Kings' Al Barsha Secondary head teacher's Newsletter - term 1

Reading time: 4 minutes.

At the end of yet another hectic and successful term, I would like to thank the students for their hard work and achievements so far. Once again, we have been able to celebrate many success stories and good news stories at Kings' Al Barsha Secondary.

The Kings' 'Big Four' were established as mission statements across all of the Kings' schools this academic year. Making Relationships, Mastery, Professional Development and Inclusion as the touchstones for our decision-making process, represents a deliberate attempt to ensure our values are 'what matters'. Inclusivity has arguably been the most significant influence to changes at Secondary level this academic year. Defining inclusivity as 'providing all our children with the experiences of educated people,' has forced crucial structural changes, positively shifting our practices and the experiences of our students.

The 'Big Four.'

This shift is evident with the establishment of our KSAB Awards, which recognise our students' Kindness, Skills, Ambition and Bravery. Moving our awards away from academic recognition alone means more students experience success and the values we desire are actively role modelled and celebrated. Congratulations go to:

Year 7

  • Kindness Award: Amina Tolba
  • Skills Award: Mustafa Alikhan
  • Ambition Award: Iasonas Romanos
  • Bravery: Isabella van Zyl

Year 8

  • Kindness Award: Jayne Osta
  • Skills Award: Ryan Safarha
  • Ambition Award: Alexandra Shelton
  • Bravery: Faisal Albastaki

Year 9

  • Kindness Award: Maryam Al Hashmi
  • Skills Award: Mohammed Faridooni
  • Ambition Award: Amal Malli
  • Bravery: Matthew Campbell
Key Stage 3 KSAB Awards Winners

Year 10

  • Kindness Award: Isabella Vermaat
  • Skills Award: Lucas - Rietjens
  • Ambition Award: Sien de Melker
  • Bravery: Neha Ajith

Year 11

  • Kindness Award: Adyan Akhlaq
  • Skills Award: Vali Gadayev
  • Ambition Award: Hariette Gravestock
  • Bravery: Raneem Daher

Year 12

  • Kindness Award: Diba Moharer
  • Skills Award: Ahmad Othman
  • Ambition Award: Noor Daudi
  • Bravery: Jack Hayes

Year 13

  • Kindness Award: Salma Haberback
  • Skills Award: Aayah Qureshi
  • Ambition Award: Hanna Mirabel Hardy
  • Bravery: Raed Qutqut
Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form KSAB Awards Winners

The launch of our 'Opportunities' programme this academic year also sought to ensure all children had access to the 'experiences of educated people.' In previous years we were guilty of providing only our most academically gifted access to opportunities such as the 'Talk With Kings.' This year we ensured that all students get the chance to access these opportunities and, as a school, we are much richer for it. To see Ryahn Mirza, from Year 7, stood on stage at our Talk For Kings' event arguing for the Scrapping of Year 6 SATS to ensure students wellbeing was genuinely humbling. Our levels of student participation have also increased significantly, with Debate Clubs, Tasty TV, EcoWarriors, Vox, Lego League, Poetry Teams (to name just a few), alongside our sports teams, now shaping school life.

Talk With Kings'

It has been a season of firsts for our sporting teams too, with our students enjoying success. Notable highlights are;

  • U16 Boys football won the league
  • U16 Girls won the basketball league
  • U12, 14 and 16s were all plate winners at the DESC Rugby 7s
  • U12 Rugby won the Bowl at DC 7s
  • The Dance Squad can 8th in the Asia tournament and qualified for the World Finals

In addition to this, the PE team have worked hard to ensure all squads have been able to be competitive, hosting block fixtures for netball, football and rugby against JESS and DESC.

Outside of school, I would like to recognise and congratulate the following Kings' students:

  • Vritya Aravind (Year 13) - who is currently representing the UAE Men Cricket team
  • Molly Mayne (Year 10) - who made her senior international swimming debut
  • Molly Mayne (Year 10) - who made her senior international swimming debut
  • Sien Demelker (Year 10) - who came third in the Junior Masters Open Golf Tournament.

For those of you who have read my previous blogs, you will know that we have a focus on further developing a knowledge-rich curriculum, with 'Master' teachers and learners. As professional educators we were fortunate to be able to welcome Tom Sherrington to Kings' Al Barsha (Author of the best selling 'Learning Rainforest') to help us with our journey in redesigning our curriculum and how we ensure that learning 'sticks.' Our vision is to ensure that students gain a rich knowledge of the subjects they are studying and, arguably, our changes are already making an impact. Our scientists are now 'officially' the best in Dubai, winning the "Golden Bunsen Burner" Award at the recent Science competition at JESS, and our students recently won a Dubai-wide debate tournament too. More empirically, our exam results continue to improve with over 90% of our students making better than expected progress against their baseline testing. As Head Teacher, however, the results are a by-product of what we do, not the driver of what we do. It is no coincidence that 8 out of an initial 29 matriculating students were offered unconditional places at prestigious universities globally. These offers only happen when students show that they are more than a result, and this is the development of such students at Kings' that fills us with real pride.

The Golden Bunsen Burner Winners

For this, I would like to thank the staff for their dedication and commitment to excellence and you as parents, for your continued and passionate support for all that we do here at Kings'.

I wish you all a peaceful holiday.

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Created By
Michael Bloy