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Positive education ethos

Filed on November 14, 2019
Dr Neil Hopkin, principal of Sunmarke School

Sunmarke School focuses on building students' character strengths

Education has developed exponentially over the past few decades with new and innovative curriculums and pathways providing exciting opportunities for students in the UAE.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme belongs to the collection of initiatives offered across the region, designed to inspire children to become lifelong learners in their field across a range of subjects that focus on 10 key learner profiles. IB encourages students to focus on being principled, balanced, reflective thinkers as part of their learning journey.

Sunmarke School, part of the Fortes Education Group here in the UAE, through its positive education ethos aligns itself with the fundamental ideals of the IB and its set of learner profile skills. Sunmarke offers IBDP, IBCP, A Levels, GCSE and BTEC - a multi-pathway model and empowers students with bespoke post-16 course selections, to find the most appropriate route to study the subject of their choice at the university or college of their choice.

The school is determined to secure, and develop the major qualities such as risk taking and being open-minded found in the IB skill set, whilst being encapsulated with the character strengths of empathy, endurance and compassion.

Dr Neil Hopkin, Principal of the school, is more than aware of some of the challenges facing the current education system but appreciates that the National Agenda set out by the UAE government is pivotal in ensuring that the young people who study here are offered quality first education through robust teaching and learning and pathways to suit all learners.

Sunmarke School has achieved 'Very Good' rating from KHDA in only its third year of operation.

Openly advocating the motto of the school 'Where Amazing happens,' Dr Hopkin continues to say, "What sets us apart are the more complex hard to measure qualities of the students. What you encounter at Sunmarke School is the process of building character strengths associated with our positive education programme alongside fulfilling academic potential. The IB further supports the development of these personable qualities. We pride ourselves on the relationships built in our community. Senior students guide and nurture our younger students to support our ideals. Teachers work hard to foster close relationships and role model our expectations and beliefs."

When it comes to planning for the future, Sunmarke School is a leader of excellence, thanks to brilliant new initiatives, including financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Dr Hopkin believes that these enterprises are crucial to demonstrate to our students how to navigate the future world.

"We see ourselves as nurturing innovators and entrepreneurs' part of our entrepreneurship culminates in our monthly 'Think and Thrive' workshops where discussions are held between students and regional CEOs that encourage students to understand the world of business and the opportunities that are out there waiting for them," he added.

Dr Hopkin aims to create a safe, nurturing space for students to relish in the multicultural environment and appreciate similarities and differences. Rather than focusing on similarities, the goal is to promote an intercultural understanding amongst students who come from a variety of backgrounds to advocate the importance of being a global citizen.

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