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May 26, 2019 Sunday 05:59:03 PM IST

Enriching Learning at School, A Dubai School Sets an Example

Best Practices

There is so much talk about giving our children 21st century skills of learning.  But how many schools are actually implementing it? We often listen to leaders in education like Ken Robinson, Simon Sinek etc. who warns us about the depleting or degenerating education system. We often hear people shooting us with question on today’s teachers educating students for a job market that will be soon obsolete. How should we this generation educators teach tomorrow’s workers?  This is where the question arises as how we trust that the 21st-century learning is at the heart of a movement preparing students to work in a very different world. Now this concept of 21st-century skills may seem nebulous. It needs to cater to a variety of needs of the students and how the school can incorporate the same into its system. As leaders we need to take action now and here are few innovative measures that we follow in AMLED to achieve this. AMLED is a community of learners be it the teachers or the students. Learning never stops in our school.
Along with the four C’s which are Creativity, Communication, Critical thinking and Collaboration, we work on these 3 pillars too with our teachers which is very crucial for setting the four C’s in the right order
•Personal Mindset
•Planning for Success
•Social Awareness

All these put together we are able to achieve a milestone of being rated as a GOOD school by the Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB)
Learning Enrichment Sessions
The LES are a part of our commitment to providing hands on learning by making adaptations in the curriculum. 
Once a week the students get an opportunity to sharpen their skills and enhance their learning further in Math, English and Science. Half the class ( a group of 12 to 15 students) comes out to work on the LES stations whereas the other half moves to the curiosity lab if it’s a science class or uses the math lab or undertakes some math activities in the class with the teacher. The LES teacher provides them with a range of activities from, puzzles, quizzes, board games for math and science all designed and based on the topic currently being done in class. With the help of these students test their learning as well as experience the joy of learning and are motivated. In English the focus is on improving reading, writing and communicating skills. 
LES is a regular feature at school all-round the year for the benefit of students keeping them motivated, challenged and engaged in learning.

LBB: Learning Beyond The Boundaries

The LBB program is a step to further initiate learning enhancement in students and as the name suggests take it to an open forum which is beyond boundaries. It opens a whole new world of learning where students develop soft life skills. The program draws inspiration from the four pillars of Moral Education adopted by the UAE. To build depth of character, the Moral Education classes are conducted during LBB. 
The second and the third pillars provide the base for development of soft skills which include skills like table manners folding clothes, cooking without fire, the art of positive communication, cleanliness and hygiene. The fourth pillar inspires us to include yoga, aerobics into our school activity curriculum for a healthy living. In a healthy body lives a healthy mind, thus taking the initiative to take charge of preparing a generation equipped with life skills for the future.

Foldables in Notebooks
The students use foldable in various shapes and use it to take notes, record important points, to do a recap of the lesson or to summarize the learning of the lesson taught. It engages students in learning, bringing out their creative side. 

MAD time: Make A Difference Time

Every day, teachers make a difference. Teaching goes beyond the classroom, beyond instructions, and beyond the love of words. Children need to belong and to be loved. Each student needs to know he or she is important and that he or she has something to contribute. We show kids that they all have unique strengths and talents and that each student, no matter his strengths or talents, has value. We have the practice of keeping 10 minutes aside everyday morning to Make A Difference in the lives of our children. The class teacher, co-class teacher and the students of each class are close knit as a family. The MAD time in the morning is used to exchange pleasantries, to encourage the shy ones to speak up, to discuss about current affairs-UAE and the world, to talk about the highlights of the week and even to conduct class courts to solve minor disputes in the class. TPT is also conducted during MAD time. It gives a sense of love, belongingness, awareness and fairness to the ones involved. 
Flipped classroom

Flipped Classroom uses class time to do activities/lessons usually through video. Basically, it turns a classroom upside down: the learning of a topic is done at home and then the applied practice or work is done at school. The students are provided with an entry ticket to class after completing their homework. This practice proves a s a very good attempt for individual learning and peer learning.
1.Students have more control
2.It promotes student-centered learning and collaboration
3.Forced participation by all students.

Shiny Davison

Shiny Davison is Vice Principal AMLED School, Dubai.She has done her post graduation in Sociology and has over 16 years of experience in Education Planning, School Administration, Teacher Management and Student Relations. She has administered the roles of teacher, HOD, and Academic-in-Charge.

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