Dear Family,

Welcome to the 13th edition of our newsletter. 44 days to go until we open our doors to our very first families!

We are delighted that final touches are being put in place in our school building and we will be undergoing a number of inspections from different regulatory bodies in the near future. Therefore, we will be moving out of our onsite visitors centre from Sunday 22nd July so the workmen can give it a revamp so it is fresh and ready to open as our Early Years reception area.

The Aquila School team will be based in the office on the ground floor of the Solitaire Cascades building so if you need to meet our registrar Aliaa to enroll your child on the KHDA system or pay your deposit or fees then you will be able to meet our team there. A new extended section of our school will soon be open for prospective families to tour. To arrange a meeting without school leadership and tour the school please contact our admissions team on admissions@theaquilaschool.com or 0507887207.

Feature Article

How we track progress

In previous newsletters and blogs – I have often stated the obvious – that children come to school to learn – and this involves learning skills, knowledge and attitudes. At the Aquila School,we are committed to giving children access to amazing learning – engaging and relevant learning experiences that help prepare them for an exciting future.

The school I previously led was the first school ever in Abu Dhabi to be graded as being outstanding – and one of the reasons for this was that children made such great progress – and for me – this is the core purpose of our school – to help the children ‘get better’ and ‘improve’ as quickly as they can in every area.

We are often asked how this is measured – so in this week’s blog I would like to talk about how we measure progress at The Aquila School.

Traditionally, teachers find out what the children can do – and how much they have improved, through tests. The children study at school, revise at home, then take a test in school which invariably has a score attached to it. For me – this is not a true reflection on learning – such tests show what children can remember and how they apply this – and for many children this is not the right way to learn.

At The Aquila School, we will use what are called “Assessment for Learning” techniques. This means that teachers will look carefully at the work the children are doing on a day to day basis – and use this to help plan what they should learn the next day. This method means that what the children are doing ‘for real’ in class matters rather than what they can remember for a test – and because in class matters rather than what they can remember for a test – and because the work is looked at on a day to day basis the feedback and plans for future learning are relevant to maximise learning and progress. In the background teachers compare what the children are doing against age-related expectations. This is important but we do not get bogged down in this – as every child learns in different ways and at different rates. Learning is not linear – and our approach to assessment reflects this – progress is king – and a determinist view that says that a child needs to learn this, then that, then that – and this can only be ascertained through a test – is not how we will work. We will focus on celebrating the achievements of every child, working with them so that they know what they need to learn next and how they can learn it – and by setting up engaging relevant learning experiences – amazing learning – to allow every child to make as much progress as possible. This is what matters at The Aquila School.

Staff Update

Rebecca Octave – Music Teacher

The Aquila School is proud to announce the appointment of Rebecca Octave as our music teacher. Rebecca was previously employed as a music teacher and Head of Events for Aldar Academies in Abu Dhabi. Rebecca has worked in education for 12 years and has taught music in both primary and secondary schools in the UK and UAE. As well as teaching music across the school and promising to get us all singing – especially on what will become known as ‘Tuneful Tuesdays’ – Rebecca will also teach individual and group instrumental lessons.

Further Updates

We are delighted that our furniture has landed in the UAE! Our very large shipment of furniture for all of our classrooms, shared areas, specialist art, design technology, food technology rooms and our library has traveled from the UK and has arrived at the port in Dubai. The furniture will start to be assembled very soon so our exciting learning areas are ready for school assembled very soon so our exciting learning areas are ready for school starting in September.

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.