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Next Generation School – WSA Q&A

What is the official name of your School?
Next Generation School

What qualities and characteristics would you say define your school?

OUR COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
Next Generation School is committed to providing an enriching, educational experience that cultivates, nurtures, and combines academic excellence with Islamic values, that delivers an outstanding Arabic language program, and that fosters civic responsibility to develop successful and contributing members of a global society.
Next Generation School (NGS) provides the ultimate 21st century educational experience – one that is innovative, creative and bold. Students are inspired to achieve excellence as they engage in exciting academic, sporting, and fine arts programs that are rigorous but never rigid. Exceptional educators live and breathe the NGS philosophy and motivate students to excel as they develop confidence, independence, curiosity, respect and a genuine concern for others, high expectations, and a sense of compassion.

THE NGS ADVANTAGE

21st Century Skills
Students are prepared for a future filed with unknowns. Digital citizenship and communication, creativity and analytical thinking, and the ability to thrive in a constantly changing world will be essential for future success.

Faith Based School
Memorization and comprehension of the Holy Qur’an – Quality Islamic Studies curriculum – Comprehensive Arabic program based on the UAE Ministry of Education Arabic and Islamic Studies curriculum.

Inclusive Culture
Enriched experiences, viewpoints and talents engage our school community. Inclusion is about action, not just words – students feel a sense of belonging, feel they can realize their potential, and contribute to school life in a meaningful way.

Academic Excellence
Students are empowered to do their best in whatever they do, to reach for the highest level of individual achievement, and to cultivate a personal sense of responsibility as their skills and talents develop. Intrinsic value is instilled in the students as they discover the delight in acquiring knowledge through innovative learning opportunities as they become confident that goals and dreams are achievable.

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At NGS, we genuinely believe that every child has the potential to succeed, and that our encouraging, balanced and caring approach can realize this. Our one of a kind school, with exceptional staff and superb facilities provides the foundation for outstanding achievement. Every student is valued as an individual and our ‘holistic approach’ provides multiple opportunities where our students can learn, have fun, and flourish.

We are committed to enriching an educational atmosphere that cultivates, nurtures, and combines academic excellence with Islamic values, delivers an outstanding Arabic language program, and fosters civic responsibility to develop successful and contributing members of a global society.

Excellence in academics, excellence in character, and excellence in faith.

How many nationalities do you expect in your school?
NGS is an inclusive school that encourages diversity in its student population and, seeks to serve the needs of local Emirati students as well as expats in Dubai’s multicultural society.

We hope to attract locals and expats to Next Generation School’s world class facility and exceptional educational program.

What will be the teacher: student ratio in your school?
Our targeted student ratio in the school is 1 to 14.

Can you also supply a link and/or contact person where a prospective parent could find out more information?
For more information, prospective parents may contact Ms. Sahar our Senior Registrar at registrar@nextgenerationschool.ae or at 600 569 008. The Registrar’s office is open between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday.

How does the school promote healthy lifestyles?
A critical component of our curriculum will be the Life Skills Program that will be integrated with incorporation of life-skills programs to ensure healthy social, cognitive, and emotional development of our students from a young age.

At Next Generation School, we will take great pride in nurturing a generation of responsible citizens and life-long learners who will benefit their country with their knowledge. Whether it’s English, mathematics, social studies or science, our teaching staff will extend learning beyond the text book into real life experiences by incorporating life skills into the curricula to cultivate a healthy lifestyle mentality. Through learning life skills such as critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving, conflict resolution, decision making, negotiation, honesty, integrity, self-discipline, time-management, interpersonal skills, and communication, students will obtain a sense of responsibility that extends beyond the classroom, and we hope they will become positive role-models in Dubai’s multi-cultural society.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?
The physical, cognitive, intellectual, emotional, and social benefits of an active lifestyle are an integral part of the NGS curriculum.

The Physical Education (PE) program at NGS uses a wide range of activities; athletics, self-defence, games, gymnastics, swimming, outdoor sports and team sports, to help students develop their motor skills and spatial awareness. Taught by qualified teachers in indoor facilities, covered volleyball/basketball courts, two semi-olympic heated swimming pools and a soccer field, students are encouraged to achieve physical competence and develop a sense of fair play.

PE classes also offer opportunities for exposure to new sports. Students can train and build skills in the sport in which they have the most interest through the after school and sports coaching clubs at NGS.

How do you promote healthy eating?
The school will provide access to a variety of delicious meals that cater to the health and nutritional needs of all students.
The school will form a nutrition committee that includes teachers, the school physician, parents, students, nutritionists, and school administration whose primary objective will be to promote healthy eating habits at school.

School meals will include fruits and vegetables, dairy products, starch (carbohydrates), meat, and substitutes. Informational posters on making healthy choices will surround the cafeteria and junk food will be discouraged. Students who bring their lunch from home will be encouraged to have healthy meals. Foods that will not be allowed on school premises include high caloric foods, foods with artificial flavors, foods with high fructose corn syrup, and foods with poor nutritional value. In addition, teachers will discuss the importance of proper nutrition during Life Skills, Science, and P.E. classes.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students?
Yes, the school has cafeteria facilities, serving both hot and cold food. The exact price for lunchtime meals is still to be determined, but it will be standard for schools.

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?
The school hours at Next Generation School are:
7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for KG1 students
7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. for KG2 -5th grade students

Is there a school uniform?
Yes, NGS will have a school uniform. Parents will receive information about where and how to purchase once arrangements have been finalized.

Please advise on your discipline policy and/or provide a link to your website.
The Next Generation School disciplinary procedures will be progressive and positive. Our whole school approach to dealing with negative student behaviour will use a continuum of intervention, support, and disciplinary consequences to re-enforce positive student behaviour and good decision making. When students make mistakes and bad decisions, they will be given every opportunity to make it a learning experience.

At Next Generation School, all students will be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect by all parties in the school community. We will strive to create a safe and positive learning environment that is free of physical, verbal, emotional, and social abuse.

The primary concern of the behaviour policy will be the safety and well-being of the students. The goal will never be ‘punishment’ rather it will be to train the students to consistently use socially acceptable manners with teachers, staff, and peers in the educational environment. While there may be situations where disciplinary consequences have to be implemented, the aim of the discipline will always be positive. To apply this, the school will take a pre-emptive approach by encouraging positive behaviour before disciplinary action.

The Role of Students
An integral part of the behaviour policies of Next Generation School will be to ensure that students receive assistance, motivation, praise, rewards, and recognition regarding their positive behaviour. The behaviour expectations will be clearly explained to all students at the beginning of the school year and they will be re-enforced.

• Students will understand what is expected of them and they will know that there are incentives and support connected to positive behaviour.
• Students will also know that there will be less desirable consequences if they decide to behave inappropriately.
Students will:
• respect authority at all times
• respect other people’s property, school property, and school equipment
• show respect for physical, racial, ethnic differences in the school community
• show respect for school attendance and punctuality
• show respect for other people’s physical well-being by not using physical or verbal abuse
• show respect for safety equipment and fire alarms
• show respect for school policies connected to smoking, drugs, and inhalants

Role of Parents
Next Generation School parents will have a vital role in implementing positive student behaviour. As part of the school community, parents will:
• Work with the school’s staff and administration to solve behavioural issues which involve their child(ren).
• Cooperate with the school administration to recommend the best course of action to re-admit a student in case of a school suspension.

What is your policy on mobile devices such as mobile (cell) phones in school?
This year, NGS will open only until Grade 5. As such, NGS does not see the need for students to use mobile phones in school. If parents wish to provide a mobile phone for use after school, it must be checked in at the office at the beginning of each school day and picked up afterwards. Under no circumstances will students be allowed to use mobile phones on site during the school day.

How does your school differentiate learning?
Differentiated instruction will be an essential component of NGS’s curriculum. Through strategic assessment, thoughtful planning, and targeted, flexible instruction, NGS teachers will ensure that every student at Next Generation School is benefiting.

Thanks to brain research in recent years, three broad related concepts have established the vital need for a differentiated approach to teaching. The application of this research is at the core of Next Generation School’s teaching strategy:

1. The learning environment must be safe and non-threatening in order to encourage learning. Students who experience rejection, failure, pressure, or intimidation may not feel safe in the learning context.
2. Learners must be challenged appropriately. The content that students learn should not be too difficult nor should it be too easy. Rather the content should be comfortable enough so that students can accept new challenges in their learning experience.
3. Learners must be able to develop meaning of new skills and ideas by connecting them to prior knowledge and experience.

Since students differ in their strengths, learning styles, motivations, and readiness, the following elements will be differentiated in the classroom environment to meet these varied characteristics:

• The content of learning (what students are going to learn and when)
• The process of learning (the types of tasks and activities)
• The products of learning (the ways in which students demonstrate learning)
• The effect/environment of learning (the context and environment in which students learn and demonstrate learning).

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?
In order to be successful in their academic, social, and career endeavours in the 21st century, our students will have to attain an effective work ethic, the ability to make good decisions, problem solve, plan , work independently, possess strong communication skills, and explore new educational and career opportunities.
Carefully planned homework assignments will not only reinforce learning that takes place during class, it will also help students to develop the 21st century skills we want to instill in our students.

That said, NGS believes that homework should not be excessive to the point of impacting the quality of family life and children’s ability to enjoy free time after school and explore non-academic interests. The quantity of homework assigned will be carefully monitored in order to enrich the learning experiences of our students without overwhelming them.

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?
Parents will receive a formal report card at the end of each semester in January and June that will be based on course work and assessments.

Moreover, Parents will also receive written bi-weekly reports based on formative assessments that the teacher will conduct in the classroom. Bi-weekly reports will be based on a template provided by the school to the teachers and will include teacher’s brief comments on the child’s achievement in relation to the overall objectives, the next steps for the teacher, as well as the next steps for the parents to assist them in supporting their child’s learning.

Reports will be ongoing throughout the year and may also include other modes of parent-teacher communication such as informal reports, parent-teacher or student-teacher conferences, portfolios of student work, phone-calls, and email. Teachers may also include positive re-enforcement certificates and awards to motivate students and nurture a positive attitude towards learning.

Children perform better in school if their parents are involved in their education. The reports will provide information that will encourage students to set goals for learning, and will help teachers to develop plans for teaching. Moreover, the bi-weekly reports will enable parents to have an open line of communication with teachers, to interpret the assessment of their child’s learning, to support learning at home, and to work with the teacher to improve and facilitate their child’s progress.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?
Parents will receive a formal report card at the end of each trimester that will be based on course work and assessments.

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?
Next Generation School will make every effort to ensure that its ELL (English language learners) students receive the same support as other students, in order to realize their full potential and become life-long learners. Based on the needs of the student, adaptations and modifications will be implemented to engage and improve the outcomes and proficiency of ELL students. Teachers will adapt the curriculum, textbooks, tests, and examinations to address the different levels of language proficiency in the classroom.

Next Generation School will use the Sheltered Immersion Model in which language and content instruction will be integrated. While students attend the same class as native speakers, ELL students will receive support through various teaching strategies, differentiated content and assessment, as well as extra teaching support in the classroom. Some of the teaching strategies that will be implemented to support ELL students are:

• Demonstrating and using visuals and manipulatives
• Incorporate hands-on activities to demonstrate concepts
• Allow sufficient wait time to think and process information
• Simplifying teacher language
• Not forcing oral production
• Responding to student’s answers without correcting errors in front of others
• Use total physical response (TPR) activities

Is Islamic Education/Studies for the Arab Muslim students delivered in Arabic for them?
Yes it is.

Do you have a dedicated prayer room/s for the Muslim students?
There will be four dedicated prayer rooms for students and time for prayer will be factored into the daily schedule.

If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?
MAP: Next Generation School will use the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a series of computer based tests, to identify the current academic achievement and progress of our students. The tests will provide information on each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and will assist teachers in differentiating instruction to meet all our students’ needs. MAP tests will be administered to students in grades 3 – 12.

PARCC: Next Generation School will administer literacy and math assessments that are aligned with Common Core State Standards in the United States. The school will use the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The assessments will cover English language arts (ELA)/literacy and math for grades 3-11.

PISA: The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) will report on reading literacy, mathematical literacy, and scientific literacy every three years for fifteen year old students. PISA will measure skills that are generally recognized at key objectives of the educational process. It will focus on how students use their knowledge to solve real life problems.

PIRLS: The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PILS) will be conducted every five years, and it will be administered by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). PIRLS will take place every five years and it will test students’ reading achievement in Grade 4.

TIMMS: The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) will also be administered by the IEA. TIMMS will be conducted every four years. The goal of TIMMS will be to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and science by providing data about students’ achievement in relation to different types of curricula, instructional practices and school environments. TIMMS will assess achievement at various grade levels, including grades 4 and 8.

SAT1 and ACT: Students in high school will take their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT1) or American College Test (ACT). The purpose of these tests will be to determine our students’ readiness for careers, college, and universities. The SAT will assess critical reading, writing skills, and mathematics while the ACT will assess mathematics, science reasoning, English, reading, and will include an optional writing test.

TOEFL: A pre-requisite for attending universities in North America, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) will be available for our students that want to pursue a post-secondary education in these countries.

IELTS: The Next Generation School will also offer the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to students who would like to pursue a post-secondary education in universities that do not recognize TOEFL.

What is your medium of instruction?
The core curriculum will be taught in the English language by native English speakers. For the Arabic, Qur’an, and Islamic Studies classes, Arabic will be the medium of instruction.

Not all schools are staffed or resourced to offer learning support to those children with either moderate or significant learning needs. To what level can you offer support for those with learning differences?
NGS will work diligently to support SEN students to the best of its ability.

Since early intervention and determining a starting point are integral parts of assisting special needs students, a strong emphasis will be placed on professional assessment and early intervention. In order to ensure accurate assessment, Next Generation School will employ staff with SEN expertise to assess students and develop the skills and understanding of existing staff through professional development. The school will also develop partnerships with local professionals and local agencies that could assist in identifying students with SEN. The assessment of SEN students will be a process that is ongoing and consultative. Through the use of a number of assessment strategies which may include observation, diagnostic tests, (formative and summative) assessments, portfolios, journals, rubrics, and self and peer assessments, the school staff will identify and monitor the progress of students that:

• are gifted or talented
• may have a learning disability
• may have a medical condition that hinders their learning (i.e. allergies, diabetes, asthma)
• may have sensory or physical disabilities (i.e. partial hearing or sight, deafness, or blindness)
• or students with behavioural, social, or emotional disorders (i.e. ADD/ADHD, depression, etc.).
Once a student is identified as having SEN, the SEN team and teacher will develop an IEP for the student that tracks modifications, progress, and learning objectives. Parents will be actively engaged in the development of IEPs and the learning progress related to their child.

All students at Next Generation School will be given fair access to learning, opportunities to progress, and the support to pursue academic excellence in all areas of the curriculum.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?
NGS will have a learning support team to address the needs of any student who is having academic or behavioral challenges. This team will consist of an administrator, SEN specialist, counselor, nurse and the all of the child’s teachers.

The support network for the school’s counseling services will extend beyond the school’s boundaries. The school counselor will collaborate with parents, community agencies and professionals to plan effective strategies to develop the cognitive, emotional, social, and academic needs of the students. Next Generation School plans to implement several types of collaboration to ensure that all barriers to learning are lifted so that students may succeed.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?
The curriculum will be differentiated to not only support but also to challenge all students. Teachers and counseling staff will receive training in Gifted And Talented Education (GATE) to make sure that GATE students are identified and challenged accordingly in their studies.

Does your school have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers syndrome and so forth?
While our school does not specialize in dealing with specific Special Needs, we will do our best to work with parents to provide the support needed for all students.

Kindly provide details on the support for specific learning needs your school provides?
All students at Next Generation School will be given fair access to learning, opportunities to progress, and the support to pursue academic excellence in all areas of the curriculum. To this effect, adaptation and assessment strategies will be designed to cater to the various needs of students. It is important to note that these adaptations will not provide an unfair advantage to some students. Rather, if not used they may unfairly penalize students with learning, sensory, or physical disabilities that may lead to low self-esteem and a negative impact on academic achievement. At all grade levels, class content may be enriched for the student who can excel beyond the learning objectives of the curriculum. Through assessment data and consultation with the SEN staff, teachers will determine the IEP for gifted students. Prior to proceeding with an IEP for gifted or special needs students, the assessment data and findings will be presented to the parent and written consent must be given by the parent to proceed with the plan. Modifications will also be considered for those students whose disabilities or special needs hinder them from accessing the curriculum (i.e. students with limited awareness of their surroundings, students with fragile mental/physical health, and students who are cognitively or medically challenged).

Does your school have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support those youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?
No, NGS will not have an educational psychologist on staff.

Does you school offer activities to students from other schools after school hours?
At this point, the school does not yet offer activities to students from other schools. However, NGS is looking to connect its students with other community members through projects and other extra-curricular activities.

Can you provide details and/or direct us to the latest programmes on your Web site?
The school has not yet opened and as such we have not yet set up afterschool activities on our website. However, NGS does plan to offer a rich variety of after activities to students.

Extra-curricular Sports Activities will include football, basketball, cricket, swimming volleyball, martial arts, table tennis, track and field, gymnastics, weight training, rugby, baseball, and hockey.

Clubs and Societies will include art, chess, computer, debate, creative writing, sewing, drama, environment, nutrition, gardening, entrepreneurship, cooking, reading, math, science, and language clubs.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?
NGS will have a Parent Association and will have a parent rep as part of the school board

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?
Parents can look forward to becoming part of a caring, supportive, and inclusive school community when their child joins NGS. Our parents are highly valued members of our community, and partner with us in the education of their children.

At NGS we firmly believe that parents play a vital role in the education of their children and the school encourages a healthy cooperative parent-school relationship. We are supported by a parent community that is active in school life including extra-curricular activities, classroom support, field trips, community service and community building. At NGS we are a community with family at the core.

The NGS Parents Association (NGSPA), a non-profit voluntary organization, is just one avenue for parents to help bring the NGS community together and enhance student success. The NGSPA will be designed for parents, to create new opportunities to interact and get involved with the policies, philosophy and programs at the school. Parents are invited to take part in many school discussions and decisions, thus instilling and engaging in the ‘engagement’ ethos that makes NGS so unique.

Parents are as much a part of the learning experience at NGS as are the students, teachers and staff.

Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?
Yes, the Board of Governers will include parent representatives.

Do you have a web site where parents can find out more information?
www.ngsdubai.ae

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