Victory Heights Primary School
Victory Heights Primary School
Victory Heights Primary School

The Voice: Governor’s Supplement

Governors' Supplement

VHPS University

This term Victory Heights launched a fantastic new initiative for all teaching staff to have the opportunity to manage their own professional development. Teaching staff not only get to attend training sessions,, they also have the opportunity to present them to their colleagues.. The buzz around school has been truly amazing and the senior leadership team have already started to see the huge impact that it has had on teaching & learning across the school..

An Internal CPD schedule goes live every week for te aching staff to sign up.. Sessions range from Arabic for beginners, phonics training, action research groups, book clubs plus so much more for the staff to give true ownership of their individual CPD learning journey..

Dinesh Kothari – Chairman

Foundation Stage

This term the foundation department did a trial  new initiative ‘SeeSaw’’.. This is an online Journey to evidence children’s achievements.

Teachers can take photos, videos,, drawings and links and upload directly onto a child’s profile making it easier to review progress.. The foundation team loved it so much that they immediately shared it with parents which enabled families to be included in their child’s learning process.. The positive feedback from parents regarding Seesaw has been truly amazing..

In May, the Foundation team made links with Dubai British School and Nord Anglia School.. They looked through children’s workbooks and journals and moderated pieces of writing.. The team also shared ideas for good practice within the foundation stage focusing on outdoor provisions and child initiated learning. Julie and Snehal took some of the amazing ideas to the senior leadership team who agreed to implement a more child-led approach to teaching in the early years for the next academic year..

Julie Karle, Teacher Representative to the Board 

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

1. What is STEM?

STEM is a stimulating and rigorous interdisciplinary approach to Science, Technology,, Engineering,, and Mathematics.. It involves consolidating learning in these subjects through real – life application and practical projects,, thus building children’s skills in innovation,, problem – solving,, and communication.. In a 21 st Century world in which traditional routes of employment are being rapidly replaced by jobs in technology and automation, it is deemed a vital subject for the modern day student.. Research from the US Bureau of Statistics has shown that the average salary for those in STEM – related fields is 70%% higher than the national average,, and that children exposed to these disciplines from an early age are far more likely to pursue a career in these areas in the future..

2. Why does STEM provision carry an additional fee?

You can rest assured that each and every penny that is being paid by parents will be purely allocated towards STEM resources and facilities.. For example, our current Science Lab will be transformed into flexible learning environment that supports creative thinking and collaborative tasks:: Standing tables will be erected to nurture different l earning styles, whiteboard covered walls and tables will be utilized for recording ideas and brainstorming sessions,, and break out areas will be constructed to allow for experiments and video recording opportunities.. A range of state – of – the – art resources w ill also be purchased to support the STEM curriculum.. For example,, Year 2 will be learning to program robots, and to design and make the tools that may be required by a mars rover.. To enable them to do this,, they will have access to robotics equipment,, in addition to a 3D printer to allow them to create bespoke apparatus for programming..

Once the room is equipped and ready-to-go, we will be inviting parents in to come in and look around the STEM resources,, to see where the money has gone!! You will also receive regular reports and updates about your child’s learning in STEM..

3. When is the payment due, and is it compulsory?

Payment for children partaking in our STEM programme is not due until the second term of next academic year (Spring 2018)).. To clarify,, n o payment for STEM is needed in advance of the academic year.. Firstly,, all children will partake in a trial period in the Autumn Term,, which is free of charge.. This gives each child (and family)) an opportunity to see how learning is enhanced through STEM.. At the end of this term,, your child will be given an opportunity to continue their STEM studies. If you choose to opt out of this, then the fee is not payable..

4. Where does my child go if we do not opt into STEM?

As each hour – long,, weekly session of STEM is drawn from Science (220 minutes), Computing (220 minutes), and Maths (220 minutes), children who do not partake in STEM lessons will instead have a weekly enrichment session in Science,, Computing,, and Maths.. This will be on a rolling 3 week cycle (eg: Science week 1, Computing week 2, etc.) with a teacher from their year team..

5. Why were we invoiced for STEM before being given information about it? 

As the payments for our STEM provision do not commence until the Spring Term in 2018,, we had hoped to acquire the necessary resources, establish the programme through the free trial period,, and then give you a really clear outline of what learning in STEM looks like in the Autumn Term (supplemented with pictures of the children in STEM lessons). However, KHDA rules have determined that we should declare any future costs in advance of the academic year.. Regrettably,, this has meant that you have received the invoice before receiving comprehensive information about the provision..

Through offering a STEM programme we are,, as always, endeavouring to provide the best opportunities and experiences for the children in our care.. We hope that this information helps to clarify this,, and suitably answers your queries.

Sasha Crabb – Principal and Amit Kothari – Director 

Visible Learning 

Marion Sinclair participated in a school review over two days with two other experienced reviewers and inspectors during the last term of the school year.. The objective for the school is to make learning ‘visible’. The team was tasked with providing feedback on children demonstrating an understanding of what their learning goals are;; understanding how they will ‘get there’; self- regulating their progress, considering what they have achieved and what their next steps are; using success criterion or model examples to understand what success looks like and to what extent they are engaged in their learning demonstrating motivation and resilience.

Sasha and her leadership team met with the review team to discuss the purpose for these observations and how the school had begun their journey into making learning more visible.. A Visible Learning (VVL) research group comprising nine members of staff has been exploring VL research and SOLO taxonomy.

Following the review a report was shared with key findings against the above criteria along with two focus questions “How visible is learning in our school” and “What does success look like?” VHPS has already developed an action plan following the report.. In September there will be further training in VL and another follow up review in November. If you would like more information on what VL entails and how it supports children’s learning please attend the parent’s consultation evening discussion on VL, which will take place at the beginning of the next academic year.

Marion Sinclair – Independent Academic Advisor to the Board 

School Trip 

Board members ‘get involved’. Marion arranged a ski trip for primary students and spent a wonderful week in Crans Montana,, Switzerland with some students attending from VHPS.. All agreed it was an awesome trip and,, as well as improving skiing skills, the children learnt much about themselves when experiencing new and challenging situations.

Marion Sinclair – Independent Academic Advisor to the Board 

Playground Facilities 

Over the summer,, we look forward to significantly upgrading and expanding our Primary playground facilities,, in order to accommodate our increased student population.. We intend to re – position the main play unit to create more open space for active play,, as well as lessons,, and cover the entire area around the play unit with higher – grade safety surfacing.. In addition,, we will be installing 4m high chain – link fencing to put in place a more effective barrier between the Playground and the Bus Park. With these improvements,, we look forward to a fun – filled new academic year!

Vineeta Nayyar – Managing Director 

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