Expert at Emirates International School shines light on their Vision, Philosophy and School Curriculum
18 December 2018| Last updated on 7 January 2019
ExpatWoman sits down with Ms. Deepali Rami, Early Years Coordinator at Emirates International School
Emirates International School offers a broad international IB education, which is designed to promote excellence. It strives to promote educational, personal and physical growth of all students including children of determination.
1. What is your school philosophy or vision?
Passionate teaching, which promotes personalized learning, develops student agency and encourages critical thinking in a flexible learning environment.
2. What are the key elements of your school philosophy?
Giving our students the opportunity to be independent learners, passionate teaching, and providing safe and purposeful learning environments.
3. How do these fit with your school’s mission statement?
“Giving young minds the right environment to grow” is Emirates International school mission statement and our key values fit perfectly with this. Through our teaching and learning ethos we strive to ensure every individual young mind is excited, enthused and inspired by their learning environment.
4. How are they applied in the classroom and school community?
We ensure our learning environments are purposeful, personalized and exciting for our students to learn in. We encourage critical thinking in the classroom and allow the parent community to foster this at home through our Learner Profiles of the week.
5. How does your idea of a model student align with your school vision or philosophy?
A model student to us is one who has the capability to think outside the box, to be reflective and have the confidence to take risks. They are not just an academic achiever but someone who has great potential to become a well-balanced individual.
6. What kinds of extracurricular activities do you offer? When and how often do these activities take place?
Throughout the primary school there are a wide variety of extra-curricular activities ranging from individual sporting companies providing Football, Ballet and Karate and also more core curricular based activities such as Science clubs. They take place every day after school. All the activities add to the holistic education of our students. They have the opportunity to be sporty, to raise an area of their learning or to learn a new practical skill which could be a hobby.
7. How do you measure individual achievement and progress?
Our ongoing assessment process of our students in Early Years is designed to perfectly suit their age. Compiled by the Early Years team and highly commended by DSIB it is something we are very proud of. We track specific developmental milestones according to international age related expectations. These milestones range from all core areas of the curriculum but also include personal and social well-being. Our team of highly skilled, experienced, Early Years teachers ensure every child is individually tracked at regular intervals in the school year. Most of our students make better than expected progress each term.
8. Elaborate on your school’s environment: What is the “feel” of the school?
Our school environment has a very warm yet vibrant and exciting atmosphere. It is based on great working relationships with our parents which creates a great mini community. Our Primary School is Outstanding in terms of the personal development of our students and the feel of the school is a clear indicator of how this rating was awarded.
9. What is this school’s approach to student discipline and safety?
Discipline with health and safety are two top priorities of the school. We ensure our students are within an environment which keeps them safe on a daily basis. Our PYP curriculum nurtures the students well to be caring, emotionally intelligent individuals who respect their peers and teachers.
10. How is technology used to support teaching and learning at this school?
We use a range of hardware within the classrooms to support the learning from tablets to interactive whiteboards. Within our new Primary facility we have a purpose built ICT suite to which students have regular access.
11. How does this school support students who have academic, social or emotional difficulties?
Our Inclusion department comprises of a team of fantastic, highly qualified and dedicated learning support assistants and teachers. We also have a School Counsellor who works closely with children in Early Years and through the Primary School. Our teaching assistants within Early Years are used regularly to support our students with academic needs.
12. What professional development opportunities do teachers have? In what ways do teachers collaborate?
Teachers at Emirates International School have many opportunities to collaborate and be professionally developed. Many members of the team attend regular courses outside of school according to their interests. Within the Primary School professional development teams are used as a way to collaborate with teachers from a variety of year groups. In Early Years peer observation and team teaching with me as leader is carried out to offer development for teachers and all support staff.
13. Does learning happen outside the classroom?
Learning outside the classroom is one of the key elements of Early Years teaching. Within our Early Years department we have a purpose built ‘Outdoor Learning Land’. This space is planned and resourced to ensure all students have the opportunity to practise their gross and fine motor skills, their understanding of the world around them and to express themselves in a more natural environment.
14. How safe are the learning spaces?
Our learning spaces are very safe and we pride ourselves on ensuring our students feel safe within them every day. We have an excellent security team who support us in the safety of the school.
15. Are involvements and achievements outside academics encouraged and supported?
Our online portfolio and reporting tool SeeSaw is used as a great link between home and school. It celebrates daily academic achievements of the students and is also regularly used to celebrate the non-academic achievements which take place at school and at home. Our parents are highly appreciative of this tool, as it provides an instantaneous report of their child’s school day.
16. What ways do you assess and evaluate students?
Our assessment process is carried out through a very play based, interactive way. Our children are assessed based on teacher judgement of their achievements and their assessment milestones are regularly reported to parents. Our assessment framework is internationally benchmarked, and helps to provide regular and individual evaluation with next steps.
Ms. Deepali Rami
Early Years Coordinator
Emirates International School