Principal's Letter

12th October, 2017


'Success for all as lifelong learners'

Dear Parents,

Thank you to WISPA, students, staff and parents for your great generosity during today’s Pink Day. Donations will be presented to Al Jalila Foundation next week. Preparations for Diwali evening from 6pm this evening are in full swing. Activities include a choir and dance performances, a quiz, a classical Hindustani choir performance and so much more. Looking forward to seeing lots of you there.


The annual Academic Awards event for Years 6 to 11 on Wednesday saw 132 students recognised for their outstanding approach to learning. A special mention to the following students - Obaid Al Jallaf for outstanding achievement and Fatima Hassan, winner of the Sheikha Fatima Award. A complete list of award winners is available on D6. Also recognised during the ceremony was Adeeb Al Blooshi for superb work in innovation and Bianca Mirpuri for her designing a refugee shelter as part of UAE government'Future Leaders' initiative. Wishing all our students continued success this year as they further develop high levels of effort, critical thinking skills and aspiration.


The first Local Advisory Board meeting of the academic year took place on Tuesday with representation from WISPA, IncludeME, GEMS Support Centre, Higher Education, parents – past and present, staff members and school leadership. We look forward to continuing to develop and drive our school with their support, advice and expertise. Your feedback is very important as mentioned again in the Heads of School weekly bulletins today.


The Duke of Edinburgh presentation for Secondary families, as well as Class Communication Coordinator’s (CCC) meeting for Primary parents were both very well supported. Mrs Harrington and our CCCs discussed the merits and effective use of WhatsApp as an assistive tech resource for use as parents, whilst also reminding parents of the perils of misuse and the negativity, anxiety and damage this can cause. Please be reminded that you are your child’s representative and your feedback should be given directly to school. We are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly.


Year 10 and 13 Parents’ Evenings were superbly supported too as well as our Science Information evening for Key Stage 3 parents. Feedback was positive particularly in relation to our developing curriculum websites for Secondary students, ensuring content, study materials, assessment overviews and opportunities for extension are available at all times. We will continue to develop these sites; our curriculum leaders appreciate your feedback to ensure the information required in readily available.


This week we had some fantastic entries for the GWIS House Emblem competition across Primary and Secondary, with impressive quality and creativity demonstrated in the designs. We look forward to the selection, by our students, of the overall winners next week.


Mrs Penelope Chidgey, our Careers Counsellor, has continued to showcase a wide range of universities and third level opportunities to students with recent visitors from Queen’s University, Belfast University, University of Arts – London, Imperial College London and Boston University. Students in Year 13 are busy completing their university applications for the UK, including their personal statements. Information on final university destinations for the class of 2017 is available on our website  and on D6.

This week saw the start of our new surfing club with some keen Secondary students developing their skills in this fun water sports activity as well as the launch of our new GWIS Sports Leadership Academy. Next week will see the launch of our new Cheerleading Club, where we are looking forward to welcoming Sonoka Kasahara the Director of the UAE Allstars Cheerleading Team, who has also represented her country - Japan in the Cheerleading World Championships in 2016.

We are delighted to announce that we won our first Swimming Gala at King’s Al Barsha recently, finishing first in the U12 and U14 sections and runners up in the U16 section. Next week our school will be welcoming Knightsbridge Fencing Club from the UK to do a special presentation of their work. In Primary our Year 3 and 4 football teams won against Raffles, SSID and Nord Anglia school recently. Special mentions to Achille Mangili, Kahil Anelka, Tyler Campbell, Karim Soliman, Gabi El-Khoury, Karim Soliman, Ibrahim Chatha and Abdul Hamid Messaike on performances.


Badou Jack, a Two Weight World Boxing Champion (WBC Super Middleweight and WBA Light Heavyweight), visited school today along with Amer Abdullah, his manager and a Kickboxing Champion. Students enjoyed hearing from these highly successful athletes who presented on the importance of hard work, determination and self-belief.

Finally, congratulations to ticket holders number 52 and 221 who have won the VIP parking raffle for next week and to ticket holders number 78 and 300 for winning the runner-up coffee tokens. As RTA roadworks in front of the school will be commencing soon, we encourage you to use Gate 2, 3 and 4 at the side/ rear of school for your children drop-off and pick-ups.


Thank you for your immense support and wishing you all a restful weekend ahead.

Happy Diwali!


Ruth Burke