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Al yasmina school newsletter issue2 Al yasmina school newsletter issue2 Document Transcript

  • WELCOMEWelcome to the second issue of The Secondary It also gives Al Yasmina School the chance to celebratePARTNERSHIP, the official newsletter of the secondary progress and achievement and provide more in depthdepartment at Al Yasmina School. It is emailed to parents information to parents on a wide variety of subjects.on the 1st day of every month or on the last day of term.The Secondary PARTNERSHIP keeps you up-to-date We welcome your feedback.with student activities across the secondary department. communications@alyasmina.sch.aeCONTENTSWelcome from the head of school, Mr Gale 3Airline food, snowball fights and disco moves:reports from the ski slopes 4Focusing on the Arabic Department 5Study tips from Year 11 students 7The joys of volunteering 8How the school supports students 9Al Yasmina set to become community recycling centre 10All about maths 11Work experience sharpens career goals 12Snippets: a quick look at the history trip,second-hand uniforms and science week 13Students of the month 14Sports news 15Family fun day 16The Secondary PARTNERSHIPTopics, trends, updates, views and news from the Al Yasmina Secondary DepartmentFUN IN THE SNOW: Pictured on the cover are Al Yasminas skiers and snowboarders on the slopes in Kitzbuhel, Austria. 2
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012FROM THE HEADOF SCHOOLIt’s just 22 days since the inaugural issue of The SecondaryPARTNERSHIP was sent out to our parent community. I’mdelighted to bring you the second edition, along with some ofthe comments from parents. Improving our communication isa key objective as we move through the round of changes in theschool; it’s good to know you think we are on the right track.The end of the term is always a time for reflection and to focuson what’s ahead. This is especially the case at Al Yasminaas we enter into a new phase at the school. As I said in thelast newsletter, the show must go on - and it has. Since thechange in the school leadership we have been doing some hardthinking. We’re in the process of scrutinising areas of strengthand weakness. In other words, we’re having a good, long hardlook at what we do and how we do it - and the good news isthere will be a very clear way forward. We will tap into expertadvice from external providers who will provide support for theschool and our staff along the way. The outcome will be a very Comments, feedback and suggestions:clear, realigned vision for the school. communications@alyasmina.sch.aeBoth myself and our teachers will take time over the holidays toreflect on what we want the school to become and how we want “I always knew that there wasit to look in September when we open our doors. Our students a lot going on in the secondarywill also need to do some thinking over the holidays, focusingon what they need to do to move their learning forward and to school, but I had no idea of thebecome better learners. There is no time to draw breath as breadth of activities until I readwe look towards the final term of the school year. Our GCSEand AS students will need to be focused and determined as this newsletter. The schooltheir exams continue. Our teachers are behind our students should be proud of its pupils100 per cent, supporting and nurturing them and encouraging and the range of opportunitiesthem to aspire to be the best they can. Read more about thesesupport measures on page 9. Hard work reaps rewards and it makes available to them. Wellwe’ve again recognised our hard working students who have done.” Year 8 parent.made significant progress by awarding them as students of themonth (page 14). Students are nominated by curriculum teamleaders in recognition of their effort, progress and attitude. We “I’ve just got one thing toacknowledge student achievement on a frequent basis, rangingfrom awarding weekly house points, and then by monthly, say - WOW! This magazine istermly and finally yearly rewards which recognise attainment amazing. I’m looking forward toand achievement. Today you’ll be able to access your child’sreport online and will be able to see for yourself what progress the next issue.” Year 10 parent.they have made.This has been a particularly action packed term. In term two “Thanks Al Yasmina for such aevery year group has had some kind of enriching experience, brilliant magazine. There is a lotwhether it is in the classroom, as part of involvement in a show,through after school clubs, educational visits or school trips. to be proud of in the secondaryDesign deadlines mean we can’t feature some of the events school. I’m forwarding this toover the last couple of days, such as the spring fling, the House the family in the UK who areswimming competitions and the spring concert, but look out forphotos next month. Students on the Year 10 Germany trip are always asking just what schooltravelling from Munich to Berlin today. They arrive back in Abu is like in Abu Dhabi.” Year 11 parent.Dhabi on Monday. Look for pictures and an account of their visitin the next issue of The Secondary PARTNERSHIP. Meanwhile,this issue focuses on the Arabic Department and in the nextedition, on May 1, we will look at PE. Enjoy your holidays andthank you for your continuing support. 3
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012KITZBUHEL MEMORIESBy Emily Green, Year 10 By Mitchell Bryant, Year 10On February 18, 38 excited students headed out on their skiing Travelling is not always much fun! Airplane food, crying babiesadventure to Kitzbuhel, Austria. I was in the beginner ski group and uncomfortable seats. Well, ignoring that, this year’s skias I had never skied before. Mr. Stanley, my form tutor, had trip was awesome. The views were out of this world! Aftersome of the funniest falls at the most random moments! Miss spending 2 years in Abu Dhabi without seeing natural snow itWilliams also specialised in falling spectacularly and skiing was breathtaking. On the first day, we were shown to our rooms,unintentionally off-piste, whilst Miss Fenning expertly navigated given out gear for the week and were taken out to a small slopeher way down and across the slopes. Mr Ward also looked just to practice. The majority of the time we were out on theimpressive on a snow board before the week was out. Even slopes or left to have our own snowball fights. I planned to havewhen we were off the skis we were having fun. Ice skating was built a ramp by the end of the week, but couldn’t do anythinghilarious and I got an amazing video of Mr Stanley and Mr Ward without being pelted with a snowball. Every year we have a discodancing hand in hand on the ice! But the best bit other than at a local club in the town and every year the vibe is great! Peopleskiing would have to be the disco. Everyone had a great time and I didn’t expect to see dancing were in the middle of the dancethe dance offs were pretty funny. Karim did a fine job of advising floor. I even ended up having a dance battle against my ownthe DJ of the latest tracks for the group to bust a move to, and brother! On the last day, everyone was a little depressed knowingrustling up the crowd into a dancing frenzy! Overall it was an we have to leave the winter wonderland that is Kitzbuhel. Overallamazing trip. Everyone had a great time and improved their it was an amazingly fun trip and I am sad to not be able to go nextskiing skills hugely. I have made so many new friends and have year.some wonderful memories from our week in Austria. 4
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012STUDENTS URGED TOPRACTISE SPEAKING ARABICOUTSIDE THE CLASSROOMPRACTISE MAKES PERFECT: Mr Abu Saleh encourages students to speak modern standard Arabic at homePractising speaking Arabic at home is essential if students want by the United Nations as the world’s sixth most widely spokento advance their knowledge of the standard spoken language, language. There are many job opportunities for Arabic speakersthe Curriculum Team Leader for Arabic, Islamic Studies in the West. “From work, business and study Arabic is a mustand Social Studies, Mr Abu Saleh says. Students are taught for the universal co-existence of the cultures. If you know themodern standard Arabic (MSA) which is not spoken in the basic vocabulary of modern standard Arabic it will immediatelyeveryday world where different dialects of Arabic dominate. It open doors for better understanding of Arab and Muslimis, however, an international Arab language and is increasingly worlds,” Mr Abu Saleh says.being used in business, media and commerce. It is also usedthe world over by all Muslims when the Qur’an is recited, intheir liturgical activities and during Friday sermons, ensuring it ARABIC: WHO TAKES WHAT?will always thrive and never become totally extinct. The following requirements are set by the Ministry of Education and Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC):“The children are not getting the environmental support to • The Arabic language is mandatory for all students fromfurther enhance and develop the skills which they are learning Year 1 to Year 10. Native speakers and some non-nativein the classroom,” Mr Abu Saleh says. “This is a problem for speakers also start their GCSE Arabic as a second languageboth native and non native speakers. I once asked a group of in Y10.more than 200 parents how many spoke modern standard • Emirati students without exception have to study MinistryArabic at home and no hands were raised. I am therefore asking Arabic & Islamic Studies syllabi throughout to pass aparents to spend 15 minutes a night at the dinner table using Unified Exam conducted by ADEC in Y12.MSA. Your child needs your support to apply the grammar and • Other Arab nationals and non-Arab have to study the twostructures that we are teaching them.” subjects in Y11 & Y12 only if they intend to get a Secondary Equivalence Certificate at the end of Y12. SecondaryMSA is spoken by the Arabic department’s 20 teachers, both Equivalence Certificate is a prerequisite for admission toamongst themselves and in the classroom. “Modern standard UAE-based colleges and universities recognised by theArabic is always appreciated and highly regarded. If you speak Ministry of Higher, you will get respect,” Mr Abu Saleh says. He recognises that • Islamic Studies is mandatory for all Muslim students fromArabic is a challenging language to learn. But he says there Year 1 to Year 12.are many reasons to continue with Arabic studies beyond Key • UAE Social Studies, taught in English, is compulsory forStage 3. “Arabic is a doorway to the rich Arabic culture. The non-Arab students from Year 4 to Year 9language will also help you know about Islam, the religion of 1.4 • Arab National students must also study Social Studies,billion people around the world.” Twenty-two countries have which is taught in Arabic, from Year 1 to Year 9Arabic as their official language and it has been acknowledged 5
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012CHOOSING ARABIC AS A GCSE SUBJECTSixteen-year-old Nicola Burgess is used to taxi drivers andshopkeepers staring at her in surprise. That’s because theYear 11 student talks to them in Arabic, conversing easily withthem and often choosing to use Arabic when they have difficultyunderstanding her Australian accent. She also practiceswhatever she has learnt in the classroom in the ‘real world’ asoften as she can, seeing it as part of her homework. Nicola isthe only European student in her Year 11 GCSE Arabic class.Her interest in the language began before she joined Al YasminaSchool when she received intensive one-to-one tutoring. Partof the appeal of Arabic, Nicola says, is the written language.“It’s like writing calligraphy. It’s completely different from otherlanguages. It was difficult to learn at first, but as I learn more it FOCUSING ON ARABIC: Nicola Burgess says learning Arabic is challenging, but rewardingbecomes easier.” ARABIC IS A CHALLENGE, EVEN FOR NATIVE SPEAKERS They may be native Arabic speakers, but for three Year 11 students learning modern standard Arabic is almost like learning a whole new language. Lina Sabry (15), Ahmed Aman (15) and Mohamed Arar (16) say that the language is very formal and learning it is at times challenging. The structure and framework is different from the Arabic they use to the point where even saying ‘please’ is different. But they can all see the logic in learning a common form of Arabic that will be understood by those who have a formal education. They see it as an advantage when it comes to job hunting as they can see the drawbacks in speaking Arabic with a regional dialect where the slang used - by both elders and the younger generation - at times makes it difficult for even native speakers to understand LANGUAGE LINKS: Ahmed Aman (left), Mohamed Arar and Lina Sabry each other.ARABIC SPELLING BEEThe first ever Arabic spelling competition (Fursan Al-’Imal’)at Al Yasmina School is underway. Eliminations will be heldthroughout the competition until a winner is revealed at theend of April. It is hoped the competition will nip in the bud theincreasingly common practice of using English letters instead ofArabic text when students are writing Arabic words. Fantasticprizes - cash and engraved crystal plaques - are being offeredfor the top three place getters and the two next best performers.Students will get in extra practice with 10 minutes of eachlesson devoted to spelling. Fursan Al-‘Imla’ literally means‘horse riders of spelling’. In Arabic, the word Faris (singular ofFursan) means horse rider and depicts someone as master orexpert so in this case, a spelling expert. COURSE GRADUATES A two-day course specifically for Arabic teachers has been completed by the department’s 20 staff. The course, “Foundations of Interactive Arabic Teaching”, by Pearson, focused on a variety of topics, ranging from recognising different learning styles through to motivating Arabic speakers. PROUD GRADUATES: Teachers in the Arabic department complete their two- day professional development programme 6
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012ENCOURAGING EXAM RESULTS FOR YEAR 12STUDENTSYear 12 students have received their first exam results - and they show that 66 per cent are either achieving beyond their predictedgrades or are exactly where they should be at this stage of their AS programme.The 19 students sat 44 exams in Applied ICT, Biology, Business and Economics, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology in January. Theywere tested on aspects of the curriculum that they were taught between September and December last year. Al Yasmina uses ALPS(advanced level performance system) which is designed to provide a school with analysis on how students have performed againstnational benchmarks. It is linked to their attainment in GCSE exams. Post -16 Learning and Progress Leader Mr Ridpath says that atthis stage of the academic year marks from the January exam should be within one grade of the students’ target grade. “ALPS says ifthey are within one grade in January they should in theory achieve their grade by the May/June exam series,” he says.The results show that 43 per cent of students have already achieved their ALPS target and 29 out of the 44 students - or 66 percent - are within one grade of their target. Mr Ridpath says while these results are very encouraging for most students, some needextra help and intervention is being put in place for students who did not reach their goals (see ‘What Kind of Help Do Year 11 and 12Students Receive?”, page 9) The next set of exams are between May 14 and June 1, when the Year 12 cohort will sit assessments in17 different subjects.The second ALPS assessment was done last week so these, along with the exam results, were discussed at aparent’s evening, Mr Ridpath says.”Parents were presented with up-to-date data on how the student is performing at this moment. Itmeant we were able to have very frank conversations with parents about what students need to do to progress to the next step.”DISCIPLINE AND AMBITION - AND DON’TLEAVE IT TO THE LAST MINUTEYear 12 student Amr Fakhry says hard work, a realistic revision scheduleand “amazingly helpful” teachers helped him through his first set of ASexams. He sat Biology, Economics and Business and Physics exams andwhile he’s “more or less” happy with the marks he achieved, he aims todo even better next time.Amr says it’s essential to come to terms with the techniques, styles andmethods needed to answer AS exam questions, which differ completelyfrom what is required for IGCSE and GCSE exams. All answers for ASexams need depth, knowledge, application, evaluation and sometimesanalysis. Amr says achieving a balance between study and leisure timeis crucial to creating a productive revision schedule. He didn’t study ifhe was bored or annoyed or hadn’t had a chance to have a night out anda complete break from his revision.“The three weeks off in December were crucial for me, as that’s the STUDY TIPS: Jess Vickery and Amr Fakhrypoint where you either forget everything before your exams, or use themto achieve what you want. Three to five hours a day were what I needed STOP PRESS!to have time to study, revise, and practice exam questions. The constantmotivation by teachers is amazingly helpful. They push you to achieve GCSE GEOGRAPHY AND PRACTICAL PE RESULTSwhat you’re capable of and sometimes for you to break your expectation Year 11 GCSE Geography students received exceptional results inlevel and look beyond, especially if your result wasn’t as satisfying or their recent exams. The 18 students sat the Human Environmentwhat you expected.” He says how hard to work is up to the individual. “It geography exam in January and were tested on settlement changeall depends on what you want to be. If you’re looking for a decent proper and a moving world (migration). It is worth 25 per cent of their finalcareer and life, you need to work hard enough to get into the competitive of universities, and the better the university, the better chanceof having a better life.” Is there anything in particular he has have learnt • 78% of students smashed their CATs predictionsafter completing his first of your AS exams? “They’re easy once you’ve • 55% of students gained an A or A*put in the effort, and they’re not the same as IGCSE/GCSE.” • Priyanka Iyer and Hannah Morris achieved 98% each on their papers. (This equates to 100/100 on the uniform mark scale).Learn as you go along, rather than leaving study to the last minute - • Abigail Alexander achieved 96% on her paperthat’s the advice from AS student Jess Vickery. “AS exams are veryintense and you need to learn over a period of time, so it’s hard to cram Year 11 PE students also completed the practical componentat the last minute,” she says. Jess says she revised a lot before her of their GCSE exam, which is worth 60 per cent of their totalexams, although this was hard to manage at times because she was marks. The students excelled themselves, achieving on averageback in the UK for the holidays. “I literally had to sit in a room and focus. about seven per cent higher than the previous year›s results. TheI was studying quite intensely. What I find effective is studying for an students were assessed in front of an external moderator in rugby,hour, having half an hour break and then going back over the work I’d netball, personal survival, competitive swimming and fitness. Everyjust done.” Jess says she struck a balance between studying and leisure, student scored over 70 per cent with Clare Barwell excelling with 94finishing her revision by 11am so she could have the rest of the day off. per cent. The theory paper, worth 40 per cent of marks, is in May. 7
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012VOLUNTEER WORK LESSON TIME: Nick Bryant (left) and Sonny MatchettFOR POST-16 THE JOY OFSTUDENTSNTS VOLUNTEERINGAl Yasmina’s Year 12 students are involved in a wide rangeof volunteer activities as part of the school’s community It’s easy to see that Nick Bryant has a special relationship withservice award programme. The scheme allows them Year 2 student Sonny Matchett. The six-year-old’s eyes lightto contribute to the wider community and to develop up when he sees the Year 12 student and he is eager to showself esteem and interpersonal skills and provides an him stories he has written, pictures he has drawn and to tellopportunity for the type of part-time work that they him about how he got all his words right in a recent spellingwould have access to in their home countries. It also test. Nick spends two hours a week in the classroom, helpingadds weight to CVs prepared for university application. Sonny with his reading and writing and assisting teachers withStudents undertaking three A levels commit to two hours administration. He also helped finish off some of the sets for aa week; those studying four A levels contribute one hour recent primary production. “It’s something I never thought I’da week. Students begin in October and finish in April. The do, but it’s really easy and enjoyable,” Nick says. “Working withstudents do not participate in the scheme during the lead the little kids is so rewarding because they take in everythingup to exams. Two students are involved in the school’s you say and pay a lot of attention. It’s a good feeling to dosustainability programme (see story page 10), one assists something and not expect anything in return.”in the Geography department, four help PE teachers,two run a GCSE history support club, three help in the Fellow Year 12 student Yasmeen Luqman is also discoveringart department and three work in the music department. the sense of satisfaction that comes with volunteering. SheThe school is keen to hear from parents who have any helps Year 2 students with handwriting, reading, Arabic andvolunteer opportunities for students. science experiments. Yasmeen’s work at the school has led to her doing further volunteer work with Takatof, a social programme designed by the Emirates Foundation. “Volunteering gives you an open mind,” Yasmeen says. “At school I’ve learnt how to be patient with the little kids and find ways to explain things to them. It’s fun and what I’m doing makes me feel good on the inside.” BOOK TIME: Yasmeen Luqman with Leo Rhodes (partly obscured), Rasha Hassan Beck and Hadi Sayed 8
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012SUPPORTING STUDENTS TO MAKE PROGRESS I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT MY CHILD.Al Yasmina School has comprehensive support networks in WHO DO I CONTACT?place for students and systems to let parents know how their There is a clear structure at Al Yasmina for dealing with parentschildren are progressing. The Secondary PARTNERSHIP talks concerns. For a pastoral matter, start with your childs Learningto the school’s Learning and Progress Leader for Students, Mrs Mentor. If you feel the situation has not been adequatelyPeacock. resolved, then talk to your childs Year Leader. If you are not satisfied with the solutions suggested, then refer your concerns to Mrs Peacock, the schools Learning and Progress Leader forHOW DO I KNOW HOW WELL MY CHILD IS Students. There is a different process for academic concerns.PROGRESSING IN SCHOOL? The first port of call for parents is their childs subject teacher.You will receive specific feedback from parent teacher If the issue has not been resolved, parents should make anconsultations, which are held twice a year. Parents get a appointment with the students Curriculum Team Leader. Thefive-minute slot with each subject teacher who will talk to you third step is to involve the Learning and Progress Leader forabout your childs target level or target grade. Target level is Curriculum, Mr Commons. At times, a Learning Mentor mayfor students in key stage three or Years 7, 8 and 9 and a target contact parents about a matter that may concern them about agrade is given to students in key stage four, or Years 10 and 11. pupil.Teachers will cover the progress your child is making in meetingtheir target and outline what they need to do to reach this goal. When the school was smaller, and before comprehensiveAny secondary school ‘spring fling’ disco this month is the - A issues that are preventing them from making progress systems were in place, parents would talk directly to thewhetherfundraiser for a academic or behavioural nature - will major it is of a social, group of World Challenge Year 12 Principal, and many of the parents of our older students arebe discussed. are raising money to help build a school in a students who The team members are Rafeh Safdar. Jon Alexander, Daniel used to this approach. Now the school is much larger, this Ugandan village. Brundan, workable.Bryant, Liam Troup, Stefan Bennett, Khalifa in isnt Nicholas Please use the email addresses below to getReports, which are issued at the end of every term, will also Abdulla, Chloe Moss, Emily Prest, Nicole Crighton and Jess Vickery. touch with the relevant staff member if you need to discuss yourgive you a clear disco is being organised by child is progressing. Meanwhile, progress. The March 20 indication of how well your 11 students who childs the next cohort of Duke of Edinburgh candidatesThe structure of each of the10. Some of the group arefirst term completed the adventure section of their silver medal last weekend, leave for Uganda on June three reports differs. The doing the World Challenge as an adventure in its own right, whilereport provides a target grade or level, indicates whether a spending three daysOF HELP DO YEAR 11 AND 12to know WHAT KIND and two nights in the desert. Wantstudent is above,partor underperforming and of Edinburghareas more about the Duke of Edinburgh programme? for others it is on of the gold medal Duke outlines key STUDENTS RECEIVE?toaward. Uganda was providesfrom a list and the term three work on. Term two chosen data only of developing Year 11 students through a variety Extra support is offered to allreport givesby the group, and one or level combined with an countries an end of year grade of the reasons was a team of ways. Voluntary revision sessions are offered by all subject member’s father was reports comment numerically on class at lunchtimes or through extra curriculumevaluative comment. Allborn there, says Chloe Moss, one of teachers, eitherwork,students fundraisingand the trip. The group has been the attitude, homework for participation in class. activities. Specific advice is provided at Year 11 assemblies on on a training exercise in the desert and while conditions dealing with issues such as stress, and this information is alsoStudents resemble the Ugandan countryside, theyawards each did not are nominated for progress and subject were able provided to parents. Students practice completing questions to rehearse situations that could occur under arduousterm by their teachers. This is a great way to help parents under timed conditions and hone their skills on reading conditions.see the progress their child is making – and for the school to interpreting exam questions. Marking schemes are explained socelebrate students’ achievements. Nominations are made at the students can better understand what examiners are looking for.end of looked at what to do if someone got lost, or if there was “We each term with certificates given out in award assembliesatan injury to someone following term. Certificates areother the beginning of the in the party. We also practiced also Other measures are put in place for students who need extra skills such as sanitising water,” Chloe says. “We workedgiven for 100 per cent attendance; the link between attendance assistance. Students who may be struggling with specificand academic outcomes is clearly proven so on the roles and on getting the team together and focusing recognising subjects work with a teacher on a one-to-one basis either afterrewarding outstandingto play in the group.”Now the practice that everyone needs attendance is essential. House points school or at lunchtime. The school identifies borderline gradeand the more informal notes ingroup’s attention has turned run has been completed, the the school planner also help C/D students and puts plans in place to provide them with extraparents to keep a trackRecent fundraising activities include back to fundraising. of their child’s progress. support. This could mean small group work, or restructuring selling Valentine’s sweets bags, providing refreshments at classes in the final months before exams begin so intensiveWHAT DOES IT MEAN IF A STUDENT IS ON match events, organising a cake sale and a charity football support can be provided. Students who need extra support inREPORT? Year 12 boys and the teachers (the teachers between the multiple subjects are indentified in the second term and are emerged victorious). It was attended by Radio One DJs assigned mentors. This is a teacher with whom they have aAll end of term reports are scrutinised by Year Leaders. If a Serena, Danny Cee and Flo. Five team members also good relationship and who helps with prioritising, establishingstudent is getting a 3 or 4 for attitude in five or more subjects raised around 6000dhs by completing a sponsored climb up a revision timetable and helping the student stay motivated. Thethen the school contacts parents and the student is put on Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain. mentor will act as a mediator if a student is having difficultiesa monitoring report. Usually any issues with attitude areremedied over the two-week period while the student is on with a particular subject, approaching the subject teacher on In Uganda, the team will spend a week trekking in the their Key indicators for attitude are having all equipment jungle and a week helping out in a village. The studentsneeded for lessons, being on task and getting work completed. plan to add a roof to an unfinished school building and carryTeachers rate the childs attitude using the amber, green or red Key contact details out any other carpentry work that they can. Fundraisingsystem to provide a quick visual snapshot of the students day. Year leaders: will go to buy extra building materials in Uganda. It is theBeing on report has a focusing affect for the student and is a Year 7: Mr Hetherington end of the monsoon season and the team is expecting wet,supportive way - which involves parents - of looking through a Year 8: Miss Waggett muddy conditions with humid conditions in the forest andschool day over a period of time to find patterns of behaviour Year 9: Miss Williams cooler conditions as they climb higher. Chloe says theand helping the student to remedy these. Year 10: Mr MacKinnon group is able to access an comprehensive evacuation plan Year 11: Miss Fenning and will carry a satellite beacon and satellite phone. “It Post-16: Mr Ridpath is very remote, and at times it will be quite scary, but that Learning and progress leader for students: is part of the challenge. But we know if something goes wrong, we can get out quickly. The silver medal for the Learning and progress leader for curriculum: Duke of Edinburgh is testing, it does push you to the limit, and Uganda will do that too. We will work as a team and I will really get to know the people I go to school with!” 9
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012AL YASMINA TO TAB TOTALBECOME The Al Yasmina SchoolRECYCLING SCHOOL community has put its weight behind a campaign to help Filipino families living inTwo Post-16 students are spearheading a drive to introduce poverty. Around 10,300 ringrecycling into Al Yasmina School next term. Brandon Rowland pull tabs from soft drink cansand Rafeh Safdar, both in Year 12, plan to get the wider school were brought into the schoolcommunity on board by the end of the summer term, eventually in an eight-week period andestablishing Al Yasmina as a recycling drop off point for local will be sent to the Philippinesresidents. where they are used to make handcrafts and otherPaper recycling boxes will be placed in classrooms in the first merchandise. These items are then sold to help raise money toor second week after the holidays and recycling stations for provide shelter, food and education for children who were livingpaper, aluminum, polystyrene, plastic and glass will be located on dump sites. The Recycle for a Cause campaign is organisedon the first and second floors, in the atrium and by the seating by the Philippine Community Fund (PCF). The ring pulls broughtareas near the netball courts. If the recycling is successful at into Al Yasmina School weigh around 2.5kg and will allow PCFthe school, the programme will be rolled out to the school to create and sell products worth AED5134. Each ring pullcommunity several weeks later, beginning with the families is worth 50 fils to PCF. The box is starting to fill up again, soof FS1 and 2 students and moving up through the year groups. keep bring the tabs into school so PCF can turn your trash intoRecycling boxes will be emptied into large metal cages these treasure.will be emptied by a contractor when they are full and taken tothe companys recycling plant. "We plan to start off educatingstudents and then well focus on the parents and the schoolcommunity in general," Brandon says. "We hope our efforts willalso reflect positively on Al Yasmina School generally."The students decision to become involved in a sustainabledevelopment is part of their Community Service Award, whichinvolves students working towards a community cause intheir free time. They began in the first term by arranging theremoval of plastic cups from the school. Brandon and Rafehhave written a proposal to scrap the use of polystyrene fromthe cafeteria in favour of a more sustainable option. This isbeing considered by environmental representatives on StudentVoice. Geography teacher Miss Williams says she hopes that theinitiatives by the school will make people think about more thanjust disposing of rubbish in an environmentally friendly manner."The main emphasis is on reducing what ends up in landfilland challenging our personal consumption and ensuring that RING FINGER: Brandon Rowland with the ring pull tabs from softrecycling is not used to appease our conscience," she says. drink cans GREEN FOR EARTH DAY Want to help save the planet? World Earth Day on April 22 is an opportunity for students to get on board by paying 1dhs to make a green pledge and 10dhs to take part in a non uniform day. Students are encouraged to wear green to mark Earth Day, which is the world’s most widely celebrated environmental event. Geography teacher Mr McGuinness says members of the Eco Club will address a whole school assembly next term about Al Yasmina’s involvement. Meanwhile they are focusing on making posters about World Earth Day and decorating the paper and card recycling boxes which are being delivered to POSTER DESIGN: Eva Salter (left), Jenny Howell, Afrah Ali classrooms. and Noor Sanie-Eldin work on promotional material for Earth Day 10
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012FUN MATHS DAYSecondary pupils honed their numerical skills and fundraisedfor charity as the school joined a worldwide community ofmathematicians for World Maths Day. Students raised morethan 10,000dhs for Unicef, the official charity for World MathsDay, and the Year 12 World Challenge trip to Uganda. TheUganda trip coffers were boosted by a number of activitiesorganised by Year 12 students, including an opportunity to throwa sponge at a teacher, and to stock up at a popular tuck shop, Endeavour was the winning House on the day, topping theMaths Curriculum Team Leader Mrs Volynchook-Wilson says. points table in activities in maths, science, art and history and edging out Voyager who came a close second, taking theSecondary students were split into House groups and took most points in English, Humanities and PE. In third place waspart in activities with a mathematical theme organised by Challenger and Discovery followed in fourth place.six different departments. An on-line stock exchange which students to buy and sell shares made the mostprofit. The most popular activity was organised by the science 1800 department and involved students buying items to make a 1600 parachute to enable an egg to float gently to the ground from 1400 the school roof. Students also joined an online community of 5.5 1200  Discovery million mathematicians on the World Maths Day website where 1000  Endeavour  800  challenger they entered live challenges with up to three students the same 600  voyager age and mathematical ability. “It was a great day for all the 400 students, who hopefully improved their maths skills, had fun 200 and also raised money for charity and to help the Year 12 group 0 on the road to Uganda,” Mrs Volynchook-Wilson says. Discovery  Endeavour  challenger  voyager MATHS CHALLENGELast months solution is shown below. Well done to Taisir AlSaqri for thinking outside the box. The challenge was: Withoutlifting your pencil from the page and only drawing 4 straightlines can you pass through every dot in the square below?Tasirs solution is below. THIS MONTH’S CHALLENGE Paul is half as old as Sarah. One year ago Paul’s age was just two fifths of Sarah’s age one year from now. How old are Paul and Sarah? Please email your answers. The solution and the person who solved it correctly will be published in the next newsletter. 11
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012BIG BOOK SWAPMore than a hundred books found new homes when secondarystudents turned out in force for the Big Book Swap. The eventwas part of World Book Day, which celebrates books, authors,illustrators and reading. Students were asked to bring in booksthey no longer needed and were given a voucher for each bookthey donated which they used to exchange for another book on theday. Unclaimed books were donated to the library. Year 7 studentsswapped the most books, with Year 8 coming a close second. Mostof the book swappers were girls. Goals for next year are to attractmore male readers and to double the number of books swapped.Thanks to the Year 8s who organised the Big Book Swap: KelsiFriedenthal, Sarah Binnie, Jess Schonberg, Lamya Al Yazdi, AyaZeidan and Ramya Iyer. BOOKWORMS: Students at the big book swap. ON THE JOB: Harrison Crawford at the New York University construction site.VALUABLE LESSONSLEARNT ON WORK then try and get the best price for it. He says the week has helped him focus on a possible career. "Before I didnt have a clue aboutEXPERIENCE what I wanted to do but now I would like to do something with commerce, or possibly procurement as well." Harrison says the staff he met were keen to tell him about their jobs and he had theWork experience has helped one Year 10 pupil sharpen his opportunity to ask lots of questions. He also sat in on meetings. Hecareer goals. Harrison Crawford spent the week with Al Futtaim says what made the week so successful for him was that he wasCarillion, which provides services in building construction and civil doing something that interested him. "I would recommend workengineering works. The company sent him to the site offices of experience, but I would say look for something that you would likeNew York University on Saadiyat Island, which is due to open next to do."year. During his work experience week Harrison spent each of hisfive days looking at different aspects of the companys operations, Work experience co-coordinator Miss Stephenson says the generalbeginning with health and safety and moving on to the supply chain, feedback has been positive from both employers and students,design management, procurement and commercial. with many students realising a more focused idea of their future career choices. "We have forged some positive relationshipsHe enjoyed being given real tasks to do, such as working out the with local companies which we hope to maintain and develop intobest costs for water proofing in one of the buildings and reviewing partnerships for work experience placements in the future," shedoor schedules and finding numerous discrepancies in the items says. "Students will use their appraisal forms from employers toordered. Harrison says he enjoyed working both in commercial and do some self-reflection and assess their strengths in the workplaceprocurement. "Commercial is good because its numbers, which I in light of employers’ comments. This will take the form oflike, but procurement was interesting too because of the bargaining reflective sessions in PSHE after the Easter holidays when all theside. You dont just buy the item, you scout out the best item and appraisals have been received from employers." 12
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012SNIPPETS THOSE VEXING QUESTIONS... Why don’t my eyes fall out when I sneeze? If I fell into a black hole, where would I go? If you think you know the answers to questions like these - and can scientifically prove your answers - then you may be the winner of a competition being organised by the school as part of National Science Week. This is a week of activities organised by the British Science Association and is designed to highlight how science, technology, BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GERMAN: Students on the Year 10 history trip receive engineering and maths relates to our everyday lives and to inspire a new some German tips from languages teacher Mr Dumange before their departure. generation of scientists. Science teacher Mr Wan says students in Years 7, 8 and 9 will receive a series of question to try and solve and a booklet of experiments to try at home. Students who produce the most scientificA FIRST-HAND LOOK response to the questions and produce the best book, poster or booklet to show how they did at least two of the experiments from the accompanyingAT HISTORY booklet could be the competition winners. The deadline for entries is April 10. “Students will hopefully enjoy doing the experiments, be given a chance to research themes more deeply and gain practical skills and independentThe past will come to life for 28 GCSE History students, who are on a week- investigation skills also,” Mr Wan says.long trip to Munich and Berlin. The trip supports two GCSE examinationtopics - the rise of the Nazis and the Cold War. Curriculum Team Leader for, Miss Frampton, says the visit will extend the students’ knowledge andincrease their empathy for the past. Highlights of the trip include a visit toCheckpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate. The trip has been organisedby North Star. Accompanying Al Yasmina staff on the trip is North Star FRESHDirector Paul Flaherty, a former British military soldier who speaks fluentGerman and patrolled the Berlin Wall as part of NATO forces. The students VEGETABLES EACH WEEKreturn to Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Punyaporn Richmond and two of her children, Rebecca and Alexander, collect a box of fresh vegetables from FOY (Friends of Yasmina) volunteers. Orders are placed and paid for by the first Monday of each month. Email your order to Lindy at and put the payment in the Vegappetit box at reception. Include your name and mobile number. Then, pick up your box each Wednesday after school outside the secondary library. It’s 30dhs for a 2.5kg box and a 5kg box is 55dhs. HARD YARDS: Strong winds and limited visibility meant testing conditions for International Award candidates.TESTING CONDITIONS SECONDFOR INTERNATIONAL HANDAWARD PARTICIPANTS TREASURES Second-hand Al Yasmina SchoolParticipants in International Award for Young People silver medal expedition uniforms are for sale each Thursdaybattled severe sand storms and high winds during the final day and night from 12.30pm - 3pm in the atrium. UNIFORM DEALS: FOY volunteerof their three-day trek at Fossil Rock, Sharjah. The winds sweeping in from Anyone interested in buying or selling Urooj AhmedaniSaudi Arabia resulted in poor visibility and high levels of dust for the 22 uniforms that are surplus to theirstudents on the trek, who were forced to remove fly sheets from their tents to requirements should email Urooj atstop them blowing away. The students completed their final 9km trek in the alyasminafoy@gmail.comhazardous conditions, battling through clouds of horizontally blowing sand.The group spent their first day in Wadi Tawian in the emirate of Fujeirah. Theyused GPS systems to help them navigate through the dry wadi bed and up achallenging hill before selecting a camp site on a flat area at the bottom ofthe hill. Day two began with a flat trek through another wadi, passing quarriesand small oases and covering the 7km in record time. SAVE A DATE Circle May 4 on your calendars - it’s the date for the Al Yasmina ball at the Crowne Plaza on Yas Island which is being organised by FOY.The Duke of Edinburgh award was established in 1956 and quickly spread to Further details - including how to get your tickets - will follow inCommonwealth countries and beyond, leading to the formation of the Duke the next newsletter.of Edinburgh’s International Association. The International Award for YoungPeople is used to describe the award worldwide. 13
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012STUDENTS OF THE MONTH Abdulla Bukhashim Hassan Al Asmawi Claire Lynch William Ayass Arabic Islamic Native Drama Economics Music Rebecca Von Cotta Haya Hassan Schonberg Alice Von Wedel Raseel Abu Hassan Arabic Islamic Non-native Drama English PE Amro Luqman Jess Vickery Karen Alexis Girgis Jess Vickery Arabic Native Drama French Psychology Sara Ali Wynona Bautista Max Buldock Clara Ziada Arabic Non-native Drama Geography Science Shamma Biny Sied Tommy Wouters Mohammad Shahrour Alina Kamal Arabic Social Studies Drama History Spanish Lara Wahed Faris Al Ali Chloe Quinn Art Drama ICT Jenny Goldsmith Elliott Wilkinson Shamma Biny Sied Business Studies DT Maths 14
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012SPORTS NEWSQUICK HANDS: Members of the London Saracens Rugby Club put studentsthrough their paces. NEW SKILLS: KS3 students after their eight weeks rugby coaching.SARACENS VISITORSThe Saracens Rugby Club has had a noticeable presence at Al Yasmina School over the past month, with regular coaching sessions by thelocal club and a visit from former international players now with the club in London. Al Yasmina students were joined by fellow rugby playersfrom Brighton College Abu Dhabi and the British International School of Abu Dhabi for a one-off coaching session with the London-basedplayers, who included Joe Maddock, a former member of the New Zealand Maori team. The students were put into groups and were putthrough a series of drills by the professionals, who then took part in a question and answer session with students. Meanwhile, girls and boysin Key Stage 3 have developed their rugby skills under the guidance of Josh Goad, a coach from the Abu Dhabi Saracens, who spent eightweeks working with the students during their PE lessons.POOL SAFE THIRD PLACE FORSix Al Yasmina PE teachers have become qualified lifeguards after GIRLS IN SEVENScompleting a six-day training programme. The course coveredrescue techniques both in and out of the pool, first aid and also COMPETITIONfocused on recognising conditions that swimmers may have, suchas diabetes and epilepsy, that could contribute to them getting into Al Yasminas U-12 and U- 14 girls football teams both walked awaydifficulty in the water. with third place honours in the annual Dubai football 7s tournament earlier this month. It was the first time many of the players hadSwimming teacher Sarah Brundan says the qualification meets competed in the tournament, which is the largest football eventnew regulations in the UAE which make it compulsory for staff who ever held in the Middle East. PE teacher Miss Oliver says the daywork around swimming pools to be trained lifeguards. “We also did was filled with some great performances and solid results for boththe course to make sure we are up-to-date with all issues about teams. "It was a great day and I would like to send out my thanks tohealth and safety in and around the pool,” she says. “Our main the parents who took the time out of their weekend to transport andfocus is about the safety of all our students while they are in this support their daughters. Looking forward to next year!"area.” Al Yasmina has 10 PE teachers, seven of whom are qualifiedlifeguards. 15
  • AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 2 MARCH 2012 FAMILY FUN A tug of war, sack races, and an obstacle assault course - these are just some of the activities that brought around 130 families together for Al Yasmina’s first family sports day. The emphasis was on fun for the families who attended, with some fine sporting prowess and a competitive spirit being shown by both the parents and their children. The day was organised by Al Yasmina’s PE department and will become a regular occurrence on the school’s social calendar.