November 4, 2021

Dear Elementary Families,

It is hard to believe that we are in November and our students have been diving deep into learning over the past two months. As our team has been reflecting back on the past two months,  we are very proud of the strong start we have had to our school year so let’s talk about learning. 

Given online, hybrid and full classroom learning experiences over the past year, our students have demonstrated incredible perseverance in their learning. As a team of educators we have been particularly mindful of understanding where we need to challenge and support our students. Through the triangulation of assessment information we gather, collaboratively strategizing how to create success for all our learners and most importantly, continuing to build positive and caring relationships with our students, we are ensuring excellence in learning for all. As we are beginning to see a gradual return to “normal”, our teachers have been applying the lessons learned from our time in full online and then hybrid teaching. The lessons learned from teaching during covid have been centered around the power of greater personalization and individualization of each student’s education. We see this around the school as our teachers and students engage in mini-lessons, individual and small-group conferring, “target time”, and the examination of assessment information through the “what” and “now what” lens of action. It’s pretty amazing to watch the unfolding of learning in our classrooms.

Last week in our Mailchimp Update to parents we shared a video of a student explaining his learning. We often talk about student voice in schools and this child provides an amazing articulation of how learning happens within our DAA Solution Fluency framework. This child captures everything we have been working towards and what we value in education as a school. I wanted to re-share this with you and encourage you to take the time to watch him speak because the future is bright when your KG2 students have this capability.

Through an iNQUIRY-based, process driven learning experience grounded in the Future Fluencies, our students’ learning experiences are relevant, meaningful and authentic. Our students delve into conceptual understandings and through the challenge and support provided by formative feedback, our students rise to the high expectations of learning at DAA.

Our vast array of educational technology tools allow our teachers to embed drones, hands-on coding, trips around the world with VR and so much more into learning. iNNOVATION at DAA is a mindset and our ED-Tech allows us to fully engage our students in the joy of being future focussed.

Leopard Pride. Through positive reinforcement, explicit expectations and logical consequences we foster iNTEGRITY in our students. Pride in school and themselves, a positive attitude in all they do, responsibility for their actions and acting respectfully at school and at home are our expectations of a Leopard. 

Finally, learning within an international school context is an incredible opportunity for our children to be exposed to global celebrations. This week our students watched and/or participated in a number of events related to UAE Flag Day; a moment of great pride for our Emirati students and families, and those of us who have the good fortune to live here. As well, we are very thankful to our DAAPA parents who have decorated our halls in recognition of Diwali and our families who continue to bring education and awareness of these important moments to our students.

Thank you as always for your continued support of the school. We are grateful that we have the opportunity to teach all of your children.


Craig Cantlie

Executive Principal, Elementary

Coffee morning

KG1 Learning

We are so proud to be developing such wonderful Global Digital Citizens, and to celebrate, our KG1 students signed a pledge for Digital Citizenship Week 2021! 

Halloween 2021

KG2 Learning

Halloween and EXPO trips have kept our KG2 students busy over that past 2 weeks. Exploring different pavilions really put the "treat" in Trick or Treat!


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key contacts

Should your child(ren) need to be away from school due to illness or appointments, please contact our School Secretaries.

KG1 - Grade 2: Shirley Vas  s.vas_daa@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9705

Grades 3-5: Rene Botha  r.botha1_daa@gemsedu.com /04 704  9724

General Elementary Inquiries:  elementary_daa@gemsedu.com

Craig Cantlie 

Executive Principal of Elementary (K - Grade 5)c.cantlie_daa@gemsedu.com

Nathalie Salemeh   

Elementary Principal, Grades 4 and 5n.salameh_daa@gemsedu.com

Noha Bishara              

Assistant Elementary Principal, Grades 2 and 3n.bishara_daa@gemsedu.com

Tooshna Gandhi          

Assistant Elementary Principal, KG1, KG2 and Grade 1t.gandhi_daa@gemsedu.com