The Aquila School successfully opened Year 7 in the 2019/20 academic year, and will offer Year 8 from September 2020. The Aquila School will grow by one additional year group per new academic year.
The ethos and high levels of pastoral care established in the primary school follow through to the secondary school, with young people’s ability to develop resilience, approach challenges positively, and work collaboratively for the good of the whole community being central to their learning.
Our secondary school teaching provides challenge whilst enabling our children to see meaningful links in their learning.
HEAD OF SECONDARY’S WELCOME
It is a pleasure to welcome you to The Aquila School where we believe every lesson counts. We are passionate in ensuring all pupils experience amazing learning opportunities so that they make as much progress as possible. This is why our pupils are happy and love coming to school as their unique talents and interests are nurtured and encouraged. Amazing learning is at the heart of all that we do – teachers who know their subjects thoroughly and constantly strive to make learning accessible, meaningful, enjoyable and challenging.
Our school community is aspirational, inclusive and we are committed to preparing pupils for the next part of their education and future employment. We believe in the education of the whole child and place value in kindness and compassion. Our pupils will have meaningful experiences and build lasting friendships so that they lead happy and fulfilling lives.
I look forward to the outstanding progress pupils will make this year.
Lee Fabia, Head of Secondary.
SECONDARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
At The Aquila School, the curriculum for year 7 and 8 builds on the foundation of the earlier years in school and is the first step in preparing the children for the public examinations they will take later in their secondary school career. As such there is increased emphasis on subject teaching, independent study, and research and the application of knowledge and skills to real-life situations.
Reading is prioritised in year 7 and 8 to increase children’s use of vocabulary, enhance their cultural capital, confidence and to encourage discussion and debate so that children find their own voice and perspective. We also build in opportunities for cross-curricular links to allow children to transfer learning between subjects and be creative.
The year 7 and 8 curriculum is ambitious, broad, balanced, inclusive and equitable for all children to ensure they make the most progress possible. Learning is purposeful and engaging and we make links to knowledge and skills from different subjects to children’s future ambitions and aspirations.
In Key Stage 3 different subjects will be taught by different teachers. We teach the English National Curriculum, together with the Ministry of Education curricular requirements, and themes will include teaching in the following subjects.
Subjects in Year 7 and Year 8:
- Computer science
- Islamic Studies (for our Muslim students)
- Art and Design
- Design and Technology
- Physical Education (including swimming)
- UAE Social Studies
- Moral Education
- Citizenship/ Life Skills
- Independent Studies
Following a broad provision in Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 children will have the option to select options for further study leading to GCSE/ IGCSE examinations.
Our secondary children have the opportunity to explore and collaborate in specialist learning areas, such as design workshops, science laboratories and the learning hub, which are incorporated into day-to-day learning to enhance their learning experiences.
As a school we recognise that reading is not only a vital skill across all subjects but also an invaluable life skill too. Lifelong readers are lifelong learners.
A focus on reading is directly linked to the national agenda – H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, stated: “Our goal is to make reading a daily habit that is deeply ingrained. It is the duty of relevant institutions to make this law a reality”.
The Aquila School is committed to raising children’s attainment and love of reading. Our extensive reading provision includes ‘Accelerated Reader’, ‘Read Theory’ and two dedicated timetabled lessons for reading for pleasure for all children in years 7 and 8. This provision is led by a specialist English teacher with the knowledge and skills to challenge all children to make outstanding progress. We also have a state of the art secondary library called The Learning Hub stocked with thousands of books, including an extensive range of Arabic texts.
Our focus and ambition are to build children’s reading skills and develop their confidence when accessing texts, whilst enhancing their cultural capital, broadening their vocabulary, encouraging discussion, debate and fostering a love of literature so they gain their own unique voice and perspective.
Year 7 and 8 children also have opportunities to develop their leadership skills through the role of reading ambassadors for younger children.
KS3 When the children are in year 10 and 11 and are preparing for international examinations there will be a lot of homework to do. Therefore, in year 7 and 8 we will introduce more formal homework so that children get used to independent study not during the school day. However, we still wish to maintain the Aquila view that as children work so hard in school during the day they need time to relax and pursue other interests at home.
In year 7 and 8 the children will receive regular reading homework to develop their reading skills and a love of reading plus homework in other subjects when relevant and purposeful.
TIMES OF THE SCHOOL DAY
Year 7 and 8
Children may arrive from 7.20am and must be in class for 7.30am for their tutor group lesson.
Children may go straight to class and do not need to be accompanied by an adult.
Children are to use the Early Years reception entrance to access the second floor KS3 suite.
The day finishes at 2.45pm Sunday to Wednesday and at 1.20pm on a Thursday.
Children may walk home alone if families give written approval.
Children being collected by family members or drivers can be collected from a designated area in school.
COMMUNITY ACTION SERVICE (CAS) ACTIVITIES
Empowering children to make choices is integral to our work and this includes the provision of CAS activities. Therefore, we involve the children in deciding what activities are on offer each term. All of our teaching staff offer a weekly activity for children in years 7 and 8. These activities are free of charge.
We will also offer the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and other opportunities to serve the local community in future years.