September 23rd, 2022

Welcome from your DAA Elementary School Senior Leadership Team

Dear Elementary Families,

I trust you are all well and have had a wonderful week.

We have enjoyed another exciting week in the Elementary School, filled with new learning experiences, friendships and opportunities. It has been pleasing to see our leopards fully settle into the routines of our school and feel at home in our environment.

As I spend time in our classrooms and listen to our students, I am amazed with the caliber and confidence of our young learners. Our students are already confidently living up to our Leopard PRIDE standards and are quick to remind me to follow their example!

As an Elementary School, we teach our students through an inquiry based approach. Essentially, this means that we center the classroom around the students and allow them to guide our learning to a certain degree. This approach, which emphasizes skills such as communication and collaboration, engages our students far more than traditional teaching practices, and prepares them for the future. Through our inquiry based curriculum we are able to balance the need for firm academic foundations, and the student’s sense of agency within their learning.

One of the metrics we use to track student progress is our MAP tests. MAP tests take place three times a year, and involve students from grade one up. These tests, together with our internal formative assessments, provide us with a balanced and benchmarked view of each child’s progress. Our MAP tests begin next week and we are confident that our students will do well during this time. Information about MAP tests was sent to families earlier this week.

It is important to note that there is no preparation required for MAP tests. They are simply a snapshot of each child’s current academic progress. This removes the pressure, and hopefully the anxiety too.

Thank you for another wonderful week with your children, it is a great privilege to have them in our classrooms and to see them happy and engaged in their learning.

Kind regards

Mike Gilmour


Elementary School

upcoming dates of importance

Parent Teacher Conferences

We will be hosting our Parent Teacher Conferences (PTCs) on the 12th, 13th and 14th of October. During this time parents will have the opportunity to meet with their child’s teachers, and further discuss each child’s uniqueness and progress. 

The PTCs provide us with an opportunity for you to share your ‘hopes and dreams’ for your child with our teachers. Knowing this will allow us to work collaboratively with you in your child’s education, and ensure consistency in terms of outcomes.

This year we will be offering PTCs in both an in-person and online format for parents. You will be able to select the option that would best suit your family through our booking system. On Friday the 30th of September you will receive a booking link for our PTCs.  This link will remain open until the 10th of October.

Further information about PTCs will be provided in next week’s Elementary Update, together with the booking link.

KG1 lg learning 

KG2 FP Learning 

The children have shown a lot of enthusiasm to come to school, ready to learn and explore. During the literacy lessons, we have been reviewing different letter sounds. We did several activities in person and some on Clever touch board. The children used their skills to cut pictures and associate them with the letter sounds.  We read several books and enjoyed listening to  Supertato, Mouse Shapes, and Elmer-the patchwork Elephant. 

It was the International Dot Day on September 15, and the children used their creativity to color their own ‘dot’ after reading the story. “The Dot”  has inspired millions of children and adults. It is used by teachers as a method to encourage creativity and instill confidence in students. 

For applied sciences, children watched a video about the importance of washing hands on Brainpop Jr., and followed up with a fun math germs cutting activity.

During numeracy lessons, the children have been inquiring and learning about sorting. They also used manipulatives to enhance their number sense and counting skill. Children enjoyed playing the number Bingo game. 😊

Quote of the week: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier” – Mother Teresa.

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