Departing Primary Staff 2017

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I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to the following members of the Primary Greenfield Community School team who will sadly be departing come the end of the academic year next week. Each one has in their own special way, made a wonderful contribution to the school community and they leave with our best wishes for their future endeavours.

Lynette Weke -Kyalo – Lynette has been a stalwart of GCS and is one of few remaining members of staff who were here since its inception. She has been a cornerstone of a very effective Grade 5 team (previously being the Grade Level Coordinator) and has put in many a long-dedicated hour during and after school.  She also led development of the maths area of the curriculum a few years back and her absence from the school will be sorely missed.

Sherif Mohammed – Sherif is one of our longest serving members of staff but will be moving on come the end of June. He has been at the forefront of driving forward the pedagogical approach to teaching in Arabic B. During his time at GCS he has qualified as an IB Workshop Leaders and he has always been willing to support his colleagues in terms of improving their teaching and learning. Sherif has also displayed his leadership capabilities on a number of occasions providing valuable middle leader support and direction in terms of Arabic B in the Primary School.

Barbara Sandford – Barb is almost part of the furniture here at GCS and will be leaving us after several years of dedicated service. During her time with us she has formed part two very united and stable teams ( KG2 and Grade 1 ) and has seen hundreds over students enter and exit her classroom doors, leaving all the better for having been taught by her.

Barry Burns – What can I say about Barry as I will quite frankly run out of superlatives? Barry will be leaving GCS after many years of service in which he has led the EAL (English as an Additional Language) department with such a passion and strong vision. I will never forget the smiles I see on the students’ faces whenever I walk into Barry’s room; he has such a wonderful connection with the children and has helped them so much with their self-confidence and development. From an ECA perspective, Barry has over seen a transformation of the offerings we provide to children and he leaves this programme in a wonderful situation. I have learnt so much about being a leader from Barry and his wise words and experience will forever resonate with me. He will be a tremendous loss to GCS.

Natalie Pageau – One of my fondest memories of Natalie was meeting her on my very first day and remembering how warm and welcoming she was. She has been a valued colleague during my time here and she has done so much to drive the Modern Foreign Languages program forward at GCS. In addition, her greatest legacy will be the innovative Mother Tongue Program that she single-handedly set up just under two years ago. It has been a huge success and many other schools around Dubai have tried to replicate what Natalie has achieved at GCS. Natalie has also been a wonderful role model for our female students, encouraging them to be active in sports (especially football) and she has dedicated a great deal of her time out of school to coach and train the girls’ football teams. Her work ethic and personality will be greatly missed amongst our staff and students.

Sandi Borland –  Sandi has been at GCS for a number of years now and has dedicated hour upon hour to ensure that her students make the progress she expects of them. Sandi is someone who has always placed high expectations, not only on her students, but on her own performance as a teacher. She is someone with a wealth of experience but has never been resistant to change and always takes on board honest feedback. She has been a loyal and trusted member of staff and her wonderful sense of humour, strong organizational skills and outstanding relationships with all school stakeholders will be greatly missed. You won’t have seen the last of Ms Borland however, as she will be back on a frequent basis undertaking supply work, in and around being a full-time mother to her young family.

Saira Suhail –  Saira moves on from looking after hundreds of children at GCS to looking after what will be her first child. I am delighted for her on a personal level but I know that as a colleague, she will be greatly missed by her team in the MFL department. I would like to thank Saira for her contributions to the learning of the German language at GCS and sincerely wish her all the best as she embarks upon a new and exciting chapter in her life.

James Robinson – James will be moving on after 4 years at GCS. The welfare of his students has always been his number one priority and James has been committed to knowing his students, building relationships with them, and treating each individual with respect. James was also at the forefront of both the Taaleem Education Inspection Visits as well as the annual Dubai Inspection Bureau (DSIB) visits during his tenure as Head of Science from 2014- 16. His legacy will undoubtedly be the two wonderfully renovated Science Labs which he spent endless hours refurbishing and resourcing alongside some of the students. These are now fully functioning learning environments and have been used effectively by teachers and enjoyed immensely by students during the last year or so. I sincerely wish James all the best with his future endeavours.

Paula Wistrand – Paula will be moving on after 3 successful years at GCS in which she has taken the language program to another level. She has worked collaboratively with both the EAL department, various Grade Levels and Departments, as well as with outside agencies to impact positively on the learning outcomes of our students. The result has been improved academic results, both in progress and attainment (as outlined by our excellent IBT results), but more importantly seeing students who genuinely enjoy learning the English language due the techniques and strategies that Paula implements. Her legacy will be the implementation of SOLO TAXONOMY (an increasingly complex continuum which measures students understanding of concepts and subjects) across the Primary School. Paula has always been prepared to lead by example and has been a true IB risk taker in everything she has undertaken at GCS.

Phedra Georgiadis – Phedra has worked tirelessly in tandem with Barry Burns to develop a constantly evolving EAL department over the last few years. They have dovetailed wonderfully and Phedra can be proud of the students who have exited the program as a result of her hard work and dedication. She has laid down many solid foundations upon which the department will continue to flourish over the coming years. Phedra will be remembered by many students as the teacher with whom they had their first proper conversation in English or uttered their first words in English. It doesn’t get more rewarding that that!

Carmen Beukes – Carmen will be moving on from GCS after 2.5 years of service. I would like to thank Carmen for her flexibility and patience which began when she first came to GCS mid-year through an academic year. Likewise, her ability to adapt to different grade levels part way through this year when we asked her to move from Grade 3 to Grade 4. It was greatly appreciated.

Khaled Salem – Khaled will be moving on after 3 years at GCS in which he has contributed positively to the Arabic A department. He has a tireless work ethic and is often the first to arrive in the mornings despite living far from GCS. His friendly and approachable nature will be greatly missed.

Maha Ezzat – Maha has been with GCS for 4 years now and has undertaken several roles spanning from KG through to the Secondary School. She has brought a real warmth and balance to teaching in the Arabic B department and her infectious smile will be greatly missed by all.

Sarah Ghazal – Sara will have completed 5.5 years at GCS, initially as a KG Learning Assistant and later qualifying as a teacher of Arabic B. Sara has always been open to feedback and shown great enthusiasm for wanting to learn innovative teaching practices. It has been lovely to see her grow as a professional.

Abbas Alasaad – Abbas moves on after one year at GCS. I would like to thank him for his contributions to the Islamic department during this time.

Dalal Naciri – Dalal only joined GCS in September 2016 on a full-time basis but her own children have enjoyed their time with us over several years. She has contributed positively to the MFL department during her time here and she has proven to be a very popular member of staff due to her vivacious and affable character. Dalal has often been caring towards other members of staff and students and people won’t forget her kindness.

Learning Assistants – I would also like to note the fantastic contributions of several of our Learning Assistants who will also be moving on to pastures new. Linzay Canham and Camilla Drea have been mainstays of the parent community for several years now and more recently over the course of the last 3 years have made a vital contribution to the school as staff members (Grade 1 LA and SEN LA respectively). I sincerely wish them and their families all the best for the future. Likewise I would like to wish Paola Paez (Grade 1 LA) and Rana AlSarhan ( Islamic LA ) all the best. Both ladies have contributed positively to the GCS community over the last academic year and I thank them sincerely.

Contributed by: Gary Mallon

Head of Primary

Greenfield Community School 

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