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Sunmarke School, Dubai – WSA Q&A

Sunmarke School, Dubai – WSA Q&A

What is the official name of your School?
Sunmarke School, Dubai

What qualities and characteristics would you say define your school?
At Sunmarke School we will lead your child from good to great. We will make the Sunmarke experience enjoyable and educationally rewarding, and something you and your child will be proud of for the rest of your lives. Some of the characteristics and qualities that make Sunmarke School amazing are:

a. MultiSmart LearningTM – Our High Impact Education Programme
We pride ourselves on our teaching philosophy of MultiSmart Learning™, a unique, high impact education programme that unlocks multiple pathways to learning and all-round development. Through an academically rigorous education enriched with robust co-curricular, sport and enrichment activities, students develop key skills which include the ability to apply knowledge, think creatively, express oneself, work with others, and persevere, as well as their values, character and leadership qualities to influence and change the world.

b. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Learning
We are a STEM school capturing where education is at today – where science and math converge with the humanities and the liberal arts nurturing students into tomorrow’s generation of thinkers and innovators. Our teachers are trained in online instruction and ‘blended’ learning using online courses, lab simulations, podcasts, and online STEM clubs to convey complex concepts effectively.

c. Education in Human ValuesTM Programme
Sunmarke has a unique, secular, multi-faith EHVTM programme that builds the foundation of character and values in students so they become upstanding and compassionate citizens with a strong work ethic, self-discipline and the personal enterprise to meet the world’s challenges and achieve fulfilment in life.

d. World-class Facilities – Spaces That Ignite The Imagination.
We have one of the larger and more innovative school campuses in Dubai. Our facilities provide ample opportunities for learning and study; play, sports and recreation; and exploration and discovery.

‘Why your school?’ – why should parents choose the Sunmarke School, Dubai experience for their child?
a. Our Heritage – Over 2 Decades of Educational Expertise
Sunmarke is part of the family of schools of Fortes Education, an education provider involved in the development and management of schools and preschools for over two decades. Fortes’ Regent International School, (rated ‘Good with Outstanding features’ by DSIB), and the Jumeirah International Nurseries, are premium international educational institutes rated amongst the leading ones in the UAE. Sunmarke will continue this tradition of delivering academic excellence as well a culture of care to our children.

b. Our Inspirational Teachers:
We choose our teachers for their inspirational teaching styles. All our teachers (except for language subject specialists) are from the UK. All our teachers are trained in delivering the National Curriculum according to best global educational practices.


c. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Learning
We are a STEM school capturing where education is at today – where science and maths converge with the humanities and the liberal arts nurturing students into tomorrow’s generation of thinkers and innovators. Our teachers are trained in online instruction and ‘blended’ learning using online courses, lab simulations, podcasts, and online STEM clubs to convey complex concepts effectively.

d. Enrichment Programme
We have a rich Enrichment programme that complements our curriculum and develops student personality, character, perseverance and interests, creativity and a variety of skills. The Enrichment programme consists of over 40 co-curricular and extracurricular clubs and activities as well as participation in a range of competitions.

e. Excellent Sports Programme
We provide over 20 sports activities supported in world-class sports facilities by an inspirational line-up of teachers. All students participate in at least one and very often multiple competitive sport activities, developing competency in the sport as well character, and leadership, teamwork and social skills.

f. Creative Learning
Through our Creative Learning programme that includes art and design, creative writing, music, drama, dance and ballet, debate, public speaking, and more, students develop gain a holistic well-rounded education. All students participate in whole school drama productions, learn a musical instrument, and create productions in the TV, Radio, and Multimedia studios.

g. Outstanding Mentorship and Internship Programme
We are an international school which through our curriculum, diversity and partnerships enables our students to acquire a truly global perspective and an enriched education. Our students learn in a diverse cultural environment – a typical Fortes school has more than 80 nationalities. Our partnerships include participation in a variety of educational, cultural and literary festivals; interactions with students in schools in overseas countries; jaunts on overseas school trips; and mentoring from industry professional

h. World-class Facilities – Spaces That Ignite The Imagination.
We have one of the larger and more innovative campuses in Dubai with world-class facilities incorporating the latest thinking in educational design, technology and functionality. Our school infrastructure is an organic part of the education experience and actively promotes the student’s intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual growth. You can take a virtual tour of our school by clicking the link below: http://sunmarkedubai.com/Our-School/3D-Fly-through

Learning Spaces:
• Large, well-resourced, IT-enabled Classrooms with the latest furniture enabling individual and group learning and with laptop and tablet connectivity, interactive whiteboards, and access to the internet and our digital library and Virtual Learning Environment (portal for learning)
• 3 large well-resourced Library Media Centres for each phase of the school
• Dedicated 6th Form Blended Learning Zone to permit group study, online tutorials, learning and podcasts
• Dedicated Activity Rooms for co-curricular activities
• Large and inspiring ‘Discovery Centre’ for EYFS children

Science & Technology:
• 9 world-class Science labs with large resource banks for lab work, scientific inquiry and study, and experiments
• 5 world-class Design Technology Labs – Electronics & Robotics, Food Technology, Resistant Materials, Textiles & Fashion to promote product design and manufacturing skills
• 4 state-of-the-art ICT Labs
• State-of-the-art Wi-Fi enabled campus with 24×7 access to the internet, our Virtual Learning
Environment and digital library (housing thousands of eBooks and educational apps)

Creative and Performing Arts:
• 3 Fine Art Labs to foster creative expression
• Professional Studio for dance and movement
• Dedicated Drama Studio where students learn the craft of acting
• ‘Black Box’ Studio for drama, performances and public speaking
• 600 seat Auditorium with professional lighting, recording and sound for the performing arts
• 4 Music Labs with multiple peripatetic rooms for recitals / music practice
• TV Studio
• Radio Production Studio
• Video & Multimedia Studio

Sports & Extracurricular:
• FIFA-18 sized Football Pitch
• 5-a-side Football Pitch
• Provision for an Athletics Running Track
• Semi Olympic sized Swimming Pool and a Learner’s Pool
• Multiple Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball and Netball Courts
• 2 expansive Multipurpose Halls for gymnastics, sport & game activities
• Numerous outdoor Play Areas

• Permaculture garden
• Two student Cafeterias for Primary Dining & Secondary Dining
• 6th Form Common Room for secondary students to study and hang out

What will the teacher: student ratio be at Sunmarke?
The teacher : student ratio at maximum capacity will be
EYFS 1 : 22
Primary 1 : 26
Secondary 1 : 26

Does Sunmarke School, Dubai have a waiting list, or is there still availability in all year groups?
There are no availability issues at present but patterns at other Fortes schools suggest that this will be the case in the future.

Kindly add details and/or contact person where a prospective parent could find out more information?
You can reach us at 04 391 8886 and email: info.sms@forteseducation.com. You can also check out our contact details online at: http://sunmarkedubai.com/Contact-Us/Get-in-Touch

What percentage of your students do you expect will achieve entry to higher educational institutions and, in general terms, which countries?
All our students aspire to higher education and 100% of those who apply get their choice of university in world recommended institutions either locally, in the USA or the UK for example. As the school continues to grow, Ivy League, Oxbridge & Russell Group universities will continue to be their goals.
To learn more about our Careers Education, please go here.

How do you expect Sunmarke to promote healthy lifestyles?
We celebrate in line with nationally recognized promotion campaigns like Healthy Living Week (07 – 11 February 2016) but combined through our teaching, PE lessons, games and team activities and our co-curricular provision, which is all integrated into the school only day in the secondary school.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?
We provide over 20 sports activities supported by world-class sports facilities and an inspirational line-up of coaches. All students participate in at least one and very often multiple competitive sport activities, developing competency in the sport as well character, and leadership, teamwork and social skills.

We have set up a world-class gym in our school premises, supported by a full time fitness instructor to encourage our students to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, and have a fitness regime built into their daily routine. Students get advice on nutrition, workout schedules, etc., and they grow up as healthy, confident individuals for whom fitness is an integral part of their lifestyles.

For more information, please go here.

How do you promote healthy eating?
At Sunmarke, we are sensitive to the fact that nutritious school food helps students develop lifelong healthy eating habits and contributes to a culture of wellness at school.

We take a systemic approach to promoting healthy eating, starting with ensuring strong nutrition and food standards at our School Cafeterias, ensuring high hygienic conditions, presentation of food, and the overall dining experience at the cafeteria.

We further encourage our students to persist with the same healthy eating habits they learn at school when they are outside the school premises or at home. We also have regular programmes at our school such as “Healthy Living Week”, and “Water & Fruit Initiative” where pupils are encouraged to have water and fruit which is high in calorific value, instead of packaged food.

Will Sunmarke have cafeteria facilities for its students?
Yes, we have spacious and well-designed cafeterias separately for the Primary and Secondary stages, and they will provide all pupils and staff a healthy provision of hot and cold options. Our cafeterias ensure that the food served is high on nutrition, well presented, and prepared under the best hygienic conditions. In both cafeterias – in line with a healthy lifestyle approach – we will serve both hot and cold foods.

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?
07.30am – 12.30 – FS1 and FS2
07.30am – 14:40 – PRIMARY
07:30am – 15:40 – SECONDARY
Secondary : Buses for all depart at 16:00

Is there a school uniform?
Yes, we have a school uniform, details will be announced shortly. It will be available for purchase at the School Shop.

What is your policy on mobile devices such as mobile (cell) phones in school?
Sunmarke benefits from Fortes’ two decades of technology knowhow and is a completely technology enabled school which fosters greater innovation, creativity and impact in our teaching and learning. To learn more go here. http://sunmarkedubai.com/Learning/STEM-Learning/Technology-Enabled-Learning

How will Sunmarke school differentiate learning?
Differentiation occurs through our MultiSmart approach which aims to further develop those Smarts that are identified as strengths as well as building upon those Smarts that need further improvement.
In the classroom, differentiation occurs in a number of ways which will include through activities, outcome and task. It is also evident in the development of individual achievement plans and our 1:1 and group support.

Our Achievement Centre is also inclusive for all groups and include G&T, EAL and SEN

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?
This is an area that we continue to evaluate as we use modern technique such as flipped classroom or enhance their learning experience through preparation for future learning experience in the class as well as technology enabled research.

How will you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?
Feedback for students and parents is formally shared on a half-termly basis. This is in the form of attainment report which also reviews effort and behavior. There is a full written report annually and there are target based reports are set for students at least once a term.

Feedback to students is constant which comes in the form of summative and formative assessment as well as diagnostic coaching based marking and feedback.

How often will there be more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?
We have Parent Teacher Days to discuss attainment, effort and progress during Term 1 and at the start of Terms 2 and 3. There are other evenings specifically for other year groups specifically designed to assist with further reviews of those in their examination year and to assist subject choices as they move through the school.

Will Arabic be taught as both a first language and second language in your school?
We follow the Ministry of Education and KHDA guidelines in this regard.

Which other languages are taught?
French & Spanish are taught in curriculum time. In Primary department French is taught alongside Arabic. In Secondary department, French and Spanish are both taught in pupils alongside Arabic. Depending on co-curricular time it is our intention to make Mandarin and Russian available.

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?
EAL support will be an area which we will develop further and it will become part of our achievement center

Will Islamic Education/Studies for Arab Muslim students delivered in Arabic for them?
Yes, under Ministry of Education guidelines

Will you have a dedicated prayer room/s for the Muslim students?

Which external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?
AQA : Cambridge IGCSE : Edexcel

What is you medium of instruction?
The main medium of instruction is completed by our teachers who are facilitators within the classroom. We also use technology, peer & self-assessment and an approach called flipped classroom. This is all underpinned by our Assessment for Learning policy

These are the key pedagogical structures used to deliver our “MultiSmart” education programme.

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?
We provide an all-inclusive MultiSmart educational environment through our Achievement Centre which caters variety of learning needs.

The school’s aim is to develop their “Smarts” through our achievement center and within all lessons which students will attend on a daily basis.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?
Yes we do and a whole school lead who draws these key areas together.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?
Yes. Again this is through our achievement center and all years a department renowned individuals who were not necessarily identified through our entrance test.

Does your school have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers syndrome and so forth?
Yes, this is through our UK trained colleagues in our Achievement Centre

Will Sunmarke have an educational psychologist or access to one to assess and support youngsters with more challenging learning and emotional needs?
We have direct links with Sensation Station where educational psychologist and support is available.

Does your school offer activities to students from other schools after school hours?
In Primary, ECAs (extra-curricular activities a co-curricular activities take place at the end of the day and include technology, dance, language and arts based choices are available as sports and fitness related aspects including yoga.

In Secondary, a similar set of opportunities are available but there are scheduled as part of the school day so all participates in our effort to create a holistic approach for every student who embarks on a Fortes learning journey.

Can you provide details and/or direct us to the latest programmes on your Web site?
ECAs – http://www.risdubai.com/Curriculum/Extra-Curricular-Activities

Will you have a parents’ group supporting the school?
Yes, although it is yet to be formally named

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?

Yes, they will be provided the opportunity to support and participate in activities and events like table top sales, international day, and a lot of supported school activities as has been found at RIS

Kindly add details of such parent group activities you deem will be of interest.
Sunmarke aims to provide a platform for parents to actively participate in their child’s education. Each welcome to contribute in his/her own capacity. Parents can volunteer to host activities, organise events, and contribute during fund raises or in any way as they see fit to support the school community.

More importantly, it is about having fun and connecting with your child and their peers. Parents get to meet other parents and be an active participant in shaping their child’s development.

Some of the activities are:
• Fundraisers
• Charity support
• Social and fun events
• Coffee mornings and brunches
• Parent socials
• Parents workshops

Will there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?
Yes, but a formal name is yet to be confirmed.

Will you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?
Yes, this is done through regular Open Days where the parents get the opportunity to meet and converse with the teachers and the Senior Leadership Team and get to know more about the school and everything it has to offer.

Apart from this we have regular school tours, parent coffee mornings as well as new parents sessions where the new parents can get together and get their queries answered.

Where can prospective parents go to get more information?
In the very first instance, you may visit our web site – www.sunmarkedubai.com


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