Message from the Associate Principal-Message from the Associate Principal-Nord Anglia Education
WRITTEN BY
Nord Anglia
07 December, 2023

Message from the Associate Principal

Message from the Associate Principal-Message from the Associate Principal-messagefromtheassociateprincipaldec23
Thriving in learning
Before I start this week’s newsletter, I want to thank you all for the partnership and support you continue to show as we work together as a community to educate our children. I do hope you are able to enjoy some of the winter break as a family and have time together that is memorable for all the good reasons. Our children grow up so quickly and such moments matter to us; I wish you all the best over the break and look forward to your safe return in the new year.

The verb ‘thrive’ means to grow, to develop, to be successful. When I reflect on the interactions I have witnessed over the last few days, this is exactly what I have seen and heard. I am so proud of the outcomes our students are demonstrating.

Last week, I was able to participate in our Year 4 COP28 event.  At this event, I saw children thriving.  It was a culmination of their learning across the term, aimed at looking after and protecting our planet through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are woven into our school curriculum, providing each year group the opportunity to explore and develop a deeper knowledge of particular goals each year.

The students clearly demonstrated and applied their learning; giving explanations, sharing reports, diagrams and presentations about topics such as sustainable water, preservation of our resources, using energy efficiently, and recycling. It was a pleasure watching them be so knowledgeable and articulate. It was very humbling to see them in action and do so well. It also gave me hope that the world has a chance to recover from the damage previous generations have inflicted on it, and that hope lies in our children.  This topic is part of our partnership work with Abu Dhabi University.  In previous years, we have won international teaching awards from this innovative partnership. Over the years, it has continued to develop and is now thriving. We are proud to be the only school in the UAE to have a partnership between primary age students and a university, that is uniquely driven by the United Nations Global Goals. A timely reminder with COP28 taking place on our doorstep and a precursor to the work we will be presenting at COP28 on Saturday, 9th December about this partnership, and how we take our work on sustainability forward.

I also had the pleasure of watching our Year 3 students deliver their ACE time event to parents this week. Again, students led parents in sharing and demonstrating their learning covering subjects like science, geology, history, maths, art and English through the topic of Stone Age times. These students were in charge, showing their parents how to conduct scientific tests on rocks and carry out addition of 3-digit numbers and so on. They loved demonstrating what they knew and the feeling of being the expert in the room. They were thriving.

Then on Wednesday, we saw our wonderful annual FS2 Winter Show, where the theme of sustainability and looking after the planet continued. I was absolutely in awe at the confidence of four-year-old children; being able to get up on a full stage, in an auditorium that has a capacity of over five hundred seats and to sing, dance, and speak out confidently to tell us an enthralling and meaningful story. My goodness, they were certainly thriving!

Our school is a wonderful place, we are a British school, but we are not bound by the traditional constraints of the UK National Curriculum. We thrive in the freedom to adapt our curriculum and shape it around international context. We can use what is current and what is relevant for the future. No one can deny that the environment and sustainability are not hot topics. It is far better we allow our children to thrive through using current and relevant issues than be restricted by a narrow one-dimensional approach. I am proud of our school, how it adapts, grows and develops. I am proud of how our children are moving forward. Our school is certainly thriving!

Alan Cocker

Associate Principal

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