This has been a week of celebration as we held our Grade 12 Valedictory Assembly on Sunday morning and the gala Celebration in the evening. The events showcased the many accomplishments of our departing Grade 12 group, not only their academic achievements but their many other contributions whether on the sports field, in service activates, or Model United Nations, to name but a few. It was particularly special to bid farewell to those students who have been at Greenfield since that day it opened its doors in 2007: Hannah Edmonson who started at Uptown in Grade 1 in 2005, before GCS was built. Isabel Czech, Mohammed Elsaidy and Sarah Mayer started at the school on its first day in Grade 3 in 2007. Stefan Gutermann and Rakshanda Huda spoke eloquently at the morning event, thanking the teachers and friends who have supported and journeyed with them. They talked passionately about their pride in the school, their relationships with teachers who have an impact in their lives and the strong friendships they have established during their school days. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place. All in all, the event has become formal and significant in recent years, reflecting the seriousness with which we take our academics and our commitment to strengthen school spirit and pride.
As you know, the International Benchmark Tests are designed specifically for students in international schools, which assess students in the three learning areas of Mathematics, English and Science. More than 50,000 students write these worldwide. Three of our students have achieved the Award for Excellence: the top student in their grade in their subject. It is with enormous pride that we congratulate Anna-Philie Klein for being the top student in English in Grade 7, Alisa Chebotarevskaya for Mathematics in Grade 4 and Mohammed Alibhai for Science in Grade 4.
Today is Staff Appreciation Day, a day in which our Greenfield Community Parents thank those special people who love and nurture your children. Thank you to our parent body for this gesture of thanks. A mini spa is set up where teachers can go for a massage or manicure, coffees are served and the day comes to an end with a sumptuous lunch. At this event the GCP will give thanks and a gift of appreciation to Gary Mallon and Neil Bunting for their service and contribution to the school.
Thank you to our English teachers for preparing our students and guiding them through the Taaleem Happiness Speakathon that took place last Friday at Dubai British School Jumeirah Park. I have had some very positive feedback about how well our students performed. Three of our students did us proud: First place in the categories of Grades 6/7 and Grades 8/9 went to Ismail Mujic and Mustafa Khan respectively; Disha Amin was awarded third place in the Grades 4/5. Iyad Hamdi-Dridi, Maddy Brooker and Sam Shadbolt spoke very well but were not placed.
On Tuesday this week we held an inspirational staff mini conference. Our teachers have been working in teams to research a topic. The central idea was how we can improve our teaching and learning. The structure and focus of these Professional Learning Communities modeled the inquiry-based approach to learning that we ask our students to demonstrate. It was fascinating to see the variety of ways in which the groups have gone about deciding on their topic, allocating tasks, and undertaking the research (just as we ask the Grade 5’s to do for the Exhibition. We’re lifelong learners) . From teaching strategies for ADHD students to teaching critical thinking, innovative uses of technology or strengthening school pride, the variety and quality of the presentations was superb.
Yesterday’s Talent Show was a great success. There was a wonderfully wide range of genres from dance to instrumental performances and singing. I so enjoyed seeing students perform whose talents we’ve not had the opportunity to appreciate: quiet personalities who really shine on stage. There were lots of cheers, applauses and support from the audience. Behind the scenes there is a great deal of organisation and my thanks go to the music teachers who made it all possible.
Next week we will have our new Heads of School, Andrew Mitchell (Head of Primary) and Peter Fremaux, (Head of Secondary), with us for an orientation and hand-over. They bring considerable experience and expertise and I am excited for the future of our school. A smooth transition will enable them to get off to a flying start next year and build on the strong foundation that we have established. You are invited to meet them at a parents’ coffee morning on Tuesday 30th May, 8.30 – 9.15 am. Primary will meet in the Primary library and Secondary in the Secondary library. At 9.15am they will meet the outgoing and incoming GCP representatives.
We wish all our Muslim students and families Ramadan Kareem during the holy month.