Headteacher’s Newsletter 31st October 2019

Good Evening VES Parents

Today in school, many students and staff have been sporting pink accessories as part of our Breast Cancer Awareness day. We know it is something that has touched some of the families in our community, and of course it has been publicised widely across the globe this month. Awareness and education plays such a key role in issues such as this and we are happy to play our part. Information was given to our older students in Form Time and for younger students more discretion was shown as I am sure you appreciate. A copy of the information shared is on Breeze if families want to follow up with discussions of their own, or even donate to some of the worthy causes.

Also this week the Grade 5, 6 and 12 teams took part in the Readers Cup event. They were part of over 800 teams from across the Emirates looking to book a place in the Emirates Literary Festival final in Dubai in February. I am so proud to have a school where in the sixth form we have a dedicated prefect for Reading Culture. All of the books the students had to read are now in the library for any other student to enjoy.

In other enrichment activities this week, there is an exciting opportunity for any budding artists from years 10, 11 and 12 to enter the Gulf medical University Art Competition. Again, details have been attached to Breeze and Ms Yoshita is poised, ready to help anyone who would like to try and win their share of the 25,000 AED on offer. The theme is on sustainability and the world of tomorrow. This, again, was a theme of one of our assemblies this week. As you know we are focusing on single use plastic, but in most cases that boils down to plastic bags and water bottles. I note that Spinneys now offer a carrier bag reuse scheme, and here in school we continue to be concerned about the amount of bottled water that is simply wasted. More is to come on this.

On the academic front, the exam timetables will be available on Breeze from today. Students should now have the topics to revise and should be making plans accordingly. Parents Evening next week will also be a great opportunity to check in with staff about progress and get some information about the upcoming exams. The VPA will also be present at the Parents evenings so you can meet some of the team and get to know their work. We always welcome supportive parents to liaise directly with relevant staff to improve the educational outcomes for the youngsters. Please contact the individual teacher directly, after that their head of Department in secondary or Head of Year in Primary. The next person up will be the head of Section – primary, secondary and Arabic and Islamic. After that, of course, if required I am happy to discuss with parents how we can support learning and attainment. A simple email to admin@ves.ae or a phone call to reception will help us get the right message to the right person.

Sunday is Flag Day in school. The school will be suitably decorated as you can imagine, but a reminder that students must be in full uniform. We will have plenty of flags of everyone but if any student has a flag that they would especially like to bring, that is welcomed too. 

On the sports front, in an increasingly impressive return for the Girls in PE the under 12 Netball Team were unbeaten and victorious in the Sharjah sports Council Tournament. Once again, massive congratulations to the girls. This is a just reward for their motivation, effort and teamwork and we are all very proud of their performance.

This weekend will also see the Rugby World Cup final when England with battle it out with South Africa. In a bad omen for me, as an Englishman, I lost my best out of 3 decider in my ongoing lunchtime chess saga with some keen and talented Grade 6 players! I also arrived to school today to find my office bedecked in South African flags and posters! Either way, as I told everyone this morning in assembly, it should be a great occasion. I also tell the students that is important to enjoy the success of their friends as much as they enjoy their own success. This is not always easy, but something you can be sure of at VES come Sunday Morning, regardless of the result.

Have a lovely, restful, weekend.

Keith Sykes