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CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL - DUBAI

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER ISSUE - 15


Principals Message- Children Learn what they Live By David Mc Laughlin

Downs Syndrome By Suzie Hachez

Bollywood Hero at Cambridge School By Sonya Pearce

A Poem for the UAE By Habiba Afzal Year 6 Division 6

Premier League Football Club at Cambridge School By Verity Boanas

PRINCIPALS MESSAGE CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE

something and when they have fun with the activity. Perhaps an unsurprising observation, but does it go far enough? Lets look at a set of ways that children learn. Lets say there are EIGHT. We know that for children to learn they have to be ACTIVE in their learning, collaborating with other learners, interacting and taking ownership of what they are learning. We know that learning is fundamentally a SOCIAL activity. What is learned has to be shared with others, perhaps taught to others to make the learning real The learning has to be something that can be understood in the context of a childs CULTURE, home background and environment; it has to be linked with what has been learned before so that it can be made sense of and that PRIOR CONCEPTIONS and misconceptions can be eliminated to make new learning take place. Thinking out of the box is encouraged. Memorization of facts and key information is OK as a learning STRATEGY but it must be seen as only one and not

[Above: Mr McLaughlin, the Principal]

David school

Been thinking a lot about childrens learning recently and why this school seems to do so well with DSIB inspectors when it comes to assessing how well the school does this thing called `learning in the classrooms of Cambridge International School, Dubai (CIS). I will return to this point later on. I suppose when we are talking about children learning in school we ought really to have an understanding of what this thing called `learning would look like if we saw it in the classroom. Reading an article in TIME magazine recently the writer puts forward the notion that children learn when they spend extended time on

the only one of a broad range of strategies to internalize and sustain long term learning goals. Having learning GOALS and the ability to set ones own targets is also central to good learning and if children cannot learn to correct their own mistakes they may be condemned to repeat them over and over again. Of course we know through the research work of Howard Gardner that children and indeed adults learn in DIFFERENT ways. Some like to listen, some like to visualize, some like to do. We know that learners need to be MOTIVATED either extrinsically through rewards or intrinsically by promoting the idea that learning can be done just for the fun of it. Which brings us back to the TIME magazine article and the idea that for learning to take place it has to be fun. Lets call that number 9! Learners have to find their learning fun. We all have to agree with that. But what if children are learning in an environment where the habits or behaviors they are observing are not the right ones, or the words they are hearing are harsh, or

negative or hurtful? What if the models they are following are faulty so that they learn the wrong attitudes, the wrong behaviours, the wrong set of values. This is where you as parents come in. Because, for all the learning that can take place at school, in the classroom, in the corridors, in the assembly hall, on the school visits out and the school visits in, without the right set of conditions at home, the right environment, the right words being spoken, the right attitudes being expressed, the right examples being shown, the right moral fabric woven at home, all that learning at school is in danger of failing. In fact it will fail. One of my favourite pieces of writing on the subject of childrens learning is by someone called Dorothy Law Nolte. It was written nearly forty years ago and is entitled `Children Learn What They Live. You must have heard it before but I make no apology for repeating it because it is forever true: Children Learn What They Live If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence. If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient. If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate. If children live with acceptance, they learn to love. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and others. If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live. Parents, teachers, helpers and anyone having the privilege to be part of helping to shape the intellectual and emotional development of young minds are thus challenged. So.can our children learn well here at Cambridge? Visitors who have come now every year for 4 years in a row, and who know what they are looking for, seem to think so. And why is this? Maybe it is because there is at

Cambridge a majority of teachers who know well those eight or nine ways of managing childrens learning at school. But crucially we also have here at Cambridge a majority of parents who know very well how to manage their childrens learning at home.

DOWNS SYNDROME

[Above : Ms Suzie Hachez, the schools Head of Learning support with some Downs Syndrome children]

Downs Syndrome is a genetic condition in which a person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. People with Downs Syndrome need a different environment to learn well. Babies with Downs Syndrome aren't usually as curious as other children, and often, because of this, people assume they are retarded, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Most people with Downs Syndrome are unconditionally loving. The Montessori method is also particularly suited to their

learning style, and a lot of early intervention is patterned after it. Accordingly these sites highlight early intervention programs which, incidentally, focus on physical development rather than cognitive.

[Above: A Downs Syndrome child needs a different environment to learn in. Just because he is not curious like his peers, it does not mean that he is retarded]

As God in the heavens Looks down from above To Him I'm no different His love knows no bounds It's those here among you In cities and towns That judge me by standards That man has imparted But this family I've chosen Will help me get started For I'm one of the children So special and few That came here to learn The same lessons as you That love is acceptance It must come from the heart We all have the same purpose Though not the same start The Lord gave me life To live and embrace And I'll do it as you do But at my own pace

In Cambridge: All this information has not put off Cambridge International School, Dubai, from taking on board two students diagnosed with Downs Syndrome and who were refused in other schools in Dubai.

[Above : Ms Suzie Hachez with two of her charges]

At first, both seemed to be very stubborn and did not participate in any class work. They did not have any eye contact with the speaker and were scared of others (refused to mingle). After a few weeks of getting to know their school environment and their Learning Support Assistant they felt more confident to try what other students were doing in class. After 2 months in school, Pashmi loves to play with water, enjoys audio-visual rhymes and stories as well as threading beads but does not like group discussions yet. In the beginning of the year Ahmed used to walk with stomping sound. Now, after constant repetition and guidance from his LSA, he is able to walk like a

[Above: Unconditional loving comes naturally to children diagnosed with Downs Syndrome] [Above: The Montesorri method of learning may work better for a Downs Syndrome child] Creed of Babies With Downs Syndrome My face may be different But my feelings the same I laugh and I cry And I take pride in my gains I was sent here among you To teach you to love

[Above: A child with Downs Syndrome is learning at her own pace]

gentleman without making sounds as well as walking up and down the stairs using both legs and not one at a time anymore. He is able to read CVC (c-a-t) words and the story books given in the class. In the beginning of the year he was not able to write on the line. Now he is and even his print is getting smaller and neater than before. Of course one cannot deny the help of professionals, like speech and occupational therapists to develop the skills required.

BOLLYWOOD HERO AT CAMBRIDGE SCHOOL

[Above: Bollywood Celebrity Javed Jaffrey] At high noon on the 23 November, Cambridge International School, Dubai, (CIS) was visited by a famous Indian celebrity, Mr Javed Jaffrey. He was in Dubai briefly to judge the Bollyrock Dance Competition hosted by DUCTAC that evening and graciously dropped in on his favourite GEMS participants.

for him! The whole school came to a screaming halt when three senior boys, Shaaban Ally, Ansar Shabbir and Seif Rashwan, performed a Hip Hop/Bollyrock dance fusion for Javed. He along with the rest of the school were and continue to be awe-struck by the choreography of these students. I received a phone call not long afterwards from organisers with Javed who invited the boys to join the Dance Group and perform their act at the competition that night! The Bollywood Dance Troop performed at the Cambridge School Awards Evening, and then jumped on a bus and competed at the competition that night. Amidst the mayhem of the 20 performing dance academies and schools, the Bollyrock Dancers from CIS, Sunjaey, Priyang, Nilesh, Manal, Priyanka, Reem and Shaku, who had been rehearsing endlessly for many weeks competed and came in 3rd at their first competition and won `Most Entertaining. We are all very proud! The three senior boys brought the house down with their display, with one of the judges interested in using them later on in the year. I was immensely proud of the performance standard of our students and their support for one another. Thank you to all the parents who came along to view the extravaganza and for the CIS Staff encouragement. We will be entering again

[Above: Learning to adjust in the new school environment takes time for Ahmed]

There is a long and challenging future ahead of them but for the time being they are the sunshine of my heart! Don't laugh at me, don't call me names. Don't get your pleasure from my pain. In God's eyes we're all the same. Someday we'll all have perfect wings.

Over several years, Cambridge School has participated in a variety of shows at the CentrePoint Theatre at the Mall of the Emirates, and this year we submitted our first ever Senior Division Dance Group. Javed was met by hundreds of adoring students and staff; was swamped for autographs and surrounded for his entire stay. He spoke to the students about how meaningful and fulfilling dance can make one's life. During this unique visit, we decided that we would dance

next year, so I expect to see the same passion and drive as I did this year.

A POEM FOR THE UAE

PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL CLUB AT CAMBRIDGE SCHOOL


[Above: `Professionalism is mentored to our students at Cambridge School by the visiting team of the Bolton Wanderers Institute of Sport] [Above: Having a preview of the BTEC course in the Computer lab] th On Thursday 24 November, 2011, Cambridge International School, Dubai, were honoured to have Bolton Wanderers institute of Sport visit the school for a very exciting opportunity. The Bolton Wanderers Institute of Sport (BWIOS) offers a unique opportunity for students the chance to take part in a sports provision that has been designed by professional athletes. The team all come from a professional athletic background. This commonality has allowed the Institute to grow with a focus at its heart that it continually strives to embed into its education programs. That focus is Professionalism, which is the ability to set a goal and have the singleminded determination to achieve that goal time and time again.

[Above: Habiba Afzal of Year 6 Division 6] Its time to rejoice on UAEs 40th birthday, Lets see what everyone wants to say, UAE has been good to one and all, Taking you up right after you fall, From the glorious malls to the beach, It has proven to be the best in each, UAE has one of the worlds tallest buildings, And almost all vegetables and fruits yield, UAE is a place for everyone in the house, Mom, dad, sister, brother and the spouse, Lets celebrate our favourite nations 40th anniversary together, Lets reflect the happiness in our hearts into the weather!

[Above: Students learn from professional footballers] [Above: Welcoming the Bolton Wanderers Institute of Sport team in Cambridge School, Dubai] James Tucker and his team provided some very enthusiastic footballers from year 8 the chance to take part in a BTEC level 1 workshop. By working with Edexcel, BWIOS are able to ensure that students exit with a BTEC qualification that is respected, recognised and

valued within education and or employment. On Thursday our students were able to experience a preview of this BTEC course. They participated in a Developing Professional Skills in Freestyle/Urban Soccer BTEC Level 1 taster session and had the most fantastic time.

[Above: Here is how you do it a demonstration of freestyle sport in Cambridge School by Bolton Wanderers]

[Above: Developing freestyle professional skills in football at the Cambridge School grounds] Students were lucky enough in Years 11 to 13 to experience a workshop which focused on a residential trip to the UK to train with the professional football team. In the program Cambridge School students met with Paul Woody Wood. Woody is widely acknowledged as being one of the top

professional football freestylers currently in the world today; endorsed by Arsenal legend Ian Wright amongst many others. He has featured in many adverts with stars such as French international Thierry Henry and Manchester United legend Eric Cantona for Nike, Chelseas Ashley Cole and England superstar Wayne Rooney to name but a few. He is the UEFA training grounds skill expert and he has also launched his very own DVD with Summersdale Productions, called Freestyle Football Tricks. Woody starred in the feature film In the Hands of the Gods which became the biggest UK documentary ever released, screened in over 100 major cinemas around the country, but also being distributed worldwide and appeared on BRITAINS GOT TALENT 2009. He runs a chain of Football Freestyle Soccer Schools and is a Director of Sporting Chances.

Who knows.is the next premier league footballer or professional football freestyler here at CIS?

[Above : More discussions on freestyle football tricks by the Bolton Wanderers Institute of Sport team at Cambridge School]

Disclaimer: All the articles in this newsletter written by the staff and students do not necessarily reflect the views of the management and GEMS organisation.