaconhouse-fhz.ac.ae

For more information visit: www.beaconhouse-fhz.ac.ae

Brian A Jackson/shutterstock.com

To view the full list visit www.education-uae.com


24 Excellence In Schools

THINKING INSIDE THE BOX

fundamentals of science and maths with hands-on activities. Today, GCIE marks its third year of successfully providing students with a wide range of resources to create and turn their ideas into models, revamping their curriculum into reality. Creativity is the act of turning imaginative ideas into reality, characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new and different ways, to find the hidden connections between unrelated phenomena and generate solutions. Getting kids to think outside the box doesn’t take much, but some of the best innovation comes when we place restrictions around something. It’s innovating inside the box.

INNOVATION IS THE CALLING CARD OF THE FUTURE AND NEW IDEAS FOR INNOVATION GROW OUT OF THE MINDS OF THE NEW GENERATION.

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t Global Indian International School (GIIS) we believe that every student has creative potential, which can be developed with training, by providing the right resources and practice. GCIE’s visionary programme, the Global Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, was launched in 2017, and is a step towards the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation among children from a young age. Initially, the project kicked-off with simple STEM experiments, which enabled the students to understand the basic

Amol Vaidya is the Senior Director Operation at Global Indian International School, UAE.

xavier gallego morel/shutterstock.com

CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS TEACHING PRE-SCHOOL GRADUATES IS SOMETHING OF A SPECIALIST TASK, MORE OF A VOCATION THAN A JOB. TEACHING IN A PRIMARY SCHOOL IS ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING YET INTERESTING PATHS FOR A TEACHER.

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he kids are still so attached to their mothers that it becomes a challenge for the teacher to take care of them with the same motherly love and care that they are used to at home. A lot of learning happens in KG. By the time a student enters first grade, they are expected to hit the ground running. Some of the skills they should have are social skills, listening and understanding skills, reading, and writing. More importantly, kindergarten is a great time for youngsters to learn a new language. It takes a child’s communication skills beyond the horizon. Learning another language requires a child to develop a deep understanding into that particular culture, allowing him or her to see things through the eyes of others. Zainab Khan is a primary teacher at Credence High School, and has been teaching kindergarteners for the past six years.

unguryanu/shutterstock.com


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Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com

READY FOR A MORAL LESSON? IT IS UNCONTROVERSIAL TO SAY THAT SCHOOLING IS UNAVOIDABLY A MORAL ENTERPRISE. HOWEVER, WHAT DOES A MORAL EDUCATION WORTHY OF THE NAME ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE?

Judith Vojta is the principal at the School of Modern Skills in Dubai and has over 35 years of education experience as a teacher, university lecturer, school principal, and education consultant.

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oral education is an essential component of preparing our students to become global citizens. The moral education programme has four main ‘pillars’ - Character and Morality, Individual/Community, Civic Studies, and Cultural Studies - and focuses on one pillar at a time. We reinforce the learning outcomes throughout the lesson, as well as integrating the lesson objectives into all grade level lessons. Each pillar virtues are displayed on individual bulletin boards

throughout the school to remind students of the importance of these concepts. Moral education has already had a positive effect on the students. One example was the reception that the students prepared for the Special Olympic athletes from Oman. They discussed the possible feelings of the students of determination who would be visiting the school, and how important it was to be welcoming and accepting. We used our moral education time as a springboard for those discussions. The event turned into an absolutely magnificent day and a highlight of the year for most of our students.


26 Excellence In Schools

NEW SCHOOLS ON THE BLOCK UNITED ARAB EMIRATES IS A COUNTRY CONSTANTLY EVOLVING IN PROVIDING THE BEST EDUCATION. HERE ARE SOME OF THE NEW SCHOOLS OPENING UP IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF ACADEMIC YEARS.

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INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SCHOOLS - BRANCH 4 (BRITISH SYSTEM)

BEACONHOUSE PRIVATE SCHOOL - AL AIN

Location: Khalidya Campus, Zayed Al Thani, Abu Dhabi Curriculum: British Curriculum Website: www.icschool-uae.com Other info: International Community School has 2 other branches currently open in Abu Dhabi, with plans to open two more branches in the coming years

Location: Falaj Hazza, Al Ain School District Curriculum: UK Curriculum Website: www.beaconhouse-fhz.ac.ae Other info: It is part of Beaconhouse Group, an international network of private schools with a presence in the UK, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Oman, the UAE, Pakistan and Belgium

Price range: FS2 (AED 20,900) to Year 13 (AED27,817)

Price range: FS2 (AED20,000) to Year 6 (AED27,000)

SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE RESPECTIVE EDUCATION COUNCILS.

*

2


27

3 Ras Al Khaimah 5

Umm Al Quwain Ajman Sharjah 4

3

Dubai

Fujairah

AL SALAM COMMUNITY SCHOOL

Location: Al Twar 2, Dubai Curriculum: National Curriculum for England and Cambridge International Curriculum Website: www.alsalamcommunity.ae Other info: It is the new home of Grades 7 to 13 students at Al Salam Private School who will be joining in the upcoming academic year

Abu Dhabi

1

Al Ain

2

Price range: FS1 (AED22,000) to Year 13 (AED38,000)

4

5

AMBASSADOR INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY

Location: Al Khail, Dubai Curriculum: International Baccalaureate, Middle Years Programme, and IGCSE’s Website: www.aiadubai.com Other info: The founders of the school also operate the UK EYFS-Ambassador Kindergarten, Ambassador School in Dubai, and Ambassador School in Sharjah

Price range: Pre-K (AED28,400) to Grade 4 (AED36,600)

DELHI PRIVATE SCHOOL - RAS AL KHAIMAH

Location: Al Dhait area, Ras Al Khaimah Curriculum: CBSE Website: www.dpsrasalkhaimah.com Other info: Proposed to open during April of the academic year 2020-2021, for KG1 to Grade 6. DPS has two other schools in Dubai and Sharjah

Price range: Grade KG1 (AED12,500) to Grade 12 (AED 17,500) - subject to approval from Ministry of Education

Keep checking our School Directory on www.education-uae.com for updates on more schools


28 Excellence In Schools

MAKING MATHS FUN! MOST CHILDREN ARE NATURALLY CURIOUS AND INTERESTED IN LEARNING NEW THINGS. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS PRINCIPLE DOESN’T ALWAYS APPLY WITH REGARDS TO MATHS! CONSEQUENTLY, TO ENCOURAGE CHILDREN, TEACHERS NEED TO CREATE METHODS OF LEARNING THAT MAKE THE SUBJECT FUN.

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ushra Khan, a Kindergarten Teacher at Credence High School in Dubai, explains: “Maths can really be a brain tickling game for children, getting their minds rolling and occupied with fun. The key thing in early years is to incorporate fun and movement in maths. Kindergarteners love to move! “You can put positional language into everyday activities. Words like ‘right’, left’, ‘over’, and ‘around’ are used to guide them while establishing cross-curriculum links. Games like ‘Simon says take two steps forward and stretch your hands in the air’ helps support this familiar landmark. ‘Shape Hunt’ is also played to encourage children, taking them around the play area to hunt for the different shapes, whilst looking around for similar objects in the surrounding environment. Students are also encouraged to play hopscotch, whilst learning the missing numbers.”

“Most children usually don’t like maths. Maths is boring. It means solving problems, but learning maths itself is becoming a problem,” says Ramesh Mudgal, Principal at Global Indian International School (GIIS) Dubai Campus. “To get around this, we use real world examples of the applications that we are talking about. As teachers of 21st century learners, we need to incorporate activity-based learning in maths. We teach maths outside the classroom, allowing children to measure or find out the area and perimeter of a square or rectangle. We use Lego® and other bricks to teach fractions; paper crafts are used for tangrams (dissection puzzles); art is being used to explore maths. Abstract concepts become easier to understand when the mind is fully engaged.” Paula Assaf, Head of the Maths department at the School of Modern Skills, says: “We work to create a resilient

passion and appreciation for maths. We implement ‘Gamification’ at an early age, and we extend it to game-based learning in our high school classes. ‘One more round, Miss!’ is a request that I always cherish in my class! “We make maths fun in a variety of ways, such as maths bingo, a maths scavenger hunt, or creating our own dice or deck of cards. Such tasks, in addition to video and online games, help students recall basic facts and prerequisites, emphasising the new outcomes attained from their daily class work.”


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Bushra Khan is a kindergarten teacher at Credence High School in Dubai

James Turner is the head of maths in secondary years at Aldar Academies Al Yasmina Academy

Kirsty Webb and Richard Brashier are Maths Teachers in the primary years at Aldar Academies Al Yasmina Academy, and have developed a mastery approach. “We provide opportunities for our students to become skilled in order to delve deeper into applying what they have learned through problem solving and reasoning

To consolidate learning, we work in line with the following ‘Concrete, Pictorial, and Abstract’ approach.” “We advise our parents to include their children in real-life problem solving at home through shopping, cooking, and budgeting.”

 MAKE IT

I can make it using manipulatives

 DRAW IT

I can show it

 WRITE IT

I can explain it in different ways

 PROVE IT

I can prove it using a different way

 TEACH IT

I can teach it others

Indeed, using different scenarios is vital in making maths fun, as James Turner, Head of Maths in Secondary years at Al Yasmina Academy, illustrates: “Like learning to ride a bike or even kicking a football, children should apply the same determination and persistence when learning maths. A positive

Kirsty Webb is a maths teacher in primary years at Aldar Academies Al Yasmina Academy

maths environment at home will help to encourage the love of the subject. Maths often needs a logical approach to solving problems, and these skills can be enhanced at home through solving regular puzzles, taking part in games, or even downloading apps that encourage problem-solving skills.”

Paula Assaf is the head of the maths department at the School of Modern Skills

Ramesh Mudgal is the principal at Global Indian International School Dubai Campus

Richard Brashier is a maths teacher in primary years at Aldar Academies Al Yasmina Academy


30 Excellence In Schools

CAPTURING EDUCATION

‘WAIT LET’S TAKE A SELFIE!’ WITH PHONES IN ALMOST EVERYONE’S HAND, THIS HAS BECOME A PHRASE WE CONSTANTLY HEAR WHEREVER WE GO. WE MAY ROLL OUR EYES AT IT, BUT WHAT IF WE TOLD YOU THE ACT OF TAKING A PICTURE ACTUALLY HELPS CHILDREN BUILD IMPORTANT SKILLS?

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arek M. Y. Abdelraman, General Manager of Customer Satisfaction at Nikon MEA, explains: “Photography is a unique artform that can prove to be hugely beneficial for children in their growing years. It helps to enhance their skill sets, as it has proven to augment creative abilities and increase focus. As children learn to focus more with the camera, they start becoming more aware and observant of their surroundings. This boosts their attentiveness in the classroom, enabling better learning. Photography is becoming a new common language of expression and description that is much faster to illustrate and communicate, and more precise to explain. “That’s why we don’t just make products that enable better photography, we believe in growing photography as a skill and passion that can greatly benefit holistic growth. Early exposure to learning this skill will enable children to build on it as they grow to see the world with a broad perspective. This thought process led us to collaborate with schools to help young minds bloom with creativity.” Nikon has worked with more than 10,000 students across schools like Global Indian International School (GIIS), Amity School, Al Sadiq Islamic English School, Nord Anglia School, Regent International School, Sunmarke School, Kent College, and Dubai Autism Centre. Ramesh Mudgal, Principal at GIIS Dubai, commented: “GIIS lays immense emphasis on providing top-notch intellectual, social, and academic growth opportunities for its students. We understand that education and self-expression go hand-inhand and play a major role in helping a child’s growth and development. Not wanting to measure creative skills against any pre-set criteria, the Nikon classes are meant to simply enhance every student’s creativity, confidence, and focus. It helps them express themselves better and develop visual perception.”

Canon Boy/shutterstock.com


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Denis Kuvaev/shutterstock.com

FANCY A CUPPA? THE IDEA FOR A ‘COFFEE MORNING WITH PARENTS’ CAME FROM THE UNITED NATION’S INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DISABILITIES, WHICH OUR YOUNG STUDENTS TERMED ‘DIVERSITY DAY’, TREATING IT AS A CELEBRATION OF UNIQUENESS.

Sharon Storrie is the principal at Dubai British Foundation. She has a postgraduate certification in “Additional Support Needs”, and has been working in Dubai since 2008. She held many leadership positions in primary and early years prior to joining Dubai British Foundation in 2017.

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ubai British Foundation has been an inclusive school since its inception, but we felt that we needed to promote this more with our wider parent body. So the coffee morning was designed as an educational opportunity for parents whose children don’t have additional needs, to come to a supportive, open forum where they could learn and ask questions. The parents who spoke at the event have children who are ‘People of Determination’ and are enrolled at our school. The children’s needs range from autism to apraxia of speech.

Each one spoke in their own style, some with PowerPoints, some with notes, and one parent was so fired up that she just stood up and spoke from the heart. The parents who joined the event came to support, but also to learn from the people speaking. The main theme that came through from all of the talks was ‘ask us and talk to us’, which means people having honest conversations and asking how to support a child. The event also allowed other parents after the event to open up about their own children and move towards finding support for their needs.


32 Excellence In Schools

DARING TO BE A FORCE OF NATURE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMANKIND AND MOTHER NATURE IS MUCH MORE FRAGILE THAN MOST OF US REALISE, FUELLED BY THE INTERSECTION OF TWO MODERN PHENOMENA: THE EXPLOITATION AND DESTRUCTION OF NATURE, ALONG WITH THE CONTINUING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNOLOGY.


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“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” - Native American Proverb

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his is particularly worrying because nature is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. Interacting with nature teaches us to exist in co-operation with the natural world, not to try and dominate it. We do not have power over the birds soaring overhead, or the sun setting, or the Arabian oryx wandering where it pleases. That is why when Graeme Scott, Director at Fairgreen International School, says “We want to promote a culture where we are connected with nature, not devices,” it comes as a breath of fresh mountain air in a world subjugated by gadgets. This pioneering approach to education in Dubai has been warmly welcomed by parents, with Sireen Khalifeh, a mother with a young child at the school, explaining: “Fairgreen is all about sustainability, and for me, that mirrors my own values. They often take the kids for a walk around the community, to the animal sanctuary to feed the donkeys and ducks, and to Beitfann, a sustainable art centre. That’s the relationship that I love, the education is not just inside the school walls. The other reason why I love Fairgreen is the proximity. We ride our bike to school. Who does that in this day and age? We’re a tight-knit community, and all of us choose to live here because the conversation about sustainability is on everyone’s minds, so it’s like-minded people who live here. “For example, when I pick up my kid from school, I always find him in the back watering the plants. The school makes it an everyday thing. Their discussion about sustainability is not just in textbooks, it’s very handson. Another thing we did was have a pet day, where we

talked about animal rights and how they feed into the ecosystem, that they are as important as human beings.” Teaching the younger generation about sustainability has never been more crucial. It develops the knowledge, values, and world views necessary to ensure there’s enough for everyone, forever. Fairgreen’s middle school science teacher Adam Hall supports this view when he says: “Sustainability is our mission; therefore we want all our classes starting from pre-K to embody sustainability in environmental terms, economic terms, and in community terms.” Offering an International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, Fairgreen International School which opened in September 2018 and moved into a new purpose-built school in Sustainable City in January 2019, takes students from ages three to 15 (8th grade), with a new grade being added every year. “We’ve got a chance here to help our children save the planet. Anyone who’s my age or older, we haven’t done such a good job. So it’s now instilled in our children that sustainability is the future. And if our children, through our curriculum and through looking at sustainability, are able to achieve that, then I think we’re going to be in a good place as we go forward,” concludes Chris Perry, Head of Primary.

Read about Fairgreen’s collaboration with renowned singer and solar energy champion, Akon on www.education-uae.com


34 Excellence In Schools

MOVING ON WILLIAM ARTHUR WARD, AN OFTEN-QUOTED WRITER OF INSPIRATIONAL MAXIMS, SAID: “TEACHING IS MORE THAN IMPARTING KNOWLEDGE, IT IS INSPIRING CHANGE. LEARNING IS MORE THAN ABSORBING FACTS, IT IS ACQUIRING AN UNDERSTANDING.” NOTHING COULD BE TRUER, AND IT IS A STATEMENT THAT DESCRIBES PERFECTLY BOTH ROSY GEORGE AND SIMONE NOORALI, WHO ARE BOTH GRADUATING ONTO THE NEXT PHASE OF THEIR LIVES. Rosy, who taught English at Indian High School, before retiring recently after 44 years in education, has many fond memories, but one thing always stood out above all others: “When I saw my students happy! Yes, seeing them excel does make me beam with joy, but I honestly believe that excelling in something does not always ensure happiness, and so I have to reiterate that it is their happiness that brought me the utmost joy and pride. “Teaching is not a task; instead, it is giving students the best of your knowledge

and experience so that they are equipped for life. Teaching them with a stick is really not the way one can make children learn, it is only love that can help them move forward. My advice to teachers who are just starting out in the field is that if your objective is clear, your work does not seem like work anymore. It is not how much of a chapter you can finish in a, say, 45-minute class though that is extremely important - but it is how much of a child you can mold into become a better citizen of the world.”

Simone, a 17-year-old student at Uptown School Dubai, has recently been accepted to seven of the most prestigious universities in the USA. She is not only academically talented, but also excels in sports and music, and has a knack for debating in model UNs. She has also published a book highlighting human trafficking called ‘The Girl in the Pink Room’ which has been nominated for the Rex Karmaveer Chakra Award. “I honestly did not anticipate the response I got from the US. After conversations with my college interviewers, I learned that some schools in Dubai receive an unparalleled number of admissions to top US universities, in part due to their establishment and

relationship with the universities. So as a member of my school’s first cohort to apply to the US, I am incredibly proud of all that the school has achieved. Before making my final decision, I am looking to find a safe and urban city, an excellent student life and on-campus clubs, and good internship opportunities for nonAmerican citizens. I am waiting to hear back from three or four other universities, and am hopeful of receiving good news!” Simone is a three-time consecutive Top Individual Scholar at the World Scholars Cup Regional Round, the co-author of the book ‘Weekends with Zoey’.

Simone has been accepted to:  The University of Pennsylvania  Dartmouth College  Johns Hopkins University

   

Georgetown University University of California, Berkeley Emory University George Washington University


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36 Excellence In Schools

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE THERE IS A LOT OF ESTABLISHED RESEARCH CONCERNING THE POSITIVE INFLUENCES FROM DRAMA, THEATRE, AND THE PERFORMING ARTS, PARTICULARLY ON THE YOUNGER GENERATION.

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rama is an important tool for preparing students to live and work in a world that is increasingly teamorientated, whilst also encouraging them to develop tolerance and empathy. Katrina Clark, a drama teacher at Dwight School Dubai, who has enjoyed a wide and varied career in the performing arts, explains: “When most people think of drama, they think of people acting on stage. However, drama is a place where we learn communication, problem solving, confidence, and creative skills. Within the classroom, students learn how we process non-verbal and verbal

communication through fun activities, improvisation, and by being an audience. “Improvisation is something we do every day. We rarely decide exactly what we will say before we say it. In theatre, we hone this very useful skill through many different kinds of improvisation. And this skill is a masterful art used in many fields of work. We constantly need to think on the spot and make quick decisions in everyday life. Any successful entrepreneur, politician, sales person, manager, and parent will need these skills.” However, whilst improvisation is a vital skill, it is said that 93 per cent


37

of communication is nonverbal, with Tomi Tsunoda, a professor at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), saying: “Although many plays are constructed around verbal dialogue, spoken language is only one of many kinds of communication in a piece of theatre. Human behaviour, action, and choice-making are also crucial elements of storytelling. Theatre also uses an aesthetic vocabulary through design elements such as lighting, costumes, sound and music composition, scenic elements, etc. The sound of an actor’s breathing or the sweat on their skin communicates as much information to the audience as words, sometimes more.” Those people who can communicate through many different channels, from dialogue through to a facial expression or gesture, are usually those who go on to enjoy success not only in the field of performing arts, but also life on the wider stage. Jonathan Goodwin, Director of ArtsEd International, which has recently expanded to many Dubai schools from their London roots and celebrates their 100th anniversary this year, comments: “Every day we see the power of the Arts and how they can impact on the learning and shaping young people’s future. For nearly 100 years our alumni have significantly influenced the creative industries on a global scale. They include leading choreographers, directors, and producers, alongside performers such

as Dame Angela Lansbury, Dame Julie Andrews, and Dame Darcy Bussell. Emerging talent includes student Zoe Brough, who was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance in ‘The Nether’, and Thomas Dennis, who left the sixth form for the lead role in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’. Jac Yarrow, a third-year undergraduate is about to star as ‘Joseph’ in the new West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical at the London Palladium. ArtsEd has also paved the path to success for medical doctors, stockbrokers, and recruitment officers in terms of building confidence and communication skills. Jonathan recalls a popular quote by Einstein who states, ‘If you’re not prepared to be wrong, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever come up with anything original’. Jonathan continues, “A performing arts education gives students the skills and the confidence to take risks and make choices without the constant fear of failing. We know the performing arts help shape our future leaders.” ArtsEd programmes are currently available Dubai English Speaking College, Kings’ School Al Basha, Safa Community School in Dubai, and more.

To read more about the benefits of taking up Drama visit www.education-uae.com


38 38 Excellence In Higher Education

CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE The inaugural Forbes Middle East Higher Education Awards saw leading universities in UAE taking centre stage among many categories.

Heriot Watt University’s Dubai campus has been crowned ‘Best University’ in the Middle East, with Vice Principal Bryn Jones commenting: “Winning is a validation of the hard work and talent of my colleagues and of our long running reputation for offering high quality British education in Dubai.” Meanwhile, Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has been awarded the ‘International Collaboration of the Year’ accolade. CUD President and Vice Chancellor Professor Karim Chelli, remarked, “Being recognised by Forbes for our international collaborations is

a fantastic achievement for all concerned at CUD. It confirms our strong commitment to a global education portfolio that is unique and relevant to the needs of our community and wider society.” CUD now has more than 25 international educational partnerships, allowing students to complete their degrees overseas or experience a period of international study on another continent. Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi took home the ‘Best University in Humanities’ award, with Executive Director Professor Eric Fouache saying,

“It is a great honour and a testament to the hard work of our faculty, students, and the tremendous support we receive from the wider community.” The University of Manchester Middle East Centre also received the ‘Best MBA’ award in recognition of the outstanding success of the Manchester Global Part-time MBA in the region. Finally, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Dubai Campus, was presented with the ‘Outstanding Support for Students’ award. MAHE Dubai is the offshore campus of MAHE, India - the best ‘Private Indian University’ as per the QS World Rankings 2019. Over 4,000 students have graduated from MAHE Dubai campus since its inception in 2001. The Forbes Middle East Higher Education Awards recognise and celebrate the region’s best higher education bodies based on votes from students, teachers, and the businesses that work with them.


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AUS graduates occupy leading roles in government, business and industry across the globe, and are represented in master’s and PhD programs at some of the world’s top universities, including MIT, Yale University, Harvard University, University of Cambridge and University of Oxford.

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42 Excellence in Higher Education

NOW THERE’S AN IDEA! Abu Dhabi University (ADU) had the pleasure of honouring four winning teams at the sixth edition of the annual Idea Factor Innovation competition, held at the university’s main campus in Abu Dhabi. The annual contest, which targets high school students across the UAE, aims to foster an entrepreneurial mindset amongst youth with a view to create a positive and lasting impact on individuals and businesses.

This year’s edition of the contest received 115 submissions across four categories: Smart City and Innovation Technology, Business Sustainability, Health and Wellbeing, and Social Innovation. The Social Innovation and Business Sustainability categories recognised two teams from the Secondary Technical Schools (STS) for their winning ideas ‘Masterstation’ and ‘E-rise’ respectively. Finally, the university recognised Applied Technology High School, Abu Dhabi for its ‘Smart Multifunctional Water Tank’ idea in the Smart City and Innovation Technology category.

FRIENDS TO ALL Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance, lauded the achievements of the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) at its 35th Graduation Ceremony. He attributed its remarkable success to Australia’s culture of tolerance, which is similar to that of the UAE.

UOWD is among the many culturally diverse universities within the UAE, with more than 100 nationalities present.

Top graduates and two doctorate awardees from a batch of 319 received their degrees during the ceremony, whilst Ms Jillian Broadbent AC, Chancellor of UOW, Australia, was awarded with the University Fellowship in recognition of her contributions to the establishment of the university and to the Australian community as a whole, marking her retirement from her role as Chancellor.


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Gorodenkoff/shutterstock.com

FULL OF GOOD IDEAS AT UOWD The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) recently welcomed representatives from a dozen of the UAE’s top schools to participate in the second edition of the AppVision competition, which pledges to recognise young talent in the region. Winning projects included ‘Projectify’ by Future International Private School, ‘MediCare’ by Liwa International School, and the standout sustainability project ‘Livin Green’ by Delhi Private School in Dubai. Nearly 200 students were grouped into 55 teams, with each team having to develop and present an application to be used on any smart phone or tablet device. Along with this, teams were also tasked with packaging their ideas and creatively describing their thoughts in a poster and presenting a non-functional interface of the app. The format of the competition encourages young people to embrace technology and think outside-of-the-box.

 200 high school students from top schools in the UAE participated in the AppVison competition  Judges included key members from Microsoft, NOKIA and GE  Three groups of winners were awarded Academic scholarships to attend UOWD

Academic scholarships were awarded to 12 school students in total, allowing them to pursue higher education at their chosen university or college


44 Excellence in Higher Education

Advancing Knowledge, Transforming Lives Thailand, Greece, Zanzibar and Japan are just some of the countries students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) have visited over the past academic year, while representing their university in sports, community service, and academic pursuits.

Ranking  UAE’s top ranked private institution  A QS* Top 50 Under 50 Years university

UNIVERSITY

Contact info@aus.edu www.aus.edu +971 6 515 1000 Location University City Sharjah Social media @ausharjah @ausharjah @AUSharjah AUS Sharjah American University of Sharjah

A number of AUS students have spent the semester or past academic year abroad, studying as international exchange students at universities in Europe and the United States. Additionally, each year AUS students gain valuable work experience through internships at leading companies and organisations around the world. For the past two years, AUS has been named by Times Higher Education as having the highest percentage of international students of any ranked university in the world. With so much cultural diversity, students are able to forge friendships with students of other backgrounds, and experience the positive benefits that come from learning in such an international environment. AUS offers many inviting factors, including the safety and security of Sharjah and

the AUS campus, along with the outstanding academic reputation the university enjoys. The diversity among the student community creates internationally minded graduates, equipped to contribute to an increasingly interconnected world, as Acting Chancellor Professor Kevin Mitchell explains: “AUS students currently represent 94 different countries. Academic rigour, combined with the unique experiences we offer our students, prepares them for careers and graduate study programmes at top institutions around the world. Our alumni are at the helm of government, business, and innovation not just in the Middle East, but also globally. The accomplishments of our alumni reflect the standard of education AUS provides, and the level of opportunities available to our graduates.”

 QS ranking of the best performing university in the Middle East for business and management programmes. *QS World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds.

AUS has an extensive programme of merit and needbased grants and scholarships that are available to students and open to individuals regardless of their race, colour, gender, religion, or national origin. Each year, AUS students receive AED80 million in merit and need-based grants and scholarships to assist with the costs associated with study. Approximately two-thirds of AUS students currently receive some level of financial assistance.


45

A BETTER WORLD THROUGH RESEARCH ABU DHABI UNIVERSITY (ADU) RECOGNISED THE WINNERS OF THE REGIONAL UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH COMPETITION, NOW IN ITS SEVENTH YEAR, AT AN AWARDS CEREMONY THAT ACKNOWLEDGED OVER 261 SHORTLISTED SUBMISSIONS FROM LOCAL AND REGIONAL ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS.

T

his year’s submissions covered a diverse range of fields, including engineering, business administration, arts and social sciences, education and law, and natural and health sciences. To enhance the relevance to the UAE, two new categories were introduced this year: Tolerance and Innovation. The former is in line with the UAE’s theme of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance and its values of acceptance and coexistence, and was won by two Bachelor of Communication students, Nermin Abu Al Zahab and Ardra Meletath, from Canadian University Dubai, who carried out an action-based research project that

found that academic institutions and family dynamics are the main contributors to fostering tolerance among UAE youth. Undergraduate students from across the GCC presented their research findings to a panel of expert judges, with 34 winning teams receiving prizes worth over AED120,000. Commenting on the competition, ADU’s Chairman, His Excellency Ali bin Harmal Al Dhaheri said: “ADU is proud to be leading the region’s largest and most prestigious research-based competition as it continues to encourage greater innovation amongst students year after year. As one of the nation’s leading higher education institutions, and in line

with the Abu Dhabi vision 2030, we are dedicated to delivering initiatives that ill prepare our students for the future as we transition towards a knowledgebased economy. By hosting events that focus on tolerance, entrepreneurship, and artificial intelligence, we are preparing our community for the future, and contributing greatly to the UAE’s diversifying economy.” ADU demonstrated the extent of its research efforts earlier this year when it reached 1,000 scientific papers listed in the Scopus Index, a world-renowned database of high-quality research. Visit www.education-uae.com for the full list of winners


46 Excellence in Higher Education

GRADUATE GPA NOT LINKED TO EMPLOYABILITY - An Oliv Survey Over 600 UAE university students and graduates surveyed

GRADUATES 465 OF THOSE SURVEYED WERE GRADUATES

1 in 2 graduates (52%) had already secured employment upon graduating, regardless of GPA

OUT OF THE 52%:

56%

OF GRADUATES WITH 1-1.9 GPA

HAD SECURED EMPLOYMENT UPON GRADUATION

56%

OF GRADUATES WITH 2-2.9 GPA

HAD SECURED EMPLOYMENT UPON GRADUATION

44%

OF GRADUATES WITH 3-3.9 GPA

HAD SECURED EMPLOYMENT UPON GRADUATION

PRIOR EXPERIENCE

70% OF GRADUATES HAD COMPLETED AN INTERNSHIP OR PART-TIME JOB

27% OF WHICH WERE UNPAID

40% WERE UNPAID IN 2018

STUDENTS OF THE 600, 216 SURVEYED WERE STUDENTS CONFIDENCE SCALE OF THE 216 STUDENTS

43%

6%

26%

SAID THEY WERE MODERATELY OR VERY CONFIDENT THEY WOULD FIND EMPLOYMENT LOCALLY WITHIN A YEAR OF GRADUATING

REPORTED A COMPLETE LACK OF CONFIDENCE

WILLING TO WAIT A FULL YEAR TO FIND A ROLE WITHIN UAE BEFORE LOOKING OUTSIDE THE REGION

Oliv’s annual survey also found that students and graduates believe getting a job would be easier if universities focused more on careers fairs and events (37%), and that the majority want to work for multinational corporations (63%) compared to SMEs (18%), Government (11%) and start-ups (7%). Youth unemployment in the MENA region is a serious issue:  Almost one in three youths (31%) in the region is out of work, which is the highest level in recorded history and twice the global average  Graduates are making up nearly 30% of the entire unemployment pool  Unemployment among youth in the UAE is much lower, at 7.77%


47

SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE IN BOTH SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES, WE ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO STUDY HARD AND ACHIEVE HIGH TEST-SCORES. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN NOT ALL STUDENTS END UP WITH HIGHEST TEST-SCORES? WILL THEY STILL FIND SUCCESS IN THE JOB MARKET?

PKpix/shutterstock.com

I

t is not surprising to see from the recent Oliv.com survey that there is not much correlation between students’ grades and future career success. A GPA does not measure a person’s emotional intelligence, resilience, and determination – all of which are major factors of success in a future career. Furthermore, there are other characteristics including leadership traits, ability to overcome challenges, and teamwork, which are of high value in the real world. With emergence of technology and continuing changes in the world of work, employers are now looking for candidates who can stay agile, adjust, continue learning, expand their networks, and can manage themselves and their teams through times of transition. As you climb up the career ladder academics and tests scores become less important. Academics will only take you so far, but developing the below skills will keep you competitive in today’s job market.

Cultural and emotional intelligence This is, in many cases, more essential than someone’s IQ. Career growth greatly depends on a person’s ability to lead, inspire and motivate different groups of people.

TODAY, COMPANIES HIRE FOR A POSITIVE ATTITUDE MORE THAN HARD WORK OR SKILL SETS.

Managing failures and building resilience Students need to face real-life problems to develop the ability to rise above failures, as the world is full of surprises. They also need to learn strategies to deal with obstacles and be open to discussing the topic of failure and building resilience. Stress management Anxiety is today a leading mental health issue. An expectation to be the best in everything is creating more failure than success and leads to mental and physical stress. To manage this: list three things each day that you are thankful for; exercise, eat well and practice mindfulness; make time for friends and family.

Elena Agaragimova is the manager of the Careers and Alumni Department at The University of Manchester Middle East Centre. She is a skilled trainer and talent development specialist with 10 years of experience.


48 Excellence in Higher Education

GET TO WORK THIS SUMMER! INTERNSHIPS ARE A GREAT WAY TO GAIN WORK EXPERIENCE, BUT HOW DO YOU GET A GOOD SUMMER INTERNSHIP AND WHAT ARE EMPLOYEES LOOKING FOR? FELIX LANCELEY GIVES READERS A FEW TIPS ON HOW TO OBTAIN A GOOD POSITION.

H Felix Lanceley is the Director of Student Services and academic registrar at the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

e begins, “Ideally students will be well organised, and will get the task of finding a suitable internship underway as early as possible.” “A good university will have staff who are in charge of finding employment and internship opportunities for its students, so that is a good first port of call. If there is a specific company where a student would like to undertake an internship, they should be willing to reach out to the HR department to see if there are opportunities available.” When applying, a good up-to-date CV is important, as is pointing out availability and the strengths of the applicant. “This would be in the form of a cover letter, stating why the individual wants to apply for the role, highlighting their strengths and areas of interest,” Felix explains.

Finding the time to properly prepare for the interview is vital, too. “Like anything new at which you would like to excel, you need to practice, practice, and practice some more. Do your homework, arrive early, and be confident and ready to clearly articulate how you will be of benefit to the company.” And what if the student is not qualified, should an application still be made? “It depends. If an internship requires the ability to communicate fluently in Arabic, and the student does not have that skill, then clearly it is not the right opportunity for them. On the other hand, if an internship requires a certain amount of experience, which the student does not have, but he or she can demonstrate the applicable skills and knowledge through other experiences - such as volunteering at university - then they can definitely apply,” Felix concludes.


49

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO GET YOUR MBA THE MBA IS STILL THE FLAGSHIP BUSINESS PROGRAMME FOR MANY WORKING PROFESSIONALS, THE GOLD STANDARD QUALIFICATION FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS, AND OFTEN A PREREQUISITE FOR A CAREER IN BUSINESS MANAGEMENT OR MANAGEMENT CONSULTING.

S

tudents join an MBA programme to accelerate careers, switch career path, or realise entrepreneurial ambitions. With the business world transforming rapidly, it is more important than ever to get an MBA. The MBA programme helps students understand the fundamental shifts in business, such as the impact of digital technologies on the workplace expectations of millennials, from a management perspective. Students benefit from new knowledge, tools and skills, career support, and a professional network of contacts – all essential to maintaining long-term employability.

There is a growing choice of MBA options for working parents in the region, and candidates should look for the best fit in terms of programme content, opportunities to personalise, and learning format. The Manchester Global part-time MBA offers flexibility through its blended learning format, enabling students to continue to work, quickly apply their new learning, study at their own pace online, and join regular face-to-face workshops, while continuing to meet work and family commitments. The MBA covers all of the core functions of business and so the skills and tools are equally applicable to c-level executives and managers, heads of specialist functions in large enterprises, SMEs, and entrepreneurs looking to start-up a new venture.

Randa Bessiso is the Founding Director at The University of Manchester Middle East Centre, and is recognised as being among the region’s most influential businesswomen. She is Chair of the UAE-UK Business Council’s Higher Education Group and a regular media commentator and speaker on ‘women in business’. Ljupco Smokovski/shutterstock.com


50 50 Know It All

ONCE UPON A TIME WHAT MAKES A STORY GREAT? WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A GREAT STORYTELLER?

S Rachel Hamilton is the author of The Case of the Exploding Loo, which was awarded the runner-up spot in the Emirates Festival of Literature ‘First Fiction’ Competition, and went on to win several other awards.

torytelling is something we all do naturally, but there’s a big difference between good storytelling and great storytelling, with novelist Rachel Hamilton explaining: “Creative storytelling builds imagination and creativity by allowing children to explore life inside other bodies, places, times, and situations. This empathetic, open-minded way of thinking helps in all fields of life. Another important skill storytelling teaches is how to communicate your thoughts and feelings in a way that captivates your audience.” We asked Rachel what the key components of a good story are.

“There are many answers I could give to this question. I could focus on the traditional story elements of plot, character, and setting; or I could stress the importance of accurate spelling and punctuation. However, the best stories have a unique magic that can’t be found in any list of components, only by exploring and experimenting and injecting yourself into them, because the key component of a good story is an authentic voice.” Storytelling has been at the heart of civilisation since humans first began to communicate, but what form does storytelling take in the modern age? “New technology and new media channels have created new ways for


51

“The key component of a good story is an authentic voice.”

Sergey Nivens/shutterstock.com

people to share and consume stories,” Rachel says. “While audiences were once limited to those sitting round the same campfire, modern stories can cross oceans, time zones, and cultural divides. Gaming and other digital platforms have led to more interactive, multi-layered storytelling, and who knows what the impact will be of artificial intelligence and augmented reality? There has never been a more exciting time to be a storyteller.” Of course not every storyteller is naturally gifted in verbal storytelling, but Rachel believes that there is one really effective way to boost verbal communication abilities: “Read! Every author will tell you that the best way to

become a writer is to become a reader. Just as every expert will tell you the best way to learn a skill is by practicing it. So, keep reading and keep writing. Also, remember that not every storyteller works with words. Stories can be told, equally beautifully, with images or music or movement.” Despite all of the positive aspects of storytelling, many young writers are put off developing their skills, with Rachel explaining: “This is because, despite having the best intentions, adults sometimes turn creative writing into a tick box exercise for kids, telling them great stories must include features like ‘wow words’ and ‘powerful punctuation’ and ‘extended metaphors.’ These things have

their place, but if you want kids to enjoy storytelling, sometimes it is a good idea to remove the rules and just encourage them to have fun. “A child who is a great storyteller has a huge range of career opportunities too, from journalism, marketing and politics through to publishing, digital media and computer game development. But, why would anyone want to follow another career path when they could be an author? I wanted to be an author or an astronaut (I may not have got past the ‘A’ section of the careers handbook). So now I’ve had a few books published, it may be time to turn my attention to space adventure!” Rachel concludes.


52 Know It All

GET BOOK SMART There have been many studies conducted into the benefits of reading for children, whether it is in school or at home. Perhaps one of the most interesting to have been published in recent years was carried out by scientists from the University of Edinburgh and Kings College London, and published in the Child Development Journal. The research results suggest that if children have better than average reading skills by the age of seven, this can positively impact their academic potential during high school. The study concluded that reading teaches children to use their imagination, something that in turn helps with both abstract and rational thinking when studying STEM subjects such as mathematics and science. Samar Murad, Principal of the International School of Creative Science, Muwaileh, explains: “Whilst the majority of young people today consider themselves to be ‘digital natives’, and may prefer to consume information from a screen, research has found that students’ performance in school tends to suffer if they only read digitally. Indeed, researchers found that printed texts, longer than a page in length, were actually easier for students to understand and retain information from.”

ONE WORLD, MANY STORIES It is said if you read books you live a thousand lives. When MaryRose Grieve steps into her office, that is exactly what she offers. As school librarian at Hartland International School and the winner of the School Librarian of the Year Award at Emirates Literature Foundation, Mary-Rose gives us an exclusive insight into her life. What is your favourite book? That is a wildly unfair question to ask a librarian! My favourite book this week is Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus

Black by Marcus Sedgewick, Julian Sedgewick and Alexis Deacon. Why do you like reading books? My childhood was entirely defined by books; I was a voracious reader and hardly ever spoke to anyone – I much preferred to have my nose in a book. How do you get students excited about reading books? We do a lot, from author visits through to competitions, but I think the most effective thing we do is to model good reading habits ourselves; we take every opportunity to read aloud and to show our own excitement about reading both the books from the library and our own books from home.


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54 Know It All | Debatable

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55

SILENCE OR NAGGING? EFFECTIVE PARENT-TEACHER COMMUNICATION CAN BE CONSIDERED AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR IN HELPING A STUDENT SUCCEED. BUT IN THIS AGE OF MOBILE APPLICATIONS INTEGRATED INTO SCHOOL COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILIES, WHERE WE ARE OVERLOADED WITH INCOMING DATA AND REQUESTS, HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?


56 Know It All | Debatable

PARENTS WEIGH IN “Our nursery uses Seesaw and it is updated daily. Content shared by teachers takes in pictures, videos, updates, notifications, and schedules. They do both forms of communication, electronic and face-to-face. I feel this is so important, especially to track development and discuss progress and behaviour. I prefer using Seesaw on a day-to-day basis for pictures and notifications, as it is super flexible and easy to access. There is also a communication trail.” YASMIN CAREY, Parent at Ranches Primary Nursery. “Since my son is only 4, he hardly tells us what happened in school. We get all the information from the school either via email or through the web portal that is updated everyday with pictures and feedback. I find it very helpful.” DUSHYANT NAGPAL, Parent at Dubai International Academy – Al Barsha.

“Back in India the access to communicate with a teacher through mails was not available two years back. Communication here is much easier and faster, as teachers are very prompt, observant, and helpful which is a great support for your child’s academic development.” DEESHA BHAGTANI, Parent at Dubai British School Jumeriah Park.

STUDENT COMMENT “I feel that it’s important for parents to be aware of what and how well students are doing at school. My parents check our application Classdojo almost every day since it is on their phone and it’s easily accessible for them. It is helpful for both parents and schools to keep communication regarding the wellbeing of students.” HOSNA ABDULRAHMAN RAHMANNIA, Grade 12 student at North American International School.

PREVIOUSLY IN DEBATABLE Is homework beneficial to your child? 58% of our readers don’t agree.


57

EDUCATORS’ OPINION “Technology used for communication purposes is a blessing, especially for those who have hectic daily schedules. Schools should definitely implement some kind of app to keep communication between schools and parents running smoothly. However, there is a real danger of overdoing it and over-communicating might take place if there are too many channels open for reaching parents. In such cases, it might be really confusing for parents and counter-productive for the school.” MAGDA ATLAS, English Coordinator at Horizon Private School - Branch, Abu Dhabi.

“Communication is essential, there is no denying that. But I strongly feel that over communication at any level tends to slow down processes and provides room for confusion. We have been victims of over communication in the past amongst our teachers and parents, but have successfully identified how to control our communication channels to ensure more affective outcomes.” DR HEENA RACHH, Principal at Global Indian International School (GIIS) Abu Dhabi.

“In our schools, relevant information is available for parents and students directly on the web. When meetings between parents and administrators are useful, we arrange for appointments. But if parents at other schools feel happy to use various applications, then why not?” RAMZI GERMANOS, Regional Director of SABIS, a global education network.

“Many of our communications take place through our Parent Portal, alongside the use of Outlook and WhatsApp. As a class teacher, I find the quickest and easiest way to get information out to my students’ parents is through the WhatsApp parent group via our Parent Liaisons. However, it is to be used with caution - an app that is instantly accessible can become a nuisance when overused by teachers and parents alike. When it comes to more formal communications, Outlook provides teachers and parents with a platform to air their concerns and the time to respond. However, I think it is important for teachers to make sure they don’t lose face-to-face contact with parents and keep communications via technology to a minimum.” LUCY THOMPSON, Head of Primary IT at Aldar Academies Al Yasmina Academy.

“As a parent and a principal, I can see the issue from different perspectives and they are certainly not juxtaposed. Education is a partnership and parents are a child’s first educators. Regular updates about attainment, progress, and next-step targets are essential and can ensure that parents can encourage and assist their child at home. These need to be shared at suitable intervals, when reassessments have been taken. However, over-communication can lead to families feeling overloaded and unsure of what information is most important. In addition, spending too much time prioritising the recording of activities and sharing with parents detracts from the daily focus on effective teaching.” KATHRYN ALLEN, Principal at Aldar Academies Al Muna Academy.

Have your say…

…on the communication with your childs school. Pixel-Shot/shutterstock.com

Email us at educationuae@tpg.media

Africa Studio/shutterstock.com


58 Know It All | My Journey

Isobel Abulhoul is an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), the CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation, Sergey Nivens/shutterstock.com and co-founder of Magrudy’s bookstore chain.


59

MY JOURNEY FROM READER TO LEADER AS JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS WROTE IN HER AUTOBIOGRAPHY, MY JOURNEY, ‘THERE ARE MANY LITTLE WAYS TO ENLARGE YOUR CHILD’S WORLD. LOVE OF BOOKS IS THE BEST OF ALL.’

Having a good network of colleagues and friends is always very important, as is recognising and commending good work from team members, which is vital for any leader.

This is a sentiment that Isobel Abulhoul, Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), agrees with wholeheartedly. also being CEO and trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and cofounder of Magrudy’s bookstore chain, she has always been heavily influenced by her love of books, a passion that first ignited in early childhood and ultimately led to various entrepreneurial pursuits. How did it all begin for you in Dubai? I moved to Dubai in 1968, where I began my career as a nursery school teacher, before cofounding Al Ittihad School in 1974. My next major step was opening Magrudy’s, which became one of Dubai’s biggest bookstore chains. Finally, following a chance conversation, the idea for a literary festival was discussed, and this led to me founding the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, a first of its kind in the UAE. Over the last 11 years it has grown to be the Arab world’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. How have the Festival and Foundation progressed? Launched in 2009 with 65 authors, the Festival has grown continually and, in 2019, hosted over 181 authors from 40 countries and reached more than 45,000 people. A few years later, in 2013, The Emirates Literature Foundation was established by royal decree from HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. The Foundation is a not-for-profit

organisation that focuses on cultivating a spirit of reading, and as part of its initiatives has implemented a School Librarian of the Year Award, year-round school education programmes and competitions, book clubs, and creative writing courses. What are the proudest moments of your career? There are so many I could choose from, but being awarded an OBE from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of my years of service to education and British literature in the UAE was a very special moment. As was the award from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for my contribution to the Year of Reading in the UAE, and being named the Cultural Personality of the Year by HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah. I’m enormously grateful for the public recognition. What advice would you give young women venturing into the business world? I come from a generation where women were expected to get married and have children. There certainly were not many female CEO’s when I was younger. But in terms of leadership roles for women, if you think you are capable of leading a team, then go for it. You should not think that being female is a barrier, because if you believe it is, then it will be. It never entered my head that I couldn’t succeed if I really put my heart and soul into the job in question.


60 Know It All | Our World

A GOOD PLANET IS HARD TO FIND With almost half of the human population being under 25 years of age, there is no doubt about the enormous stake that youngsters have in the present and future state of planet Earth.

SAY NO TO PLASTIC AT 30,000 FEET Etihad Airways is at the start of a three-year journey that aims to reduce single-use plastics across the entire organistation by 80 per cent by the end of 2022. A primary assessment was carried out to ensure that the 2022 goal was attainable. In some cases, single-use plastics were unavoidable, as they came in the form of an industry standard or precaution (for example, the plastic-wrapping of cargo boxes and wrappers around emergency kit tools); and in other cases, it was simply a luxury that could easily be replaced or removed.

Ambassador School Dubai is conscious about instilling environment awareness in its students, with Principal Sheela Menon explaining: “Whether it’s through the creation of paper bags by our students, which are later distributed to nearby grocery stores, or appointing ‘Energy Commandos’ in each class who prevent unnecessary consumption, we have been successful in nurturing the values of giving back to the Earth. “Though it’s impossible to completely reverse the effect of our actions, we can work towards restoring the damage done. And who better to spearhead this than the young people who will inherit the planet?”

100 tonnes of single-use plastics to be removed from Etihad flights by end of 2019 The airline is now in the secondary assessment phase where it is focused on revising its procurement process. Indeed, it was delighted to see how its suppliers supported it in implementing many changes within their supply chains in order to support this flight, and is confident they will do the same to support the single-use plastic policy. Through the test flight, Etihad Airways discovered that it could remove 27 million single-use plastic lids from its in-flight service a year and, as a leading airline, it believes that it is its responsibility to act on this, to challenge industry standards, and work with suppliers who provide lower impact alternatives. As an immediate action, the airline has already removed up to 20% of single-use plastic items on board its aircraft. By the end of this year, it will have removed 100 tonnes of single-use plastics from its in-flight service. Additionally, Etihad Airways has taken an internal step to reduce the number of disposable cutlery items it uses in its employee canteen by removing them altogether, reducing a staggering 447,600 pieces. They have been replaced by an environmentally friendly range of compostable cutlery for take-away food.


61

DXB JOINS FIGHT AGAINST PLASTIC Dubai Airport has pledged to ban singleuse plastics from consumer spaces at the world’s busiest international airport effective 1 January, 2020. Banned items will include plastic utensils, bags, and paper receipts, along with straws, which is among the most overused at the airport. On World Environment Day, the pledge prevented the distribution of over 150,000 straws, the equivalent of 30,000 metres of plastic.

SUSTAINABILITY

IT’S A LIFESTYLE AT AUS UNIVERSITIES HAVE AN EDUCATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO ADDRESS THE IMPORTANT ISSUES OF THE TIMES AND SUSTAINABILITY IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES FACING HUMANITY, WITH ROSE ARMOUR SAYING: “IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE EDUCATE THE FUTURE WORKFORCE TO UNDERSTAND AND SOLVE THE SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND ECONOMIC CHALLENGES OF SUSTAINABILITY.”

A

US has worked hard for 10 years in reducing its energy consumption and, following a variety of initiatives on campus in 2018, it was awarded a Bronze rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). “This was very exciting, as we were

the first university in the MENA region, and only the third outside of North America, to be rated in the STARS system at that time,” Rose said. “We are continually working to create an environment on campus where it is the norm to turn out the lights when you leave a room, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, and put your recycling in the correct bin.”

Other notable successes include

24% ENERGY REDUCTION of gasoline saved

Rose Armour is the Head of Sustainability at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), with degrees in Natural Resource Management and Community Planning.

15,000+ SINGLEUSE PLASTICS collected and used to build a greenhouse

15 TONNES

of paper, cardboard, and plastic recycled (Jan to April 2019)

41 TONNES

plastic, cardboard, and glass recycled in 2018


62 62 The Lounge

GO GREEN WITH SHORTS

CONNECTING THE INTERCONNECTED An emotional journey that tells the fascinating story of humankind’s relationship with nature and our impact on it awaits millions of visitors to Expo 2020’s Sustainability Pavilion, Terra. Terra will reveal the intricate interconnection between people and Mother Nature, emphasising the urgency of addressing destructive environmental impacts that are triggered primarily by human behaviour. The visitor experience will include huge installations inspired by iconic fairground attractions, which will highlight critical sustainability issues and concepts. The Terra experience culminates by asking visitors to make a personal promise that will help facilitate positive change. This might be as simple as cutting down on food waste or not using single-use plastic. With capacity for 4,400 visitors hourly over 173 days, that could equal an incredible number of changes and help save the planet.

Emirates Official Store has launched Emirates Landing, a limited edition ‘father and son’ shorts collection in collaboration with sustainable fashion label, Joseph & Alexander. Launching mid-June, the collection uses recycled fabric derived from ocean plastics and eco-friendly ink in the textile designs. The shorts are a departure from the airline’s traditional red colour palette, with the famous aircraft designs in the Emirates Landing shorts collection use light blue and turquoise shades, mimicking the natural hues found in the earth’s oceans. Alana Sorokin, Founder of Joseph & Alexander Founder, said that the Emirates collaboration provides a phenomenal platform to beckon consumers globally to begin tackling sustainability issues head-on: “The Joseph & Alexander and Emirates shorts tell a story, encouraging an educational conversation between adult and child around sustainable practices.” The collection will be available online at www.emirates.store.com and across all Emirates Official Store locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

PRICE FOR BOYS IS AED185 AND FOR MEN IS AED280


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THE NATURAL CHOICE FOR GROWING KIDS Youngsters were encouraged to ‘Adopt a Fruit, Adopt a Vegetable’ at flagship Carrefour locations throughout the UAE. The initiative conducted together with the Nestlé for Healthier Kids, aims to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030.

Mascots representing various fruits and veggies toured 12 Carrefour stores in the seven Emirates over different weekends, helping bring to life a variety of characters created from fruits and vegetables with names and key benefits of each presented in a fun and interesting manner. “Evidence from our various research indicates that children will adopt healthier eating habits if educated about nutritious food options and inspired how to choose for themselves,” said Yves Manghardt, Chairman and CEO at Nestlé Middle East. “We are committed to supporting parents in their quest to promote a healthy diet

and lifestyle for their children and make healthy food both fun and the preferred for them. We also know very well that we can only materialise such an ambitious commitment through multi-sector partnerships.”

According to the World Obesity Federation, child obesity will continue to rise in the UAE, impacting 14.62% of its ‘20 years and under’ population by 2020, and has become one of the top 10 health priorities in the region.

Creative Family/shutterstock.com

TIME TO STOP USING THE ACRONYM ‘RAK’ Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, the wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, has called on residents of Ras Al Khaimah to avoid using the acronym ‘RAK’, saying that they should be proud of the Emirate’s full name. She explained that the name Ras Al Khaimah has been in use for centuries, first mentioned in a book dating back to the time of Alexander the Great in 321 BCE. “Be honoured and proud,” she proclaimed.

DID YOU KNOW? The Arabic name ‘Ras Al Khaimah’ means ‘top of the tent’ referring to its location in the northernmost part of the UAE, as well as being home to the highest mountain in the country.


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Contact info@fitrepublik.com www.fitrepublik.com/summercamp +971 4 556 1800 Location The Academies Dubai Sports City Social media @fitrepublik.ae @fitrepublik.ae

If sitting at home with hyperactive children this summer doesn’t sound like fun, FitRepublik is your answer. Its huge, multi-discipline facility gives kids aged 5-14 years-old infinite opportunities to let off steam, make friends, and learn loads in a hugely stimulating environment! Unlike many summer camps, this one has a huge range of facilities and activities, keeping kids interested right the way through the summer. Combining aquatics, fitness, and sports activities with music, dance, arts, and crafts, youngsters are free to enjoy the entire FitRepublik venue, including the pool’s ‘Wibit’ obstacle course - the largest in Dubai. Split into separate age groups, the children are guided by young, dynamic coaches

- among them Olympic athletes and world leaders in their fields - who know a thing or two about their disciplines. These dedicated coaches and the eager young volunteers, some of them graduates of FitRepublik’s many junior programmes, know how to make challenges fun, exciting, and deeply satisfying. Plus there’s more in store: games, trampoline, parkour sports, graffiti walls … and

Campers get 10% off if they book before June 30th, and 10% sibling discounts throughout the camp. You can even combine the two discounts to get 20% off! With FitRepublik’s legendary Summer Camp selling out every summer, now’s the time to book.


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AED45 (www.zayoodisadventures.com)

EDITOR’S CHOICE BOOK Zayoodi Goes to the Desert by Sarah Sillis Moving to a new country can be a bewildering experience for a young child. Being mindful of this, Sarah Sillis has written the second in a series of books, Zayoodi’s Adventures, to help youngsters learn more about the UAE, its language, and customs.

Originally from Belgium, Sarah is raising an Emirati son, Zayed, in Abu Dhabi and, feeling that he was not learning enough about his new home, she began to write about the adventures of a young Emirati boy, with her warmth and humour making them an engaging introduction to an important topic. A gloriously colourful and lively book with a strong storyline, the second instalment, Zayoodi Goes to the Desert, was launched at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair and tells of how Zayoodi and his sister go into the desert to visit his grandpa’s farm. Here there are three camels, one of which has a big belly and is Zayoodi’s favourite. The actual cause of the big belly soon becomes apparent when a baby camel is born. This story will benefit children in a variety of ways. It tells an appealing tale and asks interesting and

educational questions such as ‘have you ever been to the desert’ and ‘how many camels does Jadd (grandpa) have?’ Particularly valuable is how the narrative helps children to start building an Arabic vocabulary - in this book, seven new words are learned. A beautiful story with illustrations that capture the magic of it all perfectly, Zayoodi Goes to the Desert also highlights some fascinating facts, such as camel milk being low in fat and rich in vitamins. All in all, this is a great book for teaching small children about the UAE, helping them to feel ‘at home’ and confident of their place in a new society.

To read the exclusive interview with Sarah Sillis, visit www.education-uae.com


66 66 Parent Corner

Christine Nasserghodsi is Co-founder of Mirai, a strategic innovation consultancy, and a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also mother to two lively boys, two rescues dogs, and two stray cats.

NEW TECHNOLOGY TO HELP LITERACY IN CHILDREN A NEW ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) TECHNOLOGY IS IN TOWN, WITH THE ABILITY TO DETECT LITERACY LEVELS IN UNDER TWO MINUTES, BY TRACKING A CHILD’S EYE MOVEMENT WHILE THEY READ.


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Ollyy/shutterstock.com

A

As a tech geek, I’m often asked about whether or not robots can replace teachers. The answer, of course, is a resounding no. Yet, there are an increasing number of digital solutions available to support students, parents, and teachers in the learning journey. We are most excited about Lexplore, an AI-based reading assessment and intervention platform our team found at BETT, London. Reading, as we know, is fundamental to success in school. However, given the complexity of assessing

reading, some reading difficulties go undiagnosed and unsupported. Allow me to share an example. During the holy month of Ramadan, I hosted a ladies Iftar at my house for a group of close friends. The group came from all over the world - Jordan, Spain, Morocco, the UAE, Singapore, and the United States. As most of us have children, the conversation quickly turned to education. One mother, however, mentioned that her daughter had just been diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 17. She was distraught, not that her

daughter had dyslexia, but that it had taken so long for the diagnosis. Another guest told us that her personal diagnosis of dyslexia radically changed her life for the better when she was 12, because she was able to receive proper support. With a background as a literacy coach and reading specialist, I have spent countless hours assessing children’s reading and training teachers in reading assessment so that all children are able to grow as readers and thrive in school. Lexplore makes understanding a child’s reading process and needs more accessible than ever. Drawing upon 30 years of research from the Karolinska Institute, Lexplore provides a two-minute reading assessment that accurately provides a child’s reading level, suggestions for support, and can help schools know which children require further assessment for reading difficulties such as dyslexia. This would have been a game changer for the mother and guest at my Iftar. An increasing number of schools in this region will be using Lexplore from September. The team in Sweden is hoping to release a Beta version of Lexplore in Arabic by the next school year, which has our team very excited. If you sense something is not quite right with your child’s reading, don’t hesitate to ask your child’s teacher. Some children will come to reading quite naturally, while others will need more intervention. It’s most important to seek intervention early.


68 Parent Corner

LET’S PLAY… CONCENTRATION DEVELOPING CONCENTRATION IS SIMILAR TO DEVELOPING PHYSICAL STRENGTH; WITH PATIENT AND PERSISTENT PRACTICE, TECHNIQUES CAN BE INSTILLED THAT INCREASE THE STRENGTH AND DURATION OF A STUDENT’S ATTENTION SPAN.

Devika Mankani is a certified psychologist at The Hundred Wellness Centre and occasionally offers her services at Fortes Education schools. Oksana Kuzmina/shutterstock.com


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W

hile there are many classifications of students based on personality traits, one of the most popular tools used is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This theory and test can be used to understand behaviour, including those that are commonly experienced during the learning process. The MBTI includes 16 different personality types that are the result of various combinations of four different dimensions. The first dimension, and the one we will cover in this article, is the ‘Extrovert or Introvert’ preference. This definition doesn’t work in the same way we perceive social functioning, but rather it’s a way of understanding how we gain energy from both the outside world (extrovert) and internally (introvert). When we apply the first dimension of the personality types to a classroom environment, we see that the extrovert students tend to verbalise their thoughts more, assert themselves, and tend to want more interaction during the learning process. Motivation comes from having the space to do this in the learning environment. The student with an introvert preference tends to listen more, wants time to work out things on their own, and share once they are ready. To push an introvert student to respond before they are ready could create a stressful response, even if they know the answer.

Dragon Images/shutterstock.com

Students with an extrovert preference may learn better with a teacher who adopts a teaching style that involves more verbal engagement, whilst a student with an introvert preference may learn better when their teacher allows timor them to work on concepts internally first.

Inga Rehbein, the Head of Primary School at German International School Dubai says that the ability to concentrate for longer periods of time needs training. “Using concentration games like Memory or traditional board games helps children to learn playfully while focusing on one activity for a long period of time.”

To encourage improved concentration for extrovert and introvert students, I use the SEED model – Sleep, Engage, Exercise, Diet.  Sleep: This is a very common but overlooked barrier to learning. It’s also one of the easiest to change. A lack of sleep contributes to mood and cognitive disruptions and in severe cases can be very dangerous.  Engage: Unless students are engaged in what they are learning they will not be able to learn, even if they are motivated to. Interest can be piqued through stories, interaction, new information, and appropriate praise.  Exercise: A lack of movement is contributing to an epidemic of obesity in young children, but it is also inhibiting new neural connections. A minimum of one hour a day, regardless of age, is a good guideline to follow, but what’s more important is to keep active, move around, and avoid sitting in one place for longer than 45 minutes for younger children and one hour for older children.  Diet: Food fuels our brain and the quality of food is a key to food mind body functioning. My favorite food rules are whole food and plant based - follow this rule 85% of the time.



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MemoryMan/shutterstock.com

FLYING WITH BABIES AND TODDLERS UNDERSTANDING AND MEETING INFANTS’ NEEDS DURING LONG FLIGHTS CAN BECOME PERPLEXING UNLESS PARENTS BRING THE RIGHT TRAVEL ITEMS WITH THEM. WE THEREFORE HIGHLY RECOMMEND PARENTS WRITE DOWN A PACKING LIST AHEAD OF THEIR JOURNEY. MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: Long-haul flights can be particularly difficult and tiring for children. To pass the time, I personally enjoy entertaining children by telling them fairytales stories and doing drawings together. These are fun, while also encouraging creativity, skills, and fine motor development.

Spare pacifiers Toddler and teething toys Personal sheet or blanket Preferred on-the-go snacks

Aleksandra Saska Nikolic is a flight attendant and ‘flying nanny’ at Etihad Airways. Part of her job role entails ensuring parents experience a pleasant flight travelling with children.

TRAVEL TIP:

Try to book a night flight. You may find they sleep through the whole flight.

All-purpose hygienic wipes and nasal aspirator/decongestant Goody bag of games, arts and crafts


72 72 Bon Voyage | Travel Far

Alexey Malashkevich/shutterstock.com


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SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY One of the most fascinating countries in the world, with a multicultural society and a diverse landscape, visitors to the USA have a different experience in each of the many cities, not least in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, with internationally-famous icons such as the Empire State Building, Wrigley Field, and Disneyland.

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TRAVEL TIP: Pre-clear US Immigration in Abu Dhabi and arrive relaxed The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Terminal 3 in Abu Dhabi Airport is a purpose-built facility that allows US bound passengers to process all immigration and customs inspections before they depart. On landing, they will be treated as a domestic passenger and can start their trip immediately.


74 Bon Voyage | Travel Far

NEW YORK New York, also known as the ‘Big Apple’, offers infinite things to do and places to see. New York remains a city of neighborhoods, from avant-garde Greenwich Village to bustling Harlem and onto Little Italy and Chinatown.

Tip: No trip to New York is complete without

INFORMATION

going to Broadway. Check your local listings

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to John F Kennedy Airport (JFK) Duration: 14 hours and 25 minutes Direct Flight Economy Class

WHAT TO DO

WHERE TO STAY

Central Park Built over 150 years ago, visitors have flocked to Central Park’s 843 green acres in the heart of Manhattan for the complete New York experience. Price: Free Suggested time: 3 hours Tip: Take a map with you so you don’t get lost!

Park Lane Hotel A deluxe hotel, providing views over Central Park and the New York skyline, it is only two minutes’ walk from the elegant shops on 5th Avenue and the underground station. Price: AED899 per night for an Executive Room

Gulliver’s Gate, Times Square Leave the land of the large and experience an interactive miniature world, inspired by the places we live, work, play, and dream about. Price: from AED92 Suggested time: 1-2 hours

ahead of time to catch the latest musicals.

RECOMMENDED TOUR

Package for three nights (including flights and accommodation) Price: AED6,799 per person for an Executive Room

The New York EDITION Centrally located on 24th Street and Madison Avenue, The New York EDITION sits directly across from iconic Madison Square Park, with each of the rooms and suites featuring photography by Melvin Sokolsky. Price: AED2,599 per night for a Standard Room Package for three nights (including flight and accommodation) Price: AED7,999 per person for a Standard Room

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KEY: Number of people

Breakfast available

Multilingual staff

Family-friendly

Children’s activities

New York City All Around Town Hop-on Hop-off Tour Create your own sightseeing itinerary with this special tour offer; the ideal way to explore every corner of the ‘city that never sleeps’. Price: AED119 per person


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LOS ANGELES The ‘City of the Angels’ holds many distinctions, not least being the entertainment capital of the world, a cultural paradise boasting more than 100 museums, and idyllic weather. WHAT TO DO Universal Studios Hollywood Enjoy a full day of action-packed entertainment and rides. Don’t miss Los Angeles’ best shops and restaurants at City Walk. Price: from AED404 Suggested time: 3-6 hours Tip: Wear comfortable shoes.

INFORMATION Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Duration: 16 hours and 25 minutes Direct Flight Economy Class

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Disneyland Resort features two theme parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Come build memories with your family, for young and old, big and small, it’s the happiest place on earth! Price: from AED827 Suggested time: 6 hours Tip: Don’t spend all your time in one park!

WHERE TO STAY

RECOMMENDED TOUR

Positioned just off the Santa Ana Freeway for excellent links to many attractions, including Disneyland, this hotel in Anaheim, California, offers a variety of leisure activities and an on-site restaurant. Price: AED499 per night for the Double Room

SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills Enjoy a luxurious and elegant hospitality experience in the heart of Beverly Hills, with this luxury hotel being just a 15-minute drive from downtown Hollywood. It also features a rooftop pool. Price: AED1,299 per night for a Superior Room

Package for three nights (including flight and accommodation) Price: AED5,999 per person for the Double Room

Package for three nights (including flight and accommodation) Price: AED7,499 per person for a Superior Room

Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort

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Los Angeles Afternoon Sightseeing Tour with Hollywood Sign and Star Homes See the highlights of Los Angeles on this 3.5-hour sightseeing trip, taking in everything from Rodeo Drive through to TCL Chinese Theatre. Price: AED279 per person

Fun Foods to Try Only in US:  Street food Hotdog  Sloppy Joe’s  Cronut (CroissantDoughnut pastry)  Funnel Cake  Churros


76 Bon Voyage | Travel Far

CHICAGO Possibly the finest blend of high-brow and low-brow culture in the US, Chicago has some of the world’s best museums, libraries, restaurants, urban parks, and historical sites. It’s famous for its architecture and music, and for sports fans is home to major franchises.

RECOMMENDED TOUR

WHAT TO DO

WHERE TO STAY

Field Museum of Natural History One of America’s premier natural history museums, the Field’s ‘Live over Time’ exhibition now houses ‘Sue’, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered. Price: from AED89 Suggested time: 4 hours

Fairmont Chicago at Millennium Park Overlooking Grant and Millennium Parks, the Fairmont Chicago features 687 guest rooms, including 65 suites, and features mySpa, an 11,000ft2 urban sanctuary, with eight treatment rooms and a fitness studio. Price: AED999 per night for the Fairmont Room

Lincoln Park Zoo Established in 1868, this 35-acre, beautifully landscaped zoo is one of America’s last free-admission zoos, with Great Ape House having one of the best assemblages of gorillas and chimpanzees in the world. Price: Free Suggested time: 2-3 hours

Package for three nights (including flight and accommodation) Price: AED6,599 per person for the Fairmont Room

Park Hyatt Chicago Located along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, this luxury hotel is across the street from the historic Water Tower and features a world-renowned spa and restaurant, plus an indoor lap pool and fitness centre. Price: AED1,159 per night for a King City View Room Package for three nights (including flight and accommodation) Price: AED7,399 per person for a King City View Room

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2

KEY: Number of people

Breakfast available

Multilingual staff

INFORMATION Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to O’Hare International Airport (ORD) Duration: 15 hours and 10 minutes Direct Flight Economy Class

Family-friendly

Children’s activities

Chicago Architectural River Cruise Cruise along the Chicago River on a 75-minute tour and discover architectural gems among the city’s renowned landmarks, taking in over 40 structures. Price: AED199 per person


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A THRILLING BLEND OF OLD ARABIA AND THE MODERN WORLD The Sultanate of Oman is a small country, yet extraordinary sights fill just about every corner of its cities, towns, and villages. Its natural beauty, fascinating architecture, distinctive culture, and quiet stretches of coast with swaying palm trees and traditional fishing boats make Oman a fantastic destination for all.

Brought to you by:


78 Travel Near

MUSCAT

INFORMATION Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to Muscat Airport (ACT) Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes Direct Flight Economy Class

The capital of the Oman, Muscat, is an eclectic mix of contemporary and old world charm. Its name means ‘safe anchorage’, and the sea plays an important role in city life, sustaining the fishing industry and providing opportunities for visitors to swim from sandy beaches or dive with turtles in nearby lagoons.

WHAT TO DO

WHERE TO STAY

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque This glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture features a main prayer hall that is breathtakingly beautiful, with the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world. Price: Free Suggested time: 1-2 hours

Holiday Inn Muscat Al Seeb Set amidst a picturesque landscape, Holiday Inn Muscat Al Seeb exudes serenity, comfort, and convenience, with 185 attractive rooms, suites, and apartments. Price: AED349 per night for a Standard Room

Mutrah Souq Many people come to Mutrah Corniche just to visit the souq, which retains the chaotic appeal of a traditional Arab market, albeit housed under modern timber roofing. Price: Free Suggested time: 2-3 hours

RECOMMENDED TOUR

Package for three nights (including flight and accommodation) Price: AED1,649 per person for a Standard Room

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa Consisting of two hotels, Al Bandar and Al Waha, the resort has rugged mountains and the Arabian Gulf as its backdrop. Price: AED619 per night for a Waha Superior Room Package for three nights (including flight and accommodation) Price: AED2,199 per person for a Waha Superior Room

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KEY: Number of people

Breakfast available

Multilingual staff

Family-friendly

Children’s activities

The North &Nakhl Half Day Tour from Muscat Nakhl Fort is one of North Oman’s most impressive landmarks, where it is also possible to visit the nearby Al Thowarah hot springs. Price: AED139 per person


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SALALAH Salalah, the capital of the Dhofar region, is known for its ancient history, archeological remains, frankincense trees, and beautiful beaches. It is a sub-tropical city and is one of only two places on the Arabic peninsula that experiences a monsoon season. WHAT TO DO

WHERE TO STAY

Ayn Athum Waterfalls A limestone waterfall slides down a cliff, forming stalactites and filtering through maidenhair ferns, segmented cacti, and various creepers. The waterfall only occurs after heavy rains, but it’s a magical spot. Price: Free Suggested time: 3 hours Tip: Pack a lot of healthy trail mix snacks!

Juweira Boutique Hotel Nestled on the picturesque marina promenade of Salalah Beach and facing the Indian Ocean, Juweira Boutique Hotel offers 8km of white sandy beaches. Price: AED499 per night for a Juweira Room

Hiking to Al Marneef Cave Between the white sandy beach, the magnificent mountains, and the Al Marneef Blowholes, Al Marneef Cave, known as sea caves, is the perfect escape for all nature lovers. Price: Free Suggested time: 2-3 hours

Package for three nights (including flight and accommodation) Price: AED1,669 per person for a Juweira Room

Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara A beachfront oasis and the first luxury villa resort in Salalah, the resort is opulently designed to reflect the Middle Eastern fortresses. Price: AED1,019 per night for a Deluxe Garden View Room Package for three nights (including flight and accommodation) Price: AED2,659 per person for a Deluxe Garden View Room

INFORMATION Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to Salalah International Airport (SLL) Duration: 1 hour and 55 minutes Direct Flight Economy Class

RECOMMENDED TOUR Wadi Darbat – Full Day Tour Visit one of Oman’s most beautiful ‘wadi’ river gorges, with its lake, waterfalls and caves, plus the Dhofari houses and castle at Taqah.. Price: AED439 per person

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Tel: +971 2 599 0700 www.etihadholidays.com Facebook: @etihad.airways

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Instagram: @etihadairways Twitter: @EtihadAirways YouTube: Etihad Airways

TERMS & CONDITIONS Prices are starting prices, including applicable taxes, and fuel surcharges. Packages include return Economy Class flights with Etihad Airways departing from Abu Dhabi, priced per person sharing a twin room. Book from 30 June - 31 August 2019. Travel to Muscat and the USA Destinations from 30 June – 30 September 2019 and travel to Salalah from 02 July – 31 August 2019. Terms and conditions apply including high season surcharges, restrictions on offers during special events travel period. Airport transfers are not included unless otherwise stated. Hotels are based on “Room Only” basis unless otherwise mentioned. Conditions apply.


80 80 Health and Nutrition | What's Good For Me

FITTER, HEALTHIER, HAPPIER The summer months are a time to get a little rest and relaxation, maybe even indulge a little. However, this does not mean that your health and fitness have to fall by the wayside.

People need to pay special attention to the three ‘Hs’ during the summer: heat, humidity, and hydration. If you are able to balance these, you’ll be able to continue your fitness journey in a fun, effective, and safe manner. Family walks after sunset are one way to keep on the move, but the focus needs to be on brisk walking as opposed to a casual stroll! Yoga first thing in the morning is a good way to start the day as a family, too. Just 15 minutes of non-stop ‘Sun Salutations’ is enough to get endorphins flowing through the body. Another way to stay fit is to go swimming in your apartment building or community swimming pool; this is also a great activity for those nursing injuries.

Rohit Verma is a fitness coach at Orange Theory in Dubai, a certified Ironman coach, a seven-time Ironman 70.3 kilometre finish, and a one-time Ironman 140.6 kilometre finish.

And there’s no dearth of exercise movements for those who are short on time. Just before getting into the shower, do three sets of 20 squats, lunges (10 each leg), crunches (with or without weights; weights mean books), or even push-ups. For desk-based professionals, there are certain ergonomic movements, such as shoulder rotations and pelvic tilts. Meanwhile, classic breathing exercises like pranayama, which can be done while driving or even sitting at one’s desk, are a good way to detoxify and relax the body.

Air Images/shutterstock.com

TIPS TO CONSIDER:  Avoid any outdoor activity between 10am and 3pm.  Drink at least 1.5 litres of water when you’re not active.  Stock up on electrolytes to ensure that you are constantly replacing lost minerals and vitamins.


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EAT THE BEST, LEAVE THE REST As a diabetic and someone who is constantly striving to stay fit, it was challenging to find tasty non-commercial or processed, yet healthy, snacks. Then I discovered Fox Nuts! In fact, I was so taken by them that I quickly decided to introduce healthy snacking into our ‘Pop & Hop’ range. Fox Nuts, also commonly known as makhanas or lotus seeds, have been used in Chinese medicine for around 3,000 years, as well as having an important place in the science of Ayurveda. Naturally, therefore, they have numerous benefits, including:  Low in calories, fat, and sodium, and so the perfect in-between-meal snack  Low sodium and high potassium and magnesium content, making them useful for people with high blood pressure  The high calcium content is good for bone and teeth health  Sugar content is low, so they are useful for diabetics who need to eat at short intervals  Rich in fibre, so they can be used in weight loss programmes, as well as for digestion problems like constipation  Rich in antioxidants, Fox Nuts are useful in fighting ageing and chronic inflammation and stress Social media @popnhopdxb

 In both men and women, Fox Nuts are believed to improve fertility rates  Fox Nuts are thought to help with insomnia  They have been known to improve anaemia, acid reflux, and arthritis There are currently four delicious flavours of Pop n’ Hop: Mint Mischief, a blend of pure mint leaves and other spices; Peri Peri, a delicious blend of salt and spices from the fiery little African Bird’s Eye Chilli; Salted Caramel, the perfect blend of sweet and salty; and Salt and Pepper, with a blend of peppercorns, including a premium white pepper, to lend a slightly sweeter note. Currently available in Circle K, 7 Eleven, and All Day Fresh, Pop & Hop can also be ordered online at www.mumzworld.com

Tamanna Moolchandani, the CEO of Pop & Hop, lets us onto the ‘secrets’ of Fox Nuts, their many benefits, and what flavours are available to tempt us.


82 Health and Nutrition | What's Good For Me?

NOT SO YUMMY FOR YOUR TUMMY With more and more people realizing that there are certain foods that just don’t suit their stomachs, the phrases gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan are something we are hearing frequently. What does it mean to have ‘food intolerance’? Dr Shefali Verma sheds some light for us.

“What people call food intolerance is really food sensitivity, and there are three possible types,” says Dr Verma.

Dr Shefali Verma is a General Practitioner at the Institute for Biophysical Medicine in Dubai, where she is also a Partner and Medical Director. In 2010, she became a Functional Medicine Specialist in Dubai Healthcare City.

“First, there are food allergies, which present themselves immediately after ingesting foods such as peanuts. This can be a medical emergency. These people might have to carry an epipen in case they come into contact with the offending food, perhaps, in some instances, not even due to direct ingestion, but through cross-contamination. “Food intolerances are actually when one doesn’t have the enzymes to break down part of the item. For example, lactose intolerance is when you don’t have the enzyme lactase that

breaks down the sugar molecule lactose. If you consume the enzyme, symptoms may decrease. “Sensitivities are delayed reactions (from five minutes to 72 hours). These reactions are when the immune system reacts to the protein element of the food item. They are not life threatening and can change over time.” The symptoms associated with food sensitivity can vary in severity and are thought to affect many areas, including, digestion, skin, energy levels, respiration, the joints, and even psychological health. And as Dr Verma says: “Anyone can develop food sensitivity.”


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LEAKY GUT SYNDROME “Sensitivities are generally caused when the lining of the digestive system is somewhat breached. Stress, chronic use of antibiotics, use of non-steroidal anti inflammatories, and drinking lots of alcohol are just some of the causes of ‘leaky gut’ syndrome,” says Dr Verma. “When these food particles pass through this breach into the bloodstream, the immune system tries to fight it and an antibody (immune cell) is created against this food item. These antibodies have a memory and when you ingest this item the immune cells create a response and inflammation, and therefore sensitivity. “There are a few tests out there that test sensitivities. I have been using imupro300 (IgG delayed antibodies against 269 foods) for my patients for the last nine years. There are also panels against allergies, looking at IgE (immediate antibody response). CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR “Time is one healer - avoiding the sensitivity for a certain amount of time to allow the immune system to almost ‘forget’ this reaction, helps. We are designed to rotate our food, not eat the same food everyday. Think about foods eaten during different seasons. Rotation is important. Also, getting rid of the cause of the ‘leaky gut’ is also important, as it takes away the trigger. If the ‘leaky gut’ is bad then healing of the lining becomes a priority,” concludes Dr Verma. If you think your child may have food sensitivity, check with your doctor or a dietitian before eliminating foods from their diet, as a restricted diet could affect their growth and development. maxim ibragimov/shutterstock.com


84 Health and Nutrition | Myth Or Truth

EYE KNOW From as far back as many of us can remember, we are told that carrots improve our eyesight. However, as we grow up, we start to question whether this is true. Dr Tariq Al-Rawashdeh, a consultant ophthalmologist and vitreo-retinal surgeon at Samaya, clears this question up once and for all, alongside other common puzzles and misunderstandings regarding our eyes. Nopphadon Prangthong/shutterstock.com


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The old tale about raw carrots improving eyesight is not strictly true. From as far back as many of us can remember, we are told that carrots improve our eyesight. However, as we grow up, we start to question whether this is true. Dr Tariq Al-Rawashdeh, a consultant ophthalmologist and vitreo-retinal surgeon at Samaya, clears this question up once and for all, alongside other common puzzles and misunderstandings regarding our eyes. In our practice we see a lot of confusion, especially regarding glasses. One problem we see frequently is parents coming in and complaining that their child is blinking a lot. After a checkup we find it is because of dryness. This is directly related to something new that has appeared in our lives since 2010 - technology in the form of smartphones, iPads, and tablets. These kids don’t need glasses. They need to get rid of their devices. Dryness has always been an age-related issue, on the skin, mouth, throat, nose, until today. Now we also see it in children’s eyes.

Dr Tariq Al-Rawashdeh is a Consultant Ophthalmology and Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Samaya Specialized Center in Abu Dhabi, having received his license from the European Board and German Board (Facharzt). He has worked in gulf countries for the last seven years.

Another problem is air-conditioning, which increases the speed of air inside a room. In a normal atmosphere, the air inside a room moves naturally. Let me give you an example. When you hang a wet shirt out and you place a fan in the same room, because the fan speeds up the air movement in the room the shirt becomes dry quickly. So if I am a child sitting in a room with airconditioning, and the speed of the air is too high, and I’m focused on something so not blinking as much - this will cause severe dryness to my eyes. Dryness exposes the eye to infections. The cells from the immune system in the tear itself are protecting the eye from infections. When the eye is dry, and tears are not there to protect, the eye can easily catch an infection, like bacteria conjunctivitis. When we focus on any object, we try to reduce our blinking. In normal life, we blink around 15-20 times a minute. In a recent study, people who work with computers and devices frequently were monitored Researchers discovered that the amount of blinking reduced from 15 and 16 times per minute, to 3 times per minute.

karelnoppe/shutterstock.com

And as regards raw carrots, sorry, but the old tale about them improving eyesight is not strictly true. Yes, Vitamin A is the main food for the retina and carrots are the best source for this amongst fruit and vegetables, but in their raw form they do little good. The majority of parents give children raw carrots to eat as snacks, and they are not going to get anything from them. It is better to eat carrots with food, because all foods have some fat inside them. When they eat it with food, they will receive a high concentration of Vitamin A. If you eat carrots without cooking them in oil, your body will not absorb the Vitamin A. It is a fatsoluble vitamin, so it has to be cooked in oil or the body will not recognise it. The oil is not bad for children for two reasons: to cook the carrot, only a small amount of oil is used, plus most youngsters do not suffer from high cholesterol or other oil-related issues. Cooked carrot is therefore much more beneficial and healthy for kids than non-cooked carrot.


86 Health and Nutrition | What's Cooking?

WELCOME TO THE SNACK SOCIETY KITCHEN Kamilla Omarzay describes her relationship with food quite simply.

“I am and have always been a lover of all kinds of delicious food, for most of my adult life, even though I have suffered from all sorts of digestive problems, including bloating, heartburn, and stomach cramps. In May 2015 I was diagnosed with a long list of foods I am intolerant to, including wheat, dairy, and sugar. It was obviously very challenging to suddenly have to bring about a complete change in my diet.”

Contact www.thesnacksociety.com +971 6 515 1000 Social media @thesnacksociety @thesnacksociety @TheSnackSociety

However, fate leant a hand when, trawling through Facebook, Kamilla came across a recipe for delicious-looking coconut, date, and almond balls made with all natural ingredients. They were a revelation! This started Kamilla along a new path, as she explains: “The more I experimented with different ingredients and free-from recipes, the more I continued to be amazed that for every naughty food craving, there is a natural, goodfor-you answer. “Then, in January 2016, I was ready to share the good news: eating clean does not mean missing out on the best things in life. This is when The Snack Society was born. “All our recipes are free from gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, additives, and preservatives. We use coconut, buckwheat, tapioca, arrowroot, almond, and oat as flour substitutes; maple syrup, honey, dates, date syrup, and coconut sugar in place of refined sugar, and coconut oil instead of butter, margarine, and other oils.”

The Snack Society launched its first range of products at the end of January 2019, featuring a selection of Energy Balls in five different flavours – Almond & Cacao, Hazelnut & Cacao, Pistachio & Date, Cashew & Raisin, and Peanut Butter & Oats. Better still, this entire range can be ordered online on www.thesnacksociety.com and delivered all over the UAE. Moreover, they will soon be available in retail stores too! No wonder Kamilla has picked up the titles of Visionary of the Year’ at the Women of the Year Awards 2018; ‘Social Media Rising Star’ at the Social Media Awards 2017 hosted by Stylist Magazine; and ‘Best Content Award’ at the Influencer Awards 2019 hosted by Cosmopolitan Middle East. What’s more, she has been kind enough to provide recipes for two quick, easy, yummy, healthier and not to mention popular snacks, just for the readers of Education UAE!


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METHOD

SNICKERS BITES

In a food processor, mix the dates, cacao powder, coconut oil, coconut cream, peanut butter, and vanilla powder until the mixture becomes creamy and smooth. Add the peanuts and pulse a few times so that the peanuts remain chunky.

INGREDIENTS FOR BASE 1 1/2 cup firmly packed dates 3 tbsp peanut butter 4 tbsp coconut oil 1 tsp vanilla powder 1 heaped tbsp cacao powder 1/2 cup coconut cream 2 1/2 cups roasted peanuts

Line a baking tray (I use a 21 x 21cm) with baking paper; put the mixture in the tray and even it out with the back of a spoon. Freeze the mixture for about 2-3 hours. While the mixture is in the freezer, start making the chocolate layer by mixing all the ingredients well with a whisk, until a smooth chocolaty topping forms.

INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE LAYER 1/2 cup cacao powder 1/4 cup honey 3 tbsp coconut oil 2 tbsp water

Spread the chocolate on top of your mixture and top with crushed nuts.

INGREDIENT FOR TOPPING

Leave the Snickers tray in the freezer for a further hour so that the chocolate sets.

Crushed peanuts to sprinkle

METHOD Start by melting a bar of good quality dark chocolate (I use Whittaker’s Dark Ghana).

PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE CUPS INGREDIENTS FOR PEANUT BUTTER LAYER 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter 4-5 tbsp coconut flour 3 tbsp maple syrup Pinch of salt INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHOCOLATE Good quality dark chocolate bar

Then, begin mixing all the ingredients for the peanut layer in a separate bowl. Mix until a doughlike consistency forms. Line a muffin tray with 6-7 medium size cupcake paper liners and pour 2 tbsp melted chocolate in each cup. Once completed, place the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes. Make 6-7 small sized balls with the peanut mixture. Place each ball on top of the chocolate cups and spread evenly with your fingers to achieve a smooth surface. Then pour the rest of the melted chocolate over the peanut butter and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. When you are ready to serve, keep the peanut butter cups at room temperature for five minutes and voila!


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It’s a Monster Party Launching with a scarily good package, Novo Cinemas announces its new ‘Novo Kidz’ experience with the ultimate birthday party for little ones. CINEMA

Contact festival@novocinemas.com www.novocinemas.com +971 4 232 8328 Location Dubai Festival City Mall Social media @novocinemas @novocinemas

The ‘Friendly Monsters’ themed party features a movie screening in a specially made monster seat for all little people aged three and over. With a choice of pizza, veggie burgers, chicken nuggets, and French fries, accompanied by juice or soda, kids can enjoy music and games in the party room, all before blowing out the candles on the birthday cake! The movies themselves are genuine blockbusters, with future features including Spider Man: Far from Home, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, and The Lion King. With packages starting from AED99 per child, each party host gets free invitations to invite guests too, with add-on treats like ice cream, chocolate, balloons, and adult platters also available.

Package 1  Burger (Chicken/Beef)  French fries  Chicken nuggets  Juice/Soda  Small kids popcorn (any flavor)

Package 2     

Small pizza French fries Chicken popcorn Juice/Soda Small kids popcorn (any flavor)

Package 3     

Veggie burger French fries 2 veggie samosas Juice/Soda Small kids popcorn (any flavor)

Terms and Conditions 1. Kids must be 3 years and above. 2. Minimum 10 kids to max 25 to avail the package for 60 mins. 3. All F&B will be served in All Star Surprise boxes. 4. Booking needs to be done a week in advance. 5. Parents can bring their own birthday cake. 6. Apart from the cake, all other F&B offerings to be catered by Novo Kidz.


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TM

SUMMER RELEASES!

ANNABELLE COMES HOME Horror | Thriller Release date: 27 June Cast: Madison Iseman, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga Synopsis: Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren lock the possessed doll in the artefacts room in their house. But when the doll awakens the room’s evil spirits, it soon becomes an unholy night of terror for the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, her friends and their young baby sitter.

MY SPY Action | Comedy Release date: 11 July Cast: Dave Bautista, Ken Jeong Synopsis: A hardened CIA operative finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-yearold girl, having been sent undercover to spy on her family.

*Movie release dates are subject to change.

ARTICLE 15 Hindi | Crime | Drama | Thriller Release date: 28 June Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of Badaun gangrape and murder case (2014), Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15 is a thrilling investigative drama based on true events.

THE LION KING Animation, Adventure, Drama Release date: 17 July Cast: Seth Rogen, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor Synopsis: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME Action | Comedy | Adventure Release date: 4 July Cast: Cobie Smulders, Tom Holland, Zendaya Synopsis: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

FAST & THE FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW Action | Adventure | Thriller Release date: 1 August Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Kirby, Eiza González Synopsis: Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cybergenetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD Adventure | Family Release date: 15 August Cast: Isabela Moner, Eva Longoria, Temuera Morrison Synopsis: Dora, a teenage explorer, leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold.



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