This has been a very full and fun-filled week or two. The series of sports days have been a great success. The junior years’ events are very much focused on participation and learning new skills and each participant gathered points that counted towards a class competition. Everyone enjoyed the range of activities and challenges, from javelin to the obstacle course. Thank you to those parents who came to cheer your children on – your support means the world to them. A number of parents said to me that they would have loved to have events in which they could participate: why should only the kids have fun? In Secondary we did something a little different this year, adding an ‘elite’ event onto the programme. This allowed our committed athletes to compete in a more serious series of events. Feedback from all the students was they really enjoyed the opportunity to perform at their personal best level. Thank you to the Physical Education staff teams who plan and run these events extremely well.
The Business Plan Competition is a ‘Dragon’s Den’ format event in which Secondary students have to create and ‘pitch’ a plan for a new business to a panel of judges. The creativity and care that goes into these presentations is exceptional. The public speaking skills the students learn are invaluable and will stand them in good stead in the world beyond school where the ability to present ideas persuasively and persuade an audience is fundamental to success in a wide range of careers. We have been running this event for three years now and each year it gets better and better.
Our Grade 5 students have had the opportunity this week to have a taste of life in the Secondary school. One of the highlights of my week is a meeting with the student leadership teams. I alternate meeting with the Primary and Secondary student leaders and we enjoy our lunch together. During my meeting with the Primary team yesterday I asked them to tell me something positive or memorable about the week. They were unanimous that the Transition Day lessons for the Grade 5’s were fantastic. I heard about cool science experiments, great design classes, music lessons, Grade 9 mentors…… they jumped up and down and were wonderfully animated as they described the enjoyable expedition into the brave new world of Secondary. Thank you to all the teachers who planned and delivered these lessons.
A number of our Career and Diploma students help marshal at two of the major local golfing events: the Dubai Ladies Classic and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. This gives them experience of the planning and operation of world-class sporting events that are part of the European Tour, the sort that are televised across the world. They learn that the teams of people who make these events run so smoothly arrive early, leave late and perform tasks that are often invisible, but are fundamental to the success of the tournament. They also get to see the world’s top golfers up close right through the tournament. We have had very positive feedback from the tournament organisers about the standard of our students’ behaviour. There are only two schools in Dubai that are invited to provide volunteers for these events: ourselves and Dubai College.
We welcome Cathy Beasley, our new Parent Relations Officer, to GCS. Please drop in at the Secondary Reception to welcome her. Congratulations to Neeraj and Mona Massey on the arrival of their adopted daughter Eliana. Mona will be taking some adoption leave later this term when Eliana arrives home. We welcome two new colleagues to our Primary Arabic B team: Dalia Aly and Abeer Ramadan. It is good to have Mike Worth back after his knee surgery and to see him getting back to strength and mobility.