Aspirations Week!

Learning at UAS is coming A.L.I.V.E!


Aspirations week is in the books and it’s been wonderful!  I like events that start with a sizzle instead of a bang, and that’s what Aspirations week did.  We quietly gained ground on achieving each of our three goals last week (Literacy, School Culture, Student Voice).

On Tuesday we had our first of three whole school spirit events this year.  Our student athletes have been asking for years if they could perform in front of the whole school.  On Tuesday we made that happen. During Period 5, we brought the school down to support their team and the boys didn’t disappoint, winning a hard-fought match against a talented GWA squad.  There was a lot of positive energy in the room and the game was a tremendous success.  By giving our students opportunities to show pride in their school they will, in turn, be more motivated to work hard to achieve their goals.

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Throughout the Homeroom programme, we have been asking students to set goals for the year.  Ms. Gibson and our amazing counselling team have been busy collating the aspirations of our community to find out what our students want from the year.  Dr. Qualia refers to aspirations as the outcome of big ideas and hard work.

Learning about our students’ aspirations will empower us to empower them to achieve their personal best. Every student has ideas and those ideas have value.  By knowing what those ideas are, we can make an impact on our students achieving them!

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On Wednesday night, we had our annual Back to School Night.  The purpose of Back to School night is to develop relationships between teachers and parents; to inform the community about our curriculum; and to give parents choice on how they wish to receive this information.  The feedback has been enormously positive and parents have a clearer understanding of where the school is headed.  As an educator, it is always nice to speak about my passions – the potential of young people and the nuances of my subject area. I very much enjoyed the opportunity to do both last Wednesday.  If you have any feedback on how to improve the evening, please leave a comment on this post.


If you were unable to attend, there is critical information that every parent must know in the attached booklets.  Often times parents are surprised that their children did not meet the prerequisites for certain classes in Grade 11.  Please take the time to read the following documentation to ensure that your child is on track to take the courses you expect them to qualify for next year.



Marcus Smith

On Thursday, we had the first of six whole-school assemblies where a guest speaker, Marcus Smith owner of Inner Fight Gym, Professional Athlete, Endurance Racer and Motivational Speaker came to our school with an important message about perseverance.  You can see the trailer for his talk here:

Carrying on the Student Voice and School Culture initiatives, this Wednesday our Student Government is hosting a Movie Night in the MPH.  The event is free, but they are asking for a 5 dirham donation to support other such events.  Parents, students and teachers are all welcome.  We look forward to supporting future events of this nature.


Lastly, On Thursday there will be a whole-school Professional Development day.  Teachers will be in house carrying on the great work they do every day.  We will be writing curriculum, reviewing our timelines and learning more about how to use our MAP data to improve teaching and learning at UAS.  We wish students and parents a wonderful day off on September 29th.


Grade 9/10 Parent Information Meetings (Day 1)
6:00-6:25pm   US Space Camp
6:25-6:50pm   Germany
6:50-7:25pm   Morocco
7:25-7:45pm   RAK Camp
7:45-8:15pm   Switzerland (changed from Tuesday)

Tuesday, September 27
Grade 9/10 Parent Information Meetings (Day 2)
6:00-6:30pm   Laos
6:30-6:45pm   Job Shadow
6:45-7:00pm   Al Boom Scuba Diving
7:00-7:15pm   School of Culinary & Finishing Arts
7:15-7:30pm   Al Badia Golf Camp

Wednesday, September 28
Grade 8 Parent Information Meeting & Grade 9/10 (Day 3)
6:00-7:00pm   Grade 8 (Kenya)*
7:00-7:30pm   London (Grade 9/10)
7:30-8:00pm   Spain (Grade 9/10)

Thursday, September 29
Registration begins

Thursday, October 13

Sunday, October 16   
Confirmation of trip assignment

Thursday, December 15        
Final payment due

February 12-15, 2017
Week Without Walls

*a UAE camp option will also be discussed

Questions? Email me at


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