City Connection

Term 1 2017- 2018 | Edition 1.0

Principal’s Message

Mr Craig Shipton

Dear Parents

We are hurtling towards the end of a very hectic term. May I, first of all, thank each one of you for the kind words and welcome you have bestowed on me during this, my first term as Principal. I have been struck by the ‘togetherness’ of all those associated with the School. I do not believe the management of The City School Group could have been any more supportive of the School in the lead up to our inspection. Their focus was and always is, on the benefits of our requests to support students’ improvements in their learning. I am also impressed by your contributions, as parents, in guiding your children to fully involve themselves in the life of the School. As Principal, I have been lucky enough to witness many wonderful assemblies with very important messages, sometimes delivered by our very youngest children right through to our very mature Year 11s. All children have been given the opportunity to make several educational visits and I have enjoyed hearing their stories when they returned

Whilst learning is, and always will be, our key priority we have also all enjoyed the many other activities taking place in School, many of which have been designed and conducted by your child. The most emotional day for many staff was the Senior School’s support for all our teachers on Teacher’s Day. The appreciation that our young people showed them for the hard work and dedication was very touching indeed. It was nice to see their leadership skills recognised during the School inspection.

Our Foundation Stage continues to go from strength to strength. Their entrepreneurial and baking skills were wonderfully merged as they conducted a Bake Sale earlier this term. As the weather has cooled they are also benefiting from learning and playing in the superb new outdoor learning area. And finally, but certainly not least, I must praise the efforts of all the adults in our School. Their hard work and dedication to improving the School for the benefit of your children are second to none. For some, who have been at the School for many years, this term has been a watershed. Whilst we may still not officially convey the outcome of the inspection, I am sure many of you are aware that the whole School was judged to have significantly improved over the past twelve months. The inspection outcome is a recognition of everyone’s efforts; students, parents, administrative and domestic staff, teachers, School leaders, and governors. As we prepare for our Winter Break I hope everyone can reflect on this term with great pride and satisfaction. We hope you enjoy reading about our students’ adventures. Thank you to the editorial team and contributors for creating this permanent record of our term’s work.

All the staff of The City School International, Dubai wish you a happy and peaceful holiday. We look forward to receiving your children again in the New Year, full of vigour and enthusiasm to tackle the new challenges put before them. We hope you enjoy your break and treasure the time you are able to spend with your children. I ask you only one favour of you all; wherever you go this holiday, please return safe and sound, ready to make next term as memorable as this one.

From the Vice Principal’s desk

Ms. Maimoona Hassan

A sense of achievement has a magical power. It infuses in an individual the urge to accomplish a lot more. We, as teachers and educationists are privileged to experience it on a daily basis. Imagine, how rewarding it is to see our children making progress. The ones who were struggling to read at the beginning of the session are now reaping the benefits of pleasure reading, the ones who were shy on stage facing the audience are now becoming confident speakers, and the ones who feared mathematical problems have moved up the success ladder and are seen actively involved in their tasks. We see and enjoy our children's creativity, curiosity, innovative ideas and sensitivity to social causes. Indeed we have a lot of reasons to feel proud of our students.

The academic session 2017-18 is particularly special for us. Since its start, we are blessed with numerous opportunities to celebrate our success in different areas. We have been successful in achieving internal and external School targets owing to the dedicated efforts of our teachers, consistent hard work of our students and valuable engagement of our parents. The strong bonding of the TCSI family makes it possible to welcome 2018 with greater ambitions. We are sure that the same passion will lead us to achieve what we aspire to do.


This issue of the City Connection brings to you a kaleidoscopic picture of our students’ achievement and their love for associating themselves with written words. As a teacher, I believe my student reporters and editors have proven their prowess in every word encapsulated in this issue. Big thanks to Ms Jean Soney our newly appointed ICT teacher, who has fueled life into this issue of the e-newsletter; redesigning City Connection with her ICT proficiency. As you scan through this snapshot of our School. I am sure you will come to appreciate our student’s talents..

Being on the editorial front was a ride of utmost delight, with the most wonderful team. Having different pieces of writing helped us unleash the power of our students “ teamwork makes the dream work.”
This magazine is really more a School “happenings” magazine. It has given me the opportunity to discover the reporter in me and experience the nerve-wracking task of magazine compiling. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed editing it.
This magazine symbolises the talent and hard work put in by each writing enthusiast in the Campus. Going through these write-ups made me realise how gifted the students are at writing, continuously nurtured by our English teachers. Having this opportunity helped my own writing gain exposure and value. Behold and read the exceptional pieces of writing by the students of TCSI.
To write is my sanctuary and one that fills me with a warm sensations. This is to be my graduating year from TCSI, and with it, I have experienced bags of happiness that I wish to carry with me no matter where I go. Awarded with the prestige of reporting for this issue of the newsletter, I have been given a chance to leave my own small mark on TCSI’s lustrous legacy of words, for which I am truly grateful.

The Cutting Edge:


“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading or surrender yourself to self- chosen ignorance.”


Reading has a majestic magic spell. As parents and teachers, it is an essential duty to cultivate this habit in the younger generation. How? The answer is “Reading with your child.”

It just takes away few minutes of a day. Short but precious time taken out of the entire day is all that it takes to build key reading skills. Research says that the early ages of a human being decide the personality of an individual and those early years becomes thereby very crucial to be taken care by instilling this magical habit of reading. Here are few tips to practice it:

As parents, if we can create a healthy reading ritual together, every day, it will not only bring about unity and togetherness in the family but also the child understands the importance of reading. Pictures have a very magnificent influence on young minds. While reading aloud from the book, if the parents speak about the pictures and ask the child questions about the picture, this will catalyse their comprehension. Children also learn by the vocal and visual expressions of the reader, which helps them to understand the meaning of the word and the gist of the content. At the same time, it is important to read different kinds of books for them to extend their ideas thoughts and to increase their grasp of morals hidden in the stories. I can still recollect the influence of the story of Cinderella had on me when my mom read the story to me when I was very young. Her expressions made me clear how wicked the stepmother and sisters were and how beautiful Cinderella was in her appearance, to mankind and other living things. My mom read this for me over and over again. I also used to hear the stories which she recorded and played for me. This act of my mom was sowing a healthy seed in my life that helped me to have a better bonding with the written word.

With that, I would like to comment that “Yes, Good Readers are made on the lap of the parents.”

The more one individual reads, the more his understanding and comprehending skills improve. The better the reader, the easier it becomes for him to complete an assigned work. The habit of reading goes hand in hand with the attainment of knowledge. Reading plays a vital role enriching a person’s vocabulary more than just listening can provide. Reading leads to many questions answers making us all the more inquisitive to learn new things. The vocabulary enrichment helps in self –confidence building too. We never know how and when that new bit of information can come in handy. More knowledge enables us to tackle new challenges, insightfully.

Analytical skills help critiquing the plot and thinking further about the story and its characters. I would like to conclude: rather persuade you, to read, read and read.


  1. TCSI shines in TIMSS, PISA and CIE
    A report by Shizah Kashif | Year 11

    Education is the world's most important asset and it is also at the forefront of one of the world's biggest races where countries compete to dominate each other in the quality of education they provide.

    TIMSS and PISA are one of the many IBTs taken by the world and are among the most distinguished. Each year, their results are the source of many of the world's educational debates and splendour, with TIMSS taken by millions of students in the Grades 4 and 8 and PISA by students of fifteen years of age worldwide.

    Following the Education aims of UAE's national agenda, our School has regularly appeared for these exams and we are proud to announce that our students have achieved beyond the average student in the UAE, in both TIMSS and PISA exams. The shining stars of this year's PISA results have exceeded their targets from the previous exams, scoring a remarkable 501 in Science, 497 in Mathematics and 499 in reading, leading to the School standing at International Proficiency Level 3. Reaping the fruit of our students' hard work for the TIMSS exams gives us twice the pleasure; despite being more challenging, our students have broken previous records and placed our School as the 5th Highest Contending School for TIMSS in the UAE. We are proud to see our students in Grade 4 achieve 615 in Mathematics and 610 in Science, and likewise, even more, proud of our senior students in Grade 8 for achieving 622 and 666 in Mathematics and Science. Conclusively, they have scored 25% higher than all the other Schools of UAE! In addition to these remarkable results in IBT exams, our senior students of Grade 10 and 11 have garnered exceptional results in their annual Cambridge International Examinations for IGCSE. This year's results have seen many high achievers emerge, with all students achieving grades between A*-Bs in all subjects. Our batch toppers,

    Habiba Afzal and Usman Khan Durrani, achieved an amazing 5A*s and 2As in their exams, followed by Allahdad Khan with 4A*s and 4 As. Also, two of our highly gifted students in Grade 10 also appeared for some CIEs. This included Shizah Kashif, who appeared for four electives and received 4A*s in them, and Filzah Azeem who appeared for two subjects and received 2A*s. We are very proud of our students triumphing in their CIEs, after all the hard work and dedication both the teachers and students invested in their preparation. Our core values outline the importance of resilience and our students have abided by this practice to bring the School many laurels.It gives us immense pleasure to see our students excelling in such standardised tests, and aiding in the UAE's journey to becoming the Highest Scoring in the Country in such examinations.

    We look forward to even better results in the coming years!
  2. TCSI Student Empowerment: Election Campaign
    By Tazmeen Imran| Year 11

    The City School International’s vision, 2017 states: “Our School is a place where students meet clear goals and international standards and are inspired to take leading, resilient role in the changing world.” This vision is a living encapsulation of TCSI’s Student Council.

    The TCSI Student Council consists of aspiring young leaders eager to make positive change in the School using the most impactful and innovative ways.The Student Council came into being through election and selection. The positions included Head Boy and Head Girl, Deputy Head Boy and Head Girl, House and sports captains, leaders and prefects. The Heads and the Deputies were elected whereas the captains, leaders, and prefects were selected by teachers and higher management.

    During the election, week contestants publicised themselves through their campaigns. The logo and slogan they designed for themselves, canvassing the students to cast their vote for them. Group demonstrations by the seniors during break-time served as proof of our students’ mastery of skills such as communication, collaboration, creative thinking, marketing.

    Students from Years 3-11 cast their vote through the secret ballot system. The Investiture Ceremony was organized on 15 October 2017. The bestowing of titles and swearing-in by the Student Council leaders took place in a very solemn manner. The customary march past and oath-taking were some of the proceedings of the ceremony.

  3. TCSI Marches With Pride: Investiture Ceremony
    By Abeeha Fatima | Year 11

    The elected batch of leaders were assigned their roles, officially during an investiture ceremony on 15th of October. The students stood on either side of the assembly area forming an aisle for the leaders to march through. The House Captains gracefully initiated the march with the flags of their respected Houses in hand. The Captains and Prefects were then followed by the group of Heads which consisted of the Head Boy, Head Girl, Deputy Head Boy, Deputy Head Girl, and the sports captains. The Head Boy then hoisted the Nation’s flag with great pride and honour; followed by the Head Girl hoisting the School flag. The hoisting of flags were then followed by the pinning up of the sashes and the badges and finally sworn in by the School's Principal Mr Craig Shipton;Our student leaders continue to discharge the duties bestowed on them with dignity and fairness.

  4. TCSI marks World Teacher’s Day
    By Ms Madelyn Addatu | English Teacher

    On 4th October, The City School International (TCSI) celebrated World Teacher’s Day in recognition of the untiring and selfless efforts of the teachers in shaping the future of the students all over the world. In the morning assembly, some select students performed a classroom scenario depicting the main role of a teacher, the way a teacher manages the differences of the students in a class, and the way students should treat their teachers. Students enjoyed the presentation as everybody can relate to what has been portrayed by the characters in the role play. Teachers gained an affirmation of how important they are in the lives of their students especially with what Mr Craig Shipton, the Principal, has shared when he read the poem about ‘teachers'. He underscored that the work of a teacher is crucial, yet, in the end, gratifying and fulfilling.

    On 5th October, teachers walked on a red carpet upon entering the School premises. They were also welcomed with the sweet and warm smiles of the office staff and the management. It was a restful day for them as they were substituted by some senior students in their respective classes; the initiative has marked a great effect on the part of the teacher substitutes since they got a first-hand experience of how it is to handle a class. Some students confessed that discipline is the most difficult to manage. Other students were a challenge to them as they did not like to do the task because they were too engrossed knowing that their teachers will not be with them for the whole day. On the other hand, most of the students were very cooperative and enjoyed the lessons and tasks discussed and administered by the senior students. The thought of having substituted the teachers in a day, made the student teachers feel satisfied and honoured.

    Every teacher in the School felt how important his or her role is not only as a teacher by profession but also as a human being effecting change in the lives of people of different ages from different walks of life. Being given a sense of importance and value even if in only a single day makes a person realise the good in what he or she is doing, no matter how small it is. That gesture creates a lifelong impact on one's life.

    Teachers are undoubtedly the shapers of the future generation… the shapers of the world even then and now.
  5. Students Enliven Favourite Fantasy Characters
    by Ms Madelyn Addatu| English Teacher

    On 5th November, students of The City School International (TCSI) adorned the School with majesty, elegance, and eccentricity in celebration of “Character Day”. The idea that they were going to dress up as their favourite fantasy movie and cartoon characters paved the way for them to make the atmosphere in School like a magical kingdom. They were so excited letting others guess who they look like! The smile and the happy countenances of each one lead us on an unending journey to a happy place. Students wished they could freeze the moment, and live in it forever.

    For a moment, students lived in a world of fantasy, and longed that reality will not come too soon. A ‘bevvy’ of cute princesses and a group of mighty princes from the Foundation Stage Section surprised the School with their cuteness and charm as they showcased their attires all around TCSI. Some pupils were interviewed and answered the questions enthusiastically, about how their favourite fantasy characters talk in movies and cartoon shows. Mr Craig Shipton, the Principal, and Ms Mamoona Hassan, the Vice Principal, looked so cool in their costumes too. Students happily took photos with them demonstrating their characters’ signature pose.

    The day was filled with fun and laughter especially when students scribbled their unforgettable experiences in their A4 journals for the Big Write. They recalled both their rewarding and embarrassing moments and later shared what they had written with their classmates. Also, students were asked to use their creativity and imagination to the full when they wrote their own stories, built around the theme “Memories”. Many students drew inspiration from their favourite fantasy and cartoon characters’ roles in some movies and included those in their writing.

    Students in the Primary Section enjoyed how their teachers looked. They felt how strange and unique a day could be when everybody in the classroom looked different from the usual. Students in the Secondary Section looked fabulous with their costume and make-up. They walked with poise and elegance and graced the day joyfully with other students from different sections.

    The activity proved that, in a world of mystery and fantasy, there lies beauty too.
  6. UAE National Day Celebration
    A report by Filzah Azeem | Year 11

    One of TCSI’s missions is to ensure that there is cultural diversity in its environment. One of the annual initiatives TCSI takes is the celebration of the UAE National day.

    On November 29th, 2017, TCSI paid homage to this great land. The day commenced with a brief yet vivid presentation by the Arabic students and teachers. The students were abuzz with excitement and the incomparable thrill in the air was palpable— shades of green, red, white and black complimented the environment.

    The day was divided into two halves, the first dominated by the primary students. They enjoyed the activities while the secondary students had a writing activity in which they expressed the sagas of UAE’s history. The activities ranged from posing with a falcon to resting under traditional tents and eating cultural food.

    Everyone believes that this day was successful, as not only did it leave an everlasting impression on students, but it also strengthened the love and unity we all feel for this country and its people.

  7. Sports at TCSI Marvel
    By Shanzay Shah| Year 9

    The City School International has always offered its students with various opportunities to participate and contribute in different Inter-School competitions, and this year was no different!

    On November 7, 2017, the football teams of The City School International paid a visit to the Sharjah Wanderers for a couple of friendly matches. The teams consisted of players from Grades 6 to 9 while the students from Grades 9 to 11 contributed in an Inter-School basketball competition with The International School of Chouefat for a 90-minute match that tested all their skills, provided them with great exposure and proper training.

    The students enjoyed these opportunities a lot and were provided with a chance to step out of their comfort zone to challenge and test themselves.

    The students were very motivated and had high spirits for the game and they were looking forward to competing to gain more exposure. As visiting the School, many faces projected a great deal of competitive, sportsman spirit and a bit of nervousness.

    All students confidently displayed teamwork, individual performance and all of them had a chance to support the team by playing for TCSI.

    Even though TCSI could not gain victory, the students were very satisfied by their performance and are looking forward to participating in more Inter-School sports competitions.

    The students are overwhelmed by the number of opportunities given by The City School International to them for showcasing their talents, and they are willing to represent the School at any upcoming events.

  8. Morning Assemblies
    By Ms Rohina Rauf| Section Head Primary

    School assemblies are an important part of the curriculum. They provide a platform for the School community to observe multiculturalism, diversity and ethnic acceptance by celebrating various traditions. The Sunday morning assembly is extremely important as it brings the whole School back together again after the weekend break to re-focus on the week in view.

    School assemblies contribute to raising achievement as well as standards as they have the power to make positive contributions to student self-development.Universal values such as respect, cooperation, and peace are reflected upon and discussed. This helps to enhance the personal, social as well as moral and cultural aspects of a curriculum. It covers topics that cannot be covered in traditional classroom settings.

    School assembly programs are a unifying factor that helps in creating a sense of wholeness. Whether it is a whole School assembly or for a specific group, like the seniors, the sense of participation promotes collaboration.At The City School International, assemblies, act as one of the main ways by which we create our positive, reflective ethos and promote our values-based education. Life skills and values are absorbed subconsciously,What we try to demonstrate in the assemblies is a reiteration of the value of each individual pupil including their individual thoughts and abilities. There is a reinforcement of the importance of those elements to the community and the secure place of each pupil within the School, this allows them to see their part in their own world.


    Hat Speech Extempore and the Senior Debate: Early morning verbal refreshments
    A report by Muhammad Aaiz Kashif| Year 10

    At TCSI, we believe in the science that states early morning exercises are vital to a student's growth. But here, we take this belief one step ahead of everyone else.

    Morning assemblies are perhaps the ideal occasion for young growing students to hone their thinking, develop spontaneity and rejuvenate themselves in preparation for the day of studies that awaits them. Hence, on Wednesday, 8th November 2017, the students of grade 10B organised a mini Hat Speech contest to test the confidence of our wonderful students in the audience. In this contest, volunteers were picked out of the crowd without revealing the purpose of their participation. Once invited onstage, the hosts diffused the secrecy and told the participants about the Hat Speech contest; the participants were required to approach the Speech-That Hat containing multiple slips of paper, with each containing one speech topic. Once they had picked a random slip, they were each given 1 minute to quickly collect their ideas and deliver a speech under 1 minute and 30 seconds.

    The crowd was bubbling with anticipation for the extempore speeches that were soon to follow the drawing of the slips, and their anticipation was justified. The participants wowed everyone with their immense confidence, clarity of thought, booming voices and animated faces; their vigour was visible in the animation of every word they spoke.

    Though everyone performed impeccably well, there is always one winner; the prize for the Best Extempore speech was hence awarded to Alisha Aleem, a student of Grade 11, while the others were praised for their daring nature to take up a challenge such as speaking in front of a large audience without much time to prepare.

    This successful competition was preceded by the Senior Debate competition, which was centred around the stirring topic ‘Talent leads to success.' The two senior Grades 10 and 11 went head-on against each other, with the former in favour and the latter in opposition to it, claiming hard work instead is the bringer of success. The students, as always, displayed their immaculate speaking and debating skills, with one argument outshining the other. The winner ultimately, was Grade 11, with Tazmeen Imran of Year 11 and Laiba Khanzada of Year 10 as the Runner-Up.We applaud our seniors for expressing their insightful ideas and arguments on a topic that holds great meaning for young students seeking their fortunes in this world while winning many medals along the way!


    TCSI’s First Ever Literary Society :The Journey from Austen to Green
    By Shizah Kashif | President of Literary Society

    ‘That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald once cited… and he cited rightly so.

    ‘Literature is a dimension of passion, interest, beauty, and wonder, and is perhaps the single most binding thing in human society. The art of prose, poetry, and drama is so intricate, diverse and serendipitous; one can discover so much about themselves just by a glimpse into a manuscript written more than a century old or a novella by the latest contemporary’. John Green.

    The crowd was bubbling with anticipation for the extempore speeches that were soon to follow the drawing of the slips, and their anticipation was justified. The participants wowed everyone with their immense confidence, clarity of thought, booming voices and animated faces; their vigour was visible in the animation of every word they spoke.

    Pursuing my ardour for literature, with the help of my mentors, I initiated the Literary and Drama Society at TCSI this academic session in hopes of attracting like-minded book lovers to a place where we all can learn to appreciate literary work through the years.

    TCSI is known to be a treasure trove of bookworms and aspiring writers, which was evident with the lot of talented and passionate readers that gathered in the weekly club meetings. Here, we discussed the transition of classical to modern literature, the differences in their themes, the corresponding authors .like Jane Austen and Shakespeare, giving the young students some time to gauge their aptitude level. Here at the Literary Society, students are encouraged to reach beyond English and explore its roots and its growth in the modern world; hence, we read contemporary novels and classics side-by-side. Different assignments included the students doing playwriting after analysing Shakespeare, writing book reviews, doing Pictography etc.

    What makes our club different is the completely student-oriented environment it has evolved into; the members unfurl and become more expressive as they feel more at ease as friends than they do in an environment where one person in the room is always superior. That comfort itself is an achievement on the club’s behalf. It has been an amazing experience to see our young readers developing their literary thoughts at such a young age!

  11. DIY CLUB: Crazy in Craft!
    By Tazmeen & Abeeha| Year 11

    Student-led clubs are a very important initiative taken up by a group of talented students who decided to share their expertise with others. For them, the Do-It-Yourself club is a creative and innovative club led by Grade 11 students, Tazmeen Imran and Abeeha Fatima assisted by Filzah Azeem.

    The club serves as a platform for creative students to stage their artistic flair and collaborate with fellow young artists. Under the guidance of the club leaders, many DIY projects were made. From Origami to recycling old boxes and revamping old T-shirts, the crafty club members did it all.

    Every week in the Happiness Hour, the inventive students come together, brainstorm on the assigned topic and create masterpieces out of materials provided. Every class has a different theme and are continuing to have prolific outcomes.

  12. Senior Majlis: A League of Leaders In Action
    By Shizah Kashif| Year 11

    What if students had the chance to use their thoughts and potential to bring new ideas and take up an even bigger leadership role in the School? That idea inspired me to launch the Senior Majlis.

    The Senior Majlis is a branch of the Student Council, but one that functions independently of the School. As an organization aimed at bringing the senior Council members together to confer and legislate their ideas and plans as leaders in the School, the Senior Majlis has given rise to a surge of refreshing competitions and events organized by its active members, conducted with the confidence of the management, throughout the first term of its establishment.

    The Senior Majlis is a formation solely dedicated to the purpose of bridging the student body with the School management, for both academic and co-curricular excellence. Allowing students to be in a position where they may suggest improvements, events, and competitions in cohesion with the School’s core values and targets have been our main ideal; this encompasses sports, student requests, field trips, celebratory days and many other genres.

    Once students are given the opportunity to express themselves, they will find their path towards becoming great leaders someday. Indeed, the Majlis has brought much potential to light and helps students not only become more responsible, but more creative, innovative and intuitive. Coping with event deadlines, drafting mutual proposals to the management, assessing a situation when posed with a challenge are just a handful of the numerous tasks the Majlis members do on a regular basis.

    As the term rolls to an end, I well up with pride to see the success of many of our tentative plans for 2017 become a bright and praiseworthy reality; some of these plans include new furniture on the request of the senior students, cricket matches for Grades 8 to 11, the School Costume Day and so on. Ultimately, our goal is to create a balance between the joys of student life with the seriousness of academia, and we look forward to sprinkling more of our ideas in the upcoming term!

  13. Social Service Club: Delighted to Enlighten
    By Alisha Aleem| Year 11

    Mother Teresa said: “It's not how much we give its how much love we put into giving.”

    The Social Service Club of TCSI follows a similar path by effectively contributing towards community welfare with generous and sincere intentions. Recently, the Social Services Club joined hands with ‘Dubai Cares’, a philanthropic organization seeking to provide education to children in developing countries. TCSI is a proud contributor to this noble cause as charitable funds are raised involving all the citizens and TCSI staff members. They do this by organizing monthly Bake Sales under the guidance of the club in-charge, Ms Shiromi. The Bake Sales include delicious mouth-watering treats which result in profitable funds for the club and a delight for the students. Looking at the past projects, TCSI is seen empowering students to showcase their creativity for a righteous cause such as the bookmark competition which involved students to create themed bookmarks and later display them for purchase. Also,

    the club members created fashionable earrings and other accessories which were handcrafted with love and displayed during the School carnival for sale. Other charitable affairs involved the senior club members helping the domestic staff to improve their English speaking skills. Lastly, the current projects causing hustle in the Social Service Club in collaboration with the future studies department who are working together to come up with new strategies to further fuel funds for charity.


    By Ms Sarah K. Fraser | Head of Foundation Stage

    The City School’s Foundation Stage has had an amazing first term full of creativity, personal development, and fun!

    Students arrived at a redesigned Foundation Stage with inspirational classrooms and an engaging outdoor learning area. Children were able to settle very quickly into daily routines and the progress in their learning has been evident since the start.

    We have had some wonderful events linked to our curriculum where students were able to make links between their learning and the world around them. These included our Parental Involvement Day (PID) in October where the children were engaged in various activities along with their parents which allowed our parents to see a glimpse into the learning and teaching that takes place.

    We also celebrated different cultures where our students dressed in their national costumes and confidently spoke about their home country through a ‘show n tell’ session. Students in Foundation Stage also developed their entrepreneurial and innovative skills during our healthy eating week whereby they made fruit salads and confidently and boldly sold their produce in our marketplace.

    In November, our lower primary students and the School’s senior leaders took part in reading sessions to our Foundation Stage students during our unit ‘Once upon a time’. This gave our students the opportunity to interact with the rest of the School and other members of staff.

    Towards the end of the month, students took part in creating a life-size UAE flag to commemorate UAE National Day along with a National Day dress-up parade. Students were also set a task to create and design a model of a famous UAE landmark and once again demonstrated their creativity and innovation skills

    Our next big event at the end of the term will be the ‘Character dress up day’ where children will dress up as a character from their favourite book which will celebrate the end of our unit and term.

    As you can see this has been a busy and productive term for the youngsters we look forward to another term full of inspirational learning and fun for the children. Wishing you all a restful winter break!

  15. Innovation and TCSI
    Shared by Ms Jean Soney | ICT Teacher & Digital Coordinator

    “Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think what you did yesterday will be successful tomorrow.” ~William Polard

    Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has set the UAE out on a journey to be one of the top innovative countries by 2021 and TCSI has decided to contribute with numerous plans for our innovative students. At TCSI we are incredibly passionate about innovating in the learning experience of our students. This starts from the beginning of a student’s journey at TCSI; from Foundation Stage 2 to Year 11 the students are exposed to innovative learning opportunities, teaching techniques, activities, and challenges.

    In the Foundation Stage, students are assessed through real-life application activities which often incorporate creating, selling or building new things. In the secondary section, students have been developing designs and prototypes of their ideas that range from electric cars to smart water drips. All these ideas and opportunities support the development of the students' curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving skills. This year, TCSI has brought along a new subject called Future Studies with which we aim for our students to develop social and environmental responsibility as well as entrepreneurship and engineering. This new subject will prepare our students for the 21st century.

    Another subject that encourages innovation in our School is ICT. It creatively allows students to understand and explore how latest technology works in different ways. Our students are provided with robotic devices, 3D printers, game development tools, smart devices, web development software; the resources are endless. Our School encourages professional development for teachers with events and workshops that show them how to integrate Google with education and about innovation in classrooms, enabling innovative solutions to learning’s biggest barriers

    By Ms Analia Elena Custodio| Primary English Teacher

    The City School International provides the fantastic opportunity for students to be a part of this journey of happiness. Once a week, the students participate in various clubs. A club not only where they learn, but get opportunities to face the real world and create smiles on them and others.

    At the sound of the bell, every student feels the thrill. It is an hour where they get to indulge in what they love doing best. Skills are sharpened to improve in a subject area. The Math, English and Arabic Support Clubs are the pillars of success. As you walk up to the halls, the sounds of the famous ‘Nutcracker’ fills the air. Yes, it is the world of ballet. Students show that they are transformed into an elegant and magical world.

    Lights! Camera! Action! The Public Speaking Club gives students the opportunity to feel the thrill of acting and interviewing. Stage shows are a delight and students overcome their shyness in just minutes with each other. Joy is in the art of giving and this is exactly what the Social Service Club does. Their message of love and kindness to society fulfils the main core value of Compassion. Students participate in community service and motivate others around to feel and do the same. Want to know how to think out of the box? Well then, look no further. Our Little Innovative Minds Club is just the thing. Students are given opportunities to experiment and share their thoughts and ideas. These little ‘Einsteins’ take critical thinking to the next level.

    Spending time with nature is healing energy. It is here that the WIFI grows weak and Earth’s smile stays strong. Our environmentalists explore ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Drama and Poetry ninjas never fail to surprise. Their charming wit and intense talent show that The City School flows not only with talent but confidence and pride! Why go to the cinema when you could watch our young directors create movies in their Movie-making Club. They take producing and directing to a whole new level. With technology, there could just be the next blockbuster here in The City School.

    Picasso? Da Vinci? Yes, they are all here at TCSI through the Project Club and the Arts and Design Club. Students are allowed to try out various forms of arts from crayons to canvas; they cover it all. Parlez-Vous Francais? Visit the French club to find out what it means. Students get a taste of Paris through videos and written assignments. Masterchef City- The Quick Recipe Club not only focusses on ingredients for a tasty treat but also on ingredients for a healthy lifestyle. The Quran Club- The club teaches students the Holy Quran. It is a moment to reflect and meditate on the beautiful verses. There’s more: Home Economics, Computer Programming all these fun and beautiful activities take place in an hour and all under one roof! After all, the secret to being happy is to make the most of your day.

  17. Internal & External Assessments
    By Ms Sadaf Wajahat | Primary English Teacher
    “The real goal of classroom assessment is to improve student performance, not merely to audit it.” –Sousa Tomlinson.

    The City School International aspires to be recognized as a leader in the provision of modern and high quality education. To accomplish this goal we have devoted ourselves to create an environment in which the entire School community can benefit from, in connection with learning, development and growth.

    GL Assessments enable us to get to know each student as an individual, allowing us to understand their strengths, discover the areas where they might need support and intervention. It also assists in identifying any obstacle that might be impacting negatively on their attainments.The process includes baseline checks to establish the pupil’s current and potential attainment, ongoing formative assessment and regular interventions from teachers to adapt new learning strategies. It informs our teachers about the learning patterns of each individual student so achievable targets can be set.

    With these tests, TCSI ensures the educational success of all our students. We believe that our students will leave us, as creative, constructive and responsible members of the international community instilled with enough enthusiasm, passion and ambition to last a life time.

  18. Reading Drive in TCSI
    By Ms Saima Rauf | Reading Coach

    Reading is important because it develops the mind. The mind is a ‘muscle’, which needs exercise. Understanding the written word is one way the mind grows in its ability. Teaching young children to read helps them develop their language skills.

    TCSI, realizing the need and importance of good reading skills, brought Scholastic Learning Zone- a platform for students to know their reading levels, and then select books from the online reservoir, fit for their current reading ability as well as challenging enough to keep them improving. The main aim of this transformation was to create a reading culture in the School. Gladly we would like to share that during the last academic year, i.e. 2016-2017, a total of 319 students, benefitting from the programme, read 32.4 million words in 6,121 books. So, on the average, each child read at least 19 books.

    To continue the success, the new accounts are set and students are using this facility. In addition, this year the library at the TCSI, is upgraded with the plethora of books ranging from nonfiction to fiction, from the Guinness book of World Records to Shakespeare, from Emily Bronte to Michael Morpurgo and from Jeff Kinney to Anthony Horowitz. So that each and every child could find something that interests him or her.

    We at TCSI realize that reading is fundamental in developing a good self-image. As it is often observed that non-readers or poor readers have low opinions of themselves and their abilities. We request all the parents and the guardians to join our hands to equip our children with proficient reading skills for their good academic scores and better life ahead.

  19. Field Trips
    Contributed by Mr Ahsan Khani | Head of Department, Humanities

    Field trips are fun! You get to put down the books and pencils and drive to a new location with interesting things to see and experience. Field trips provide learning opportunities as students engage with historic sites or works of art in person. Even the most vivid living book can be supplemented by a real life experience. The things your children have only read about come alive as they are seen, heard, or even felt during a field trip.

    The students of TCSI have had the opportunity to visit some interesting places this year. Our Year 4 students had the opportunity to visit the Sharjah Arabian Wildlife Center, an animal sanctuary which houses all the different animal species found in the Arabian Peninsula, while our Year 9 students paid a visit to the Dubai Police Museum. Most recently our Year 7 students visited the Global Food biscuit factory and learnt about the process that goes into producing those delicious biscuits we eat every day. All our students’ trips revolve around two important ideas. The first is opening up the mind to new experiences that support literacy and promote subject knowledge and the second which is to promote the Emirati and Islamic culture of the UAE. When our students visit a private factory or public museum we know that they can experience first-hand the past and present of the UAE’s history thereby supporting TCSI’s mission to inculcate an appreciation of Emirati and Islamic culture. In the New Year, we look forward to having students experience one of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s visions for Dubai, to establish Dubai as a premier tourist destination, by arranging visits to theme parks and participate in leisure activities!

  20. The Next Picasso in the Making
    By Ms Qurrat ul Aien Faisal | Art Teacher

    TCSI artists this year are focusing on different art techniques along with elements and principles of art and design. Students of Year 3 started off with a line study by artist Geoff Slater followed by a shape study by Piet Mondrian. They made 3D shapes with paper and designed it for four different artists that they have studied. Year 3 ended the term with Arabic calligraphy and explored Nastaliq, Naskh, and Kufic. Students of Year 4 observed the line study by Vincent Van Gogh and used his style in their drawings for better understanding. They developed Van Gogh’s paintings through textures and concluded the term with Arabic Calligraphy. Year 5 explored how Pablo Picasso incorporated shapes in his portraits during Cubism period. They studied different cultural patterns and made a composition by blending UAE Landmark/Landscape with any of the cultural patterns of any country. Students of Year 6 have incorporated basic 3D shapes in their art and have created animal forms. They improved their understanding of negative-positive space and OP art through research and recreated a composition by blending the two techniques. Senior grades worked on conceptually based projects with in-depth research along with medium exploration.

    To top it all, students of Year 5 participated in the competition organized by Pakistan Council. They took part in a poster competition, the topic was ‘The Year of Giving 2017’. This event was a good experience for students to interact with other School’s students and get exposure. Students from Year 9 onwards will take part in a competition by Gallery 1 in February, the topic is ‘Brilliant Arabia’. Students from our School took part in a competition organized by Canvas 17 in Amity University on 24th Nov Friday.

  21. The Parent Council
    Report by Ms. Maimoona Hassan | Vice Principal

    It is a known fact that a child makes substantial progress when the school and the parents work together. We have always been appreciated for establishing a strong partnership with parents. Suggestions and feedback are always taken very positively by the school management and teachers in the drive to develop the whole child.

    Parenting has become certainly challenging in the 21st century when technology has taken lead and independent learning has become the need of the hour. Many parents highly depend on school for children's progress. There is no doubt that major responsibility of children's learning lies on the school yet the bedtime stories told by parents, healthy conversations over dinner tables, a pleasure of family picnics and excursions and even the reprimands and nagging on certain occasions provide unbounded benefits which cannot be undermined. Family values, traditions and culture would always dominate any modern trend and play a significant role in child's life in coordination with school.

    It has become essential for parents to keep abreast with educational trends. The assessment system has evolved internationally.Parents need to understand that an exam or assessment is now no more a test of how much a child is able to recall the facts; on the contrary, focuses more on how much a child is able to apply his knowledge to the given problems and situations. The demand of memorizing notes from the textbook and notebooks before a scheduled exam has reasonably diminished. Children are always expected to follow a regular study routine and most importantly become active learners. There is no substitute for a concept that is learnt in a class with peers. Therefore, regularity to school is vital and we are pleased that most of our parents understand it and make sure that the child does not miss classes.

    We are open to communication and keep the parents updated through circulars, newsletters, school website, social media, emails, Edmodo,classdojo, individual meetings, workshops, surveys and the newest mode THE ED JUNCTION. The Ed junction with your cooperation will be counted in the near future as the one-stop destination for an interactive communication between school and home.

    The school counts on the Parent Council members as one of our biggest strength. A group of parents enthusiastically responded and enrolled themselves as our parent council members in response to an open invitation. Mr Asif Chaudhry was elected as the Chairperson of the group. Mrs.Faiza Zia was chosen as the Vice President. The other members committed to attend regular meetings and serve as the voice of parents and convey parents outlooks in general.

    The management considers them as critical friends of the school and respects their constructive feedback. Both parents and school management have very healthy and fruitful discussions in these interactive meetings where participants present their views on different school practices and reach an agreement. The members have been given official email addresses in case other parents who are not formal members of the council wish to communicate with them. However, any communication initiated by the members will be appreciated through school. The addresses are shared through this newsletter as well to encourage communication.

    Asif Chaudhry - | Faiza Zia - | Naeema Halim - |Arshad Ali - | Urooj Saqib - |Sadia N Abbasi - | Kashifa Jabeen -

    We had another valuable experience making a group of Emirati parents. Our Support Teacher Ms.Isra coordinates well with them because of her expertise in Arabic as well as in English language and bridges our communication gap with them. We received a very productive feedback from them on our UAE National day celebration and other school activities.

    Apart from these formal groups, we are thankful to those mothers who work in our classrooms voluntarily. We yet have to invite a few more parents who have offered their services for conducting workshops and to contribute to other school areas.

    With mutual cooperation, TCSI will stand tall in meeting all quality standards of learning and ensure building a community ready to face the unknown challenges of tomorrow. Hence, we thank the entire parent community for their trust in school management and the ownership they express towards the school

  22. Professional Learning in Learning Profession
    Contributed by Ms Ligi Cibu | HOD, English

    “ I am to learn” the very motto of the School, I think is driven passionately from the very famous quote of Socrates who said, "I know only one thing, that I know nothing". Therefore we, the teachers of TCSI, always keep all the horizons of learning a new pedagogy of teaching practices open and take the best use of all the opportunities served to us through . the workshops conducted by the leadership team across the academic year. Most of our workshops are designed to revamp the good practices and to maintain standards with the growing expectation of DSIB framework.

    The academic year 2017 -18 began with a series of workshops based on various topics such as classroom management, curriculum adaptation, special education needs, accommodation and modification, use of technology, virtual space, learning support, literacy across the curriculum and many more.

    The basic principle of all the workshops rendered by our VP Ms Maimoona Hassan is“What we learn with fun, we never forget”. Hence even months after the workshop, we witness that most of our teachers adapt and modify curriculum very well to the needs of the students, for this was one of the main objectives of her workshops. Our Principal Mr Craig Shipton conducted a workshop on the subject: “Outstanding practices during a lesson observation” and the School continues to reap the benefit of this learning.

    Any opportunity made known to the leaders or teachers to learn and update outside the TCSI Campus is also utilized with full vigour. One such example can be quoted of the workshop attended by myself on the topic “Outstanding Writing Practices by James Clement” ,” Moral Education and UAE by KHDA” attended by Mr Ahsan,” GL Assessment and Practices”by Ms Farah Azeem , “Teacher Licencing” by Mr Craig Shipton and Ms Maimoona Hassan and many more. And Ms Jean who extended the experience of the workshop she attended in our daily teaching, which was " Google for Education: Innovation in Classroom."

    We at TCSI are continuously learning to ensure we unearth the benefit of deep learning amongst our student community.

    Keep yourself updated with City Connection, this issue is just an end of a new beginning.

    "Happy New Year"


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UAE National Day Celebration

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First Ever Literary Society

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The Parent Council

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Happiness Hour

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Innovation in TCSI

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  • Revolution of inquiry, creativity, and problem-solving
  • Little ‘Einsteins’ take critical thinking to the next level
  • Regular Interventions to adapt new learning strategies
  • Transformation of Reading Culture
  • Explore, Excite, Excel, Engage…
  • The next Picasso in making
  • I know only one thing, that I know nothing
  • Redesigned Foundation Stage with inspirational sessions


  • It has been a very challenging process as parents to select the right educational institution for our first child. The anxiety and nervousness started evaporating on each passing day after Hadia Fatima commenced her new journey.We felt that she was happier and excited every day after school. It is a great start, thank you TCSI. Mansha Sheraziq

    As parents, we are very satisfied with the school as we can see positive changes in our child Ayesha Muhammad

    The school system and classes have changed for the better this year with the appointment of the new Principal.Keep it up. Razan Tutunji
  • I am quite happy and satisfied with the management of FS section. Their hard work is very prominent and our kids are improving with each passing day. Nazish Abid

    My three daughters study here and they are showing great progress. Everyone is doing an amazing job. Naeema Halim

    We really love the environment of the school and the way the staff members talk to us...We are really grateful. Most important thing is their IGCSE results ( Mashallah) Lubna Jawad Khan

A Special Thanks To ...

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