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Deira International School (DIS) - Dubai Festival City

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DIS News

Keeping you up to date with our news and events.

Al Futtaim Education Foundation announces a record number of scholarships for existing and new students at its two schools; Deira International School and Universal American School. A total of 35 new scholarships were awarded bringing the total number of students with scholarships to 55.

‘’We are delighted to be able to recognize and reward so many of our existing students and welcome several new students to our schools next year under our scholarship program’’

-Kerry Ross, Director of Enrollments, Marketing, and Operations.   

AFEF is committed to actively bridging the gap between potential and opportunity by making a number of scholarships available on an annual basis, to cover up to 100% for Emirati scholarships and up to 50% of the tuition fees for academic and talent scholarships for students at Deira International School and Universal American School.

The scholarships committee would like to thank you all this year’s applicants for taking the time to apply for one of our many scholarships for 2022-2023. We wish you all of the applicants much success with your studies at either Deira International School or Universal American School. 

*Mark your calendar! 

 If you missed out on this year’s scholarship program, you will be able to apply for the 2023/2024 scholarships as early as October 2022.  The Scholarship page will go live before the end of October so keep an eye out for updates.

(click on the image to view the video)

The Centre for Excellence in Arabic has arabised a number of popular early years titles that the children are already familiar with in English and has commissioned a number of sensory manipulatives and other linguistic tools made exclusively for our schools, to support deep learning through play and multi-sensory activation.
‎قام مركز التّميّز في اللّغة العربيّة بتعريب بعض القصص الأجنبيّة المحبّبة عند الأطفال، وتصميم مصادر حسيّة ولغويّة تمّ إعدادها وتصنيعها بشكل حصري للاستخدام في مدارس الفطيم بهدف تدعيم وصول الأفكار إلى الطفل عن طريق اللعب وتحفيز الحواس لاكتساب المعرفة بشكل عميق وراسخ

Click the photo to access the full article


Simon O’Connor, Director of Deira International School, is currently studying for an EdD with the University of Buckingham,  researching the impact of organizational culture as a tool for school improvement. In this first article; he introduces the rationale behind this study

On Wednesday 8th of June over 600 members of our school community joined at the InterContinental Hotel, Festival City to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2022. Thank you to all those who joined us in person or on our YouTube channel and congratulations again to all our families.

We are so proud of Sama in Year 5, who has not only written her own children’s book in English and Arabic, it has also been published and featured at Sharjah Book Fair. A true budding author! Who would like to be the next author at DIS?

فخورون جداً بكاتبة ديرة المُتميزة سما الغزال من الصف الخامس التي وقعت كتابها الثاني و نشرته في معرض الكتاب في الشارقة.
كتاب “ميلا و الدّلفين” باللغتين العربية و الانكليزية. نتمنى لسما المزيد من النجاح .
من سيكون كاتب ديرة الثاني؟


Please join us to celebrate our student’s creativity and promotion of sustainability. It is purely a student-led event run by our Digital and Innovation and Sustainability Councils. It has been a developing idea since September, and they are excited to see it come into fruition. If you could come and support them, alongside our budding fashion designers that would be wonderful.

When – Thursday 23 June

Time – 7- 8pm

Where – MPH


Spring Break is almost here! Infinite Sports UAE has put together lots of fun activities for children from 28th March to 8th April 2022.

Key contacts: Email: or phone: +971 58102 6548

Spaces are limited, so we encourage early sign ups to avoid disappointment!

Simply scan the bar code below or get in touch with us via +971 58102 6548 or to book your space.


فاز فريق مدرسة ديرة الدولية بأحد المراكز الثلاثة الأولى في مسابقة كأس شيفرون للقراء، وقد عَمِلَت: دارين، ومنة، وليان، وحمزة بجهد كبير حتى حقَّقوا هذا التميُّز.

لمعرفة مركزنا النهائي

تابِعونا غدًا

High Performance Swimming provides high quality and professional swimming lessons at various locations in Dubai, all year round. With a team of international swim teachers, they offer a wide variety of classes, starting from Parent & Toddler to Swim Squad. They teach both kids and adults of any age and skill level how to improve their swimming.

Learn to Swim, Swim Squad, and Adult Swimming Programs are all offered here at Deira International School. For more information about the classes at Deira International School, please contact High Performance Swimming at: +971 50 175 4747 and


February half-term (14th-18th) is fast approaching and we’re excited to welcome your child to our next Infinite camp.

Join us for a jam-packed schedule of fun, using our special 20% discount code exclusive for Deira International School parents.

@infinitesportsuae pride themselves in ensuring camps enable your child to keep active and learn new skills throughout the holidays. Camps are also managed by fully qualified coaches and lifeguards so you can be sure that your child is having fun and making new friends in the safest environment possible. Looking forward to seeing lots of happy faces there!

Key dates:
Monday 14th February- Friday 18th February.

Timings: 08:00am-15:00pm [Drop off between: 08:00am-08:45am and pick up between: 14:15pm-15:00pm]
Price: 850aed excl. VAT [using 20% discount – this will now be 680aed excl. VAT]

Key contacts: Email: or phone: +971 58102 6548

Spaces are limited, so we encourage early sign ups to avoid disappointment!

Simply scan the bar code below or get in touch with us via +971 58102 6548 or to book your space – don’t forget to enter/quote DIS20 to receive your exclusive discount!

The Biggest Celebration of School Career Counselors from over 365+ Schools in UAE. It’s time, we nominate them and express our gratitude for their exemplary contribution.  

BUT, we need you help – to show your appreciation for our School Careers Counselor, let’s vote for Mrs Buket Ayaz! #wegotDIS” All you need to do is follow this link: 

On Wednesday 2nd February, we will be hosting our Options Evening for Year 9 students and parents from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. We will share valuable information about GCSE and BTEC courses available for your child to study at DIS. during the evening we will have representatives on hand from each of the options subject. You will be able to talk to our teachers about what the subject entails and this will help you and your child to make informed choices for their future. 

GSCE/BTEC Options Booklet 21-22

Our students will have a DIScovery week starting Monday, 31 January until Friday, 4 February which will support them with choosing the right subjects to study for their GCSEs. During this week, our students will get a taste of different subjects available to study in Year 10. They will also take part in workshops in both academics and personal goals to extend their future prospects.

Wow, what a fabulous first term we have had. To all our DIS families, have an amazing winter break. A time to recharge batteries and share memorable moments with family and friends. stay safe and we look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday 3rd of January. 

Happy Holidays!

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun and we’re excited to welcome your child back to an Infinite camp this holiday season.

Join us for three weeks of festive fun right here at Deira International School and enjoy a jam-packed programme of activities, games, and fun challenges!


Week one: Sunday 12th to Thursday 16th December
Week two: Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd December
Week three: Monday 27th to Thursday 30th December

*(All sessions can be booked on a five, three and one-day basis.)

As a DIS parent, we’re also excited to be able to offer you a fantastic 25% discount – simply enter the code DIS25 at checkout!


Spaces are limited so we recommend booking early to avoid any disappointment.

On November 9, we hosted our first BIG US University Fair after 19 months of not being able to meet university reps in person. Students were very thrilled to meet the university reps and had so many questions to ask! During tutor time, they had completed an activity regarding meaningful engagement with universities. Knowing more about the right questions to ask, they were fully committed during the fair. We will continue to host more universities on campus and look forward to seeing our students interact with university representatives. 

The Al Futtaim Education Foundation offers a generous scholarship scheme to support our parent community. The scholarships are made available on an annual basis and cover a percentage of the tuition fees up to a maximum of 100% for Emirati scholarships and up to 50% of the tuition fees for academic, IBDP, IBCP and talent scholarships. Please join our scholarship masterclass to see how to navigate the scholarship application process and understand the awarding criteria.

To book a spot for the webinar, please complete the form on the link that has been shared via email.

Year 9 IB Pathways Information Evening

Year 9 students are at the start of the process of selecting their IGCSE and BTEC options for Year 10/11.  

Over the course of the year, we will offer a variety of workshops and evenings to inform students and parents about the option subjects available to study for their IGCSE or BTEC course in year 10/11. There will be an opportunity to explore further into IB subject choices as well.  

The first session we are hosting with families will be face to face on Tuesday 2nd November at 6 pm – 7.15 pm in the MPH at DIS where we will be introducing the options timeline and looking at pathways to different occupations.  

This will help students with making key subject choices in relation to an occupation they might like to pursue in the future. You will also have the opportunity to have a Q&A session with Ms. Pointon and speak to our amazing current IB students about their route to IB and university.  

To book a spot for the information meeting, please complete the form on the link that has been shared by email.

Infinite Sports after-school activities and half term camp

Our partner at Infinite Sports has many different sports providers who are specialists in their field with highly skilled, qualified and experienced coaches.

Students can enjoy:



Martial arts


Dance fusion




You can find all their details in the brochure below. Registration is done directly with the different activity providers.

Infinite Sports Brochure

Half term camp:

The team at Infinite Sports takes pride in ensuring the camp activities enable your child to keep active and learn new skills throughout the holidays. Each day children will enjoy a range of fun activities, games and sports challenges. All the activities are managed by fully qualified coaches to ensure your child can have fun and make new friends in the safest environment possible.

Our IB1 CP students are excited to start their first day of work placements with the Al Futtaim Education Foundation. Through leveraging our links with the Al-Futtaim Group (AFG), students this term are fortunate to have a personal mentor in an industry that directly links to their career aspirations to develop students’ personal and professional skills. The students will undertake work placements and industry visits one day per week throughout the term.

The work placements this term include the legal, health, financial, marketing, fashion, travel, communication and architectural industry. We wish them all the best in their professional learning journey.

We are pleased to share the following exclusive offers through Al-Futtaim HealthHub with parents of students studying at Deira International School as well as our school community:

     -PCR tests at AED 99* for students, teachers, and parents

     -Pediatric check-up at AED 89* (Paediatric consultation, hearing screening, eye test, dental)

All you need to do to avail these offers is to present your student/parent/teacher school ID.

*The offer is only applicable to Al-Futtaim Schools/Al Futtaim Education Foundation. Terms and conditions apply.

Please visit to know more.

September 2021 – We are so excited to announce that our very own Naya from Year 10 has been shortlisted for the UAE Young Athlete of the Year in the Gulf Sports Awards, representing DIS. This is such a great achievement, and she needs our help and votes to secure the win. 

Please vote for Naya here by clicking on Naya’s picture on FB to “like” it. The voting is counted as likes for the individual picture, not the post.

Naya is an international rhythmic gymnast who represents the National Team of Syria and was awarded the Winner of Outstanding Performer in all sports by her school in 2021. She excels in all sports at school. Besides gymnastics, she also plays on the netball and basketball team. Naya is an example of a very hardworking and committed student and athlete. She always works up to her best potential in everything she does. Despite the war in Syria that lasted 10 years and affected her ability to travel across the globe to several competitions, she has achieved great results internationally. Naya’s dream is to be an Olympian someday.

We hope you can help and support Naya by voting, either on Facebook or through one of the following platforms:
GYS Expo Website (click here)
GYS Facebook

GYS Instagram (live from 9pm on Monday) 
GYS Twitter 

Every individual can vote four times. The award is given through 50% voting and 50% judging by a judging panel.

Public Online Vote (50% weighting)
Voting opens: Sunday September 12th – 5pm UAE time
Voting closes: Tuesday September 14th – 9pm UAE time

You can vote for Naya by using any of the above links. If you vote via Facebook, please click on Naya’s picture and “like” it. The voting is counted as likes for the individual picture, not the post.

September 2021 – Following on from the success of the Future Fluencies Programme that Al Futtaim Education Foundation offered in association with Awecademy in 2020/2021, we are pleased to announce the launch of the 2021/2022 cohort. The programme will be run by School of Humanity, a venture that Raya Bidshahri, former co-founder of Awecademy, sees as the next evolutionary step in her mission to reinvent education.

Future Fluencies is a 6-month programme where learners develop the skills of the future while solving global challenges and receiving mentorship from industry leaders. 

Al Futtaim Education Foundation is offering full merit-based scholarships to 32 learners, aged 13-18, from Universal American School and Deira International School to participate in the programme.

Participating learners get to embark on interdisciplinary learning paths, such as Future of Money, Future of Healthcare, Future of Art, and Future of Well-being. They graduate from the programme with:

  • a compelling portfolio of projects & solutions
  • real-life work experiences to guide their career trajectory
  • a robust network of industry experts and advisors
  • practical tools to help establish self-purpose & enable well-being
  • an opportunity to present in a global showcase at Expo 2020

For more information about the programme, please refer to the brochure linked here

August 12, 2021, Dubai, UAE – Al Futtaim Education Foundation announced today that Deira International School’s Class of 2021 has achieved outstanding GCSE results for its cohort of 108 students. Deira International School (DIS) is owned and operated by Al Futtaim Education Foundation.

A remarkable 77% of the results were A*-A grades while 51% of grades awarded were A*. 89% of the results were A*-B, and 97% of the grades were A*-C. The pass rate of the cohort was 100%.

Stand out students include Daniel Nasri, Marcelle Shouly, Meera Hallak, Muhammad Nadeem, Murtaza Asghar, Nabil El Hage Ali, Nayla Waly, Pradyumna Saligram, Roxanne Dubash and Vaynika Gupta. These students all achieved 100% A*.

Simon O’Connor, Director of Deira International School, commented on the achievement:

“I am thrilled with these outstanding results. This has been such a challenging year for everyone; for students, staff and parents. Witnessing our GCSE cohort achieve this level of academic success is absolutely wonderful, with no less than 51% of results at A*grades and 77% achieved A*/A. So many students have won massive individual battles and overcome huge obstacles to achieve what they have today. I am enormously proud of all our students for working so hard under such difficult circumstances to achieve these results. I must also acknowledge and thank DIS staff who not only had to prepare the students, but also had the additional task of assessing the students’ portfolios for submission to the boards. This was an enormous undertaking, and I could not be more grateful. The consequences of their efforts can be seen in today’s superb news.”

Highest achievers who received 100% A* Grades:

  • Muhammad Nadeem
  • Pradyumna Saligram
  • Vaynika Gupta
  • Daniel Nasri
  • Meera Hallak
  • Murtaza Asghar
  • Roxanne Dubash
  • Nabil El Hage Ali
  • Nayla Waly
  • Marcelle Shouly
 IGCSE Results201920202021
 No. of exam entries804970974
 No. of students in GCSE level cohort93114108
 % of exam entries graded A*/9-8202751
 % of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7455477
 % of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6708089
 % of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4899597
 % 5+ A*-C889597

Students from Deira International School have achieved record results for their IB Diploma exams 2021.

Twin sisters Naz Karadede and Nil Karadede, both students at Deira International School (DIS), achieved the full mark of 45 points for the IB, The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). In addition to Naz and Nil Karade, two more DIS students and graduation award winners also scored 45 points: Jolie Ghobrial, Director’s Award winner, and Hasan Raza, Head Boy and Fellowship Award winner.

Only about 0.2% of students across the world achieve the highest point score of 45 points, so these exam results are truly outstanding.

The Class of 2021 is the most successful cohort in Deira International School’s results history with a record-breaking average IB Diploma score of 38 points and a pass rate of 100%. No less than 23 students, representing 38% of the candidates, scored above 40 points. This year’s global average score was 33.02 points.

We are very proud of all our Class of 2021 students and congratulate them once again for achieving these fantastic results.

Simon O’Connor, Director of Deira International School, commented on the achievement:

“We are thrilled with these outstanding results. This has been such a challenging year for so many reasons, particularly due to the unpredictability of the examination systems. To achieve record results, especially with such a high percentage of students achieving 40+ points and four students achieving a perfect 45 points, is phenomenal. It is also important to point out that this is a reflection of the consistent hard work of our students and the dedication and professionalism of the teachers and all staff at Deira International School. It is wonderful to end the year on such a high note of success, which will also lay the foundation of continued excellence in the future.”

DIS Graduation C2021

The Al Futtaim Education Foundation would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to Class of 2021 and all graduate students from both Deira International School and Universal American School.

We were so delighted to see all our graduates and their families during a special graduation ceremony* that took place on June 23 at Intercontinental Dubai Festival City. The event was held under the patronage of Mr. Omar A. Al Futtaim, CEO and Vice Chairman of Al-Futtaim Group, Chairman of Al Futtaim Education Foundation.

The event was attended by Mr. Omar A. Al Futtaim, CEO and Vice Chairman of Al-Futtaim Group, Chairman of Al Futtaim Education Foundation and Ms. Mira Al Futtaim. Honourable guests at the event included H.E. Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash and members of the Al Futtaim Education Foundation, the schools’ governing body, and members of the DIS and UAS Boards.

Graduation day is the day every student has dreamed about, and one of the finest milestones to commemorate for the Al Futtaim Education Foundation. We are so proud of your accomplishments, both as individuals and as cohorts. Our Class of 2021 is one of the most successful cohorts we have seen, across our schools, in the history of the Foundation. We are extremely proud to have played a role in developing these young individuals and setting them up for their further journey and success.

The Chairman’s Leadership Award was presented by Ms. Mira Al Futtaim to Mya Msuya from Universal American School for having forwarded the school through her actions and leadership. Joined by Mr. Fadi Hammadeh, Al Futtaim Education Foundation and Chairman of the DIS and UAS Board, Ms. Mira Al Futtaim also presented the Valedictorian Award to Krishna Mashruwala from Deira International School.

The challenges for the Class of 2021 have been immense. While we commend your resilience and determination, we are also very grateful for your patience and flexibility. This year’s graduation event was particularly special since it was the first time during the pandemic that we were able to gather as a community.

We are so thankful that so many of you were able to join us on this special day, and we would also like to express our sincerest appreciation for all your support to our community throughout the past year.

*The event was held with strict adherence to the COVID-19 prevention measures and protocols adopted by the Government of Dubai and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).

We are so proud of Hasan Raza, our Head Boy and IBDP student, who has been featured in an article on about the current struggles of applying to universities in the middle of a pandemic. The article is part of a SchoolsCompared Student Voices series called Stories from the Edge of the Future – A Guide to Applying for University.

In the article, Hasan describes his journey to secure his dream admission at UofT’s Rotman Commerce program, in the heart of Toronto. He shares all his tips and tricks of university applications and how to make every application count – and how staying positive in a world turned upside down by Covid-19 can make all the difference.

The three Higher Level subjects Hasan chose at DIS were all focused on commerce: Business Management, Economics and Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches. His Standard Level subjects were Chemistry, French B and English Language Literature.

Hasan says it was the ability to venture into different fields during his IGCSE’s that helped him finalise the career he wants to work towards.

Hasan aspires to be a businessman in the foreseeable future and plans to study Business and Economics at a Canadian university. He has already applied early to five universities in Canada which include UofT, UBC and McGill University. As a backup plan, he has also applied to five universities in the UK, including the LSE, UCL and University of Warwick.

We couldn’t agree more with Hasan’s advice on how to prepare any written assignment – in this case, a university application:

“If you’re able to prepare for your supplemental applications, start working on them as soon as possible to ensure that you’re able to get feedback and have sufficient time to make tweaks. If you rush your essays, it will show. Those minor tweaks that you make as you approach the deadline will add that element of finesse and flair that admissions officers are seeking.”


Good luck to you, Hasan, we are really proud of you and look forward to seeing you succeed as a businessman VERY soon – but we do expect a small discount!

We sat down with Buket Ayaz, DIS University & Careers Counsellor, to talk about some of the unique challenges she faced for secondary counselling the past year.

“This year has been a very special, but also a successful year with one of the most successful cohorts I have seen in my life. Our students have received university offers from King’s College, LSE, UCLA, and many other top universities, but it has been a year where we were all ‘planning for a future unplanned’.

We had to develop new ways to tackle the pandemic and the learning. We stepped up when it came to being resilient. The students were able to tell themselves that they just had to move on, despite the constant uncertainty. They did not give up!

The biggest challenge was that I was not seeing the students as much as usual in person. All my counseling sessions took place on Zooms and Teams. We held “College Readiness” group sessions every week.

However, this also turned out to be a positive thing. The online sessions made it possible to form a bond with the students in a different way and stay in touch. It turned out to be a benefit where I was able to reach the students most of the time – and give them information when they needed it.

The biggest challenge for the students was probably making plans when they didn’t know if the plans would go ahead or not. They planned for their IB exams, and the exams got cancelled!

They didn’t even know if they would be able to come to school the next day.

Meanwhile, I was working around the clock, and I didn’t know what my working hours would be like. I had to attend college sessions in different time zones to get all the latest information that I needed to share with students.

There are so many dimensions in my role, but the most rewarding part is knowing that I have not only helped students find their dream careers and schools but also impacted the journey of self-discovery by opening up a world of possibilities for them.”

May 2021 – We are very delighted to share the latest vaccination stats with you. 96.1 percent of all our teachers and school staff at DIS have now been vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine.

We have encouraged and supported all our staff members to get vaccinated for their own protection – as well as for the safety of our campus and school community. The DIS vaccination drive includes all our teachers and support staff, administrators, security guards and bus drivers.

We are continuously committed to keeping everyone in our community safe, and the latest results show that we are on the right track with our efforts.

Any remaining staff members who are not yet vaccinated undergo weekly PCR tests, as per the KHDA guidelines.

Elite Sports are back after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday with their football programme at Deira International School and will offer football sessions to children of all years at the school.

Re-commencing Wednesday 19th May 2021, the schedule of sessions for children aged 4 – 14 years of age has been designed so your child can flourish in one of our fantastic training facilities, resume their sporting activity and keep fit and active, whilst being coached by our team of UEFA & FA Qualified Coaches.

Wednesday 3.00 – 4.00 (All Year Groups)

From AED 80 per session

The remaining sessions of the term will take place INDOORS IN THE AIR CONDITIONED SPORTS HALL, and spaces are strictly limited. To avoid disappointment, you can secure a space via (AED 672) or contact / 04 554 5916 for more information.

We cannot wait to resume, with all respective safety procedures in place to ensure your children are safe while learning the sport they love. 

Elite Sports Academy

April 2021 – Six senior students from DIS began their Customer Experience Internships at Al-Futtaim Automotive during the first week of Ramadan, along with 12 students from Universal American School.

The students will be learning the ropes “on the floor” at Toyota, Lexus, Volvo, Honda, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM showrooms over the next month until Eid. Ramadan is the busiest time of the season for automotive dealerships, but our students are up for the challenge and eager to get some hands-on experience in sales, communications, and customer service.

The internships are offered every summer in collaboration with Al Futtaim Education Foundation and give our student a chance to get real work experience, solving real tasks. The summer internships are an important part of our continuous focus on experiential learning at DIS.

“I decided to do this internship because of my interest in Toyota and cars. I feel like this is going to help me socialize a lot more and help me learn how to sell a car and learn communication skills… This is why I chose to apply for this internship.”

Watch the video below from the first day’s training session:

AFEF Internship Final

March 16, 2021, Dubai, UAE – Deira International School (DIS), owned and operated by Al Futtaim Education Foundation, announced today that Jana Tamer Issa, a DIS Year 12 student, has won the first place in the Emirates NBD Poetry for All competition at Emirates Literature Festival. Jana secured the winning position in Arabic poetry in the age group between 14-18. This year’s edition of the Emirates NBD Poetry for All competition attracted more than 700 participants around the UAE who competed in Arabic or English across two age groups.

Emirates NBD Poetry For All is an annual competition run by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature to celebrate poetry performance and recital. Students learn poetry by heart and give an emotional response to the language and ideas of the poet.

This year’s entrants performed individual interpretations of their favourite poems in several preliminary rounds and after nearly five months of preparations leading up to the grand finals. The first place winners in Arabic and English also repeated their winning performances on stage in front of an audience of parents, teachers, and VIPs, at the awards ceremony held at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU).

The winner plaque was handed over to Jana by Isobel Abulhoul, OBE and CEO of Emirates Literature Festival, in the presence of HRH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Commenting on winning the award, Jana Tamer Issa, DIS Year 12, said: “I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to participate in this year’s Emirates Literature Festival Poetry for All in Arabic. I have always wanted to participate in a poetry competition because my grandfather was a poet and he inspired me to know more poetry. Back in October, there was an Instagram post about the competition, and I immediately felt like I wanted to register and try it out. This experience was very unique, and I really enjoyed both performing and watching very passionate performances. The competition has not only made me appreciate poetry, but it has also made me appreciate the phenomenal poets that surround us from the present and the past. It is my honour to have been the winner this year and I am grateful to everyone that helped me: my mum, Mr Yasser, my aunt and everyone who supported me. It was truly a wonderful opportunity that has helped me gain confidence and enhance my speaking skills in Arabic. I cannot wait to participate again next year.”

Yasser Ghazal, Head of Arabic A at Deira International School, commented on Jana’s win:  “In cooperation with the Center of Excellence for Arabic Language in Al-Futtaim Educational Foundation, we always seek to raise the level of the Arabic language and instill a love for language and literature among all students. Therefore, we have been keen to participate in this year’s competition and encouraged all our students to sign up. We qualified for the finals online, reached the top ten, and now Jana has won the competition. Congratulations again to Jana – we hope her win will inspire everyone to participate in the coming years.”

Simon O’Connor, School Director at Deira International School, congratulated Jana for her achievement: “We are immensely proud of Jana for winning this year’s Emirates NBD Poetry for All competition. Her oratory talent has not only impressed us at Deira International School during the internal competition rounds, but also all the external judges at this year’s competition. We are excited to see what lies ahead for Jana’s many talents, and we are confident that Jana’s impressive performance and win will inspire other students at DIS to explore poetry recital.”

About Al-Futtaim Education Foundation

Al Futtaim Education Foundation (AFEF) was launched as an initiative of the Al Futtaim family to support the vision of the Government of Dubai and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) for the creation of a globally competitive economy while maximising its social contribution to the community through this not-for-profit endeavor. It aims to meaningfully impact the education scene in the UAE, the region and beyond.

The Foundation founded and now operates the Centre for Excellence in Arabic which supports the UAE Vision of ensuring that students have a solid knowledge of the Arabic language. It aims to support Arabic teaching and learning with solid, research-based tools, strategies and instruments. The Centre cultivates interest in Arabic through a focus on literature, on developing a wealth of curriculum resources, and on providing a platform for action research into the language.

AFEF owns and provides governance to Deira International School (DIS) and Universal American School (UAS), which it plans to make the leading British and American schools in the region, taking education in the UAE to the next level. The schools aim to provide the best learning environment for its students and deploy pioneering initiatives to prepare them for higher education, equipping them with the skills to excel in an increasingly globalized and technologically advanced world. The Foundation supports by bringing the highest levels of excellence to DIS/UAS through employing the best-in-class teachers who will guarantee top quality education, propelling the schools to attaining their peak potential.

About Al-Futtaim

Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim today, is one of the most diversified and progressive, privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Structured into four operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate and retail; employing more than 42,000 employees in more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, we partner with over 200 of the world’s most admired and innovative brands.

Al-Futtaim’s entrepreneurship and relentless customer focus enables the organisation to continue to grow and expand; responding to the changing needs of our customers within the societies in which we operate.

By upholding our values of respect, excellence, collaboration, integrity; Al-Futtaim continues to enrich the lives and aspirations of our customers each and every day.

Claire Heylin, primary English lead teacher at DIS, shared insights in The National on why and how parents should to read to their children all year round. 

The Month of Reading 2021 might be coming to an end, but that does not mean reading at home should stop. In the article, Claire Heylin explains all the reasons why reading is “nourishment for the soul and the mind”, and she also shares tips on how to encourage reading in your family. 

Read the full article here:

We are delighted to announce that Deira International School (DIS) has been awarded the ‘International School Awards’ for ‘Digital Technology in Learning’. This is testament to the outstanding work of teachers and leaders at DIS in revolutionising our digital environment and using cutting-edge pedagogy to create outstanding learning opportunities for all students, whether onsite or at learning remotely.

The International School Awards celebrate learning, teaching, community, wellbeing, leadership and strategic initiatives at international schools. They provide the opportunity for international schools to share best practice, creative endeavours, community participation, and innovation. This year, due to the impact of COVID-19 on schools throughout the world, many initiatives will have been developed to respond to the crisis. As a result, the judges are looking for initiatives that show innovation and the potential for change through adversity. The International School Awards are hosted by ISC Research with the support of International School Leader Magazine.

The Digital Technology in Learning Award recognises a digital technology initiative that has had impact on student learning and also required evidence of the development of digital responsibility. The last year has seen a huge acceleration of the need for students to be digital natives – able to use technology fluently in all that they do. This will be a crucial skill set for all students’ futures.

Simon O’Connor, Director of Deira International School, commented ‘I am thrilled with this recognition by such a prestigious organization. The use of digital technology is at the forefront of education development and this highlights that Deira International School is leading the way and helping to construct the future for all our students. I am enormously grateful for the hard work of all the teachers here at DIS who have seized the opportunities created by the current pandemic to continue to improve the learning opportunities for our students.’

Teachers at Deira International School have been working hard over the past 18 months towards a common goal. As part of our now award-winning digital strategy, teachers have embraced the medium of technology to enhance the already outstanding teaching that takes place. The purpose of technology in education is not simply to replace what has previously been done. Instead, technology gives us the opportunity to redefine how learning takes place. Students at Deira International School are direct beneficiaries of this digital strategy. Every day at school, students benefit from the high level of aptitude from teachers with how to use digital platforms to create the optimal learning experience for students. It is important to note that this award reflects the quality of teaching and learning through our digital provision, not our digital provision itself. As such, parents enrolling their children at Deira International School can be assured of the highest quality education. 

The use of artificial intelligence is now integrated into our school assessments, particularly in English, Maths, Science and Arabic. Teacher feedback to students is often via verbal voice notes through Microsoft OneNote. The use of verbal feedback adds significant value to the feedback process. The ability to give more depth the use of voice notes is a game-changer when it comes to facilitating student progress. Our use of Microsoft Teams, in particular the assignments and rubrics, means that students have objective and meaningful feedback based on commonly shared criteria. Part of our digital strategy includes the readiness to adapt to the ever-changing opportunities that are available to us. This means that whilst we have various integrated apps and process is, we are always looking at how to make this even better. 

A key part of our digital strategy is the leadership of our student body. Students at Deira International School have been a fundamental part of developing our vision, creating our strategy and implementing it. Students have learned about the leadership process and how to engineer change. This is being at all levels within the school.

Deira International School is part of the Al Futtaim Education Foundation and is based in Dubai Festival City. The school has been recognised for its transformational work over the past 12 months in developing its digital learning environment by the ‘International School Awards’. Chosen as the winner from schools across the globe, this is testament to the outstanding vision for learning of the group and strategic implementation by the leadership.