Since the beginning of this academic year, I have been writing about how essential the values of kindness, self-dedication and lifelong learning are, for all of us, children and adults. I would like to take the opportunity of this week’s e-Newsletter to remind you of an aspect of our mission: ‘At NAISAK, we are a global community that instils ambition through world-class partnerships and collaborations. We bring the best of the world to Al Khor.’ I am glad to share with you an article about the NAISAK and International Awards at school and how the skills developed through a dedication to those two programmes support our students’ character building and future chances of success, and an article about Raphael Peacock’s visit, our Drama expert from Juilliard. As we endeavour to bring the best of the world to Al Khor, do we do what it takes, each of us, to seize those opportunities for personal growth?
Head of Secondary School
Ambitious learning: the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award
The International Award provides participants with a personal challenge to inspire them to transform their everyday life. The award focuses on the idea that not all learning happens in a classroom and it is often experiences outside that shape the participants to be committed, responsible and fulfilled citizens of the world. Taking part in the NAISAK Award is the right step towards being successful participants in the International Award.
We have had a fantastic start with over 30 participants committing to the award so far. We have worked to set goals for each section: skills, physical recreation and service. Everyone is looking forward to seeing how our participants progress each week as they work hard to reach their targets. This will continue with further training in preparation for our adventurous journeys.
For participants to get the most of this opportunity, our staff leaders are continually developing their skills in delivering the award. Mr Ian Coppenhall has recently been at a two-day course to work with International Award experts and other staff across the Middle East and Africa to ensure our participants receive the support they need. The course involved guiding the students through target setting and role-plays of situations we may encounter, to planning and completing our own mini-adventurous journey.
With the adventurous journeys taking place in the new year, we have begun the training to prepare the students for what it entails. The first session was on team building and deciding potential teams for the expedition. The students completed ‘the human knot’ challenge, which tested communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. We then focused on what constitutes an emergency and the processes you need to go through when encountering a challenging situation. The groups were given case studies based on situations that have occurred in the past. They were given ten minutes to read through and decide on a course of action. Their next session will follow on from this with some first-aid training, where participants will learn how to treat minor injuries.
We are looking forward to seeing how the participants cope with the challenges faced when completing their adventurous journeys and the successes which they will undoubtedly achieve along the way.
A warm thank you needs to be extended to our participants’ parents for their support as our participants are ahead of a heavy training schedule with some sessions outside of usual school hours. Thank you!
Leah Murray and Ian Coppenhall
Leader of the International Award and Deputy Leader of the International Award
An American actor at school!
Arriving on 2 November from a 15-hour flight all the way from New York City was our special guest, Raphael Peacock. From the illustrious Juilliard School in New York, Raphael Peacock spent two days with us at school. His goal was to observe how Drama is being integrated into the curriculum and how to support the school and its teachers develop that fantastic subject further.
From the moment of his arrival at NAISAK, he was met with students’ curiosity, which rapidly changed into engagement. Having Mr Peacock in the classroom, demonstrating how Drama can be so expressive, engaging and fun, was an amazing experience, and his positive demeanour made staff and students drawn to him immediately. Mr Peacock had students expressing themselves in the most vivid and creative ways and even had some classes dancing as a warm-up exercise. NAISAK has been extremely lucky to host him, gain experience and techniques from him, and to have been able to form a great relationship with him. We are looking forward to his return in March when he will continue to support staff and students.
On behalf of NAISAK, a very big thank you to Mr Raphael Peacock and The Juilliard School!
Leader of Drama