With approximately one million students and 65,000 teachers, administrators, and staff members in public and private schools around the nation walking through the school gates, the new academic year 2022–2023 has begun.
Flash mobs at The Indian High School, a treasure hunt at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, and a superhero day at Citizens School were just a few of the festivities that schools in Dubai hosted for students.
“Our first day of activities was fun. We had all of our learners and our mentors dressed in superhero costumes, and getting in touch with their inner superpower,” explained Tracy Moxley, Principal at Citizens School. “It was an opportunity for children to really dive into their own imagination and come up with their own superhero, or choose a superhero that they particularly identify with. We were really trying to make sure our pupils felt comfortable with their surroundings and just had a lot of fun on the first day.”
The first week was all about getting students accustomed to Citizens School, getting them involved in some project-based and play-based learning, and getting them to collaborate.
“We are really trying to make sure our pupils feel comfortable with their surroundings and just have a lot of fun on the first day”
Tracy Moxley, Principal at Citizens School
Punit MK Vasu, Chief Executive of The Indian High Group of Schools, said: “All our 13,000-plus students rolled through the entry gates bright, happy, excited, and full of life.”
He said that the school’s administrators and staff waved welcome signs as they greeted and cheered the students. Flash mob dancers, singers, and musicians performed, and there were writing walls and cameras set up to record the reactions of the students.
Students posed for photos with friends in photo booths and with ‘welcome back’ placards and props, while around 60 students participated in a flash mob to welcome back their returning classmates while dancing to well-known Bollywood songs.
Approximately 700 students will attend Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai this year, up from 350 in 2021, according to Clare Turnbull, the school’s Principal, who commented: “This is the best time of the year. It is so exciting to welcome returning pupils and new pupils to the school. We spend a lot of time in the first week on relationships. It is all about making those new friends, re-engaging with our previous friends, and getting to know your teachers. Because if you get those strong emotional bonds from day one, the rest of the year comes easily.”
On their first day back at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, a number of students participated in a big treasure hunt across the campus, solving puzzles and seeking out their new classrooms.
“This is the best time of the year. It is so exciting to welcome returning pupils and new pupils to the school
Clare Turnbull, Principal at Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai
Going Full Throttle!
Repton Al Barsha’s Principal, Gillian Hammond, revealed that the school used the previous week to teach both new and existing staff so they could go fully into the curriculum when the term began. “We really wanted to start full throttle and be ready. “We are hugely excited to get our pupils back in school,” she said.
Since the school didn’t want to squander any curricular time, students started their first day by diving right into their timetables and academics.
Happy and Prepared
Scott Carnochan, the Headmaster at Brighton College Al Ain, explained that on the first day back, up until about lunchtime, the focus was on pastoral care, so lessons did not start until the afternoon. “That was the structure of the first morning – making sure that the students were familiar with the new teachers and each other. It is important that they begin to forge those really important relationships with their teachers and their peers.”
A lot of pastoral activities were planned for the school to ensure that the new students (approximately 100) were happy, acclimatised, and prepared for the upcoming academic year.
“We are overwhelmed with excitement to welcome our first class of students to Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha”
Louisa McCormack, Principal of Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha
Doing Things Differently
On its first day, Bloom World Academy welcomed over 280 students from 53 nationalities through its doors. Making waves in the UAE as the first IB curriculum school to offer a later start time and flexible school day to allow for student learning to be in balance with family life, the school’s first intake of students arrived at the Al Barsha South campus at the later start time of 9.00 am.
Over the course of the first week, Bloom World Academy hosted and ran a timetable of unique and exciting activities to help its first-ever cohort of students settle into the new school community. And as part of the spiral curriculum that the school employs, older and younger students were encouraged to mix with each other and learn together.
“Welcoming our first intake of bright-eyed, enthusiastic, and motivated students was a morning to remember”
John Bell, Principal of Bloom World Academy
Principal of Bloom World Academy, John Bell commented: “I, along with the incredible teaching team at Bloom World Academy, am so happy to be celebrating the official launch of the school so we can bring to life the progressive ideas, thinking, and ways of working that make us a school with a difference. Welcoming our first intake of bright-eyed, enthusiastic, and motivated students was a morning to remember. The future is bright for our students and we can’t wait to see what they go on to achieve with us here at BWA.”
Excitement in Welcoming the First Cohort
Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha has proudly welcomed its first cohort of early learners for the 2022-2023 academic year. With the highest early learner capacity of 220 students in the region, Ladybird Al Barsha has already attained 25% capacity on its opening day. Little learners aged six months to three years lined the corridors and classrooms, meeting new teachers and participating in a host of interactive activities to kick-start the new school year.
Louisa McCormack, Principal of Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha said: “We are overwhelmed with excitement to welcome our first class of students to Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha, as they embark on the first part of their school careers. Our teachers have been working tirelessly to welcome our first cohort, with a range of fun activities, to ensure the little ones and their parents feel comfortable on their first day at nursery.”