Dear Family,

Welcome to the 12th edition of our newsletter. We hope you are enjoying your summer break and we can’t wait to welcome our very first Aquila families in 51 days. Even though the school term has ended we are still just as busy here at school, meeting families, attending events and finalising the day to day running of our school.

Feature Article

CAS Activities

Children come to school to learn so many things to help them to prepare for their future. We can put these into three categories – children learn skills, knowledge and attitudes. Naturally, a significant amount of learning takes place in the classrooms – but – through a wide-reaching curriculum – so much learning – preparing children for their future – happens outside of the classroom. Once our school is open for year twelve students we will be offering them the option of following the IB curriculum. The language of IB is very specific and includes reference to ‘CAS’ activities. CAS means ‘community, action and service’– and even though it will be several years before we offer the IB curriculum to our year twelve students, it makes sense to start using the language of IB now. Therefore – at The Aquila School we will refer to extra-curricular activities as CAS.

In Summer 2016, having worked in schools for over twenty five years, I completed a Masters Degree in Education through part-time study at the University of Liverpool in the UK. Through my dissertation, I researched the value and impact of CAS activities and whether there was a link between the involvement in the wider life of the school and attainment. There is very little published research about this – but through my study, two patterns emerged – one surprising and one predicted. Children who attended one or more CAS activity a week on average made better academic progress than children who attended none. This is not surprising – as it shows that children are enjoying school, want to be here more and enjoy the experience of learning with children in different classes doing a variety of activities. What was a surprise however was that the opposite was true – children who attended three or more CAS activities tended to underachieve. The reasons for this were unclear – maybe this is linked to the children having less opportunities to pursue interests out of school.

At The Aquila School – it is our aim to ensure that children love coming to school and experience amazing learning – both in and beyond the classroom. We want children to have ownership of their school and to be able to make choices related to their learning. Therefore, when families ask what CAS activities we will be offering – we say we do not know yet as it depends what our children are interested in. It is a safe assumption that popular activities such as football and art will be on the list – but for the others – we wait to see what the founding Aquila children want. All of our teachers will offer one for children aged year two upwards – and we will ensure that there is a range of sporting, creative and cultural activities.

School Build Update

Only 51 days left until our school opens to welcome our Aquila families. Our classrooms have the flooring and windows in and the walls painted, ready for our furniture to arrive next week. Our reception is coming along nicely, with the very large glass panels installed and our sports halls painted and ready for some healthy competition!

Staff Update

Aisha – Class Teacher

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Aisha as one of the founding class teachers at Aquila. Aisha joins us from a school in London where as well as being a class teacher she has been responsible for leading the School Council and fostering a sense of community and citizenship amongst pupils and staff – key to the Aquila School’s promise of a shared sense of purpose.

As well as a teaching qualification, Aisha has a background in International Relations and is excited by the opportunity to join a new school that has a creative curriculum that encourages independence, critical thinking and real world problem solving.

Further Updates

At The Aquila School we want all children to make as much progress as possible and try their hardest in everything they do. To celebrate amazing learning, children will receive an Aquila Award from their class teacher. They will then show their amazing work and award to Wayne and Kylie who will present them with their certificate in assembly. We look forward to giving out lots of these awards this year!

Offers

Community Bus Offer

Did you know we offer a free community bus for founding students? We have limited spaces available and are subject to confirmation of enrolment and location. Contact our Admissions team on +97 150 788 7207 or to find out more contact: admissions@theaquilaschool.com

Refer a Friend!

At The Aquila School, we recognise that parents and friends are the best ambassadors for our unique style of learning and community-minded environment. To support this, we are rewarding all enrolled families with an extra 5% off your child’s tuition fees if you refer a friend to join The Aquila School.

Upcoming Events

Open Day

Saturday, 28th July
Part of our school is now open for all families to meet our leaders and see our classrooms for the very first time. Children (and ambitious parents!) can test their creative skills by entering our UAE Design Challenge for a chance to win a helicopter flight over Dubai.

Where: The Aquila School, Dubailand. Opposite Sky Court Towers. Enter at the white flags.
Time: 10am – 2pm