Middle School Fun

Please check out some of the exciting “happenings” at UAS Middle School over the past week. Photos from Really Rosie and Halloween can been seen under the Middle School Happenings Photos tab. Enjoy! (On mobile devices – please click on the menu and scroll down to MS Happenings Photos)

MAP Testing in Middle School – November 1 – 12

During the next 2 weeks middle school students will be taking the Measures of Academic Progress Test (MAP). This year we have worked to organize the schedule to create a consistent time period when the tests will be taken.

In order to help your child do the best they can on these tests please help insure your child has the following:
Good night’s sleep
Nutritious breakfast
Healthy snack
Fully charged laptop battery
Positive attitude

A typical testing day will consist of:
7:45 to 9:30 Testing
9:30 – 10:00 Break – stretch and snack time
10:00 – 11:30 Testing
11:30 – 12:25 Lunch
The remainder of the day will be regular schedule.

Each grade level will have 2 testing days over the next two weeks. Below is the schedule of test days we will be following:
Sunday, November 1 – No Testing
Monday, November 2 – Grade 8
Tuesday, November 3 – Grade 7
Wednesday, November 4 – Grade 6
Thursday, November 5 – No Testing
Sunday, November 8 – Grade 6
Monday, November 9 – No Testing
Tuesday, November 10 – Grade 8
Wednesday, November 11 – Grade 7
Thursday, November 12 – No School

Any make up tests will be done during the week of November 15.

Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, October 28 – 6:30 MPH – Really Rosie is …. Really Awesome

Announcing the first-ever Middle School Musical at UAS!!!
Really Rosie is……………….really awesome!!!

Really Rosie runs about an hour, but truly packs a punch! The entire UAS community is invited on Wednesday, October 28th, at 6:30 for the evening performance. Our show is directed by Duncan Nutter, and produced by his wife, Cindy. Come out for the best one-hour shows in Dubai!

Really Rosie is an off-Broadway musical set in 1980 (and an animated television special in 1975), this show is said to be “the perfect vehicle for young actors.” The young, urban Rosie not only stars in the “movie of her life,” but directs and produces it as well. This she accomplishes through her highly imaginative and persuasive ways; even the most disagreeable of her friends are eventually drawn to her project. Alligator, Eclaire, Kathy, Johnny & Chicken Soup all do their auditions, hoping to be given parts in her movie.

Remember Maurice Sendak? He wrote the well-known children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. Apparently Mr. Sendak had a sickly childhood, and spent a good deal of time bedridden. Looking out the window day after day, he soon focused his attentions on a somewhat pushy leader among the neighborhood kids. His recollections of his real life childhood are the basis for Rosie and her friends in the show! Carole King, a very successful singer-songwriter, gained huge popularity in the 1970’s. When Mr. Sendak approached her, she was delighted to create some original numbers for his new show – and the resulting album became one of her best-selling ones, to this day.

Thursday, October 22 – MS Counselor’s Coffee

MS Counselor’s Coffee, Thursday October 22 at 7:45am in the Secondary Library. The topic for this month is New Assessment Practices in the Middle School. Curriculum Coordinator Lisa Gibson will give a presentation about new assessment practices, Criterion Referenced Grading and further definition of formative and summative assessment. A question and answer session will follow her presentation.
We have been reviewing the way that we assess student progress and attainment as a Middle School. In order to ensure that we are providing optimal feedback for students that allows them to be equal partners in the assessment process, we are changing some of our current assessment systems. We will be moving to Criterion Referenced Grading which allows for transparency within the assessing process and empowers students to set goals and track their own learning. Please join us for the counsellors coffee morning to learn about these changes and how you can support your child through this transition. We look forward to seeing you there.

Important Information – Spring Break Ski Camp – Switzerland

If you are interested in attending the Spring Break Ski Camp in Switzerland, make sure to sign up soon!  Deposit and online registration are due by this Thursday, October 22.  Deposit of 3000dhs payable at accounts; online registration through the portal.

If you require additional information, please contact Larisa Sharifi, Elementary PYP Coordinator, at lsharifi@uasdubai.com.

Dates: April 2-9

Location: Saas Grund, Switzerland


Technology Tuesday – October 20

Dear Middle School Parents,

On Tuesday, October 20, we will be hosting our 2nd Technology Tuesday in the Elementary School Computer Lab room 300 from 7:45 – 8:40. This time we can only meet for 55 minutes because of MAP testing and other activities occurring in the school.

As we introduced in our first meeting, it is our hope that we will be able to use this time to teach you some programs and apps your students will be using in their classroom. We want to make these sessions hands-on.

We would like to do the following during our time together:

Subscribe to calendars and blogs, homework and assessment calendars

Create a short video in iMovie
• compressing video
• adding music
• transitions between slides
• importing files
• adding special effects and photos

Please have 5 pictures you can use to create a short project.

Please bring your computer, iPad, or mobile phone that has iMovie already installed. We will have a few iPads available to use, but it is better if you have your own device. If you do not have iMovie on your device, you can get it from the Apple App Store. Depending on your device it is either already installed or free from the apple store.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 17. The middle/high school librarian Rhonda Lesperance will be sharing UAS Destiny and Ebsco host. It will also be an opportunity to share some of your videos from our October meeting.

We look forward to seeing you.

Middle School Assessment – Pat Hould Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

Greetings to you from the UAS Middle School!

As we have now surpassed the half way point of our first quarter, I wanted to share some important information with you regarding classroom assessments and reporting.  As a Middle School Staff, we have been reviewing the way we assess student progress and report skill level attainment.  In order to ensure we are providing meaningful feedback to students that allows them to be equal partners in the assessment process, we are changing some of our assessment systems and processes.  As a result of our conversation and study, we have decided to move to a process called Criterion Referenced Grading, which allows for transparency within the assessing process and empowers students to set goals and track their own learning. Attached to this email is an informational flyer with specific details about this new assessment process.

If after reading the UAS Middle Years Assessment post below this message, you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Ms. Lisa Gibson, the K-12 Curriculum Coordinator, Ms. Beverly Kempley, Middle School Assistant Principal, or yours truly.  We continue to fly the plane, while it is being built.  What an exciting challenge it has been, and will continue to be.  Thank you for your support in the journey!

Take good care and may peace be upon you.

Patrick Hould

UAS Middle School Principal

Middle Years Assessment

Dear Parents,

I am writing you to outline our decisions around the written and assessed curriculum in the middle school programs here at UAS.  We have thoroughly reviewed our academic program to ensure that we are preparing students for the rigors of the Diploma Program, university and the workplace. Within our review we have looked at academic research, consulted educational experts and compared our practices to those of other similar model schools in the region. As a result of this review process, we have actioned change within two different areas.

The first major change is to adjust the program standards and benchmarks to ensure we are developing a learning continuum for students K-12 and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program alignment while adding additional challenge to student learning. The second change focuses on our assessment practices. This change ensures consistency across the school, aligns with IB Diploma program, and ensures that both children and parents have a clear understanding of attainment, progress and the criteria for success at all times.

As a result of both of these changes we are expecting that all children’s feedback will be more accurate.  This might mean that the grades that were reported to you in the past may appear to be inflated.  Other children may see their marks go up.  It is our intention to provide you with the most accurate report on your child’s current level of learning.   The school believes this is a positive step toward ensuring all students are adequately prepared for their next steps in their education and ultimately for the challenges within the IB Diploma Program.  If the work leading up to the program more accurately addresses engaging and challenging curriculum our students will find significant success with the levels of study expected within the IB Diploma program.

This is a conversion of the learning levels into percentages that many North American Universities use as benchmarks.



Level 7


97-100 % A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide variety of situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student consistently demonstrates originality and insight and always produces work of high quality.
Level 6


88-96% A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates originality and insight.


Level 5 80-87%


A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight.


Level 4 70-79% A good general understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them effectively in normal situations. There is occasional evidence of the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.


Level 3 60-69% Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some areas.  The student demonstrates a limited understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able to apply them fully in normal situations with support.
Level 2 50-59% Very limited achievement against all the objectives.  The student has difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills, and is unable to apply them fully in normal situations.
Level 1 >50 % Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives.


I will be presenting information about our new assessment protocols during the counselor coffee morning this month and also during next month’s Director’s forum.  I urge you to attend either of these sessions or contact me directly if you wish to discuss this further.

Yours sincerely,

Lisa Gibson

K-12 Curriculum Coordinator



PTSO International Day Festival/ Thanksgiving Dinner Help Request

The UAS PTSO Organization is asking for parent help to support and organize the International Day Festival/ Thanksgiving Dinner. This event will take place in late November to celebrate our diverse community here at UAS. PTSO needs parents to be country ambassadors. Please help the PTSO make this great tradition at UAS continue to grow and expand.

If you are interested in helping please send an email to ptso@uasdubai.ae with your first and last name, home country and mobile number. We appreciate all the support in making this event special.

Thank you,