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  • 1. Al Yasmina School Primary Newsletter 17 January 2013 Issue 14Dear Parents,Dates for your DiaryThursday 24 January - School closed – Prophet Mohammed’s birthday (PBUH)Wednesday 20 March - Spring ConcertMessage from Head of School – Mr GaleI wish to highlight now that the format of the primary newsletter will be more in line with oursecondary school‟s newsletter, The Secondary PARTnership. The „new look‟ will be launched afterFebruary half term. We need to have greater synergy and alignment as we are one school.Assistant Head – Curriculum, Data and Assessment – Ms. DaviesUnbelievably, I am in my 5th year at Al Yasmina! How time flies when you‟reworking hard and having fun!I am proud to say that I am one of the „originals‟ who joined Al Yasmina inAugust 2008, when the school first opened. At that time, the building wascompleted (well…almost completed!) but there was no paved car parkand to begin with, the staff had to walk precariously along planks,balanced over mounds of sand and trenches in order to reach the frontentrance. Quite an experience!However, despite some of the trials and tribulations of those first few weeksof Al Yasmina, I can honestly say that I have never looked back!I have been teaching for 21 years and 15 of those years have been spent atvarious schools in the Middle East. I have taught at schools in London, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman,Spain and last but certainly not least, at Al Yasmina.In between the overseas „tours of duty‟, I have managed to flit back to the U.K for a few years, tokeep up to date and also to re-enforce in my mind just how good life is in the Middle East!I am very excited to be the Assistant Head responsible for Curriculum, Data and Assessment.As part of my role, I will be responsible for developing a creative and skills curriculum. It is my role toanalyse assessment data to secure rapid pupil progress.That means I will be looking at assessment results with the Heads of Year and looking at exactly howwe can intervene to develop children‟s progress within their year. 1
  • 2. It will give us a chance to pinpoint groups of learners that are on the cusp of making great progressand ensure that they get the support and are taught the exact skills needed to ensure this doeshappen.I will line manage the Primary Curriculum Team leaders (who are leading Literacy, Maths, Science &ICT) and co-ordinate the curriculum, ensuring that there is progression and development of skillsacross the whole Primary school. The Curriculum Team Leaders and I will ensure that there isconsistency & progression in the development of the skills and knowledge learnt by all children at AlYasmina, from FS to Year 6.As you can see from all of the above, this new role will certainly be a challenge; but one that I amlooking forward to. I am also looking forward to working closely with the delightful students in ourschool, as well as the superb team of teachers here at Al Yasmina – all of whom work tirelessly toensure our school and our students grow from strength to strength and to achieve the very bestpossible for our students.I will also be working closely with our Secondary department, to use their specialist expertise to helpus further challenge those students who show exceptional prowess in any subject. Later in the year, Iwill be working with colleagues to ensure that we can create a smooth and enjoyable transition fromYear 6 into Year 7.If you have any questions regarding these areas, please do e mail me at: KDavies@alyasmina.sch.ae.Friend of Al Yasmina (FOY)FOY are looking for volunteers!Its that time of year again when we need to start thinking about the BALL. The annual Ball is to beheld on the 3rd May 2013 and we are looking to form a committee to organise it.If you are interested in getting involved in the organisation of the ball this year, please emailjanineloftus@hotmail.com.House Athletics days are coming up in February - 7th Year 1 & 2, 12th Year 3 & 4 and 14th Year 5 & 6and we would like to have a Tea/Coffee stall on these days.The Aldar Olympics will be held again this year on the 28th February and FOY would like to hold aBBQ etc on this day. IIf you are able to help out at all at any of these events please contact janineloftus@hotmail.com.Car parkWe kindly ask parents to park in the designated parking areas.We have repeatedly asked for consideration in the car park. 2
  • 3. From the School NursesThis morning, some of the Year 1 pupils received their boostervaccinations of MMR and / or varicella. All of the children were verybrave indeed, with only a couple of tearful children (who were veryquickly comforted and surprised themselves that the vaccinationwasn‟t as bad as they‟d thought!). The vaccination was over so quicklythe children couldn‟t even count to 3! These children will be cominghome with a note giving the lot number of the vaccine and date givenand a letter explaining possible side effects of the vaccine and how torelieve them. Please update these vaccines in your child‟s vaccinationcard. See the attached photos of a few of the brave children!From the Music DepartmentWell done to this week‟s Musicians of the Week: Alex Vliegen (Key Stage1) and Faris Al Hajiri and Elliott Pollendine (Key Stage 2). Alex (Year 2 Spoonbills) displayed a very good knowledge of note reading when he played a short excerpt of music reading from the stave in class. Fares and Elliott (Year 5 Mynahs) were super-successful when they displayed their knowledge of the Blues riff by playing 12 bar blues on xylophones. Well done to all of you! We were entertained by some beautiful violin playing this morning in assembly, when Maryam Hanashi played a solo piece. Maryam has just passed her Grade 4 on the violin, which is a huge achievement. Well done to Maryam and all the other talented musicians who have recently passed instrumental exams. Date for your diary: March 20th Spring ConcertFrom the Arabic Department ‫قام طالب الصف األول بدراسة حرف النون بكافة أشكاله و أصواته القصيرة والطويلة وقد استمتع الطلبة بنشاط البطاقات من خالل العمل في مجموعات‬Useful website:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWVXDhfx3asFrom the Finance OfficeJust a reminder that all Term 2 fees were due on Sunday, 6 January 2013. The Finance office workinghours are Sunday to Thursday from 8am – 3pm. 3
  • 4. Maths Open HouseThank you to all the parents who attended our Maths Open House on Sunday. The teachers and thechildren thoroughly enjoyed seeing you. We hope you got a good understanding of how Maths canbe fun as well as challenging.We look forward to seeing you at our next one – watch this space for dates!Under 8’s Al Ain Champions – Quins on top!On Saturday 12th January, 9 boys from year 3, travelled to Al Ain to play in an Annual RugbyTournament. Abu Dhabi Harlequins under 8‟s played their hearts out and walked away with ALL ofthe silverware, they couldn‟t have had a better result. Good luck to the boys for their nexttournament in Dubai on the 25th January. Back row: Axel Facey, Barnaby Wells, Tyler Goyea, Callum Dooley-Culliname. Front row: Thomas Goodwin, Charlie Stanley, Liam Vorster, Luke Gilroy. Daniel FlorenceFoundation Stage 1 (FS1)Brrrrrr! It‟s been cold in FS1 this week, that‟s because we‟vebeen learning all about animals that live in Polar Places! Westarted the week looking at Arctic animals, with help from ourfriend Peter the Polar Bear. Children enjoyed the story of„Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What can you hear?‟ and were ableto retell the story and play games using the repetitivelanguage. During our math open morning, we played a dicegame to build our own group polar bear. Later in the weekwe had our „cold day‟- the classrooms turned arctic cold andwe talked about what we could do to keep warm. Thank you 4
  • 5. to parents who helped their children bring hats scarves and gloves to school to make this day superexciting .We made silly shape Penguins using 2D shapes and then yummy marshmallow igloos tofinish the week.In the shared area we loved playing in the fake snow, describing how it felt and watching it fall. Wecouldn‟t wait for the blocks of ice to melt so we could see what number was frozen in the middle.Outside we talked about the cold weather, pretended to be penguins looking after eggs anddipping our hands into the icy water.In phonics, we have learnt 4 new sounds- p, n, c/k/ck and e and even began blending sounds andsegmenting words. Please continue to practice these sounds at home with your child.Next week we will be diving down into the aquarium and learning all about the special fish andcreatures that live under the sea. Don‟t forget to help your child learn a special or interesting factthat they could share with their class.Congratulations to our Stars of the Week Our super stars of the week are (from left to right): Khadija El Nadi Yellow Class, Julian Bruenjes Gold Class, Adam Harcup Red Class, Lalit George White Class, Mahra Al Khouri Blue Class, Aditya Ghandi Green ClassFoundation Stage 2 (FS2)We had a wonderful start to the week on Sunday, when we welcomed parents into our classrooms tojoin in with our maths activities. Thank you to all those parents who joined us, we hope you had asmuch fun as we did! After our busy maths morning we became explorers with Peter the polar bear!We were excited to find out all about the Polar regions and discovered the types of creatures, suchas polar bears, seals, arctic foxes and penguins, that live in the Arctic and Antarctic. To help imaginethe frosty living conditions, we froze coloured water to make ice-cubes, then looked at the prettypatterns they made when they melted. 5
  • 6. We also froze toy animals in ice, and predicted which ice blocks would melt the quickest. We allthought of ways to speed up and slow down the melting process, and recorded our results.Next week we shall be continuing our topic „At the Zoo‟, and finding out about creatures in theAquarium. We shall be going on a deep-sea adventure to find out which animals live under the sea,and then doing some writing about what we found. We will be exploring patterns and textures onshells and fossils, and looking at symmetry in maths.If you are visiting the beach this weekend, it would be helpful if you could collect some shells for thechildren to bring in to school on Sunday.You can help your child at home by:Talking about the different types of creatures that live underwater.Research information on aquarium animals on the internet or in books.Look out for symmetry in the home, and while you are out and about this weekend.Phonics focus:This week we are practicing our ee oo oa ar or sounds.Phase 3 tricky words will, that, this, then, with, them, see, for, was.Helpful website:Your child might enjoy watching some of the „BBC Blue Planet‟ clips on „you tube‟ to help theirunderstanding of underwater creatures. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fzT6ifrhL8Maths: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/numbertime/Phonics: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/phonics/play/Thank you to those who have already returned the consent form and 70AED for the trip to EmiratesPark Zoo. This promises to be an extremely worthwhile trip as we are fortunate to have lots of extrathings to do when we get there, such as feeding the animals, animal lectures, and small animalshows. If you have not already returned the consent form, please do so on Sunday.Please speak to your child‟s class teacher, if you have any questions or queries 6
  • 7. Congratulations to our Stars of the WeekAlice Treloar-Jade Class, Murtaza Ghadially-Orange Class, Alex Fordree-Purple Class, Mabel James-Amber Class, Isabella Wilcox-Ruby Class. They all made an extra special effort to try hard in the firstweek of term to impress their class mascots! Thank you for helping your child keep a diary of theirweekend with the class mascot, we all love sharing the experiences back at school.Year 1 Wow! The end of another super busy week for the children and staff in Year 1. Our Jungle topic is certainly kicking off with an almighty ROARRRRRR! We are loving learning about the jungle. The children and even the teachers have been dancing and moving to the Animal Boogie ask your child to teach it to you, don‟t forget the link so you can do it at home. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25_u1GzruQM. We promise you will have lots of fun doing it. Check us out having a boogie woogie!Next week promises to be even MORE exciting if that‟s possible! Our Zooopens in the shared area! So BEWARE of the slippery snakes and theferocious lions children.In Literacy we will be looking at the book „Monkey Puzzle‟ by Julia Donaldson one of our favouriteauthors. Do you know any other books by this author? I will give you a clue; he has a poisonous wartat the end of his nose and purple prickles all over his back???In I.C.T we will be making posters to help protect endangered animals. During Geography we willtake a deep look inside the jungle to see what it is really like, what do you think we might find? And ifthat wasn‟t enough we will be creating our own jungle masks.In Numeracy we are practicing our key skills which will help us develop our mentalmaths. We are learning to add and subtract with numbers up to 20 independently. Canyou help us at home? Here is a good website for you to tryhttp://www.crickweb.co.uk/ks1numeracy.html. Play the digit work out and don‟t forgetto tell your teachers how you got on.We hope you are all having fun working on your projects and we very much look forward to seethem in a few weeks. 7
  • 8. Congratulations to our Stars of the WeekCongratulations to our Stars of the week, what a super achievement. I‟m sure the class mascots havehad a fun weekend with you all. Well done Gadiel Breidi in Doves class, Zaina Ansari in Robin‟s class,Evangeline Fahmy in Sparrow‟s class, Annabel Murphy in Cuckoo‟s and Abdullah Al Rashedi in Larks.Keep up your wonderful work.Year 2This week in Year 2 we have been continuing to discover moreabout popular landmarks in Abu Dhabi in preparation for ourClick Photography Safari. We began using maps of Abu Dhabito locate and recognise key landmarks and attractions in andaround the city. We also devised a questionnaire for the childrenand adults around the school to find out what attractions theylike to visit. Next week we will be collecting further informationwithin the classroom and then will be displaying our findings indiagrams and charts.Year 2 enjoyed a visit from Mr Watkins, a professionalphotographer from „Watkins and Sons Photography‟. He showedthe children some wonderful photos of scenes and attractionsfrom Abu Dhabi as well as portraits and close up images. Thechildren learnt a lot about taking the perfect picture!Next week in Literacy the we will be looking closely at thewonderful photographs and illustrations created by Chris VanAllsburg using these as a stimulus to writing stories.Request- Please can you send in some photographs of yourchild into school next week. They will be using them to createnew pictures so will be cutting them up! Therefore please only send in photos that you do not wish tobe returned. Photographs printed on paper are fine.Reminder- Homework is to be completed every week and handed in on a Monday. Last week anextra reading activity was sent home to help support your child with their school reading book. 8
  • 9. Please can you ensure your child chooses one activity each week to complete in their homeworkbook. Most of these activities can be done independently but may need an adult to check it athome.Spellings- Next week we will be changing our spelling routine in school. On Sunday a new spellingbooklet will be sent home with your child. The Spelling booklet will include 4 weeks worth of spellingwords. Only practice one week of spellings at a time. The children will then have a week to practicetheir spellings as they will now all be tested in class the following Sunday. Please can we ask for yoursupport in ensuring your child practices their spellings and then returns the booklet each Sunday.Congratulations to our Stars of the WeekLast week‟s Star of the week were Mia Dastoor, Lavinia Pollendine, Mahmoud El Moursi, FraserDonald, Julia Baig and Hamad Abushahab, who was Star of the week before the Winter break.Year 3In Literacy this week the children have read “Are we there yet?” a diary about a family travellingaround Australia. They have then written their own diary entries.In Numeracy the children have continued learning about telling the time and then applying thisknowledge to read and work out timetables. As you can see from the photograph we had a fun timein the Maths open hour. This week the children have been sorting and classifying rocks andexplaining how they were formed and a warm welcome to Olivia on her first week at Al Yasmina.Next Week‟s learning focus will be:Literacy- We will be reading a variety of Australian myths-“The First Sunrise” and “How the Magpiesraised the sky” and then planning and writing our own myth. 9
  • 10. Numeracy- This week we will be rounding numbers to the nearest 10/100/1000 and also partitioning 2,3 and 4 digit numbers.Science- The children will be planning and carrying out an investigation into the permeability ofrocks.Eco WorkshopsPlease see the attachment about the eco workshops. This ties in with our recycling topic and woulddefinitely enhance the children‟s learning and understanding. However places are limited and soyou will need to contact Manarat Al Saadiyat at 971 2 657 5800 or email manaratalsaadiyat@tdic.aequite quickly if interested.Congratulations to our Stars of the Week Well done to the Stars of the week! Jood Al Mukhtar, Joshua Richardson, Jack Fenwick, Fatma Al Otaiba and Hasan Ali.Year 4Another busy week in Year 4!We started the week with a visit from Mums and Dads during our Math‟s Open House Morning onSunday 13th January. It was fab sharing our problem solving skills with our families and watchingparents puzzle over frogs, missions and cube challenges! Thanks to those who joined us!In literacy, we built on last week‟s knowledge of the Romulus and Remus legend by finding out all thefeatures of play scripts and planning our own version of the story in play form. We can‟t wait to write itand we‟re even more excited about acting it out! In Math‟s we‟ve spent the week working onwritten methods of addition and subtraction. After much puzzling and practicing we‟re well on theway to being super mathematicians and having clear methods to solving problems using up to 3 digitnumbers! 10
  • 11. Our topic just gets better and better. This week we had an influx of genuine (well, OK, replica)artifacts. Our homework was to create something, and the shields, swords, clay pots, poetry andpaintings were stunning. Our classrooms are looking like museums! We‟ve found out all aboutinvaders and settlers and why the Romans wanted to conquer other areas of the world.Next Week: Literacy will involve a Roman themed text so we can think about the historical setting ofthe text. In math‟s we‟ve just got the multiplying and dividing to sort out now – oh help! Next week inour topic sessions we‟re looking forward to finding out about the Roman army.Congratulations to our Stars of the Week Wagtails – Luke Morgan, Pipits – Hamad Al Mosa, Warblers- Jordan Card, Wheatears- Saif Al Ali (absent), Sandgrouse- Alisa Avdic.Year 5Another action packed week at Al Yasmina saw the F1 come to school. Itwas an opportunity for the Formula one teams to go head to head andtest their racing car‟s performance on the 15 metre track. Not only did itrecord the fastest cars but also the individual with the fastest reaction time.The results were as follows:FASTEST CAR REACTION TIMESTEAM TIME [SECS] NAME TIME 1. VIPERZ 1.358 [SECS] 2. BLAZING 1.362 JANA ARMOUTI / 0.188 FLAMES ADAM TIBI 0.190 3. SPEED OF 5 1.372 EDEN FLETCHER 0.201Well done to all the Year 5 teams. Watch out Lewis Hamilton! 11
  • 12. The week also saw our first Open Maths Morning of the school year. Thank you to all those parentswho attended. We hope you enjoyed the Numeracy sessions and could see how Maths can be bothfun and challenging at the same time. During Science the pupils were able to investigate howtemperature can change the state of matter. In particular, we looked at the reversible change ofchocolate from solid to liquid and back to a solid again. Unfortunately for the pupils, eating thechocolate wasn‟t part of the experiment! The pupils are really enjoying Michael Morpurgo‟s book ‟The Butterfly Lion‟. The story tells of an orphaned lion cub rescued by Bertie. They becomeinseparable until Bertie is sent to boarding school and the lion is sold to the circus. Bertie swears thatthey shall see each other again…but will they?Next week we will be looking at another of Morpurgo‟s novels, „Kensuke‟s Kingdom.‟In Numeracy we will be focusing on the properties of 2-D and 3-D shapes whilst continuing withnumber work. The pupils will become familiar with vertices, edges, faces and the terms parallel andperpendicular. In science we will investigate the process of condensation and evaporation. In topicwe will continue to learn about the varying coastlines around the world and how they are formed.Congratulations to our Stars of the Week Congratulations to the „Stars of the Week‟. Left to right Nicholas Hallett Mynahs, Alexandria Jeffery-Edwards Swallows, Christiane Nahu Sunbirds , Haziq Mohamed Rasidin, Night Jars Halimatum Ahmed Taslem, Parakeets.Year 6It‟s week two and the children have not lost their momentumthat they returned with after the holidays. Still bright eyed andrearing the go, the students have had a busy week involvingreport writing, conducting experiments and writing scripts fortheir first ever news broadcast in which they will record for ICT.This week, the children have taken a closer look at our Topic onNatural Disasters and have been investigating, questioning andlooking at earthquakes and tsunamis. In literacy, they havebeen writing newspaper reports using direct and reportedspeech for a natural disaster. Their reports have developed theskills that they learnt the previous week. The outcomes of theirnewspaper reports have been nothing less than amazing.In numeracy, Year 6 have continued to develop their understanding of fractions, decimals andpercentages with links to real life experience. It was great to see so many parents on our Math‟sopen morning. 12
  • 13. Science was a treat as the students gotdown and dirty filtering muddy waterthrough a filter they made in groups. Thechildren were presented with a problem and,working in groups, they made a filteringsystem that allowed them to filter the muddywater. It was a hit and enjoyed by all.Next week, Year 6 will be moving on to data handling with links to our topic, report writing, rehearsingand recording our news broadcast as well as designing and creating our earthquake proof building.Congratulations to our Stars of the Week Riccardo Ricci, Matilda Noble Ditchfield, Rashid Wardeh, Louise Hate, Mohammed El BarkyAl Yasmina SchoolTel: 02 501 4888email: jhupalo@alyasmina.sch.ae 13