Parent Newsletter January 2020

Volume Sixteen : January 31, 2020

Principal's Introduction

Greetings, dear Parents,


January is one of my favourite months of the year as it signifies the start of term 2 which, historically, is a period of steady uninterrupted learning. With one school term already completed, and initial parent conferences and reports provided, both parents and students start to have a much clearer understanding of how they are performing and, through target setting, what steps they need to take next. I look forward to finding out more about each child’s educational journey throughout this term.


This term we have welcomed a number of new staff to the school and are pleased that they have settled in quickly. Ms. Asia joins the FS. Team with the opening of a new FS1 class, Ms. Nikki joins the Key Stage 1 department as a year 1 teacher, and Ms. Heba and Messrs. Mohamed and Hossam have joined the Arabic Department. We hope they will be very happy members of the Alpha family.


In addition to this, I would personally like to welcome back the fourteen children and their families who have returned, for whatever reason, from other schools in Dubai. It is always wonderful to register new families to the school and I welcome you all. It is even more heart-warming when we see our children return to the fold of the Alpha family and settle back into things so quickly from other experiences.


In relation to the Arabic and English departments, we are now entering a period of peer support, collaboration, peer mentoring and sharing of good practice between the two. I look forward to developing a more united approach to teaching and learning.


New activities and clubs have proven to be popular – STEAM for KS1, 2 and FS, and Arabic for FS. We hope this popularity continues. Gymnastic and Parkour continue to be popular. Unfortunately, they were not enough parents interested in the French and Zumba clubs and so these did not get off the ground. I hope we can gather interest for next term.


I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all parents who have made the extra effort to ensure that their children are in the correct uniform. Please do not be persuaded by the argument that ‘my friends can wear…’ or ‘the teacher doesn’t mind’. We have a uniform policy in place that helps to create unity and 'team'; is practical and easy for parents to manage and children to wear; and sends out a clear message that one’s appearance matters – it says something about character. As I say to the children, ‘we may not be the biggest, but we can be the best’ and that includes how we present ourselves.


As I round-up my letter for January, I ask parents to observe the points made below, and ‘thank’ all parents that already carry out the following.


Kindly:


  • book appointments with teachers and Section Leads, and avoid trying to catch them at the beginning or end of the day when their focus needs to be on the safety and care of children;
  • please do not request to collect your children early from school, unless this is an emergency - children miss the moment of learning which can rarely be caught up in the same meaningful way;
  • collect your children on time and leave the school premises immediately. The play areas need to be tidied and cleaned – especially FS, which is out of bounds to all KS1 and KS2; and children with parents are a distraction from those who have not been collected and are still in our care;
  • speak to your child’s Section Lead if you would like to visit the class and participate in supporting group learning or reading – we love it when parents volunteer!



Enjoy the January newsletter. Best wishes to you all.


Ms. Alison

January Attendance

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WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING AT ALPHA?

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Foundation Stage

The Foundation Stage have started their new projects.


FS2 are currently looking at where food comes from and experimenting with different planting methods to see what conditions a plant needs to grow. They using their writing lessons to reflect upon their science experiments and evaluate the results.

In FS1 the children have started a new project all about falling. Science is a large part of their exploration into the new project, looking at the effects of gravity on size, weight and material.

STEAM extra curricular club

The new STEAM extra curricular club started this week and the children have thoroughly enjoyed working collaboratively and putting their building skills in action as they learn how to follow simple instructions. The STEAM project takes children through the story of Mr. Parker who is a park attendant. Each week a new challenge presents itself for the children to solve together.
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Key Stage 1

Our unit of inquiry in Year One is ‘Plantastic’, in this topic the children are looking at plants in many different ways, for example the various classes of plants and the structure of them. The students are learning that the survival of all life on earth is dependent on plants. They will also be looking at the many uses of plants. Already the classes have also been busy planting out seeds in the garden beds at school. Inside the classrooms, bean seeds have been put into plastic bags and the children are excitedly waiting for the seeds to germinate.

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In English, students have been exploring descriptive language and how it can be used to make their writing more exciting for the reader. They started by using their five senses to describe various objects and have since built a huge bank of descriptive vocabulary which they have been using in their writing.


In Science, the students have been investigating ‘The Lifecycle of a Plant’. They wanted to see for their own eyes how plants grow and develop so they planted various seeds and bulbs both indoors and outdoors. They are very excited to watch and record their plants progression in the coming weeks.


In Mathematics, Y2C have laying the foundation for understanding Multiplication and Division. We have been learning about how to recognise, make and add equal groups using a range of resources. We have also been using our reasoning skills to work out multiplication sentences from pictures.

Key Stage 2

It's great to see so many enthusiastic children returning to school after four week holiday, ready to learn and work hard.


Year 3 are excited about and up and coming trips to the Emirates Literacy Festival; they will visit the Dubai Intercontinental Events Centre on Wednesday 5th February, where they will take part in a Roald Dahl workshop.


Lots of other events and trips are being prepared for KS2, these include visits to continue to inspire innovation here at Alpha school.

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Concert in The Library

2020's first concert in the library was held on 27th January. It began with a lovely performance from Year 3 girls, who hit those high notes to match the original pitch of the song. This concert also saw, for the first time, some Year 6 girls come forward as a group and singing the song 'Thunder' by Imagine Dragons. We also enjoyed Yaseen, from Year 4, singing for the first time along with Hamzah and Mohammed from Year 3; and the the bold performer Abdulkadir moving to the beat while he sang 'Centuries' by Fall Out Boy. Lastly, it was Assadulah from Year 3 who got everyone to sing along with the popular song ‘ Dance Monkey’.

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House System Update

The house system is in full motion and the children are more motivated than ever to get more points than last term. Our next Flip Flop Challenge, a general knowledge quiz, will take place on Sunday 16th February. It will consist of six individual rounds, each followed by a team question. The heat is on to become the smartest house in the school. To go with our house captains, we will have new house vice captains in place for our next challenge.

Arabic/ Islamic