Winter break at UAE schools: Students enjoy movie night, safari trips before end-of-term

Many institutions are organising activities keeping the final week of learning an engaging and enriching experience


Nandini Sircar

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Mon 5 Dec 2022, 5:41 PM

Last updated: Mon 5 Dec 2022, 6:03 PM

This is the last week for private schools in the UAE before institutions close for a three-week-long winter holiday and open next year for the new academic term. The holidays will begin from December 12 until December 30, excluding three extra days off, which are part of the weekend. The new term will commence on Monday, January 2, 2023

Schools are organising different activities and planning many fun events keeping the season's festive mood in mind. Khaleej Times reached out to various school groups to find out the details about the flurries and what students can expect.

Wayne Howsen, Principal, The Aquila School said, “All primary children are taking part in our enterprise week during the last week of term. Our lessons in Primary are focused on what it means to be an enterprising individual, so they have been tasked with creating new ideas and solutions that will allow their peers to take on a challenge or buy something.

"We will host a Winter Fair on Thursday, December 8, that is open to the community, where there will be stalls and activities for the whole family to get involved in. The evening will end with a movie night under the stars organised exclusively for our families.”

Howsen added, “All money raised from these events will go towards the ‘Adopt a School’ initiative we are taking part in with Dubai Cares. We are raising money to build a school in Nepal. Following on from our National Day celebrations, our secondary students have continued learning about the UAE by visiting key country's Heritage sites. It has been a very busy term, so we are ending it on a very high note. One pupil from each year group will represent their year at our end-of-year talent show – an excellent whole school event for our community.”

School heads aver the final week of term is an important period of learning and engaging and enriching experiences.

Sarah Samuel, Vice Principal at GEMS Al Barsha National School, said, “End-of-term assessments are completed to ensure teachers have a clear understanding of the progress students have made throughout what is the longest term of the year.”

She added, “A range of educational visits will take place this week, including to Dubai Safari Park exploring different species as part of a science unit on ‘Living Things and Their Habitats’. Building on the science unit of ‘Light’, students will also visit the 3D World Selfie Museum, exploring photographs and how to create 3D images, developing stories using their imaginations. Learners will also celebrate their Term 1 successes with certificates and recognition of their hard work, while our senior students will be going to Pursuit Games-Paint balling as a reward for their excellent efforts in their A-level studies.”

At many schools the annual festive staff socials, will provide an important opportunity for all staff to come together before they break-up for the holidays.

Tara Foster, Primary Headteacher at GEMS Metropole School – Motor City, opined, “This week, the whole school is feeling thoroughly wintery, thanks to our annual winter performances. All children sang beautifully and participated enthusiastically for parents to celebrate the end of Term 1.”


She adds, “School also held a Winter Farmers Market, for which students across the school worked collaboratively to design and make products to sell. Over 1,000 visitors came to support us, taking the chance to buy some lovely gifts, enjoy delicious food, listen to live music and join in with fun and games. We were even visited by a very special VIP guest, Santa himself, who met the children and danced to the band.

“This Friday, staff and students will wear winter jumpers to celebrate the end of term. Later, all staff – teachers, admin staff, TAs, support staff, cleaners and security – have been invited to come together as a school community to celebrate a successful first term and the upcoming winter break with a feast that has been prepared by the school catering company.”

Meanwhile, principals reiterate the importance of regular reading at home, both for pleasure and to develop knowledge, in a range of subjects.

Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO- Principal, Credence High School, opined, “Before we close for the Winter Break, this week of December is packed with entertaining and well-being activities not just for students but also for the staff. We have organised various sports activities for students of all grades. We have also scheduled educational field trips for all grades where our students accompanied by the faculty will enjoy this great weather and build bonds.”

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