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E D U C AT I ON E M I R AT E S

EDUCATION Emirates

ISSUE ONE

IB VERSUS A-LEVEL?

The choice is yours

BRIGHT START

Brighton College comes to Dubai

IS SUE ONE 2017

‘MY VISION FOR OUR SCHOOLS’

YALLA!

Dr Abdulla Al Karam

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HAPPY DAYS

Let’s learn Arabic

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PREMIUM BRITISH EDUCATION A reputation for excellence stands behind every GEMS Wellington School GEMS WELLINGTON ACADEMY.indd 1

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INSPIRING FUTURE LEADERS THROUGH CREATIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING GEMS Wellington Academy - Al Khail (Dubai) is part of the successful, thriving and trusted GEMS Wellington group of schools. We offer the National Curriculum for England from FS1 to Year 11* adapted to the context of the United Arab Emirates and incorporating best practice from across the globe. Our students benefit from: » A fully inclusive school that accepts children of all abilities, focusing not on a child’s starting point but on what they can achieve » Digital technology embedded into the classroom to inspire creativity, collaborations, sharing and innovation » A forward thinking school that engages its students in their own learning » A setting that nurtures academic excellence in a creative and happy environment. Children are encouraged

to see mistakes as a necessary part of the learning process » Highly trained British teachers with a proven track record » A broad range of extra-curricular activities to cultivate social, emotional, artistic and physical competencies » An investment in infrastructure and innovative teaching methods which allows our students to become independent learners

ENROLLING NOW FS 1 TO YEAR 11* FOR 2017-18 *Year 11 opening 2017 subject to approval from KHDA

For more information please contact: +971 (0)4 512 9100 registrar_wek@gemsedu.com gemswellingtonacademy-alkhail.com

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ENROLLING NOW FS1 – YEAR 13

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National Curriculum for England for children from Early Years Foundation Stage to Year 13

For more information please contact: +971 4 278 9700 registrar_fps@gemsedu.com gemsfirstpointschool-dubai.com

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CONTENTS ISSUE ONE

E M I R AT E S E D U C AT ION

UP FR O NT

EDITOR

17 NEWS

Sophie Pender-Cudlip ž

What’s going on in the world of education

EDUC ATION A DV ERTISING M A NAGER

22 WORLD WIDE WONDER

Andy Mabbitt ž

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General KHDA on his vision for Dubai's education

27 GLOBAL LEARNING

The benefits of an international education, by Fiona McKenzie

29 FRINGE BENEFITS

GEMS is proposing a revolution in how to pay fees, by Eve Herbert

A DV ERTISING M A NAGER

Hayden Taylor ž

32

A RT DIR ECTOR

Phil Couzens ž

SENIOR DESIGNER

Pawel Kuba ž

DESIGNER S

Ekrem Yilmaz, Rebecca Noonan ž

J UNIO R

PRODUCTION M A NAGER

32 GET IT RIGHT

Chris Couchman ž

Choosing the best school for your child, by Sophie Oakes

FINA NCE DIR ECTOR

Alexandra Hvid ž

35 MAKING ITS MARK

PA TO THE DIR ECTOR S

Arcadia is a new kind of prep for Dubai, says Navin Valrani

36 YALLA!

Let's learn Arabic, says Thalia Suzuma

38 BRIGHT FUTURE

JESS is harnessing new technologies in the classroom, says head Mark S Steed

38

Kerry Hollingsworth ž

44

DIR ECTOR S

Greg Hughes, Alexandra Hunter ž PUBL ISHING DIR ECTOR

Sherif Shaltout

For advertising enquiries please call 020 7704 0588 or email: advertising@zest-media.com

SENIOR

ZEST MEDIA PUBLICATIONS LTD

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Brighton College is opening in Dubai in 2018. Emirates Education gets a sneak preview

44 VIEW FROM THE TOP

An interview with Jonathan Hughes D'Aeth, outgoing head of Repton, Dubai

48 IB VERSUS A-LEVEL?

Zest Media Publications Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media Publications Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters.All rights reserved.

ABSOLUTELY-EDUCATION.CO.UK

Which one to choose for your child, by Fiona McKenzie

E M I RATE S E D U C AT I ON

64 GO WEST

Advice on applying to US universities, by Peter Davos of Hale Education

ISSUE ONE

IB VERSUS A-LEVEL?

The choice is yours

Training Emiratis for employment, by Omaira Farooq Al Olama

‘MY VISION FOR OUR SCHOOLS’

Brighton College comes to Dubai

YALLA!

Dr Abdulla Al Karam

HAPPY DAYS

Z E ST.LON D ON

80 TRY DUBAI

Playing rugby in the UAE, by Apollo Perelini

Let’s learn Arabic

LEARNING IS FUN IN THE UAE

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F RO NT COV E R

L AST WORD

The cover depicts pupils at Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) in Dubai. www.jess.sch.ae

98 DR STEPHEN SPURR

Managing Director of Reddam House Europe

2017

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BRIGHT START

I S S U E O NE 2017

S CHOOL’S OUT

78 WORK FORCE

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CATHOLIC BENEDICTINE 11 – 18 CO-EDUCATIONAL SCHOOL IN THE HEART OF SUSSEX

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 Education with heart and soul  Academic ambition  Choice of IB and A Levels  Friendly community

 Excellent pastoral care  Lively weekend programme for boarders  Beautiful countryside location  Less than 15 minutes from Gatwick Airport

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We l c o m e

From the

EDITOR

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ducation is a hot topic among parents, particularly for those living away from their home country. With four children to think about, it’s certainly given my husband and I the odd sleepless night. Are they in the right school, are they reaching their true potential, are they playing enough sport, drama and music? You name it, there’s always something to worry about. We are very fortunate living in the Middle East where there is a wealth of excellent schools to choose from. With the help of the KHDA, the educational standards are high and continue to rise. Indeed, we have so many good schools it can make deciding on the right one even harder. A starting point for some parents

behaviour. But as you tour the school, take a quick look behind the odd closed door and watch how the children interact with each other. What we don’t see when looking around a school is who else will be in our child’s year group. A happy peer group makes for happy schooldays. Yet in the Middle East, many of our lives are very transient so children come and go. This can be hard on BFFs (Best Friends Forever) who are parted, but an amazing opportunity for our children to have a global friendship group of different faiths and backgrounds. Be wary of the parental grapevine. It is useful for feedback on schools but it can be a bit alarmist, particularly if someone has had a bad experience. Remember: what works for one family may not work for another. At Emirates Education we want to help you make one of the biggest decisions of your lives. We will give you all the news and views from the

“A MIDDLE EAST EDUCATION IS AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR CHILDREN TO HAVE A GLOBAL FRIENDSHIP GROUP” is looking at the school’s results. This is something many head teachers advise against because year groups vary in ability. Lower results one year doesn’t necessarily indicate a deterioration but could be because one year's cohort is not as bright as another. Then comes the school tour or open morning where schools showcase their excellence in all areas. This gives an overview of schools at their most shiny – the grounds are manicured, classrooms immaculate and the pupils on best

top schools and educationalists in the region so that you can make an informed decision. And take note of these wise words from Dr Abdulla, Director General, KHDA, in his exclusive article for us on page 22. “Find a school where your child will be happy because it’s happiness that ultimately enables success.” I hope you enjoy this issue.

Sophie Pender- Cudlip EDITOR

2017

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• E M I R AT E S E D U C AT I O N ’ S •

CON T R IBU TOR S

Dr Abdulla Al Karam Director General, Knowledge and Human Development Authority

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and is responsible for a wide spectrum of education in Dubai’s private sector, spanning early learning, school, and higher education and training institutes. He talks about his vision for education and life in Dubai on page 22.

Fiona McKenzie

Director Middle East, Gabbitas Education

The best school? The one offering the most choice.

Fiona McKenzie has over 30 years’ experience in independent education across the UAE, UK and Australia. She moved to Dubai in 2010; two of her four children currently live and work in Dubai. She writes about IB v A level on page 48 and answers your education dilemmas on page 61. What superpower did you want as a child? I wished I could fly so I could see things from a bird’s eye view.

We are a highly successful co-educational school for 10 -18 year olds. Choose from the IB Diploma Programme or A-levels. We offer boarding and day places.

Omaira Farooq Al Olama Founder of Advanced Learning Formulas (ALF)

Call our Admissions team to join one of our open mornings or arrange a personalised visit

Omaira Farooq set up ALF in June 2011 and now trains young Emirati nationals, across all seven emirates. ALF also helps many organisations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to retain their nationals and further develop their skills. She writes about cohesive education on page 80. What superpower did you want as a child? To have horses around me who can save people.

01572 758758 admissions@oakham.rutland.sch.uk

www.oakham.rutland.sch.uk

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www.rafflesis.com

ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. IT IS ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE. • Unique combination of Montessori at Pre-School and an enriched Cambridge International curriculum leading to IGCSE and A-levels • Arabic A, Arabic B and Islamic Education Programme

• English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme • Competitive sports and performing arts programmes including: football, tennis, basketball, swimming, art, music and drama • International Faculty and Student Body

Admissions now open from Foundation Stage to Year 11. Al Baghla Street (formerly Street 20), Umm Suqeim 3, Dubai, UAE

OUR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

International Baccalaureate Programme

American Common Core and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

International Baccalaureate (PYP & DP), IGCSE and Cambridge Secondary (CS1)

Montessori and Early Years Foundation Stage Programmes

Early Years Foundation Stage Programme

For more information, please call 04 4271200/1261/1262 or email admissions@rafflesis.com

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HA N F OR D Independent boarding & day school for girls aged 7 to 13

• E M I R AT E S E D U C AT I O N ’ S •

CON T R IBU TOR S

“...if we had daughters we’d send them here” Tatler 2016

Cherishing childhood Sophie Oakes

Consultant, Gabbitas Middle East

Sophie Oakes specialises in early-years education and possesses a comprehensive knowledge of nursery and junior schools in Dubai and in the UK. She has two children who have been educated in the UK and Dubai. She writes about choosing the right school on page 32. What superpower did you want as a child? I would like to time travel into the past and future.

Valuing individuality

Apollo Perelini

Owner of Apollo Perelini Rugby Skills Academy

Apollo 'the Terminator' Perelini is a former Samoan international rugby player. He has lived and worked in Dubai since 2008, most recently as Director of Sport at Repton and High Performance Manager of UAE Rugby Federation. He writes about rugby on page 82. What superpower did you want as a child? To fly, so I could go anywhere I want, when I want.

Nurturing talent

Thalia Suzuma

Freelance writer, teacher and editor

Thalia Suzuma is a keen advocate of introducing children to the fun of languages at an early age and has been learning Arabic for four years. She writes about learning Arabic on page 36. What superpower did you want as a child? To be able to fly.

To arrange a visit please call Karen on 01258 860219 email admissions@hanford.dorset.sch.uk www.hanfordschool.co.uk

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09/02/2017 15:22


I WANT TO EXPAND MY INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

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THE HOME OF REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the capital’s largest and most influential property exhibition is back. Bringing together investors, developers, government officials and real estate professionals, there is no better place to find investment opportunities and new business partners. With hundreds of developments from Abu Dhabi and overseas being showcased, Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2017 is the home of real estate investment.

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We l c o m e

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very four weeks at KHDA, our usually busy and cheerful lobby becomes even busier and more cheerful, when the ‘KHDA Mums’ come in for their monthly catch-up. The mums come from different backgrounds, and their children attend schools of different curricula. They work with all the teams at KHDA, sharing their ideas and perspectives on projects and activities we’re doing, and leading on a few projects themselves. As well as adding happiness to KHDA, the mums ensure that our work as an education regulator adds value to their lives and their children’s lives. It is in this spirit that we welcome Emirates Education to Dubai. Emirates Education represents a new opportunity for us to talk and listen to you – the parents of Dubai – so that we can work together to give your children a happy education. We look forward to working with the team at Emirates Education to share content that you’ll find useful, interesting and thought-provoking.

“WE WELCOME EMIRATES EDUCATION. IT’S OUR OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO TALK AND LISTEN TO YOU, THE PARENTS OF DUBAI” Dr Abdulla A l K a ra m

Director General Knowledge & Human Development Authority

2017

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A BRITISH PREP SCHOOL IN THE HEART OF DUBAI. Foremarke School aims to produce happy, well rounded, well-grounded young people who possess a thirst for knowledge coupled with the unending pursuit of academic excellence. Admissions open for FS1 – Y6 (For pupils aged from 3-11 years)

INSPIRING EXCELLENCE. NURTURING RESPECT. P.O. Box 391984 Al Barsha South, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 818 8600 Email: info@foremarkedubai.org Web: www.foremarkedubai.org

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Up Front SCHOOL NEWS P . 18 KHDA FOCUS P . 22 GO GLOBAL P . 27

IN A WHIRL

Aldar's two new academies are in full swing this term. West Yas Academy, is the first in the Aldar network - and in Abu Dhabi - to teach the American Massachusetts State Curriculum. Al Mamoura Academy is the first to offer girls-only secondary education alongside a co-ed primary school, teaching the English Curriculum.

2017

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C e n t r e S t a ge Hartland International School, Dubai, has been selected by the Sylvia Young Theatre School as the venue for its Performing Arts Programme next month for young people aged 7-18. Hartland, located in Nad Al Sheba, has an impressive auditorium for student productions. The auditorium is a focal point for the school where children between Grade FS1 and Year 8 can participate in drama both as part of the academic curriculum and broader enrichment programme.

Q UA K E HELP DIS (Deira International School) tooks its largest ever group of students to Nepal to help underprivileged children. DIS has been taking groups to visit Nepal since 2008 and has established strong links with communities. The group took donated goods to deprived children and their families, many of whom have been severely affected by the 2015 earthquake. This time DIS visited some of the affected zones and donated clothing, shoes, toys and much needed needed school supplies.

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The Chinese New Year celebrations at Nord Anglia International School Dubai have become a great tradition at the school since its first year of opening, with the entire community celebrating together. Students participate in a variety of theatrical performances, dances, songs and activities to explore and experience Chinese culture. Mandarin is taught at NAS from EYFS through to the IB level. The Mandarin team uses a communicative and practical approach, blending the best teaching methodologies from China and the UK, with a focus on reading and writing characters from an early age.

At Victory Heights Primary School it’s not just the children that are growing. The school has many mature tomato plants, along with lemon grass, herbs and carrots, flourishing in its grounds. These support the classroom teaching, from learning about the parts of plants to discovering about the microhabitats they create. Pupils have also been investigating how they could turn the production of their first tomatoes into a business. The next step is to bring the gardening into the classroom, with vertical gardens and hydroponics systems that allow plants to grow without soil.

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Jebel Ali School staged their annual Health Day last month with all 990 students enjoying a day of collapsed timetable and a superb range of activities focusing on physical and mental health, first aid and nutrition. The day was organised by PE teacher, Shaz Hussey, with support from staff, volunteers and providers such as The Children's Medical Centre and Fitness First.

All 990 students had a day of fitness activities

Enter the Dragon

E M I R AT E S E D U C AT I O N

FIT FUN

Top Story

A L L A B OA R D Swiss International Scientific School (SISD) in Dubai now offers boarding for boys, with girls boarding following next year. The school has stateof-the-art boarding facilities with every room having Wi-Fi, air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms and a private study area. Boarding will be offered to pupils who live in the UAE and to international pupils who may wish to take advantage of either weekly or full boarding.

2017

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UPFRON T / NEWS

Top Story

S TA N F O R D STUDENT Science student, Pragya Chawla, a pupil from Cambridge High School in Abu Dhabi, has recently been granted a place at Stanford University in the US. With an acceptance rate of less than 5%, Stanford is one of the most selective and competitive universities in the world. Pragya was advised by Hale Education Group, the educational consultancy in the UAE who specialise in US university admissions.

A L E AG U E AHEAD Leading Youth Sports Academy, Elite Sports Academy, has joined the newly formed football league, the UAE FA. This will be the first time that private sports academies will play competitively against the UAE Professional Football clubs’ youth teams in a league setting. Richard Chapman, Director of Elite Sports Academy, said: “It’s a great opportunity to give the many talented expat players the opportunity to play at the highest level. In the past three years we have had several players return to their home countries to continue their footballing education at professional clubs and we can now offer them the same level of games here in the UAE.”

OPEN DOORS Kings’ School Al Barsha will be open to Sixth Form students from September 2017, offering a broad range of A-Level options. Sixth formers will also be able to do the Extended Project Qualification, Duke of Edinburgh Awards and work experience in Dubai businesses.

World Record

“From the perspective of a father, a single sex school may not be for every young woman – just for those who want to one day rule over the city, the state and the world”

GEMS set a world record for the largest transforming human image. 2,000 students donning the UAE flag colours from different GEMS schools in the UAE created an image of an open hand which transformed into the iconic three-fingered salute symbolising ‘Win’, ‘Victory’ and ‘Love’.

T O M H A N K S , Hollywood actor

SOMETHING THEY SAID “The thing about education is that it’s not one person that you are educating - it’s forever. An educated person will never allow their child to be illiterate.” S E E M A A Z I Z , businesswoman and founder of CARE schools in Pakistan

2017

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DUBAI COLLEGE A tradition of quality in education

An outstanding British Curriculum secondary school in the heart of the city Outstanding sporting and creative success for almost 40 years The leading Oxbridge, UK and US university admissions record in the UAE The best GCSE and A Level results of any school in the Middle East and Africa UAE Sports School of the Year 2015-16

Sporting

Philanthropic

Creative

Academic

Dubai College is a not-for-profit school Visit www.dubaicollege.org for further details emiratesCOLLEGE.indd DUBAI education advert.indd 1 1

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UPFRON T / NEWS

A Good Sport Andy Jones, Director of Sport at Dubai College, (pictured, above) is celebrating his 18th formidable year at the helm. Having established the Dubai Affiliated School Sports Association, otherwise known as the DASSA League, some 10 years ago, Jones has an unenviable mandate: create as much healthy competition and opportunity for school sport as possible within the emirate whilst ensuring that Dubai College continues to deserve its title as the Best Sports School in the UAE.

A p p H a p py

To p Pr i z e

If you are getting frustrated with putting cash in an envelope in your child’s bag for a school trip or book fair, then newly launched mobile app, Ludo, is just what you’ve been looking for. The Dubai-based app allows parents to sign up for any of their children’s school related activities and pay directly via credit card. Launched in October 2016 by parents Stuart Brock (below) and Edward De-Courcy Ireland, it aims to make the process of signing up for trips and paying for school activities much easier.

Dubai British School Jumeirah Park (DBSJP) was recently awarded the prestigious ‘UAE School of the Year Award 2016’ at the MBC Gala Dinner. The school’s principal, Heather Mann, said: “The award reflects the great trust that the school has earned from the parent body and the general community who have been part of our relentless drive for excellence.”

I T I S A TA L E … Year 6 pupils at Foremarke, recently performed Macbeth. Under the guidance of the Head of English, Deborah Bond, the abridged version of the Scottish Play was performed to parents and guests in the foyer of the prep school with unembellished props and scenery. These Year 6 pupils have learnt that the poetry and magic behind Shakespeare's words cannot fail to entertain, inspire and enrich their love for English. Bond uses quotes from Shakespeare as a hook for learning with even some of the youngest pupils in the school.

Top Story

FOOD FEST

EAHM students celebrating winning their project in 2016

The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management are hosting their first ever Food Festival on 9-11 March 2017. The celebration will bring along the best in food businesses, societies and organisations from around Dubai. Organised by the students themselves the festival will offer something for everyone of all ages, including live chef demos, quizzes, themed stalls, raffles, and cookery competitions.

New S ch o l a r s h i p s Ajman Academy is offering sixth form scholarships for students in the 2017-2018 academic year. Scholarships will be available to students that exhibit outstanding potential within their academic study, their sporting achievement or their contribution to the arts. Students will need to submit supporting material, to the academy’s Scholarship Committee.

SOMETHING THEY SAID

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to 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.” P L AT O , Philosopher

2017

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SEVEN WONDERS The Director General, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, talks about the vision for education and life in Dubai DR ABDULLA AL KARAM

THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD

THE MOST DIVERSE EDUCATION SECTOR IN THE WORLD

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orking in education, we have the fortune to see a lot of happiness and listen to many wonderful stories from parents, students and teachers. One story that has always stuck in my mind took place many years ago in the United States. A teacher asked her students to write down as many of the Seven Wonders of the World as they could. After a few minutes, they started volunteering their answers – the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza, and so on – except for one girl, who continued to write. The teacher thought she was struggling, so she asked the class to help her with ideas. “I was writing about different kinds of wonders,” the girl said. “Ok,” said the teacher, “can you read out what you’ve written so far?” The girl hesitated, then replied, “I can see, I can hear, I can smell, I can taste, I can feel, I can laugh and I can love.” This story has always stayed with me because I think it reminds us what is really important in education, and in life. At KHDA, we make it our mission to be curious, to take notice and to approach our work from a positive perspective, so that we can gain a more positive experience from it. And it is with this positive approach that we seek to improve teaching and learning in Dubai. 22

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HDA is responsible for the growth and quality of private school and university education in Dubai. Dubai’s private education sector is unique. Currently, 185 schools offer 17 different curricula to more than 265,000 students from 190 different nationalities. More than 90% of all school students in Dubai are enrolled in the private sector. When KHDA was established in 2007, we learned from international best practice, consulting with local educators and policy makers, and helped to switch the lights on to Dubai’s education sector. We put in place a number of tools and policies to increase transparency and quality of education. School inspections for example, have given us a shared language for talking about the quality of our schools. These inspections, together with collaborative sector-wide initiatives, have significantly improved the quality of education that Dubai’s schools offer.

WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATION?

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n the midst of establishing processes and policies, we remember not to lose track of the purpose of education. To help us focus on this purpose, we went back to the beginning. The original Latin definition of the word education is ‘educere’, meaning to ‘bring out from

within.’ This is an elegant description of our vision of education, and one which applies not only to students, but also to their parents, their teachers, and principals. Rather than concentrate on ‘putting in’ knowledge, ‘educere’ ensures that the creativity, love of learning and dreams that we all have within us are given every chance to be brought out. We think this is important for a number of reasons. ‘Bringing out from within’ enables students to build the skills they need to confidently navigate their careers, their relationships and lead happy, purposeful lives. And this is what we all want for ourselves, and for those we love.

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HAPPINESS FIRST

eceived wisdom has long said that success leads to happiness – that if we do well in school, go to a good university, get a good job, buy a nice house, marry the right person, we will consequently be happy. Yet recent research in psychology and neuroscience tells us this isn’t true: that it’s happiness that actually enables success, not the other way around. When we’re happy and positive, we are more motivated, engaged, energetic, creative, empathic and resilient. Not surprisingly, it is these attributes that have been identified as the ‘survival skills’ that students will need in their future. The World Economic Forum recently released a report which stated that by the time they are adults, 65 per cent of children entering school now will be working in jobs that don’t exist today. We’ve often heard that the rate of change in our world will never be as slow as it is now. Where does this put education? Many discussions about this topic say that education must keep up with change; some say it must anticipate change, while others claim that education must lead change instead. These discussions take place with the implicit fear that if no action is taken, education may be left behind by change. We think it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Rather than concentrate on education specifically, we direct our minds and hearts towards the beneficiaries of education – people. When we do this, the focus becomes not what students are taught, nor even how they are taught, but how they are

A B OV E

A young Dubai pupil RIGHT

Studying in the science lab

“Our vision for education, for Dubai, and for the world, is to have people who know how to be happy”

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THE HEART OF EDUCATION

A B OV E

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Pupils in the classroom

empowered to be happy, have peace of mind and live well in the world. The attributes, values and skills that will enable them to do this – creativity, confidence, resilience, tolerance, kindness, empathy – all have a home in positive education, which has heart at its heart.

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EDUCATING THE HEART

hough this may sound like a new idea, it’s not: more than 2300 years ago, the Greek philosopher Aristotle said “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Positive education is grounded in the belief that education of the heart is just as important as education of the mind; that wellbeing and happiness go hand-in-hand with academics, and we are happy to see it becoming part of the culture of many schools in Dubai.

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#100DAYSOFPOSITIVITY

ith the UAE Minister of Happiness, we recently worked on a project called 100 Days Of Positivity, designed to share the best examples of positive education being implemented by Dubai’s schools. During this campaign we visited a number of schools that have taken an active approach to positive education. These schools, though they differed in the curricula they offered, and in the communities they catered to, all had at least one thing in common – they took the

concept and the practice of positive education to heart. One school had a gratitude tree – students wrote what they were grateful for that day on a piece of paper, then hung it on the tree like a leaf. Another had a desert garden and farm, where students grew vegetables, looked after animals, and connected with nature (and got muddy in the process!). Yet another school introduced ‘pet therapy’, where students could cuddle puppies before an exam, to make them feel calmer and happier. Instead of being punished for misbehaving, teachers at some schools reminded students of all the good they had done in the past. Instead of writing to parents to tell them about their children’s bad behaviour, teachers regularly told them about the good their children had done. Children who failed tests were not considered failures. Grandparents regularly visited the school to read to children and spend time with them. Neuro-typical students cared for and felt responsibility towards the happiness and wellbeing of their classmates with special education needs. In assemblies, school rewarded not just the students who scored highest on tests, but those who had been kind to others.

We have helped switch on the lights to Dubai’s education sector

e loved seeing the smiles and happiness of children, parents and students during these visits. They not only bring us closer to the people we are serving, but they also remind us of our purpose and our responsibility to the young hearts of Dubai. Our vision for education, for Dubai, and for the world, is to have people who know how to be happy; who have the tools to pick themselves up when they fall; who have healthy and fulfilling relationships; who are kind and empathic; who understand the fragility and the power of their place in the world; who know what is within them; and who have the courage to bring it out. People who, when asked about the wonders of the world, can confidently say, ‘I can see, I can hear, I can smell, I can taste, I can feel, I can laugh and I can love.’

AT A GLANCE

K H DA C ON TAC T S www.khda.gov.ae Twitter: @KHDA Instagram: @KHDADubai Facebook: /KHDAOfficial KHDA app available on App Store & Google Play

T E AC H E R S OF DU B A I: Twitter: @TeachersOfDubai Instagram: @TeachersOfDubai Facebook: /TeachersOfDubai

2017

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09/02/2017 16:04


SSAT Education is a respected Education Consultancy working with schools across the Middle East SSAT is entrusted by both private and government schools in the Middle East to provide quality, pedagogically trained educators from around the world. SSAT Middle East is a British Company, with their recruitment department located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates is a safe, thriving and rapidly growing 21st Century Country.

GET IN TOUCH Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates PO Box 15703 Tel: +971 03 7640331 | Fax: +971 03 7640339 Web: www.ssat.me

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UPFRON T / OPINION

GO GLOBAL The top ten benefits of an international education FIONA MCKENZIE

01. A GLOBAL OUTLOOK

In an increasingly globalised world what better opportunity to understand and work with fellow students from many different countries and cultures?

02. CHOICE OF CURRICULA

International schools offer a much broader range of curriculum choices. In the UAE there are over 17 curriculums on offer, giving families a chance to make educational choices they may not have access to in their home countries.

03. GLOBALLY RECOGNISED QUALIFICATIONS

IGCSEs, A-Levels and the IB Diploma are offered by many international schools and results from all of these externally moderated exams are highly valued by universities and employers across the world.

04. OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT WORLDWIDE

With many international schools having over 100 nationalities in their pupil body, school is a great way of making friends who will be spread across the world in the years to come.

05. STATE-OF-THE ART FACILITIES

With so many new international schools being new builds, there is the opportunity to have the latest technology, and the most up-to date art, science and performing art facilities and classrooms that are ‘wired for sound’

06. CREATIVITY AND CONFIDENCE

Students in an international environment they have to learn to be flexible and adaptable. When they start at a new school, they quickly learn to make friends and gain confidence from each new environment.

“Many international schools have over 100 nationalities in their pupil body”

A B OV E

Pupils at Foremarke

07. TEACHING STAFF

The attraction of teaching abroad is bringing some highly talented and ambitious teachers into international education. They love working with children who want to learn.

08. A COMBINATION OF THE FAMILIAR AND THE UNKNOWN

For many families international schools offer a similar learning experience as their home country but in a very different environment, which can be a very enriching experience.

09. CHOICE

Far from being a one-size-fits-all education, in the international environment families have lots of choice between different schools. They can pick their location, select the best curriculum for their child and compare the different facilities on offer.

10. INDEPENDENT LEARNERS

Research shows that children who have been educated in an international environment have better soft skills such as

time management, critical analysis and are better independent learners. All of which gives international students the edge when it comes to the workplace. ABOUT GABBITAS EDUCATION CONSULTANTS MIDDLE EAST

Gabbitas Education Consultants Middle East are the global experts in education. We help parents, businesses and schools solve any challenge they may face in education. • Our experts have an in-depth understanding of the international and regional education landscape. We have unrivalled relationships within the education community, regularly visiting schools and engaging with teachers and the education community to ensure we are at the forefront of all developments within the sector. • We offer expert, unbiased advice to help guide our clients through the variations and complexities of education across the world. www.gabbitas.ae 2017

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DUBAI 21-24 MARCH 2017 DUBAI OPERA

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UPFRON T / FE ATUR E

Loyal Gem GEMS Education has introduced a Loyalty Programme for families EVE HERBERT

P

arents, teachers and their families at GEMS Education will soon be able to take advantage of a new Loyalty Programme offering lots of benefits from leading brands. Aligning themselves with the 'Year of Giving' initiative, GEMS has introduced a programme which partners with the region’s most sought-after brands. The programme will offer discounts and benefits across various segments including dining, healthcare, travel, retail and entertainment.

In an effort to strengthen and support its strong parent-teacher-student community, GEMS is creating a Rewards and Benefits Programme to parents and children which will offer cash savings and special offers to try and ease the financial burden on families. The rewards programme is also open to all GEMS employees and associates and is aligned with another key pillar of the National Agenda 2021 to have a happy workplace. The Loyalty Programme will ensure contribution towards happiness of employees within the GEMS network. The initiative will reach close to 300,000 people in the GEMS Network (48 GEMS

A B OV E L E F T

A teacher and pupils at GEMS First Point School A B OV E R I G H T

UIS pupils A B OV E

GEMS Wellington pupils

“Our mission is to put quality education within reach of every child” schools in the UAE, with 108,000 students, over 70,000 families and over 10,000 staff and their families). While brands have been keen to get involved, newly appointed Manav Fernandez, Senior Vice President of Customer Loyalty, said he was developing guidelines to determine which of them would be part of the scheme. However, he said the scheme was not part of wider plan to offer brands direct access to pupils and parents and that this isn’t a commercial venture of any sort. Dino Varkey, Managing Director of GEMS, says the educator’s mission is to put quality education within reach of every child. The loyalty programme in partnership with education is one way of helping families living in the UAE. “We recognise that there is a lot of pressure on families. We want to use the power of our network of schools and the community, to provide tangible benefits that will make a real difference for parents and families in the UAE, day in and day out. A long term aspiration is that this programme makes tuition ‘cost neutral’,” he said. 2017

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09/02/2017 16:09


PROUD TO BE AN INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE WORLD SCHOOL

ADMISSIONS OPEN FOR SEPTEMBER 2017-18 KG 1 – Grade 11*

SUSTAINING NATURAL CURIOSITY AND AMPLIFYING THE DESIRE TO LEARN For over 55 years, parents have placed their trust in GEMS schools. As passionate educators with a proven track record, we believe our International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum is the perfect choice for children with curious minds. GEMS International School – Al Khail (Dubai) is a through IB school committed to providing students with a high quality education. We offer a personalised approach to learning with a strong emphasis on developing mother tongue language, literacy as well as character and leadership skills. This is a place where families feel at home, no matter where they are from.

For more information: +971 4 339 6200 or SMS GIS to 3811 registrar_gis@gemsedu.com gemsinternationalschool-alkhail.com * Grade 11 opening is subject to final approval from KHDA.

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Junior

JUMEIRAH ENGLISH SPEAKING SCHOOL

SCHOOL CHOICES P . 32 LET'S LEARN ARABIC P . 36 CLASSROOM TECH P . 38

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MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE An early years expert gives her advice on one of the most difficult decisions facing parents S O P H I E OA K E S

C

hoosing a school for your child will be one of the most daunting, exciting and important decisions you will make. For some parents, this is the first time they have given any thought to a school since they were in one themselves and the education landscape has changed so much since then. In the UAE the opportunities are amazing but it can often appear overwhelming as there are so many different options. The UAE is the fastest growing education hub in the world with up to 20 new schools projected to open by September 2017. This is great news for parents but does mean they have a lot of work to do in finding the right school for their child. Your child can receive an excellent education here in the UAE. Many class schools have amazing facilities that easily outdo the amenities back in one’s home country. More often than not, the school has been purpose built with huge amounts of space and state-of-the-art facilities. Start thinking about your child’s education as early as possible and give time to do your research. There are over 500 32

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private schools in the UAE, offering over 17 different curricula. Many schools are owned by large companies and run as a business, such as the GEMS or Nord Anglia chains of school. These can also include the branded schools that are the offspring of a parent school in the UK such as Kent College (Dubai), Repton (Dubai) or Brighton College (Abu Dhabi). The alternative is the Not-forProfit schools, such as The British School Al Khubairat (Abu Dhabi) JESS, DESS and Jebel Ali (Dubai).

One of the most common queries is what age should one’s child start school. This is a pertinent question here in the UAE because many schools have opened their doors to children as young as three (FS1 or Pre KG). Entering school at such a young age is quite unusual and means that they might only have been in the cosy environment of a nursery for a year before being ushered into a school uniform and into a much larger setting of a school. It is important to remember that they will be learning and doing much the same thing whether they are at school or at nursery. However, some schools are very oversubscribed in the early years and it may be essential for your child to start at the age of three in order to get a guaranteed coveted place – competition for places at age four is fiercer. Make sure you don’t miss the registration deadlines. These can close as early as October before a September start the following year. Schools with very limited places are strict about the deadlines. Registration fees tend to be between 5001,000 AED and this is non-refundable, so be sure to have researched the schools in advance before parting with the cash. All schools will have some sort of admissions procedure and it is worth asking the school the details of this. If you are applying from abroad, your child might well be able to sit

2017

09/02/2017 16:15


JUNIOR / INSIDER PHOTOGRAPHY BY MILLIE PILKINGTON FOR PINEWOOD SCHOOL

A B OV E

A student at Pinewood in the UK LEFT

Young JESS pupils the assessment remotely. most important consideration One of the most important though, is whether you will decisions you will need to make be able to continue in the same is which curriculum you would like curriculum should you move back your child to follow. Almost all options to your home country or onto anywhere are available here in the UAE and this can else. Some curricula are more easily make your decision feel overwhelming. transferable than others. The British Curriculum is still the most Many people turn to the KHDA (Dubai) popular followed by the Indian and the US or ADEC (Abu Dhabi) and use their curricula. The International Baccalaureate rating system to help narrow down the (IB) has made great inroads into Dubai and school search. These are the government is offered at an early age. IB schools are bodies regulating the education system spread across Dubai and Abu Dhabi; some here in the UAE. Schools are rated from of these schools offer the IB curriculum Unsatisfactory to Outstanding. The ratings from start to finish, PYP to IBDP. The are important but should not be the sole reason to choose a school. Be warned, if your school is awarded Outstanding, it gives them a license to increase the school fees! School fees can vary wildly. The notfor-profit schools tend to be at the lower end of the scale while the newer, branded schools tend to be at the upper end. There is generally something for everyone but it

“Your child can receive an excellent education in the UAE”

is worth asking the school what their fee increase policy is. Obviously, the higher up the school you go the higher the fees. If you are moving to the UAE, it might be wise to pick the school first and then your home location. This will obviously have to fit into the school-home-work triangle but it might save you moving twice. The rumour mill can be extremely strong in the UAE and it is hard to make sure unverified claims don’t influence your decision. It is vital to visit the schools that you are considering yourself. Try not to be swayed by opinion: it is such a personal decision and the grass is not always greener. This is your choice and your child and let’s face it, every child is different.

S O P H I E OA K E S Education Consultant, Gabbitas 2017

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GLOBALLY RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS FROM THE BEST OF BRITISH Introducing a new generation of International GCSEs, AS and A-levels from the UK's largest provider of academic qualifications and Oxford University Press, a department of the University of Oxford. Our exams allow international students the opportunity to achieve solely on the basis of their subject knowledge and skills – not their literacy or cultural understanding.

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02/02/2017 11:22 09:43


JUNIOR / INSIDER

MAKING ITS MARK Why the new Arcadia Prep differs from other schools in Dubai N AV I N VA L R A N I

M

aking its mark in the UAE education sector, The Arcadia Preparatory School opened its gates for its first intake of pupils in

August last year. The school is based in Jumeirah Village Triangle and follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum for the Foundation Stage years and the new National Curriculum for England for primary years and is backed up by the UK’s Talk for Writing programme. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style. Schools that have adopted the approach have not only increased children’s progress but also found children and teachers love it.

Unique to Arcadia, all students in Years 1 to 6 will take part in the Enrichment Learning Programme (ELP) which is an all-inclusive, in-school programme that enhances and extends the curriculum to further enrich learning through activities such as coding and robotics. The ELP also includes in-school homework support at school freeing up precious time for families after school.

The school has signed up with UK-based ideas portal 7 Billion Ideas, to introduce the first ever entrepreneur-in-residence programme at a Dubai school. This helps teach elements of the PSHE, Citizenship and SMSC curriculum and unlock the entrepreneurial DNA in every child. Arcadia is attracting the attention of scores of parents seeking the best British-style education for their children. It also has a 100% teacher-focused approach with many-benefits for teachers including generous packages and high-quality accommodation. They will also benefit from ongoing professional development to keep skills up to date. The school is investing in groundbreaking technology and aims to be an Apple Distinguished School for its one-to-one Apple programme and will introduce a wide array of Google software to optimise learning. It also hopes to be the City’s first

“We have the first ever entrepreneurin-residence programme”

A B OV E school building to Arcadia pupils at work carry a US Green BELOW Building Council Arcadia pupils at play environment certification known as the LEED. There are play areas throughout the school, a five- a-side football field, an allyear-round learners’ pool, a multipurpose hall capable of hosting West End shows, art rooms and science labs, a ballet and yoga stdio and a robotics area with 3D Printer. Furthermore, all pupils enrolling in the 2016-17 academic year for any year are eligible for the school’s scholarship programme and will be refunded 30% of their tuition fees for every year they are enrolled at the school. The fund offers a saving of over AED160,000 for pupils enrolling in FS1 and continues through to year six. Arcadia is the first in a series of community-based schools delivering the vision of Mohan Valrani and the Al Shirawi Group. As school chairman,Valrani is an avid believer in providing the very best education for future generations.

NAVIN VALRANI CEO, Arcadia Schools 2017

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YALLA! LET’S LEARN ARABIC How to help children have fun learning Arabic THALIA SUZUMA

I

f your children are growing up in the UAE, they have the most fantastic opportunity to learn Arabic and perhaps even to return back to their home country completely bilingual. Having a secret language to impress their friends with or being able to chat to siblings without parents knowing what they are on about is simply a huge amount of fun. Later on, it becomes very useful: a painless, tear-free GCSE your child can do a few years early, extra pocket money tutoring whilst their friends are on minimum wage babysitting, perhaps a headstart at a university degree programme, and eventually a CV that stands out from the crowd. You will have heard all the claims: children are much better at picking up languages than adults, bilingual children are much more likely to acquire further languages in adulthood and with more ease, if children are exposed to foreign languages young enough they can speak it completely accent-free… Virtually all schools in the UAE, be they British, American or IB curriculum, have mandatory Arabic lessons – sometimes over five hours a week. Five hours is a decent amount of time, so why is it that

many parents are finding that even after several years, their children are not able to have a conversation in Arabic, watch Arabic cartoons, or read basic road signs? Compare this, for example, with Finnish children: they learn two or more foreign language at school and the standards achieved are very high – 47% of the population is proficient in three languages. There are quite a few reasons for this. Firstly, it is just really hard. I was brought up bilingual English-French and have been learning Arabic for four years. Progress is excruciatingly slow. Unlike with French, there are very few cognates in English and Arabic. In French, the words for orange, bouquet, bracelet are the same as they are in English. In fact, there are more than 25,000 frequently used English words that are unmistakably understood by Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian speakers, among others. This is not the case for Arabic, and so those long lists of vocab can be daunting and tedious. Secondly, even if you live in the UAE, there aren’t as many opportunities to speak Arabic as there would be to speak German if you were living in Frankfurt. It’s speaking a new language and making oneself understood, that is really exciting. If children don’t get the chance to experience

“It isn’t about the number of words... but the usefulness of those words”

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JUNIOR / FE ATUR E

INTEGRATE ARABIC INTO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Announcing that it’s time for Arabic homework or revision might make your child moan, so an alternative is to be a bit more sneaky about it. You can practise Arabic without it seeming like a lesson: an Arabic song or language CD in the car, or flashcards at breakfast. Al Jazeera Children’s Channel, now JeemTV, is entirely in Arabic and surprisingly accessible.

MIX ARABIC INTO ACTIVITIES YOUR CHILD LOVES.

If you have an artistic child, maybe they can make beautiful flashcards for the alphabet and some basic vocabulary. If your child loves their mobile phone, there are some great language apps and games out there. Try Memrise, and if you join in you can have fun comparing scores and competing in the ‘league table’.

FORGET LONG VOCAB LISTS – FOR NOW.

A B OV E

Arcadia pupils

Language learning expert Benny Lewis explains it isn’t about the number of words in a foreign language that you know, but it’s about the usefulness of those words. When I first started learning Arabic, after my first few lessons, I’d learnt how to say United Nations in Arabic, but still couldn’t say “I’m from London but I live in Dubai.’ Encourage your child to be able to learn how to say a few basic sentences about themselves and their life, and then build on it. For example, if they’ve learnt how to say how old they are, find a Youtube song teaching Arabic numbers, and soon enough they will be able to say how old their siblings are, too. Once they have learnt to say “I’m Indian/ American/British” they can learn other nationality names to say where their friends at school are from, too.

LEFT

Friends together sees one or both of their parents that thrill when ordering in a studying Arabic, it can feel more café on behalf of their parents of a fun and communal affair. And who are reliant on them, then they’ll start enjoying it even more when the motivation to learn isn’t there. they see how much faster they are picking it Another problem is that because there up than their parents. is a large influx of new pupils each year, some schools struggle to stream children in the appropriate level of Arabic class, with TALKING IS KEY children going through beginner’s Arabic If you’re not able to learn Arabic alongside year after year. your child, try and find an Arabic-speaker who would be willing to chat to your child for just a few minutes a week or a month. LEARN ARABIC ALONGSIDE Maybe there is a friendly waitress in a local YOUR CHILDREN café, or a parent at the school. If you want Unlike the piano, say, where you can remind to hire a nanny, you could perhaps look your child to practise their scales without for one who would be able to speak some being able to recognise a note yourself, Arabic to your child. ArabiCollege.com is a learning a language ideally requires a great resource as they can arrange Skype partner-in-crime as you need someone to sessions with an Arabic language tutor practise with. Ask your children to teach you and so it’s super easy to fit around even the what they’ve learnt that day in Arabic class, busiest of schedules. and then rehearse it together. If your child

RESOURCES

Online Skype tuition: arabicollege.com Language learning app with games: www.memrise.com/courses /english/arabic Audio course that gets you speaking fast: www.pimsleur.com Al Jazeera Children’s TV: jeemtv.net

THALIA SUZUMA A freelance writer, teacher and editor 2017

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Out of this

WORLD The director of JESS, Dubai, on how virtual reality allows children to learn ‘on location’ despite remaining safely ian the classroom MARK S. STEED

V

irtual Reality is the latest in a long line of new technologies which can be harnessed by teachers to help them make their classrooms come alive; to improve further the learning experience of their pupils. Over the past 20 years, teachers have used videos, DVDs, classroom projectors, interactive whiteboards, and 3D projectors and now they can call upon virtual reality (VR). So, what's it all about and how is it so different?

WHAT IS VIRTUAL REALITY? In order to experience VR, the user needs to put on a headset in which a 360° panoramic image is projected. The technology is simple; it works very much in the same way that enabled a previous generation of children to enjoy 3D images through a Viewmaster. The headset projects a slightly different image to each eye, which gives a 3D effect. As the viewer moves his head to the left and right, the image moves giving a strong feeling of being in situ. By turning around, the viewer can see what is behind him; by looking up he can see what’s above him. Surprisingly, it is possible to create a VR experience for less than US$5 by purchasing a simple cardboard kit into which a smartphone can be inserted. The 38

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360° panoramic images used for the ‘virtual experiences’ are produced in two ways. They can be filmed by a 360° camera, in just the same way that Google Street View is mapping cities of the world. Or, they can be computer-generated as in console action games, such as Call of Duty. There are thousands of 360° videos available free on YouTube (just search for ‘360° videos’) and this number will increase exponentially as 360° cameras become commonplace.

“Technology can be harnessed by teachers to make their classes come alive” WHAT MAKES VIRTUAL REALITY DIFFERENT? The greatest difference between VR and, say, watching a DVD is that VR is an active rather than a passive process. It feels like the real experience. Because the viewer is controlling where he looks and what he focuses on, this inevitably leads to greater engagement. Indeed, virtual reality allows the user to experience what is going on in a way that feels authentic. The first time that I put on a VR headset, I went on a roller coaster ride – the experience was so immersive that I had motion sickness.

This was not a passive activity it felt real – I experienced every dip and turn. It is this characteristic of creating an experience that makes VR such a versatile and powerful tool for the classroom.

VIRTUAL TOURS I am sure we can all recall the experience of trips out of the classroom during our own school days. To be able to see what had been discussed in the class gave a clarity and strong memory association that no

2017

09/02/2017 16:22


JUNIOR / TECHNOLOGY

A B OV E

Technology in the classroom at JESS LEFT

Using virtual reality

text book can ever hope to achieve. A huge strength of virtual reality in schools is that it gives almost limitless scope for teachers to take pupils on trips anywhere in the world without leaving the grounds. A class can visit China and experience what it is like to walk up and down the crumbling steps of the Great Wall, they can take a stroll along Wall Street gasp at the view from the top of the Burj Khalifa, or even dive the Great Barrier Reef. All these ‘visits’ are available in the classroom within a matter of minutes – a further bonus for the teacher is that there’s no risk assessment, no budget and no buses. But virtual reality allows teachers to go further, for VR makes it possible for pupils to experience the impossible.

TIME TRAVEL Virtual reality allows pupils to go back in time to experience key events in history. It is possible to be there as Martin Luther

King makes a great speech; they can wade through World War I trenches, they can be in a dog-fight in the Battle of Britain, build a pyramid in Cairo or witness the Execution of Mary Queen of Scots.

SPACE TRAVEL VR has also made space travel available for all. The publication by NASA on YouTube of 360° panoramas of Mars and Pluto makes it possible for teachers to take their classes to outer space. Pupils can explore the Martian landscape from atop the Mars Rover - no space suit required.

PERSONALISED LEARNING Recently at JESS, Dubai, Year 5 have met some ancient Egyptians, Year 4 have been to London, Foundation 2 travelled into Space and Year 6 went to Ancient Greece. The children felt what it was like to be there and the experience helped them to develop

mature responses at a significantly deeper level than would ever be possible from watching a video. Possibly the greatest strength of VR is that the experience is personalised – the child is in control of the experience, he can go at his own pace, choosing to look at what he wants, taking time to look for detail, moving on only when ready. Teachers should always be on the lookout for new ways to enable young people to learn, to help them understand more about the world around us and virtual reality can now be the latest addition to their toolbox of ways to inspire – and what an exciting addition it is.

MARK S. STEED Director of JESS Dubai, a not-for-profit school for pupils aged 3 to 18 2017

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A PLACE WHERE

A PLACE WHERE

STUDENTS

STUDENTS

EXCEL

EXCEL

One of the most well-respected

One of the most well-respected

and oldest schools in Dubai, and

and oldest schools in Dubai, and

a leading school in the Middle

a leading school in the Middle

East, JESS is a school which

East, JESS is a school which

aims to have a global reputation

aims to have a global reputation

for delivering a unique brand of

for delivering a unique brand of

education that challenges young

education that challenges young

people to make a difference.

people to make a difference.

The top IB school in the Middle East New BTEC Specialist courses in Sport, Art and Business available in the Sixth Form from September 2017

Large, attractive, leafy campuses with superb facilities

Large, attractive, leafy campuses with superb facilities

One of the few ‘not-for-profit’ schools in the UAE

One of the few ‘not-for-profit’ schools in the UAE

‘Outstanding’ inspection ratings and excellent GCSE outcomes

‘Outstanding’ inspection ratings and excellent GCSE outcomes

A wealth of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities

A wealth of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities

JESS.indd 1

10/02/2017 10:39


Senior

BRIGHTON COLLEGE

REPTON'S HEAD P . 44 IB VERSUS A-LEVEL P . 48 APPLYING TO US UNIVERSITIES P . 64

2017

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BRIGHTON BEAUTIFUL Brighton College will open in Dubai next year. Its Director of Schools opens the door... IAN MCINTYRE

B

righton College, the UK’s top co-educational school, will be opening its doors here in Dubai in 2018. It will be Brighton College’s third sister school in the UAE in partnership with Bloom Education. The first was Brighton College Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2011 and has 1,700 pupils on its roll. Now in its sixth year of operation, it is already the most academically successful 3-18 school in the UAE and its first cohort of A-level graduates in 2016 obtained places at many of the UK’s leading universities. In 2013, Brighton College Al Ain opened on a stunning 28-acre campus and today educates over 700 pupils. Brighton also opened in September 2016 in the Thai capital and will eventually educate 1,500 children across the 2-18 age range.

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Brighton College is currently enjoying the most successful period in its 170-year history. Built in the middle of the 19th century it has a long tradition of breaking new ground in education. The first school to build a gym, the first to have dedicated science classrooms, and the first to teach compulsory Mandarin from PrePrep and above, Brighton’s phenomenal recent successes can be attributed to a combination of exceptional leadership, the very highest standards of inspirational teaching and support at every level. It’s class of 2016 achieved a staggering 39 Oxbridge offers and left the College last summer with the best A-level results of any co-educational school in the UK. A key component of Brighton’s internationalisation is the importance it places upon ensuring that its sister schools are authentically interpreting its values and ethos. Each school combines academic excellence with a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities, all underpinned by a deep commitment to the individual needs and enthusiasms of every child, and each values the importance of the individual: every boy and girl in the Brighton family of schools is valued for his or her own sake and encouraged to develop his or her talents to the full, in a community where there are no stereotypes and where every achievement, however small, is noticed. Opening new schools around the world is challenging, but getting a few things right at the start is vital to the success of a brand new school seeking to welcome its first pupils.

“17 words”

“Every boy and girl in the Brighton family of schools is valued..”

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Brighton Boys LEFT

Brighton College, UK to create an exciting Choosing the right location FA R L E F T and vibrant intellectual is key, and it is always where Flautist environment in which there is clear demand for an children can explore their outstanding British education interests, develop their existing that will enable the children of talents and acquire new ones. local and expatriate parents to access Brighton’s heads spend a great deal of the leading universities of the world. their time recruiting inspiring teachers Finding the right headmaster or and supporting and developing them, headmistress to lead the school community and Brighton encourages them to seek is critical. Brighton seeks to appoint to develop their careers within the wider inspirational, charismatic heads who Brighton family of schools. are instinctive drivers of high academic Brighton’s Dubai campus will be truly standards, able to ensure that their school world class. Located in the Al Barsha is fully integrated into the local community South district, within easy reach of and making a contribution towards central Dubai and the main road network, delivering the national educational agenda. the iconic campus will house specialist Brighton’s success is built upon recruiting facilities for 2,000 pupils aged 3 to 18, genuinely inspirational teachers who can including a stunning performing arts enthuse about their subject and will help

centre, sports hall, outdoor pitches, full-size athletics track, tennis courts and swimming pool. It will offer the full Brighton College curriculum leading to IGCSE and A-level, and entry to the world’s leading universities. The Admissions Office will open in early 2018 when registrations for entry into FS1 to Year 10 in September 2018 will be accepted. Please visit www.brightoncollegedubai.ae to register an early interest. Brighton College Dubai looks forward to welcoming prospective parents, pupils and teachers to its launch event, which will take place in autumn 2017.

IAN MCINTYRE Director of Schools Brighton Colllege International Schools 2017

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A CHANGING LANDSCAPE Jonathan Hughes D’Aeth is retiring as Repton’s headmaster this year. He tells Emirates Education about his time at the helm of one of Dubai’s most successful British schools SOPHIE PENDER-CUDLIP

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his summer, after seven years at Repton School Dubai, Jonathan Hughes D’Aeth will retire and pass on the head’s baton to a new headmaster. During his tenure, he has been an integral part of Repton’s own expansion and witnessed Dubai’s educational landscape developing at an impressive rate. He is a man with a huge smile, firm handshake and

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immediate warmth. He is also incredibly knowledgeable about education, having spent 22 years as a head and nearly 40 years in teaching predominantly in the UK and here in Dubai. Hughes D’Aeth came to Dubai with his wife, Fiona, from rural Dorset in the south west of England, following a chance meeting over breakfast in the East India Club in London with a former head who had become a recruitment specialist. He was then headmaster of an all boys boarding school, Milton Abbey, which was facing a tight financial situation of falling numbers

and poor infrastructure. During the 15 years he was head he was pivotal in turning it around and securing the school’s financial position. That experience would prove to be crucial when he arrived in Dubai in the midst of a global downturn where schools such as the relatively young Repton were coming under pressure. Now as he approaches retirement, he reflects on how the educational landscape has changed so enormously over the past decade. Last year, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, reflected on what had been

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“It’s an incredibly exciting job in a fast-growing region” achieved during that time and highlighted education, as well as health, “to be among the most important sectors for our people”. The UAE has the world’s highest global kindergarten rate (93%) and the rate of high school graduation has risen by 93%, too. There are currently 176 schools in Dubai and another 60 new schools planning to open by 2020. Hughes D’Aeth says the role of the KHDA (The Knowledge and Human Development Authority) has been largely responsible for Dubai’s educational success. “The KHDA has driven standards up,” he says. Annual inspections by the DSIB (Dubai School Inspections Bureau) have professionalised the industry and made Dubai’s schools comparable to the rest of the world and in Repton’s case, to the UK. One of the biggest challenges for Hughes D’Aeth and other heads joining a relatively new school in Dubai was to help develop a culture within the school and try to establish an ethos and value system across the whole community. This was particularly important amongst the staff. “In a start-up school, there are many new teachers who enjoy the adrenalin rich-environment of a brand new school, but how do we establish and then, crucially, develop that brand?” In the UK, by comparison, many private schools have a history and established traditions. Many of the staff have been there for many years and the heart and soul of the school is rooted. “In a new school,“ he says “the staff who join at the outset aren’t necessarily right as the school matures. This results in a high turnover, particularly in the first six years of a school life.” This is often a contentious issue amongst parents. However, it is inevitable with the average age of staff being younger, and often single and looking for a 5-10 year role, rather than a long term career in one

school. Hughes D’Aeth says this is now changing at Repton as the school matures and it attracts more teaching couples and their families. However, as he prepares to leave Repton, he does recognise that changes of heads at a senior level although inevitable, can be an issue. In the last ten years since he has been at Repton, it has had three heads of its junior school and three heads of its senior school. “It isn’t ideal but its a consequence of how things happen here,” he says.

expat parents whose perceptions might be very different. Due to the changing economic climate, and company allowances declining, many expat parents are also paying their own fees. With that comes a much higher expectation with many having to decide between family holidays and school fees. Parents also want to see where their money is going outside the classroom so facilities are important for many. “You are beginning to see an arms race of sports halls and other facilities which then push fees up.”

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Repton pupils LEFT

School fees are a hot topic The role of the Creating art together amongst any private school headteacher is crucial in any BELOW Jonathan Hughes parent, particularly in Dubai. school and no more so than D'Aeth As competition amongst in Dubai with its vast private schools increases, fees may educational landscape largely well reduce which is good news backed by private investors. The for parents. Hughes D’Aeth believes, only way the region can sustain the however, that this could have a negative growth of school places required is for impact.“If the fees go down, then you won’t there to be a mix of ‘For and Not for Profit’ be able to attract well qualified British schools. Therefore, the head needs to be teachers so the schools themselves will very business savvy and understand the change. We would have to recruit teachers essential financial requirements of a school. from all over the world, meaning the In the 22 years I have been a head, the schools will become far more international financial element of managing a school has with perhaps fewer schools teaching a increased massively,” he says. British curriculum. “With increased The demographic of parents in competition, education could be cheaper Dubai sending their children to school, which is great for the buyer but you need to particularly the top schools, has also look at the quality of what you’re buying,” changed. Educational ambition is much he points out. higher than it was with “parents hungry for What advice would Hughes D’Aeth give educational excellence,” he says. Culturally, to his successor arriving from the UK this this makes schools very interesting with a September? “Be very culturally aware broad mix of expat children from all over whilst holding on to the core educational the world in the classroom. In the UK, 7% values you believe in. Be flexible but most of parents can afford or make the decision importantly, enjoy it. It’s an incredibly to send their children to private school exciting job in a very interesting and fast with the majority using the state system. growing region.” However, in Dubai there isn’t a choice for 2017

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GO SLOW The Deputy Head (Academic) of Bryanston in the UK, argues that in an accelerating world, schools must maintain a balanced environment for pupils D AV I D J A M E S

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ife is speeding up. Such a statement, one would think, would not stand up to much analysis: surely every generation has felt that they are doing more, and in a shorter time, than the previous generation; and no doubt we also feel that the pressures we have to cope with in this new, hyperfast, interconnected world, are fresh to us, and uniquely stressful. But in his recent book, The Great Acceleration, Robert Colville argues that this perception is in fact a reality. He writes about how research clearly shows that those who live in larger cities are doing more, and doing it more quickly, than those who live in smaller 46

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communities. For residents of cities as diverse as Beijing, Mumbai, New York and London life really is getting faster. Not only that, but it is probably moving at the same tempo as well. Don’t believe it? Well, try an experiment that begins Colville’s book: the next time you walk down a busy street look at people’s feet. You’ll soon notice that everyone is walking in perfect ‘lockstep’. Try as we might to assert our own individual stride we will inevitably revert to following the same walking pattern and pace of those around us. And if those around us are moving quickly so will we. This process of imitating the natural rhythm of others is called ‘entrainment’. It all adds to the great acceleration.

And with that acceleration comes a dwindling of patience: we demand webpages to load four times faster than they did in 1999; we expect same day deliveries of goods that used to take days (or weeks); we are delighted when we read that drones might start bringing us our latest purchase within an hour. As soon as we know such things are possible we want it. Speed defines our age like conflict defined the previous century, and industrialisation defined the nineteenth. We want it all, and we want it now. And it seems that in the future we will want it even faster than that. For parents, of course, time takes on a peculiar new velocity. If the social and professional worlds around us move in a blur, how much faster it goes when we have

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children. As a father of three (20, 18 and 13) I find myself asking every day: where did the time go? What did that baby you once held in your arms turn into? Can he really be that hulking boy who plays rugby for the school? Who is that fearless teenage girl who flies into hockey tackles as if sense, limbs and teeth were optional extras in life? Was she once my daughter who imagined there were fairies at the bottom of the garden? Where are those children now? I miss them. School accentuates this sense of time passing. Indeed, time dominates the lives of teachers, pupils and parents: the academic year runs to its own idiosyncratic calendar, shaped by the broad sweep of terms and years, as well as the minutiae of fixtures and concerts, holidays and trips, lessons and examinations, as well as breaks and lunchtimes. And what good independent schools are trying to do is to ensure that each child is allowed to flourish within these time constraints, and to grow up as individuals. Independent schools try to foster independence of mind. But such schools are also aware of the need for pupils to conform, to follow the rules, to develop within certain parameters. Ideally, children should grow up in a school knowing that there is a strong safety net beneath them to catch them if and when they fall. We are, in our own way, trying to get a complex BELOW

A housemaster with junior boys

community of children and teenagers to follow the same patterns: or, to put it another way, to work in lockstep, and in a closely related movement of entrainment. The best independent schools do this by creating clear identities which pupils respond positively and strongly to: they are proud of the house they are in, and the school that they attend. Following the rules is simply adhering to expectations of common sense and common decency. The best schools have very few disciplinary problems because pupils like being in them, enjoy learning, and see no need to break rules. But if the world is speeding up then so are schools, and new technology is adding to this process. I have worked in boarding schools for 20 years. I started out as a resident tutor in a junior boarding house comprising of 65 children aged between 11 and 13. The biggest difference between now and then is the impact that technology has had on almost every aspect of a school’s everyday life. Our pupils socialise differently (sometime choosing online friendships over face-to-face contact), they learn differently (sometimes eschewing the library for websites), and they relax differently (gaming with ‘friends’ around the world, rather than kicking a ball on the back field). But another key area of change

“We demand web pages to load four times faster than they did in 1999” has been between how parents and their children interact during term time: many are in almost constant contact, either through email, text, FaceTime, social media or phone calls. Now this brings new challenges to schools: at its most extreme, the boundaries between home and school dissolve too quickly, and can be undermining of the school’s authority. For example, I once gave an essay back to a pupil with a low grade on it, and before the lesson had finished I’d received an email from the parent asking to speak to me immediately to discuss this serious issue. The pupil was in Year 9. But there are many positives to this new form of school and home entrainment: by working in close conjunction with each other schools and parents teachers are better informed about the issues that affect the young people they are responsible for. As an inspector of independent

A B OV E

schools I am constantly impressed by the depth of knowledge LEFT and understanding Relaxing in the school grounds staff have of the wellbeing of their pupils, and this is made more balanced with a healthy, mutually respectful relationship between parents and teachers. Speed, and the fast interchange of information, really does help here. The best teachers model behaviour that they want their pupils to aspire to and, collectively, schools do the same. One of the many strengths of independent schools is that they constantly push their pupils into areas of what Robert Bjork calls ‘desirable difficulties’: this can be playing for the third XI, as much as it might be doing a practical in Chemistry, or singing a solo in the school choir. Most of the activities that school are involved in happen in real time, away from a screen. And although technology is speeding things up, and adding to the complexity of school life, the best schools will always keep it in perspective (as long as the adults do as well). Independent schools should be trusted to do what they have done so well for so long: namely, educating young people to become happy and healthy adults. They will remain essentially social places, where there is laughter, tears, mud, mess and mistakes, as well as joy, inspiration and aspiration. That is their strength. And in the very best schools there will be time to slow down, and reflect, and be offline, and to nurture the qualities that make us who we are, free from the lockstep of collective endeavour, alone for enough time to form one’s own dreams. A young cellist at Bryanston

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IB versus A-LEVEL? Emirates Education weighs up the pros and cons of A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate FIONA MCKENZIE

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ne of the key debates for any family is what qualifications their child will have when they leave school. This is important as the results they gain in these final two years will be the ‘boarding pass’ to university and beyond. Uniquely in the UAE, there are a wide array of curriculums to choose from – 17 at the last count! On the whole there are two clear choices, the tried and tested British A-Level curriculum and the more recent but rapidly growing IB programme. There are several similarities between the two: both are globally recognised as gold standard academic qualifications, both will give you access to UK universities and those in the US, where you may even be awarded credits for some of your subjects; both are rigorously academic and require active academic minds, and thanks to recent A-Level reforms, both are now spread over a two-year period with final externally moderated exams at the end of Year 13. The similarities, however, end there. Taking the A-Level route allows you to choose three to four subjects from the very broad range on offer. Most courses take a synoptic view and teachers are free to select certain topics from a list published by the exam boards. As a student, you can pick any combination of subjects mixing Sciences and Humanities with the Arts or choose to take a more specialist route, 48

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such as straight Sciences, a good choice if you are planning a career in Medicine, for example. A-Levels give students an opportunity to study their subjects in great depth over the two years and develop a sound knowledge of their subject. Many schools also offer an opportunity to do an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which encourages a student to do an in-depth piece of independent research outside of the curriculum; very valuable preparation for university. A-Levels are a tried and tested curriculum and the latest changes to a linear programme, with one final examination, make them more demanding and academically rigorous. It is also a curriculum that universities are well versed in evaluating and many degree programmes build on the knowledge gained in the A-Level courses. The exams are awarded grades that range from A* to E, with the highly prized A* recognizing top academic achievement. The IB, founded in 1968, is a much more broadly based curriculum with a focus on keeping a wider number of subjects in play. It requires students to take six subjects, three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. The subject choice is much more prescriptive than A-Levels: each student is required to take Maths, their native language, a modern foreign language, a humanity and a science subject and they then have the option of picking from an Art, Music or Drama based subject or taking a second option from one of the other categories. There

“17 words”

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is also a general core which includes an extended essay, a Theory of Knowledge course and a Creativity, Action, Service element which gives students a chance to undertake volunteering and encourages them to develop skills for civic engagement. The IB philosophy is to encourage pupils to see connections and think across subject boundaries. An IB learner is encouraged to think for themselves, to develop an enquiring mind, to be open minded and to be reflective learners. For Universities, the IB student has already acquired many of the skills they need to make the most of a degree. The IBDP is also examined at the end of Year 13 and is graded with a point system, the maximum that can be achieved is 45, with seven points being allocated to each subject and three points for the core elements. So for an undecided student, the IB keeps many options open and he or she can maintain flexibility for future degree

and career options. It fits particularly well with the American university system as it matches many of the core elements required in a Liberal Arts Degree. But it is worth bearing in mind that reservations about the IB have been expressed by some university science departments, as a candidate is only allowed to study two sciences at the Higher Level. While it is a great option for a student who demonstrates breadth and would find choosing only three or four subjects for A-Levels very limiting, for some 16-yearolds finally being able to drop subjects that they have struggled with for years can come as a blessed relief and allow them to concentrate on the subjects they are good at or really enjoy. Whilst dropping the wrong subjects can limit your choices later on, picking the right ones can be a surer route into some degree courses. As Dr Sam Lucy, Admissions Tutor at Newnham College Cambridge reflects: ‘There isn’t much out

there that can beat the combination of Maths and Further Maths A-Levels for both breadth and depth.’ For the student who is clear about the path they want to follow at university, and is happy to pick the three most relevant subjects, then A-Levels represent a straightforward route through sixth form and are excellent building blocks for a subject-based degree at university. However, for the student who is less sure about their future then the IB Diploma can allow them to keep their options open, positioning a student well for university in either the UK or the US. Students need to consider their own strengths, interests and abilities before deciding which one offers the most likely path to success.

FIONA MCKENZIE Head of Office and lead consultant at Gabbitas Education Middle East www.gabbitas.ae 2017

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HEAD

WORLD VIEW Katy Ricks, Head of Sevenoaks School, believes the IB diploma prepares today’s generation for tomorrow

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n 1774, a young Chinese man arrived in England, curious to learn about the country, eager to broaden his horizons and hoping to improve his understanding of science and trade. His name was Huang Ya Dong and he became Sevenoaks School’s first international student (and probably the first Chinese school pupil in Britain). Huang Ya Dong may have preceded the majority of international students in Sevenoaks by two centuries, but maybe he was not so different to today’s students with their intellectual curiosity and desire to experience cultural variety. As we see a new influx of students into the UK, our independent schools are ideally positioned to offer a modern education which fosters an open mind and develops global awareness, for local, international

“The IB encourages students to become compassionate lifelong learners” and expatriate students. One of the best ways to do this is to offer the International Baccalaureate diploma. Developed in the 1960s, the IB provides an unparalleled education, encouraging students to become compassionate lifelong learners who, in the words of the IB Organisation, ‘understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right’. The IB requires the acquisition of expert knowledge and looks beyond the traditional boundaries between academic disciplines. While a traditional English education might lead to three or four subjects at A-Level, the IB offers a different approach – breadth without compromising depth. It allows sixth form students to study a wide range of subjects, while giving them the freedom to choose which to study in greater depth.

and research, is satisfying for students and a superb preparation for undergraduate study. In addition, pupils’ critical thinking skills are developed through the Theory of Knowledge course and their capacity for human sympathy and social understanding through the Creativity, Action and Service programme. Learning is enhanced through study trips and exchanges, and students can develop their social and political awareness through service and enterprise activities such as Model United Nations, debating, fundraising and hands-on charity action such as working in the local community. IB graduates are outwardlooking and possess an ability to apply their knowledge creatively to new situations. They are genuinely well-rounded people and this, together with their Of course, students need to spirit of intellectual inquiry and A B OV E play to their strengths, and the critical thinking skills, makes A pupil at Sevenoaks IB allows them to choose three them attractive to universities. subjects at Higher Level which An IBSCA report for 2015 will prepare them in depth for showed that 80 per cent of university, and three subjects at Standard university admissions officers believed Level, thus ensuring that all parts of the that the IB developed global awareness mind are engaged and expanded. All must and connectivity (against ten per cent for study English, mathematics, a science, A-Levels). The offer and acceptance rates a humanities subject and a modern or for IB Diploma students are notably above classical language. They are also able to other post-16 qualifications, and in the US, it take a creative art or to specialise further is a passport to top universities. by taking an additional science, humanity or Sevenoaks School has offered the IB language. since 1978 and it is now taken The IB encourages pupils by our entire sixth form. to explore their academic Around 23 per cent of our passions with rigour. pupils live outside the UK, and A good example of this is the others have dual nationality or Extended Essay – around have attended school overseas. 4,000 words on a topic they Sevenoaks students leave us are particularly interested in. at 18 with a global network of It fosters independent learning friends, a qualification which and deep subject knowledge; is recognised at universities KATY RICKS Head of Sevenoaks School with the additional skills it around the world and an develops, such as footnoting international worldview. 2017

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UNITED WE STAND STAND Chris Townsend, Headmaster of Felsted School, Chris Townsend, Headmaster of Felsted School, on educating today’s students for a global future on educating today’s students for a global future

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n Friday 23rd n Friday 23rd June, much of June, much of the UK awoke to the UK awoke to hear news that hear news that shocked and shocked and surprised parts surprised parts of the country. of the country. Whatever Whatever one’s view of the vote, the referendum has one’s view of the vote, the referendum has forced all of us to consider carefully our forced all of us to consider carefully our relationships with the rest of the world. relationships with the rest of the world. As head of Felsted, a school that is As head of Felsted, a school that is proud to be a Global Member of the Round proud to be a Global Member of the Round Square (a movement of more than 170 Square (a movement of more than 170 schools worldwide), a proponent of the schools worldwide), a proponent of the International school with with International Baccalaureate, Baccalaureate, aa school aa thriving international summer school and thriving international summer school and aa school school that that celebrates celebrates internationalism internationalism amongst body that that amongst aa diverse diverse student student body includes 20% from around the world, includes 20% from around the world, representing countries, and and representing more more than than 35 35 countries, speaking a wide variety of languages, it speaking a wide variety of languages, it seems inconceivable seems inconceivable that we would would want want R i g h t that we Right anything other than The MUN at Felsted anything other than The MUN at Felsted to celebrate our our to celebrate B e l o w Below place in the the world. world. Pupils place in Pupils in in the the boarding Today’s teenagers boarding house house Today’s teenagers

our 450th anniversary in 2014 with a special our 450th anniversary in 2014 with a special visit from Her Majesty the Queen and visit from Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. (Oliver Cromwell the Duke of Edinburgh. (Oliver Cromwell educated his four sons at Felsted including educated his four sons at Felsted including his successor, Richard Cromwell, Lord his successor, Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland 1658-59). Every pupil who is educated at 1658-59). Every pupil who is educated at Felsted will get a sense of what it is to come Felsted will get a sense of what it is to come to an English school, and they can watch to an English school, and they can watch cricket on the playing fields, even if much of cricket on the playing fields, even if much of it is now played by the girls. it is now played by the girls. There was a time when the great British There was a time when the great British public schools were seen as the educators of public schools were seen as the educators of young men for empire. Those days are long young men for empire. Those days are long gone, but now we have a great opportunity gone, but now we have a great opportunity educateyoung youngmen menand andwomen, women,who who totoeducate will embrace the challenges of the coming will embrace the challenges of the coming decades,recognise recognisethe themistakes mistakesthat thatour our decades, generation has made, and seek solutions generation has made, and seek solutions forthose thosemistakes. mistakes.These Theseyoung youngpeople people for willwork workwith withother othernations, nations,whether whetherasas will partofofthe theEuropean EuropeanUnion, Union,ororasascitizens citizens part theworld. world.This Thisisiswhy whyactivities activitieslike likethe the ofofthe ModelUnited UnitedNations Nationsare aresosoimportant, important,toto Model startthe thethought thoughtprocess processthat thatwill willmake make start will almost almostcertainly certainlyfifind ndthemselves themselves childrenlook lookoutwards outwardsatatthe theworld, world,and and will children working in inglobal globalmarkets, markets,enjoying enjoyinglives lives askthe thefundamental fundamentalquestion questionofofhow howtheir their working ask that are more fl uid and international than generation can make it a better place. Also, that are more fluid and international than generation can make it a better place. Also, any previous previousgeneration. generation.Even Evenififpoliticians politicians thisisiswhy whywe weshould shouldnot notbebeafraid afraidofofthe the any this (and voters) voters)have havesought soughtto toclose closethe thedoor door Brexitvote, vote,but butexcited excitedabout aboutthe thepotential potential (and Brexit to the the wider widerworld, world,as aseducators educatorsititisisour our theyoung youngpeople peopleininour ourschools schoolstotobebe to ofofthe responsibilityto toensure ensurethat thatthe theyoung young agentsfor forchange. change.As Asa aschool schoolwe wehave havelinks links responsibility agents people of oftoday todayunderstand understandmore moreabout aboutthe the charitiesininUganda Uganda(Volunteer (VolunteerUganda), Uganda), people totocharities world that thatthey theylive livein, in,the thevast vastvariety varietyofof Malawi(Sparkle (SparkleMalawi) Malawi)and andMumbai Mumbai world Malawi cultures and andlife-styles, life-styles,the theproblems, problems,the the (MagicBus). Bus).We Wealso alsosend sendsports sportsteams, teams, cultures (Magic challengesand andthe theopportunities. opportunities. Many Manyofof dramagroups, groups,choir choirtours toursand andacademic academic challenges drama the greatest greatestdiffi difficulties cultiesthat that explorationsallallaround aroundthe the the explorations will face face the thenext nextgeneration generation world;this thisisisnot notonly onlya agood good will world; will not not be belocal localissues, issues,but but thing,but butananessential essentialpart part will thing, will require requireglobal globalsolutions. solutions. whatwe, we,and andmany manyother other will ofofwhat They will willneed needskills skillsof of schoolsdo, do,totolook lookoutwardly. outwardly. They schools understanding,negotiation, negotiation, establishpartnerships partnershipsand and understanding, establish considerationand andcompromise compromise friendshipsand andembrace embrace consideration friendships more than thananything, anything,ififthey they globalism,and andallallthat thatitit more globalism, are to to make makeaadiff difference erenceto tothe the off erstotoususasasteachers, teachers,totoour our are off ers CHRISJJTOWNSEND TOWNSEND CHRIS world schools, and most importantly world in in which whichthey theywill willlive. live. schools, and most importantly Headmaster Headmaster Felsted totoeach Felsted Felstedremains remainstrue trueto toits its eachand andevery everyone oneofof FelstedSchool School British our British heritage. heritage.We Wecelebrated celebrated ourpupils. pupils.

“Today’s teenagers teenagers will will “Today’s enjoy lives lives more more flfluid uid enjoy and international than and international than previous generations” generations” previous

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Raising the bar Emirates Education talks to Oxford AQA Exams about the new GCSE grading system and how it will impact children overseas SOPHIE PENDER-CUDLIP

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y daughter is often a bit dismissive of my GCSE results. I never thought I did badly but I certainly didn’t get straight As and A*s, which seems to be fairly common amongst children these days. I’ve often wondered if children have got brighter or exams have got easier. The former, my confident teen tells me! It seems, however, that this bright generation of global teens sitting GCSEs are about to be put to the test with a change of grading which will come into place in 2017 in time for my daughter sitting her exams. The proposed changes announced by Michael Gove, the then UK education secretary, will make the exams, “more challenging, more ambitious and more rigorous.” Many schools in the Middle East offer international GCSEs and this is rising, so the change of grading will affect many children. Oxford International AQA Examinations (Oxford AQA Exams), which entered the global market in 2015, to provide British curriculum schools with UK qualifications, are one of the organisations offering exams and their presence in the region is growing. They have over 100 years of exam experience and are meticulous about how they

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develop their qualifications, particularly for overseas pupils. International GCSEs with the new grading are aimed at raising attainment levels in line with the world’s top-performing countries such as Finland and Singapore. Parents and teachers will also want to ensure that students’ results are aligned with schools in the UK, now and in the future. With the addition of an extra grade, the new numerical grading system provides greater differentiation in the middle and at the top, particularly for higher achieving students. According to many head teachers, the A* and A grade today has become devalued with too many of these grades being awarded, which in turn has devalued the B grade. With the new numerical grading, a Grade 5, for example, will be positioned in the top third of the market for a current grade C and the bottom third for a current grade B. Therefore, a Grade 5 will be considered a ‘good pass’. At the very top, there will be three grades, 7, 8 and 9 which will cover the existing two grades A and A*

“The new system provides greater differentiation in the middle and at the top”

although it is understood that a grade 9 will be hard to achieve and comparable to an A**. For example, in the UK, the numerical grading is being phased in with firstly English and Maths in 2017, then more subjects included in 2018 with all the exams changing by 2019. Exam regulators, Ofqual, have promised to ensure that no student will be disadvantaged over the previous 2016 year group. The new exams will be taken at the end of a two-year course taking out modular exams taken

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10/02/2017 10:49


SENIOR / GCSES

GRADING NEW GCSES FROM 2017 A B OV E & B E LOW

Students are facing a new grading system this year RIGHT

outside of the UK, so throughout the year. A table of the new that they can achieve Questions are expected grading structure solely on the basis of to be longer and more their subject knowledge detailed with fewer bite and skills – and not their size and more essay-style literacy or cultural understanding. exams. Coursework will disappear We have designed qualifications to from most apart from art, dance give students the best opportunity to and drama. demonstrate their potential, which More than 1,000 teachers, includes results teachers trust subject specialists and university because they are reliable, valid, academics have been involved in the and fair.” development of the UK qualifications The new system is designed to on which Oxford AQA Exam help examination providers such as qualifications are based. Oxford Oxford AQA Exams show greater AQA Exam writers are trained in the precision in the top grades. cultural norms and expectations of It will mean that those achieving the Middle East. This helps ensure a 9 are truly exceptional, yet also that all contexts are relevant and demonstrate that a 5 is a good understandable to students and they pass. Now the challenge comes in are not disadvantaged in an exam. educating this cohort of children, Christine Ozden, Managing like my daughter, on the new grading Director of Oxford AQA Exams, and managing their expectations says: “We want parents to know following on from previous year that our qualifications have been groups who achieved such high developed to ensure that the content results. is appropriate for students living

NEW GRADING STRUCTURE

CURRENT GRADING STRUCTURE

A*

9 8

A

7 6 5 4

GOOD PASS (DfE)

5 & above = top of C and above

B

AWARDING

C

4 & above = bottom of C & above

3

D E F G U

2 1 U

Oxford International AQA Exams provides International A levels, AS and GCSEs, initially in English, Maths and Sciences. To find out more visit www.oxfordaqaexams.org.uk 2017

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09/02/2017 16:48


BELOW

Pupils at Bromley High School in the UK

WHAT MATTERS MOST? An acclaimed researcher and author wonders why we are still not teaching children what they really need to learn PROFESSOR BILL LUCAS

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et me start with a question. What do you want for your children in their life? Happiness? To obtain a fulfilling job if they want one? To find a loving partner? Enough material success to be free from anxiety? To become a kind and generous person? Or some blend of these? When we wrote Educating Ruby: What our Children Really Need to Learn, Guy Claxton and I imagined that most parents would want all of these things and more. More than this, we assumed that all schools would want to support these broad aims. Indeed in the independent sector, with its tradition of developing the whole person, we assumed that we would find an unambiguous commitment to the creation of character. We were wrong. While there are many outstanding examples of great schools doing just this – Gordonstoun, Wellington, Frensham Heights and Godolphin & Latymer are just four examples – the general picture 56

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is much less positive. We heard too many girls and boys tell us that the pressure to succeed in exams – from Common Entrance to A-Levels – trumped the development of character. We listened to young men and women reflecting on the stress of exams. We found parents who found themselves being forced to buy into a view of education they did not even like. Why have we reached this state of affairs? Headteachers tell us it is mainly because of the pressure for university places and employment in an increasingly competitive world. And they are right. Despite the best intentions of good teachers and good schools, the gravitational pull of the exam system exerts so much force that the character curriculum is sidelined as the great scramble for certificates takes over. Do you remember Willy Russell’s play and film Educating Rita? In our book Educating Ruby we imagine that Rita has a grandchild and she is now going to your child’s school. We use our fictional Ruby as an example of the kind of student we’d like schools to be developing. As the result of her schooling, Ruby develops seven

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09/02/2017 16:54


SENIOR / OPINION

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WE FIND THE SCHOOL THAT FITS

www.gabbitas.ae NURSERY & SCHOOL SEARCH UNIVERSITY, HIGHER EDUCATION & CAREERS ADVICE STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES & GUARDIANSHIP +971 445 16933 | admin@gabbitas.ae Gabbitas Educational Consultants is registered in England No. 2920466. Part of The Prospects Group. GABBITAS.indd 1

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SENIOR / OPINION

The Confederation of British Industry, the CBI, has added its powerful voice by suggesting its own list, which includes grit, self-control, curiosity, enthusiasm, confidence, creativity, good manners and sensitivity to global concerns. You’ll see that what employers want overlaps encouragingly with our 7Cs.

2. THERE IS A WILLINGNESS TO RETHINK WHAT CHILDREN NEED TO LEARN TODAY It’s not enough to allow examination syllabuses to dictate our thinking, although, for example, if a school chooses to offer the International Baccalaureate rather than A-Levels, it is clearly making a statement of intent. For as well as school subjects (and all the practically useful things like not being duped by Wikipedia, knowing how to ask for help and learning to swim) there is a really important often omitted area – learning itself. We need all children to learn how to learn, to have strategies for doing things which they have not been taught, getting unstuck when they encounter difficulty, working with others, reflecting on their progress setting goals and so forth.

important capabilities. Each of them begins with the letter C for ease of memorising: confidence, curiosity, collaboration, communication, creativity, commitment and craftsmanship. These are our 7Cs. So how should schools go about developing these capabilities and how would you know if they were doing it well? Here are five things which need to be in place at your child’s school:

1. CHARACTER CAPABILITIES ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED We have suggested the capabilities which Ruby will need to thrive. But schools and parents need to come to their own decisions. The Department for Education has recently been stressing the importance of resilience.

3. SCHOOL LEADERS & PARENTS NEED TO HOLD THEIR NERVE

BELOW

Professor Bill Lucas

In the rush to appear at the top of school league tables in the pages of national newspapers, school leaders need to hold fast to their beliefs. Specifically parents must have confidence that their chosen school will not buy in to the prevailing argument in the press that a good school is either one that focuses on getting good results or one that is interested in explicitly developing their learning character. This is a false opposite. Research shows that pupils who learn better also get better exam results.

4. CONVERSATIONS FOCUS ON EFFORT MORE THAN ON TEST SCORES In the last decade, largely through evidence from Stamford professor Carol Dweck, it has become clear that mindset really matters. If children believe that they can get better at something though effort and practise, then they will value hard work. And the way we can help children is not to offer generalised praise (‘Well done Guy, another A grade’) but to notice what learners actually do (‘Guy, I really liked the way you used those new words in your opening paragraph and I noticed that you stayed behind to finish your essay on time. Well done!’). When we hear our efforts and strategies praised we begin to see how we can become a more powerful learner.

5. PARENTS & TEACHERS ARE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT THEY CAN DO TO DEVELOP THE 7CS Schools which really value the 7Cs (or their chosen equivalents) talk about it. The conversations change. Teachers tell parents how Ruby’s curiosity has been piqued in her science investigation. They describe the pride and attention to detail she has shown in her design and technology project. Then, and only after they have brought your son or daughter’s learning character alive in the conversation, they tell you what grade she got. There are many practical ways in which we as parents can support the development of children’s character and schools which are really serious about this will have a ready flow of information to support parents. There is not space here to do justice to these important ideas. So, if we have piqued your interest, do please join our campaign. You’ll find regular blogs, news and comments from a wide variety of individuals.

“We assumed we would find commitment to the creation of character in independent schools. we were wrong. too often we found exam pressure trumped everything” 2017

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A World of Sophisticated Beauty Armani Hotel Dubai brings to life the “Stay with Armani� philosophy delivering a genuine home approach and a unique lifestyle experience where every need and desire is fulfilled for each guest individually. www.armanihoteldubai.com

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SENIOR / AGON Y AUN T

Q&A

HANDS UP Fiona McKenzie, Director of Gabbitas Middle East, answers questions from parents

Q How do I make sure my child chooses the right IGCSE options? A This is a tricky question as there are lots of things to consider. Firstly, you need to consider the number of GCSEs that you child is going to take. It is normal for a minimum of eight subjects to be selected but for some very bright pupils, they will take as many as 11 or 12. For most IGCSE students there are at least five compulsory subjects that have to be on the list; these would include English (Language and Literature), Maths, probably a Modern Language and depending on where your child’s strengths lie, then two or three of the Sciences. This then only leaves you three or four more choices which can lead to some tough choices. Do you keep Geography and drop History? Do you continue to develop your child’s love of drama or insist on a more of a facilitating subject such as Economics? Bear in mind that studying a range of subjects at this stage is useful so you can keep your options open for later and that certain A-Level or IB subjects, such as Business Studies and Economics, can be taken with no prior GCSE experience. You may also find that the range may be limited by the combinations that the school is able to offer within the timetable. To help your child make the right choices it can be useful to do some student profiling which looks at potential career and degree matches. Armed with this information you can then make informed choices that align with your child’s future plans.

Schools in the UAE offering the National Curriculum are inspected by OFSTED

Q How do I check that my child is on the right academic track compared to our home country whilst we are living overseas? A This is a source of constant concern for many parents who are educating their children in schools overseas. How can you make sure that your child is at the same level they would be if they were being educated in their home system? Many parents suffer from an anxiety that by educating children overseas, they may not be getting the same standard of education as they would have received in their home country. In the UAE you can rest assured that any school offering the National Curriculum for England and Wales is inspected annually by OFSTED inspectors who make sure that the same standards are being applied across the globe. One of the many reassuring things I find about visiting so many schools both here and in the UK is how the same topics are being taught at the same time in classrooms across the world. We regularly hear of children moving back to the UK from some of schools rated as “Outstanding” in the UAE and being way ahead of their peer group. If you have any concerns then one way of checking how your child measures up is to take the Ukiset Test. This online adaptive test benchmarks your child’s scores with those of the UK national average and also the UK Independent School average.

2017

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SENIOR / AGON Y AUN T

There is a danger in getting too involved with the nitty gritty of homework

Q How much homework support should I be giving my child? A Homework is always a thorny issue: parents worry if their children are not being given homework but equally struggle when the child has so much to do that it occupies precious family time and creates a daily battleground over when it is going to be done. In terms of support, the child should really be able to tackle any work set on their own. Homework is designed to build on what has already been covered in class, or in the case of flipped learning, give the child a chance to familiarise themselves with a concept before discussing it in lessons. It is always useful to be supportive with a listening ear, and to bounce ideas around and also to make sure that the children are in the right environment for working. But there is also a danger of getting too involved in helping with the nitty gritty of the work. You may find that techniques for solving maths problems, for example, have changed since your day. It is also worth remembering that teachers can usually tell if a parent has been overly involved in helping their child and this can then mask any problems the child may be experiencing which ultimately can be very unhelpful.

Should my child be doing A-Levels back in the UK ahead of a UK university entry? A Students enter universities from all over the world so there is no reason why your child has to go back Q

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BELOW

Pupils at Foremarke

to the UK to do A-Levels. However, some parents do opt for this route for a number of reasons. Firstly, by being in the UK they will be more familiar with living there and used to public transport and the weather, for example. Your child will also be making friends with a wide range of people who will also be applying for Higher Education in the UK as compared to an international environment where students tend to be more scattered across the globe. Additionally, if they are going down the route of boarding school, parents feel that the child will learn

to be more independent and be more prepared for life at university. Some parents believe that by doing A-Levels in the UK they can get their child Home Status at University. In order to secure this, the rules are that your child needs to be 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for at least three years before starting university, so two years of A-Levels won’t qualify.

FIONA MCKENZIE Head of Office and lead consultant at Gabbitas Education Middle East www.gabbitas.ae

2017

09/02/2017 17:01


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LIVING THE DREAM An educational consultant shares his insights on applying to American universities P E T E R D AV O S

T

he United States has long been a popular destination of choice for students from around the globe. Many are drawn by its reputation for quality education, its welcoming culture, and the prospect of transitioning into the labour market after graduation. Most American universities are known for their rich campus life and community spirit. Collegiate mascots, fraternities, and intercollegiate athletics play an important role in the undergraduate experience, and there is a strong sense of community and school pride. Moreover, US college campuses serve as unique, progressive bubbles where values of tolerance, respect, and equality are deeply ingrained. The American college experience is one in which students discover their passions as they interact with people of different identities, and international students studying at an American university can expect to find campuses abuzz with diversity: cultural houses, international student events, political protests, STEM programmes for minorities and women, and inter-faith iftars (the meal eaten at sunset after Ramadan) are just a few examples of this commitment to inclusion.

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With today’s competitive college admissions process and fast declining admission rates, there is no doubt that students should begin their preparation for college as early as possible. Starting this process early is necessary to boost a child’s emotional, social, and leadership intelligence, as students need time to realise their full potential and learn more about

“Students at US university can expect to find campuses abuzz with diversity” themselves in the process. While it is the high school years that count when applying to universities in the US, it is important to identify a child’s passions and interests in the earlier years, and to find outlets for these in whichever way possible. As American universities assess candidates on all four years of their high school academic and extracurricular records, students should ideally have a clear timeline in mind and start their pre-college preparation the summer before high school.

Working with a mentor from a young age is one way to empower students as they prepare for college and help them identify their passions. An experienced counsellor can help students in their application strategy, scholarship search, and outreach to the schools, in addition to guiding them on the various programmes and opportunities available to them based on their individual goals and needs. At Hale, we spend years mentoring and guiding our students to become better people - not just better applicants. One of the biggest questions about selecting a university in the US is how to choose the right school. Many students and families are often attracted to the big Ivy League names at first, but finding the right school is about much more than the name and rankings. A range of factors must be taken into account when putting together a realistic, balanced college list and considering the ‘best fit’ school for any student. Families should not overemphasise rankings at the expense of qualitative factors, which are impossible to quantify. If a student is to spend the next four years of his life living at a university campus, it is important that he clearly understands each institution through the lens of its academics, curriculum, student body, size, geographical context, value system,

2017

09/02/2017 17:23


SCHOOL LE AV ER / INSIDER

A B OV E

New graduates celebrating

2017

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SCHOOL LE AV ER / INSIDER

“The Personal Statement is a wonderful opportunity for students”

extracurricular opportunities, and campus culture. The college campus should provide an environment in which the student can grow and thrive. Universities that do not offer the curriculum, culture, courses, community or size that are consistent with students’ needs and preferences should not even be considered. US universities utilise a holistic approach in evaluating prospective students, which is significantly different to the universities of most other countries. American universities emphasise the holistic development of each student, and academic attainment is simply one aspect of the educational experiences. This is something that attracts many students to pursue their education in the US, but at the same time, makes the admissions process contingent upon several factors. The main criteria used by US university admissions

application process. While limited to only 650 words, it routinely causes significant stress for students who often do not how to effectively address the questions posed. Many students incorrectly believe the personal statement should be a comprehensive narrative of their academic and extracurricular achievements in totality. However, there are other areas in the application in which students list and describe their academic honours, extracurricular activities, and work experience. Students should not waste the wonderful opportunity the Personal Statement presents to them to offer insight into their unique personality, experiences, and A B OV E outlook to the admissions The Stanford campus officer reading it. The BELOW Personal Statement, along The Massachusetts Institute of Technology committees in determining with the optional interview, undergraduate admission is the only opportunity a include the strength of student has to transcend the a high school applicant’s letter grades and numerical test academic record, not only grades scores and put a human face to her received, but the rigour of the completed application in her own words. curriculum, scores on standardized tests, Applying to US universities should be such as TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, and SAT II, viewed as a courting and match-making and continued participation and leadership process, in which the university seeks to in extracurricular activities, such as school attract not only the most qualified academic clubs, sports, and community service. The candidates, but ones that will actively common misconception is that SATs are contribute to campus life and be a good fit the defining criterion in securing admission, for the university’s culture. Many rejected which they are not. applicants to selective universities are Candidates are compared and considered fully capable of satisfactorily completing for admission based on various aspects the academic work required of them, but of their profile and how they would are not accepted for reasons of diversity, contribute to the college community, both personality, and depth of character. inside and outside of the classroom; their Students should make every effort to admission into the university is not solely present themselves as multi-faceted, dependent on their academic standing mature, and informed individuals that and final examination grades. As such, are genuinely interested in enrolling the importance of the personal statement, in the universities to which they apply. supplementary essays, college interviews, Sincerity is very difficult to manufacture recommendations, and demonstrated and admissions officers are experts at interest cannot be underestimated. These identifying applicants that are not candid less-understood factors can determine in their communication or application the difference between admission and materials. Preparation and understanding denial among borderline candidates are the keys to success in this endeavour with similar academic qualifications and and the better grasp an applicant has of the backgrounds. While over 70% of applicants numerous assessment factors involved, the to top universities are estimated to be more positive the results will be. academically competitive to secure admissions PETER DAVOS The Personal Statement is one of the most feared and least understood Founder and Managing Director components of the American university Hale Education 2017

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10/02/2017 12:00


Study Hotel Management

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School’s Out EMIRATES LIT FEST P . 70 DUBAI RUGBY P . 82 FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD P . 90

2017

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10/02/2017 09:15


Take a JOURNEY Authors from around the world are heading to Dubai for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature EVE HERBERT

G

et ready for two weeks of literary bliss when the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature takes place in Dubai. Book lovers will be treated to more than 140 talented world famous authors and writers at the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. UAE nationals, visitors and residents can meet authors, attend seminars, listen to readings and take part in workshops. Once again, the festival will appeal to all ages with special events for children. They will be able to meet their favourite illustrators, storytellers and comic book writers who will take them on a ‘journey’, in

NADIYA HUSSAIN

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“IT IS THE MIDDLE EAST’S LARGEST CELEBRATION OF THE WRITTEN AND SPOKEN WORD” keeping with the event’s theme this year, around the world and beyond. Authors include Francesca Simon, Tanya Landman, Ibrahim Farghali, Frances Hardinge, Lucy Strange, Smriti Prasadam-Halls, Peter F Hamilton and Abi Elphinstone, whose tales of monsters, vampires, zombies, ghosts and aliens are sure to thrill. Travel the world with Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve’s astonishing adventures; fly with Ms. Marvel creator Sana Amanat and let Dr Emily Grossman and Lucy Hawking uncover the wonders of science for you. Andy Stanton returns with the latest news of Mr Gum, Polly and the other eccentric inhabitants of Lamonic Bibber.

2017

10/02/2017 09:17


SCHOOL’S OU T / BOOKS ANDREW DAVIES

“THE EXTENDED EDUCATION PROGRAMME GIVES PLENTY OF TIME FOR CHILDREN TO MEET THEIR FAVOURITE AUTHORS” ABI ELPHINSTONE

FRANCESCA SIMON

MAITHA AL KHAYAT

storytelling and favourite characters such as Elinor Dashwood, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. The Education programme will also return and be extended from one to five days, giving students more opportunities to interact with their favourite authors. Plus, festival lovers will be able to participate in many competitions including the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition and the Taaleem Award, youngsters can also enter the Readers’ Cup quiz competition and the Qasidah par Coeur performance poetry competitions. The Festival will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the Emirate’s dedicated authority for culture, arts and heritage... The nine days of the Festival will be packed with exciting events, appealing to every age group, and reflecting the range of diversity through its varied programme.

ANDY STANTON

FRANCES HARDINGE

The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain’s Bake Me a Story provides a new twist on fairy tale favourites – by matching them with her recipes so that parents and children can bake together. Nadiya will share her take on classic tales, with stories including the ‘The Gingerbread Guy’, ‘Jack and the Bean-Patty Stalk’, and ‘Ruby-Red and the Three Bears’. And, for those wishing to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the master of Austen adaptations for the big screen, Andrew Davies, will conduct an evening to celebrate her

EMIRATES AIRLINE FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE PHILIP REEVE & SARAH MCINTYRE

PIERS TORDAY

BEN MILLER

3-11 March 2017 InterContinental, Dubai Festival City www.emirateslitfest.com 2017

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PROFILE

The

M A K ING of Me

Michael Bond

The author of the legendary Paddington Bear books on his unhappy days boarding in the UK

M

remember hoping I would get a mastoid like my cousin, and the Brother would be sorry…

ichael Bond is a children's author best known for his Paddington Bear books. He has also written a series about a guinea pig called Olga da Polga. Bond is 91, has two grown-up children and lives in London, not far from Paddington Station. Q

A

Q What effect do you think your schooling had on your character? A It made me more aware of sin. Q How did it influence the rest of your life and career? A Not at all

Where did you go to school and when? Presentation College in Reading

Q Do you think other aspects of your early years were more influential, like your time in the army for example? A I would say that Army life had a far greater effect.

What sort of school was it? A Roman Catholic boarding school. I am not a Catholic but my mother liked the colour of the blazer – and I was a day boy. Q

A

What beliefs do you think that particular school instilled in you? A A strong sense of right and wrong. Q

You left school quite early, why was that? A I wasn’t very happy there and I left at the age of 14 – besides there was a war on. Q

What inspired you to write Paddington Bear? A A small bear sitting on the mantelpiece – he looked so lonely in the shop that I bought him and took him home for my wife. Q

Q What was your favourite subject or activity there? A English was my favourite subject, and I enjoyed long distance running.

Q What was your proudest achievement? If you didn’t have one at school, then what and where? A My proudest achievement was coming in last in the slow bicycle race, for which I was awarded an Ingersol watch.

Q Who was your favourite – or most influential - teacher? A The Head Master who was a monk.

Q What was the most trouble you got into? A Laughing in class.

Q How would you sum up your school days in five words? A Words fail me – not for the faint hearted.

Q Did you have a favourite ‘secret’ place at school? If so, where was it and what did you do there? A The bicycle shed where I avoided lessons.

Q What is your most vivid memory of your time there? A When I upset the English master, a Brother, who beat me to the floor I

Michael Bond’s new book, Paddington’s Finest Hour, is published by HarperCollins on 6 April.

Q What are your plans for Paddington in the future? A It would be more accurate to ask what his plans for me would be.

MY FAVOURITE PLACE WAS THE BIKE SHED WHERE I AVOIDED LESSONS 2017

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Top Spring

BOOKS With a new year and hundreds of new children’s books on the shelves, here’s our selection of brilliant reads

11+

9+

WELCOME TO NOWHERE by Elizabeth Laird MACMILLAN CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Ÿ In the winter of 2015, sixt-time CILIP Carnegie Medal-shortlisted author Elizabeth Laird travelled to Jordan to volunteer in two refugee camps. This is the result of her experiences there. It tells the story of Omar and his family, who fled Syria when the bombs started falling. An excellent book for young people who want to know what is happening in Syria. £9.99

ROSE RAVENTHORPE INVESTIGATES: BLACK CATS AND BUTLERS b y Janine Beacham HACHET TE CHILDREN’S GROUP

R

ose Raventhorpe loves nothing more than wandering around Yorke with her beloved butler Argyle, so when he is murdered, - the third butler to be stabbed in a week – Rose knows she must find out what really happened. Join Rose on an adventure into a hidden world of grave robbers, duelling butlers and magicians. £6.99

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Emerald

SECRET

b y Susan Moore NOSY CROW

Ÿ The second exciting instalment in the Nat Walker trilogy, a series of action-packed adventure stories with a go-getting girl hero set in a futuristic, steam-punk London. Susan Moore used to work at LucasFilm in California and her writing is a bit like Star Wars – fastpaced and epic in scale. £6.99

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SPR ING BOOKS

4+

4+

Big Book of BEASTS

MUST READ

b y Yuval Zommer

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THAME S & HUDSON

rom the author and illustrator of the best-selling Big Book of Bugs comes a brilliant book about the hairiest, grizzliest, growliest and most fearsome beasts on our planet. It is packed with fascinating information and full of gloriously illustrated wildlife scenes. £12.95

9+

T H E WO R L D ’ S G R E AT E S T S PAC E C A D E T by James Carter BLOOMSBURY

Join poet Carter on a journey through space and time and meet everyone from a Viking warrior to a crazed cat. This wonderful collection is the perfect way to get children interested in poetry. £5.99

9+

THE ROAD TO EVER AFTER by Moira Young

MACMILLAN CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Ÿ The author has put her own spin on the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life in this story of friendship and redemption. Orphan Davy David is no stranger to loneliness but when he meets old Miss Flint, they set off on a magical adventure together. This book is sure to become a classic. £9.99

8+

THERE’S A WEREWOLF IN MY TENT

b y Pamela Butchart NOSY CROW

Ÿ Izzy and her friends are SO excited about their school trip. They’re going camping and there’ll be marshmallows and no washing and everything. But then weird things start to happen. There are howling sounds at night and some sausages have gone missing… Another brilliantly funny read from the best-selling author who brought you Attack of the Demon Dinner Ladies and To Wee or not To Wee. £6.99

12+

K A I ’ S S T O RY by Judy Waite BLOOMSBURY

Kai just wanted a bit of fun but now his video has viral, his friends are upset and he is getting messages from strangers on the internet… Welcome to The Street! A High Low book from Bloomsbury that aims to encourage and support reading by providing gripping and ageappropriate stories for struggling and reluctant readers. £5.99

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SPR ING BOOKS

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7+

The Big GREEN BOOK

MUST READ

by Robert Graves, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

VINTAGE CHILDREN’S CLASSIC S

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his is the only children’s book written by war poet and revered British writer Robert Graves. Written when he was 67, it was illustrated by a little known artist, who was yet to create his iconic Where the Wild Things Are. A long-forgotten and wonderful story about the magic of reading. £12.99 11+

7+

Famous Five: FIVE G ET I NTO TROUBLE

b y Enid Blyton (Book 8) HACHET TE CHILDREN’S GROUP

THE BONE SPARROW

b y Zana Fraillon

ORION CHILDREN’S

Ÿ Shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize last year, The Bone Sparrow is the deeply moving story of a boy who has spent his entire life in a detention centre. Perfect for fans of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and out now in paperback. £6.99

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he Famous Five are back for another adventure. It’s Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy's 75th anniversary this year and all 22 titles will be available in new editions. This edition has beautiful new covers from in-demand author Laura Ellen Anderson to appeal to a whole new readership. £6.99

2017

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FRANCESCA SIMON NADIYA HUSSAIN JON RONSON ANDY STANTON JO MALONE LUCY HAWKING JON KLASSEN KATHY REICHS SANA AMANAT JEFFREY ARCHER MOHAMMED SAEED HARIB CHRISTINA LAMB THE JOURNEY BEGINS HERE

The Event Centre InterContinental Dubai Festival City

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#DubaiLitFest DOWNLOAD THE ELF DUBAI APP

08/02/2017 15:53


The

M A K ING of Me

Cressida Cowell The children’s author and illustrator on the very different influences of her two senior schools

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I loved Marlborough more because it was freer – I was always in lots of trouble at St Paul’s and it’s hard to love a school that’s permanently telling you off.

ressida Cowell, 50, is a children’s author and illustrator, best known for the How to Train Your Dragon books, two of which have been made into award-winning animated films. She lives in west London with her husband and her three children.

What were your schooldays like? I was not totally straightforward as a schoolchild: very disorganised, very dreamy and very clever – I was reading Chaucer for pleasure at 14. Not necessarily what school was looking for. I was always in trouble for losing things and for handing in my homework late. Q

A

Where did you go to school and when? St Paul’s Girls’ School in the late 70s, before that Bute House (St Paul’s Girls’ Preparatory School) and then Marlborough College for sixth form. Q

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What sort of school was it? What was its ethos? A St Paul’s was very feminist and academic; it promoted a fierce questioning intelligence. We weren’t expected to absorb knowledge passively, but to ask questions and speak out. Marlborough was more entrepreneurial, creative and accepting and, funnily enough more diverse than St Paul’s – it talked to the all-round child. There were pupils at Marlborough who said they didn’t want to go to university at all. You would never have heard that at St Paul’s. Q

Did you love it or hate it? St Paul’s was very feminist and I loved that. The underlying assumption was that women were as good as men – if not better. But it was an education that made me question education itself – it felt very narrowly academic. At St Paul’s, if you didn’t get into Oxbridge, you felt as if you had somehow failed. I was a very creative child and I wanted to do art A-Level but they said, ‘No, you are an academic child.’ That’s why I went to Marlborough, where I did four A-Levels: Art, History of Art, English and History. Q

A

Q Who was your favourite or most influential teacher? A Miss Mellows at Bute House – such a brilliant teacher. She gave me books that I could write stories in without her correcting the grammar. I made up masses of stories to put in this book. It was unmarked, which was terribly important. What you want to do is develop the child’s imagination and writing – nowadays it's difficult for children to develop that pure love of writing. I was simply copying The Famous Five but I was creating and Miss Mellows was uncritical. That one teacher had a huge effect on me. I also had an incredible, inspirational teacher at Marlborough, my charismatic head of art, Robin Child. His daughter, Lauren (the Charlie and Lola author), was at Marlborough with me and we are still great friends.

Did you have a favourite place at school? A I loved the countryside around Marlborough – it’s absolutely stunning. Even when I was young and going out for a sneaky fag I really appreciated it. I really like the girls-only places at Marlborough. We had a special place for break and girls-only dorms. It gave us a great sense of sisterhood Ω we were 10 to one in those days! Q

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PROFILE

Above Cressida as a child in Scotland

What was your proudest achievement? My friendships, my soulmates, from those days. Q

“There was a great sense of sisterhood at Marlborough, we were 10 to one in those days!”

A

Q What was the most trouble you got into? A I was always getting caught smoking at Marlborough, and always in trouble for being chaotic. If I had a pound for every teacher who said, “You’ll never make anything of yourself being so disorganised”... Q What is your most vivid memory of your time there? A I loved the singing and music at St Paul’s. There was an incredible organist. I adored the carol concerts, singing very loudly and wildly out of tune. Q Would you send your own children there? A I wouldn’t send my children to boarding school. I want them at home. All three are currently at Latymer Upper. We are very lucky, it is down the road from where we live.

A Growing up I didn’t know any writers or filmmakers in the way my own children do now. My father was a businessman and there were a lot of politicians in my family. I knew I wanted to do something creative. At school I was always writing books. I briefly worked in publishing but realised I wanted to be on the other side.

What are your plans for the future? I’ve got something very exciting coming in September 2017 – a whole new series I’m working on for eight- to 12-year-olds. And I’m an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and World Book Day – getting children to read is very important to me. Q

How did school influence the person you are today? A I think I’m a pretty strong feminist. I’m a questioner and I’m very creative. I think the two schools balanced me – I have the entrepreneurial side that Marlborough encouraged and the questioning side from St Paul’s. I was in education for a long time and I use all of it now – at Oxford I read AngloSaxon and did Beowulf and at art school I studied illustration. Everything has had a part to play in where I am today. Q

Did you ever imagine as a schoolgirl that you’d be a famous writer? Q

A

Q How would you sum up your school days in five words? A Inspiring, creative and being scolded!

The Incomplete Book of Dragons (Hodder Children’s Books, £12.99) is out now

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BRIDGING THE GAP A leading businesswoman on helping Emiratis prepare for the future O M A I R A FA R O O Q A L O L A M A

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ducation has always been an important and underlying factor that has shaped the UAE’s development. When the UAE first formed in 1972, there was a huge gap of uneducated Emiratis, who were thrust into finding jobs, providing for their families and contributing to the infrastructure and society of the region. This posed tremendous difficulties, in terms of conversing in a different language and adapting to the influx of foreign nationals who began pouring in. As time went on, however, many of the younger generation went on to study and eventually complete their education by travelling to western countries. Many of them achieved some of the highest accolades that were available. The problem was that these nationals were detached from the Emiratis left behind, the previous generation that hadn’t had opportunities to study, and this left a major gap in the Emirati community. Those that went off to study felt they could do a more substantial job in developing the nation. However, those that stayed behind and had worked their way up felt they couldn’t count on those who were educated. Many of them felt their demands outweighed their usefulness. It was a gap that divided the work force. When a lot of the younger generation Emiratis went abroad to study, whether it was in western countries, or Arab countries such as Egypt and Iraq, the country continued to develop. This was done by hiring expats from all over the world to help build this young nation.

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“It’s about instilling values and the meaning of work from the outset” A lot of those that were experienced and who had not completed their education were able to work harmoniously with expats, however, it wasn’t until the Emiratis who had studied and had completed their education came back to the region, that problems arose. Those who were educated in specialty fields felt they didn’t require outside help, and felt the Emiratis who had work experience tended to favour the expats over them. Some were given labels as go getters, others were labelled as lazy and demanded way too much just because they had a degree. It was an issue that let many of those who studied to go on to launch their own businesses as they just couldn’t draw the line and work together in harmony. Nowadays, there is still a major gap in education, as more and more nationals are studying and more of them are in schools where they are fluent in many languages, English being a major one. Previously a lot of nationals were not as well versed in English compared to today. The gap is slowly disappearing between the communities, however, there is still a lot of work to be done. This is one of the reasons why I decided to set up Advance Learning Formulas (ALF) which works with UAE nationals in training them to prepare

for employment. We train Emirates from aged 18-34 and help them into employment or develop further their skills. We teach them about workplace expectations, career progression and even introductory skills, such as writing a CV. I always try and teach my own children about the importance of work ethic. For example if they're running a cake sale I tell them to stand and sell their produce themselves and not rely on other people to do it. It’s about instilling values and the meaning of work from the outset.

OMAIRA FAROOQ AL OLAMA Founder of Advanced Learning Formulas (ALF)

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SCHOOL’S OU T/ OPINION

A B OV E

A young student in the UAE LEFT

A pupil at his desk

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TRY

DUBAI A former international rugby player tells Emirates Education why rugby is such a important sport for children in the UAE APOLLO PERELINI

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ubai is an immense pool of opportunity for anybody looking to get involved in rugby. Whether you are new to the sport or an experienced player, the city’s unique rugby scene and community accommodates all skill levels and backgrounds. Children from as young as five up to 19 year-olds have the privilege of an excellent and diverse range of rugby activity available to them. One of the easiest ways to get yourself or your children playing is through the number of amateur rugby clubs throughout Dubai. Clubs in Dubai offering Mini and Youth rugby are: Dubai Exiles, Arabian Knights, 82

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“There is a strong tournament tradition within Dubai and the UAE” Heartbeat Tigers, Dubai Hurricanes, Jebel Ali Dragons and Warriors. These Clubs offer playing opportunities and teams for mini-youth (five years) all the way up to Under 19’s, beyond which there are senior teams. Clubs also have a strong tradition of girl’s rugby, from touch rugby to tackle, with strong and competitive teams that grow each year.

With regards to competition, there are numerous fixtures and tournaments available throughout the rugby season for all age groups and clubs. Fixtures are held between clubs around the UAE, including teams from Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The league as a whole is organised by the UAE Rugby Federation (UAERF). As a result, there are a wide range of teams and players for those based in Dubai to compete against. There is a strong tournament tradition within Dubai and the UAE as a whole, with the HSCB Mini and Youth Rugby Festival, Al Ain 10’s, Abu Dhabi 7’s and The Dubai 7’s being particular highlights of the season. The variety afforded by the seven and 10 a-side variations of the game offer a fantastic change of pace, with the events themselves

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SCHOOL'S OU T / RUGBY

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(Apollo Perelini Rugby Skills Academy) focuses on sharpening and LEFT nurturing the skills Rugby star Apollo Perelini needed to develop as a player. We like to focus on the detail, honing basic skills like passing and catching whilst growing a player’s game-sense and strategic awareness. We host academy sessions in a number of different locations throughout Dubai, including an expanding number of primary schools and secondary schools. Though we are not a competitive team, and do not play in fixtures against other teams, we do act as a third party to the school-club system. In this way we offer an unbiased approach to coaching. A growing number of our former players have gone on to make professional academies and representative teams in their home countries, including the England, South Africa and New Zealand. Overall, Dubai is an excellent environment for families to get involved in rugby, helping foster lifelong friendships and high levels of growth in players. There is a diverse range of activities and events for players of all skill levels and ages to participate in, and a strong tradition of healthy competition fostered by a fantastic and cosmopolitan community.

offering an exciting and eventful day out for supporters and players alike. In addition to club rugby, is the strong and competitive Dubai Schools league, which runs in parallel to the club competition. Governed and run by DAPSSA and DASSA (Dubai Affiliated Primary School Sports Association and Secondary Schools Association, respectively) leagues run in a number of competing schools from Year 3 all the way to Senior Sixth Form (Under 19’s). Much like the club circuit, tournaments are held year-round between the various schools, throughout the UAE. Furthermore, these are held and organised specifically to complement their club counterparts to avoid clashes in timings and schedules. The relationship between school rugby and club rugby is essential to the quality and enjoyment of the sport here in Dubai, as by playing in different teams and combinations, resulting in an intermingling of talents that creates an environment very close to those found in England, New Zealand and many other rugby nations. As an alternative to full-contact, there are tag-rugby teams available for younger players. Starting from five years old up to seven years, clubs offer tag rugby as a good starting alternative for those new to the game. Tag rugby offers an excellent introduction to the game, prioritising skill and handling over physicality. 84

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“Rugby acts as a great medium to meet new families and friends” Aside from the plethora of playing opportunities available in Dubai, getting involved in the rugby scene comes with number of benefits for both players and parents. Firstly, club rugby offers an excellent route into the Dubai social scene, as kids are able to play alongside players from other schools and areas of Dubai. Rugby acts as a great medium to meet new families and friends, build long-term friendships and form a sense of camaraderie with people you may have little in common with other than a love for the sport. For many new expats, simply joining a rugby club immediately expands their circle of acquaintances. This can be especially welcoming for new expatriates, as it helps their children to make friends whilst also helping meet friends of the same nationality, which can be key in helping new families settle in. Outside of the clubs and schools, our academy offers a specialised approach to rugby coaching for players of all ages and abilities. Founded six years ago, APRSA

C O N TAC T S

DUBAI CLUBS Warriors +971 (0)55 882 1495 • Dubai Hurricanes +971 (0)50 794 0823 • Dubai Exiles Rugby Club +971 (0)50 459 8603 • Heartbeat Tigers +971 (0)55 665 7332 • Jebel Ali Dragons +971 (0)52 877 3944 • Arabian Knights +917 (0)55 672 2520 • Apollo Perelini Rugby Skills Academy APRSA +971 (0)52 777 1055

APOLLO PERELINI Founder Apollo Perelini Rugby Skills Academy

2017

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Horsing AROUND Equine therapy is increasingly being used to help pupil with SEN, discovers Emirates Education JASMINE ROBERTSON

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arking about with horses at school might have seemed to be the sole preserve of smart girls at public school with hair as glossy as their pony’s manes, but horses are clip clopping into schools in surprising places. Equine therapy, or more specifically Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is an established practice in the US that is gaining popularity here. EAL aims to enable children to achieve educational goals by interacting with horses, particularly pupils who find it hard to engage with mainstream schooling such as those with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Its sister therapy, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) uses similar, 86

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often one-on-one techniques to help and heal many groups of people, such as traumatised children, sufferers of PTSD and recovering addicts. They are even using it for treatments at the Priory. In London's Hyde Park, you may have noticed a group of children having fun with some large horses. As part of National Anti-Bullying Week, groups of London school pupils aged between 12-15 years old were able to work with shire horses, alongside EAL therapist Dr Andreas Liefooghe. “Humans can learn a lot from watching horses,” says Dr Andreas Liefooghe. “There is a tendency in a herd of horses to stick together, whereas in human groups, there tends to be fragmentation in sub-groups and cliques. The first task all students face is how to create a mixed human-horse herd… so the group has to manage to integrate them despite their differences.”

The main aim of the programme was to teach teenagers cooperative group work and inclusion rather than competition and exclusion. Many of the children had never come into contact with a horse before and learnt to interact with the horses through touch, observing their behaviour and responses and learning how to communicate with the animals in non-verbal ways – learning valuable lessons about themselves and teamwork along the way.

“HORSES ARE LIKE A MIRROR - THEY REFLECT THE BEHAVIOURS AROUND THEM”

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SCHOOL’S OU T / SEN

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SCHOOL’S OU T / SEN

EAL is proving particularly valuable for children with SEN issues such as ADHD, autism and attachment disorders. By participating in carefully tailored activities with horses, children with SEN can learn about themselves and others: processing and discussing feelings and behaviour patterns they may struggle to articulate. Treatments can be as simple: gentle, introductory sensory techniques, such as grooming or petting a horse, or even decorating it with paint. The use of paint is particularly effective for children who can’t bear to touch fur or skin (a common autistic trait), as the paint acts a barrier. The benefits of sensory work are profound, as it involves the use of fine motor skills, verbal communication and social interaction. The reason EAL works so well, says Rosie Edwards, who runs the charity Learning Through Horses in north London, is that “Horses are like a mirror – they reflect the behaviours around them whether it’s excitement, anger, joy or sadness.” As prey animals, horses switch easily to fight or flight mode; they are extremely sensitive to human emotion. Edwards offers EAL courses for pupils in London schools and is currently working with SEN pupils from St Augustine’s in Kilburn. Working with six pupils at a time, she teaches them the basics of horsewhispering – training horses using just your body language. This requires “fine tuned” control and observation techniques, says Edwards and helps pupils develop fine motor and communication skills and confidence. Most importantly, “in order to train horses, students must get control of their own emotions”. Edwards says she sees the difference EAL makes right in front of her eyes. “Most pupils are referred to us because of challenging behaviour but we see very little of it here. The horses just have that impact,” she says. “Plus the threat of getting kicked in the head is a little more real” she laughs. Edwards also notes that pupils renowned for non-attendance never

“EQUINE THERAPY IS PROVING VALUABLE FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM”

miss a day at her stables because they love it so much. This motivation can itself reap rewards. Edwards has run a programme aimed at getting young people back into employment. She now receives regular email requests for job references from those pupils who have made successful job applications. “That gives me massive gratification,” she says. 2017

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FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD Dubai British School has reinvented student lunches - with a little help from Michelinstarred chef Gary Rhodes CLAIRE GLASBY

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chool lunches can rarely be called exciting. At best, they offer healthyenough sustenance to see students through the school day. At worst, they load young diners with junk-food-style carbs, fats and refined sugars - it’s no wonder childhood obesity and type II diabetes rates are continuing to rise at an alarming rate. Dubai British School Jumeirah Park (DBS JP), one of the UAE’s Taaleem group of schools, is hoping to turn things around. Launched in September 2015, Clive Pierrepont, Director of Communications at Taaleem called upon the talents of celebrity chef Gary Rhodes to create a daily school menu that wouldn’t just inspire kids to look forward to lunchtimes, but is also nutritionally balanced, organic and wholesome. “I was amazed that Chef Gary and his team were prepared to give 100% to this project and at the amount of time and energy he personally devoted to it. Working together we think we have created something unique in the realm of school meals,” says Clive Pierrepont "Children have to eat, so let’s do it well," explains Rhodes, who has been awarded six 90

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“Our aim is to make children look forward to the next day’s meal” coveted Michelin stars during the course of his career and offers his valuable experience and advice to DBS JP on a voluntary basis. "Our aim is to make children look forward to the next day’s meal," he says. Much like Rhodes’ own cuisine, the food served up at the school is seasonal, expertly prepared and tastes incredible. The menu includes snacks, main meals, side dishes and desserts, all packed full of nutritious ingredients and no harmful additives or colours. Rhodes and his team have put together dishes which will support growing children’s nutritional needs through each stage of their development, and will appeal to even the fussiest of young palates vegetabls are hidden in healthier versions of classics such as salmon fishcakes or mashed sweet potato and carrots and each meal combines interesting new flavours that are fun and exciting to try. "Our menu designed

by Gary Rhodes is extremely popular with the children and we’ve had great feedback from our parents, too," says Pierrepont. "Even the fussiest eaters - the ones who wouldn’t touch fish or vegetables before are trying new things and tucking into their meals each day." However, meals at DBS JP aren’t just about what children are eating, they have also transformed how children are eating. More than a quarter of families in the

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SCHOOL’S OU T / FOOD

“Table manners and etiquette are often overlooked in schools” A B OV E

DPS pupil enjoying a snack LEFT

Gary Rhodes RIGHT strongly encouraged for even UK don’t eat a single meal Lunchtime at DPS the smallest pupils - habits together - a figure that is that they’ll absorb and retain likely to be even higher for for a lifetime. "Table manners busy families in the UAE. And yet, and etiquette are often overlooked in research from Colombia University in schools, but we believe that they are an the US has found that children who regularly essential part of a child’s learning process sit down to a proper mealtime score higher as they develop a healthy relationship with in academic tests and consistently achieve their food," says Pierrepont. better grades than their peers in vocabulary "We need to emphasise social interaction and reading skills. In an age where smartat school quite simply because it is phones and tablets at the table have become something children have to do for the rest a substitute for conversation and interaction of their lives," agrees Rhodes. Children at at mealtimes, kids and their families DBS JP sit with their friends, classmates have forgotten how to socialise over the and teachers, and there’s a top table where dinner table. they may be invited to eat with more senior At DBS JP, socialising is a key part of members of staff. Unlike a canteen or the dining experience. Far from the usual buffet, all food is served directly to the table, canteen service which is popular in most usually by the children themselves, and establishments serving school lunches, they also take responsibility for clearing up meals at DBS JP are a semi-formal, afterwards. Lunchtimes are longer, too; in family-style affair. Good table manners a deliberate effort to encourage children to and adhering to mealtime etiquette are

savour their meals and enjoy a conversation while they eat. "It’s not about scoffing away and thinking 'that will do'," adds Rhodes. "I’d like to think that one day we’ll have children who will stop conversation during a meal to ask ‘Have you tried that yet?’." Clive Pierrepont, adds: "In this digital age, soft skills like the art of conversation and table manners are encouraged at an early age. We realise that future careers can still be made or broken during lunch or dinner with the ‘boss’, our aim is that students will learn impeccable manners, dining etiquette and will be confident in business and social situations." It’s a bold but straightforward tactic, and one that works. Even the pickiest eaters are much more likely to experiment with new flavours and push their own boundaries if they are surrounded by their peers. As part of the school’s holistic approach, children at DBS JP learn about balanced healthy eating as part of their curriculum, with the aim of passing on their knowledge to their families and the wider community. The result is healthier, happier and more productive students who are able to make informed choices about what they eat from an early age. 2017

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QUALITY AFFORDABLE BRITISH EDUCATION Together we inspire creative, mindful learners who value diversity, support one another and strive for success.

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GEMS Founders School follows the National Curriculum for England which is delivered by qualified and experienced staff. The curriculum is supplemented by extensive enrichment and after school activities programmes. Our mission is to provide our students with learning opportunities that will enable them to be creative, independent, analytical thinkers with a love of learning and the potential to become tomorrow’s leaders. In addition to this we follow two core principles of Mindfulness and Languages. These are embedded and interwoven throughout the School and all students are engaged in learning activities to build upon these values. Our purpose built facilities include state of the art science labs, wellequipped medical rooms, indoor and outdoor Foundation Stage play areas, multipurpose hall and games area, three outdoor multi use games areas and an outdoor 11-a-side football pitch which is the home to Real Madrid Football Academy here in Dubai.

OPEN FOR ADMISSIONS YEAR 1 TO 9 FOR 2017-18 For more information please contact: +971 4 519 5222 registrar_gfs@gemsedu.com gemsfoundersschool-dubai.com

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A community-centered British school with a global perspective For more information please contact: +971 4 550 7200 / 600 56 7771

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registrar_mts@gemsedu.com

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At GEMS Metropole School, we believe that a child’s innate sense of curiosity is their greatest strength. We stimulate a natural interest and curiosity in a variety of academic pursuits while promoting proactive engagement and critical thinking in the classroom and beyond. With this in mind, the English National Curriculum is delivered and tailored to our diverse international student body in order to meet the needs and expectations of the modern global student. Our contemporary teaching techniques and child-centric approach nurtures our students in a warm and stimulating technology-rich environment. As an English curriculum school we prepare students for internationally recognised IGCSE, AS and A Level qualifications through carefully designed options, and very high standards of teaching. We are also geographically well positioned amidst a number of communities – accessible within minutes from Motor City, Sports City, Arabian Ranches and the Green Community.

OPEN FOR ADMISSIONS

FS 1 TO YEAR 11 FOR 2017-18

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60

L A ST WOR D

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DR STEPHEN SPURR The previous Headmaster of Westminster School on his new role for the Inspired education group

Tell us about your new role with the Inspired education group A On leaving Westminster in 2014, I was approached by a number of organisations and found the international vision of Inspired the one closest to my own. As globalisation becomes more entrenched, it is important that education is not left behind. My new role involves a lot of travel!

At each stage and each level of ability, there is a Challenge and Extension programme (CHEX), which, rather than streaming pupils into subjects, ensures both the brightest and least confident progress to the best of their ability in each class through tailored exercises. Unlike many other schools of this calibre, this approach recognises that children develop at different ages and ensures that students continually progress as opposed to being pigeon-holed after one early exam.

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Q Tell us some of the background to Inspired and the Reddam House schools. A Inspired is the newest and fastestgrowing international group of highperforming schools. The Inspired vision is to select only premium schools, market leaders in their own communities, and then link them with Inspired’s education philosophy. The group has a substantial presence on four continents and is led by top educationalists. Schools offer a fresh and contemporary approach to education, reevaluating traditional teaching methods and curriculums and providing a dynamic form of education, both global and local, that is fitting for the 21st century. The UK schools in the Inspired group are Reddam House in Berkshire and Fulham Prep School in London.

What is Reddam House Berkshire? Reddam House Berkshire (formerly Bearwood College) is the UK flagship of Reddam House, whose schools top the league tables in Australia and South Africa. It is set within 120 acres of stunning parkland and occupies a magnificent Victorian mansion, 35 miles west of London. In contrast to many British schools of this calibre, it is a ‘through-school’, educating

children from three months to 18 years across three age divisions. Under the Reddam House management team the school was delighted to achieve ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ in all categories of its first ISI report after just one term – a remarkable achievement. A B OV E

Reddam House School in Berkshire

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“Reddam House is all about providing a dynamic, global education” 98

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What have been the challenges of opening a new school? A Bearwood College had a proud history but had fallen on very hard times. Its potential in this prime location was obvious, so the challenge was to bring that out as quickly as possible – with new leadership, management, hand-picked teaching staff and investment. Q

What is the school ethos? Defining principles include a ‘global mindset’ driven by the belief that this generation will compete globally rather than nationally, and subjects such as music, dance and drama being set firmly within the main curriculum.

Q What further plans are there for Reddam House schools in the UK? A Inspired is interested in the premium school market and is continuously evaluating schools that wish to join the group. Q How will your previous experience as head of both Westminster and Clifton College and housemaster at Eton help? A Being both a head of department and housemaster at Eton could not have been better training for headship. At Clifton it was a question of bringing out the potential of a through-school, both boarding and day, and raising its profile, while at Westminster, the most academically successful school in the country, it was a question of continually matching the best global standards and ensuring that pupils were prepared for the top-ranked universities worldwide

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DR STEPHEN SPURR Managing Director Reddam House Europe

Will you do things differently at Reddam House? A The best independent education is now international. Belonging to a dynamically evolving network of schools, each rooted in their own community but with a global vision, is the best way to ensure continual improvement and opportunity for all. Q

2017

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Absolutely Education Emirates Issue 1 2017  
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