Flash mobs, parrot costumes: How Dubai schools welcomed students back in unique ways

Academic community is buzzing and happy to be together again after long summer break



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Mon 29 Aug 2022, 12:45 PM

Last updated: Mon 29 Aug 2022, 10:30 PM

While students returned to schools across the UAE today to mark the start of the 2022 -2023 academic year (or the new term in Indian curriculum schools), institutions in Dubai stayed upbeat about welcoming their students back in unique ways.

The entire academic community across schools seemed buzzing and happy to be together again after the long summer break.

The ubiquitous yellow buses also heralded the start of a new school year for everyone.

Students were greeted and cheered along from the entry points, buses, playing fields and into the classrooms by the school leaders who waved welcome bands, held back-to-school placards, and did everything to organise a festive look around the school.

While flash dance mobs and busker style singers and musicians led the celebrations; writing walls and roaming cameras and microphones captured the thoughts and opinions of all members.

Punit MK Vasu, CEO, The Indian High Group of Schools, Dubai, said: “It’s not just a reopening it’s actually a massive celebration for us and a truly WoW! feeling to welcome all our 13,000 learners. We are now back to the right normal where students and educators can safely enjoy being back to school. What is more, in a major upgrade to WoW! (Week of Welcome) the festivities will run for an entire week as the name suggests. This all seems interestingly confusing to me as I am not sure who is more excited to be back to school? Is it the students or the teachers?”

The energy and aura were breathtaking. Students clicked pictures with friends against funny welcome back props and in decorative photo booths and excitedly shared how they had a blast over the holidays.

He adds, “I know that the teachers did some intense planning to set up a perfect welcome for their students today and it seems to have succeeded exceedingly well and they are really enthused. I have gone around the campus a few times this morning, and everyone seems unable to resist the urge to just smile and wave at one and all. The entire campus wears a festive look and is enveloped in a spirit of oneness and bonhomie. That for us is the focus and purpose of our operations across our group of schools. To establish a happy, safe, secure environment with a strong identity so that everyone who belongs here, child or adult, feels equal, worthy, welcome and successful.”

School heads opine holidays are much loved but to see the momentum in school and witness the children realising what they can do is immensely rewarding.

At the Aquila School, teachers dressed up as parrots, welcoming children onboard again.

Wayne Howsen, Principal of The Aquila School avers: “While I love the holidays, because they are a time to relax, eat, and spend time with people that are important to me, I also love school. The buzz of learning and the excitement of seeing children realising what they can do and having fun is truly satisfying. This is never truer than at the beginning of a new academic year. At our school, we have been on campus for a couple of weeks getting ready to welcome our community back. We are so excited to see everyone and look forward to a year of happy, safe and amazing learning."

He adds, “Our Aquila Parrots are really excited to have our community back to school today. At The Aquila School, we aim to provide a happy and safe learning experience for every child, and our mascots go a long way in making this a reality. We see joy on each pupil’s face as they come through the school gates to meet the parrots, and this tells us we are doing something right. As well as making everyone smile and supporting the wellbeing of our community, there is a more serious learning focus to our mascots. One of our priorities this year is looking at learning skills and the first of these is collaboration and we know that parrots are very collaborative birds.”

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