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Message from the Head of Primary

22 September 2020

A message from the Head of Primary, Alan Cocker.

  • alan

When someone asks me where I work or what I do – I beam with pride. I reply, ‘I work at BIS Abu Dhabi!’ And why do I beam so much – because at my very core is a passion and love of learning. BIS Abu Dhabi demonstrates this day after day regardless of what the world may throw at us. 

As the new Head of Primary, I am, as Michael Angelo was once reported to have said, ‘still learning’. Despite many years of being a Head of Primary in the UK, leading a school through COVID-19 is unchartered waters.  I do not have all the answers, there is not a brilliant textbook on what to do next. What I can say is that I am proud to be part of a community that values learning and is willing to support one another as we test the waters and try things we have not done before.

When I look around our school, I see so much learning taking place, teachers and students using different technology, students and teachers working in new learning environments in different buildings and even different parts of the world. I see creativity, I see teachers who are overcoming barriers and seeking alternative ways to ensure that they are able to connect, to be able to explain, to be able to compare and contrast and to be able to model in different ways. 

When faced with challenging times learning does not get put on hold. In fact, it seems to accelerate. People pull together, they share their learning more readily, they support one another, and they empower each other. I have seen a new teacher being guided through elements of SeeSaw and Microsoft Teams by a student in their class and the next minute that same teacher guiding that very same student on how to use negative numbers. I have seen students create new socially distanced games to play at break times. I have seen teachers successfully demonstrate to students through the use of a visualiser and broadcast this to students in three different places and then students share their attempts back.  Learning is happening despite COVID-19. Our students are loving being back at school and loving learning. In fact, in a strange way, COVID-19 is helping us to learn in new ways that we would not have even considered eight months ago.  Where do I work? 

‘I work at BIS Abu Dhabi and I am still learning.’

Alan Cocker

Head of Primary