In our Praise Assembly, we recognised the achievements of those that have achieved huge numbers of house points – the most so far. This enabled three students to be within seven house points of the ‘Diamond' award. This has never been achieved before and shows the determination of the students. It is the first year in six years that East has won the overall prize and take home the party.
We also celebrated those students that are ambitious in school and don’t allow a ceiling to be put on them in terms of ambition and outcome. Students were also pleased to be recognised by the Subject Leaders for their enthusiasm and excellence in the different subjects. The Praise Assembly was completed with the Golden Ticket draw. This has been a recent initiative of the school to ensure a positive ethos is at the forefront of everything we do and students get rewarded for their work, and also good deeds. It ensures that the quieter students don’t get left out. It has been a real success, particularly with the students. Even International Baccalaureate (IB) students had written in their end of year summary that their proudest moment was receiving a Golden Ticket. The tickets pulled out then received a pizza and doughnut party, but due to the end of the year, they also received bigger prizes like cinema and bounce vouchers. The excitement will continue next year.
We also welcomed the Year 6 students on their Transition Day. They had a real flavour of what the school will really be like. There were a lot of nerves and excitement, and this was replicated by parents as well as the students. The students enjoyed going into their new form groups and receiving specialist provision from the secondary teachers. The day was completed with a well-attended information evening where two of our current students spoke very well regarding their feelings and how they found settling into a new environment. The key word for me from the evening was ‘independence'. It is our task to set the young people up as soon as possible to succeed, by showing them how and then taking the stabilisers off.
We embrace a culture of failing here, it is the First Attempt In Learning. I also ask you to embrace this philosophy yourself. The conversation I have with Year 10s after their first assessments is that they should be getting A's as ‘that's what my parents demand'. We need to be able to step back and look at the bigger picture in that there is a long path to reach that end goal, and they aren’t going to be there straight away. That is both the joy and the challenge of learning.
Head of Campus, Madinat Khalifa Secondary