AL YASMINA ABU DHABI Connect issue 1SCHOOL Bloom 2012/2013 Grow Learn Nurture Play THE PRIMARY PARTNERSHIP AL YASMINA SCHOOL STRIVES TO BE AN OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL, MAXIMISING THE LEARNING POTENTIAL OF ALL
WELCOMEWelcome to the first issue of The Primary PARTnership It gives Al Yasmina School the chance to celebratefor the 2012/2013 academic year. The Primary progress and achievement and provide more in depthPARTnership is the publication for Al Yasminas primary information to parents on a wide variety of subjects.school. We welcome your feedback. email@example.comCONTENTSWELCOME From the HEAD OF SCHOOL 3KEY FOCUS: CURRICULUM CHANGES 4BOOK WEEK BUZZ 5WATER WEEK 7YEAR 2 CLICK EXHIBITION 8YEAR 5 IN FOCUS 9SNOW WHITE STARS 11ALDAR OLYMPICS 12SPORTS ROUNDUP 13BSME SWIM SUCCESS 14The first Primary PARTnership for this academic yearTopics, trends, updates, views and news from the Al Yasmina Primary DepartmentPictured on the cover: Students celebrate Book Week 2
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013 FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL, MR GALE Welcome to our first edition of the Primary PARTnership. There is so much to celebrate about the primary school and I would like to take this opportunity to explain how this this new look publication is an ideal platform to tell our story publication will work. in greater depth. The year groups and features will be spread across the course of an academic year, matched to the calendar Each month we will publish this new look newsletter which will of events wherever possible. This will enable us to give a complement our other publication, the Secondary PARTnership. greater depth of information rather than featuring everything Each edition will have a theme. The Primary PARTnership all at once. will form another invaluable platform from which we will communicate with our community. We will continue with the parent weekly sheet and the week in photos. This will be issued through the School Communicator. I The aim of the Primary PARTnership is to celebrate the appreciate there have been a number of changes in the primary achievements of our students at Al Yasmina. The publication school. New leadership inevitably means change, but it has will have a common feel. Each monthly edition will feature: been well planned and well executed to the benefit of all. - Editorial Change also brings opportunity and I hope you enjoy this, our - Key focus monthly ‘opportunity’ to read, share and understand what - Year group in focus makes the primary school such a dynamic, vibrant and happy - Subject specialist in the spotlight place to learn. - General page – interesting snippets In some ways I have the easiest job in the world. Each day, I am amazed at the achievements of our students and the extent to “If everyone is moving forward which the staff support and engage learners. together, then success takes care of itself” - Henry Ford 3
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013CURRICULUM BECOMES MORE CREATIVEThis term marks the beginning of subtle changes to the primary Students investigate a theme from all angles and understandcurriculum which will offer students a more creative and skills- how subjects and topics are always connected.” Each topicbased approach to their learning. must have a purpose to the learning and a definite realizable outcome, such as a theme day or exhibition. This will varyThe focus is moving from subject-based learning to working depending on the age group. Year 2s recent Click topic is awith themes which can be incorporated in innovative ways great example. The students learned about the history of theacross a number of subjects. Some subjects, such as maths, camera, the importance of setting in a picture, and who thescience and certain components of literacy need to stand alone key character is, how photos are developed, and what can beand will continue to do so, but wherever possible subjects will done with the end product. The result was the Click exhibitionbe linked to a common theme and explored from different at which their framed work was displayed and staff and parentsangles. Miss Davies, Primary Assistant Head of Curriculum, purchased their photos.says the thematic-based approach has been proven to be veryeffective elsewhere, driving up academic standards. It is known In December Year 6 had its chocolate-making project, withto be popular with students and, obviously, happy students more of a business slant. They had to divide into teams, buymake better learners. “As students progress through primary their ingredients, create a chocolate recipe, plan the packagingschool using the creative curriculum, they should be armed and marketing, keep to a budget, and then sell their productwith the skills they need to transition into Year 7, whether it is to the rest of the school. They had to price the product so theyhere at Al Yasmina or in their home country.” could pay back parents who had advanced a loan to cover costs but they also had to make a profit for their chosen charity.Each topic starts with a “hook”, or exciting event, to awaken thestudents’ interest in the subject, and then they are given the Miss Davies says the curriculum team leaders will ensure“big picture” of where they are going with the topic. Teachers that the breadth of the curriculum is correctly taught and thatwill establish what students already know about the topic, and students progress through primary school with academicwhat they want to know. They will incorporate these questions standards strictly maintained. “If subjects are linked in a logicalinto their learning, helping them to gain essential skills and and meaningful way, students learn how to apply the knowledgeknowledge.The learning is student-led, but with structure, Miss they learn in one lesson across all their studies.” She points outDavies says. that the approach is particularly effective for students who have English as a second language. “If they are motivated and havingStudents will be encouraged to do their own research, to think fun then the hurdles of learning in another language appearabout diverse and practical ways of approaching the topic. The less daunting.”advantage for teachers is that, with occasional exceptions,they can devote more time to “topic” spanning a number of the The students get to give feedback at the end of the topic andlesson slots. “It is a less fragmented approach. It encourages what they have to say will be taken into consideration for nextimmersion and passion. year. “We want the children to know that they are part of this process.” 4
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013READATHON RAISESALMOST 8000DHSWhile the primary school celebrated Book Week withnumerous exciting activities, the flagship event was theReadathon which raised almost 8000Dhs and will be spent onbooks for World Challenge’s Jjezza School in Uganda.The Readathon ran from February 14 to March 4 and involvedstudents getting sponsorship for every book they read, or lumpsum donations. More than 60 students got involved, earning atotal of 7964Dhs. Each participant received a certificate, with aspecial one reserved for the student who read the most booksin each Key Stage. These were presented at an assembly on BOOK DONATION TO HOSPITAL: Year 3 Terns class present SheikhMarch 7. Khalifa Medical City Children`s Ward with more than 500 books.“The Readathon was a huge success,” says Year 4 teacherand event co-ordinator Miss Phillips. “All the proceeds will godirectly into the purchase of books for Jjezza School and willmake a huge difference to the children there.”The Year 12 World Challenge students will travel to Uganda inJune to continue the work begun at Jjezza by last year’s WorldChallenge participants.BOOK WEEK BUZZ BEST DRESSED ON BOOK CHARACTER DAY: Back: Tom Goodwin (Y3), Stella Venus (Y1), Alex Rashed (Y6), Seb Rossiter (Y4), Poppy Smith (Y5)Activities included: Front: Fatima Salam (FS2), Fergal Mitchell (FS2). Not Pictured: MarkBook character parade – each year group chose a winning Hart (Y2)costumeWeird and wacky places to read photo competitionDonate a book for a local hospitalYear groups writing their own story booksMystery readersArabic lessons linked to stories and readingMake your own story sackStaff reading to other classesCross-year reading sessionsAssembly on the final day to celebrate the week and give prizes READ-A-THON WINNERS: Zack Toye STORY SACK WINNER: and Leena Safareeni Alex Markou 5
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013 BOOK DAY PARADE 6
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013 WATER WEEK A WINNER Primary students spent five days celebrating Water Week, with the aim of raising money for a school in Ethiopia to enable it to build its own water harvest tanks. This was a project run across Aldar Academies, with all six Aldar schools taking part in their own way. It coincided with World Water Day on March 22, established by the UN as a means of focusing attention on the importance of fresh water and advocating its sustainable management. At Al Yasmina, the students enjoyed monitoring the amounts of water used both at home and at school by completing a water diary. During the week, they learned about the importance of water and how lucky we are in Abu Dhabi to have clean water readily available. They also researchedCYCLE FOR WATER: Joost Notenboom & Michiel Roodenburg visit Al various ways to conserve water in our daily lives and created fantasticYasmina after their 20 month bicycle journey from the North to theSouth Poles to raise awareness of a global water crisis that is leaving posters advertising their “water saving” ideas.more than 1 billion people around the world without access to safedrinking water. Student scientists had the opportunity to enter the Water Science Challenge, with the winners announced in the Water Assembly at the end of the week. On March 21, the primary school held a “Blue Day” to celebrate water conservation, with every student wearing blue and contributing 10Dhs to this worthy cause. The children raised more than 7000Dhs.SAVE WATER: Year 3 Buntings students show their ‘Save water’display. WATER SCIENCE CHALLENGE WINNERS: Back: Christy Arkieh, Haroon 7From left is Shaikha Al Ali, George Worth, Kaitlyn Strika, Yousef Al Hanashi, Hashem El Nadi, Poppy Smith and Sandali Weerasekera.Nowais Front: Amaya Sanchez and Tien- Hom Woon
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013CLICK PROJECT PUSHES ALL THE RIGHT BUTTONSYear 2’s Click project kicked off with a visit to Manaraat al For this, we planned where we should visit and then took a daySaadiyat to open the children’s eyes to what an exhibition is. out, armed with cameras, to take snapshots in the city. OnceFrom this, they then began planning their own exhibition. this was complete we could begin our leaflets.The children were given the challenge of creating brochures We learned all about using persuasive language to help usfor tourists visiting the city. Contact was made with Etihad advertise what Abu Dhabi has to offer. The children also beganto allow us to place our leaflets in the seats on their planes. editing their photos to add to their showcase for the exhibition.The children loved this idea as it really gave them a purpose Each child chose and edited two favourite photographs they hadfor writing! Once the leaflets were complete the children taken on the tour and these were then developed and framed.were thrilled to see the photographs of the cabin crew andpassengers reading their leaflets. The exhibition was a huge success, with children selling their framed photographsIn order to create the leaflets the children had to plan what to parents while also exhibiting all the workthey wanted their focus to be. They chose a select number of they had produced throughout the topic.landmarks in Abu Dhabi which lead on to our Click Photography It was a great event and everyone wasSafari. very impressed by what the children had achieved. By Year 2 Leader Miss Phillips Photo taken by a Year student, Zane Dooley 2 CullinaneWhat the parents had to say “Well done to all the pupils and teachers involved.“Great event, very innovative, looking forward to Didn’t expect to see such wonderful and creativeseeing more of it.” photos taken”“Well done Year 2. Very professional work from the “Fantastic work by all. The standard of the work andbudding photographers.” the excitement of the children says it all! Well done from a very proud parent!”“Can’t believe the photos were taken by Year 2students.” “Very impressed with the high standard of work” 8
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013DIBBA TOPS THETERM FORYEAR 5Without doubt, the highlight of the term for Year 5 was the long- While 100 students went on the Dibba trip, there were 25awaited three-day camp at Dibba. students who remained at school and had fun activities organised for them linked to the latest Year 5 topic of AncientThe students challenged themselves, supported each other, China. They had lessons such as Chinese cookery, calligraphyand generally had a fun time tackling outdoor adventure and painting, and fun PE sessions. “We found the same sort ofactivities – many for the first time. They tested their skills at teamwork and support going on with this group as we did atmountain biking, rock climbing, archery, GPS orienteering, Dibba.”and an assault course. They went on a torchlit wadi walk oneevening and wrapped up their stay with a talent show by the The Ancient China topic kicked off with Chinese New Year incampfire on the last night. “The children were so excited, they February and ran until the end of the term. Students looked athad been waiting for the camp since the school year began,” the history of China, including some of the ancient dynasties,says Year 5 Leader Mr Makda. its geographical location, the rural/urban divide, and the importance of the sea to China. They also studied Chinese artWhen it came to the activities, the students worked together to and made beautiful silk paintings, elaborate kites and colourfulhelp each other overcome any fears. “It was really good to see Chinese dragons. At the beginning of the month the studentsthem motivating each other. Some children were quite daunted visited China Court at Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, where theyby what they were asked to do but they were cheered on and perfected their chopstick skills at a Chinese restaurant , andencouraged by their classmates, so there was a great sense of got to see some Chinese architecture and a traditional junk,accomplishment for them all.” which they sketched beautifully. It was a great day out !The camp was linked with the year group’s topic Changing When Book Week arrived, Year 5 dressed up as their favouriteCoasts and the students could see for themselves how the book characters, and each class created their own uniquecoastline had changed over the years, with the high tide line book. This involved planning and writing the story, addingreceding. illustrations and editing the story.There was also a cultural component to the trip, with a visit The remaining highlight of the term was International Day andto an ancient coastal mosque and fort. “For the village there, Mr Makda says the students loved it. “They saw how diversefishing was the primary source of income and we saw how the the Year 5 cohort is, and it was fantastic to see them in theirfort was used as protection from marauders. We all squashed traditional dress.” The year group followed up the schoolinto the fort and tried to recreate what it would have been like parade with a buffet lunch of their own, where students broughtfor villagers if they had been attacked and looked at why they food from their home country. “It was good seeing childrenbuilt the fort in that particular way.” trying foods they have never tasted before.”Mr Makda says the trip was a huge success, both in terms of The students also made a small speech to their classmateswhat the students achieved in the outdoor education activities about their home country. “The children are really proud ofand in gaining a “hands-on” understanding of the Changing where they are from.” 9Coasts topic.
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013DIBBA FUN 10
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013ABIGAIL AND IONA STAR IN SNOW WHITE PANTOYear 6 students Abigail Stanley and Iona Pollock were the only primary students inAbu Dhabi to land star roles in the recent pantomime production of Snow White atthe National Theatre.Visiting British company H2 Productions auditioned the girls, and they were givenkey roles as the dwarfs Lazy (Abigail) and Sneezy (Iona). Not only did they take onthese demanding parts but they also performed in two other minor roles at eachshow. The rest of the cast were either secondary students from other Abu Dhabischools or adults from the UK.The girls belong to Fusion Dance Group and their names were put forward forthe show by their teacher. They have both been dancing for three years, butonly joined Fusion in September. The girls managed to juggle three weeks ofrehearsals followed by twice daily performances for a week and attended schoolin the afternoon for important assessments.Abigail’s mum, Beverley, says the pair had a great time and they have been asked Iona “Sneezy” Pollock who played the orange dwarf andto audition again when H2 return to Abu Dhabi to produce Peter Pan later this Abigail “Lazy” Stanley who played the yellow dwarf.year. 11
AL YASMINA TAKES ALDAR OLYMPICS TROPHYThe competition was tough but the victory was sweet as Al It didn’t take long for Al Yasmina to make its mark on theYasmina took the Aldar Olympics trophy for the second year hurdles event, recording a number of first places and fastestrunning. times for their team. As the results from the field events came in, the standings began to take shape.Al Yasmina hosted the Aldar Academies primary schools’hotly contested annual athletics tournament on March 7. The As the afternoon progressed it became apparent that Al AinPearl, Al Muna, Al Mushrif and Al Ain International School all International School was Al Yasmina’s only real threat forsent squads of 32 of their best athletes. The event is seen an the trophy. However, much credit must be given to the otheropportunity for each school to progress their talented children, schools whose enthusiasm and dedication in each event reallyproviding them with competition beyond their usual PE setting, shone through.says Al Yasmina Head of Primary Physical Education, MissOliver. As the tournament came to an end, the schools gathered together eagerly for the results. Mr Gale presented the awardsThe event requires each athlete to compete in eight disciplines to the winners. Many thanks went out to all those who hadon the day. These include the field events of high jump and made the event possible through their support: FOY, thelong jump, javelin and shot putt, and track events consisting of parents, the PE department and, of course, all the competitors.the 75-metre sprint, hurdles, 300-metre race, and team relay. The results were announced… Al Yasmina had successfullyEach student scores points for their team depending on their defended its title to become undisputed champions in 2013!performance in each event, first place scoring the most points Not only did they defend the shield but each year team had alsoand awarded the overall individual event winner. won their age groups outright.The Year 5 and 6 children took to the track events first, while “What a great day for our athletes and for Al Yasmina schoolthe Year 3 and 4 teams started on the field events. Al Yasmina sport,” says Miss Oliver. “All the children involved receivedstudents were ready to defend the title they had won at last medals which will hold fantastic memories for them in yearsyear’s event. Some were part of that 2012 winning team, for to come and hopefully they will have the opportunity to defendothers it was a new experience. their crown in 2014. We look forward to next year and buildingNerves and anticipation were clear to see from their faces as on sporting successes as the year continues.”they began the competition. 12
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013SPORTS ROUNDUPYEAR 1 AND 2 SPORTS DAYYear 1 and 2 Sports Day is always a special event on the calendar for the children. They spend weeks looking forward to the day and use their PElessons to practice those all important skills! This year’s focus was on multi-ability stations where children could try out different skills such assprinting, hurdles, obstacle courses, golf, football and much more. With guidance from our Year 10 Junior Sports Leaders Awards students, thechildren had heaps of fun and competed with great sportsmanship.PRIMARY SWIM TEAM UNBEATEN SO FARThe Al Yasmina primary swim team remains unbeaten after the first five inter-school swimming galas this competitive season. March 11 proved to beanother victorious meet.“Our swimmers yet again proved to be outstanding by winning against Al Ain International School, Pearl and Al Muna primary schools, and TheBritish International School of Abu Dhabi,” says swim coach Mr Todorov. “Our swimmers dominated the event and demonstrated great skill,technique and physical abilities. They are a great pleasure to work with and make us all very proud.”Fourteen members of the primary swim team also qualified to take part in the BSME swimming championships in Muscat last week (see report onpage 14). 13
TALENT, DISCIPLINE,HARD WORK, PAYSOFF FOR SWIMMERSI remember getting on the bus at the end of last year’s BritishSchools in the Middle East swimming championships and sayingto the kids, “You have done it guys. Al Yasmina is no longer aparticipant, Al Yasmina is a contender. I had my confidence in theteam but little did I know how right I was.”We are back from the same competition a year later and my wordsseem to be carved in stone now. Sixty medals – 11 gold, 25 silver,24 bronze, six BSME records and memories for a lifetime. Allour swimmers achieved personal best times. This was the mostsuccessful swimming event yet. Our school swim team is in thetop five teams in the GCC region.Our swimmers provided some of the most exciting races of thecompetition. From close races and battles to the last stroke torecord-breaking swims, they elevated us with great excitementand pride. Record holders are:The achievement of those results has not been without sacrifice.Swimmers have committed time and effort in pursuit of goals Isabelle Darling (Year 4) – 50 Freestyle 37.59 andand dreams. Early mornings while most people are still in bed, 50 Butterfly 43.19our children are covering an average of 4km in the pool, lateafternoons another 4 -5km, weekends training, and competitions. Hayden Woodrow (Year 4) – 200 Freestyle 3.00.34Hard work, discipline and team ethos have been at the core of oursuccess. We aim to achieve excellence and we can only do so bybeen excellent every day, every practice, every stroke and turn. Cameron Oliver (Year 10) – 50 Backstroke 28.94, 100 Backstroke 1.02.51 and 200 Freestyle 2.04.51Congratulations to all swimmers. We are very proud of you.By Al Yasmina Swim Instructor Mr Todorov 14
TOUCH RUGBYWith the support of UAE Touch, Al Yasmina has this year helped to formthe Abu Dhabi Touch Rugby Series, aimed at developing the game oftouch at school level. Al Yasmina has played host to numerous schoolsfrom around the city who have been coming here each week to competein both the U9 and U11 mixed age group categories. With the help oftouch rugby being delivered in PE lessons and an ECA programme alsocatering for the sport, the Al Yasmina teams have had a successfulseries.U9 FinalThe Al Yasmina A team went into the tournament ahead on points,needing to reach the final to win the league outright. It was an anxiousstart with a draw against Brighton 0-0. They then went on to securewins against BISAD and Al Yasmina B team to reach the final showdownagainst Al Muna. It was a must-win game, as Al Muna trailed AlYasmina by just 2 points in the league standings. Despite a close andnervy game, a try by Daniel Cooper secured a 1-0 win. The team wasU11 FinalThe Under 11 teams entered the final tournament of the series withconfidence and excitement. They had finished 2nd to only BrightonCollege in the previous tournaments so this was the day they wantedto leave their mark. Putting all their skills to the test the teams tookto the field. The B team played well but slipped to 4th position afterresults didn’t go their way. The A team won all their group games,qualifying for a final showdown against Brighton. It was close andtense, 0-0 at full time, golden try extra time was played with 3 vs 3 onthe pitch. In the fourth minute, Al Yasmina made a break with NicolasVorster sprinting down the wing. The game was won, Al Yasminawere the tournament victors! Despite finishing the season on a high,Brighton took the overall league title due to previous results but thiswinning finish was a very positive and significant result to build on fornext year’s series. 15
AL YASMINA SCHOOL issue 1 2012/2013LATEST NEWS FROM FRIENDS OF AL YASMINAThe Friends of Al Yasmina (FOY) have been able to contribute toseveral exciting school activities this year. These have includedproviding refreshments at functions such as the various sportsand swimming days, the Year 2 Click Exhibition, welcome coffeemornings, and the Aldar Olympics. Putting the funds raised byFOY to a good cause is what we are all about and fortunately thismonth we are able to donate quite a bit.We have also been very lucky this term to have been helped bya very enterprising young lady in Year 6 - Layla Jawhari who hasraised the huge amount sum 1200Dhs on her own, and has verykindly donated it to FOY. This will be added to an amount at theend of the year that will be donated to charity.FOY Veg has been getting some assistance with the vegetableboxes from the World Challenge team, so the funds raised thismonth have been donated to them to help with their Ugandafundraising. This month amounted to 1255Dhs. Furtherproceeds from FOY Veg will also go towards the World Challengefundraising.A total donation of 2000Dhs was distributed by FOY to all of thestalls participating in the hugely successful International Day.The Primary drama production of The Wiz will benefit from thedonation of 5000 Dhs. Funds will help with props, costumes andlighting.The Al Yasmina Spring Ball is a major event on the calendar nextterm and the funds raised will go towards Operation Smile, thecharity which helps improve the quality of life for children withfacial disfigurements. Make sure you get some friends togetherand organise a table or come on your own and meet some newpeople for a great night out.We are looking at further ideas to assist the primary and wholeschool and will have an update as soon as its available.Come along to the next FOY meeting on Thursday, April 18 at 8am.It is a great way to be involved with your childs education andcontribute to some really worthwhile fundraising.