Star International School - (Private)
Star international School, Mirdif, is one of the four operational campuses belonging to Star Education, a subsidiary of ETA STAR ASCON. We offer the National Curriculum of England from Foundation 1 to Year 4 (as of Sep 2008) and will add Years 5 and 6 by September 2009; the secondary curriculum will be phased in over the next two years.
We are a community driven school, only accepting families from Mirdif and the immediately adjacent suburbs, and offer extensive grounds, uniquely designed facilities and a very convenient location. Our committed team of qualified teachers and support staff drives our vision of providing a space of learning for ALL members of the community.
Star International School Mirdif is fully licensed by both the KHDA of Dubai and the UAE Federal Ministry of Education. Although too young to be accredited, the school's business and operations plan has been successfully reviewed and approved by representatives of CIS and NEASC. Our operating company, Star Education, is a full member of BSME; Mirdif plans to apply for membership well within its first year. In compliance with the KHDA's directive for all schools in the future, we will seek accreditation from one of the recognised international agencies by our third year of operation, thereby being able to offer families the best of international education. Our initial DSIB inspection on the 17th March 2009 delivered a result of ‘GOOD’.
Star Education has developed an outlook towards primary and secondary education that is rooted in the positive, humanitarian values of the organisation’s leaders. Supported by extensive experience in managing tertiary institutions and backed by the highly regarded ETA Star and Al Ghurair conglomerates, the senior management holds the view that schools in the UAE should be small and medium sized community based hubs that project and sustain the following simple family values:
Strength through Unity
Confidence through Support
Stability through Integrity
Commitment through Perseverance
Each branch will become a renowned ‘Family School’ in its area and this will be achieved as a direct result of the integrated approach to the catchment system, whereby the schools will always be built in the midst of residential suburbs and will promote the support and cooperation of nearby families. SIS Mirdif, along with its other branches, will provide the highest quality of teaching, using a rich variety of resources and technology, underpinned by the National Curriculum of England and Wales. We actively encourage internationalism, while believing deeply in the values of the ambient community and country; we believe that children should develop a solid appreciation and understanding of all cultures and traditions, yet still value highly the family school atmosphere in which they will feel known, secure and recognised as individuals. Our commitment is to provide a community of learners, young and old, where parents, teachers and children work as a team to enable all to develop their skills to the best of their abilities. In line with the corporate values of all Star International Schools, SIS Mirdif intends to provide a community oriented school in the area that offers a vital service to the residents. It will be an excellent centre of sustainable learning for children where they will be encouraged to lead fulfilled lives by accepting challenges in all spheres in a safe and civilised environment. The school management wishes to build this institution on a model of successful economic growth that will engender similar values in the learning process partners and add to the growth of the suburb and the city. With the support of ETA Star, we believe that the resources – physical, academic and human – will be of the best standard available and will contribute to a unique and highly regarded school.
Since the explosive growth of the central part of Dubai, outlying suburbs that used to be somewhat bucolic have been elevated to fashionable status overnight. Mirdif is probably the most prominent of these. While it is still a relatively quiet and insulated neighbourhood, the available services ‘menu’ has expanded and promises to be equal to that of any quarter fairly soon. It is literally five minutes from the Dubai International Airport, Festival City and, most importantly, the unspoilt dunes of Khawaneej! Mirdif is equally divided into two sections on either side of the Uptown development and Star International School is nestled into a secluded cul-de-sac within the western half. We are surrounded by residential compounds on three flanks and screened from the nearest main road by a small supermarket bloc at our vanguard. Two minutes’ walk from our campus is the newly built Mirdif Park, which will allow us to take the children on regular outings without transport!
The National Curriculum of England and Wales (NCE) is renowned for concerning itself with the development of the whole person. Learning is certainly important, but not enough in itself. Young people need to develop their potential to explore and discover the world around them, to think for themselves and form opinions, to relate appropriately to others, to develop confidence through physical education and to gain experience in taking responsibility. This will form the core of what is delivered in SIS Mirdif and how it is delivered and developed. We understand the basis of NCE to be a minimum requirement for excellent education and strive to expand its principles in our schools.
It is important for parents and children to note that, while our school offers the National Curriculum of England and Wales (NCE), our vision allows us to develop the school according to the needs of the community. The NCE provides an excellent framework for academic and social development but does not dictate all aspects of school life. At Star International School Mirdif, we believe we have an excellent opportunity to grow the school organically to suit the surrounding community. Most current curricula place a very weighted emphasis on academic development and leave little room for balance. We believe that other fields of growth are equally important and not only supplement academics but, indeed, encourage and accelerate learning in the traditional classroom. Our timetable allows for at least one period every day when students are engaged in structured physical learning, thereby enhancing their focus and keeping them healthy. Especially at the foundation and early primary stages, there is a general neglect of ‘play time’ in many schools in the region. We believe that, in order for students to grow into versatile adults, these periods of play interspersed with formal lessons are extremely important for nurturing imagination and providing students with a rich learning environment.
Structured playing hours encourage the learning of new vocabulary, enrich social bonding and promote the learning of roles. Schools often find it difficult to explain to parents not previously exposed to the NCE why it is important for their children to participate in the annual concert or sports day and why the many hours of rehearsing and practising are part of the school day. A vital part of learning and discovering is what the classroom ‘feels’ like to both the student and teacher. Our learning areas are extensive and open, most taking the form of grouped activity centres. There are times of the day and week when students would sit in the traditional ‘class’ format but most hours are passed in working with a few other students and moving from one activity to another in ways designed to augment discovery. Acknowledging the freedom to investigate and experiment does not necessarily imply the relaxation of morals and ethics. At Mirdif, we will create a fertile learning environment, enhanced by physical and creative development, whilst still providing a framework which encourages structure and a sense of social responsibility. We would discourage tendencies that ignore the sensitivities of the region and that promote antisocial behaviour. Rather, our school would pride itself on the parallel development of academics and personal character. Although most parents know how important creative expansion is to the learning process, it is worth noting that our classes will contain elements of music, dancing, singing and dramatics. Teachers sometimes decide that a numeracy lesson is more easily taught using singing as an aid; or, sentence structure may be played out like a drama. In this region, with so many nationalities and perceptions of education, we hope to capitalise on the various cultural treasures to enhance learning.
Extra Curriculum: We are accutely aware of the value of activities outside the specified curriculum in enhancing and reinforcing what has been learnt by students in the classroom. In our determination to form a nurturing environment for the development of children who can approach the world at large, we will offer an array of extra-curricular activities (both during the school day and after) that we believe will allow the students to realise the theoretical lessons as well as expose them to as many scenarios and elements of learning as possible. One of the key aspects of school life is sport and we believe that, with the indoor hall, swimming pool and outside track area, we can offer students a reasonable exposure to competitive sport arenas. The auditorium, on the other hand, will become a primary focus of cultural activites in the area and will provide another avenue for extra-curricular development. While we have made certain alliances with outside agencies for offering activities, we also believe that, as the school develops its own character, so will it enhance its links to the community at large and increase the array of offerings to the students.
SUBJECTS AND AREAS FOR 2009/10
05. Social Studies
10. Modern Foreign Language (only offered in KS2)
11. Physical Education
12. Arabic (for 1st language & 2nd language speakers)
13. Islamic Studies (for Muslim students)
Foundation/Kindergarten Development Areas
01. Personal, Social and Emotional
02. Communication, Language and Literacy
03. Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numbers
05. Knowledge and Understanding of the World