September 9th, 2022

Welcome from your DAA Elementary School Senior Leadership Team

Dear Parents,

It’s been wonderful to see our students continue to settle into the rhythm of our school this week. Our classrooms, hallways and playgrounds have come alive with new friendships, learning and laughter. Although it is still very early in the year, we know that the foundations and connections made during these times will lead to a successful year for all our students. 

Throughout this week you would have begun to see some of the learning engagements your children have been participating in via our Seesaw application. These learning engagements will span a wide range depending on the grade level of your child, but all will include the combination of rigorous academic foundations, and the opportunity for student expression and agency.

As an elementary school, we are committed to empowering our students to learn, grow and develop their understanding of the world around them. This firm academic foundation will provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to become successful, balanced and influential global citizens.

We are so grateful for the opportunity we have to partner with you in your child’s education. We encourage you to actively engage in your child’s learning through dinner time conversations, shared reading opportunities, and exposure to real world experiences. Collectively, we can expand the education opportunities for our students and truly set them up to be change agents in our world.

Next week we will be hosting our Back to School Night on Thursday the 15th of September, 2022. We look forward to welcoming you into our classrooms to learn more about our school. Please see the information below for further details.

Kind regards

Mike GIlmour


Elementary School

upcoming dates of importance

Back to School Night

We will be hosting our Elementary Back to School Night on Thursday the 15th of September, 2022. The event will begin at 6pm and will be divided into two sessions to accommodate families who have siblings within our division. During the evening you will have the opportunity to spend 35 minutes with your child’s classroom teacher, and then 35 minutes visiting your child’s specialist teachers. You are welcome to decide the order in which you use each session to best suit your family.

During your child’s homeroom teacher session in the classroom, you will learn more about our academic program, and have the opportunity to ask questions to your child’s teacher. During your child’s specialist teachers session, you will be able to meet and greet the teachers and briefly learn about our specialist subjects.

We encourage you to make use of both sessions during the evening and to visit all of your child’s teachers.

In addition to meeting our teachers, we will also have representatives available in the Main Atrium from SLICES, our catering company, and STS, our bus transport company.

Student Photographs

Our student photographs take place from the 19th to the 23rd of September, 2022. Please look out for further information from your child’s class teacher regarding the specific date of your photographs. Please ensure that your children wear their full school uniform, as stipulated in the parent handbook, on this date.

elementary stories

Fun and Friendship in KG1, KG2 and Grade 1

Our little Leopards have had such a great start to the school year, and have explored making new friends, reconnecting with old friends, and learning all about the joys of having friends! This was evident when students from KG1, KG2 and Grade 1 were asked about their first days at school; and here are some of the things that they said:

“It has been fun making new friends.”

“In our morning meeting, we learned about respecting each other and ourselves.”

“I learned a new word, integrity - it means doing the right thing even when our friends are not looking.”

“My friend showed empathy when I was quiet and shy because I was nervous - she put herself in my shoes, and could feel how I was feeling.”

“It is so nice to be at school everyday because I get to play with my friends.”

“I had so much fun dancing with my friends in class.”

Story-time was the most fun because I got to relax with my friends and listen to the story, and then also got to talk about it with my friends.”

Embarking on our new adventure in Grade 2 and Grade 3

Students had a wonderful start to the academic year, getting settled into their new classroom and school environment. They reconnected with returning friends and had an amazing time getting to know new members of our DAA Elementary family.  After enjoying a wonderful ES Assembly with a focus on Leopard Pride, our learners discussed their classroom essential agreements and the impact they have on making their learning environments enjoyable and inclusive for all. 

The children started exploring the Grade 2 curriculum by inquiring into “How do communities change over time?” for Applied Sciences, “How can we use numeracy to learn about our class?” and “How can we grow as readers and writers by building our stamina?”. 

Our Grade 3 learners are thrilled about exploring “How do living things survive?” for Applied Sciences, ”How does place impact value?” for numeracy, and “How can we build a reading life?” for literacy. 

Our young creative leopards are off to a phenomenal start! It is so wonderful to see joy all around whether it is on the playground, in the homerooms or in our specialists’ learning spaces. The best is yet to come!

Reaching New Heights in Grades 4 and 5

The school has once more come alive with our Elementary leopards.  These first two weeks were busy, busy, busy, but oh, so much fun!  The returning students move confidently about the school and have been wonderful helpers and instant friends to our new students.  It has been impressive to watch them naturally model and bring to life our Culture of Kindness and Leopard PRiDE expectations of Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Drive and Empathy.

These weeks have been filled with opportunities for students to connect, explore, wonder and take risks. Classroom communities have started to form, creating a sense of belonging and pride. Smiles are also getting a little wider and the playground is buzzing with chit chat and laughter amongst friends. We are off to a great start to what will be a year of reaching new heights!

KG1 lg learning 

Our class agreement.

We agree on a lot but most importantly we want to try our best, have fun and be a super class family.

Funny Faces 

Orientation Day

Our First Assembly

Physical Education 

KG2 FP Learning 

In KG2FP class, we did several activities like roll the dice and build the tower using cubes and other manipulatives for counting, number puzzles and building with shapes. The children made self-portraits and did several cutting and pasting activities to develop their fine motor skills. We discussed what we want to learn and explore in KG2, and what makes us happy. We emphasized social distancing and taking care of ourselves and others. We read several books about rules and routines, the first week at school and some Clifford books. We set our own rules and routines and the children illustrated how they will follow those rules. Their work is displayed on a bulletin board in our classroom. We read the book “Have you filled a bucket today?” We talked about making good choices and what that looks like. We shared how we feel when someone fills our hearts (buckets).  The children were really happy to talk about the things they had in their “All about me” bags.

Technical issues

If you are having technical troubles, please make sure to raise a ticket if the teacher is unable to help your child with a fix.  Send an email to helpdeskforstudents@gemsdaa.net and they will help you to resolve the issue.

key contacts

ES General Email: 


K1 - G2 ES Secretary to Principals

Shirley Vas s.vas_daa@gemsedu.com 

G3 - G5 ES Secretary to Principals

Rene Botha r.botha1_daa@gemsedu.com 

Mike Gilmour

Principal of Elementary (K - Grade 5)m.gilmour_daa@gemsedu.com

Nathalie Salemeh   

Assistant Elementary Principal n.salameh_daa@gemsedu.com

Noha Bishara              

Assistant Elementary Principal n.bishara_daa@gemsedu.com

Tooshna Gandhi          

Assistant Elementary Principal t.gandhi_daa@gemsedu.com