Winning Hearts

Understanding the well-being of students is crucial for the growth of innovation and the organisation

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Published: Wed 22 Jun 2022, 9:00 AM

Shining Star International School stands at the cusp of a new dawn. On June 9, T4 — a global education organisation based in the UK, announced to the world that SSIS has been shortlisted amongst the ‘Top 10 Global Best Schools’, competing for the ‘World’s Best School Prize in the Innovation’ category. SSIS is one of two schools chosen from the UAE and the only school to be selected from Abu Dhabi.

Founded in 2014, Shining Star International School nestles off a quiet street off Shabiya 12 in the bustling suburb of Musaffah, Abu Dhabi. The school caters to the predominantly expat community that lives in the area and has a reputation as a budget school that offers premium education.

Under the sterling leadership of its Principal Abhilasha Singh and guidance from the Chairman, Sanjiv Khanna, the school came into its own when diversity hit the community at the start of the pandemic.

Understanding the importance of mindfulness and realising that the well-being of students was being compromised when the lockdown started, the Principal took the initiative to set up a dedicated Innovation and Research team. The team was dedicated to finding the remedy for gloominess,

boredom and restlessness that students felt while being confined to their homes.

It resulted in the introduction of two innovation models — one for the classroom and the second a leadership model for the whole organisation, both leveraging gratitude as their pedagogy to achieve tolerance and self-control.

In 2021, the Government of the UAE allowed schools to reopen once again. The happiness and joy on the faces of children and teachers as they entered the campus was akin to an out-of-body experience. Time didn’t dim the enthusiasm and everybody was grateful for getting back to their normal lives. The new pedagogy of the school had proven its worth and the entire school was grateful to the Gratitude Task Force for merging it into the school curriculum.

The school believes in joining hands across boundaries, divides and cultures to bring gratitude into everyone’s lives. The benefit to humans living in a state of gratefulness is well-charted and documented in the school’s ideology. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world and the diverse people are humbled and grateful to have survived.

Shining Star International School has exciting plans for the future. The school is building a state-of-the-art second school in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi and the first phase is expected to be completed by September 2023. A nursery division is also on the cards and the school is hopeful of being operational in the last quarter of 2022.

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