The good, the bad and the ugly!
Welcome to, or welcome back to, Nord Anglia International School.
This letter is a rather personal introduction, reflection and look forward to the year ahead. It is now something of a (rather young!) tradition of the school and I hope you find it useful.
It is my intention to give my own perspective on the matters at hand and to be as transparent as possible.
I hope you will forgive me if I go about this in reverse order…
The lobby spiral stair case;
As many of you will no doubt have noticed, at the time of writing (Thursday 26th August) the staircase in the main lobby is not quite complete in terms of the glass work. We remain hopeful that it will be ready for day one but if not it will be taped off. This is rather unfortunate but it is not “mission critical” in any sense.
The car parks and drop off zones;
Important instructions on their use will be sent later today.
The additional space due to be completed will serve us very well. However we have been unable to complete the scope of work fully due to the sewage construction that has taken place. Any work on our side would have been dug up therefore delaying the process even longer.
We have no definitive completion date however the intention is to improve the parking with markings, a better surface and to shade the walkways.
Please take the time to read through the new parking and drop off zone instructions.
There is nothing terrible to report here I’m pleased to say. I have no doubt that there will be queues for parking for the first couple of days (as there where last year). I would urge all parents to allow a little extra time and remain calm and polite.
Equally with lines for lunch vouchers and top up.
The rather busy time lasted one week last year and it will last one week this year before things settle down and run smoothly.
We have worked on our systems but some remain untested in the field. Please be patient with our hiccups!
We are very limited in terms of student places. As ever though we will keep to our promises re; form numbers and class sizes.
100% A*-A at iGCSE/GCSE
It doesn’t get any better than that! I should be clear that this was the result of a lot of hard work on the part of our students and teachers.
I should also be clear that though a relatively small cohort, these results serve as our marker in the (metaphorical and literal) sand. In terms of percentage we scored higher than every other school in Dubai.
Equally our SATS results in primary put us in the top 5% of UK schools (all schools including state and independent schools).
We are supremely aware that we must never lose focus on academic standards as we move forward.
I personally am also aware that we needed to validate the trust that families showed in us and to some degree me personally on our first meeting just over a year ago.
I didn’t do this; it was the work of our students and our teachers, but I remain none the less hugely proud.
Feedback on our school;
Our school was selected by Oxford University Press to be the model of outstanding EYFS practice that will be used in their teacher training video series.
Some 43 new (additional) teachers arrived and are busy getting everything prepared. They are housed, fed and watered. Apart from having had to listen to me (Mr Cullinan and Mrs Lamb) rattle on (and on, and on) about standards (both academic and social) they are very much enjoying their time here. The recruitment process was careful and (if I say so myself) I feel we’ve done a very good job. The “old” team is here too and they are gelling very well.
We have appointed three deputies too…more on this next week.
As a result of feedback from the parent survey we have added more music practice rooms and an additional music classroom.
Our plans for more sports facilities remain in place and we continue to hope to add them for next academic year.
We have added more computer and ICT rooms. We have added more books to both libraries
We have given Chatter Box Cafe a major face lift with more seating and a grand display unit to display the fabulous baked goods. Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to make this happen.
The Parent Advisory Board is an important organization within the school. I will be issuing an introduction to the board later this month which will explain their function and responsibilities. They are in essence the guardians of our standards and expectations. They will also play an important role as we move through the external inspection process.
The school will be inspected by both KHDA and ISI next school year. The preparation for these inspections however starts this year. We will involve parents, students and the Board in the preparations as our aim is always to be fully transparent at all times. The school has made a set of commitments and promises to you and it is my duty to ensure they are fulfilled.
NAS Dubai is a special place. We have worked hard to ensure that this is the case but, if I might pause for a moment, it is not special because of any one person or group. It is special because we have direction and drive. These qualities are shared, and they create a vision of what our school should be.
As we move forward over the coming years these things will not waver and our commitment to academic standards and standards of behavior and social graces will not change.
We will add the IB Diploma, additional sporting facilities, a wider range of opportunities through activities like the Global Orchestra in conjunction with the Juilliard School and more, too numerous to mention here.
Our teachers will work with our students and our parents to continue our legacy. I am often offered congratulations by our parents. I must admit that I enjoy hearing stories of success. I hope, sincerely, though that if I am congratulated I always refer back to the people who do the real work around here; the students and the teachers. It is them that our success is built upon, and it is built so that our students can go out into the world and truly thrive.
All the best
Sunday 30th August 2015
First Day of Term
Current NAS Dubai students & new siblings will start at 7:30am.
New Nursery students may start between 7:45am & 9:00am.
All new NAS Dubai students will start at 9:00am.
All students are to wear full NAS Dubai uniform.