In the latter part of the past academic year, we heard about Moral Education and its implementation in all schools of the United Arab Emirates for the Academic Year 2017-18.
Like every teacher and parent, we all are intrigued and wanting to find out more about this curriculum. So, I started my journey as to what Moral Education is about and how is it going to impact our students, which also included my own children.
What I found was that our International Baccalaureate Philosophy intertwines with Moral Education – flawlessly. The IB Learner Profile, Primary Years Programme (PYP) Transdisciplinary Themes, Middle Years Programme (MYP) Global Context, Career Programmes Reflective Project and Service Learning and Diploma Programmes Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Action and Service – all link seamlessly with Moral Education.
What is Moral Education and how will Greenfield Community School implement this? In July 2016, a new Moral Education initiative was launched under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Moral Education has four pillars which will have units starting from Grades 1 to 9. The four pillars are as follows:
- Character and Morality – curriculum is centred around developing students as honest, tolerant, resilient and persevering individuals, who reflect inwards on and build an individual sense of morality based on personal outlooks.
- The Individual and the Community – curriculum is focused on developing an individual who can thrive in different social situations and make a small change towards a big difference. Building upon the core competencies learned throughout the Character & Morality courses, students will dive deeper into community awareness and how they can become active members of their community, through community service subjects and learning about the importance and value of serving others. It imparts a sense of self-esteem, well-being and respect for familial and interpersonal relationships.
- Cultural Studies – focus on fostering an understanding of the UAE culture and heritage as well as what a larger global culture means.
- Civic Studies – Whether a student was born in the UAE or moved here with their family, it is essential to understand the fundamentals of how the UAE was formed and how it is governed today.
Some examples of units which will be integrated within our PYP and MYP curriculum are Fairness and Affection, Caring, Honesty, Friendship, Being Healthy and Staying Well, Tolerance and Respect for others, Making Good Decisions, Digital Challenges and many more.
As I reflect on our school’s mission statement – “Greenfield Community School is committed to develop and equip its students with knowledge, skills and values through its effective and challenging curriculum, our strong and cohesive community and the foundation of the IB Learner Profile provide our students with a nurturing and caring environment. We dedicate ourselves to being a world class IB Continuum School, inspiring one another to achieve our personal best and to promote a culture of mutual respect, shared values and global understanding.”
At GCS, our students, parents, teachers and staff breathe, walk and live with these values. We will welcome Moral Education into our school – as we want our children to know, feel and act these values to become global citizens of the world.
For more information on Moral Education, Zaina Jabri in Primary, Sarah Atienza in Secondary and myself will be holding Coffee Mornings to see how best we can integrate these values between students, parents and teachers.
Contributed by: Farin Padamsey
Head of Student Support