The family-oriented, research-driven school is set to offer students a newly introduced science-based “STEAM” curriculum, science labs and a contemporary Art Room
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Star International School Mirdif, a bespoke British curriculum school in the heart of Mirdiff, announced its latest plans to launch its state-of-the-art “STEAM” curriculum with the aim of providing students with an enhanced overall educational experience. Scheduled to be implemented in September 2021, Star International School Mirdif has invested in additional resources to ensure students have access to the latest, innovative design-based science learning methodologies within the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to solve problems in an engaging way. Also, as part of the school’s expansion plans for this academic year, it will be opening up new cutting-edge science and tech laboratories for students, and an urban art room developed for the modern industries.
Star International School Mirdif recently adopted the advanced “STEAM”curriculum to propel its educational efforts to continuously advance the learning experience and standard of education. The cutting-edge curriculum will enable students to experiment within the fields of robotics, design and blue sky thinking technology, which will be taught within their new hi-tech robotics and science laboratories. The curriculum will present students with real-life problems and provide them with the opportunity to explore various global issues – such as global warming or drought – and encourage them to devise and propose possible solutions. Star International School Mirdif has recruited a number of specialized teachers within the fields of Design and Technology to lead the “STEAM” curriculum, which will be reinforced by the extensive experience of the school’s Vice Principal, Neal Oates, who has devised and developed similar BETT/GESS award-winning curriculums. The key objective of developing and introducing the “STEAM” curriculum will be to incorporate Star International Mirdif’s traditional learning methodology with modern technology, where students will be well-equipped to deal with the ever-changing landscape of the modern world.
As part of Star International School Mirdif’s ongoing strategy to maintain its position as a leading educational institution, it has also recently incorporated the academically-acclaimed “Century Tech” platform into the various taught subjects – which is an advanced, digital learning tool that utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to provide students with personalised learning pathways. The technology will enhance the learning experience of students by tailoring tasks and projects to each individual’s capabilities, and is specifically designed to support teachers whilst identifying gaps within the student’ learning patterns, allowing them to make intelligent suggestions for future learning approaches and methodologies. Teachers can take the valuable data that is generated from the system and utilise it in the classroom, which will also support their wellbeing by reducing the burden of marking and assessment processes. This digital modern-age learning platform positions Star International School Mirdif at the forefront of curriculum development where teachers are supported with the power of AI, which was once considered a technology of the distant future.
The plans to introduce the “STEAM” curriculum stemmed from the school management’s positive experience with their already-existing, modern-age teaching technologies, such as the “High-field” and “Century Tech” programmes, “E-Praise” performance and evaluation tool and Bring Your Own Designated Device (BYODD) learning approach. All of these digital-based programmes and tools were recently incorporated into Star International School Mirdif’s learning system to optimise the students’ overall knowledge and skill set. The school introduced the “High-field” programme to ensure that pupils develop an extensive range of extracurricular skills, offering them an opportunity for a vocational educational system complemented by a British curriculum. This system will enable students to develop knowledge and skills within specific industries, such as health & safety, first aid, hygiene, and wealth & risk management, equipping them with career-based skills for the future. The vision of becoming one of the first schools in the UAE to be accredited as an “Approved High-field Qualifications Centre”, was spearheaded by Principal Gill Roberts, to fulfill the school’s mission in empowering pupils to develop hands-on vocational qualifications suited to each individual’s learning interests and skill set.
In addition, Star International School Mirdif employs other learning technologies such as “E-praise”, an innovative ‘learning engagement’ platform that enables students to monitor their performance, activities and achievements on a collective level. This academic tool encourages pupils to monitor points given by a teacher for their good behaviour or active class participation including other aspects such as their adherence to school uniform requirements, all of which act as a stimulus for students to keep learning and developing themselves.
Star International School Mirdif further adopts a very balanced approach in combining technology with traditional learning to be in line with the new digital age, with its BYODD (Bring Your Own Designated Device) policy, where students are provided with a standardised chromebook for learning subjects. The BYODD policy requires students from Year 3 onwards to use an Acer Spin 512 which is managed and secured by Star International School Mirdif, and also used by teachers for a more compatible and digitally-enabled teaching approach.
Commenting on the school’s future plans, Gill Roberts, Principal at Star International School Mirdif says, “Our school has seen continuous growth over the past few years which is attributed to our outstanding delivery of quality education at affordable prices. Most recently, our school has and continues to introduce the most advanced curriculums and learning programmes that act as the framework of hi-tech and modern science innovations, to further enhance our students’ learning capabilities in an engaging yet fun way”.
“Even with the unexpected emergence of Covid-19 last year, we have still witnessed a large number of student enrollments at Star International School Mirdif, and received a lot of praise from parents and the KHDA about our teaching qualities, particularly when most of the other schools were experiencing a decline due to the pandemic. For 2021, we anticipate a growth rate of 20% for new pupils joining our esteemed school, which we are very excited about,” added Neal Oates, Vice Principal at Star International School Mirdif.
Moreover, based on the school’s successful track record in providing high-standard academic education for the Foundation Stage levels and Years 1-9, Star International School Mirdif will also scale-up its educational offerings to include higher learning year levels in the future. As a result, the school is expected to witness an increase of student enrollments between the ages of 14 to 16 for the coming years. Star International School Mirdif’s vision to expand its year level offerings was conceptualised to meet the rising demands of parents seeking quality education for their children at affordable prices.
Star International School Mirdif is currently paving the way for other schools in the UAE to pursue a more modern yet engaging learning approach within the school learning system, teaching methodologies and with the adoption of state-of-the-art facilities.
About Star International School Mirdif:
Star International School Mirdif is a BSME-accredited, co-educational British Curriculum school founded in 2008, and situated in the heart of the Mirdif Community. Currently, the school embodies 700+ students, 70+ nationalities, 65 teachers and 105+ school staff under one roof, and is open to year groups EYFS 1 through to Year 9, with plans to expand into Year 10 for the next academic year, and growing organically year-on-year. This expansion has an aim of obtaining the school’s first set of GCSE results in July 2023. The school is a research-driven, family-oriented institution, guiding the children through learning with its key Pillars of Learning; Learning for Self, Learning for Change, Learning for All. Star Mirdif prides itself on offering affordable education offered by British-trained and qualified teachers, with nominal tuition fees starting at AED 27,000.
Star Mirdif ’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) offers an exclusive learning environment situated away from the Primary and Secondary school, which offers plenty of space for inquisitive and energetic learners. The Foundation Stage building at Star Mirdif provides an abundance of outdoor space for lessons and breaks, as well as a beautiful indoor atrium for assemblies, collaborative events such as house music performances and hot weather play time. In addition to this, the school has a purpose-built splash pool to give students a safe introduction to swimming lessons within the younger age groups.
Over recent years, Star Mirdif Primary school has grown and developed from strength-to-strength. The school community has expanded by 50%, with a thriving cohort of students who are eager to learn. Star International has introduced a wider choice of extracurricular activities covering areas from Newspaper Club to Badminton, Art and Drama clubs. The soon to launch “STEAM” curriculum, students will be introduced to computer science and robotics at an early age and explore building and designing within the technological lense. Throughout the school, children are encouraged to be proud of their work and are offered plenty of opportunities to compete across all subjects from Islamic Studies, Sports, Science, Entrepreneurship and many other subjects.
Currently in its second year, the Secondary levels at Star Mirdif offer education from Years 7-9. With the start of the academic year 2021/22, the school will introduce Year 10; with the Year 9 cohort selecting their GCSE choices this Spring. Furthermore, the school will be offering a wide range of qualifications to suit all interests and capabilities of students including GCSEs, iGCSEs and BTEC’s, with subjects such as Physical Education, Art, History, Geography, Business Studies, Sociology and many more.
Star International is led by Gill Roberts as Principal, alongside Neal Oates as Vice Principal, both of whom are very passionate about investing and improving the quality of education provided at the school on a continuous pace. With their direction, the school will continue to reach goals of excellence by offering new facilities, educational equipment and learning experiences to all its students.