December 13, 2018

Dear All,

We are so proud of our students and staff for all of their hard work and dedication leading up to the winter break. Throughout these weeks, your children have been engaged in a wide range of activities and events, all of which have positively contributed toward their academic, social, and emotional learning. We want to wish all Middle School families a safe and happy winter break, and we look forward to seeing you all when you return in January!

learning highlights & Celebrations

YIEx - Young Innovators Exhibition

Slideshow video LINK

Middle school students held their Young Innovator Exhibition on Monday, December 10th, from 8:00 to 10:00. In their transformation and discovery classes, students have been using the solution fluency to inquire into a global issue and some possible solutions. These projects are a combination of technologies, curiosities, problem solving, global issues and more. A culmination of two months of hard work, the students proudly showcased and celebrated their hard work, their thoughtful process, and their innovative prototype.

Parents, teachers, administrators, and fellow students from DAA were ‘wowed’ by the creative and thoughtful work put into these projects! There were great ideas ranging from flood alerting devices, drones delivering food to the needy, filters to clean non potable water, to issues felt closer to a Middle school student’s heart such as stress management, happiness, and performing acts of kindness. Thank you to students, teachers, and support staff for working hard to bring this fantastic event to fruition! See you next year!

Moral Education

Character and Morality - The character and morality curriculum is centered around developing each student as honest, tolerant, resilient and persevering individuals, who reflect inwards on and build an individual sense of morality based on personal outlooks. Students are encouraged to be aware of the positive impact they can have on other people and the world around them. Throughout the months of November and December students have been further developing these important character traits and morals using the Solution Fluency to inquire into a global issue and some possible solutions. On Monday during the young innovators exhibition, students demonstrated their hard work, perseverance and grit by presenting their ideas, designs and products to their student, teacher and parent community.

Worker Gift Bag Celebration

Thank you so much for supporting our efforts to create over 150 gift bags, full of donated goods, to give away to our support staff. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful group of students and staff who work together to help out a few of our own. This annual tradition is greatly appreciated by all and shows the true culture of kindness that DAA prides itself in.

MOGA (most outrageous games and activities)

We had a wonderful time sharing talent and singing carols at the assembly on Thursday morning. Following students were involved in some advantageous games and activities. Throughout the day students were focussed on developing 3 important approaches to learning: communication, collaboration and critical thinking. Fun was had by all!

Updates - Color House Points

Middle School Parent Coffee Morning

Bridging the Great Divide: Understanding your Tween and Teenager’ by Dr. Saliha Afridi

Thank you to all the parents that were able to join us on Wednesday morning as we spent over 2 hours exploring adolescence and how we as parents can respond to the changes in our teens while maintaining positive and open relationships with them. We would also like to truly thank Dr. Saliha Afridi, the managing director of The Lighthouse Center for Wellbeing, for taking time from her incredibly busy schedule to share all of this information with us in an engaging and entertaining manner. We plan on having several more parenting coffee mornings this year and hope to see you all there.

This presentation focused on three areas: the world we live in and how it is shaping teenagers, the tasks of adolescence and the basics of parenting adolescence. We spent some time talking about how our children these days tend to be exposed to more digital information, are more indulged than they used to be and who their role models are and what kinds of values they are projecting. There is a lot of digital distraction out there and the focus tends to be more on who I project I am as opposed to who I really am. All that being said, teenagers are still teenagers and there are certain developmental tasks that they should go through in order to become well-rounded adults. The world we live in and the challenges we face may make our job as their parents more difficult but there are certain constants regardless of the day and age.

The tasks of adolescence are certain milestones and developmental changes that are normal, expected and healthy for teenagers to go through as they move to adulthood. These tasks include an adjustment to their bodies and feelings, developing abstract thinking skills, develop and apply a new perspective on human relationships, identifying meaningful moral standards, understanding and expressing more complex emotional experiences, forming supportive and mutual friendships, and renegotiating relationships with their parents.

We ended with the all-important question of…what do we need to do to successfully parent our adolescents? Dr. Saliha outlined 5 areas to look at:

Love and Connection: acknowledge the good times with your child and watch for moments that you can connect on. Learn to actually listen to them and treat your child as a unique individual.

Monitor and Observe: Monitor your teen’s activities and keep track of their whereabouts. Involve yourself in their activities and schooling. Stay present in their lives.

Guide and Limit: Loosen up but don’t let go. Make sure that you maintain family rules and values. Use discipline as a teaching tool and try to avoid unnecessary punishments.

Model and Consult: set a good example and model the kind of behavior that you want them to display. Maintain your traditions and give them opportunities to practice reasoning.

Provide and Advocate: network within the school and the community and support them while also indicating who else can be a support to them.

Thank you again for joining us and we hope you have a wonderful holiday!

MS Administration and Counseling Department

After School Activities

MS ASA’s Cycle 2 Begins January 20th

It is time to sign up for our second cycle of MS ASAs! The DAA Middle School After School Activities Program (ASA) is an optional program. It is an extracurricular program designed for students in grades 6 through 8, and is meant to allow students the opportunity to explore ‘fun’ experiences that otherwise may not be available to them.

The MS ASAs run on two 6 week cycles, the second commencing the week of January 20th. The ASAs run for one hour after school, although some may be offered at lunch time. MS students may register for up to three MS ASAs. Please choose carefully as full attendance is expected (choose ASAs which the student is committed to attend so a spot is not taken from another student). ASA teachers will be taking attendance.

A link to the schedule will be shared with you in a follow up communication. Please see a list of the activities offered below. You will be able to sign up for the activities starting Sunday January 13th, at 9am. All registrations will be on SchoolBookings.net.

  • Calculator training
  • Old time radio show
  • DIY duct tape accessories
  • Anime and Manga Drawing
  • Acapella
  • Origami
  • Picture Folios
  • Podcasting
  • Pilates/Body Balance
  • Life skills, arts and technology
  • Intramural sports
  • Drawing and art
  • Knowledge Masters
  • Pottery
  • Juggling
  • Harry Potter Crafts
  • HS Tutoring Club
  • Cricket Club
  • Genius hour
  • Model United Nations

Middle School ASA - Science fair presented by The Catalyst team

“Teaching students to think like scientists”

The Catalyst team hosted a science fair for the middle school students of DAA on Thursday. The students focused on various disciplines of science - Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Physics, Biology, and Computer Science. After 7 weeks of hard work at the ASA, students came out with creative experiments linked to the topic of “Sustainability” with projects ranging from homemade electromagnetics to creating edible Boba using a chemistry experiment. The team is truly proud of the accomplishments of these children and wish them the very best in their future endeavors as budding scientists!

The Catalyst Science Fair Team


Thank you to all the middle and high school parents who made it to our festive holiday lunch last week at The Address Marina Hotel.


January 14th - Kickoff Meeting for DAAPA Int'l Food Festival

February 1st - DAAPA CarBoot Sale. More details to follow when we return from winter break!

March 8th - DAAPA International Food Festival (All School News for details)

Dates to Remember

December Dec 16th-Jan 3rd: No School (Winter Break)

January 6th-All students and teachers return to school

January 20th-Cycle 2 ASAs begin

January 20-24-KHDA Inspection

January 28th-MS Winter Concert

January 30th-MESAC Season 2 sports begins

January 31st-Last day of Semester 1

February 3rd-First day of Semester 2

February 17th-Report cards are emailed out to parents


Aimee Fleming, Scott MacDonald and Tammy Murphy

key contacts

Middle School Secretary: Sara Hole s.hole_daa@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9722

Middle School Attendance: Helen Eleftheriou h.eleftheriou_daa@gemsedu.com 04 704 9728