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.
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.
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: