Parent Newsletter End of Term 1
Volume Fifteen : December 17, 2019
Greetings, Dear Parents.
This is the final newsletter of 2019, which captures the many events of November and December and the wonderful work of the Parent Council throughout the term.
It has been a long but very busy term, packed with new initiatives, trips and events that have added a new flavour to life at Alpha School.
The term ended with a number of successful events that brought the Alpha family together:
· the 48th National day event; my thanks to our Parent Governor Ms. Oasha and her team, and the supporting parent council members, who provided us with a day of fun-filled celebration.
· the school sports days; my thanks to Mr. Stephen Hall for his organisation of this and his ability to overcome the unpredictable weather and still give the children a memorable and active day.
· and the Alpha School Talent Show; a huge success, a feast of talent, and one that the children have already requested be repeated next year!
Holiday Homework and Reading
I would like to draw your attention to the letter you received regarding holiday homework and the Key Stage 1 and 2 guidance sent to you by the senior leadership team. It is extremely important that your children do not fall behind in their studies as so often happens over a long break. Please follow the guidelines provided by the KS Section Leads and remember that reading every day, whether independent or shared, is one of the most valuable things you can do to help your child achieve success at school.
The term 1 reports have been written and will be sent to you on January 12th. Parent Conferences, for those parents who wish to follow up on anything written in the reports, will take place on the 14th and 15th January.
Beginning of term assessments
There will be a number of assessments taking place in the first week of the term 2. Please ensure that your children are back in school for January 12th and ready to start work.
Gratitude to all members of the Parent Council (please read the PC Chair, Ms. Noorjehan’s, report below) and the Whatsapp group leads, whose support we could not do without.
May I wish all of you a relaxing holiday with family and friends. For those of you who celebrate, ‘Merry Christmas’. And to all of you who are flying or driving to other destinations, ‘safe travels’ – please ensure your children buckle up those seat belts.
‘Happy New Year’ to One and All.
WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING AT ALPHA?
The Foundation Stage have completed their third project of the term which has involved science, mathematics and art. In the Foundation Stage 2, the children have taken part in a building competition where they have been asked to design, propose and build a new building for Dubai. There has been a lot of experimental work with materials to decide what would be best for their designs in terms of durability and function.
In Foundation Stage 1 the children were busy mixing and pouring and experimenting in art. They looked at colour mixing, form and shape and will end their project with a stunning gallery of work to be showcased across the school.
The Foundation Stage also hosted their very first parent and child art workshop, all about the artist Henri Matisse. The mums and dads and the children did a fantastic job of creating a collaborative mural of organic shapes in the schools multi purpose hall. A new workshop will be held in the new year.
Key Stage 1
The last, short part of the term was a busy one with assessments taking place within the classrooms. Within the classrooms, the Units of Inquiry led to Year One studying 'Patterns and Cycles' and Year Two studying ‘Healthy Living’. The Year One topic included looking at the cycle of the seasons, night and day and the different types of weather patterns.By understanding these cycles, it provided the children with a greater understanding of the earth and nature. The Year Two topic helped the children understand how personal lifestyle choices can impact health and wellbeing. In turn, this helped the children to realise the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the consequences and responsibility for personal healthy choices. The children already had a very informative session from a healthy food company discussing the benefits of eating healthy foods.
In Year One Mathematics, students learned how to recognise and name common shapes. They also enjoyed making tessellations and learning about the properties of the different shapes. In Year Two Mathematics, the children learned about money and in line with the National Curriculum, used British currency, . The children learned to recognise and use symbols for pounds (£) and pence (p); combine amounts to make a particular value; and find different combinations of coins that equal the same amounts of money and solve simple problems. In a practical context, children were solving problems involving addition and subtraction of money, and giving change.
Key Stage 2
Wow, November has flown by, the children and teachers in KS2 have continued to work hard and to produce great work.
Year 3, 5 and 6 all had the opportunity to visit the Sabic Science Caravan in Dubai Mall. Whilst there, the children experienced hand-ons coding and robotics activities. Keep an eye out for future robotic after-school clubs starting in January 2020.
Year 4 were lucky to take a trip to Dubai Paralympics, where they saw many Olympic events and joined in with the high spirits of the day. It was a great experience for them all.
The teachers were available for the KS2 Parent meeting that was a successful event. The information was also sent to parents who couldn't attend.
Information has been sent to the Year 5 and Year 6 parents, explaining the exciting residential opportunity their children are being offered in February 2020.
We now have Innovation Captains and Environment Captains who will be leading new initiatives throughout school.
National Day Celebration
The Alpha School celebrated its 3rd annual UAE National Day on 28th November, in recognition of the countries 48th year.
Each year we have added a new element to our celebration in an effort to keep it exciting and interactive for all children and families. This year was no exception with a full school parade around the school block.
We were delighted to have been chaperoned by officers from Al Qusais police station while the parents cheered the children on from the side. Lead by our FS1 children, the Alpha students waved their flags and modelled their UAE national dress and UAE flag colours. At the conclusion of the parade, all students and guests were treated to the UAE national anthem sung by our FS Emirati students, performances from our Emirati girls, facts from students about the 7 emirates, a magician performance and a UAE fun fact quiz.
After the show, our students, families and friends enjoyed viewing our past into present Emirati exhibitions and the traditional UAE snacks and food on offer.
A big thank you to Ms. Gina and Mr. Craig who compered the event and to all the teachers who joined in the fun. Gratitude also to all our attending parents who helped make our UAE National Day celebration a success.
And finally, a special thank you to Ms. Oasha, Ms. Laila, Ms. Mohammed and Ms. Luay for their extra efforts; and for the parent council members who, as always, gave their full support.
This year Alpha’s Sports Day events took place at the Etisilat Stadium. The first event was held on the 9th December for our Foundation Stage children – this was a round robin of activities such as the sack race, hurdles and goal shooting. The sun shone a little too fiercely in the latter part of the morning, but the children showed excellent application and enthusiasm from the opening parade around the track through to the completion of all activities.
A day later and it was time for KS1/2. In terms of the weather, there could not have been greater
contrast! The rain came down, as it so often does in true British sports day style, and threatened to end the event way too early. However, the children were in good spirits and we completed our
student, teacher and parent races inside the Etisilat Academy with smiles on our faces. Against all the odds, we beat the rain and ended a great couple of days on a high. I’d like to congratulate
everyone involved, in particular our overall winners... Neptune!
On our final day of term, we had our talent show. The show began with Year 5’s Abdulkadir, who
started us off with a big bang, singing, ‘Nothing Stopping Now’. The second act involved Natalya,
Adam and Joanna, from Year 2, performing to the song ‘Handstand’; which resulted in Aria, from
Year 4, giving the performance a much deserved ‘10 out of 10’! The show proceeded to a Year 3 act where Alia and Johanne sang ‘How Far I Go?’; Hamza, from Year 3, summed up the performance as ‘brilliant’. Year 5 comedians, Neil and Ali, gave us jokes and riddles and were swiftly followed by Haya, in Year 2, giving a rendition of ‘Fight Song’. Rahaf, in Year 5, displayed her smooth hula-hoop skills, which astounded the audience; and this was followed by Mim, in Year 6, lighting up the stage with the penultimate act singing, ‘One Call Away’. Finally, Jacob, from Year 4, brought the house down with his extraordinary street dancing. After an amazing event, I can safely say Alpha’s Got
Concert in The Library
The last two concerts were held on 10th November and 8th December consecutively. The November concert had group songs with 3 boys from Year 3 singing the song "Lemon Tree". We also had girls from Year 4 and 5 coming together to sing 'Rise' by Kate Perry. We had two performances on musical instruments i.e Hamnah from Year 3 performing the tune "Lightly row" on the Xylophone and Neil from Year 5 performing "Largo" on Electronic keyboard. The December concert saw two brothers, Amrullah and Assadullah, performing for the first time and they did really well with the rap song.
Year 5 and 6 Robotics Competition
During the last week of the term, some year 5 and 6children took part in robotics training. The children learned how to build different robots and explored how these could be programmed to carry out a range of tasks. During term 2, these children will take part in a competition against other schools in the UAE! Good luck!
Emirates Environmental Group
In November, some of our Key Stage 2 children attended an environmental workshop at the Rashid School for Boys. The children learned lots of things about Carbon Footprint and how we can help the planet. Our children will be working hard during Term 2 to make our school environmentally friendly. We need your help though! Please send your recyclable waste to school with your child.
Update from the Parent Council
Greetings, as we wind down the year towards the start of 2020. We’d like to thank you for entrusting us to represent you, the Parent community, as your Parent Council.
It was off to a busy start with the 'Back to School' rollercoaster, with us supporting you on various issues and carrying forward your suggestions to the best of our ability.
We successfully implemented the Class WhatsApp groups, intervened with the uniform issues and had them resolved, secured a wider range of canteen items for the kids and moreover worked closely with Ms. Alison and the SLT to help improve communication between the school and parents.
The Parent Council undertook four activities during this term:
- Welcoming the new teachers with gift baskets: each of the new teachers was gifted a 'Snack Basket' to welcome them into the Alpha Family.
- Teacher Day Celebrations: each child was requested to make a greeting card. It was a successful event with each of the teachers being gifted and appreciated by all.
- UAE National Day Celebrations: the Parent Council generously sponsored and distributed cake as part of the UAE National Day celebrations.
- Happy Holidays to the Alpha Staff: our team surprised the Alpha staff on the morning of the last day of the term with personalized chocolates and a breakfast treat. This gesture was to say 'Thank You' to our wonderful Alpha Team and to wish them a Happy Holiday.
Healthy Snacking Program
We had a wonderful educational talk from Care Direct company about ‘Nutritious snacks that make children shine'. Children learned about the 'Snack Superheroes' such as: Dairy Dina who represents calcium, that help bones grow and make them strong; Vilma Vitamina, who signifies fruit that provide 'joy'; Kareem Karbs, who symbolises cereals, full of carbohrydates, that refuel children’s energy; and Water Waleed who hydrates and refreshes. The students had fun learning about the importance of eating healthy snacks, and enjoyed participating in games and the receipt of gifts.
Field Trip to Jameel Art Centre and Phantom Limb Exhibition.
Jameel Art Centre:
Jameel Arts Centre is an independent institution dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art to the public and engaging communities through learning, research and commissions. Founded and supported by Art Jameel, the Centre is located in Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Phantom Limb: Bringing together 13 artists and collectives, ‘Phantom Limb’ interrogates our lived relationship to material heritage. Ranging across diverse media, the works on display pose pressing questions around the writing of history, the weaponization of heritage and the construction of foundation myths. From the circulation of artefacts to the destruction of architectural spaces, issues of material heritage are of global pertinence, yet are particularly charged in the Middle East, where layered realities of colonialization, war, and competing claims of cultural dominance form the backdrop to the research, preservation, trade and destruction of material heritage. At the heart of ‘Phantom Limb’ is the drive to reclaim lost histories, not only through documentation and archiving, but also through speculation and imagination.