Secondary Newsletter 16-9-2021


Secondary Newsletter 16-9-2021


Secondary Newsletter

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement

and success have no meaning.” Benjamin Franklin

Success breeds success!

We all know just how talented our students are, but

nevertheless it is very gratifying to receive

acknowledgement of this from outside of the


Every September, the schools review website ‘Which School Advisor’ publishes the

GCSE and A Level results of many schools in the UAE in the form of a league table.

This year’s exam results for SES students were truly outstanding.

At A Level, over half of the grades that SES students received were either A* or A

grades, and 82% of grades were within the A*-B range. This is a truly outstanding

achievement by last year’s Year 13 students.

At GCSE level, 60% of all awarded grades were in the 9-8 range and 97% of all

grades were in the 9-5 range. Again, this is a remarkable achievement by last year’s

Year 11 students. However, when we discovered on the Which Schools Advisor

website that our GCSE results were the third best results across the whole of the

UAE, it makes the achievements of the school and the students even more






Thursday 07:45-13:00

If your child is absent from

school for any reason, e.g.

through illness, please inform

the Secondary Reception before

7:30am on each day of your

child’s absence


Please note that we open our

gates at 7:15am each morning

for students. Please do not drop

students off before 7:15am.

It is not down to luck that we have achieved such outstanding results - it is down to

our holistic approach to education, our committed and skilful teaching staff and

our amazing students, who coped extremely well under very challenging

circumstances. We deliver outstanding personalised education which is built on a

deep understanding of what each and every student needs in their learning journey,

each and every step of the way.

We know we cannot rest on our laurels. This year, the work begins again to guide

and support all of our students and enable them to be the best that they can be.

Calendar Dates

Wednesday 22nd September

Year 7 Form Tutor PTC

Thursday 14th October

Autumn 1 Reports Issued via


Sunday 17th-Thursday 21st


School closed for Half Term

Best wishes,

Wednesday 27th October

Year 12/13 PTC

Gary Webster, Head of Secondary

Wednesday 3rd November

Year 11 PTC

Wednesday 24th November

Year 9 Options Evening




Collection in the afternoons is very busy now that we have 370 secondary students exiting the site at the

same time at the end of the school day. Safety is absolutely paramount and we have put some measures

into place to ensure the safety of all students.

When collecting students, please remember that:

- Students in Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) will exit through the MAIN GATE

- Students in Key Stages 4 and 5 (Years 10-13) will exit through the SPORTS FIELD GATE.

- Any student in KS4 or KS5 who has a sibling in KS3 can exit through the main gate

- Parents should stay behind the red/white barriers at all times when collecting children from the main

gate - we are not able to have parents in the area where children are exiting through the main gate.

- Traffic is very busy - please take extra care when reversing out of parking spaces and please drive

slowly through the car-parking area to ensure that our children are kept safe at all times.

Introducing our new teachers…

Nadia Hanine - Director of Sixth Form & Teacher of Social Studies/PE

I am Miss Nadia Hanine and I am delighted to join Sharjah English School as the new Director of Sixth Form.

I studied at the University of Bedfordshire, gaining a BA Honours in Physical Education. After graduating I

taught at a school in North London for 6 years before moving to an outstanding British school in Dubai for 5

years -where I was instrumental in the growth and development of the Sixth Form. I am excited to use my

skills and experience to build on the strong provisions in place within the Sixth Form and support students as

they develop their character, explore their interests and passions, fulfil their academic potential and navigate

their future pathways.

Jason Plummer - Teacher of History

It has been an absolute pleasure to commence the academic year at SES teaching the

keen historians across the secondary school with learning back in action in the classroom.

My background as a History teacher began in South Wales, followed by posts in England,

Togo, The Bahamas and Tanzania; however it is here in the UAE at SES that both I and

my family are finding ourselves the most happy and settled. I very much look forward to

sharing my passion for history with all learners throughout this academic year and


Rebecca Driscoll - Teacher of English

It is an absolute privilege to be joining the English team at SES. My greatest

passion has always been escaping the everyday through great literature. At my

previous school in the UK, I worked with local schools to bring poetry back into the

classroom and to get students engaged in innovative ways. When I learnt of the

personal growth philosophy of SES, I was eager to be a part of it. I can already see

what a wonderful place to study SES is; there is a strong sense of community

where learning is celebrated at every stage of a student’s journey.


Anthony Edwardson - Teacher of Mathematics

Until 4 years ago I taught exclusively around my home city of Liverpool, but I had

always wanted to teach overseas so I took the plunge and moved to Fujairah, which

proved to be a terrific decision! But the time felt right to experience a new school,

and SES was highly regarded. So I was delighted when I was offered a position here.

I’m really looking forward to working with the students and developing my own skills

at SES, while contributing to its continued success.

Adrienne Pierson - Teacher of English

I have been teaching English in the UK since 1999. I am very passionate about my subject and

particularly enjoy reading a range of works spanning many cultures and genres. I enjoy the

versatility of studying English and learning about the history and culture of the world around

me from literature. I love to travel and it is those interests combined which have led to my

first teaching position abroad. I am excited to be joining such a successful and supportive

school as SES and I am looking forward to working alongside fantastic students and staff.

Asma Abu Amra - Teacher of Islamic Studies

My name is Asmaa Abu Amra, and I'll be your child's Islamic teacher for the upcoming school year! I am

excited to get to know you and your child throughout the year! I wanted to start by introducing myself. I

graduated from Ajman University with my Bachelor degree then went to earn my Professional Diploma in

Education from CUCA University. I have worked in International schools in Al Ain and Sharjah. Teaching is

my life's passion, and I have been instructing students of all ages from Foundation to Year 13. My years of

experience have helped me form a teaching philosophy. Which is every child should be introduced to the

tools they need to establish their own learning style.

Terri Snodgrass - Head of Music

My name is Terri Snodgrass and I am the new Secondary Music Teacher at Sharjah English School.

I have always loved music and began to play the violin at the age of 6. I continued this throughout

school and joined an orchestra that toured around Europe every year. This gave me great

exposure to other cultures and countries outside of Ireland. I gained my Music Degree from the

University of Liverpool and went on to do my PGCE in Goldsmiths, University of London. I have

taught in both London and Dubai for the past 10 years. I wanted to join SES for the amazing

reputation the school has and since joining in August I have had the pleasure of meeting your

wonderful children and I look forward to showcasing their talents and meeting you all.

Sarah Gherdaoui - Teacher of Arabic & French

Hello, I am Miss Sarah Gherdaoui – French and Arabic teacher. I came to the UAE with my family

10 years ago. My native language being French, I had to learn English in less than 3 months to

register in a school. A few years later, I took on the challenge of learning new languages,

starting with Arabic, and I am currently learning Japanese. My love for children and languages

has brought me to teaching. As it is more than just a profession, it was important for me to find

a place where education and well-being of pupils are highly valued. Luckily, SES is just that kind

of place!

Lia Gardner - Teacher of English

I have had extensive experience of teaching the English National Curriculum in a

variety of contexts, both in the UK and internationally. I am passionate about

my subject and have contributed in a previous post to the development of a

‘Flagship’ department within a highly successful environment. I am very

happy to join SES and look forward to teaching in a school which values

excellence and hard work.

Rebecca Hawskwell - School Counsellor & Teacher of Psychology

My name is Rebecca Hawkswell and I am the new School Counsellor and Psychology Teacher. Although I

am new to Secondary I have been in the Primary for a number of years working as a classroom teacher

and in learning support. I have always been incredibly impressed by how SES focusses on the students

as a whole. Not only taking into account their academic success but also their happiness and wellbeing.

Coming off the back of such a trying 18 months for students, teachers and parents, I am extremely

happy that my appointment as the school counsellor allows for there to be a point of contact for those

who need it. I am also very excited to be able to offer the new A-Level Subject Psychology.


News from the Art Department

I am very pleased to share with you some of the art works that our GCSE and A Level students produced last year as part

of their courses. We have such a talented bunch of artists that their work deserves public accolade, and therefore we are

sharing their work both virtually, via an interactive online exhibition, and in school by displaying the students’ art works

all around the school buildings. This week, our Art students have been working on still life paintings and drawings,

photography, using ‘bleach & ink’ techniques and scaling up their drawings to go BIG and develop large-scale drawings of

their portraits.

The GCSE and A Level virtual exhibitions can be accessed by clicking here. (Links to external web-page)


News from the Drama Department

It feels great to have all students back in the Drama classroom full time and (whilst

still making sure we are COVID-safe) with more freedom of movement for the

students within the drama learning environment. This has allowed us to

experiment with a range of theatre styles and techniques that I have not been able

to incorporate into the classroom for two years now! This term I have started my

Year 9 students with some ‘frantic assembly' style warm ups and workshops, this has

allowed us to move around whilst experimenting with levels, physicality and different types of

movement to music which eventually leads to creating characters and stories. I have very high hopes

for Drama this academic year and cannot wait to see the drama pieces that all of our students

produce over the course of this year.

In Drama this week we listened to music and acted out what it made us

feel. Ms Collins then asked us to freeze and she assigned us different

roles: the predators, the prey and the authorities. We interacted with each

other using hula hoops (to stay socially distanced), we jumped over

chairs, ducked under tables and created an entire scene by the time the

music ended. It was interesting to then think of a background story to

accompany the still image.

Kaia, 9O



Y7 Parents Tutor Meeting

The first Y7 Parent-Tutor meeting of the year will take next week on Wednesday 22nd September. Details will be communicated via

the Engage portal, which is where you will also be able to book an appointment with your son/daughter’s Form Tutor. If you have

any questions please contact your son/daughter’s form tutor or Mr Burns via email.

Y7 Homework

This week, students in Year 7 have received their first homework assignments of the year (in core subjects only). The homework

activities in Year 7 should not exceed 30 minutes per piece of homework and students should record all homework in their Planner

(even if homework has been set via Google Classroom). As parents you will be able to keep track of the amount of homework that

your son/daughter is receiving by looking at their Planner which we ask that you sign once per week.


To increase retention of subject material we encourage our students to use GCSEPod. Each GCSE curriculum

area is broken down into 3-5 minute pods that students can either stream live or download to watch at

another time. (All students at SES have access to this facility). At the end of each fortnight the students with

the greatest number of streamed pods will be nominated “Top Podders” and be given a prize.

GCSEPod offer free Parent webinars, if you would like to attend one of these please sign up using the link - Ms Ockenden (Head of Key Stage 4)

Summer 2021 Exam Certificates & Fees Rebates

For all students who received IGCSE, GCSE, AS or A Level Awards, certificates are normally received by the

school in mid-October. We will inform parents when they are in school and available for collection.

Exam fee rebates will be issued to parents for Summer 2021 awards once we have received the rebate from

the exam boards. We anticipate that this will be at the beginning of November (based on last year).

Art Leaders & Art Mentors

Applications welcome for Art Leaders and Art Mentors are welcome by Miss Morgan.

Responsibilities include promoting art in school, helping with art displays around school,

helping with art clubs, helping to organise art competitions in school, contributing art items to

the newsletter. Deadline for applications to Miss Morgan is 22nd September.

The next edition of the Secondary newsletter will be published on

Thursday 30th September. Thanks for reading and have a great

weekend everyone!


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